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?
Google fortune telling
If you’re like most online marketers, you know that it can be hard to strike a good work-life balance. Sometimes, that can put a strain on your romantic situation (especially at the beginning of the year when expectations are particularly high). With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably stuck between making sure your campaigns are running effectively and putting a little pizazz back in your romantic life. But what if there was a way you could do both? A way to put your hard-won PPC skills towards more amorous goals? What if you could get your love life back on track without leaving the comfort of the AdWords campaign manager? Marketing Yourself The secret to romance is great marketing. As a marketer, you’re hoping that you can make your company’s offering attractive enough to win the attention and approval of your target audience. The same idea applies to romance. You can’t stop after you get the clicks (er, attention of your … [Read more...] about How To Use Google AdWords To Improve Your Love Life
Did Google deliberately try to reduce the rankings of ProtonMail, a tiny rival to Google’s own Gmail service? Almost certainly not. Even Proton doesn’t seem to believe that. But the case highlights how Google’s problems with publisher, business and webmaster communication can hurt it as it faces challenges on antitrust grounds. What happened with Proton Proton Technologies is a Swiss-based company offering a secure, encrypted email service called ProtonMail. It might be an attractive alternative for those who worry a service like Gmail isn’t private enough, either from government requests or Google’s own ad uses. Last November, Proton noticed that they were seeing a drop in daily signups for ProtonMail. Wondering why, the company started looking into its rankings on Google and determined there was a problem. In particular, ProtonMail wasn’t showing in the top results for “secure email” or “encrypted email,” as it assumed was … [Read more...] about Google creates its own antitrust woes with poor communication over search listings
What would you do if your web pages could load four times faster with six simple steps? You would login to your site and start walking through these steps, of course. That's exactly what I did. On February 23, 2016, Google introduced AMP listings into its mobile search results. So, what is Google's AMP, anyway? According to the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, "The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere." In normal people terms, this means when you search for a news search term, Google will show you carousel that highlights stories on AMP-enabled websites. The big difference now, thanks to AMP, is that when you click on one of the news search term links in the carousel, the article will load instantly. It might not sound exciting at first, but publishers are swearing by it. "In early tests, we found that AMP pages load four times … [Read more...] about Does Google AMP Affect SEO?
Recently, I had a client come to me with a very interesting Google penalty. They had made a few changes to their site, nothing major, mostly tweaks to usability and layout. After these changes, their site dropped in rank. Curious, I went through each of their changes, a short list. Moving a button? Not an issue. Condensing a couple pages, properly redirected? All fine. The only possible issue I could see was, as it turned out, their contact page. This client of mine had decided to be a little fancy with their contact page and put the information in a modal window. As you know, a modal window is hidden most of the time, and contact information contains links and keywords like their business name. The client thought, logically enough, that the presence of links and keywords in otherwise hidden content might earn them a penalty. To avoid that penalty, the client added a noindex entry for the page in their robots.txt. This, as it turns out, earned them a penalty anyway. It cleared up when … [Read more...] about Is Google Penalizing Websites With Disallowed Pages?
UPDATE: Google Webmasters and Maile Ohye responded to our request for comment on this article: @wonderwall7 Hi Kelsey, PageSpeed Insights fetches a page like how a real user would… — Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) March 10, 2015 As many of you know, Google recently announced a major change related to how sites show up in mobile search results, beginning on April 21st. The official Google Webmaster announcement stated: Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. The announcement then went on to suggest two different ways site owners could find out whether their site might be impacted: If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test. If you have a site, you can … [Read more...] about Flawed Google Mobile Usability Test Results
On April 21, Google updated their mobile search algorithm to include mobile-friendly as a ranking factor. In other words, websites that are mobile-friendly are likely to rank better than websites that are not. Even if your website still ranks well in mobile search, you still have to deal with it not being labeled as mobile-friendly. If you are the owner of an online store, you may be wondering how the Google mobile friendly update affects your website. In this post, I am going to look at how you can determine if you need to make your website mobile friendly and show you how to do it. The first question you might be asking yourself is if your online store needs to be mobile friendly in the first place? The answer can be found in the Mobile Overview report in the Audience section. When you navigate to this report, you will see the following table at the bottom. If you have conversion goals set up in Google Analytics, you will see the dollar amount of sales you are making from users … [Read more...] about Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Guide for E-commerce
Twitter has been having a hard time of it in the past year or so, with various product missteps, plodding user growth and underwhelming results all negatively affecting its share price. Shares are now hovering just above the $17 mark, valuing Twitter at around $12bn. For a company that should post revenue of at least $2.3bn for 2015, its market price will be whetting the appetites of prospective acquirers. Where has it all gone wrong? That’s been well documented here, there and everywhere, but in short, the product and strategic vision seem to be unfocused. I thought it might be more interesting to think about how it can put things right. I’m not a shareholder, but I want Twitter to win, to preserve and evolve a platform that I’ve grown to love. I am hugely invested in it as a user. Do share your own thoughts in the comments section below… Do much more with data In the past eight years I have posted and shared 33,500 tweets, and have liked (or … [Read more...] about The 17 things Twitter should do to transform its fortunes
The web is forever evolving and digital businesses have more moving parts every day. As days go by, it can be hard to keep track and remember the events of the previous day, such as campaigns and website changes. Fortunately for businesses that use Google Analytics there’s an easy solution: Annotations. Annotations is a seldom-used feature, but it’s a great way to advance your Google Analytics knowledge. It allows users with access to a Google Analytics profile to keep a record of the events of a website, anything that might “move the needle”, so to speak. A detailed record will help employees and future employees recall previous events. This can also significantly reduce time spent digging for answers and causality in the data. The sooner you can learn how they work, the better. Two Ways to Create an Annotation Below, I explain two ways you can create an annotation and why it matters. You have the option to go through either the Report interface or the Admin … [Read more...] about Annotation: Your Google Analytics’ Missing Piece
One of the latest webmaster help videos brings up a really interesting SEO question: what happens if you get a lot of nofollow links, such as links gained for the explicit purpose of generating direct traffic. Could that negatively impact your search rankings? SEO professionals have known for quite some time that putting nofollow on the link is a great way to tell Google that you don’t want to pass PageRank for this particular link or that you somehow don’t trust the sites the link is on. So if a large number of nofollowed links are pointing at a single site, could this potentially raise a flag to Google that the site is untrustworthy for some reason? “No, typically nofollow links cannot hurt your site – so upfront, very quick answer on that point,” said Matt Cutts, Google’s Distinguished Engineer. “That said, let me just mention one weird corner case, which is if you are leaving comments on every blog in the world, even if those links might be … [Read more...] about Matt Cutts: Too Many nofollow Links Won’t Hurt Your Google Search Rankings