There is no doubt that Google Analytics is one of the most important tools you could use to understand your users' behavior and measure the performance of your site. There's a reason it's used by millions across the world. But despite being such an essential part of the decision-making process for many businesses and blogs, I often find sites (of all sizes) that do little or no data filtering after installing the tracking code, which is a huge mistake. Think of a Google Analytics property without filtered data as one of those styrofoam cakes with edible parts. It may seem genuine from the top, and it may even feel right when you cut a slice, but as you go deeper and deeper you find that much of it is artificial. If you're one of those that haven’t properly configured their Google Analytics and you only pay attention to the summary reports, you probably won't notice that there's all sorts of bogus information mixed in with your real user data. And as a consequence, you won't … [Read more...] about Trust Your Data! How to Efficiently Filter Spam, Bots, & Other Junk Traffic in Google Analytics
Traffic rules and regulations
share tweet share pin it e-mail share One benefits of driving in the slow lane is you get to enjoy the scenery in a lot more detail. Anyone in the driver’s seat on the web has no such illusions. Speed and nimbleness are important keys to online success. Problem is, that racer mentality could come to a crashing halt in coming weeks in the US, thanks to a decision to overturn so-called net neutrality rules that helped level the playing field for companies doing business on the internet. In this installment of Memo to the Modern Marketer, guest contributor Nicolas Finet looks into how the end of net neutrality may affect the digital marketing landscape. What is Net Neutrality? Net neutrality rules were originally approved by the FCC in 2015, to the delight of companies seeking open and fair access to the internet around the world. The guiding principle of net neutrality is that Internet Service Providers (ISP) must treat all … [Read more...] about The End of Net Neutrality and Why You Should Care
share tweet share pin it e-mail share One benefits of driving in the slow lane is you get to enjoy the scenery in a lot more detail. Anyone in the driver’s seat on the web has no such illusions. Speed and nimbleness are important keys to online success. Problem is, that racer mentality could come to a crashing halt in coming weeks in the US, thanks to a decision to overturn so-called net neutrality rules that helped level the playing field for companies doing business on the internet. In this installment of Memo to the Modern Marketer, guest contributor Nicolas Finet looks into how the end of net neutrality may affect the digital marketing landscape. What is Net Neutrality? Net neutrality rules were originally approved by the FCC in 2015, to the delight of companies seeking open and fair access to the internet around the world. The guiding principle of net neutrality is that Internet Service Providers (ISP) must treat all … [Read more...] about Memo to the Modern Marketer: The End of Net Neutrality and Why You Should Care –
In a kind of parallel but interesting variation on the complaints filed in Europe against Google, now being investigated by the European Commission in a preliminary anti-trust inquiry, one of the European complainants Foundem has filed a brief with the US FCC concerning net neutrality. The complaints in Europe, broadly speaking, argue that Google has punished competitors by demoting them in search results. The Foundem complaint/brief with the FCC argues that Google favors its own products and thus “search neutrality” is required to prevent Google from harming competitors accordingly: Search engines have become the Internet’s gatekeepers and are arguably as essential a component of its infrastructure as the network itself. Google’s overwhelming dominance of search and search advertising, coupled with its ability to arbitrarily penalize rivals and systematically favor its own services, makes the need for search neutrality particularly pressing. This is similar to … [Read more...] about Companies Ask Courts, Regulators To Restrain Google To Compensate For Own Competitive Failures
The new “net neutrality” rules passed yesterday by the FCC (3-2 along partisan lines) are a kind of “Rorschach test.” Depending on where you sit on the political spectrum or in the internet economy you may see the new rules as “not going far enough” or “a unnecessary power grab by the government.” Some people are decrying the new rules as backward (including Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell), warning that they’ll “inhibit innovation and investment.” Many consumer advocates, however, believe the opposite that they don’t offer sufficient consumer protection and are too friendly to corporations. What was passed? The specific text of the rules isn’t yet available but here are the principles that were ratified by the FCC — until the lawsuits come that is: Rule 1: Transparency Broadband providers must “publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, … [Read more...] about What Do The New Rules Mean And What’s Next?
