SERPs

If search marketers can’t predict which pages will outrank each other, is SEO just a crapshoot?

For years, many companies have invested heavily in SEO. But when it really comes down to it, is SEO just a crapshoot?

That’s a question worth asking following a survey that asked hundreds of respondents to predict which page would rank higher than the other for a variety of keywords.

The result: “most SEOs are no better than a coin-flip at predicting which page will rank better.”

Google kills right-hand PPC ads: How should marketers respond?

No doubt you’re all aware by now that Google is removing ads from the right-hand side of its search results pages (SERPs). 

Ads will now only appear at the top and bottom of SERPs.  

To give some context around what this means for search marketers, we asked several experts for their take on why Google made this decision, and also how marketers need to adjust their PPC campaigns as a result. 

Google and Twitter partner to bring tweets deep into the SERPs

Search and social are frequently seen as two distinct marketing channels, but that could be changing.  

The world’s largest search engine, Google, and one of the world’s most prominent social platforms, Twitter, have announced a new partnership that will integrate social content more deeply within the search experience.

36% of people still don’t realise that Google Adwords are ads

Last year, we published the results of user tests which found that 41% of users were unaware of the distinction between paid ads and organic listings. 

Well, thanks to UX firm Bunnyfoot, we have an updated version of the test, which finds similar results.

This time, 36% of people tested still do not realise that Google Adwords are ads.

Furthermore, about a quarter of people don’t know that Google had any advertising at all. And this despite the yellow text box proclaiming ‘ads’. 

Is Ryanair’s URL restructure to blame for its massive drop in search rankings?

Ryanair has been undergoing something of a cultural revolution recently after initiating a novel plan to stop intentionally antagonising its own customers.

It began with a simple Twitter Q&A with CEO Michael O’Leary and has developed into a full-blown marketing campaign aimed at softening the brand image and creating “a new Ryanair experience”.

A major part of the new customer-friendly image is an overhaul of the company’s previously dreadful website.

Gone are the annoying banners and fiddly buttons, replaced instead by an altogether cleaner look with a simple interface and navigation.

Unfortunately something appears to have gone horribly wrong for Ryanair, causing it to plummet down Google’s SERPs for a broad range of important search terms.

Google PPC ads are becoming more like search results

Last month, with the help of Dr Pete Meyers from Moz, we looked at how PPC ads are changing and what they will look like next year. 

Some of these predictions have already happened, such as the yellow ‘ad’ labels and less obvious background shading. 

One of the themes of that article was Google’s efforts to make ads blend in more on results pages, something Dr Meyers referred to as ‘ads in sheep’s clothing’.  

This is now happening in Google’s UK results, with the top PPC ads on some brand searches resembling results more than ads.