For more than a year, Google has been testing a program called Hotel Price Ads that shows ads for hotel searches inside of Google Maps. It looks like those ads are headed to Google’s main search results soon. A Search Engine Land reader has tipped us to three new types of hotel price ads, all of which are showing up outside of Google Maps on local searches done on Google.com. Hotel Price Ads: Three New Google.com Formats Here’s a screenshot showing the hotel price ads on a local 7-pack for the query “hotels orlando”: In this example, five of the seven hotel listings have the hotel price ads attached. Just like the test inside Google Maps, clicking the price shows a dropdown with prices from advertisers that are participating in the program by giving Google their pricing information. Two other examples in Google.com search results: first, hotel price ads in the Google Places results, and then a screenshot of the ads on a local inbox result for a single hotel. … [Read more...] about Hotel Price Ads In Google.com Search Results
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Google has announced that it will now anonymize the server log data that it collects after 18 to 24 months, as a way to better protect the privacy of its users. Until now, Google has retained server log data in its original form indefinitely, which made it possible for anyone with access to those logs — such as government agencies possibly gaining them through legal processes — to potentially track queries back to users.I’m going to revisit what Google collects in its server logs to explain how that can — and cannot — be used to track information back to an particular user. Then I’ll also recap some of the other places where search history is retained, since it isn’t only within server logs. Server Log Records When you visit any web site, the web server records certain information about your visit. Here’s a simplified view of what that might look like if you came to Google and did a search: 188.8.131.52 – 13/Mar/2007 00:44:15 – … [Read more...] about Google Anonymizing Search Records To Protect Privacy
Buzz has been growing over the past 4-5 days about what appears to be a new Google search results test that, if widely implemented, might spell doom for SEO rank checking software and some other tools. Many are concerned that it could kill web analytics software, too, but that may not be the case. Google appears to be testing AJAX-based search results on a limited basis. Users who are able to access the test see different URLs for Google searches. Rather than the standard www.google.com/search?q=keyword, URLs in the AJAX test use a hash mark, like this: www.google.com/#q=keyword. Michael VanDeMar wrote about this test last week, and a commenter on that post points out that the test was active in The Netherlands as far back as November. What Does It Mean? If Google rolls out AJAX-based search results on a wide scale, there could be some big ramifications. As Michael VanDeMar and the commenters on his post point out, SEO rank checkers and other tools could be rendered useless. (Google … [Read more...] about Google AJAX Search Results = Death To Search Term Tracking?
Since Google’s launch of Place Search—a special new display for business listings appearing when users submit search queries related to local businesses—I’ve seen a discernible spike in interest on various websites and forums in how to appear higher on the results pages. A number of small business owners particularly seem to have awakened to realize a need for local search engine optimization (“local SEO”). You can see some evidence of the spike via Google Insights for searches on “Place Search” terms: This a brief overview of how to do Local SEO for your businesses/websites. However, you should also be warned that search engine optimization has varying degrees of complexity, depending upon your type of business and city. If you have few competitors or if your competitors are relatively unsophisticated at their online promotion work, it may be easy to perform a few tweaks using straightforward strategies and get ranking advantage. … [Read more...] about How To Rank Higher In Google Place Search
Just a few years ago, the paid search landscape could adequately be summed up as “text ads on desktop computers.” This simplicity meant analyzing performance didn’t require too much slicing and dicing to get meaningful takeaways from paid search data, and often a simple brand vs. non-brand look would do the trick. With the rise of additional ad formats and devices, however, understanding search performance requires that PPC managers and analysts dissect their data in several specific ways before coming to any conclusions. Here, we delve into the most important of those segmentations and why each is critical in paid search performance analysis. Device segmentation is critical According to Merkle’s Q1 Digital Marketing Report (registration required), the share of paid search traffic coming from desktop computers is now just 47 percent, with 39 percent coming from phones and 14 percent from tablets. For most advertisers, these devices perform very differently from … [Read more...] about Three of the most important data segmentations for any Google paid search analysis