If I were a betting person I’d say that the European Commission and FTC antitrust investigations against Google will wrap up without any major “structural” changes or dramatic new rules imposed on the company. Indeed there were premature reports that Google had already settled with the EU. An announcement of some sort is imminent I suspect. In the US a number of legal scholars (both independent and sponsored by Google) have come forward to argue that under the current antitrust framework Google would potentially win any case brought by the feds. In addition a new FTC nominee disfavors antitrust action against Google. Beyond this, a now somewhat more competitive mobile landscape (i.e., Apple Maps, Kindle Fire-Bing) and the prospect of Facebook going into search give Google ammunition to argue that not only is the digital landscape more dynamic it’s increasingly competitive (depending on how you scope the market being discussed). On the other side anti-Google … [Read more...] about Seeking To Pressure Regulators, FairSearch Announces New Members, Issues Missive Seeking “Meaningful” Remedies
Axel Springer, Germany’s largest publisher and the owner of Europe’s largest newspaper, has said it wants back in to snippets. According to Reuters, the German publishing giant revealed that traffic to its four largest online properties from Google search results “had fallen by 40 percent” and referrals from Google News had dropped “by 80 percent in the past two weeks.” We previously reported on the decision by VG Media, a consortium of German publishers including Axel Springer, to opt back in to snippets because of a significant traffic decline that would have potentially caused some of its members “to go bankrupt.” Google has long maintained in its disputes with publishers that it sends valuable traffic their way. This episode seems to vindicate that argument. Yet, the decision to opt back in to snippets is not a truce but a temporary cease fire as the German publisher bitterly acknowledged its dependence on Google traffic. In the wake … [Read more...] about Loss Of Snippets Caused 80 Percent Traffic Drop
The constant stream of news on legal or legislative initiatives attempting to regulate Google’s organic search results creates a climate of conflict and fosters unrealistic expectations among SEOs. And that diverts attention from what the business should really be all about: managing user experience. Instead of taking a stand and possibly appealing to common sense, let’s look at the realities of search and how actionable SEO lessons can be drawn from them. One step at a time. 1. Google Is A Public Corporation As a profit-driven company, Google has a vested interest in, and a track record of, constantly improving its products. It has demonstrated indifference towards the visibility of individual sites in its organic search results and an unrelenting drive to keep search engine users — not webmasters — happy. 2. Google Can’t Be Legally Forced Into Driving Free, Organic Search Traffic To Individual Sites Many individuals and companies, including even some … [Read more...] about Regulating Google Search — A Reality Check
Terms like “mobile first” and “responsive web design” sound dynamic and user-centric, but the reality is most mobile-first responsive websites are simply reformatting ubiquitous content to suit different devices. Goal of web (or app) advertising: right message, right person, right place, right time. Goal of website (or app) content: whoever, wherever, whatever, whenever… eh… same content. Is that unfair? A gross generalization? OK, a lot of web advertising is still woefully untargeted or inaccurately targeted, but sometimes it can be freakily accurate. Ad targeting relies on the processing of real-time information from a variety of data sources – let’s call these “signals” or “cues” – about the mobile user and their behavior, in order to determine: Who they are. Where they are. What they are doing. What they like. What they want. What makes this more stunning, is the amazing speeds at which adtech … [Read more...] about When will responsive websites respond to user context?
One out of every 20 searches on Google is health-related. That means that many of us are heading to Dr. Google before heading to see our primary care physician. What the searchers do not see is the complex set of rules, regulations and processes that many pharmaceutical companies must go through to leverage paid search. Though most are familiar with the FDA’s role in deciding which medications are approved for use, many are not aware that it also oversees advertising for prescription drugs. The United States is one of the few countries that allow direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceutical drugs, and the FDA plays a key role in making sure any type of advertising by pharmaceutical brands is accurate and not deceptive. It also ensures that any claims made are backed up with information about the potential side effects or risks. For an SEM campaign to be launched, a strict set of rules must be followed. Many of the rules come from the FDA’s guidance on Reminder Ads, … [Read more...] about The essential guide to pharma SEM