SteadyNews Update - May 16, 2016

Google Product Listing Ads Officially Launch in Image Search, Among Announcements for Retailers

PLAs can now be seen in the image search results if you are opted in to the Google Search Network. They show in a carousel above images on mobile devices. They have been seen as early as fourth quarter of last year, but officially released today. Retailers who use Local Inventory Ads can now add links that allow customers to select 'store pickup' as an option when purchasing online. The Knowledge Panel now features the ability to search inventory for retailers as well. Finally, Google has launched the pilot test for Purchases, the Google-hosted service that allows customers to make purchases directly through PLA buttons on their mobile devices. 

Instagram’s New Analytics Give Detailed Insights

Instagram is working on some new analytics tools with Insights. Insights will give marketers more detailed information about posts and followers by allowing marketers to see age distributions, geographic distributions, gender distributions, and follower activity by hour, among other pieces of data. The new data will allow marketers to plan their posts accordingly to grab the attention of followers at the best times of the day and see how their posts resonate with followers and continue to be viewed after being posted for awhile. 



SteadyNews Update - May 9, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Yahoo Gemini Launches Retargeting for Search and Native Ads in US

Yahoo Gemini has now officially launched custom audience targeting for search and native ads in the U.S. They can retarget site visitors based on page visits and actions taken or import their own lists using mobile advertiser IDs. 

Programmatic Advertising Is The Future

A recent study done by OwnerIQ has brought up some more information about the growing use of programmatic advertising. The findings portray a future where everybody is going programmatic in display advertising! 96% of marketers buy display advertising using programmatic leading to 55% of total US display ads being purchased through the medium. This is valued at about $15.88 billion with this number expected to grow to $32 billion by the end of 2017. The study estimates that 90% of advertising will be purchased programmatically within a decade. The biggest things keeping programmatic advertising from growing quicker are URL masking, inventory quality, and the lack of ability to track well on mobile devices. 

See the infographic to learn even more!

SteadyNews Update - May 5, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Live Demo of New AdWords Redesign to Be Held on May 24

Google has officially announced on a Google+ post that they will be doing a live demo of their AdWords redesign during the Google Performance Summit in San Francisco on May 24 with livestream footage of the event. It will take place at 9 A.M. Pacific Time and 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time! You can sign up for the livestream here and see the most recently posted photo below. It seems to be of the new Ad Scheduling page.

Google Analytics Adds AdWords Sitelinks Reporting

Google Analytics made it easier for AdWords users to track sitelinks. By clicking the Acquisition tab and looking in the AdWords tab, marketers can now see a Sitelinks tab that has performance data for them. The feature has been rolling out slowly over the last few weeks, but seems to almost be completely out. AdWords released a support document that help you understand how to use the new function and can be found here.

SteadyNews Update - May 4, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

New: Segment Your Performance Data to Identify Opportunities Quickly

Bing Ads has made some new updates to make it easier to organize performance data and identify what areas need attention and what areas are doing well. The campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, and ad extensions can now be organized into rows by time, network, device, and top vs. other. Instructions on how to set up and download your segments can be found on the Bing blog here.

AdWords Editor update: Frequency caps, review extensions, display app install campaigns

The new AdWords Editor update made some changes that will definitely help app marketers. There are now display app install campaigns available in Editor. There are also new app extensions available in the Shared Library that allow marketers to link to apps in the Google Play and Apple App stores. The Shared Library also includes review extensions that allow you to attach reviews quotes or paraphrases from reviews from established organizations as extensions. The final change that came with the most recent update is the addition of frequency caps. As of now it is only available for Display and Video campaigns, but it allows marketers enter impression caps on campaigns. Display impression caps can be set at the campaign, ad group, and ad levels. The Editor Update was heavily focused on app marketers, but threw in a freebie for all of the other users as well.

SteadyNews Update - April 21, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Analytics’ Mobile App Gets a Major Upgrade on iOS & Android

Google's new update on their Analytics iOS and Android apps has a heavy focus on sharing, customization, visuals, data ranges, and navigation. They have added capabilities that allow users to share reports via email, text, etc. Reports can be customized and saved to the dashboard. The look of the application as well as the look of scorecards has been greatly improved, leading to improved navigation. They also added more data range capabilities, allowing users to add segments. Google released a video walkthrough, highlighting all the changes:

SteadyNews Update - April 20, 2016

Google Makes 2 Ad Updates That Will Affect Local Search Marketers

Google made two updates to their local search, both dealing with advertisements on map pages. The first is that Google is now showing ads on the expanded Local Finder results. By clicking the "More places" link in the three-pack, you will be taken to the map and ads can appear there now. This new addition allows retailers and local businesses that aren't featured in the three-pack an opportunity to get a top listing.

