A Smattering of SEO News: 1/22/15

Hello my friends, and happy Thursday! January just keeps trucking along, but SEO news is at a fast and furious clip (there’s a lot to look at this week). Let’s dive in, shall we?

 

Google News:

Google Begins To Send Warnings Regarding Poor Rankings For Non-Mobile Sites – Google seems to be going out of their way to make sure sites become more mobile-friendly. Recently they added a “mobile-friendly” label to sites in the SERPS and now we hear that they’re sending out Webmaster Tools messages when they determine that a site isn’t mobile-friendly. The messages include which pages and sites are problematic, along with how to fix them. Personally, I think this is awesome, and am glad Google is being so proactive about more sites becoming mobile-friendly.

iphone

 

Google Updates Its Structured Data Tools And Documentation – It’s been a while since Google did any updates to either its Structured Data Tool or its Documentation, but in the past week it’s updated both. Now the tool supports JSON-LD syntax for dynamic HTML pages, more comprehensive validation, problematic syntax highlighting, and more.

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Report: Google Still Serves 3 Billion Searches Per Day, Over 1 Trillion Per Year – According to a report from Medium’s Backchannel column, an interesting statistic revealed that Google handles around 3 billion searches per day, or over 1 trillion searches per year. The interesting thing is that these numbers were released back in 2012, but in this new article, use of the word “over” denotes growth, but Google won’t say how much. Tricksy devils, they are.

 

Google Reports It’s Addressed Odd AdSense Spam – Earlier this month, advertisers found that their AdSense ads were being redirected to spammy sites, even with the use of ad blocker software to try and diagnose the issue. It took Google a couple of weeks, but they were able to find these Flash-based redirects and kill ‘em, which is awesome. It’s kind of fascinating that it could be done in the first place though, even with ad blockers.

google-adsense

 

Google: We Ignore Everything On 404/410 Pages – Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that if their crawler hits a 404 or 410 page, they’re ignoring everything on it. Therefore, there’s no link equity benefit from them. Mueller said to “make them work for your users,” which is something we always advocate, as a good 404 error page can seriously increase a site’s user experience.

 

Other News:

Search Engines Overtake Traditional Media As Most Trusted News Source – According to data from the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer survey, “Online Search Engines” – which Search Engine Land sees as “Google” – have overtaken traditional media as the most trusted source for news. In 2014, 65% of respondents valued traditional media more, versus 63% for search engines. In 2015, the numbers have flipped a bit, with search engines getting 64% of the vote, while traditional media received 62%. The last couple of years have seen gains in trust for social media as well, rising to 48% this year over 45% last year.

google-news

A Marketer’s Guide To The Google Pigeon Update (Infographic)

Petrified by Pigeon? You’re not alone-Google’s local algorithm update shook up SEOs everywhere (within the continental U.S.). Learn everything you need to know about Pigeon’s repercussions for the future and Wpromote’s recommendations in our new infographic, “A Marketer’s Guide to the Google Pigeon Update.”


Like this infographic? Feel free to copy this code and put it on your own blog.

A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 1/16/15

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We’ve been away for the holidays, but we’re back and there are some really interesting changes and updates that we want to catch you up on!

 

Facebook

Videos On Facebook Continue To Grow

It’s been in the making for some time now, but according to a report from SocialMakers, more brands are officially uploading videos directly to Facebook versus posting YouTube videos on Facebook Pages. A report last year projected this would eventually occur. However, the speed at which Facebook video uploads are growing is quite impressive. Furthermore, this SocialMakers report showed that 80% of all video interactions happening on Facebook are occurring on natively uploaded videos. So you know what that means…bring on more Ice Bucket Challenges, crazy stunts, and funny videos in 2015.
SocialBakers-share-of-video

 

Facebook Video Playlists Welcome In The New Year

Getting more videos uploaded to Facebook is not enough for the social platform: they want to enhance any and all things video. That is why as the New Year came in, Facebook launched a new video feature that allows you to not only feature a video to show up in extra large size, but also to create video playlists similar to the ones found on YouTube. While this may not heavily impact any views or interactions on Facebook, it’s hard to deny that Facebook is placing a high priority on their natively uploaded videos.
facetube

 

Facebook Infiltrates Your Company With “Work”

With LinkedIn announcing its new tools for companies to use in the business communication realm, it was only a matter of time until Facebook counter-punched back. They’ve landed that hit by releasing their new communication center for businesses, called “Work.” The app is currently available on iOS and Android, and is designed for companies with 100+ employees to communicate, share documents, and gain overall interaction within their company.

