Our disproportionate focus on Google continues, and will as long as Google continues to dominate the market and roll out changes faster than ice melts on an Atlanta sidewalk. This past month, Google’s updates most likely to affect marketers inclu
ded the following.
Organic Results / SEO: A web page’s title tag is what’s displayed as the page title in search engines’ results – it’s the blue link you click on to go to that page. For over a decade, prevailing wisdom was to keep title tags under 70 characters to ensure the entire length would display and not get truncated. Recently, Google changed this to focus on the title’s pixel width instead of character count, since some characters are much wider than others. Now, if the pixel width of a title tag is too long, Google’s algorithms may generate and substitute a more concise, descriptive alternative to help users to identify relevant pages. Having a readable title can encourage more searchers to click, so review and test your title tags. (One of our colleagues did some experiments on this.)
Paid Results / PPC: Google AdWords has rolled out a number of new features – the one we’re most excited about is the innovative Auction Insights reporting feature, which shows who’s competing with our clients for specific keywords. Data includes impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page-rate. This offers far deeper insights than we’ve been able to glean previously, giving those of us who are using this feature an advantage in AdWords auctions.
The Google AdWords feature we’re least excited about is Google’s redefinition of phrase and exact match. While they’re still called “phrase” and “exact,” the mechanics of how they operate has changed: “close variants” such as misspellings, singular/plural versions, acronyms, stemmings, abbreviations and accents will now trigger exact match ads. While this is probably welcome to less sophisticated advertisers who don’t take the time to build granular campaigns, we’re not happy about potentially driving less relevant traffic that we didn’t specifically attempt to generate. We’re adding even more negative keywords to combat this.
Local: Google Local was changed to Google Maps, which was updated to Google Places, and now it’s being switched to Google+ Local. Listings are now more social in nature, including reviews from Google+ members. These listings can be indexed into Google’s main search results as well – previously all local listings only appeared in local results. Be sure to claim your Google Places listing and ensure it’s accurate and complete.
Shopping: Google giveth, and Google taketh away. The free Google Product Search, which allows ecommerce sites to promote their wares, is being converted later this year to Google Shopping, which merchants will have to pay to participate in. There are some incentives to transition by mid-August here.
As always, we’re keeping our eye on developments in the search engine marketing space and will continue to share best practices with our fellow marketers.
Prominent Placement, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service search engine marketing (SEM) firm, delivering ROI that traditional marketing channels can’t touch, with a level of service that raises the bar. Since 2001, Prominent Placement has managed the entire SEM process for clients across the U.S., driving leads and revenue while empowering businesses to focus on what they do best. Prominent Placement’s customized solutions are backed by hard numbers, giving decision makers the confidence they need to make smarter decisions.
For more information, visit our website or call 888.SEM.MKTR (888.736.6587). If you’d like to learn how Prominent Placement can drive more leads for your business, contact Christine Verska at x713 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Embark is a small business Internet marketing firm based in Atlanta and run by the same team
as Prominent Placement. We offer affordable search engine marketing solutions that will help your small business or startup generate brand awareness, attract new customers, and grow revenue. Our experienced team will manage your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, so you can focus on growing your business.
For more information on how to boost online visibility, leads and sales on a limited budget, visit http://www.EmbarkSEM.com, or contact Christine Verska at email@example.com or 404.373.9727 x713.
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What a difference a year makes! While building links to your site, you now have to consider over-optimization, the possibility of getting links
from the wrong sites, and now a competitor could even buy links to sully your profile! Learn how the top pros are dealing with this and how to roll with the changes by joining SEMPO Atlanta for our July 12 event on Post Panda/Penguin Link Building.
May: More Google Changes: Penguin & the Knowledge Graph
Apr: B2B Versus B2C: 6 Ways Search Marketing is Different
Mar: Facebook Premium Ads: Have They Gone Too Far?