The second change that Google made has to do with advertising on Google Maps. They will only be placing ads that have location extensions from now on and have removed Google Maps as a Search Partner. The change will allow advertisers who opted out of Search Partners, but have location extensions, to appear on Google maps and will remove ads that are placed through Search Partners, but do not have location extensions. 

SteadyNews Update - April 19, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Bing Shopping Launches in the UK

Bing shopping has now officially been released in the UK. They found that 80% of shoppers do research online before before making purchases and they want to help sellers get this information to their buyers. Bing has stated that they want to create and place for merchants to organize, manage, report, and bid on product ads in order to allow them to have insight into their campaign performance. The feature has been out in the U.S. since last summer.

Google Drove 95 Percent of US Smartphone Paid Search Clicks in Q1 [Merkle]

Merkle recently released their Q1 report for their large client base. The report found huge growth in mobile clicks with 101% year-over-year growth an increase in click share from 33% to 39%. Google stole a massive 95% of click share in the mobile department and 78% in desktop click share. 

It was a good quarter for PLAs as well with 41% year-over-year growth. They found that clicks from search partners rose 545% and contributed with 6% of the total PLA clicks. 

Yahoo and Bing found that a lot of their numbers either slowed or stayed steady for the quarter, though Gemini's share of clicks between the two platforms has increased about 17%. 

SteadyNews Daily Update - April 11, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Penalizes Sites for Unnatural Outbound Linking on Saturday

Google's manual actions team sent out penalties for "unnatural outbound links" over the weekend. Doing this allows sites to cheat the Google ranking system. Sites that were accused of taking part in the behavior were sent the following message:

If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to the affected portions of your site. Actions that affect your whole site are listed under Site-wide matches. Actions that affect only part of your site and/or some incoming links to your site are listed under Partial matches.

Google is punishing these sites by no longer trusting any of their links. If you received the message, you can fix the issue by following the instructions published by Google here.

SteadyNews Daily Update - April 7, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Searchmetrics now shows where your app appears in App Packs

Searchmetrics now has the ability to show you where your mobile apps as well as those of your competitors appear in the Google App Packs or where your paid ads show up on mobile search results pages. The new features were first released in Europe last month and are now being pushed to users in the US. Searchmetrics has reported that "about 10% of Google mobile searches return an App Pack". 

They have also rolled out a new feature that allows users to see page-level keywords that are unique to you and competitor pages and an updated Visibility Guard that sends chat or email alerts about problems that a search engine crawl may encounter.

Google Parent May Try to Buy Yahoo?

Alphabet is considering making a bid on Yahoo. The deadline for first-round bids is coming soon and other companies such as AT&T, Comcast, and Microsoft have decided not to bid for now. A partnership by Google and Yahoo was turned down years ago, so it would be interesting to see how a buyout would work involving the two parties now. The first-round bids have a due date of April 11. How would Alphabet buying out Yahoo change the dynamic of search today?

SteadyNews Daily Update - April 6, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Makes AdWords Products Tab More Useful for Shopping Campaigns

Google is making some changes to the Products tab for Shopping campaigns. The changes will make the tab more functional by showing managers "Product status" and "Effective max CPC" columns; the Products status column tells you whether a product is ready to serve, disapproved, excluded, or out of stock and the Effective max CPC column allows for you to make bid adjustments on individual products from inside the Products tab. 

The Products groups tab now has new percentages and totals for products that are ready to serve, active, approved, and total products submitted. It removes the need for you to go to the Merchant Center for this information. Finally, Google added more Shopping info in the AdWords Report to make things easier for managers. 

Bing Ads Testing New Social Media Extensions

Bing Ads is testing their new "Social Extensions" that allow you to add social media profiles to your ad copy at the bottom of the ad placements. These new extensions feature a label and up to four social network links with the social media icons on the ads. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are the only sites available, though they plan on adding Pinterest and possibly YouTube. These social links do not have to be profile links, but can also be links to hashtags, giving advertisers the ability to have a little bit of freedom with social links that they choose to use. Social Extension clicks are charged on a CPC basis and the feature is currently in beta.

Promoted Pins: Now Available in the UK

Pinterest has now expanded their Promoted Pins internationally for the first time by expanding them to U.K. businesses! This is largely due to the size of the market there (with users growing 50% over the past year) and over 2.2 billion ideas being saved in the UK since Pinterest was first launched there three years ago. 

Pinterest has found that "more than 75% of all of the Pins saved to Pinterest come from businesses". This is why Pinterest has focused on making the ads non-intrusive and the ads help users find the ideas they want, with information on how to create them from credible resources. They plan on expanding to even more English-speaking markets over the course of the rest of the year. 

