Google Analytics Tracks 400 Social Websites, (Not Provided) Hits Firefox Users, Email Is Increasingly Spammy, & More

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This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Analytics Social Reports Gather Info From Over 400 Social Websites

Google Analytics is utilizing the power of 400+ social media websites in their recently rolled out Social Reports. As long as the interaction is legally made public on the web (sorry, most of Facebook and private Google+ Circles), Google can compile the tracking data into actionable information for marketers. Source: Search Engine Watch

Insight Icon Makes Denied Ad Diagnosis Easy

Google AdWords is making it easier to comprehend why an ad has been rejected or approved by Google. Available in the Ads tab under the Status column, hover over the insight icon speech bubble to diagnose the reasons why the ad is not showing up publicly. Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog

Mozilla Firefox To Soon Join Google Chrome’s (Not Provided) Party

Mozilla’s Firefox browser already uses Google as its default search engine, but will soon be including the Secure Search feature by default. This means that any search on Google, while using Firefox, will lead to a direct increase in (not provided) keywords in Google Analytics. However, the same “pay to play” rule applies; as long as you use AdWords, these keywords will become transparent. Source: Search Engine Land

Email Is Down! Repeat, Email Is Down!

For the first time ever, email deliverability has dipped. In the second half of 2011, only 76.5% of all emails were successfully transferred to people’s inboxes. This was a decline from the steady 80% that held over the past three years, and it’s a direct result of stricter Spam filters and stronger firewalls. Another interesting nugget: 93% of Gmail users enable the Priority inbox feature. Source: Marketing Land

Referral + Search = Referrch Traffic?

A change in Google’s reporting system for Chrome users may result in an incidental merger of search and referral traffic in some analytics programs. If someone clicks through a Google search results on a secure Internet connection, while signed into their Google Chrome/Google profile, the URL string will remove the query term, which signifies to analytics programs that a search brought that person to the website. It should be noted that most larger, heavily used analytics programs likely won’t be affected, but Google’s stated initiative to make searching more personal continues to produce collateral damage. Source: Search Engine Land

Geo-Centric Domains Help Rank For Local Searches

An independent study, published on Search Engine Watch, revealed some interesting ranking factors for local search results. Beyond the expected local citations, site relevance, and proximity to a search location, the study found that a domain name with a specific city holds some local search weight in the eyes of Google. Source: Search Engine Watch

Wikipedia Isn’t As Search Engine Dominant As You Think

According to a recent study from Conductor, Wikipedia shows up in Google’s search results less than 50% of the time (46%, specifically). The study involved analysis of 2,000 unique keywords, ranging in scope across all types of searches. Unlike the previous Wikipedia study that sent the SEO world into fits of South Parkian rage, this one offers a much more realistic view of the world’s most interactive, and informative, encyclopedia. In other Wikipedia news, another study has found that Bing displays the editable encyclopedia website on a much more frequent basis. Of course, Bing does a lot of things that Google often gets flack for, so this shouldn’t be too surprising. Source: Search Engine Land

News Websites Have Yet To Receive The Social Media ‘Bump’

Just because an article is shared many times on Facebook and Twitter does not mean that news site is reaping the benefits. According to Pew’s State of the Media 2012 research, the potential for social media-driven news consumption is huge, but it has yet to manifest into rock solid traffic numbers. Just 9% of online news consumption comes from social networks, with most Facebook users reading stories from friends and family, while Twitterers click on stories directly posted from journalists and organizations. Comparatively, 36% of news consumers go directly to a website or through an app, 32% use search engines, and 29% use a news aggregator website or app. Source: Mashable

Google Says You Can ‘Over-Optimize’

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, announced that Google is creating a new penalty for those sites that have too much search engine optimization. Cutts says that he is trying to ‘level the playing field’ and give sites with better content a better shot than those who just have superb SEO tagging. Source: Search Engine Land

Microsoft Re-Introduces Some Old Tactics

Microsoft Advertising is reintroducing Yahoo Rich Ads In Search (RAIS). RAIS could be the counter balance to Google site link ads and product listing ads. With five new layouts and keywords being subject to approval, RAIS is coming back stronger than ever. Microsoft has also slightly changed the way they track negative keywords. They also are coming out with a special way to use landing pages for each keyword type that can be bid on. Source: Search Engine Land

