Daily Search Forum Recap: February 29, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Google Search Console Search Analytics Stuck Again

    I wouldn’t be alarmed but the Google Search Console, Search Analytics report is delayed again. It is now stuck at February 23rd, typically today it would be up to February 27th or 26th. Typically, as we covered, Search Console data is about two-days delayed…

  • Google To Users: Control Your Privacy & Security

    Some Google users, including myself, are seeing a new popup at the top right of Google.com when you are logged into Google. The pop up reads, “Control your privacy and security. Click your profile icon to access your Google account…

  • Google: HTML Sitemaps Can Help But Are They Necessary?

    Personally, I am a fan of having HTML Sitemaps – mostly for 404 like pages, so users who stumble on a page they are forbidden (sounds strict) to access, they have a way out but not out of your web site…

  • Who Will Win & Lose With The Google AdWords Layout Change

    A week ago Friday, Google removed right ads from the AdWords layout and placed potentially four ads at the top of the listing page.

    Now, webmasters wait to see if CPCs will increase…

  • Google Leap Year Doodle

    Today on Google.com is a special logo, aka Doodle, for it being a Leap Year. Today, February 29th is a Leap Day…

  • Androidify Station In Android Garden
    Android shared on Google+ a picture of the Androidify Station in their Android Garden at Mobile Web Conference from the other week. Here is where you can androidify yourself in a place all into Andro

Other Great Search Forum Threads:


Source: SEroundTable

Google Search Console Search Analytics Stuck Again

I wouldn’t be alarmed but the Google Search Console, Search Analytics report is delayed again. It is now stuck at February 23rd, typically today it would be up to February 27th or 26th. Typically, as we covered, Search Console data is about two-days delayed, which is normally. But now we are just about a week behind.

The Search Analytics report is showing the 23rd of February:

Google Search Console Search Analytics Stuck Again

But the other reports seem mostly on schedule without significant delay.

So if you are seeing this in your reports, do not worry, you are not alone.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Source: SEroundTable

Google To Users: Control Your Privacy & Security

Google To Users: Control Your Privacy & Security

Some Google users, including myself, are seeing a new popup at the top right of Google.com when you are logged into Google. The pop up reads, “Control your privacy and security. Click your profile icon to access your Google account.”

This is something Europeans often see, but US searchers are often not pushed the privacy and security bit from Google.

The screen shot above is what I see when I access Google.com from Newark airport in New Jersey.

I asked about this on Twitter and I am not alone, more and more people are seeing it:

Personally, I dislike these notices as I know where to go already to see my security and privacy.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Source: SEroundTable

Google: HTML Sitemaps Can Help But Are They Necessary?

Personally, I am a fan of having HTML Sitemaps – mostly for 404 like pages, so users who stumble on a page they are forbidden (sounds strict) to access, they have a way out but not out of your web site.

That being said, how necessary is it for Google and crawling? In todays day and age, Google does an excellent job finding content on web pages even if it is not linked to in a well-formed navigational structure. But HTML sitemaps can be handy in Google crawling your site naturally, not with an XML Sitemap.

The question came up in a <a href="Google+ hangout:

We know HTML sitemaps can be useful for users but is there any added SEO value in them if we already have XML sitemaps properly submitted to Search Console?

At the 5 minute mark John said:

Any SEO value in HTML sitemaps? Sometimes. It can definitely make sense to have these kind of HTML sitemaps, which are essentially a mapping of your category and your detail pages. Especially if we can’t crawl a website normally otherwise.

So if you have a really complicated navigation structure, maybe if you have pages that are almost connected just through search forms rather than a logical structure, then at least having one place where we understand the structure of the site, based on the links, that can really help us.

But in this case, it is more important you listen to how John answered it versus just the words he used:

Forum discussion at Google+.


Source: SEroundTable

Who Will Win & Lose With The Google AdWords Layout Change

A week ago Friday, Google removed right ads from the AdWords layout and placed potentially four ads at the top of the listing page.

Now, webmasters wait to see if CPCs will increase, how CTR will change and which advertisers will win and loss from this change. Early feedback I am seeing is that CTR is sky-rocketing now for the ads, but that might change over time. The big data point we are waiting for is Google’s earnings report, which will share some of this information.

The moderator at the WebmasterWorld forums shared who he thinks will win or loss with this change:

Winners:

  • heavy ad testers, you no longer have to figure out if your sitelinks were showing, not showing, etc. The ads are now consistent.
  • people who have a bid system in place. It’s easy to get into a bid war unnecessarily, and with fewer ad slots, its going to happen more and more; so those who let math dictate parts of their account over emotions are going to do OK; but they might get less conversions from search as they get fewer clicks
  • position 4 ads: The ctr on position 4 is skyrocketing. Depending on the keyword, position 4 is going to have a 400%-1000% CTR increase.
  • ecommerce: Expect to see more shopping ads on a consistent basis.

