Google Experimenting With Product Images In Organic Listings, Bing Adds New Entities To Snapshot Results, & More

Google Experimenting With Product Images In Organic Listings, Bing Adds New Entities To Snapshot Results, & More

This Week’s Industry News
Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff


Google May Be Testing Product Images In Organic Listings

Google may be including product images within free search result listings in the near future. A recent Moz thread noticed a company that sells ski equipment was showing a product image along with snippet data of pricing and stock. Google has not yet confirmed the test and Search Engine Land has been unable to reproduce the same result.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Releases New Ad Format

AdBirds, a new ad format, was released on April 1st this week. The new format offers ad placements on actual birds that vary in when and where they can carry your message.  Although it was clever idea, it was in fact an April Fools Day prank played on advertisers.

Source: Search Engine Journal

More Accurate Index Status Data Available In Webmaster Tools

A new Google Webmaster Tools feature called “index status” can track a website’s indexed URLs for each protocol and verified subdirectories. The feature makes monitoring different sections of your site easier via Webmaster Tools. It doesn’t change the way URLs are indexed; it only affects the reporting data.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Bing Adds 150 Million Entities To Snapshot Results

In an effort to grow Bing’s knowledge engine they have added 150 million entities including doctors, lawyers, dentists, and real estate properties. The snapshot results also let you play audio and music within the SERP.

Source: Search Engine Land 

Paid Search Spend Rises In Q1, Mobile Shows Signs Of Maturing

According to IgnitionOne’s latest report, search advertising spend rose 8% when compared both quarter over quarter and year over year.  Although all impression metrics were down, there were increases in spend of more than 8% in certain verticals such as travel, automotive and retail. They also report mobile traffic is still increasing but is starting to stabilize. IgnitionOne believes improvements in Yahoo!/Bing’s mobile advertising are contributing the most to this.

Source: Search Engine Land

Cutts Explains Differentiating Multiple Related Domains

With unnatural linking penalties on the rise, Matt Cutts explains how to distinguish related sites for Google without receiving a penalty. Cutts says that an hreflang tag is the best way to do it and that having a good sitemap will also help. This technique is especially helpful for country-specific websites.

Source: Search Engine Watch

PLA Campaigns Switching To Shopping Campaigns

Google introduced Shopping campaigns to all advertisers running Product Listing Ads earlier this year. Now they are announcing a plan to convert legacy Product Listing Ad campaigns to Shopping Campaigns. New features for Shopping Campaigns have also been released including the addition of multiple ad groups and a bid simulator. You have 5 months to make the transition!

Source: Search Engine Land

New Survey Reveals The Power Of Search For Mobile Product Research

A survey of 1,300 US smartphone owners revealed powerful stats for consumer mobile shopping research. The survey reveals that 73% say search engines are the way they research products when shopping. When asked what influences their purchase decisions, 50% said search results and 42% said ratings and reviews.

Source: Search Engine Land

Bing Testing Ways To Display “Alternative” Search Engines In Results

In Europe Google has already started displaying competitive search engines due to the EU antitrust settlement. It now appears Bing is testing ways to display similar information on their SERPs. Their alternative search engines appear to be shown between the second and third organic result.

Source: Search Engine Land

Baidu Wins US Lawsuit

Baidu, Inc., a Chinese Internet company, won a recent US lawsuit brought on by pro-democracy activists who accused Baidu of creating search algorithms that prevented users in the United States from viewing articles and information advocating democracy in China. A US District judge concluded Baidu’s search constituted free speech under US laws.

Source: Reuters


Notable Commentary

Sure To Make Our Final Four


The Worst of PPC

Miranda Miller from Search Engine Journal brings the reality of really bad PPC ads to life. She discusses several examples of horrific ads and the bad practices that make them so bad. These bad ad practices include incorrect use of dynamic keyword insertion, bad grammar, and even telling your customers not to click!

Analysis by: Miranda Miller, Search Engine Journal

Facebook And Google Racing For The Next 5 Billion

There is a reason behind Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp for $19 billion and Google’s “Project Loon” that sets out to bring Internet connectivity to the masses: they recognize a business opportunity. An estimated 5 billion citizens of the world will be coming online within the next few years, mostly via mobile devices. Alicia Levine of analyzes why the race is important for them and other tech companies.

Analysis by: Alicia Levine, Medium

Diversify Your Marketing Plan Before Google Penalizes You

Most websites would be crushed if they lost traffic from Google due to a penalty or an algorithmic update that hurt their rankings. Julie Joyce of Search Engine Land says all businesses need a diversified online marketing plan to combat the traffic loss before it happens. Her tips include building traffic on other sites, offline marketing, and traffic-happy links.

Analysis by: Julie Joyce, Search Engine Land

3 Forgotten Opportunities For Testing Ad Copy

Always be testing – ad copy, that is. Igor Belogolovsky from Search Engine Journal helps you remember 3 ways to test ad copy that you may have forgotten. He describes how and when to test things like dynamic keyword insertion, punctuation, and more.

Analysis by: Igor Belogolovsky, Search Engine Journal

Cutts Explains Three Steps To Evaluating New Algorithms

Google’s Matt Cutts recently answered a question about the metrics used by Google to evaluate ranking algorithms, breaking down the three steps to Google’s evaluation process. The first step is an offline test that compares ranks to quality URLs. Then they will do a live test with a small sample group. Lastly, the Google Search Quality Launch Committee has the final say if it will go public.

Analysis by: Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land