Kenshoo has done a great job of illustrating these topics, i’ll just keep showing them love!
Kenshoo has done a great job of illustrating these topics, i’ll just keep showing them love!
Earlier this week Kenshoo released a new infographic providing some insight into US search advertising trends for quarter 3 of this year.
The search ad spend data shows that U.S. paid search increased by 10% year over year and by 6% quarter over quarter in Q3, which confirms that advertisers are continuing to achieve positive returns from this channel.
With SEM campaign metrics, the cost-per-click increased by 14% year of year and by 13% quarter over quarter. Click volume decreased by 3% year over year and by 6% quarter over quarter. Click-through rates went up by 4% quarter over quarter and the actual click through rate is 1.36%. the impression volume decreased by 10% quarter over quarter.
Kenshoo provided a little SEM tip to advertisers: continue to monitor changes in CPC and CTR, specifically by device, as the true impact of Enhanced Campaigns will not be fully understood for a few more quarters.
As I write this, there are many website owners and SEO professionals out there who are having a rough summer due to Google’s algorithm changes. In the aftermath of the Penguin 2.0 update in May, I’m sure they have been evaluating their link profiles to make sure that nothing comes back to haunt them.
The first version of Penguin, released in April 2012, taught us that the quality of your links matters much more than the quantity. If you played the numbers game in an attempt to outsmart Google’s algorithm, there’s a chance your site was penalized.
Link building for SEO is major, so it’s important that webmasters and search marketers understand what makes a “good” link. Google certainly isn’t going to come out and define a “good link” for us, as they know the spammers would have a field day figuring out ways to work around it. However, there are a few qualities that I’m sure of that make a “good link” good:
A good link must be relevant to your website and your niche. A link from a well-trusted legal site really isn’t going to help if you’re a yoga studio. Sure, you might be happy to have a high-quality link, but what’s it really worth? You would benefit much more by getting links from legit health and fitness-related sites.
If you’re ever wondering whether a link is relevant or not, ask yourself this: “Would this link actually drive the kind of traffic that I want to my site? Will it expose my brand to people who are potential clients?” If the answer is no, this probably isn’t the best link for your site.
Google trusts authoritative sites that have a proven track record of creating great original content written for real people, rather than for search engines. Think cnn.com, government sites and edu sites. These trusted sites are not always the biggest around, as small sites can also pack a lot of authority. A link from a top site in your industry is always awesome, but so can be one from a well-respected blogger within your industry (relevance!).
Determining the overall trust of a website is not always easy, but here are a few things that can help:
You should also use you judgment when trying to determine whether a site is trustworthy or not. If you feel that it looks spammy or suspicious, it could be because it is!
Google loves Internet nature, and by this, I am NOT referring to videos of wild animals on YouTube. I mean that they love it when a site is so full of great content that people link to it naturally.
Wikipedia is a great example of this. While the content on there is not necessarily the most accurate, many people don’t realize this. People often link to Wikipedia because it’s an easy way to provide further explanations to their readers. Since it’s getting tons of backlinks the natural way, Wikipedia must be a legit site, right?
This, my friends, is why Wikipedia gets so much love from Google and shows up on the first page for just about anything and everything.
While I will not go into whether I think this is fair or not due to the overall accuracy of Wikipedia content, I will tell you this; If you didn’t already know, anybody can write or edit Wikipedia articles. My former professor’s 14-year old son use to write Wikipedia articles.
It’s best when links to your site come from a variety of different domains and sites. A thousand links from a single source will most likely be viewed by Google as unnatural. It would be more beneficial to have 150 links from 25 different sites, as it will appear that there are more sites “recommending” yours.
The latest video to be released by Google’s Matt Cutts gives webmasters a heads up as to what they can expect to see in the near future in terms of SEO for the search engine. As usual, he reminds viewers to take the information with a grain of salt because things are always subject to change (timing, when they launch, etc.), but he claims that this is what Google is up to.
Here are some of the upcoming changes that Matt says have either been approved or look promising:
Penguin 4/Penguin 2.0
I don’t think it’s any secret that Google is relatively close to deploying the next generation of Penguin, which Google has internally been referring to as Penguin 2.0. Matt warns that the next generation of Penguin will go deeper and have a much bigger impact than the original. The goal of the update will be to target more black hat web spam.
In the near future Google will be looking more at advertorials (also known as native advertising), which violate quality guidelines. As Matt states in the video, if someone pays for an ad, those ads should not flow PageRank. Google plans on being stronger on enforcement of advertorials that violate their quality guidelines.
Matt did say there is nothing wrong with advertorials, as long as they’re not being abused for PageRank and linking reasons. If you are going to use them, just make it clear that it is paid and not organic.
Payday loans & porn
This summer Google plans on looking more at queries that tend to be spammy, such as “payday loans” and some porn-related queries. Matt didn’t really go into what exactly Google plans to do about it, but he hinted that something will be happening.
Denying value to link spammers
Matt hints that Google is working to make link buying less effective. Again, he doesn’t go much into details but my guess is that Google will probably go after more link networks.
Cracking down on hacked sites
Matt says that Google plans on cracking down on hacked sites in a few different ways. By detecting them better, they hope to roll out a new generation of hacked site detection in next few months. Google also plans on working to communicate better to webmasters to clear up the confusion between hacked sites and sites that serve up malware. Matt explains how it would be nice to have a one-stop shop where once someone realizes they’ve been hacked, they can go to webmaster tools to get the information they need to clean up the hacked site.
Google is getting better at detecting when someone is an authority in a particular space (travel, medical, whatever). If you are an authority, you may notice a ranking boost in the next few months, as Google hopes that related queries will return your site above less authoritative web sites.
Matt Cutts said that many of the sites impacted by the Google Panda update are borderline cases. Relief may be on the way for some of these sites, as Google is looking to find additional signals that suggest that a site is in fact high quality.
We should expect to see less clusters of the same domain coming up on the first page of Google’s SERP. The search engine is working to make it so that once you see a cluster of results from the same site, you are less likely to see more results from site as you go on.
Better webmaster communication
Google is working to improve their communication with webmasters. This means providing more detailed information and more example URL so webmasters can better diagnose problems on their site.
Matt starts off the video with a reminder that Google has been preaching for a long time- make a great site that users will love, bookmark and tell their friends about. Moral of the story- work hard to make users happy. He stresses that if you are focused on high quality content, you don’t have much to worry about. But if you’re dabbling in the black hat arts, you might have a more eventful summer.
Here’s the full video for you to check out:
At a SMX West panel back in March, Matt Cutts promised that there would be a major Google Penguin update this year, one that he thinks will be the most talked about.
Last week there was some speculation that this update was taking place. Cutts put those rumors to rest by tweeting “Nope, no new Penguin update this week.”
He later added “We do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks though.”
Cutts has referred to this next major update as Penguin 2.0. However, since there have already been three updates to the Penguin, this would technically be Penguin 4. But this upcoming algorithm update is supposedly going to be so big internally that Google is referring to is as Penguin 2.0. Check out this interesting Twitter conversation between Cutts and Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan abut the numbering of the update:
So there you have it. Call it Google Penguin 4, or Google Penguin 2.0 if you’d like. Either way, a big update is on the way.