On Monday this week, Google announced that they would be changing their treatment of star rating rich snippets in search results. We already know that Google wasn’t happy with how star rating rich snippets (like those pictured above) were being used in the wild. “Structured data penalties” have become common in the past couple of years, mostly (in my experience) for the practice of placing organisation-level ratings markup across your entire site, which Google considered inaccurate or misleading (as the ratings weren’t for the specific content of the page they were on). Lots of examples of this exact behaviour continued to exist, however, with Google seemingly unable to enforce their own rules at scale (as is common for activities requiring manual review). So what has changed? It looks like Google is about to get far stricter on when they will and will not respect ratings structured data, the Schema.org property which has until now triggered these … [Read more...] about What Google’s Star Rating Rich Snippet Changes Mean for You
Equality does not mean fairness
Google has opened up its shopping ads to external providers and there is greatly increased competition for product ads. Around one third of ads in the British, German and French search results are provided by external services, Searchmetrics’ 2018 Google Shopping Study reveals. However, traditional product and price comparison portals are hardly found in these ads. Most are occupied by marketing agencies who bid for ads on behalf of online shops. Now, several large comparison sites, including Idealo and Comparado, have made a complaint to the European Commission. Their position is that Google Shopping’s distribution of ads is no fairer than before and they demand that the EU take further measures against Google. Shopping Study 2018 Google Shopping today: The competitive landscape In June 2017, the European Commission found that Google had been abusing its market dominance in the area of shopping ads, and issued a 2.4 billion Euro fine, as well as demanding that Google … [Read more...] about Google Shopping 2018: Does more Competition mean fair Competition?
Since the early 2010s, visual search has been offering users a novel alternative to keyword-based search results. But with the sophistication of visual search tools increasing, and tech giants like Google and Microsoft investing heavily in the space, what commercial opportunities does it offer brands today? Visual search 101 There are two types of visual search. The first compares metadata keywords for similarities (such as when searching an image database like Shutterstock). The second is known as ‘content-based image retrieval’. This takes the colour, shape and texture of the image and compares it to a database, displaying entries according to similarity. From a user perspective, this massively simplifies the process of finding products they like the look of. Instead of trying to find the words to describe the object, users can simply take a photo and see relevant results. Visual search engines: A (very) brief history The first product to really make use of … [Read more...] about What does visual search mean for ecommerce in 2017?
Editor note: This “anti” post is part of a two-part series about the proposed Search Marketing Code of Ethics, as presented by SEMPO at SearchCongress.org. To read the “pro” viewpoint from Tony Wright and Chris Boggs, click here. This post is not sponsored by any organization or party and was facilitated by the SEJ Editorial Team. Alan Bleiweiss also contributed to this post. His comments are noted throughout. As many of you may already know, SEMPO has proposed that we, as search marketers, meet at a “Search Congress” to discuss the draft and submission of a “Code of Ethics”. Upon first hearing of this, most of us would admit, “Hey, this sounds like a great idea!” I am sure the people who created the concept thought this. We all know there is an issue with unethical practitioners, ones who call themselves SEOs, but in reality are simple con men who found a business vertical that can bring them fast money with little effort. … [Read more...] about SEMPO Code of Ethics: Not So Black and White
Where do I even begin with this one? I mean, I was on the fence about even writing this post for months. On the one hand, I myself have become known for calling out asshattery that pollutes the search marketing industry in epic ways, and I’ve been doing it for a few years. On the other hand, I’ve also been able to step back more and more each year in my own open attacks, in spite of my honest core belief in ethics and morals when it comes to business. Because let’s face it, what one person considers legitimate, another considers evil. It’s a fact of life. And the more time I spend in a personal relationship with God, the more I work to own the need to judge less and discern more. Don’t get me wrong here. I still don’t like some things I see in this industry. Yet overall, if you’ve been following my rants on Twitter (God bless your for the fortitude to do that), you’ll have noted that I really don’t come anywhere near as close to … [Read more...] about Another Black Hat Company Caught Selling Links