September ended with a bang when Google announced the launch of a new Panda algorithm update which began rolling out on September 23. The update, which was stated to affect around 3-5% of queries depending on the locale, is the first official notice from Google since May’s Panda 4.0.
This new update incorporates user and webmaster feedback to more precisely identify low-quality content, according to the announcement from Google UK Engineer Pierre Far. The goal of the update is to better surface higher-quality small and medium-sized sites in the search results.
Searchmetrics published a Panda 4.1 Winners and Losers report and some trends were easily viewable. Winners were predominantly News, Content Sites, and Download Portals while Losers reflected Games, Lyric, and Medical/Health Information Sites.
As far as our clients are concerned, we haven’t noticed any major drop in rankings for their websites after this roll out which is indeed a relief. Our continuous efforts are to keep ourselves updated and make sure that we future proof our client’s websites from such updates.
In another news, Google Engineer John Mueller announced in a Google+ Hangout the following when asked if Penguin 3.0 would launch before the end of 2014:
“My guess is yes. But as always there are always things that can happen between. I am pretty confident we will have something in the reasonable future. But not today, so we will definitely let you know when it is happening.”
The last Penguin update was 2.1 launched almost a year ago on October 4, 2013. Since then, thousands of affected site owners have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a refresh which will hopefully recover their affected sites. According to the news above, their wait may soon be at an end.
Searchmetrics just released their annual report: Rank Correlations And Ranking Factors 2014 Google U.S. According to Searchmetrics,
“This white paper deals with the definition and evaluation of factors that have a high rank correlation-coefficient with organic search results, and acts as a deeper analysis of search engine algorithms.”
Here is a short look at the top ranking factors included in this 83 page document:
- High quality, relevant content is key! So be sure you’re killing off any thin content and working to replace it with something great.
- Technical site attributes: Robust site architecture with an optimal internal linking structure, short loading times and presence of meta tags.
- Backlinks: The quantity and quality of backlinks remains crucial with a heavy trend toward natural link building and a diversified anchor text profile!
- Social signals: There was a slight decrease in importance of social signals, but they still remain vital to top rankings.
- User signals: For the first time, user signals were measured and as expected there is a relation between rankings and higher click-through rates, lower bounce rates and a high time-on-site.
Brand factor: There is special consideration for brands (surprise, surprise). In response you need to look at what you can do to turn your business into a brand within your niche.
After they’d crunched all of this data and released their report, Searchmetrics came to the same conclusion that we’ve been laying down and explaining to you for years. Quality content will always win out and approaching your entire SEO campaign with the idea of natural link building and a solid user experience is the only way to be successful long term. Here’s how they put it.
“There are areas where Google seems to have found a good balance. However, there are many more areas where constant revision and development of features is taking place, with the treatment of Brands constantly maturing. The real focus, however, is still page content, where relevance is key. In all areas, the trend towards a natural structure is clear. Just as the quality of the link profile is better when designed, the overall content structure is better when it is easily understood and holistic.
SEO is becoming more and more natural, with the focus moving towards Search Experience Optimization (= the user) in the future, and with the technical aspects of site optimization remaining crucial.”
We highly recommend that you take the time to read through this comprehensive report from Searchmetrics.
Advanced Web Ranking has released a study showing fresh data on the click-through-rate from Google’s organic search results. The data was taken from Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries reports from large accounts back in July 2014.
On average, 71.33% of searches resulted in a page one Google organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.
Here is a chart showing the click through rate by exact position:
The full details of the study break down desktop versus mobile click-through rates, branded versus non branded search queries, and more. You can download the full study as a PDF over here.
AdWords Callout Extensions How-To: Highlight Offers About Products and Services in Your Ads.
The goal of Callouts is to show valuable information to potential customers before they click your ad. Callouts will also be a factor in Ad Rank. Google suggests using them to draw attention to important product details, or highlight what makes your business different from your competitors.
Callout extensions let you add additional text that shows with your Google search ads, highlighting specific information about your products and services. You can add anything, within their guidelines, to your ads, to boost and supplement your ad within the search results.
Below is an example of what it may look like in the search results:
Callout Text Requirements
Callout Text Length:
The text for each callout must be 25 characters or fewer. For languages that use double-width characters (like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), the link text must be 12 characters or fewer.
Callout Text Duplication:
We don’t allow duplication or repetition of callout text with other callouts, ad text, or sitelink text within the same ad group, campaign, or at the account-level. Examples of text use that is considered duplication/repetition:
- Your ad text AND ad group, campaign, or account-level callouts include the text “Free shipping.”
- You duplicate one callout at the account level: a) 24/7 customer support b) 24/7 Customer Support.
- No keyword insertion: You can’t use the keyword insertion feature within your callout text.
Create your First Callout.
This is Similar to Sitelinks, Without Needing Links!
It doesn’t cost anything extra to add callouts to your ads; you’ll still pay simply for costs per click.
All callout extensions are created within the ad extensions tab in the View: Callout extensions drop-down menu option. There, you can edit existing callouts or create new ones. Simply add the new callout text, choose your device and scheduling preferences, and hit save.
Callout Extension Tips & Tricks
- Callout extensions are available only for “Search Network Only” and “Search Network with Display Select” campaigns.
- You are not allowed to duplicate text in callouts
- Google will generally show your highest performing and most useful combination of extensions and formats,
- You cannot use dynamic keyword insertion
- Callout text and the content the ad points to must be family-safe and cannot contain adult content.
- You can’t use gimmicky symbols or emoticons in callouts.
- Keep callout text short
Use sentence case
Great news advertisers!! Facebook has now launched something that a local business really needs!! Here, we introduce you with the awareness ads for your local business / business page.
With local awareness ads, businesses can locate new customers with ease by displaying ads to groups of people who are in the business’s vicinity. Local awareness ads are more appreciated as they are more cost-effective as compared to traditional advertising channels as newspapers, offering more focus and greater customer reach. That’s the reason ‘Facebook’ introduced a new way to enhance advertising for local businesses with ease and optimum effect — local awareness ads.
We think they’re the best channel for local businesses to reach people in the business’s vicinity, and the best way for Facebook users to discover more beneficial & useful things in their area.
Creating an ad wasn’t this simple earlier. To get going,-
- Head to the Ads Create tool and select “Local Awareness”.
Then select the Page of the business you want to promote. (Advanced advertisers can also access this feature in the API.)
- Next, enter your business’s address (if it’s already provided on your Page, the address automatically populates), and the range of area around which you want to target your potential customers (for instance, an area covering 1 mile around your business). Rest of the steps remains same as every Facebook advertiser is aware of.
When it comes to driving in-store sales, an ad’s reach is given more emphasis over the engagement it receives (such as clicks, comments or likes). So Facebook has designed its local awareness ads to help businesses reach most people in an area.
They also maintain a relatively higher privacy level. Advertisers select locations, not specific individuals, for local awareness ads.
Local awareness ads will be introduced to advertisers in the US over the coming weeks, and globally in the coming months. Give them a shot and see what they can do for your business.