To help you keep up with what’s going on here are the top stories in search and SEO for the week ending on September 29, 2017. From major product launches from Amazon to a Google update it was a busy week.
Google seems to be expanding the displaying of phone numbers in the organic results on mobile beyond the US. The change allows searchers to click-to-call directly from the search results rather than having to go to the site first. Very handy on mobile and a good way to keep users on Google.
Google Algorithm Update
Barry Schwartz over on Search Engine Roundtable covered the increased discussion around a potential Google Update. The tools seem to be inline with what people are discussing and I know that we at Beanstalk have seen some movement as well.
After a few weeks of testing Google is rolling out the change tot he local pack that ads a reference to the query test being used on the company’s website. In the example above we can see that a search for “used cars” results in some dealerships in the results but more – where the site mentions the query a line is added to the result noting this.
New AdWords Editor
The new AdWords Editor (v 12.1) add the ability to edit dynamic search ads, shopping showcase ads and some new bid options. If you’re an AdWords advertiser and use the editor this is a must-read.
Bing Chat Bot Extensions
Bing announced the open beta pilot program for the Chat Bot Extension and the expansion of their In-Market Audiences. Highly recommended reading but in short – you can use Microsoft’s AI in the form of a chat bot via Bing Ads and engage directly with customers and hopefully direct them quicker to where they want to go.
Google Shopping EU
Google’s parent company Alphabet, in an effort to comply with the EU, is creating a separate business unity to run Google Shopping that would have to bid for positioning alongside it’s rivals. This will be interesting.
New URL Parameters
Bing is adding in URL parameters to allow advertisers to understand more about their traffic. The new additions are:
- feeditemid – The ID of the ad extension that was clicked.
- loc_physical_ms – The geographical location code of the physical location of the click.
- loc_interest_ms – The geographical location code of the location of interest that triggered the ad.
Target Your Customers
Facebook has just rolled out a new targeting capability. Advertisers can now target individuals who have been in their physical location. I can think of a bout a hundred different applications for this from standard advertising to sales announcements to simple followup “glad you popped by” messaged. It’ll be interesting to see if folks end up selling their remarketing (i.e. a computer support company paying to advertising via the Facebook ads of a company that sells computers).
Facebook shares popped after they inked a deal with the NFL to host their highlights on Facebook Watch. Ads will be played but this could be a real problem for some traditional sports media as highlights are a major draw. This also indicates that Facebook will be pushing ahead into having it’s own unique content which will open the doors to a LOT of new ad and targeting opportunities.
Twitter Doubling Character Count
You’ve already heard it but it had to be included – Twitter is toying with jumping from a 140 character limit to 280.
YouTube Changes External Link Rules
YouTube had changed their policy on who can and cannot add external links to the end of their videos. In short – you need to join the YouTube Partner Program (though you don’t need to monetize through it) and you have to have a total of 10k public view.
5,000 People Working On Alexa
How important are personal assistants. It’s been revealed that Amazon currently has 5,000 people working on Alexa from analyzing how it’s used to developing it to developing for it.
Amazon Echo Launch
And those 5,000 people have been busy. Amazon just announced a ton of new products from the Amazon Spot pictured above to the new Echo Plus and even a Billy Bass. Amazon is moving incredibly fast in this space and while their results aren’t as good as Google’s they may very well win this war based on device penetration.
Everett Sizemore wrote an excellent piece for the Moz blog. In his article he discusses how to perform a mobile/desktop parity audit in prep for the mobile-first index. That is – an audit to spot the differences between them that may impact your rankings. Some very good advice in there.
Top 10 Common AdWords Mistakes
Susan Wenograd wrote an excellent piece for Search Engine Journal outlining 10 common AdWords 9and by extension – PPC) mistakes. I know I’ve made some of these over the years and even if you’ve been doing PPC management for ages it’s a handy reminder list.