 

Twitter 

Twitter Ads Can Make You Seem To Follow Brands, Even If You Don’t

This may not be news to some, but over the holiday season, a few celebrities noticed that they were supposedly following Mastercard on Twitter, even though they really weren’t. This “Following” list ad on Twitter is not a new type of ad that Twitter offers, but it has gained more and more notoriety as celebrities like William Shatner and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson discovered these “Promoted Follows” under their accounts.

twitterads copy

 

Winter Is Coming, And So Is Twitter’s New Homepage

Millions of logged-out visitors find themselves on Twitter’s homepage each day. That is a large audience that Twitter plans on taking advantage of in the near future. According to AdAge, Twitter plans on creating a new homepage that will include ads displayed for visitors to see. It may not be life changing news, but Twitter’s determination to ramp up all of their ad options is not going unnoticed.

 

Twitter_homepage

 

Auto-Playing Video And More Ad Expansion Is In Store

Twitter is not content with simply rolling out one small expansion to their ads platform. When they expand, they do so on multiple fronts. According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter pitched to multiple media buyers that they are working on an ads option that will embed Twitter ads within streams on publishers’ websites. As if this wasn’t news enough, Twitter also mentioned that over the “next few months” users will start seeing auto-playing videos on their feeds. These videos will be directly uploaded to Twitter, will play for six seconds, and then allow the user to click to play the rest of the video. If Facebook videos are doing so well, why not try it on Twitter?

 

Pinterest

Promoted Pins Are Here To Stay

If you’re not on Pinterest, and you just don’t like social media, there are two things that are probably true…you’re probably not reading this blog and you probably didn’t know that Pinterest has been testing out Promoted (Ad-Based) Pins with a few brand advertisers. With that being said, Pinterest announced that in the New Year, they will be bringing their reservation-based (CPM) Promoted Pins to the public. While they are still tweaking their auction-based pins, the beta Promoted Pins tested very well. According to Pinterest, Promoted Pins performed just as well and sometimes better than organic pins! The Promoted Pins performed longer after the campaign ended, and all core categories found success. So get your Pinterest skills ready and start promoting your Pins.

pinstitute

 

Thanks for keeping up with A Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!

A Smattering of SEO News: 1/15/15

Hey folks, welcome to 2015, and happy New Year! I hope y’all had a fun, joyous, and rejuvenating holiday season! Now that the holidays are over though, it is back to work, and that means monitoring the latest in SEO news! I am happy to help with this Smattering of the latest happenings. ;)

Google News:

  • Google Domains Opens To All US Residents – Google Domains launched an invite-only beta last June. The service – which allows folks to buy a domain for $12 a year to start and comes bundled with services from partners such as Wix and Squarespace – has now opened for all US residents to use. If you’re outside the US, you can sign up to a mailing list in order to be notified once the service arrives in your neck of the woods.

google-domains

  • Google’s John Mueller: Getting Good Links Can Remove Penguin Penalties Without Disavowing – In a recent Hangout, Google’s John Mueller – who’s filling in rather nicely for Matt Cutts in this role – was asked a hypothetical question. Could a user’s link profile overcome any problems from Penguin if they strived to acquire more good, solid, quality links through more natural methods rather than disallow whatever low quality links they might have (regardless of whether the webmaster either ignored or didn’t know about the disallow command)? Mueller said that Google’s algorithms take such factors into account and, if it sees it’s on the way to improvement, that penalties could slowly whither away as well.
  • Analyst: Google Possibly Making Moves Toward Auto Insurance Comparison Tool – According to an analyst at Forrester named Ellen Carney, her research is pointing toward signs that Google is gearing up to launch an auto insurance comparison tool/website in the US soon, having launched the successful Google Compare tool in the UK in 2012. Carney points to an entity called Google Compare Auto Insurance Services Inc. that’s already authorized to do business in more than half of the states in the US, along with the ability to work with other insurers in several other states. It’ll be interesting to see if this does launch, and what it will do to auto insurance services that also do the exact same thing.
  • Webmaster Tools Messaging To Receive Update Soon – Google’s John Mueller commented in a Hangout recently that the messaging functionality of Webmaster Tools is about to get an update to both its content and its layout. Apparently they’ve received many complaints of messages not being clear, especially in regards to disavowing links. As a result of these complaints, Google will be updating how the messages are presented along with their text. Not sure when these updates will be happening, but hopefully it’s soon.
  • Google’s Search Share Drops 2% In One Month After Firefox Switches To YahooGoogle’s search share dropped from 77.3% in November to 75.2% in December of last year, following a switch on Firefox’s part to use Yahoo as its primary search engine. Yahoo, in turn, saw about a 2% jump. While 2% is quite a lot, let’s keep in mind that Google is still at 75% overall, which means they didn’t fall far from their seat as king of the hill.

