In late 2013, Google introduced cross-device conversions as part of the launch of Estimated Total Conversions. I’ve always thought it was a huge leap forward for the industry. These were conversions that were already happening, only we hadn’t been able to attribute them properly. Since the announcement, marketers could measure and act on all of those interactions that start as a click on one device or browser and then finish as a conversion on another (and it’ll be coming soon to apps as well). Many advertisers have bought into cross-device conversions and seen great results (as research recently published over on the AdWords blog proves). We also understand that some folks are still skeptical about cross-device conversions. In light of that, I wanted to talk about three things: How cross-device conversions are calculated What uplift specific industries and geographies are seeing How you can take advantage of cross-device conversions How Google Calculates Estimated … [Read more...] about What Google’s New Cross-Device Benchmarks Actually Mean For Advertisers
All of the current search engine market share reporting entities (comScore, Hitwise, SimilarWeb and others) utilize technology-based tracking, and I wanted to see if a survey panel-based approach would yield the same results. What I discovered was only somewhat surprising. My results, placing Google at the top with 80 percent of the market, differed significantly from comScore’s 67 percent; but my findings were in line with most of the Google Analytics accounts I had seen, which show Google generating between 80 percent and 90 percent of all organic visits. Last year, I was at a loss to explain the discrepancy between my survey data and comScore’s data, but I chalked it up to how demographics might be weighted in comScore’s panel. Nonetheless, even if comScore’s methods might be undercounting Google, they should accurately follow directional shifts. In October 2014, comScore reported that Google had 67.3 percent of the market, Bing (called Microsoft Sites) had … [Read more...] about Is Google’s Search Market Share Actually Dropping?
Is it just me, or does it really seem lately like every marketer is looking for a silver bullet when it comes to SEO? Even though nothing even close to a silver bullet exists, the search is always on for the “one big thing” that can really jump a site up in the rankings. It’s time for another installment of Greg’s Soapbox. Stop trying to look for silver content bullets! Stop trying to be lazy or look for shortcuts! If you put in the time and do things correctly, you’ll win in the long run. It’s fall conference season, and I’ve sat in on countless sessions that preach the same thing over and over again: you’ve got to create unique content if you want to succeed. Technically, that’s true. But in the real world, I’m just gonna say it: it’s a load of BS. The myth of unique content as a differentiator Let’s look at the majority of businesses out there. Unless you’re the only underwater basket-weaving supply … [Read more...] about Forget about unique content. Try actually BEING local!
If you’ve heard the buzz about paid search query data being stripped out of Google AdWords, you may understandably have questions and concerns. But what is actually changing and what does it mean for your business? The rumours and reports have run the gamut from “Google will block access to paid search keyword data,” to “Google will cease to supply third parties with paid search query data,” to “Paid search query data is going to be blocked like organic ‘not provided’ data.” Thankfully none of this was true and in my article I’ll explain everything you need to know about what actually changed. 1. What Google Actually Said While it’s fun to speculate on rumors, it’s also nice to look at what Google actually said: “Today, we are extending our efforts to keep search secure by removing the query from the referer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on Google.com.” Many took this as confirmation that … [Read more...] about Search Query Data in AdWords Isn’t Dead: Here’s What Actually Changed
It’s not easy being an SEO. There’s a ton of mythbusting that has to happen in order to coax your clients to success. Whether you’re educating customers or trying enhance your own site’s SEO, you need to be aware of several persistent beliefs that can lead to SEO disaster. What follows are three SEO lies that people still think are true about SEO. “I should optimize my anchor text.” Even in the ravaged landscape of a post-Penguin 2.0 world, there are survivors who think that optimizing anchor text will boost them higher on the SERPs. While recently talking with an online business owner, I was nonplussed at his insistence that optimized anchor text was the way to go. “It might work,” he argued, if he optimized every single anchor text both for both onsite and offsite SEO. Actually, no. No, it won’t. The misdirected concept goes like this — “If I optimize my anchor texts, I’ll get better SEO.” For sake of … [Read more...] about Three Awful Things That People Actually Think Are True about SEO
