Industry Update for February 26, 2016

Industry Update for February 26, 2016

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled by the Rocket Clicks Team

Top Stories

AMP Goes Live in Google SERPs

Earlier this week, Google finally took its much anticipated Accelerated Mobile Pages feature live. While the feature will take some time to finish rolling out to all countries, those that have seen AMP stories in the search results are reporting that they’re seeing AMP links and only AMP links showing up in the mobile news carousel. Source: The SEM Post

Update on Removing Side Rail Ads on Google SERPs

Following the breaking news of the removal of the sidebar ads on the search engine results page and relatively little follow-up from Google, more details have recently arisen on this hot topic. Google’s definition of “high commercial queries” has been identified as searches where users have a high intention to buy. Also with this change, ad spaces officially reduced from 11 to 7 with Google seemingly trying to make the results page more in line with what you would see on a mobile device. Source: The SEM Post

Study Shows Outbound Links Can Improve Ranking in Google

A study recently conducted by Reboot Online suggests that outbound links are a ranking factor even though Google has denied it in the past. The authors of the study conclude that “although we don’t know and have not proved how powerful outgoing links are . . . we have proved they do have a positive impact if used correctly.” Source: Reboot

Users Reporting Ads Appearing at Bottom of Results Page

As if the removal of the sidebar ads wasn’t bad enough, some advertisers have recently been seeing their paid search ads appear only below the organic results. It is believed that this change isn’t a test, but how select queries are displaying AdWords ads. Experts can’t find a pattern that may be causing this and are concerned about how this may affect Quality Score and click-through-rate. Although PLA’s are still on the sidebar, this could be an amazing change for SEO with the top organic result truly at the top of the page. Source: The SEM Post

Local Knowledge Graph Box Now Allowing “Send to Your Phone” Feature

A while back, Google gave Maps users the ability to send information from their desktop to mobile device. Now they’re making this “send to your phone” feature available via the Local Knowledge Graph in the search results. Clicking on “send to your phone” will send a push notification to the user’s mobile device which will give them the ability to get directions to that location. Source: Search Engine Land

Additional Commentary

Why You Shouldn’t Overreact to the Loss of Sidebar Ads

Columnist Kevin Ryan shares his reasons why you need to stay calm and carry on with your PPC campaigns even with the right sidebar ads leaving us. Ryan urges advertisers to embrace the change and take advantage of third-party reviews as well as sitelinks. Also, you can think of this change as an opportunity for a more efficient ad experience. With less clutter on the results page, your ads will gain additional spotlight that will allow you to better connect with and target your top audiences. Analysis: Search Engine Land

How Google is Inventing a “Near Me Future”

In this peek into the future of local search marketing, Adam Dorfman stresses that now is the time for businesses to zero in on their local strategy. He cites the recent push by Google to improve the local search user experience as the reason for his recommendation. According to Dorfman, things like Mobilegeddon and the Google My Business API clearly indicate how much of an emphasis Google has begun placing on local search. Analysis: Adam Dorfman, Search Engine Land