google-v-yahoo

Other News:

  • Instagram Leads In Growth, Facebook Leads In Engagement Among Social Networks – New research from the Pew Research Internet Project finds that while Facebook has hit a plateau with its growth, its engagement is massive with around 70% of its users engaging with the site on a daily basis, up from 63% the year before. The winner in growth is Instagram, which apparently grew 9% last year, meaning 26% of all adults in the US use the photo sharing service. This was followed by Pinterest at 7%, LinkedIn by 6%, and Twitter by a paltry 5% amount of user growth year-over-year.

fb-twitter

  • Firefox Users Manually Switching To Google After Yahoo Becomes Default Search Engine – In an interesting counterpoint to the article above, research firm RKG found that when Yahoo first replaced Google as Firefox’s default search engine in Firefox 34, paid search clicks on Yahoo rose to around 43%. Apparently, however, that number has dropped severely in just the past month, down to 36%, due to users forcibly switching back to Google manually within Firefox’s options. RKG’s Mark Ballard even estimates that Yahoo’s share in paid search clicks from Firefox users will continue to drop as users switch back to Google. Fascinating stuff.

Re-Introducing Wpromote.com!

Here at Wpromote we like to keep things fun, interesting, and new! We decided to shake things up for the New Year by launching a new website and completely rebranding. Our goal for this new site is to embody all of the elements that comprise Wpromote’s unique character. What we ended up with is something accessible, clean, and symphonic (just like our services). The new logo and color palette work together cohesively to express our creative and sophisticated style. Meanwhile, background scrolling videos capture what it’s like to walk down our hallways on any given day.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS LOVE 

Wpromote clients love our transparency and accessibility. Got a question? Call us up. Need reports? Sign into our dashboard! We strive to create a real relationship with our clients that goes beyond numbers.

WHO WE ARE

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All of us here a Wpromote bring a little flavor to the mix. Whether we are competing in the Chili Cook-Off or lounging around during Fine Wine Friday, we know how to have a good time. The best part about this is how we incorporate this spirit of play into our work that benefits our clients. The content we create is enticing and relatable, to the benefit of everyone.

WHAT WE DO

blog_post_casestudies copy

In case you weren’t sure about how awesome we are, check out our new case studies and white papers. Our services haven’t changed; they’ve only gotten better. With continual industry updates and algorithms constantly changing, we have to be innovative and reactive in order to stay relevant.

Check the new site out for yourself and see if you get a feel for what it means to be a Wpromoter!

Client Infographic: HairBow Center

With Christmas right around the corner and Hanukkah in full swing, it’s important to make sure your wrapping skills are on point! And if don’t have any wrapping skills then it’s super important to check out this Infographic from HairBow Center on how to tie the perfect bow!

HairBow-infographic

Now that you’re a bow tying expert, get out there and wrap those presents! Check out the entire Infographic for more bow tying tips!

Client Infographic: PhysicianOne Urgent Care

Welp, it’s flu season. Or is it cold season? I can’t keep track…all I know for sure is that my nose is stuffy when it isn’t running, and I’ve got a cough that just won’t quit. Luckily for me, PhysicianOne Urgent Care has released a cool new Infographic with nifty home remedies as well as debunking some mythical cures.

Cold-flu-physicianone

Be sure to check out the entire Infographic for more ways to kick that cold during the holiday season!

