Google+ is never far away from controversy or a heated discussion, be it what affect it has on organic search rankings or whether or not the 359m members (May 2013) actually use the platform or not.
Whatever your thoughts on Google+ as a platform the one area you can’t deny is the improvement from brand participation and content generation.
A few months ago the post on do the top 20 US retailers care about Google+ implied that the big retail brands out there don’t create enough content or receive enough engagement to warrant sufficient investment, which inevitably leads to a poor user experience.
While in theory the top 20 US retailers 'should' understand how to use Google+ and reap the benefits, looking at the summary it’s clear that some of them don’t.
That’s not to say they don’t care about the platform, more likely the potential value has not been demonstrated properly or what future benefits in organic search considered.
I might not be the best qualified to write this article. I’m a young upstanding man of 28 years, so I was 13 when Google came along.
I haven’t known work, barely known play, and certainly haven’t known facial hair to exist without Google (some say I still don’t know about those things).
Google has done so much, not just ensured we never again have to climb up ladders in libraries, ask strangers for directions or call directory enquiries ever again.
I’ve been exploring the Google timeline for nuggets of interest on Google’s 15th birthday...
Not content with taking away the little keyword data we had left this week, Google has again surprised the online marketing industry with a brand new algorithm.
There isn't an awful lot of detail out there right now, though Search Engine Land has some details, including the fact that this this new algorithm has been running for the past month.
I've been asking some of the finest minds in SEO for their thoughts on Hummingbird...
Yesterday it emerged that Google is planning to encrypt even more organic search queries, thus removing even more search keyword data from sites.
The already tricky task of measuring natural search data has been made even harder by this latest move.
I've been canvassing opinions of search marketing experts on the latest move from Google...
The press release, the original tool of the PR pro, is broken.
It happened in stages. First there came email, prior to which press releases had been faxed or posted to editors, the laboriousness of the task forcing PR people to choose their targets with appropriate care and attention.
But with email, you can grab a list and not think twice about bunging it out to all and sundry. The result was laziness leading to abuse.
Then came the SEO industry. The press release’s power for generating link juice was spotted. Stick a press release on a wire and regardless of its quality or newsworthiness, its content and links will get replicated across the web, even on some authoritative domains.
Once again, the result was laziness leading to abuse.
Travel aggregator sites dominate airline brands for both natural and paid Google rankings, according to a new report looking at search visibility.
The analysis by Searchmetrics also found that brands achieving high natural search rankings are taking the opportunity to limit their investment in PPC.
The study is based on analysis of how airline brands performed on Google for the 1,439 most popular search terms relating to flights. It examines results for the US, France and Germany, but for this post I’ll focus on the UK results.
And for more information on this topic, check out the Econsultancy Paid Search Marketing Best Practice Guide or our UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report.
Here's a selection of recent search stats, taken from a range of sources, including our UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2013, the Internet Statistics Compendium, and others.
Topics covered include mobile search, social signals and rankings, PPC and mobile CTRs...
Google yesterday released a new paid and organic report in AdWords to 'help you better understand how people searching on Google are connecting with your business'.
According to the Big G, the new report is 'the first to let you see and compare your performance for a query when you have either an ad, an organic listing, or both appearing on the search results page'.
Here’s a pic of what the report looks like..
I wrote this post on examples of marketing creative recently. Since it was popular, here’s some more brilliant marketing creative to enjoy with your coffee. Mmmm…drink it in.
If any of you are in London in October, check out our event, Punch, where marketing meets the new creative (part of the Festival of Marketing).
Staying ahead of the Google curve can be a feat in itself if you spend all day analysing keyword saturation rates and anchor text diversity. All SEOs need to remember it’s important sometimes to go back to basics to see the bigger picture.
Are we sculpting keywords and orchestrating anchor text to give Google-bot an easier job? No! We’re trying to make the internet a more productive and valued place, where users are able to locate worthy content easily and intuitively, and the same principle should be applied to all facets of our businesses, be it in store or online.
So instead of relying on SEO/PR practices, we should be thinking about how we can add value, and improve the customer engagement through other methods. What about Conversion Rate Optimisation?
A conversion health pack would certainly improve overall performance and budgets, but will enhancing usability improve SEO?
It could take a manual review to fully interpret all usability improvements, but even if this doesn’t occur, the algorithm still pays attention to drop rates, engagement (time spent on page), page-views, and this group of metrics all count towards overall visibility.
So the bottom line is, as long as your developments actually enhance the user journey, you’ll see ranking gains and a higher domain authority accruing.