Google Places Starts Merging With Google+ Pages, Google Releases Rel=Author Tag FAQs, & More

Google Places Starts Merging With Google+ Pages, Google Releases Rel=Author Tag FAQs, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Places Are Now Google+ Pages For Some Businesses

Google executed a Business Help coup d’etat this week, quietly announcing that some Google Places pages are being automatically upgraded to Google+ pages with more social features and an easier-to-manage interface. Google also said they’ll be sending emails to your account if this occurs, and you can apply for a manual upgrade if you follow their yellow brick road.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Does Google Use Page Speed More Frequently To Rank Mobile Results?

“Nope,” promulgated Matt Cutts.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

More Google +1s = Higher Rankings, So Say Moz Data Scientists

In a study that has created somewhat of a controversy (at least it doesn’t involve a black and white animal), Moz’s Data Science Team determined there is a strong correlation between +1s for a URL and rankings for that URL. So much so, in fact, that it ranks as the second most correlated metric to high rankings, only trailing Page Authority.

Matt Cutts strongly objected on a Hacker News thread, and a handful of commenters under the article followed suit with the “correlation does not equal causation” argument. However, the main crux of this finding is very simple: More shares on Google Plus (which features followed links) lead to more valued links back to your site. Essentially, it’s organic link building on a social network.

Source: Moz

New Time Periods In AdWords Graph

AdWords just got something that Analytics has had for a long time: a drop-down that switches the timeline graph between daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly time periods. Advertisers will definitely benefit from the new capability, as it’s now much easier to spot long-term trends.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Experiments With Results Overlays

The next time you conduct a Google search, hover over a link for a few seconds. If you see a box pop up with more information on that site/page, you’ve got a search overlay! This is most likely to occur with news and “thing”-related searches, but it’s an interesting example of Google’s Knowledge Graph tests.

Source: Search Engine Land

You Can Now Watch Videos And Search At The Same Time On YouTube

YouTube now allows users to search for new videos while still watching the current video they’re streaming.  Basically, the new functionality uses a picture-in-picture interface, with the search results taking up much of the window and the video displayed on the right corner.

Source: SEO Roundtable

Don’t Use Authorship On Product Pages, And Other Things

This week, Google posted a helpful FAQ section to its Google Webmaster Blog, answering questions about whether the following are good ideas: site-wide authorship (no), writing under pseudonyms (no), and whether you should link multiple authors from one post (no).

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Web Traffic Drops When Google’s Services Go Offline

According to several web analytics firms, web traffic fell off by 40% over the five-minute span that Google’s services were completely offline last Friday evening. The Google Apps Dashboard reported that between 5:51 PM and 5:52 PM CST, 50 to 70 percent of requests to Google received errors. The message went on to say that service had mostly come back one minute later and was completely functional after four minutes.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Gets Patent On “Gaze Monitoring” Technology

Google recently received a patent for technology that could monitor a users’ eye movements and emotional reactions in order to deliver more nuanced data on the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. The patents, which were applied for in 2011, display a Google Glass-like headset that tracks eye movement and creates a “gazing log” for users. The headset could also have technology that measures pupil dilation to judge the viewer’s reaction to advertisements. The patent also mentions a way to monetize the technology by establishing a “pay-per-gaze” advertising model. How exactly that would work, given the fact users must be wearing a headset to record gazing data, was not immediately clear.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Releases Auto-Attribution Tool For Analytics

Google Analytics’s multi-channel funnel reports were released two years ago, making it easy for marketers to see how users interact with your site across various mediums before converting. This week, Google unveiled the Attribution Model Comparison Tool for Analytics Premium users.

Basically, the tool uses an algorithm to measure the weighted value of each medium throughout the path to conversion. The most advanced – and coolest – feature is the ability to dive into secondary dimensions, such as display ad impressions. For example, it can measure the difference in effectiveness between sidebar and banner ads.

Source: Search Engine Watch

(Not Provided) Is Killing Keyword Insight Within The Tech Industry

According to a BrightEdge study, 49% of all Google searches return (not provided) keyword data (or lack thereof). That number is higher (56%) for technology-related sites, and lower (46%) for entertainment-related sites. Neither number should be too surprising, given the tech-savvy…um…tech industry.

Source: Search Engine Land

Man Unearths Startling AdWords Violations

Luke Alley of Avalaunch Media recently came across a large number of ads with egregious AdWords policy violations. The ads in question use symbols, numbers and letters incorrectly in an effort to pass themselves off as tech support centers for trademarked brands like Facebook and Gmail. The ads also include phone numbers in their headlines by using Os instead of zeroes – a violation of AdWords policy since call extensions rolled out.

Source: Search Engine Land

Help Wanted At Google Helpouts

Google Helpouts, a yet-to-be-released service that will connect subject matter experts with those seeking assistance via live video, is now looking for people who know things about things. It’s invitation-only at this point, but if you know how to fix a derailleur on an old Schwinn or have a knack for coaching the perfect downward dog, you can fill out an application.