A Smattering of SEO News: 12/18/14

Hello folks, and happy holidays! Since the aforementioned holidays are upon us, news is unsurprisingly a bit light, but there’s still some fun stuff to talk about! Let’s get to it, shall we?

 

 

Google News:

Other News:

  • Report: Instagram Trounces Twitter In Engagement – A recent report released bytwitter-instagram analytics firm Socialbakers shows Instagram has an engagement rate that is a staggering 50 times greater than Twitter’s. The report noted that, when comparing the top twenty five brands and their engagement, Instagram had a 3.31% engagement rate, while Twitter’s was a paltry 0.07%. That’s simply amazing, and I think shows the increasing power of Instagram as a marketing platform.

R.O.Why? – Understanding Social ROI and Its Importance

Is social media a legitimate key player in the marketing game? If you asked me this three years ago when I was first hired as a social media intern, I would have said no, without hesitation. Granted, I didn’t know much about social media beyond my own personal (and minimal) use, but I still believed that it couldn’t possibly bring much to the table. Sure, I was young and naive and just wanted a “real job,” but I was pretty sure of myself. Today, social media is nowhere near where it was 1,038 days ago on my first day at Wpromote and, after further review, I’m happy to admit that I was dead wrong.

The fact that my job and the social space have evolved so much in such a short period of time is exactly what’s so fascinating (and sometimes frustrating) about it. I believe that it is also why many companies and brands have been hesitant to hop on the Facebook bandwagon – until recently. If you have been on Facebook in the past year (according to a recent study most of us view our News Feeds an average of 5,110 times a year), you are well aware that Facebook has become what marketers are calling a “pay to play” platform and other social networks are following suit.

My Dad, an accountant and social media disbeliever, always told me “percentages are powerful.” So here are a few to consider before I continue…

According to the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, published by Social Media Examiner in May 2014:

  • 90% of advertisers use Facebook ads.
  • 54% say that Facebook is the most important network.
  • 88% of marketers say they that they don’t know how to measure social media ROI.

 deer

Social ROI has always been a grey area. Do you know how hard it is to convince analytics-driven business/marketing managers (or your accountant father) what the value of social media is? Pretty hard. Sure, it is important to track social clicks, CTR, actions, views, engagement, etc., but the truth is that these aren’t perfect indicators of value. Engagement rate has no direct correlation to sales so we are immediately limiting the value by focusing on these.  What we have is this Paradox of Opportunity. There are hundreds of millions of consumers all over the world, yet advertisers’ investments are focusing on the smallest sub-population of converters.

paradox

So what do we do about it? How do we adapt our strategy to be more inclusive of the “Clickers” and “All Users,” yet exclusive enough to reach only our target audience? George Manas, Director of Client Strategy & Development at Resolution Media, puts it simply: “Social media is the answer to its own problem.” Thank you, George, for the enlightenment.

Whether you realize it or not, our social activity is creating a common identity that tracks our online journey across devices. Now that we are all a part of this cross-device culture, the cookie, what has long been the most powerful tool for search marketers, is no longer enough. Social media is opening the door for us to truly track consumer exposure, engagement and behavior; this social ID is the most accurate idea of a person on the web.

One of the most successful ways our social team is taking advantage of this is through Facebook’s custom audiences.

Website Custom Audiences allow us to reengage with website visitors based on a pre-defined objective and can be segmented and used to target all visitors, cart abandoners, newsletter sign-ups, event pages, product category/description pages, etc.

CRM-Based Custom Audiences give us the ability to create very targeted messaging directed towards specific audiences based on CRM data, and can easily integrate and complement clients’ email marketing campaigns.

Lookalike Audiences enable us to find new customers based on profiles of existing ones. We can utilize existing custom audience lists, tracking pixels, and page fans to develop various lookalike lists that can target based on similarity or reach. This is a great way to find new customers or site visitors that are similar to those who have already purchased or visited your site.

Twitter has also adopted a similar model that allows advertisers to tailor audiences using customer email addresses and mobile numbers. Social retargeting through AdRoll is yet another game-changer capitalizing on cross-device social identities.

