Native Mobile Apps May Dominate Now, But The Mobile Web Will Endure

Time spent with apps If you’re lucky enough to be a huge brand marketer with unlimited budgets, what I’m about to say probably doesn’t apply to you. You have the good fortune to focus on providing not only a phenomenal mobile website experience, but a great experience in mobile apps, as well. Not or, but and, as it should be. So, you can feel free to use the contact info below to discuss how to take your campaigns to the next level and stop reading this column. For the other 99% of us, the recent announcement by app analytics provider Flurry that users are still spending more time in apps than the mo [...]


The Fatal Mistake Content Marketers Are Making With Nofollow

shutterstock_182841941-RIPContentMktg RIP, content marketing. Thanks to Google's algorithm updates and quality guidelines that require paid links to include a nofollow tag, there's simply no value any more in online promotions for brands and agencies. After all, if a sponsored link can no longer provide a direct PageRank boost, what's the point? Everyone knows the only reason to bother promoting a brand online is for the improved search engine rankings. Did you detect a hint of sarcasm there? I hope so, because when marketers focus too much of their attention on search engine optimization (SEO), they lose sight of the big pi [...]


Grow In-Store Visits From Smartphones For Better Traffic From Google Mobile

mobile-devices-featured We know 2013 was the year that Google finally started to improve the smartphone search experience, warning webmasters and marketers about things that make a site less usable for smartphone users -- like Flash, faulty redirects, slow loading pages and so on.   I know sites can be difficult for mobile searchers to use, regardless of whether they're dedicated mobile sites, dynamic serving, or responsive web design -- so let's focus instead on what we can do to improve the mobile searcher experience on our sites.  I'll be suggesting ways to improve the mobile searcher experience througho [...]


Super Bowl 2014 Commercials: How Did Advertisers Perform in Search Engines?

tv-video-featured It's year number six of tracking how Super Bowl ads compelled us to search and just how well advertisers take advantage of all that searching. How did advertisers fare this year? Better than in earlier years, mostly because they are learning to keep it simple. But they're not necessarily doing better in search on purpose. Last year, advertisers started paying attention to social media in a big way, which they extended this year. But it's clear advertisers don't realize we're multi-taskers. Not only can we watch the game and tweet at the same time, but we can search, too. And while I get [...]


Nielsen: All Top Brands Lost Web Users To Mobile In 2013

mobile-web-apps-featured According to data released last week by Nielsen, all the major web brands lost uniques on a year-over-year basis in 2013. The period measured was January through the end of October. The ranking of the top sites was more or less the same as we've seen in other data. However the relative loss of monthly uniques was not uniform. According to Nielsen, Ask lost the highest percentage of its monthly uniques. Next was Facebook and then YouTube. Nielsen broadly attributes the decline in "web" traffic to the rise of tablets and smartphones. However the company didn't provide a holistic vie [...]


Dutch Data Protection Authority Says Google’s Privacy Policy Breaks Privacy Laws

google-europe-featured A statement released yesterday by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) claims Google's privacy policy is in breach of the Dutch data protection act. According to the statement: Google combines the personal data from Internet users that are collected by all kinds of different Google services, without adequately informing the users in advance and without asking for their consent...On top of that, Google does not offer users any (prior) options to consent to or reject the examined data processing activities. "Google spins an invisible web of our personal data, without our consent. And that [...]


Google Search “Reunion” Video Goes Viral With More Than 4 Million Views In 5 Days

Video click Google is doing its best to make everyone cry (in a good way) with its latest heartwarming "Reunion" ad for Google Search. The video has gone viral in the last five days with more than four million views on YouTube. It is ranked No. 4 on Unruly Media's Top 20 Viral Video Chart, and has received more than 665,000 Facebook shares and 11,400 Twitter shares. The ad highlights the power of Google Search on desktop and mobile, showing how a granddaughter is able to reunite her grandfather with his long-lost best friend, using only a few details from a story he tells about being a young boy in Lah [...]


Google’s Broken Promises & Who’s Running The Search Engine?

google-promises-featured For two years in a row now, Google has gone back on major promises it made about search. The about-faces are easy fodder for anyone who wants to poke fun at Google for not keeping to its word. However, the bigger picture is that as Google has entered its fifteenth year, it faces new challenges on how to deliver search products that are radically different from when it started. In the past, Google might have explained such shifts in an attempt to maintain user trust. Now, Google either assumes it has so much user trust that explanations aren't necessary. Or, the lack of accountability might [...]


Is Not Provided A Good Thing?

content-marketing-featured It’s been a few weeks since Google rocked our worlds and stripped keyword-level data from the referrer, so it’s time to examine the fallout and see what’s changed in the world of search marketing. Surprisingly, not much. Keywords were beacons of insight – fantastic beacons – but keywords were a double-edged sword leading us to create content that unnecessarily repeated specific terms for an ideal keyword density. Writing for a bot rather than for the user is not optimizing for user experience, so Google did something about it. Google head spam-fighter Matt Cutts said it himself: [...]


The Questions Google Refuses To Answer About Search Privacy

google-logo-glow-featured Last month, Google made one of the biggest changes in search privacy ever, by routing all searches through its Google Secure Search service. Why did it make the change? Why didn't it close some loopholes that leave some search data vulnerable? Google -- which is demanding more transparency from the US government over privacy issues -- is preferring not to be transparent about its own moves. What's The TL;DR? The too long; didn't read is that more people should read stuff that they deem too long. The world would be a better place. But OK: Google claims it has improved search privacy but [...]


