Tis’ the season!
While students and (most) employees are looking forward to some holiday time off soon, digital marketers are busy making sure content is promoted, and sales are made. That’s something to think about when planning a career in SEO, PPC advertising, copywriting – or any other online pursuit. There are times when you need to be nose-to-the-grindstone… while your friends are in relax mode.
On that happy note, let’s take a look at some of the most pertinent digital marketing articles and news releases to surface over the last month.
Key Point: Google’s newest patent, “Freshness Based Ranking” focuses on recency of data. How would a freshness parameter affect SEO? Google’s Amit Singhal says, “Different searches have different freshness needs. This algorithmic improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness you need, and make sure you get the most up to the minute answers.” Moral of the story: Cutting edge content should be cutting edge, and historical content should be historical. The big question: How does recency affect your SERP result — and will this patent make significant changes to the SERP? Bill Slawski, writing for Go Fish Digital, took an in-depth look at how a freshness value could be calculated. See that article here: New Google Patent.
Topic: Social Media Marketing Online Advertising
Key Point: 4C says their clients’ Pinterest ad spend this year is almost EIGHT TIMES that of 2014. Along with that stat, 4C says clicks are up 6.5x, repins 5x, and impressions have more than tripled. The really good news (in comparison) is that cost per click (CPC) is up just 1.2x – meaning the ROI for ads on Pinterest is even more impressive. Check those metrics here: 4C Insights. Are those figures being seen elsewhere, or has 4C found the secret sauce? For an in-house appraisal, check this Marketing Land article: Pinners love to shop.
Topic: Social Media Marketing
That’s the headline Google used on their Official Blog to announce changes to the G+ platform. Is it really “new,” though – or just a makeover? Google says their users especially love Google+ Communities and the (newly introduced) Collections feature. The new format, then, “puts Communities and Collections front and center,” and that G+ is now much simpler to use. Is it? What do you think? You’ll need to opt-in to see the revamped format. How will this affect social media marketing? It could be that the real reason for the facelift is to make Google+ perform better on mobile… now that’s good news. Here’s that announcement: Google+ Redesign.
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Key Point: In October, we told you about Twitter’s decision to pull third-party JSON access to tweet counts. That caused a bit of a stir in the world of internet marketing – where social proof is a BIG deal. The newest new move by Twitter is to change the star icons to hearts and the nomenclature from “favorite” to “like.” Says Twitter, “The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.” Here’s a link to that announcement: Twitter Finally Got a Heart. Will hearts encourage more “likes”? Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit, Twitter’s Kevin Weil said there was 6% more “liking” activity in the first week after the feature launched.
Topics: Online Advertising SEO
Key Point: Facebook and Google announced that Google smartphone searches are now permitted to access “deep links” from the Facebook app. Google already has that permission for non-mobile searches – but this is a landmark move for the ability to look inside other providers’ apps to retrieve data. Said a Facebook staffer, in a statement mailed to the Wall Street Journal, “When people search for public Facebook content on the mobile web, those who use Facebook for Android can now click through and go straight to the Facebook app. ” Read all about it right here: The Mobile App Search Push.
Topic: Online Advertising Online Marketing
Key Point: Last spring, the pundits were saying China’s online darling, Alibaba, is NOT a threat to companies in the U.S. Many are now singing a different tune. On November 11, China’s “Black Friday, the giant online retailer raked in a billion dollars in sales… in eight minutes! November 18 saw U.S. President Barack Obama sitting down to talk with the Alibaba Group co-founder, Jack Ma – ostensibly about climate change. Ma was quick to point out that “Government is simple – just reduce the tax, or no tax…”. According to Forbes, Alibaba is expanding its presence inside the USA and sees itself as the “Gateway to China.” Alibaba opponents see huge issues with quality, counterfeit goods, and product safety… making the “Gateway to China” tagline a bit too real.
Key Point: Many people think Google relies solely on algorithms and machines to determine which sites are worthy of appearing in the SERP, but that’s not the case. Google also employs flesh and blood evaluators who run searches and score the results. Is a low-quality site showing up? It may not be there for long. Would it be valuable for webmasters and SEO’s to know the exact criteria those evaluators use to determine the worthiness of websites? Would you care to see a copy of the evaluator guidelines? Look no further. Google recently updated that document, and you can download it for your own use. Here you go: Google Guidelines for Search Quality. See Google’s announcement here: 2015 Update.
Topic: SEO Online Advertising
Key Point: It’s great news for local businesses; Facebook unveiled two new products: one reports on foot traffic near the store’s location, and the other gives multi-location businesses a way to increase relevance. Marketing Land says the new Facebook capabilities are analogous to AdWords location and call extensions. According to Facebook, “Local Awareness Ad updates will be available via API and soon through Power Editor. Local Insights analytics are rolling out over the next few weeks.” Find out more here: New Facebook Tools.
Topic: Email Marketing
Key Point: Email continues to out-perform every other marketing channel for most businesses, so the big question – says MediaPost writer, Jack Loechner – is not about whether to add email to the marketing mix, but “how to maximize on its return.” Loechner’s tips include using percent-off campaigns and including a punctuation mark in the subject line. To find out which months tend to deliver the best open rates, here’s a quick read in the Research Brief.
Topic: Online Advertising
Key Point: Google says many people “still don’t shop around for their mortgage and often feel like they don’t have enough information to make an educated choice.” Wouldn’t it be great to be presented with lender comparisons and a mortgage calculator right from organic search? That feature is now being tested on searches originating in California. Lenders can get involved via a cost-per-lead (CPL) agreement. Find out more via Inside Adwords.
Congratulations! You’re all caught up on your digital marketing news and updates for the month! Tweet your excitement!
That’s a wrap for this month. Did we miss something you think should have made the list? Let us know in the comments section below. The staff here at Stukent wishes you and yours the best Christmas ever!
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