Source: Marketing Land

Google’s Response to ‘GoogleGate’

After an inflammatory voicemail from an AdWords account manager was posted online earlier this week, the paid search community erupted in a barrage of “See, I told you so” complaints. Google rectified the situation promptly by adding the account manager to the ranks of the unemployed, but for many in the industry the case confirms doubts about the primary motivators of some AdWords reps.

Source: Search Engine Land

Apple, Google Could Bid For NFL Sunday Ticket

The NFL’s Sunday Ticket contract with DirecTV expires next year, so naturally they’re just starting to court bidders for the billion dollar all-inclusive service. The most notable candidates so far were Google and Apple, both of which have more than enough money to cut a good deal. At the very least, it validates the concerns of television providers that online video has the power to eat into their revenue streams.

Source: All Things D

There’s A Job Opening At Microsoft That You Should Apply For

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is hanging up the cleats sometime in the next year, citing the shift in company strategy as his primary reason. Update your resume and send it to Microsoft ASAP.

Source: The Verge

More Facebook = Less Happiness

According to a study published by the Public Library of Science, people that use Facebook more are satisfied with their lives less, mostly due to envious feelings towards peers on the social network. Anyone with constantly brooding/complaining Facebook friends probably expects this, but it helps to have science confirm your assumptions.

Source: Economist

Notable Commentary

That Everyone Is Talking About

The Google Update No One Is Talking About

July 19th likely doesn’t ring a bell for SEOs well-versed in the changeling nature of Google’s algorithm, but it should. That morning, Google’s Knowledge Graph was completely assimilated into numerous search results, at a clip of 50.4% more visibility. Pete Meyers dives into the numbers to find the winners, losers, and potential clues to how Google’s algorithm has advanced in recognizing entities from typically broad terms.

Analysis By: Pete Meyers, Moz

Understanding And Executing Link Disavows And Penalty Clean-Ups

Still confused about disavowing links? Jenny Halasz explains the ins and outs to the SEO process most similar to being the sawdust man at a carnival.

Analysis By: Jenny Halasz, Search Engine Land

Track These Three Events In Analytics, Pronto

PPC Hero has three essential Events you should be tracking in Google Analytics. This applies to SEO people as well.

Analysis By: Carrie Albright, PPC Hero

50 More Necessary Link Building Knowledge Pieces To Feed Your Strategy

A lot has changed in the link building work since Julie Joyce last wrote a “50 things you must know as a link builder” article. Well, she’s got 50 more things you should know in the wake of Google’s Rudi Giuliani-like crackdowns on link spam.

Analysis By: Julie Joyce, Search Engine Land

Access To The Internet Does Not Mean It Is Used

The New York Times has a very interesting look at Internet use in the United States. Namely, while 98% of the country has access, many either don’t use it by choice or don’t understand computers enough to feel comfortable using it.

Analysis By: Edward Wyatt, New York Times

Legit, But Sneaky Ways To Improve Quality Score…

When it comes to paid search account optimization, best practice deems that Quality Score is a key lever and Click-Through Rate is at its core. Elisa Gabbert at WordStream provides three (mostly) simple hacks for boosting CTRs and hence quality score.

Analysis By: Elisa Gabbert, WordStream

…And Why Quality Score Isn’t All That

While Quality Score and Click-Through Rate do matter when optimizing an AdWords account for more clicks and less spend, Theresa Baiocco argues that it’s essential not to let the tail wag the dog. In an informative article that provides great advice for any business, she argues that profit by impression and profit by click should be an SEM’s guiding lights.

Analysis By: Theresa Baiocco, Unbounce

Opening The Search Engine Marketing Toolbox

Every SEM has their favorite competitive, keyword, and whatever analysis tools. Matt Van Wagner was nice enough to talk about his toolbox in this Search Engine Land column.

Analysis By: Matt Van Wagner, Search Engine Land

Here’s A Fun Enhanced Campaigns Bid Modification Trick

Turn a negative into a positive (and vice versa) with this interesting Enhanced Campaigns Bid Modification trick. It’s a pretty short article, but that should make it easier to implement.

Analysis By: Todd Mintz, PPC Associates

15 Reasons To Use Browser & OS Reports In Google Analytics

The Browser & OS reporting section in Google Analytics is one of the most underutilized Google Analytics features, in part because its value pales in comparison to many other traffic segmentations. However, Anna Lewis has 15 terse reasons why this area of Google Analytics deserves more attention.

Analysis By: Anna Lewis, Search Engine Watch

Five Star Wars Technologies People Use Today

SPOILER ALERT: Lightsabers are not on this list. But speeder bikes are.

Analysis By: Aaron Short, Josh Hrala, Cracked