Google Can Use Your Picture In Ads, Target ROAS Bidding Now On AdWords, & More

Google Can Use Your Picture In Ads, Target ROAS Bidding Now On AdWords, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Like Chucky, Favicons Are Back

Earlier this week Google quietly announced that they are reintroducing favicons (the small logo that appears in the web address bar for most websites) on AdSense text ads. Favicons originally started appearing alongside the advertiser’s URL in AdSense text ads in July, but then dropped off the layout when redesigned ads were rolled out in late September.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Target ROAS Bidding Comes To AdWords

This month Google AdWords announced the addition of Target Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) to its arsenal of flexible bid strategies. Target ROAS allows advertisers to set a target percentage return on ad spend, and AdWords will automagically adjust keyword, ad group and campaign-level bids to meet that target. The new feature should be especially useful for ecommerce shops ramping up for the holidays.

Source: PPC Hero

Autogenerated Translations = Bad Content

In a reiteration of previous assertions, Google’s John Mueller recently stated that using an automated tool to translate your website is essentially the same as auto-generating content. This doesn’t come as a surprise since Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Matt Cutts have previously made the prohibition clear. But the reminder never hurts – if you’re going to translate, use a human being at some point.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Mobile Product Listing Ads Improvements and Success Stories

Google has improved the look of mobile PLAs. Users can now swipe to quickly see more products without leaving the search results. This update will give more retailers the opportunity to appear on the mobile PLA unit. Some retailers have reported increases on return on ad spend up to 77% when optimizing for mobile PLAs.

Source:  Inside Adwords

Your Picture May Be In Google Ads

A new change in Google’s terms of service now has the search giant categorizing your follows, comments  and +1s as “share endorsements” for a product or service. That means you may wind up seeing your name and picture used in ads targeted at your friends for businesses you’ve rated or commented on. The change will go into effect November 11th and users will be given the option to limit the use of their personal information in ads. Any users under 18 will automatically be opted out.

Source: The Verge

Mobile Outperforms Desktop In Click Share

The Search Agency released its State of Paid Search Report Wednesday, finding that investment in search advertising was up 21% year-over-year and that mobile outperforms desktop when it comes to click share in both Google and Bing. CPC on Google and Bing was also up across all devices.

Source: Search Engine Watch

New Google Places For Business Android App

Local business owners can now manage their Google Places For Business Listing from their Android cell phone with a new app. The app allows owners to update information, respond to comments, post photos and updates, and more. The app also offers basic analytics including actions and impressions. Any changes made in the app will be instituted across all Google properties.

Source: Search Engine Land

Matt Cutts Talks About Guest Posting

For a long time there has been speculation about just how valuable guest posting really is. Matt Cutts addressed the question Thursday. He basically reiterated what many already figured. Posting on low quality blogs, blogs completely unrelated to the topic of your post, and posting with superhuman frequency are all negative factors Google looks at when determining if they’ll value that backlink you were after.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Yahoo! Continues To Struggle In Search

Marissa Mayer has done some good things with Yahoo!, but the company continues to underperform in search. Yahoo!’s share of the US search market fell to just 11.3% in September, a mark that equals its previous all-time low in July. Mayer acknowledged as much in a recent  sit down, but also expressed optimism about the company’s search presence moving forward, particularly in mobile.

Source: Search Engine Land

Advertisers Can Now Add Quote Endorsements

In June, Google announced the beta release of Review Extensions that allow advertisers to add  an endorsement from a respected publication in their AdWords ads. These Review Extensions finally began rolling out to all AdWords accounts on Tuesday.  You’ll find the Review Extensions option under the Ad Extensions tab. It’s an interesting new option for advertisers, although Review Extensions can take a few days to be approved by Google before going live.

Source: Search Engine Land

40% Of YouTube Traffic Mobile

Much like everything, YouTube is continuing to go more mobile. 40% of the site’s traffic is now mobile traffic, up from the 25% of traffic it accounted for last year. As recently as 2011, only 6% of traffic on YouTube was from mobile devices.

Source: TechCrunch

Twitter Considering Standalone Messaging App

With only a quarter of its 1 billion registered accounts active, Twitter is constantly looking for ways to improve engagement.  That effort has Twitter considering a standalone messaging app to compete with the Snapchats and Lines of the world. Twitter apparently has also been meeting with employees at MessageMe to discuss the possible initiative.

Source: TechCrunch


Notable Commentary

That Gets All The Luck


B2B PPC Landing Page Smackdown

Eric Sloan from Unbounce highlights the good, bad and ugly of twelve B2B pay-per-click landing pages. Do any of your landing pages commit the same cardinal sins?

Analysis by: Eric Sloan, Unbounce

How To Be A Smart PPC Peeping Tom

Just because the competition is doing it doesn’t mean you have to, or even that you should. But there’s always a lot you can learn from your competitors. Cassie Oumedian offers up useful tools for evaluating the competitive landscape as well as recommendations for the best timing for competitive research.

Analysis by: Cassie Oumedian, PPC Hero

Google’s Big Break

A recent article on dives deep into Google’s history and explains how their big break idea came from their biggest rival at the time. It describes Google’s financial troubles prior to paid search and how they evolved the idea into the search behemoth we know today.

 Analysis by: Will Oreums, Slate

High Praise For The Humble Hostname Report

It’s safe to say that most Google Analytics users typically bypass the Hostname Report (located at Audience -> Technology -> Network -> Primary Dimension: Hostname) on their way to some of the juicier dashboards. Anna Lewis at Search Engine Watch defends the Hostname Report and explains why you should be checking it regularly.

 Analysis by: Anna Lewis, Search Engine Watch

You, Too, Can Master Bing Parameters

A step above and beyond run-of-the-mill dynamic keyword insertion, Bing’s Dynamic Text Placeholders (a.k.a, “parameters”) allow advertisers to update thousands of ads in an instant. For example, say you want to change a 10% discount to a 20% discount in 500 ads. If you’ve set up ads with parameters, it’s a piece of cake. Eric Couch shows how Bing parameters can be a powerful tool in the ad writing process.

Analysis by: Eric Couch, PPC Hero

Walmart’s Thick Social Media Skin

If you run social media accounts for a small business, you know how hard it is to keep up with customer feedback. Now imagine you’re Walmart and you get 60,000 social media mentions on the daily. Here’s a fascinating look at how they utilize big data to tackle a gargantuan task.

Analysis by: Josh Sternberg, Digiday

3 SEO Success Factors For 2014

Josh McCoy of Search Engine Watch delves into 3 SEO success factors he feels will be essential to ranking in 2014. He also revisits the factors he identified in 2011, noting how many have changed and how some have remained very relevant.

Analysis by: Josh McCoy, Search Engine Watch

Using YouTube For Link Building

Julie Joyce offers up advice on how you can use  YouTube to improve your link building efforts, both in the quality of links you build and the efficiency with which you find potential targets.

Source: Julie Joyece, Search Engine Land

Big Brands Get All The Luck

There’s been much wringing of webmaster hands since 2009, when Google’s Vince update began anointing big brand websites with special ranking privileges.  Kristine Schachinger dissects the benefits of being a big brand and explains that although it’s impossible for small- to medium-sized businesses to obtain all the advantages of a big brand, they have plenty of reasons to start acting like one.

Analysis by: Kristine Schachinger, Search Engine Watch