AdWords Releases Top-Of-Page Bid Estimator, Adobe Buys Efficient Frontier, Twitter Launches Self-Serve Ads, & More

AdWords Releases Top-Of-Page Bid Estimator, Adobe Buys Efficient Frontier, Twitter Launches Self-Serve Ads, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

AdWords Bidding Estimator Now Available For Top-Of-Page Ads

AdWords now offers bid estimations for the top ad positions on page one of Google’s search results. It’s available in the automated rules section and AdWords Editor 9.7.1. Additionally, the update allows advertisers to raise bids through Advanced bid changes (“Raise keyword maximum PCP bids to their top-of-page bid estimates”), as well as parse out keywords by top-of-page CPC estimates.

Source: Search Engine Land

AdCenter Multi-Metric Trend Graphs Makes Viewing Performance History Easier

Bing adCenter has made accessing and understanding historical campaign achievements easier with Multi-Metric Trend Graphs. The feature is displayed on the Home and Campaign pages of the adCenter interface, and provides much better insight into what has worked in the past, what has failed, and ways to improve your performance.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Efficient Frontier Becomes The Newest Member Of The Adobe Family

Adobe recently acquired Efficient Frontier, a leading search, social, and display marketing company that specializes in Facebook ad creation and campaign management. Adobe has increasingly turned its attention away from product development and more towards actual marketing initiatives, and this move surely makes them a company on the rise in this highly competitive space.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Twitter Finally Launches Self-Serve Ads

Twitter’s release of self-serving ads have been tweets on the wall for a while, and the roll out is now officially official; at least for a select group of advertisers. Those companies can buy ads directly from the social network without having to talk to a sales person. All it requires is a credit card and Web browser, and Twitter has indicated the service will be available on a wider basis in due time.

Source: All Things D

Google Autocomplete = Popular, Google Instant = Not

According to a new Rosette eye-tracking study, searchers typically ignore Google Instant previews when navigating its SERPs, and rely heavily on the search bar’s Autocomplete feature. The study concluded that paid and organic searches are rarely affected by Instant, while Autocomplete is so widely used that it should be utilized as a way to build a keyword targeting strategy for SEO and PPC campaigns.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Scraped Content, Parked Domains Included In Recent Algorithm Updates

Google’s Inside Search blog is now posting a monthly update of algorithm changes, and on Tursday revealed their most recent collection of changes. The most notable modifications include an algorithm crack down detector on parked domains, improved signals to make spotting “original” content scraped by other sites, and a reduction in a single website hoarding first-page real estate.

Another interesting change centers on Google choosing to focus on a rare word in a query that it previously would have ignored. For example, the “rare” part of “rare” porcelain dolls would’ve been omitted, and the query would have returned results for “porcelain dolls.”

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Redesigns Its Black Bar Placement

Google has announced its top-of-browser black bar will soon be eliminated and replaced with a dropdown sidebar available by hovering over the Google logo in the upper left corner of the screen.

Source: The Official Google Blog

No Bing Soup For Holiday Deal Sites!

How much does Bing despise holiday deal websites? Apparently, the group that started the Cyber Monday trend, the National Retail Federation, and owns, has been blacklisted in Bing’s rankings because of “thin” content. Bing claims that their complete omission of Black Friday and Cyber Monday-centric sites is consistent with their policies towards low content, high ad count sites in all industries.

Source: Search Engine Land

Top Vs. Other PPC Ads Increase CPC, Decrease CTR

Google recently rolled out PPC ads located at the bottom of its search results, claiming high click-through rates as a motive. Search Engine Watch looked into these claims using Top Vs. Other data, emphasizing its too early to draw too many definitive conclusions. However, they found that conversions on “Other” ads slightly increased, but the click-through rates for these ads suffered dramatic decline (24%). As such, the cost-per-conversion for “Other” ads stayed unchanged while the “Top” ads experienced an 11% increase.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Human Search Evaluation May Soon Influence Google Results

Bill Slawski explores a recent Google patent that aims to allow the search engine to use human search and navigation experiments to tweak the value and influence of current ranking signals in the algorithm. The use of this process is ambiguous in the actual patent language, but Slawski speculates that it’s entirely possible human evaluations will be used to tweak ranking signals and factors based on industries or specific groups of related keywords.

Source: SEO By The Sea

Sales Records Abound On Cyber Monday 2011

Marketers have read the Cyber Monday tea leaves for months, predicting record sales and massive profits for Internet-based businesses, and boy did they fit the role of Nostradamus well. Cyber Monday sales in the U.S. were up 33% from 2010, according to IBM.

Individual shoppers averaged spending totals of $198.26, and 6.6% of online purchases took place on a mobile device (three times the 2010 mobile purchase volume). Purchases on Monday were also, in total, 29.3% higher than those on Black Friday. Ladies and gentlemen, start planning for 2012!

Source: Mashable

(Not Provided) Keywords Impact Is Higher Than Anticipated

While Google claimed the amount of searches affected by its SSL update would be around 7%, the actual number is much closer to 9%, according to a Conductor study of five high-volume traffic sites. The sample size is fairly small, meaning there is a decent margin of error, and the actual number has been fluctuating between 6.5% and 11% as recent as November 11.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google+ Includes Trending Topics, Additional Search Options

Google+ just got a lot more Facebook-y and Twitter-y, as its search box now features suggested matches of Pages or People, depending on your query, and allows you to filter even more of the results to find what you’re looking for. Trending topics are now prominently displayed on the right side of the search page.

Google+ Search

Source: Search Engine Land

With WordAds, WordPress Offers A Counter To AdSense

WordAds, a new WordPress blogger-exclusive ad program, was recently released as an alternative to Google’s AdSense. WordPress was ambiguous about the ad revenue split between the blog host and the bloggers themselves, and to apply, bloggers must have a visible website with a  custom domain name. WordPress reserves the right to reject or approve any blog that uses its program.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Dropped Irish Hotel Lawsuit Against Google Raises Interesting Questions

An Irish hotel has dropped a lawsuit against Google based on its concern over the autocomplete feature insinuating that the Ballymascanlon Hotel was financially suffering. Although there’s no indication as to the true motive behind dropping the case, this caused many customers to call and voice their concerns to the hotel. The most interesting question raised here is: Can Google, or any other search engine, be found guilty of libel for an erroneous instant search suggestion?

Source: Search Engine Watch

The Top Yahoo U.S. Searches Of 2011

Yahoo! has released its annual 30 category list of the top searches on the search engine in 2011. This is the first release since Yahoo began using Bing-powered results, and the list is so comprehensive that it’s worth just clicking through to read it rather than see the highlights here.

Source: Search Engine Land

Apparently People LOVE YouTube Videos

YouTube hit 20 billion video views in October, which gives the popular site just under 50% of the total U.S. online video market share for the month. Facebook came in a distant second (60 million unique viewers) to Google/YouTube (161 million unique viewers).

Source: Search Engine Land

Notable Commentary

Void of Stuffing

Replacements For Yahoo Site Explorer

Taps were played on Monday in honor of the death of Yahoo Site Explorer, a valuable resource for SEO and online marketing research. Some of that information is available as a part of Bing Webmaster Tools, but it restricts access to crucial data necessary for competitive analysis. Frank Watson offers some relief by discussing some options for replacing the popular tool; unfortunately, most are not free.

Analysis By: Frank Watson, Search Engine Watch

Important Best Practices For Increasing Google News-Driven Traffic

Search Engine Watch conducted a case study to increase Google News traffic in an effort to improve its standing with Google as an industry authority. The study was a success, as they increased traffic by 300%, and came out the other side with some useful best practices applicable to sites looking to boost their credibility within Google News.

Analysis By: Jonathan Allen, Search Engine Watch

How To Overcome The Inevitable Abandoned Shopping Cart

Despite a quality, holiday-oriented website or landing page, statistics show that one in five customers will abandon a shopping cart because the page loads slowly. Averaged over a year, those missed opportunities result in $3 billion in lost sales. Unbounce has a great case study that explains how shopping carts will be left out to dry if any page in the conversion process is slow to load, and how to fix it in time to save many of those would-be sales.

Analysis By: Joshua Bixby, Unbounce

Best SES Chicago Search, Social Insights

While PubCon was the hit of the online marketing world over the past month, the topics and trends discussed at SES Chicago are equally worth noting. Search Engine Watch has two articles to read: One detailing actionable strategies, and another with the most notable takeaways from the panel and expert presentations.

Analysis By: Miranda Miller, Search Engine Watch

What Is IIS And Why Should You, As An SEO, Care About It?

In a fairly long, technical, and highly valuable post, Dave Sottimano breaks down the world’s second most popular web server (IIS), and how to view it as a tool to improve you and/or your client’s website SEO.

Analysis By: Dave Sottimano, SEOmoz

INFOGRAPHIC: The Steps Of Growing Your Authority

All search engines place a heavy emphasis on website authority judged by multiple different aspects. User’s are a main focus of helping to build that authoritative presence, and Search Engine Journal has a cool infographic that visually describes those steps towards gaining respect in the eyes of Google.

Analysis By: Melissa Fach, Search Engine Journal

INFOGRAPHIC: The Best Features Of The Revamped YouTube Analytics

YouTube recently underwent an analytics makeover, switching from Insight to the shiny new YouTube Analytics. This infographic explains the top five most powerful tools now available through this new platform.

Analysis By: David Angotti, Search Engine Journal

SEOmoz Tool Advice From The Horse’s Mouth

SEOmoz has a stellar reputation for developing useful tools to make your SEO endeavors easier. Rand Fishkin was nice enough to stop by Search Engine Journal to discuss four ways to improve the way you use their Pro tools.

Analysis By: Melissa Fach, Search Engine Journal

Strategic SEO And Linking On Pintrest

A golden rule of the Internet is that any social-based website that encourages sharing is worth exploring as a linking opportunity. Such is the case with Pintrest, and Scott Cowley explores how linking occurs on Pintrest and how to leverage that as a business.

Analysis By: Scott Cowley, Search Engine Journal

Social, Local, Mobile Strategies Are Key To Retail Sales

If you excel at social networking, and mobile and local SEO strategy, the odds are fairly high that your retail business is going to thrive. Paul Bruemmer runs down the best ways to efficiently turn efforts on all three crucial platforms into short and long term retail success.

Analysis By: Paul Bruemmer, Search Engine Land

What Makes A Viral Video?

Scientific American takes a fascinating look into common, and not-so-common, elements that are necessary for turning an idea for a video into an Internet phenomenon. They focus particularly on how viral ads become popular and why people don’t get turned off by the impending sales pitch.

Analysis By: Natalie Wolchover, Scientific American

Ever Wondered What Went On In Leonardo Da Vinci’s Head?

A soon-to-be-published book will give you some insight into Da Vinci’s every day “to-do” list, which he actually compiled and documented regularly as he traveled. Much of what’s on the list is a drunken collection of random interests, and NPR delves a little deeper into why this sporadic way of thinking can be a good thing.

Analysis By: Robert Krulwich, NPR