Google Penguin 2.0 Is Live, Google Moves ‘Open Bidder’ To Beta, Conversation Search In Chrome, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Penguin Update 2.0 Has Been Released

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 is a day that will live in SEO infamy…for black hatters at least. Matt Cutts confirmed the anticipated release of Penguin 2.0 Wednesday night, and while there has been some industry panic, the early returns are much milder than we expected, affecting ~2.3% of English queries.

Google also wants you to report any spammy website they may have missed. I’m sure that will end well for all involved.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Moves ‘Open Bidder’ To Beta Mode And Is Looking For Lab Rats

Google’s real-time bidding platform, Open Bidder, is now available to developers in beta mode, provided you meet Google’s standards for inclusion. Utilizing the Google Cloud Platform and DoubleClick’s protocol, Open Bidder makes it easier for companies to build out their own real-time bidding programs.

Source: Marketing Land

Google Verifies “Conversational Search” Feature In Its Chrome Browser

At its I/O conference last week, Google demoed its impressive Conversational Search capabilities on desktop computers. Including a feature that remembers previous spoken queries as you search, Google Conversational Search is now officially available on the newest version of Chrome.

Source: Marketing Land

Google Shopping Will Be 100% Paid Come June 11th

Google has announced its free version of Google Shopping will be killed on June 11th. Worldwide, the service will now cost advertisers some of their precious ad budget. Google also revealed that over 1 billion listings are live on the service, and traffic to Shopping retailers increased by 300% last year.

Source: Search Engine Land

Bing Unleashes XML Plugin From Beta

Bing’s sitemap plugin is now out of beta. The XML generator allows webmasters to create sitemaps and automatically submit them to search engines. It’s free, and it’s spectacular.

Source: Search Engine Land

The Only Constant In Domain Clustering Is Change

Some things always change; like the shirts worn by Google web spam guru Matt Cutts in his Webmaster Help videos. In this recent update, Cutts explains Google’s latest approach to showing results from the same authoritative domain multiple times for one search. Google’s upcoming tack is that once you see a cluster of results from the same domain, it’ll be hard to find that domain in subsequent results pages.

Source: Search Engine Land

Twitter, NBA Team Up To Offer Highlights, Ads During Games

Twitter and live television are a match made in a Baz Luhrmann movie. It makes sense that the social network is partnering with the NBA to show highlights during playoff games. Of course, these videos will be accompanied by ads from big name sponsors.

Big picture, this deal makes a lot of sense. Twitter experiences a lot of activity during live events, and it can often lead to increased viewership and engagement on the social network.

Source: Marketing Land

Enhanced Campaigns Limber Up

In the coming weeks a “Flexible Bid Strategies” tool will be introduced to AdWords’ new Enhanced Campaigns, making it possible to utilize manual bid strategies. In addition to enabling the traditional bidding strategies of “Enhanced CPC”, “Target CPA” and “Maximize Clicks,” the tool introduces a new strategy called “Target search page location.” AdWords Editor users, beware: using this tool will prevent you from managing the campaign or ad group in Editor.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Maps Now Includes Test Ads Based On Location

Google is currently testing advertising-by-location in its new-look Google Maps program. Ads are shown by companies currently using location extensions in AdWords.

Source: Search Engine Land

Bing Releases Traffic Quality Center

The Bing Ads Traffic Quality Resource Center is now live, allowing advertisers and webmasters to explore various aspects of their site’s traffic from the Yahoo/Bing Network. The site features sections on terminology, where ads are displayed, advertising best practices, and network protection options.

Source: Search Engine Land

Yahoo Experiments With New Search Layout

It’s been a very big week for Yahoo, so why should their crippled search engine be much different? With new top and left bar navigations, green URLs below the blue links, and Search Related box, Yahoo has pulled itself out of the 20th century of search engines and into the Google/Bing design mimicry that holds an iron grip on the search universe.

Source: Search Engine Land

Is this The End Of Google?

According to Search Engine Watch Google’s market share dropped a staggering .6% from 67.1% to 66.5% in April. At the same time Bing’s market share increased by a powerful .4% to 17.3%. Yahoo’s market share continues to decline, falling from 13.5% to 12% in the same period. Ask remains unchanged at 2.7%, and AOL dropped from 1.6% to 1.4%. The confusing thing about this article is math: 66.5% + 17.3% + 12% + 2.7% + 1.4% = 117.2%.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Pinterest Adds ‘Rich Pins’ To Enhance Content Value To Users

Pinterest announced they have added “Rich Pins” to select retailers, brands, and publishers, as a way for them to increase “pin” value for users. The new feature is very similar to Rich Snippets in search engines, which enhance informational content to help users decide to take action.

