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Search Kernel – September 2017 Search Marketing Round-up

What happened in the SEO world this month?

Google Removes Search Box from the SERPs

As detected by RankRanger, Google has dropped the search results box from SERPs from 25th September.

The search box used to feature within brand homepage listings.

Wikipedia search bar in SERPThere’s been no official update on this change and it’s very likely Google deemed its usage too low to warrant the space it takes up on the SERP. Let’s not rule out a bug though.

SERP Shopping Antitrust Case Continues

The Google antitrust debacle continues in the mainstream media again this week, as the search engine offers up its solution to Google shopping monopoly.

Earlier this year Google was fined £2.1 billion for what was deemed to be unfair trading by monopolising shopping search results; as seen below.

Google shopping monopoly example

Although this move has not yet been officially announced Google is making changes in Europe to include other comparison providers in the results and bid fairly amongst them as a private entity. This would see Google drop-out of the SERPs for shopping positions which then become financially unviable for their model.

However, the move has been widely criticised by the industry on grounds that Google would still be cashing in in either scenario, through commision on the sales, or profits from auction fees. Not to mention the inside knowledge and SEM advantage Google have as a competing bidder. Although at time of writing we have read reports that Google’s bids would be capped in order to prevent this.

The EU complaints commission has not imposed this solution on Google, but rather left it up to them to find the fairest resolution. And while they are busy appealing the fine, this is the first step towards that.

 

What happened in the Paid Digital world this month?

Updates with Bing’s Exact match format

Similar to the recent update from Google, Bing is now introducing changes to its exact match keywords. As such, in order to increase reach, the close variants will now include reordered keywords (currently only in the US) while the little function or stop words (such as: is, a, the, on, for, in) may be added or excluded if the meaning remains the same.

So for instance, a search query “indian restaurant in london” will now match to a [london indian restaurant london] keyword.

More on how to best utilise this, read here: http://www.ppchero.com/bing-exact-match-close-variant-update-and-beyond/

 

New targeting opportunities with Facebook Custom Audiences

Advertisers can now target everything from people that have watched a video, interacted with a Facebook page, checked out an event, and everything in between. In other words,  Audience targeting now allows you to remarket to people who simply engaged with an ad and didn’t necessarily end up on your site, app, etc.

Additionally, Facebook has launched three more ways we can target people who have interacted with things within its platform. As such, Facebook Page audiences allow you to target people based on their interactions with your page (i.e. visiting your page, saving a page or post, and sending a message to your page). Next, if one gets a lot of traffic and interaction from Instagram visitors, you can treat your Instagram visitors to a different ad experience from your Facebook visitors by using Instagram Business Profile. Finally, there is now Events targeting available on Facebook, which essentially allows you to target people who have in some way, shape, or form interacted with your events within Facebook.

With regards to previous audiences, there have been only minor changes made. For instance, there are some new naming conventions, the Lead Ad audience is now fully integrated with Instagram and the type of targeting that was previously available with Canvas ads, will now also be available with the brand new Collection ads.

Overall, quite an update from Facebook this month so for more information, visit this link:

http://www.ppchero.com/facebook-custom-audience-targeting-updates/

 

AMP landing pages to roll out soon by Google

Following the beta test carried out by Google, we have an announcement confirming AMP landing pages will be officially rolling out as soon as in two weeks time. Even though there are some limitations with these, the lighter-weight landing pages promise to load and open instantly which has showed to improve conversion rates for some advertisers quite significantly.

Read more on this update here:

http://searchengineland.com/adwords-amp-landing-pages-rolling-out-globally-282206

 

Up to 8 sitelinks now available on Google

Following the recent update from Google where they launched the carousel-type, tappable format sitelinks, there is an additional update on this. As such, advertisers will now be able to upload up to 8 sitelinks (instead of previous 4) that will be capable of showing on mobile and tablet devices. This means, there is an opportunity to give your customers even more deep-links to your most popular sections of the website!

Read more on this here: http://searchengineland.com/google-adwords-doubles-number-sitelinks-search-ads-281397

 

Bing rolls out account-level extensions

Bing has introduced account-level extensions, meaning, much time will be saved for advertisers that previously added these campaign or ad group level. Moreover, it is possible to associate up to 20 extensions for each type of extension, applied account-level.

More on Bing’s new update, read here: http://searchengineland.com/account-level-ad-extensions-now-available-bing-ads-282913

Create Youtube video creatives with the help from Google (US only)

More and more advertisers are starting to recognise and respond to the ‘video boom’ where Youtube is the key channel being used for such purpose. For companies with small budgets, creating a video from scratch is too labour and money-intensive job which is why very often they miss out on such opportunity. Google has recognised such issue and has come up with a solution to help such companies by introducing YouTube Director Onsite (currently available only in few US cities). Essentially, all the advertiser needs to do is spend at least $150 and Google will offer full service, from video script writing to actual filming.

Let’s see how this collaboration develops as there might be a chance of getting such service in other countries as well in the future.

More on this, read this article:

http://searchengineland.com/youtube-ads-perk-didnt-know-existed-282420

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