Losers:

  • Aggregators: Often the large SMB premier partners want to show ‘proof of advertising’; and having less ads on the page is going to make that harder. With fewer ad slots, those who are managing 10-20+ companies in the same geo vertical will have problems as there are less ad impressions to go around.
  • Low sophistication advertisers in competitive verticals: With fewer ad slots, advertising becomes more competitive, and those who are bidding just to show vs bidding for a business purpose are going to eventually run into issues.
  • Low margin businesses/arbitrage: The 1st page bids will be higher with fewer ad slots; so companies with thin margins are going to have a lot of words fall to page 2.

Unaffected:

  • Brand based bidders
  • Niche companies
  • Any display & video campaigns
  • Primarily mobile advertisers. Mobile got another ad slot last year.

Do you agree?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Leap Year Doodle

Google Leap Year Doodle

Today on Google.com is a special logo, aka Doodle, for it being a Leap Year. Today, February 29th is a Leap Day, where we add another day to the calendar.

Google explained “the 29th of February only happens every four years.” This is to keep our calendar in sync with the rotation of the Earth around the sun. Without Leap Day, we’d be out of sync by about six hours per year.

Google added, “Leap Day happens every four years unless that year is divisible by 100. If you were around in 1900, you would have missed out on the magic of February 29.”

The Bing home page is pretty cool also:

click for full size

We did cover the Leap Year Doodle in 2008 with leaping frogs and the 2012 one with Gioachino Rossini.

2012:

click for full size

2008:

2004:

click for full size

Forum discussion at Google+.


Source: SEroundTable

Daily Search Forum Recap: February 26, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Video Recap of Weekly Search Buzz :: February 26, 2016
    This week in search, we had Google go live with the AMP pages in the mobile search results this Tuesday. Google said that AMP is not yet a ranking signal. Google is sending AMP error alerts in the Search Console. Google has removed AdWords ads on the right side…
  • Google: AMP Not A Ranking Signal Yet

    As you know, Google launched AMP in the mobile search results this week.

    Back in December…

  • Google’s Chrome Link Was Nofollowed & Discounted

    Yesterday we reported that Google bought a link for $350,000 but explained it was a sponsorship and the intent was not to manipulate the search results.

    Google’s John Mueller addressed this case in a Google+ hangout this morning. “It is a weird situation”…

  • Google Sends Notices To Fix Errors On Your AMP Pages

    Google is sending errors via the Google Search Console to those who set up AMP pages to “fix errors on your AMP pages.” The error reads:

    Google systems have detected that some of your AMP pages do not meet our guidelines and will therefore not show in Google Search AMP-related features…

  • Top Stories With AMP Section Added To Structured Data Google Developer Docs

    Google has added a new section to the structured data developer documents named Top Stories With AMP. The page pretty much describes how and where AMP stories show, which is in the top stories news carousel in the mobile search results…

  • Google AdWords Download Or Print Reports Broken

    There is a bug in Google AdWords that will prevent you from downloading or printing reports from the AdWords console. I tested it myself and I received the following error:

    There was an error with your operation. If you were trying to make a change…

  • View From Google’s San Francisco Office
    Jason Mayes from Google posted another view picture from the Google San Francisco office. We’ve seen many people post views from this office because it is just that breathtaking. Here is another one

Other Great Search Forum Threads:


Source: SEroundTable

Video Recap of Weekly Search Buzz :: February 26, 2016

This week in search, we had Google go live with the AMP pages in the mobile search results this Tuesday. Google said that AMP is not yet a ranking signal. Google is sending AMP error alerts in the Search Console. Google has removed AdWords ads on the right side, this is big news. Google Compare is going offline on March 23rd. Google has no update for us on when Penguin 4.0 will launch. Google Panda is continuously updating but they do prep updates for it, interesting, no? Google review stars are now back in the results, it was a bug. Google does not have an SEO partner program, we confirmed it. Google Chrome was caught buying a link for $350,000. They ended up no following it and even said, if the intent is non manipulative, they still may discount the link. A study says outbound links are a ranking signal, but Google says otherwise. Google refreshes their PDF index slower. Google explained why the Search Console reports are delayed. Google featured snippets are not broken out in those reports. Google internal index for mobile apps updated in February, twice. Google sent out social engineering warnings via the Search Console. Google may have changed the pure spam notification to “major spam problems.” That was this past week in search at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

For the original iTunes version, click here.

Search Topics of Discussion:

Please do subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!


Source: SEroundTable

Connecting Demographics To Search Queries

demographic-segmentation-ss-1920

Advertising in search is often difficult to conceptualize for many brands because of how different the live auction and targeting methodology is compared with traditional media planning and buying. Media strategies are built on market research, which always includes target demographics or personas.

Specialty channels like search — where the targeting strategy is based on keywords and not necessarily on demographics or personas — cause a methodological disconnect for some brands and traditional planners and buyers. The result is that search often becomes just another impression/cost buy, which is not how it should be used.

Google has made strides in providing additional information on demographics and the ability to target personas, specifically through the Google Display Network, but when buying on the search engines themselves, most demographic information is not great. However, here is a potential way to help you bridge that gap between demographics and search keyword strategies.

