Google Unveils Manual Spam Actions Viewer, Facebook Makes Some Changes To News Feed, & More

Google Unveils Manual Spam Actions Viewer, Facebook Makes Some Changes To News Feed, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

New AdWords Conversion Metrics

Google has sneaked 5 new conversion metrics into the AdWords interface, allowing advertisers to take new viewpoints on their data. The new metrics slice and dice Conversion Value in several different ways, which should be valuable to e-commerce retailers. Have at it, data hounds.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Google Releases Manual Spam Actions Viewer

Google announced a new feature that aims to clarify when sites have been hit with a manual webspam action. Aptly named the Manual Actions viewer, the feature, located under the “Search Traffic” tab in Webmaster Tools, allows webmasters to check the status of their site at any point rather than waiting for Google to send them an email notification.

The Manual Actions viewer will show actions under two headings: site-wide matches and partial matches. It will also notify webmasters of the action’s cause, whether it be keyword stuffing, pure spam, thin content, etc. A “Request a Review” button will appear when a manual action is present.

Source: Search Engine Land

AdWords Campaigns For Video Changes

Google has simplified AdWords campaigns for video, claiming they have removed clutter and will allow people to just focus on the video, the accompanying text, the budget and the audience.

Source: AdWords Blog

Mixed Messages On Disavowing Links

While many don’t have complete and total faith in what Matt Cutts has to say about SEO best practices, he did have a few words to say this week on bad links and how you should approach them. Cutts reiterated that best practice is to contact site owners linking to you and ask them to remove those links before proceeding with disavowal. However, he added ambiguously that if there are sites you “don’t want anything to do with” you can just disavow those links, even at the domain level. Thanks, Matt!

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook News Feed Now Features ‘Story Bumping,’ ‘Last Actor’

Facebook has announced a couple updates to its News Feed algorithm. The “Story Bumping” feature improves rankings for old stories that may be new for a specific user, and the “Last Actor” feature utilizes 50 individual interactions to rank your personal feed. The company also promised more transparency with users, but we’ll believe it when we see it.

Source: Marketing Land

Google Maps App Now Offers Ads

Located at the bottom of the map, Google is now featuring local ads within its Google Maps app. The ads display across all devices, and a click-through gives users access to more detailed information about the business in question.

Source: Official Google AdWords Blog

Compared to Q2 2012, LinkedIn Is Raking In Cash

LinkedIn’s finances are looking 59% greener right now. Their recent earning report indicates the business-focused social network scoured $363.7 million over the last three months, with Talent Solutions accounting for 56%, Marketing Solutions garnering 24%, and Premium Subscriptions totaling 20% of the site’s revenue for the quarter.

LinkedIn’s CEO points to increased membership and engagement as the main driver of the site’s good fortunes. Then again, it’s hard to argue that isn’t always the case for social marketing revenue.

Source: Marketing Land

Facebook Rolls Out Graph Search To All U.S. English Language Users

While it has been months in the making, Facebook’s Graph Search was finally rolled out to all English-language users in the United States this week. It’s been a long time coming, considering the project was first announced in January. The many updates that have occurred since that announcement include efforts to improve the relevancy of results and a new user interface.

Source: Search Engine Land

Twitter And Television Go Hand In Hand

According to a recent Nielsen study, Twitter activity and television viewing impact each other. That is to say, TV ratings are as much driven by Twitter activity as Twitter activity is driven by TV ratings. The top genres to benefit were (expectedly) competitive reality, comedy and sports.

Source: Marketing Land

In-Depth Topic Research On Google Just Got A Lot Easier

Google is now displaying in-depth articles for queries it deems to have traits consistent with the desire for long-form, complex information. The results are separated with a large thumbnail image, title, snippets, sourcing and source logo.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Wants Your Mobile Site Speed To Move Faster Than A Black Flag Song

It probably took you two seconds to read this entire sentence. Not fast enough for a mobile website, according to Google. The search engine’s new mobile site guidelines highlight one second as the preferred above-the-fold loading time on mobile sites. In conjunction, Google updated its PageSpeed Insights Tool to offer mobile scoring and successions above their desktop counterparts.

