Google Makes Search Funnel Data More Accessible,Facebook Lets You Promote Your Friends’ Posts, Google Flu Trends Not So Accurate This Year,& More

Google Makes Search Funnel Data More Accessible,Facebook Lets You Promote Your Friends’ Posts, Google Flu Trends Not So Accurate This Year,& More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Has Cut ‘Not Selected’ From Webmaster Tools Index Reports

Claiming confusion trumped understanding of the metric, Google has removed the “Not Selected” filter from Webmaster Tools Index Status reports. The tool was introduced in July 2012 as a way for webmasters to track their site’s indexation patterns over the past year. However, the “Not Selected” portion, which is determined based off a page being canonicalled, redirected, or was passed over in favor of a similar page with better content, was apparently more trouble than it was worth, according to a spokesman.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Makes Search Funnel Data Easier To Access, Use

Google is better incorporating the Search Funnels section into its AdWords tab offerings at various levels of your Campaigns. This move will ultimately make it easier to craft strategies around keywords that were a part of the conversion funnel, but did not convert on the first visit. Basically, paying your highest scoring player is smart, but the players that contribute assists are an equally important part of your team’s success.

Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog

Marissa Mayer Not Pleased With Microsoft-Yahoo Deal

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer isn’t completely pleased with the way the Yahoo-Microsoft search deal is panning out. While speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Mayer said she wanted to see the companies do more than exchange search market share back and forth. Rather, she’d like to see the two companies work together to collectively grow share and improve monetization.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Flu Trends Inaccurate

Google Flu Trends has become an increasingly powerful tool for gauging the severity of influenza outbreaks since its debut in 2008. Unfortunately, this year it wasn’t quite as accurate. Flu Trends overshot the percent of the U.S. population with flu by almost double what the CDC reported. Flu Trends uses the search volumes of flu related terms to gauge the level of infection around the country. This year’s flu virus was particularly potent and also reared its head earlier than usual. These facts also caused this year’s flu to be heavily covered in the media. Taken together, it’s easier to see why search volumes for flu related terms were misleadingly high.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Bill Gates Thinks Bing Is Better Than Google

In an “Ask Me Anything” conversation on Reddit, Bill Gates argued Bing was the better product when asked if he really used Bing. While he dodged answering whether Bing is his primary search engine or not, he did encourage people to try the “Bing It On” challenge.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google’s $1 Billion In Default Search Payments To Apple

Last year the FTC asked Apple to disclose the terms of Google’s “default” search presence in iOS as part of their antitrust investigation against Google. While none of the information made it out into the public, financial analysts are still trying to piece together the nature of the relationship between Apple and Google. An analyst at Macquarie Capital estimated that Google was making 1.3 billion each year in paid search revenue from iOS devices and further speculated that Google returned 1 billion of that to Apple to make Google the default search engine on the Safari browser. An analyst at Morgan Stanely came up with a similar 1 billion estimate this year. With the FTC not intervening in the Google-Apple relationship, these payments could go on as long as both parties desire.

Source: Search Engine Land

Pay To Promote Your Friend’s Posts On Facebook

I can’t envision a situation where this would be useful, but Facebook now allows you to pay to promote your friend’s posts on the social network. That friend’s permission is not necessary for the promotion, and the only catch is that it will only be promoted to people already authorized to view the post.

Source: Gizmodo

Vince Vaughn And Owen Wilson Crash The Google Internship Program

It was only a matter of time before Google got some big screen exposure. Gizmodo has the debut trailer for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s next movie, which centers on them competing for internships at Google. Only this time, the NERDS are the bullies!

Source: Gizmodo

Notably Commentary

That’s Notably Parched

An Exhaustive Breakdown Of Google’s Variety Packs Of 7 Result SERPs

The Google 7-Pak has been around for a while, but the August 2012 7-Pak of non-local results is new enough to create confusion about when and why Google breaks from its more traditional 10 packs. Dr. Pete breaks down a wide-reaching, smart study about these tendencies within search results for certain keyword groups.

Analysis By: Dr. Pete, SEOmoz

Product Listing Ad Optimization For The Advanced Strategist

Google’s Product Listing Ads have recently switched to a “pay-to-play” model, and thus are still very young in their usefulness, compared to Google’s AdWords network. Matt Lawson has a great column breaking down six advanced strategies that should be considered when building out your PLA campaigns.

Analysis By: Matt Lawson, Search Engine Land

Future-Proofing Links From Google Penalty

Cyrus Shepard conducted last week’s SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday, touching on the always-timely subject of link building and how to tailor your strategies to avoid any chance of getting hit with a Google penalty.

Analysis By: Cyrus Shepard, SEOmoz

Poland Springs Wins This Week’s Brand Creativity Award

Last week it was Oreo during the Super Bowl. This week it’s Poland Springs the morning after Marco Rubio’s rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Analysis By: David Taintor, Talking Points Memo

30 PPC Posts

Ritika Puri offers up 30 great PPC blog posts to check out.

Analysis by: Ritika Puri, Unbounce