Industry Update for July 29, 2015

Industry Update for July 29, 2015

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled by the Rocket Clicks Team

Top Stories

Google to Shutdown Access to Its Autocomplete API

Starting August 10th of this year, unauthorized users will no longer have access to Google’s autocomplete API. Google stated that they are restricting access to the API “in the interest of maintaining the integrity of autocomplete as part of Search” and that they “want to ensure that users experience autocomplete as it was designed to be used.” Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Launches Search Ads on Google Play Store

Google has recently added the ability for advertisers to place search ads on the Google Play store. Testing for this addition began in February and is now available to all AdWords advertisers using Search App Install campaigns. Ads are triggered by keyword searches and will appear to drive app installs. Along with this, Google will also be making it easier to make changes to Universal App Campaigns, allowing for advertisers to promote their apps easier. Source: The SEM Post

Google’s Panda Update Beginning to Make Its Presence Felt

Two weekends ago, Google began rolling out the Panda update that many have been anticipating for months. While some may think it’s too early to tell if Panda has begun rolling out, some companies like Hallmark have noticed a significant change in how they rank for certain keywords. Source: Search Engine Watch

Ratings Only Ads Being Tested by Yahoo

A new method of displaying search ads is being tested by Yahoo, where ads are appearing with only a rating along with the website name under a “Top Rated Sponsors” header. These ads are only appearing in the right sidebar of the page and when you click, you are taken to the website’s landing page, just like any other ad. Although it’s noted that these ads are only appearing when they also have another ad appearing on the page. Source: The SEM Post

Google Experimenting with Knowledge Vault Feature

Recently, there has been evidence that Google is testing an update to its Knowledge Vault feature. When a searcher asks Google a question, this feature offers a drop-down list of suggestions based on what “people also ask. As of right now, though, the Knowledge Vault is seeing some of the same inconsistency issues that have been seen in Featured Snippets. Source”: Search Engine Watch

“Price Drop” Tag Accompanying PLAs

A new type of notation has appeared recently along with specific PLAs, allowing for retailers to note a percentage price drop on select products. These new tests are appearing in PLAs both above the search results as well as the right sidebar of the search results page. This is an addition to several other PLA tests that have been run throughout the last few months. Source: The SEM Post

Webmasters Notified by Google that Blocking CSS & JavaScript May Affect Ranking Negatively

Earlier this week, Google began sending notifications via Search Console to warn webmasters that appear to be blocking their CSS and JavaScript assets. The message explains that Google bot can’t fully understand the website in question if certain important information is blocked. Ultimately, websites that don’t handle this issue may end up dropping in search rankings. Source: Search Engine Land

Quality Score Reporting Update for AdWords

Announced Monday, Google will be changing the way quality scores are reported in AdWords, but the change only affects the visible numbers rather than quality score calculation. With this update, keywords will start with a default reported quality score of 6 and will update when keywords have accumulated enough impressions over a day or so. Google states that this will allow for them to improve reporting accuracy for keywords with traffic. Source: Search Engine Land

Additional Commentary

Local Businesses Are Better Off Focusing on Content & Local Optimization

In a recent study, Myles Anderson, CEO of BrightLocal, tested the page one presence of local businesses (both in local packs and actual website results) compared to “large websites” like Wikipedia, YouTube, and TripAdvisor. Anderson performed this test on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and used generic, service-related, and long-tail keywords. What he found was that local businesses struggled to gain much “real estate” on the first page of the results when generic and service-related terms were searched. However, Anderson did notice an improvement in page real estate for local businesses when long-tail searches were performed. After analyzing his findings, Anderson concludes that local businesses should focus on getting into the local pack through local optimization and write content to cater to long-tail keyword searches. Analysis: Myles Anderson, Search Engine Land

Similarities of PPC Accounts and Toddlers

Amanda West-Bookwalter gives us 5 examples of how PPC accounts are similar to toddlers. She notes that you can’t leave them alone for too long, how they may not be as productive at times, the stress of leaving them with someone else, wanting to constantly talk about them, and how they can occasionally defy all sense and logic. She gives us these 5 cautionary examples of PPC accounts and recommends testing, testing, and more testing to avoid them. Analysis: Amanda West-Bookwalter, PPC Hero