Google’s Giant Banner Ads Are No More, Twitter Experiments With Click-to-Call Ads, & More

Google’s Giant Banner Ads Are No More, Twitter Experiments With Click-to-Call Ads, & More

This Week’s Industry New’s

Compiled By Rocket Click’s Staff

Giant Banner Ad Test Dead

Last year, Google started experimenting with large banner ads at the top of branded search results. These tests have officially been put to rest. It is presumed that the CTR on the graphic banner ads weren’t high enough to keep them around.
Source: Search Engine Land

Google Introduces Consumer Ratings

A new format for search ads that provides detailed consumer opinion data will be rolling out in the next few days. These consumer rating annotations will be able to highlight one or more highly rated aspects of your business as part of your ad. Beta testing of this feature has shown increases in click through rates of 10% on average. Data for these annotations come from the Google Consumer Surveys platform.

Source: AdWords Blog

Twitter’s Experimental “Click-to-Call” Ads

Among the myriad of new ad offerings Twitter has released since its IPO is a new test that will focus on increasing the Direct Response capabilities that it can offer. This test will be a “click-to-call” ad that will display a large call button alongside the ad. Similar to Google’s click to call feature, the user will then be able to quickly call the advertiser with one click. Used in combination with some of the other targeting options Twitter offers, this could be an attractive option for a variety of advertisers.

Source: Marketing Land

Price of Amazon Prime to Increase

The price of Amazon Prime membership will increase by $20 in 2015. Amazon cites the services expanded offerings as the reason for the change.

Source: The Verge

Sites Heavy On The Spam May Never Recover

Matt Cutts has said that sites who have been spamming for a long time may find it difficult to get back into Google’s search results. In some extreme cases they may never make it back into the search results. Cutts even noted that a spammy website can hurt sites under a different domain that use the same address or company info.

Source: Search Engine Watch

“Not Provided” Keywords Being Reviewed By Google

Potentially good news could be coming for publishers as Google has said they are reexamining the issue in hopes of finding a better solution. Amit Singhal, Google’s search chief, has said that an announcement could be made in coming weeks or months when the right solution is found.

Source: Search Engine Land

Yahoo Goes Live With Yelp Integration

Yahoo officially announced what many had already speculated, a partnership with Yelp for local reviews. The new feature shows star ratings, business information, and photos. This is just one more move by Yahoo to become relevant in the search game once again.

Source: Search Engine Land

New Google Look Is Just An Experiment

Google’s latest design change includes increased font sizes, more white space, less underlining, and ads that blend in more with the search results. Amit Singhal, head of search at Google, announced that the new design is just a test and changes may still be coming.

Source: Search Engine Land

Yahoo Introduces Indoor Maps

As Yahoo continues to improve its mapping product, they have begun introducing indoor maps, courtesy of Nokia’s Here division. Indoor maps would benefit mobile users when navigating large areas like malls, college campuses, and airports.

Source: Search Engine Land

Notable Commentary

Too Sensible To Be Considered “March Madness”

A Guide To SEO Before Google

Nicholla Stott remembers what things used to be like before Google was what it is today. As part of his staff’s training, he compiled a list of articles that highlight the origins of information retrieval. Although some elements are dated, the articles still form a foundation for understanding search.

Analysis by: Nicholla Scott, State of Digital

90s Style HTML Coding Will Play Huge Role For SEO In 2014

Chris Liversidge believes that what was popular in the 90s for HTML coding will make a huge comeback this year via SEO strategies. His believes websites should put a sprite into their strategies because it will drive up your traffic and improve your conversion rates via mobile.

Analysis by: Chris Liversidge, Search Engine Land

Chasing the Big Data Rainbow?

Benjamin Spiegel from Marketing Land asks advertisers if they are spending too much time seeking out more data sources. He lists and describes five ways you can look at data you already have in new ways to find more value in them.

Analysis: Benjamin Spiegel, Marketing Land

Does More Targeting Work Better Online?

Natan Safran from Search Engine Land comments on a study recently published from Forrester Research about who can build the database of affinity. He discusses tough questions on the matter such as “Is more targeting always better?”,  and “Are all players (Google, Facebook, Twitter) equally able to leverage affinity information?”, among others.

Analysis: Nathan Safran, Search Engine Land

4 Reason Quality Score Really Matters

In October, Alistair Dent wrote a post claiming you shouldn’t pay much attention to quality score. Larry Kim of Search Engine Watch disagrees. Kim argues your focus should remain squarely on improving quality score and gives four reasons why.

Analysis: Larry Kim, Search Engine Watch