Hello folks, and welcome back from your holiday weekend (here in the U.S. at least). I hope you all had an excellent weekend regardless, and are ready for some fun SEO news from the previous week. This installment has some interesting stuff, so let’s dive in!
- Google Uncharacteristically Solicits Advice – In a recent blog post, Google announced that they were – for the first time ever, I believe – asking for feedback on their search policies. A few days later, a Tweet from Matt Cutts stated that they were taking suggestions regarding small websites that users feel deserve to be doing better in Google’s search results. As someone who has been in SEO a long time, I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by both of these moves, and hope we see more of them.
- Google Keyword Tool Sadly Replaced with Keyword Planner – It’s a sad day whenever I report the loss of a useful and beloved tool, but that’s what happened, as the Google Keyword Tool has been fully replaced with the Keyword Planner. For months we could still reach the Keyword Tool, but no longer, as direct links have been replaced with help files on how to use the Keyword Planner, which is much less intuitive in my opinion.
- Google Rules on Mobile Ad Revenue, Facebook Makes Tremendous Gains – In a recently released study from eMarketer, they announced that Google now makes up for over 53% of worldwide mobile ad revenue in the past year, up from 52% in 2012. Facebook has even more impressive results, jumping up to nearly 16% from around 5% in 2012. Google also dominates overall digital ad revenue, claiming around 33% of total worldwide revenue.
- Not Provided Data Growing, Especially for Tech Sector – In a recent report, BrightEdge stated that overall not provided data in Google Analytics has grown to over 60% in the first half of this year, up from 47% in the second half of 2012. They also found that the data is different per industry, with the tech industry experiencing a 56% loss of data over other industries, such as media (46%), retail (48%) and business services (50%).
- Google Properties Drive Most Traffic to News Sites – Parse.ly, a content optimization platform, recently released their first “authority report” which studies how traffic spreads to its clients. They found that Google and its various properties sent over 200 million page views to publishers such as Reuters and Mashable, while Facebook sent “only” 73 million page views. Other search engines came in even further behind, with Yahoo driving around 40 million views and Bing bringing in around 13 million.
- Bing Integrates Shopping Results Directly Into SERPs – Bing has integrated its shopping results into its main SERPs. This now includes a horizontal scrolling product carousel on the top and a new three-column layout, one showing the traditional SERPs, one showing specific shopping results and the third showing social results regarding that product. In testing, the three columns were visible, but not the carousel.
- Bing Explains Why Its Image Search is Superior to Google’s – In a recent blog post, Bing explained why, in its opinion, its image search is superior to Google’s. This includes being able to understand the intent of the person’s search and not treat images like standard web searches, filter out duplicate or near duplicate images, and process images similarly to the human brain for better results.
- Facebook Stops Physical Gifting Program – You may have noticed that, when it was someone’s birthday or anniversary, Facebook recently provided the opportunity to purchase a physical gift like a Starbucks or Target gift card. Apparently less than 20% of Facebook users used this feature – which was problematic as gift recipients needed to open an alert and reply with a mailing address within two weeks lest the order be cancelled – so Facebook has unsurprisingly closed the program.
Check back next week for more SEO news!