SteadyNews Daily Update - April 5, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Showing Mini Reviews in Local 3-Pack in Search Results

Google is testing showing a line of review on their 3-packs in the search results. It doesn't make the box bigger, but instead removes the operating hours line. If the review is too long, it will truncate the it mid-word. They are pulled from the first review on the Google My Business local panel and is in a very limited test (I was not able to replicate the test). To see an example, be sure to click the header!

SteadyNews Daily Update - April 4, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Updates The Search Quality Rating Guidelines

Google made their first update to the Search Quality Rating Guidelines since they made them public last year. The changes reduced the length of the document from 160 pages down to 146 and you can view the new document here. Jennifer Slegg did a full review of the changes, which you can read here. The changes include reduced emphasis on supplementary content, an emphasis on local, renamed "Visit-In-Person" by Google, continued emphasis on mobile (with even more examples), and increased emphasis on Your Money Your Life and E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness). If you want the full summary, look into Slegg's article or take the time to take apart the document!

SteadyNews Daily Update - April 1, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Says More About Local Ranking In Updated Document

Google has updated their document that tells you how to improve your ranking in local search results and make it into the three pack. The document has tripled in size and added new sections, such as prominence. This section covers the places that are well-known in the offline world, but may not necessarily hold a huge presence online. This offline presence will now be reflected in search results! Some of things used to determine prominence are links, articles, and directories based on the places found around the web. The Google review count is also taken into consideration.

Still Hanging Onto Bing Ads Campaign Analytics? Time to Switch to UET

Bing Ads has announced that they will officially be moving all users over from Campaign Analytics to Universal Event Tracking (UET). Bing will automatically convert accounts over starting at the beginning of May and will remove Campaign Analytics at the end of June. Accounts that are automatically migrated over to UET will have conversion tracking active until Campaign Analytics closes, but will need to change to the UET tag after that. The reason for this is because the UET tag can track all conversions and goals and can also be used for retargeting. 

SteadyNews Daily Update - March 31, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Advertisers Can Opt Out of Any Bing Ads Annotation

Bing Ads not gives advertisers the option to opt out of any annotations. The process of removing them is a little inconvenient as it requires you to contact your Bing Ads rep or customer support and they can turn it off for you. The awesome part about this change is that advertisers can choose specific types of annotations that they want to opt out of instead of being forced to opt out of all of them!

Understanding the Ad Overlay

Instagram made some changes to the ads shown on the app. By tapping on the image of an advertisement, users can now see the action that they are taking before they click a second time to do it. This creates more qualified leads sent to sites, app-installs, and online stores. This can also link to Facebook pages as well! Instagram charges based on the click on the overlay, not the initial click, so advertisers can save money on unqualified clicks. 
A report done on Stance Socks, a company advertising on Instagram, showed an "80% increase in engagement and 36% better RoAS compared to other marketing channels". 

SteadyNews Daily Update - March 30, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google Launches its Giant Mobile Search Ads for Automakers in the US

Google has now made Model Automotive ads and Dealer Automotive ads available to qualified users in the US! OEM advertisers can post Model Automotive ads for people running searches on makes and models and these ads can feature large-format images, details on vehicle performance, and links to relevant websites for manufacturers and dealers. The new ad formats have show increased CTR and decreased CPA for Toyota and Ford. 
The Dealer Automotive ads set up dealerships similarly to how Google has set up their home service ads. They feature click-to-call buttons, locations, and directions. This change is to make it easier for users searching for vehicles on mobile devices to find the information they want and need.

Snapchat is Testing Ads That Contain Advertorials Like Listicles

Snapchat is testing a new ad format that lets brands put out branded articles to the regular Snapchat videos. AT&T was the first brand to jump on the new format and they have it set up so users can swipe up on their videos to see GIFs urging them to watch the NCAA tourney on their phones. The new format allows for text, photos and GIFs. This is still in testing stages and hasn't become available to very many advertisers, but the change would mean that there are more ways for brands to stay viewable to Snapchat users for longer. It also means there could soon be another channel for advertisers to push text and display ads. We will see how this change affects Snapchat's sales to advertisers and if it will actually get implemented soon enough.

Twitter Universal Website Tag Helps You Track Website Conversions, Manage Tailored Audiences

Twitter has announced the release of their new universal website tag that will allow advertisers to monitor conversions and manage their tailored audience campaigns easier. To use the tag, a single line of code is to be put in your global page header and use it to create and manage posts and tailored audiences. The new tag allows for you to build up to 200 custom audiences, compared to only 25 audience with the single event tag. API access will be available in the next few weeks. A walkthrough of how to set it up was made by Twitter and can be found here!

