Welcome to Greenlight's weekly dose of Blog Watch! It's that time when we share the latest news and insights that have caught our eye. Enjoy!
GOOGLE'S MATT CUTTS: WE DON'T USE TWITTER OR FACEBOOK SOCIAL SIGNALS TO RANK PAGES
Undoubtedly, Facebook & Twitter drive traffic to a website and inform users, therefore Social Media increases brand awareness. However we shouldn't assume that just because there is a signal on Facebook or Twitter that Google is able to access that. The fact that a specific link is shared or liked quite a lot, doesn't mean anything in terms of rankings. Most probably other factors have influenced the rankings of a specific page other than social media. It is more likely that a page ranks due to these other factors, than the specific page being shared or liked quite a lot on Facebook or shared on Twitter.
HOW TO USE THE GOOGLE ANALYTICS ADVANCED SEGMENTS
Advanced Segments allows you to isolate specific types of traffic within your Google Analytics reporting. For example, you can see your Google Analytics standard reporting data for visitors from the United States only, if that's what you want to do. Here is a great guide of how you can implement advanced segmentation.
EXPEDIA LOST 25% OF THEIR SEARCH VISIBILITY IN GOOGLE, POSSIBLY OVER UNNATURAL LINKS
It appears that Expedia was participating in paid linking schemes… Find out more:
GOOGLE ANALYTICS: 5 CUSTOM ECOMMERCE EVENTS TO TRACK
Tracking E-commerce Events is something really interesting. Have a look:
WHOSE GUEST POST IS IT ANYWAY?
Every linkbuilder's enemy number one, Matt Cutts, has been blogging again. This time he's getting us to stop guest blogging…. Unless it's not done for linkbuilding…
"I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I'm talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes," says Cutts. The question is, with all online marketing become more integrated, and PR agencies and the like still using guest posting as a means of securing coverage for brands, aside from the obvious signs, how can anyone really know who commissioned the post in the first place? http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/
Following on quite nicely from this, is Rae Hoffman's piece....
GOOGLE PROPAGANDA, SEO AND WHY MARKETERS NEED TO WAKE UP
"So, it's easier to have webmasters provide you a list (disavows), scare the ones that aren't crap sites providing the links into submission and damn those building the links as "examples" - dragging them into town square for a public hanging to serve as a warning to anyone who dare disobey the dictatorship. Don't like it? Then move to a different country - despite the fact that on the proverbial internet earth, Google makes up 5 of the 7 continents."
An interesting read on Google's "scare tactics", and how she thinks they're relying on SEO agencies to tell 'Penguin' what it claims to already know, or should know. Problems with Panda and Google's penalty system are also discussed, as is the fact that Google gave away large amounts of android phones and gained links as a result.
EARNING THE AMPLIFICATION OF INFLUENCERS
Rand's latest Whiteboard Friday explores how to get the engagement we need from online influencers. He explains that this is directly connected to the personal relationship the people working on a client have with them; 'who knows who'. Rand also explains how asking for feedback from your influencer can increase the likeliness of them promoting your work.
"Marketing your products or services can be incredibly difficult when your target audience isn't already listening to what you have to say. In those cases, influencers have an amazing ability to amplify your message and boost your brand. The only problem? They're (rightfully) quite picky about what they share."
Search Engine Watch provides us with an overview of four new features of Google Shopping's latest campaign structure (currently US only, but due to make it over this side of the Atlantic mid-March!).
1. Benchmark Click Through Rate - Shows how similar products to yours are performing in terms of CTR
2. Impression Share - Since Google removed average position from PLA campaigns we've had no way of knowing how our bids are increasing exposure. Impression share is a much welcomed metric for us analysts!
3. Products Tab - Currently product info is only available through the Google Merchant Center, now there is a tab within your campaign providing you with information on the product you're targeting.
4. Exclusions - Currently we can decrease visibility on irrelevant terms using negative keywords. Now we can exclude a sub-group of products from product groups, allowing us to funnel traffic to the correct ad groups.
Former 'Googler' Frederick Vallaeys shares his thoughts on how to keep an AdWords account in great shape. To summarise:
Do These At Least Quarterly
Mobile Bid Modifiers
Make sure your bids are set correctly to take advantage of growing mobile searches.
Create custom reports, automate optimisations and data collection offers advertisers a huge advantage for those not afraid of a little code.
Get a Better Ad Rank With Ad Extensions
Now that ad extensions is a big factor in ad rank, it's even more important to make sure you're taking full advantage of every available extension.
Do These At Least Monthly
Ad Text Cleanup
Identify your poor performing ads and clean these out of your accounts. Use an AdWords script to aggregate performance of all headlines, description lines and display URLs and identify winning ad text elements.
Broad match keywords rank lower for queries than another keyword that's of the exact match variety. This is because Google considers the exact match query to be more relevant and thus awards a higher rank. Add new exact match keywords from SQRs of BMM keywords, and also find new negative keywords to apply.
Look for converting keywords where impression share is low as an opportunity to increase bids, conversely clean up keywords that aren't converting, particularly BMM keywords.
Do These At Least Daily
Look For Anomalies
Which keywords are suddenly spending way more than usual and converting poorly? Are there ad groups consistently declining in CTR? etc.
Analyse Y-O-Y Data
Compare last year's top performers with your top performers now. If there are differences, try to understand why so you can react appropriately and swiftly.
MORE LINKS WORTH A LOOK...