It’s a provocative question and heaven knows we all love one of those.
There are a lot of contradictory opinions out there surrounding the term ‘blue links’ and how many are to be found on your average search engine results pages (SERPs).
While many proclaim the death of ’10 blue links’, other experts suggest their own research confirms otherwise.
Search is an ever evolving, constantly tinkered with playground that is almost impossible to ‘game’ in the long-term and second-guess in the short-term.
As a producer of content myself, I’ve always believed that SEO best practice lies in the quality of the content itself. Creating entertaining, useful, relevant or engaging content is the number one approach and any ‘wins’ your content may achieve in appearing in organic search listings are a well earned result.
Of course I sound naïve here and I’m fully aware that good SEO involves more than just that, especially if organic search listings on the first SERP are becoming less visible.
Let’s take a look at the current state of play for organic search and ’10 blue links’.
Google Seller Ratings are a proven and easy way of increasing traffic to your site and thus multiplying sales.
Think of them as your star salesperson, who regularly tempts in new customers.
Google helps us all market our services. That statement can start a healthy debate amongst many in the media, but I think I'll stick with it.
Of course, Google has to market itself, too.
Even the biggest and most successful companies must market themselves in some channels. Apple, for example, may shun social media, but it's all over the television and out-of-home and has a distinctive presence on many high streets.
So, I thought I'd round up some examples of Google's marketing that have stuck in my mind and continue to leave me mindful of Google's all-conquering innovation.
Hope you enjoy!
We are all exposed to display and video advertising and we all have a view on its efficacy.
In this post I’m going to take a beginner's look at measurement in display and video advertising and ask if advertisers are finally getting a good (read ‘transparent’) deal.
How is improved measurement across display advertising changing the nature of the web? Will it start to feel lighter on ads as advertisers demand their ads are not just served but viewed by a human being?
What are the standards for viewability and if the networks are adopting them, is this the death of the impression?
Matt Cutts made his strongest statement yet on guest blogging, declaring it dead as a linkbuilding tactic.
This does seem to be a broad statement and, as Editor of a blog which accepts (and values) guest posts, Google's policing of the internet can be irritating.
Still, there's no doubt that guest blogging has been hammered as a link building tactic, to the extent that we've become tired of guest blogging approaches.
So how will this affect sites looking to accept guest posts?
With searchers choosing Amazon over Google for product searches and eBay resurgent, will Google have to launch its own marketplace to keep up?
Online retailers are a major source of advertising revenue for Google but shoppers are increasingly turning to Amazon as their shopping first port of call.
In 2010 24% of shoppers began researching on Google verses 18% on Amazon, however in 2012 this had almost completely reversed with 30% on Amazon and only 13% on Google.
Google is clearly aiming to be the destination for product searches with the launch of Product Listing Ads (PLA). However, some industry experts are wondering whether to win in this space Google will need to go beyond simply advertising products and launch a fully-fledged marketplace.
Covario has just issued its Global Paid Search Spend Analysis for Q4 2013, revealing that global spend on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has increased by 13% from Q3 and 7% year-on-year.
Paid search on mobile also had an incredible 2013, with impressive numbers recorded for Android, iPhone and iPad activations. Total advertising spend on mobile grew 23% in Q4 2013 from Q3. This is 55% up from the same period in 2012.
Keyword pricing wise, the average cost-per-click (CPC) came down in Q4 2013, however the average CPC rose 10% versus the same period in 2012.
This is just a quick one for all you bloggers and publishers out there.
If you've run into problems from accidentally, or not-so-accidentally, using images under copyright from a routine image search, Google has just made things a lot easier for you.
In amongst the image search options, Google has just added a search by 'usage rights' field.
Caveats first: other email providers are available. There I think that covers everything.
As of August 2013 there were 425m Gmail users, but this won’t be the place where we discuss the dominance of Gmail over the providers that it quickly overtook, such as Hotmail or Yahoo.
Nor will we discuss the above figure, which although reported in The Guardian and other publications, is actually contradicted by comScore, who suggests Google still trails behind its two rivals.
This is the place where we’ll discuss little tips, tricks and hacks, as developed in the Gmail lab, that will hopefully make your life just a tiny bit easier and more interesting. At least when it comes to emailing.
I touched on Gmail hacks in my 16+ best things to happen to the internet in 2013 post last month where I suggested you go and spend a little time exploring the backrooms of Gmail to see what you can find.
Well now you don’t have to, as I’ve already sifted through the experiments, separating the prime specimens from the formaldehyde filled jars of yellowing mutants, to bring you the best Gmail hacks currently available.
Mobile is now more important than desktop (I posit). You only have to look at Google’s recent changes to see that change is irrevocably afoot.
Tom Loosemore, Deputy Director at GDS, pondered yesterday whether a significant landmark, mobile devices bringing more traffic than laptops and PCs, is near.
There’s some great stuff in his blog and I thought I’d have a look around to find some additional evidence and perhaps even make the bold claim that mobile traffic is already in the majority!
See what you think and I’d love you to add some stats from your own site to the comments below, allowing us to make a more reasoned evaluation still.