Pinterest is generally regarded as a more effective at influencing user behavior than Facebook, so providing more information about a certain recipe, product, or movie should be even more enticing for brands big and small.

Source: Marketing Land

Hollywood Doesn’t Like This Pirate Bay Documentary

A recent documentary that sides with The Pirate Bay has become a new target for Hollywood’s anger over illegal file sharing.  The documentary, which was released on The Pirate Bay under a Creative Commons license in February, has been the target of multiple DMCA takedown requests from Hollywood studios asking that the film be removed from search results.

While TorrentFreak and may others claim the takedown requests are merely part of an automated process, others suggest these particular requests are purposely aimed at discrediting the documentary.

Source: Search Engine Land

Sprint Gets Hit With Google Penalty, Uses Google Forum For Help

Sprint is the latest large brand to be knocked by a content spam penalty notification. Sprint was penalized for user generated content spam on a portion of their site where users were free to post links and content.  Just like the BBC and Mozilla, which were penalized earlier in the year, Sprint took to the Google help forums to get answers.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google’s Data Highlighter Lets You Do More Things Now

When Google rolled out the Data Highlighter tool through Webmaster Tools a few months ago all you could highlight was information about events. They recently added support for six new types of data, articles, movies, TV episodes, products, local businesses and apps.

Source: Search Engine Land

Yahoo Pays $1.1 Billion For Tumblr, Pledges Not To Ruin Site

Tumblr is now officially a Yahoo entity, but everything else about the popular social site will stay independent, according to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. During a conference call, Mayer said Tumblr would keep its current CEO and continue operating outside of Yahoo’s influence.

Over half of Tumblr’s users engage regularly on the mobile phone app, and this extra exposure should immediately benefit Yahoo’s Cretaceous-period approach to the constantly growing mobile community.

Source: Marketing Land

Notable Commentary

That Won’t Sell Out To Yahoo

Teens Explain Their Facebook Burnout

Probably because it became uncool when mom and dad joined last month. That’s seriously one of the reasons, among other legitimate ones discovered by a recent focus group.

Analysis By: Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed

The Five Excel Commandments Of Marketing

Anyone who works in marketing, Internet or otherwise, uses Excel pretty much every day. Annie Cushing runs down five features in Excel that every marketer needs to know to do their job effectively.

Analysis By: Annie Cushing, Search Engine Land

Here Are Some Penguin 2.0 Losers

SearchMetrics has already released its early list of losers in the wake of Wednesday night’s Penguin 2.0 update. Notable sites include DISH.com, the Salvation Army, cheapoair.com, and a slew of porn sites.

Analysis By: Matt McGee, Search Engine Land

Why We’re All Losers In The Yahoo/Tumblr Deal

Yahoo and Tumblr are about to get richer. And they’re the only ones, according to Sam Biddle, who argues that the buyout is more of a bailout, and the majority of Tumblr users enjoyed the marketing/ad-free space it presented before the acquisition.

Analysis By: Sam Biddle, Gawker

Using Google’s Referral String To Decipher Secure Searches

In a very high-level way, Tim Resnik breaks down how you can use Google’s search referral strings to figure out which sitelinks a user is clicking on, and how secure searchers are reaching your site.

Analysis By: Tim Resnik, SEOmoz

Is Your Paid Search Keeping Up With The Joneses?

There are a lot of baseline metrics that paid search marketers use to judge the competitiveness of their accounts, but most of them can be influenced by other factors. Benjamin Vigneron argues that the ratio between cost per click and maximum bid is the most accurate, and he shows how it can be used to calculate initial bids and identify key bidding opportunities.

Analysis By: Benjamin Vigneron, Search Engine Land

Conversion Design Tactics

Gregory Ciotti at Unbounce offers us five conversion design tactics that he believes we should put to work right now. He refers to them as tactics to eliminate conversion killers. The first and biggest one for us is this: we all know how annoying image sliders are and we wish clients didn’t use them. Now we have data. Also, don’t make ‘thank you’ pages ambiguous, don’t put full blog posts on the home page (use summaries), group important elements together, and use previous prices to advertise a price drop.

Analysis: Gregory Ciott, Unbounce

‘Context Audits’ And The Negative SEO Effects Of Bad Labeling

“Never confuse the user” is one of the golden rules utilized by UX experts, but that problem can adversely hit your site’s SEO. Harrison Jones discusses how to conduct a “context audit” and improve your site’s internal linking and use of language to improve SEO and the user’s experience.

Analysis By: Harrison Jones, Search Engine Land

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