Using The Google Display Planner To Glean Demographic Info

Although this tool is supposed to be more for display, you can still get demographic information based on keywords. The data comes from Google DoubleClick network, but it still represents user cookies that are looking for and engaging in content related to the keywords you enter.

It can be found here: https://adwords.google.com/da/DisplayPlanner/Home

Once you go to the Display Planner, click the drop-down arrow that says “Search for new targeting ideas using a phrase, website, or category.” Enter the keyword for which you want demographic info, then click the button that says “Get ad group ideas.”

google-display-planner-enter-keyword

This will bring up a screen with gender, device and age bucket information — similar to the information that Google Universal Analytics provides. The benefit is that you can use this to be proactive instead of reactive.

google-display-planner-demo-data

Now, there isn’t a way to get a meaningful download with the demo data, even though it appears on the screen in these charts. The reason for this is that the purpose of this tool is to convince you to buy more by giving you additional display suggestions.

However, if there is a chart appearing, that means those numbers have got to be in the source code:

google-display-planner-page-source-code

This means you can capture that information by extracting it from the source, which will provide you with nice, clean datasets of demographic information on your keyword.

extracted demographic data

[Click to enlarge]

Now, if you are like me, one keyword really is just not enough. I want the information on all of my keywords… and I tend to have a lot of them.

To get the information for ~700 keywords, it would probably take someone manually collecting it for four or five hours — which is what I had one of my tremendous associates do for me to see if there were any real insights, and there were! I’m in the market for a new smartphone, so that’s what we looked at: smartphones and providers.

To make the data easier to understand, I put it into TIBCO Spotfire (Tableau also is a good choice) and made this dashboard to see what we got:

TIBCO-spotfire-demographic-charts

[Click to enlarge]

We also created some filters by word type, brand, stage in the funnel, product type and so on.

demographic-segmentation

Demographic data filtered by funnel stage [Click to enlarge]

keyword-demographics

Demographic data filtered by keyword [Click to enlarge]

It was interesting to note that people were more likely to search for purchase-based words on their desktops and that some brands had 10- to 15-percent difference in gender and age searches.

Additionally, MetroPCS and Google phones had the largest group of older searchers, while Samsung and Apple had the youngest and were also searched for 10 percent more on mobile.

Regardless, when keywords have the added benefit of some representation of demographic information, it creates a bridge of communication to traditional channels that buy based on cost, impressions and demographics.

Additional Options

If you want to collect this data in a more efficient way, there are several choices, but there are risks. We don’t allow any automated collection/scraping of Google for many reasons, including its terms and conditions, which you would be violating.

And Google is very likely to catch you if you don’t understand its systems, resulting in an hour ban of your IP address. This can be very bad, especially if you are buying advertisements in Google, as it disables your ability to do that.

With all that said, since Google collects everyone’s website content (unless not allowed in robots.txt), this is how you would be able to accomplish collecting their information. I would probably use something like Selenium (a browser-simulating add-on), unless you’re a senior Java developer, as the time control rates are easier to control and understand.

I would use the Selenium nodes in KNIME, as it allows you to import variables and manipulate and store data more easily than the web browser application. And that flow would look something like this:

workflow

Services such as Experian Audience View also offer panel-based demographic search query information. However, you’ll need to pay for such services, while the Display Planner tool is free.

The post Connecting Demographics To Search Queries appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

AdWords And Bing Ads Both Having Late-Week Reporting Troubles

google-adwords-bing-ads-1920

For paid search managers, Friday could be a bit of a frustrating end to the week.

Google AdWords reports aren’t downloading or printing. The issue started Thursday and continues into Friday. Users instead get the “red bar of death” informing them that “there was an error with your operation.”

adwords-red-bar-of-death

Google has acknowledged the issue on Twitter and in the advertiser community form and says its engineers are working on it.

Yesterday, Bing Ads had reporting delays that affected the Web UI, mobile and API. Later in the day, most the metrics were up to date, except conversions and Bing Shopping Campaign (BSC) data.

As of 3:00 PM PST on 02/25/2016, Ad Campaign performance reporting (Impression, Clicks, Spend) is up to date and processing normally, whereas conversion and BSC data is still catching up and running 6 hours behind.

In the night, some Bing Ads advertisers also had their accounts paused for some period of time under an hour. Those affected will have received email notifications. There is also another issue of “some product offers not matching to their shopping campaigns as well as a drop in impression volume starting February 24, 2016.” Bing Ads says the data is now updating.

Just a week ago, Bing Ads had a much more prolonged reporting snag, with historical data not being fully available for more than a week.

To monitor progress on these issues, visit the threads on the AdWords Community Forum and the Bing Ads Platform Health Blog, which is a very handy resource to be able to quickly see any open issues on that platform.

Hey, at least it’s not the end of the month reporting time… yet.

The post AdWords And Bing Ads Both Having Late-Week Reporting Troubles appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland