Facebook Debuts Search Graph, Google PLAs Grow In Popularity, A Matt Cutts’ Statement Gets Debunked, & More

Facebook Debuts Search Graph, Google PLAs Grow In Popularity, A Matt Cutts’ Statement Gets Debunked, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

 Facebook Gets Into The Search Game

Facebook has finally built a social search engine…within its own interface. Entitled Facebook Graph Search, the feature gives a heavy amount of weight to social connections and “Likes” to serve relevant results, as oppose to traditional keyword-centric results.

The results are restricted to people, photos, places, and interests, but Facebook said they’re going to add other similar connections (such as song preferences and posts) that help the social network flex its data mining muscles. (Don’t worry: We have a lot of expert analysis and reactions below).

Source: Search Engine Land

The World Loves Spending Money On Paid Search Ads

Globally, paid search spending increased by 18% in 2012, according to a Covario study entitled, “Global Search Advertising Spend Analysis.” Funny enough, that growth was less than the 21% increase registered in 2011.

The report also backed up a study we cited a week ago that revealed advertiser’s preference for tablet vs. smartphone ad spend distribution.

Source: Search Engine Land

Bing Will Have More Facebook Data In Social Sidebar

Bing users will now see about 5 times more Facebook data in the social sidebar- including status updates, wall posts and shared links.  While results from other social sources are also present, after this update Facebook is certainly the most important. Once users link their Facebook accounts to Bing, status updates, images and other Facebook content pertinent to their search query will be displayed.

Source: Search Engine Land

PLAs Generated Over One Quarter Of Google Non-Brand Ad Click In Q4

According to RKG’s most recent Digital Marketing Report, Google Product Listing Ads generated 28% of Google non-brand clicks in Q4. Cost-per-clicks for Product Listing Ads were also 26% lower than those for competitive text ads. The report also found a larger than average gap between bids and actual CPCs for PLAs, signifying that competition is still comparatively low. PLAs are also having a significant impact on non-brand Google ROI when compared to that of Bing, with Google’s non-brand ROI now 22% higher than that of its major competitor.

Source: Search Engine Land

Yext Introduces Structured Data For Local Listings

As mobile devices grow in popularity and Google’s algorithm adjusts accordingly, accurate local business listings become imperative for widespread online visibility. Yext is an industry leader in creating and updating local listings en masse, and they’re making a play to remain at the top of that totem pole with PowerListings+.

This new program allows businesses to further enhance their local data with staff bios, event calendars, product inventory and services, prices, and more. The feature is available in their standard PowerListings product.

Source: Search Engine Land

Semi-Debunking Matt Cutts’ Anti-Press Release Claim

Anytime Matt Cutts shoots down a potential SEO tactic, 50 webmasters’ heads explode. In this case, Cutts commented about the influence of mass press releases on site rankings. However, SEO Consult tested this theory by optimizing a PRweb.com release for “sreppleasers,” and pointing the link to Cutts’ blog.

The end result was a second place ranking for the blog on searches for “sreppleasers.” That doesn’t completely disprove Cutts’ point, but it does raise more intriguing questions about the effectiveness of press release distribution.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Analytics Looks Slightly Different

If you use Google Analytics, and judging by your choice to read this sentence, you do, you’ve probably noticed a different look from everyone’s favorite analytics platform.

All reporting tabs are now consolidated in the left sidebar, streamlining navigation and removing extra tabs on the top bar. Dashboard customization is also easier, as you can opt for a specific layout that tailors to your needs. Finally, additional visualization metrics (for locations and general bar graphs) have been added.

Source: Marketing Land

Notable Commentary

That’s Definitely Not A Catfish

The Most Notable Differences Between Facebook And Google Search

Danny Sullivan has been glued to the Facebook Graph Search beat since the news conference on Tuesday. As such, he’s more than qualified to point out the similarities and differences between the search engines employed by the two most popular websites on the planet.

Analysis By: Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land

The Facebook Graph, SEO, And You

How will Facebook’s Search Graph impact SEO strategists and social media marketing? Kelvin Newman attempts to answer the complicated, intriguing question, first by getting at the root of its unique differentiator, then focusing on bigger areas of opportunity (or lack thereof, based on the algorithm itself).

Analysis By: Kelvin Newman, Econsultancy

Crafting Titles And Descriptions Like Ad Copy

Dave Davies explains why thinking about your web page titles and descriptions in terms of ad copy can be a big help when crafting them.

Analysis by: Dave Davies, Search Engine Watch

Why Facebook Ads Are Cheaper And How You Can Benefit

Will Lin offers up an explanation for why Facebook ads are undervalued and how advertisers can take advantage before prices rise.

Analysis by: Will Lin, Search Engine Watch

Google Co-Founder Larry Page Talks To Wired

Anytime Larry Page grants an interview, it behooves us to buckle up and listen. In this case, Page talks to Wired about his approach innovation, and general business practices.

Analysis By: Steven Levy, Wired