Apple Bites Into The Search Engine World

Apple has recently spent $50 million to acquire a start-up company known as ‘Chomp’. Chomp is a search engine for apps where you can find an app you’re looking for without a keyword search. It also works for iPhones, iPads, and Androids. Apple is still deciding if Chomp should continue to support Android systems. Source: Search Engine Land

Women Trust Pinterest More Than Facebook And Twitter…For Now

Pinterest is still new enough for users to feel secure using it. Despite reports of skimming affiliate revenue from Pins and murky language in their privacy policy, a recent study found that women trust Pinterest for advice, as compared to their older social media brethren. Those numbers fall at 81% for Pinterest, 73% from Twitter, and 67% from Facebook. One thing this study highlights that doesn’t make a decent headline is Facebook’s continued problems turning their website into something more than an outlet for time wasting (17% of users use  Facebook for product information and assistance with purchasing decisions). Source: Marketing Land

Self-Learners Rejoice At MIT’s Open CourseWare Programs

MIT’s Open CourseWare will soon include a program called Scholar, which caters to the educational needs of strong self-learners. MIT offers a rundown of the currently available courses, should you ever show interest in self-teaching yourself physics, mathematics, economics, or computer science. Source: BoingBoing

Notable Commentary

That Doesn’t Run In Place At Stoplights

The Hidden Conversion Killer In Sitelinks

The headline may cause you to do a few double takes, but Phil Sharp recently stumbled on an interesting development with his website’s Google rankings. Specifically, searches within his home city of San Francisco were producing a main link to the “team” page, rather than the more powerful homepage. Sharp runs down his discovery process, and offers a few easy to implement solutions to fix this problem before people bounce…literally. Analysis By: Phil Sharp, SEOmoz

‘Doing’ Is The New ‘Liking,’ And SEOs Should Take Note

Aaron Friedman eloquently explains why the increasing meld of social and search requires SEOs to evolve more radically than ever, and why this requires adapting with strategies that emphasize how people do things “socially.” Analysis By: Aaron Friedman, Search Engine Land

Eight Social SEO Strategies

Jordan Kasteler says that Google has opened up a door to a new realm of SEO possibilities with Google Social Search. Kasteler says this new media can be best optimized by ramping up your Google+ perspective, focusing on shareable content, involving Pinterest exploration, and more. Analysis By: Jordan Kasteler, Search Engine Land

Search Retargeting Feels Alien To SEOs

Search retargeting is a strategy that aligns the closest with PPC marketing. However, Dax Hamman argues that SEO-specialized marketers are losing out on this opportunity to expand their skill set, often because search retargeting is too much like paid advertising. Analysis By: Dax Hamman, Search Engine Land

Boost CTR And Conversions With 8 Ad Optimization Tips

All PPC advertisers try to find the perfect combination of components for their paid search campaigns. Miranda Miller offers eight helpful tips to create this perfect Paid Search combination. Some of these tips include testing stronger calls to action, setting up goal bidding, and more. Analysis By: Miranda Miller, Search Engine Watch

There Can Be Only One…Mobile URL

This article is worth your time simply because if it’s Lord Of The Rings-inspired headline. However, the content itself discusses the preference for a homogenous URL strategy when building a mobile SEO campaign. Analysis By: Michael Martin, Search Engine Land

Lots O’ INFOGRAPHICS: Interest In Pinterest?

Melissa Fach is quite aware of Pinterests booming presence and businesses looking to get involved. However, she also makes a point to say that Pinterest is not for every business. She includes an infographic that helps determine if your business is Pinterest worthy. Stephanie Buck also points out that Pinterest has become a booming presence in social media. She claims Pinterest is ‘addicting’; her infograhic proves it. Analysis By: Melissa Fach, Search Engine Journal Analysis By: Stephanie Buck, Mashable

A Guide Through The Virality Of Pinterest

Did you know Pinterest is the new Digg, in terms of sending a piece of content or media viral? Colby Almond explores the rise of Digg, the need for understanding Pinterest users, and how creativity (as always) can all lead your idea down a road paved by Internet memes before it. Analysis By: Colby Almond, SEOmoz

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