Google Unveils Universal Analytics, Spamhaus Victimized By Massive Cyberattack, Facebook Reveals Graph Search Keyword Data, & More

Google Unveils Universal Analytics, Spamhaus Victimized By Massive Cyberattack, Facebook Reveals Graph Search Keyword Data, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Makes Universal Analytics Available For All Users

For a long time, Google Analytics was limited in what it could tell webmasters about comprehensive user behavior, including cross-device usage, mobile app engagement, and how offline interactions impact online conversions. That’s where Universal Analytics comes in.

After a short, limited beta phase, Google is now making its Universal Analytics program available to all accounts. Integration, for now, requires users to add a new property and tracking code to your account.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Facebook Passes On Keyword Data From Graph Search

Facebook has begun passing on keyword data to webmasters from its Graph Search feature.  Analytics providers like Google don’t view Facebook as a search engine, so the keyword data is attached to the end of the referring URL and must be gathered as referring traffic, not as search engine traffic.

Source: Search Engine Land

 Google Introduces Mobile Spending Calculator

Mobile paid search is in its infancy, and its youth makes it hard to properly gauge the success a mobile campaign. This week, Google rolled out a calculator to help AdWords users better understanding their CPC and CPA performances on mobile devices. The calculator also assigns a value to clicks and the overall campaign, and helps determine if the ROI is in the red or black.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Cyberattack On Spamhaus Slows Internet Traffic Worldwide, Europe In Particular

A recent cyberattack against anti-spam company Spamhaus, has slowed global Internet traffic, particularly in Europe.  Some are calling it the largest cyberattack in history. Spamhaus flags websites it considers to be spam and then sells that data to ISPs who block the blacklisted sites. The company is responsible for blocking 80% of global email spam, according to some experts.

The site found itself on the receiving end of a massive DDos attack after adding Cyberbunker, an online hosting service, to its naughty list, claiming the site is a haven for spammers.  Cyberbunker disagreed with the characterization and hackers came to their defense, launching the attack.  This particular attack is noteworthy not only for its scale (300 gigabits per second) but also in the way it’s been executed. Hackers are using a known issue in the Domain Name System to hit Spamhaus with traffic from across the globe.

Source: Mashable

 Google Analytics Adds Real Time Event Tracking, Two New Reports

Google recently implemented a couple good changes to its Analytics interface. Namely, Real Time segmentation can now be parsed out by Events. Google also updated, and brought to the forefront, the social data hub and trackbacks report. Although these two reports aren’t new, they’ve been expanded and are now easier to access from within Analytics.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Source: Search Engine Journal

Google Lets Publishers Decline Inclusion In Vertical Search Funnels

Thanks to an anti-trust lawsuit featuring Google and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, websites can now opt out of multiple Google services, including local search, Shopping, Flights, Hotels, and more. The feature can be accessed within Google Webmaster Central, and is an all-or-nothing proposition.

Funny enough, pretty much all of these services are pay-to-play, and the main complaint against Google involved the search engine’s failure to offer users opt-outs by specific program, which is still not available.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Doesn’t Want Sponsored Posts In Google News

Google recently sent out a reminder to news outlets that advertorials/sponsored posts should not be classified to get indexed in Google News archives. This is understandable, as sites like the Washington Post’s have a lot of authority, and could easily get a sponsored post sitting in the top spot for a given search.

Further investigation uncovered Google’s motive for the message. Apparently the search engine began noticing an increasing trend of affiliate linking within news stories. Obviously this puts Google’s trust in that source on ice, since it’s not entirely objective.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google ‘Bings’ Up Their Tablet Search Results Color Scheme

If you have an iPad and noticed Google’s URLs have a certain shade of orange, you’d be correct. Google is reportedly testing this different color scheme, along with lighter blue links, and new search tools. It’s not likely all three, if any, will stick around permanently, but a change in listing colors is big enough to warrant some interest.

Source: Search Engine Land

LinkedIn Improves Search Functionality

LinkedIn has updated its search engine for the betterment of users and businesses alike. There’s now a drop down menu next to the search bar to allow users to parse their search by jobs, people, updates, companies, inbox, and groups. Suggested search, better search tracking, and advanced search by company, job title, school, etc. are a few of the other bigger changes.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Blocked Sites Are Officially Dead And Buried

With the exception of a Chrome extension that is probably too complicated for the average person to use, Google has officially declared its Blocked Sites feature dead, after a year and a half of MIA status, thanks to SPYWorld.

Originally, Google used the feature as a data collection tool, helping its Panda algorithm weed out low quality websites.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Olive Garden Markets Restaurant Through Fake ‘Goodwill’ Receipt

This week, Reddit was fluttering with positive vibes (for a change) after an Olive Garden customer posted a receipt showing a sympathetic manager comping their meal because of the family’s recent hardships. There was only one problem: It was a hoax.

A marketer debunked the receipt by pointing out the flaws in its design, as well as the fact that he had been a part of this type of marketing campaign before. This definitely walks the line between brilliantly creative and incredibly insensitive.

Source: Mashable

Man Files For IPO, Should Probably Not Have Done That

Selling shares of future individual earnings is not exactly a new idea, but committing 100% to shareholder decisions over future ventures is a different story. Entrepreneur Mike Merrill has followed the latter path, and it’s led to a jumble of issues with stockholders and his own personal interests. Wired tells the story of his trials and tribulations.

Analysis By: Joshua Davis, Wired

Notable Commentary

Guaranteed Not To Bust Your Bracket

A Common AdWords Misperception About Average Position

AdWords campaign managers have mislead themselves into believing the average position metric is a mode average, when in reality it’s a mean average of some ad ranking positions. Alistair Dent has a worthwhile post on Search Engine Watch that dives into the differences between these metrics, and offers some actionable points to help improve your statistical comprehension.

Analysis By: Alistair Dent, Search Engine Watch

Building A Comprehensive SEO And PPC Strategy For Local Businesses

Mobile search results, the 7-Pak, and location-influenced rankings have become staples of Google’s search results for all kinds of brick and mortar-based industries. It’s no surprised local businesses have invested heavily in SEO, but Chris Silver Smith argues that PPC can be an underrated supplement for their organic efforts.

Analysis By: Chris Silver Smith, Search Engine Land

Developing A Sustainable Link Building Plan

Julie Joyce at Search Engine Land offers advice on creating a sustainable link building plan that’s not overly ambitious, dangerous and will work for the long haul.

Analysis by: Julie Joyce, Search Engine Land

 The Skinny On Google Shopping Ads

In October of last year, Google’s Product Listing Ads became Google Shopping, turning Google Shopping listings into a purely PPC affair. Mona Elesseily at Search Engine Land takes a step back and offers up her observations on Google Shopping so far.

Analysis by: Mona Elesseily, Search Engine Land