Source: Search Engine Land

Here Are All Of Google’s Manual Spam Action Messages

Now that Google Webmaster Tools has released the Manual Spam Action viewer, Andrew Shotland breaks down every possible message you could receive.

Source: Local SEO Guide

Notable Commentary

Generating More Buzz Than The Sharknado Sequel

What Matters For Local Search In 2013

Moz’s David Mihm has compiled the results of their 2013 survey of local-focused SEOs, producing what amounts to a definitive guide for businesses that are new to the local SEO game, as well as for those that already have a built a foundation of relevance for local search. There’s also a helpful prioritized list of negative factors that spells out areas to watch closely.

Analysis By: David Mihm, Moz

Google’s Ever-Expanding Encyclopedia Of Everything

In an iteration of his mind-blowing presentation at MozCon this year, Dr. Pete dives headlong into the vast pool of information types that Google is delivering via its Knowledge Graph box. Stretch out your scroll finger before you click through, as there seem to be a gazillion different kinds of answer boxes. As the good doctor points out, times they are a-changin’.

Analysis By: Dr. Peter J. Meyers, Moz

New Report Roundup for AdWords

In Search Engine Land, Frederick Vallaeys reports on four new reports (see what we did there?) that will help you optimize AdWords. They include keyword level impression share, a top movers report with suggested possible causes for unusual changes, a filter to look only at keyword bids below the first page, and date range comparisons.

Analysis By: Frederick Vallaeys, Search Engine Land

Visitor Engagement and Conversions

John Paul Mains writes about how to analyze visitor engagement in order to optimize websites for conversions. He argues that you will be unable to effectively test the effect of elements of a website on conversions without first understanding how to model engagement.  He talks about tracking visitor flow, time on page, and entry and exit pages in Google Analytics, analyzing the performance of forms at the field level, and tools that help track mouse movements and produce heat maps.

Analysis By: John Paul Mains, Marketing Land

How to Get On Google In-Depth Snippets

Barry Schwartz writes in Search Engine Roundtable about Google’s roll-out of in-depth search snippets for queries that have an intent to gain a deep understanding of a topic. He provides pointers on how to get your article included. The answers are – surprise! – schema data, authorship, and well-researched and written content. Also use rel=prev and rel=next for article pages, and don’t screw up your canonicals.

Analysis By: Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable

AdWords Geo-Targeting: Have We All Been Doing It Wrong?

Recent case studies are showing that significant account efficiencies are lost when you single out locations to target in AdWords. We call this opt-in targeting; say we want to target L.A., Chicago and New York so we add those locations as targets to a campaign. This study claims that the best thing to do would be to location target broadly (like whole U.S.) and EXCLUDE locations we DON’T want ads to show in (everywhere except L.A., Chi-town and NYC), rather than INCLUDING the locations we DO want ads to show in. Could be a big deal.

Analysis By: Ginny Marvin, Search Engine Land

Assessing The Impact Of Google’s Quality Score Change

Kokhi Yamaguchi at Search Engine Land digs into the impact of Google’s Quality Score change. Yamaguchi analyzes the pre/post change in Quality Score distribution for over 100 different advertisers, looking specifically at the percentage change in relative impression volume.

Analysis By: Kokhi Yamaguchi, Search Engine Land

How CAPTCHA Forms Can Impact Conversions

CAPTCHAs can often be a double-edged sword: they keep away spammers, but they can also kill conversion rates. Tim Allen has a great blog post that breaks down the worst conversion rate violations committed by CAPTCHA forms, and suggests alternatives.

Analysis By: Tim Allen, Moz

Training A Link Building Rookie

Link building isn’t getting any easier, so Julie Joyce has a great how-to article on ways to develop link building skills where there previously were none.

Analysis By: Julie Joyce, Search Engine Watch

An Open Letter To Jeff Bezos From An Ex-WaPoster

In the wake of Amazon founder Jeff Bezo’s $250 million purchase of the Washington Post, Kara Swisher discusses her start at the paper and gives some advice for how to utilize Bezo’s seemingly unlimited resources to keep the Post relevant.

Analysis By: Kara Swisher, All Things D