SteadyNews Daily Update - March 29, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Instagram Welcomes Minute-Long Videos for All Accounts

Instagram will soon up the limit on video length to one minute for all users and brands! This was originally only pushed out to advertisers last month. This change was established due to an increased amount of users watching video and puts their max video time several times longer than that of Snapchat and Vine. The update will be rolling out this week and over the coming months to all users. It also reinstates the ability to take clips from your phone and piece them together, giving users more freedom and ability to make higher quality videos. 


SteadyNews Daily Update - March 28, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Google is completely redesigning AdWords: Offers first peek

Google is finally redesigning AdWords to improve navigation and make it easier to use. With tons of features being added since AdWords originally came out, they have only done a small redesign to better accommodate desktop advertising. The redesign they are working on imagining and implementing now will gear AdWords towards mobile and helping advertisers who are running campaigns across all facets of AdWords (search, display, mobile, shopping, and video). 
The redesign will not include and changes in functionality, only the way data is displayed. Google posted a image of what the dashboard will look like after the redesign which has given us some insight into what kind of changes to expect (which I will include in a screenshot at the bottom). Google plans on pushing out the changes in beta format to select users over the next 12 to 18 months and wants to have the full release by the end of 2017. 

Reaching Moms on Instagram

Instagram ran a study to see how parents interact with Instagram (mostly mothers). They found that 1 out of every 4 women over the age of 18 is a mother. 93% of moms across the network check Instagram on a weekly basis and 68% of them check it daily (with the average mom checking 6 times a day). The study found that 56% of moms find product information on Instagram and a huge 78% take action from business posts. It was shown that in the US, "ads shared from department stores convert 2.8x more often among m oms, with retail, apparel, and accessories ads comverting 2.1x more often". Instagram is great for targeting moms!

Periscope in #YearOne: 110 Years Watched Live Daily, 200 Million Broadcasts

Last Saturday marked one year since Twitter released Periscope and now they have 110 years of live streams watched daily and had over 200 million broadcasts since the launch last year. Facebook Live and YouTube Connect are joining in as competitors to Periscope's live streaming and it will be interesting to see how these giant releases affect the landscape of the technology. 

SteadyNews Daily Update - March 25, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

AdWords now applies recommended bids to new DSA categories automatically

Google will now automatically apply recommended bids to dynamic search ad campaigns! It is simple to override in the campaigh setup process, so advertisers don't have to worry about losing control if they don't want to use the new automation. The bid recommendations are based on the performance of your keywords on similar campaigns, so the automatic updates are somewhat based on your own actions that you have made and make on other campaigns. These changes can be reviewed before being pushed live as well, so use it as you wish.

Report: Google working on its own version of Amazon Echo

Google has another cool product that they are working on to bring themselves back into the center of the online experience; they are working on a competitor product to the Amazon Echo. Amazon has yet to release sales numbers on Echo, but the sales environment and third-party information seems to hint that it is doing well. Google has the technology and connection with its users to create a solid competitor to the Echo. The interesting aspect of the new product is how Google will handle its search results and ad space with it. I can't imagine that people would want to hear ads spoken to them while they are using the device to make searches. More details are sure to follow as the product becomes more public.


SteadyNews Daily Update - March 24, 2016

Written by Dominique Catabay

Now We Know: Here Are Google’s Top 3 Search Ranking Factors

For the first time, a Senior Quality Search Strategist at Google has revealed the top 3 search ranking factors on the search engine: Links, content, and RankBrain. Andrey Lipattsev stated that the top two are links and content, in no particular order, and RankBrain was established as being number three when it was released last year. Below is the video where he released this information (the entire Q&A is about an hour long):

Facebook Video Metrics Add Richer Day-by-Day Data

Facebook has made updates to its analytics in order to add more detailed data about video viewership on a day-by-day basis. The new update allows video publishers to see how many minutes a video is viewed, the total amount of views, and how many times a video is viewed for at least 10 seconds on any given day. This will allow for brands and publishers to get more qualified information about what days perform best. The API isn't updated yet, but it will be coming soon!

How Is Gen Z Using Social Media?

The online market research firm, Fluent did a report on Generation Z use of social media. Generation Z includes the group born after Millennials and is the next emerging market in terms of age groups. Facebook, as may have been expected, is the top social network and is a cornerstone of social media. Around 51% of users are using it to keep in touch with high school friends and 39% are using it to connect with college friends. The next two big ones, Snapchat and Instagram, have huge amounts of daily use with 34% and 35% (of surveyed individuals) connecting multiple times a day, respectively. 
YouTube is still the number one for video with 80% of the surveyed group, though Facebook is catching up. 32% of respondents watched videos for at least an hour a day, 30% for two hours and an astounding 21% for three hours or more! The infographic below holds even more information about social media use: