Monthly Industry Roundup: August 2012

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Enjoy the latest on all things digital and have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOBILE?

Google has rolled out YouTube TrueView ads to mobile devices through, which will be available in the Adwords interface. This will help provide additional reach for campaigns and make it easier to manage multi-screen devices. Currently, campaigns can only run on Android devices, but Google does plan to roll this out to all mobile devices.

Keyword trends are telling a similar story that search volume on mobile is increasing for restaurants by leaps and bounds.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEARCH?

Have you noticed lately that Google are starting to place ads at the bottom of the search results rather than on the right hand side, and in some cases not even placing ads at the top of the page? Read our post on this topic for more details.

Google shopping is officially launching its pay per click model October 1st.

comScore released the latest Search Engine Rankings. “17.7 billion explicit core searches were conducted in July (up 3 percent), with Google Sites ranking first with 11.8 billion (up 3 percent). Microsoft Sites ranked second with 2.8 billion searches (up 4 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.3 billion (up 3 percent), Ask Network with 548 million (up 6 percent) and AOL, Inc. with 264 million.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN LOCAL?

Google is continuing to narrow search results and make them more personal for its users. They are currently using a trial to integrate users’ Gmail in Google search results and have also implemented the use of the Knowledge Graph to assist in searches. On mobile devices, Google has built voice search to interpret questions that are naturally spoken and answer them. It doesn’t quite have all of the capabilities Siri does but now Siri isn’t the only voice search people can use.

Approximately 4.785% of all local searches are performed using Siri. Since this is still in its beginning stages, the amount of searches are low and business owners shouldn’t get too worked up over a low ranking in Siri. Best practice will still be to ensure that listings are claimed and accurate across data providers, especially those feeding data to Siri such as Acxiom.

Google’s new algorithm uses an aggressive review filter to remove spam reviews. Google discourages businesses to solicit reviews from people and seems to be monitoring the “flow” of reviews as a factor. Any abnormal fluctuations such as an upsurge in review volume from time to time can be classified as suspect.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ANALYTICS?

Have you heard of Google Analytics Remarketing yet? It’s a new feature from Google that enables you to “remarket” your ads to users who already came to your site via Google Analytics tracking. Learn more about it on Tara Dunn’s blog.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DISPLAY?

Google continues to improve their remarketing offering with the announcement of the new Remarketing tag. This new feature allows advertisers place one tag across their entire site, and use it to create multiple remarketing lists.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN VIDEO?

According to comScore’s latest US Online Video Rankings report, 36.9 billion online videos were watched during the month of July.

The 2012 Olympic Games set a new record for Olympic online video views, with approximately 153.4 million videos and 20.4 million hours streamed across computers and smart phones. Live streaming alone increased by about 353% since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Embracing the idea of “TV Everywhere”, the 2012 Olympic Games were a game-changer for online video.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIAL?

Google+ Vanity URL
On August 13, Google began offering vanity URLs for business pages on Google+, making it easier for users to connect with brands, allowing you to protect your brand name and creating a potential ranking asset. At this time, only a limited number of verified profiles and pages can create vanity URLs; however, Google has indicated that it will be available to everyone over time. To prepare, you must have a verified Google+ page. Find instructions here.

Facebook Vanity URL
On the topic of vanity URLs, Facebook pages no longer need a minimum of 25 fans to set a custom URL. This change quietly happened last fall, but has received recent attention at Location3 due to the opportunity it affords to franchise businesses. Now, when implementing the Facebook Parent-Child integration, we have the flexibility to set vanity URLs from the start, thus increasing potential for ranking Facebook Place pages for geo-modified searches.

Facebook Share Button Depreciated
When Facebook launched the Like Button last year, they depreciated the Share Button, meaning they no longer support the code by implementing improvements, changes or bug fixes. Sometime in the future, unannounced, the library running the code will no longer be available. Many sites still use Share Buttons that function properly. However, if you ever run into issues with the Share Button, Facebook no longer provides supports. Therefore, it is best to swap out Share Buttons for Facebook Like Buttons now to avoid any issues that may be caused in the future. Instructions can be found on Facebook’s Developer Site.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEO?

As more talk has sprung up around SEO Platforms, such as Searchlight from Conductor, Bright Edge or Search Metrics, we wanted to share our thoughts on the tools. After months of research and testing we have decided that none of the three platforms would better our service or our processes enough to make the investment worthwhile.

SEOmoz, one of the industry leaders of SEO tools suites and information, has recently added Followerwonk, a Twitter analytics tool, to their research arsenal. This is yet another step towards tracking the ever growing relationship between SEO and social. Since SEOmoz is one of our primary research tools, we will be testing this new feature to see how we can apply it to our different campaigns.

 

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