As our regular readers will know, Thursdays are my favorite day for blogging as I’m also prepping for my radio show with co-host Jim Hedger on Cranberry.fm which airs at 2PM Eastern live and can be downloaded within 24 hours. So here are some of the topic we’ll be covering and everything that’s happened since my last post.
Sometimes I get to be a little self-promotional. My latest piece got published yesterday on Search Engine Journal on the death of SEO. In reality it’s not that organic search is actually about to die however there are major changes coming not just in what ranks but in the types of content that organic results will be ranked for as well as how people interact with the Internet and information as a whole. I have to list it as recommended reading based on my bias but it did seem to be well-received so it just might actually make the cut. I suppose you’re a better judge than I am. 🙂
Google has just announced that their A/B testing tool Google Optimize is now free for all users in over 180 countries. For those that don’t do A/B testing because they don’t have the resources or don’t know how … it’s an easy-to-use tool with an obviously very low barrier to entry (you know … being free and all). Read the actual announcement on Google’s site for the full details on what it does.
When Content Audits Go Wrong
Aaron Agius wrote an article for Search Engine Journal on content audits. In it he discussed some ideas around how to develop a content strategy but perhaps more importantly covers what many get wrong from not measuring success correctly (from a business standpoint) and provides some tools recommendations and even a free content audit template. Recommended reading.
Bing Migrating To Daily Budgets
Bing put out a reminder yesterday to all advertisers that they have until April 30 to migrate any monthly budgets they have to daily. The switch will be made automatically on the 30th. If the change is done automatically and falls below the daily minimum the budget will automatically be increased to that minimum so best to do it manually and make sure everything goes as expected.
Amy Gesenhues covered the latest SEMPO State Of Search report for Search Engine Land. The report found that among other things, that social advertising is fast catching up to paid search in the number of companies engaged in it. Paid search is still seeing increases in spend with AdWords leading the charge. There’s a lot of interesting data in the report and Amy does a good job of covering it. It’s highly recommended reading.
The Losers Of Google’s Fred Update
SEO tools provider Sistrix dug into the stats for about 300 domains and came to some conclusions around who got hit during the Fred Update and why. All Google will tell us is that it has something to do with the guidelines. What Sistrix is telling us is that it seems to involve thin content and ad-heavy pages. I’m not going to get into the full details of how they came to their conclusions here save to say they look pretty accurate and if you click the link above you can read all their supporting data.
Patent On Google’s Ability To Ask Your Database Some Questions
Bill Slawski over at SEO By The Sea covered and interesting patent that’s been recently granted to Google. The patent revolves around databases with the understanding that some sites have incredibly posterful ones that never get crawled and who’s information generally doesn’t get accessed by search engines. If the patent is utilized that may all change with Google making requests of the database to determine the types of information it contains and can present to the user.
At least some. Andrew Hutchinson covered the announcement for Social Media Today. The feature is just being tested but would allow brands to engage in groups and not just people. This is a major step forward for brands … as long as it doesn’t turn into (as Andrew puts it) a spam-fest.
AI And Marketing
Google’s Avinash Kaushik wrote an absolutely outstanding piece on AI and it’s impact on marketing. It is an absolutely “must read” for everyone who cares about web traffic at all. It covers things from the ground up introducing AI in it’s function, in it’s evolution and finally in to what it’s impact will likely be for marketers. Have I mentioned that it’s a “must read” yet?
Andy Taylor covered the data for Search Engine Land. The “get location details” are getting some heavy clicks due to ad presence and that meansMap ads are getting some very solid use. This is great news for Google and advertisers. The piece discusses the likely reduction in online conversions due to this (which is fine as long as overall CPA is equal or better). It’s recommended reading for anyone interested in local.
cnet reported on a new feature in Google available in the US. Google announced that you can now book fitness classed directly through Google with the new “Reserve with Google” feature. Google is working hard to integrate more direct functionality into Maps with a clear eye on local queries. With the growth in voice search this capability would allow users to simply query a fitness center and book their class without any need for keyboards or even a display.
And that’s the news for today. If you think we’ve missed anything feel free to add it in the comment below.