Link removal requests are a huge deal. If you’re a webmaster or SEO trying to clean up harmful links, then you have probably sent dozens if not hundreds of link removal request emails. If you’re a site manager, you’ve probably received plenty of these kinds of emails. A link removal request is when a representative of one website asks the representative of another site to remove a link. It’s pretty simple. But there’s no such thing as simplicity in the world of SEO, right? Sometimes, link removal requests are spammy, malicious, dishonest, misdirected, mistaken, and even dangerous. Often, they are ignored and misused. Because the link removal request is such an important part of creating a clean link profile, I’ve provided these six techniques for improving the quality of your link removal requests. 1. Use an Email Address With the Right Domain It matters what email address you use when creating your removal request. Let me sketch a quick scenario … [Read more...] about 6 Link Removal Request Techniques That Actually Work
Ever since Google’s Gary Illyes dropped his mobile first index announcement at Pubcon, there’s been lots of theorizing, conjecture, rampant speculation, panic, and confusion about what exactly that means. Will desktop users get mobile sites? Will sites without the mobile friendly designation suffer? Do we need to change all of our canonical tags? How will Google handle the reduced token corpus? What the hell are tokens and a corpus? Google has gone on record that they are still figuring out exactly how to handle some issues, but that’s probably not comforting to many businesses who rely on Google traffic to pay their bills. As a recovering software engineer turned SEO, I’d like to try and tackle some of these complaints head on and reason through just exactly what may change, how Google might handle them, and what exactly some of these things mean. At the very least, I will add to the theorizing, conjecture, rampant speculation, and panic. In the spirit of TAGE … [Read more...] about What Does Mobile First Index Actually Mean?
As digital marketers, we have the “pleasure” of being part of an ever-changing industry. Consider Google AdWords, which has changed drastically since its inception back in 2000. It started out as an internal service, eventually became a self-service portal and has evolved rapidly from there. As paid search platforms become more complex and sophisticated, it’s critical that account managers remain flexible and adjust their strategies to match these changes. But I can’t tell you how frequently I encounter advertisers who are dead-set in their outdated ways, which drives me completely insane. So, here’s my list of the top five outdated “best practices” that you should eliminate from your PPC repertoire immediately. Worst Practice #1: Stuffing Your Account with Every Keyword Under the Sun Back in the day, it was trendy to build expansive accounts with a gazillion keyword variations. I actually remember one of my first tasks when I started at … [Read more...] about 5 “Smart” PPC Strategies That are Actually Dumb
“Just write more content!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read advice like this on various marketing blogs. It’s as if saturating the internet with even more blog posts, eBooks, and guides will somehow help you to get the links you need. The truth is that while publishing content is important, it is absolutely essential to understand how to publish the right kind of content. It’s not just a coincidence that some content attracts more links than others. Yes, a big part of it has to do with your outreach efforts, but it is also directly related to the type of content you’re trying to promote. In this post, I’m going to tell you what kind of content you should create to get more links and what kind of content you need to avoid. Is There a Correlation Between Share Counts and Backlinks? First things first: is there any correlation between the number of shares a piece of content receives versus its backlink count? Common sense would say … [Read more...] about What Kind of Content Actually Gets Links?
In my column this week, I’ll try to answer that question using some data-driven analysis — but first, I thought it would be fun to take a quick trip down memory lane…. The Biggest AdWords Apocalypse That Never Happened? Ever since Google announced Enhanced Campaigns back in February, search marketers have been moaning and groaning about the loss of control. Search marketing pundits were tripping over themselves making doomsday predictions about how Enhanced Campaigns were nothing more than a big conspiracy theory to drive up average cost per click (CPC). The initial reaction to Enhanced Campaigns was pretty bad. Big search marketing companies were quick to make disastrous predictions. Like this one from Adobe that predicted CPCs would rise by 6%. Not to be outdone by Adobe, other vendors chimed in with their own studies, each predicting a more apocalyptic outcome than the last. Here’s one from The Search Agency claiming that Google CPCs rose a massive 21.2% … [Read more...] about New Data Suggest AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Actually Work