Google Unveils New “Hummingbird” Search Algorithm For “Precise & Fast” Results

hummingbird Big news in the search world yesterday. Google announced that it is using a new search algorithm called "Hummingbird" to sort through its millions of facts and billions of web pages. The system takes its name from the more "precise and fast" results that it is intended to deliver. Panicked about a sudden loss of traffic that Hummingbird might cause to your site? Or excited you might get a new gain if Hummingbird reshuffles the SEO traffic in your favor? Well, relax. Hummingbird actually went into effect about a month ago. Any changes should already have long happened. To learn more ab [...]


Is Adaptive Web Design Or RESS Better Than Responsive Design For SEO?

adaptive web design seo Kudos to all of you smart marketers for keeping me on my toes. At SES San Francisco last week, I was asked three good questions that I hadn't heard before and wasn't really prepared to answer. The title of this post is one of them: When it comes to SEO, is adaptive Web design or RESS (Responsive Web Design + Server Side Components) better than responsive Web design? If the person who asked the question had phrased it as, "Is dynamic serving better than responsive Web design for SEO?" it would have been an easy question to answer. Unfortunately, with so many new terms being used to describe [...]


Privacy Groups Ask Court To Reject Google Settlement, Claim It Won’t Fix Privacy Issues

computer-internet-legal-law-featured Last month, Google agreed to pay $8.5 million to a settlement fund over a lawsuit claiming the site had given private information included in user search queries to third parties without gaining consent from users or notifying them that the information was being shared. The court approval for the settlement was scheduled for today, but five US privacy groups have requested that the settlement not be accepted. PCWorld reports that the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, Patient Privacy and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse wrote a joint letter a [...]


Questions On Google Authorship? Google Shares Some Answers

google-g-logo-2012 Trying to figure out how Google Authorship works? Google has a new post out today answering a few tricky questions such as how to deal with mascots (sorry, they don't get authorship) and what types of pages can have authorship appear in Google's search listings. Read more in Google's post and also see our longer recap on Search Engine Land: Google Provides FAQ About Authorship, From Blocking To No Mascots. Also, to learn more about authorship, check out our The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup article and some of these related stories, as well: Author Rank, Authors [...]


4 Ways To Prepare For The Search, Social & Mobile Tipping Point

HiRes [caption id="attachment_167680" align="alignright" width="180"] This is a derivative work from an image used by permission from  istockphoto[/caption] According to the 2013 Internet Trends report released in May of 2013, mobile now accounts for 15% of all global Internet traffic and, with nearly 1.5 billion global smartphone subscribers and over 5 billion mobile phone users, learning about the way that people search, consume and share media across mobile devices is at the forefront of the search marketer's agenda. Mobile, Search & Local Hit The Marketer's Radar Mobile phones hav [...]


3 Advanced Tips For Bid Adjustments In Google Enhanced Campaigns

Google’s introduction of Enhanced Campaigns is one of the most significant structural modifications to occur in the history of paid search. With the end of migration scheduled for July 22, marketers are scrambling to figure out “what works” on the new campaign format. A key point of change in Enhanced Campaigns is the expanded use of bid adjustments -- percentage modifiers to control relative bids between devices, geos, and other targets. Since efficiency varies by target, getting the adjustment factors correct is critical for achieving optimal performance. Below are tips for marke [...]


Study: Email Lands More Customers Than Facebook Or Twitter, But Still Fewer Than Organic Search

email-marketing-featured A new report from marketing software provider Custora found that customer acquisitions gained via email marketing has quadrupled since 2009, with email delivering more customers than Facebook or Twitter. According to the report, email accounted for only .88 percent of online customers acquired in 2009, but that number grew to 6.84 percent by Q2 2013. Facebook and Twitter's combined customer acquisitions have accounted for less than one percent this year. Even after an upswing of nearly seven percent during the last four years, email still falls behind organic search, which has accoun [...]


Google Shows Nearly 100 Million Unsafe Browsing Warnings Per Week

Safe Browsing – Transparency Report – Google The Google Safe Browsing system is designed to warn people from Google's search results and when using popular browsers if they are about to enter a site deemed unsafe due to suspected malware or phishing attempts. Google's now sharing figures on how often it warns: currently almost 100 million times per week, along with other statistics. The statistics have been added to the Google Transparency Report, where Google has shared information about when it is required to remove content or provide user data due to legal reasons. Now, Safe Browsing statistics are a new area of the report. Unsafe [...]


Leveraging Advertising Data For Behavioral Insights

image002 With marketing becoming increasingly programmatic, it is important to leverage every possible metric that can provide insights into customer behavior. For digital marketers, this usually means analyzing site traffic data; but, advertising data can also be used to great value in behavioral analytics. In this article, I show one example of this type of analysis along with the results. Distribution Of Click-To-Conversion Time A metric common in all forms of digital advertising is click-to-conversion time, also known as conversion delay, which is the delay between when the ad was clicked to w [...]


Official: Google Confirms “Conversational Search” Is Live In Chrome

Now, you can speak your queries to Google on the desktop in the way you can on mobile devices and get responses spoken back. It's pretty impressive, but more impressive is the way this new "conversational search" takes what you've previously said and "remembers" that as you continue to search. Google hasn't done an official blog post about the new feature, which works for its Google Chrome browser, but it confirmed to us officially that it's live, saying: Conversational search has started rolling out in the latest version of Chrome. You can just click the mic in the search box, ask your [...]


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