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Google Search and Advertising News You Don’t Want to Miss

More than just Google+ Pages and algorithms

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Google Search and Advertising News You Don’t Want to Miss
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There have been a lot of major points of discussion surrounding Google and the company’s impact on businesses, marketers and websites over the course of this past week, and that includes things on both the search side of things as well as the social side (though sometimes these are directly related).

What should Google be doing to improve search and advertising? Comment here.

The two major events that kicked off all of these topics were the launch (after months of waiting) of Google+ Pages for businesses, products and brands, and the PubCon event in Las Vegaas, where Google’s Matt Cutts and Amit Signhal spoke about search.

If you’re looking for tips on effectively using your Google+ Page, read this. If you’re looking for how to just set one up, read this. This piece discusses setting the Page up with your AdWords campaigns.

On the PubCon front, the most noteworthy piece of news was that Google is testing algorithms that determine how much content vs. ads are above the fold on a page. Expect this to be an increasingly significant factor in Google rankings. It raises a lot of questions though, and we discussed here.

About that those raters…

Also at PubCon, Cutts reportedly discussed that recently leaked raters handbook. WebmasterWorld user Tedster paraphrased :

Webmasters tend to put a slightly skewed angle on this. The quality raters are actually rating a SERP (that is, a particular algo configuration) as a quality control measure for the algo team. Their ratings do not directly change rankings- but they hep the algo team see if the algo worked as planned or not.

Also, note that this document is not for the spam team. They also have a training document and use human quality raters – but that document has never been leaked.

Morris Rosenthal, who had sites impacted by the Panda update shared some inteteresting thoughts in relation to that.

Page Speed

Prior to PubCon, Cutts also tweeted out a video discussing how Google determines Page Speed:

He says it really only affects the rankings in about one out of a hundred searches, and it’s really only a big issue for about one in a thousand sites. This is pretty interesting considering the emphasis Google has placed on this element over the past year or two.

Transparency and Communication

There were plenty of other takeaways from the Google PubCon Q&A that are worth noting. In a nutshell, Googlebot is getting smarter and better at determining what types of content reside on a page, and at the same time, Google (at least according to Google) is getting better at transparency and communication with webmasters.

Specifically, they said they intend to be more transparent about algorithm updates and announce them as they go (as we’ve already seen them do with the Panda and Freshness updates).

They also gave a few pieces of advice, such as suggesting you tell Google when you publish content using email alerts and seting up pubsubhubbub in Webmaster Tools to help them better see that you publish the content before scrapers scrape it. Also, they emphasized that doorway pages are a bad idea.

Did you know…

A couple of facts they shared: Google has spam fighters in 40 languages and keeps an excel sheet of 500 sties from a thread in the Google Webmaster Help Forum where webmasters report Panda issues (presumably the one discussed here).

Freshness

While the “Freshness” update may have taken hold the prior week, SearchMetrics released a list of the top winners and losers in terms of search visibility. While there was no clear pattern to the types of sites negatively impacted by it, there were quite a few news sites on the winners list. That’s not to say all winners were sites of this nature. The top winner was actually Last.fm.

Advertising

There were several Google ad-related developments over the week. For one, Google announced that in the coming weeks, AdMob developers will be able to make their in-app inventory available on Google’s Ad Exchange).

The company announced that mobile site optimization is now a factor in mobile ads quality, as it rolls out to all advertisers. On the Google Mobile Ads Blog, product manager David Nachum wrote, “Ads that have mobile optimized landing pages will tend to perform better in AdWords — they will generally drive more mobile traffic at a lower cost.”

Then of course there is the ability to tie your AdWords campaigns to your Google+ page.

Is Google headed in the right direction? Do you consider these developments to be good things? Tell us what you think.

Google Search and Advertising News You Don’t Want to Miss
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  • http://morganservice.net Mobile Home Repair DIY

    Greta info. I got my G+ page. I also rearranged ads and got rid of the non performing ones.

  • http://morganservice.net Mobile Home Repair DIY

    Great info. I got my G+ page. I also rearranged ads and got rid of the non performing ones.

  • http://www.epicseocalgary.com/ Larry

    “Transparency” is about time big G; I think Google is on right track. Notifying google when content are published hopeful scrapers will be history.

  • http://www.ivdisplays.com/ Vinay@Web Design Company

    Lot of things are happening, how many can we get to use as webmasters. The transperancy Big G wants or trying to bring will definately make difference. Lets wait and watch whats next..

  • http://www.ealtbay.com F Simmons

    Preface this comment with the fact that Google is the largest content scraper on the net, and that the top and side of every search page is nothing but ads. Yet, they are demanding fresh un-duplicate content, and a minimum of ads.
    For us the panda update hurt, things have not improved with its freshness update. For an online auction site, where ads are the primary subject of the site, and people peddling products with snippets of descriptions taken from the item maker, make it impossible to control the content for non-duplication, these updates do not take into the elements of a primary eCommerce site. Their search metrics need to be modified to take this into account for all primary eCommerce sites..

  • http://www.absolutewebworks.com/ Absolute Webworks

    The freshness update makes sense. Can someone elaborate on mobile optimization? What does that mean exactly in this context?

  • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk Alan

    Whilst I have some sympathy for the aims espoused I do wish they were themselves diligent in following their own criteria. Do a Google search and ads down the left hand side and centre top. In fairness these have a coloured background and are easy to differentiate unlike some search engines.

    On some sites the ads are so thoroughly integrated into the content that it is difficult to differentiate between content and advertising. For me that type of site is problematic. It is not the quantity of advertising that matters but the ability to clearly distinguish it from content.

  • http://www.thewebhostadvisor.com Small Business Website

    We all have to make compromises as Google develops their algorithms. When I visit a website I would rather see the content that brought me there, instead of just ads. What is above the fold should be as much content as we can provide. This is good business and good design.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    That’s for wasting my time!

    • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

      (the invisible bird)

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  • http://www.islandvillawedding.com Adrian Head

    Seems to me like another “do what I say not what I do” from Google. They have some of the slowest loading pages ever and if it wasn’t the absolute necessity to get to the page I wouldn’t be hanging around for some of them!

    On another note I am beginning to notice an interesting anomaly between bounce results from Bing/Yahoo and Google. Google bounce rates seem to be increasing whilst the others improve. Is this an indication that Google’s search results are not as good as they suggest and their desire to present searches with relevant results not working? Certainly some of the search terms/keywords I see resulting in a 100% bounce makes me wonder as the keyword/phrase has little if anything to do with site i am monitoring at the time.

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    Can you add the links that were supposed to lead to the article about how to use your Google+ page? It’s missing in the text.

  • http://jdael.com/ laisa

    Google is seeking to achieve quality in purely through the recent updates

  • http://www.lipu-china.com ball mill

    On some sites the ads are so thoroughly integrated into the content that it is difficult to differentiate between content and advertising. For me that type of site is problematic. It is not the quantity of advertising that matters but the ability to clearly distinguish it from content.

  • http://CarLoansinOntario brian_DaFam

    Starting in March I will be selling Real Estate in Ontario, in a failry decent market south of Toronto. But, I’m starting to freak out about not having a monthly cheque come in that I can rely on. . . I was thinking that for the first few months, at least, I would get a job bartending until I make a couple of sales just so that I’m not totally broke going in to this.. . My debt is low, only $2,000 on a VISA, car loan don’t we all have one of those, but no money saved.. . Any advice on how to really make an impact in my first year? And/or how to get past being nervous?.