AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Are Live, Google+ Verification Is Important, Small Businesses Need Local Listings Help, & More

AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Are Live, Google+ Verification Is Important, Small Businesses Need Local Listings Help, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

AdWords Updates For ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ To Target Mobile Advertising

In what some people are calling the biggest update to Google AdWords since the platform’s original launch. “Enhanced Campaigns” is geared towards increasing adoption rates for mobile campaigns by increasing the ease with which advertisers can manage bids and display ads based on device, device type, location, and time of day all from one place.

Budget allocations have been simplified, new conversion types are now available (including app downloads and smartphone calls), and advertisers can fully customize everything about the ad to cater to certain demographics and time periods.

Obviously, there are a few drawbacks, including the lumping together of desktop and tablet data and CPCs, and there’s no way to run a completely 100% mobile ad campaign. Additionally, targeting based on operating system is non-existent, as Google now controls that aspect of the ad campaign.

Source: Search Engine Land

Eric Schmidt Admits Google Likes Verified Google+ Profiles

In his upcoming book, “The New Digital Age,” former Google CEO Eric Schmidt offers a wide-ranging perspective on where the online world is headed. One anecdote in particular has caught the marketing world’s attention.

For a long time, Internet marketers have speculated that Google+ is most useful as a way to verify the legitimacy of a website or blog through authorship tagging. They would be correct, according to Schmidt himself. He says that information tied to a verified profile will most likely rank higher than other content from unverified writers/profiles. Basically, there was one reason to use Google+ before, and there’s one reason to use it now.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Many Small Businesses Don’t Know Much About Internet Marketing

A recent survey conducted by ConstantContact’s SinglePlatform division of more than 350 small businesses found that 49 percent say they’ve never updated their online listings. 50 percent said their current listings are inaccurate and 70 percent said they don’t have time to manage their listings on all the sites consumers use. Only 23 percent said have a good sense of how listings drive traffic to their business.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook Introduces Lookalike Audiences Targeting

Facebook has announced the roll out of their Lookalike Audiences feature, which expands advertising capabilities to target users with similar demographic and interest profiles to previous customers that purchased from a Facebook ad. The program relies on analysis from the Custom Audiences tool, which features targeting data that can be used to expand the reach of your ad.

Source: Marketing Land

Google Clarifies Best Practices With Link Disavow Tool

Since its release in October of 2012, Google’s Link Disavow Tool has raised more questions than it has answered, including how to ID bad links, whether they should be submitted on a per-link basis, and if Google uses these links to punish any websites.

This week, in an interview on, a Google engineer clarified some of these cloudy details. The engineer said that webmasters should concentrate on links they find in Webmaster Tools, one disavow request does not punish the entire site in question, and it is possible to disavow links from an entire domain.


Racial Bias In Google Public Records Ads?

A recent study published by Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney found that companies placing public record ads linked to people’s names through Google sometimes use language that reflects racial bias. The study found that a greater percentage of ads having “arrest” in the ad text appeared for searches containing black identifying first names than for white identifying first names on Google. Most of the ads were placed by one particular company, Instant Checkmate.

It is possible Instant Checkmate is providing various ad templates to Google and letting the algorithm choose which to show for a particular search, meaning the racial bias may be more a reflection of racially biased search behavior than a conscious effort on Instant Checkmate’s part.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Is Not Responsible For Bait-And-Switch Ads in AdWords

Recently, Australia’s High Court (yes, that’s their name), ruled that Google is not liable for deceptive, misleading ads run on their network by advertisers. Stemming from an advertiser’s decision to bid on competitor names in AdWords, the court determined that the casual search engine user would not believe Google was responsible for the ad itself.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Yandex Is Bigger Than Bing…Globally Speaking

According to a recent comScore report, Yandex has jumped over Bing as the fourth most popular global search engine. Yandex received 4.844 billion searches in November and December, compared to Microsoft’s aggregate 4.477 billion queries. Yahoo still sits in third with 8.63 billion searches, Baidu in second with 14.5 billion, and Google still slaughtering everyone with 114.73 billion searches.

Considering Microsoft’s numbers include Bing, Hotmail, and Windows Live searches, and Yandex doesn’t make software, it’s pretty clear the Russians are winning this cold war between search engines.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Why Google Still Features PageRank In Its Toolbar

Google has long since abandoned using PageRank as an important metric, going so far as to remove it from Webmaster Tools almost four years ago. However, it still remains featured prominently in the Google browser Toolbar. Matt Cutts took some time to answer this question in a video post, saying that it exists more for user benefit than SEO benefit.

Source: Search Engine Land

Notable Commentary

To Enhance Your Mind

A Whole Lotta Opinion On AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

Neil Sorenson argues that Enhanced Campaigns really aren’t much of an improvement over the current way the AdWords interface is set up. Alistair Dent looks at the pros, cons, and blehs of the new format.

Analysis By: Neil Sorenson, Search Engine Land

Analysis By: Alistair Dent, Search Engine Watch

Mobile Keyword Research For A New Era Of SEO

It’s a proven fact that people behave differently on the Internet when they are using mobile devices, versus desktop computers. Keyword use (and context) shifts depending on the device in question, causing Google’s algorithm to often display different results for either mobile or desktop searches. Bryson Meunier has a good primer on how to get the ball rolling on mobile keyword research in 2013.

Analysis By: Bryson Meunier, Search Engine Land

Top Five Super Bowl Searches On Google

The top five searches on Google during the Super Bowl were:

  • M&M’s
  • Beyonce
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Colin Kaepernick

A bit surprisingly, a blackout related term didn’t crack the top five. Instead, Super Bowl power outage came in at number 8.

Analysis by: Danny Goodwin, Search Engine Watch

How Oreo Capitalized Off The Super Bowl Blackout

The Internet was the clear winner of the 34 minutes blackout that marred last Sunday’s Super Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans. However, in the branding division, Oreo was the clear-cut victor, releasing an ad poking fun at the mishap before the lights returned. BuzzFeed has an interesting run down of events that led to the impromptu ad, which garnered 20,000 Facebook Likes and over 14,000 retweets during the game.

Analysis By: Rachel Sanders, BuzzFeed

9 Misleading PPC Metrics

Justin Freid breaks down 9 important PPC metrics that can nonetheless be misleading when looked at individually.

Analysis by: Justin Freid, Search Engine Watch

Leveraging New Facebook and Foursquare Features

With Facebook releasing Graph Search and Foursquare revamping its privacy policies to provide small businesses with more data, Wesley Young explains how local businesses can take advantage of these developments.

Analysis by: Wesley Young, Search Engine Land