So, how does this help the deer-in-headlights social media people in explaining the value and ROI of Social Media?  I think bullet points are also powerful…

  • Utilize custom audiences to expand targeting beyond the “converters” circle.
  • Track cross-journey, cross-device impressions and actions through social ID instead of cookies. Example: In a cross-device report of a recent campaign for SCOTTEVEST, nearly 20% of conversions started on mobile and finished on desktop
  • Develop a better understanding of ROI from mobile and desktop campaigns
  • Understand customer behavior
  • Optimize search and social campaigns accordingly and allocate marketing budget where it matters

In this new era of targeting and measurability, it’s imperative that we capitalize on the wealth of information social media is giving us. Segmentation and customization together are key to reaching your desired audience in the most organic way possible. With the new concept of social ID’s, it is quite possible, and increasingly likely, that social will be the new control center for digital strategy, so hop on the bandwagon before you get left behind!

 

A Smorgasbord of Social Media: 12/12/14

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. We have a bunch of updates to drop for you, so let’s get right down to business.

 

Facebook

Facebook Updates Insights, Interest Targeting, And More

Over the past year Facebook has received plenty of negative reviews from publishers who have seen their organic reach drop and be forced to continue to pay to play the game. However, earlier this week, Facebook tried to counter these negative effects with a few insights targeted directly to benefit publishers. Some of these new updates include improved targeting tools that allow publishers to target specific subsets of their fans based on their interests, Post End Date being set up, and a new service that will allow Facebook to automatically post popular articles for you. These opportunities may not fully make up for the entire drop in organic reach over the last year, but it sure is a helpful start.

buzzfeed-interest

New Smart Publishing Tool Could Help Marketers Dramatically With Content Creation

If you didn’t catch that update I just mentioned about Facebook automatically posting popular links for you, let me bring you up to full speed. Mixed in with all of the updates Facebook announced this past week, possibly the most interesting one is a new service they’re going to offer to all publishers in the near future called “Smart Publishing”.  Essentially Smart Publishing is an autopilot of content that will bring the best stories for your brand’s audience right to your News Feed. This tool has to be switched on, but once it is, Facebook will begin displaying the most popular content to your brand automatically. Imagine the amount of reach you can get with a little help from your new Facebook cruise control.

Smart-Publishing-Facebook 

Facebook Pushes Real-Time Trending Service

If Twitter is the News King, Facebook desperately wants to take over the throne. In an effort to catch up to Twitter’s real-time events discussion, Facebook has updated their Trending section and released it to its mobile platform. The new Trending function will break news into five sections: Article, In the Story, Friends and Groups, Near the Scene, and Live Feed. This may not push Facebook past Twitter, but it sure is an upgrade from what it had before.

image2-fb-news

 

New Call To Action Buttons Coming Soon

Facebook has released some small tools to try to combat the drop in their organic reach. One new announcement this week is that marketers will soon be able to add seven new call to action buttons to the top of their page. The new options include: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, and Watch Video. Only time will tell how successful these buttons will be.

facebook-shave-cta

 

Facebook Search Finally Strolls Out

A year ago, Facebook promised to release a search function on the platform for the public to use. Fast-forward to this week, and Facebook has finally come through on that promise. You will now be able to find posts that have been shared with you. The search results are personalized and unique to you, and unfortunately for some journalists, it really can’t function as a search for all topics that are occurring on Facebook.

facebooksearch1

 

Twitter

Target Ads On Twitter Based On App Actions

Earlier this week, Twitter announced that it will be giving mobile app advertisers a way to create audiences to target based on app actions such as install, purchase, or sign-up. While this may not be a major update for every business on Twitter, it does significantly help those app marketers that are trying to target the most likely audience to engage in their app.

Twitter-app-tailored

 

Instagram

Instagram Hits 300 Million And Counting

This week was a big week over at Instagram as they officially hit the 300 million active users mark. This number is significant because it is a 100 million jump from March, and it passes Twitter’s 284 million number. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Instagram is more valuable than Twitter, it does mean that Instagram is growing at a very rapid pace. Furthermore, with all of this growth, Instagram also announced that it is going to continue to remove spammy and fake accounts in the upcoming year, along with adding badges for celebrities, athletes, and brands that have a high likelihood of being impersonated.

 

Thanks for keeping up with a Smorgasbord of Social Media! Check back each week for a fresh batch of updates. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet @Wpromote if you have any questions or comments about any of these updates!