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Industry Update for October 7, 2016

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled by the Rocket Clicks Team

Top Stories

Bye-bye Ten Blue Links?

Searchmetrics recently released a new study covering the changes in Google’s search results interface in 2016. The biggest finding in the study? The number of organic listings on page one is decreasing. Since the dawn of Google, we’ve expected to see ten blue organic links in the results. Now, however, Searchmetrics has calculated that Google is showing an average of 8.5 organic links per search query. Source: Search Engine Land

Google Once Again Testing Yellow Ads Icon

Industry experts have recently noticed that Google is once again testing a yellow “Ads” text next to all AdWords ads. The tag is identical to what it looked like prior to them switching to the now green ads tag. Although the testing is currently limited, we may soon see Google transitioning back to the classic yellow. Source: The SEM Post

Google Experimenting with Advanced GMB Verification Process to Unclog Local Pack

Earlier this week, Google announced it would be implementing an advanced GMB verification process for the much-maligned plumbing and locksmith industries. This new process is being rolled out as a test in the San Diego market and will take into account things like the business owner’s social security number and professional license validity. Source: Mike Blumenthal

Text to Business Button in Ads Tested by Google

Google has recently been testing a new click-to-text button for AdWords ads on mobile devices. This option will allow users to text a business rather than call. Experts believe it may be an effective option for mobile devices since businesses will not be able to take phone calls in off hours. This test was seen previously, although it seems to be expanding to more businesses in recent days. Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Branded Local Searches Turning Up Related Category Carousels

SEOs across the land have noticed that Google is apparently testing a massive set of carousel results for local brand queries. For example, a search for “Best Buy [city]” might return a set of carousels that cover other electronics stores, computer stores, or general nearby shopping. Based on the results some have seen, it looks like this feature is a long way from becoming a staple. Source: Local SEO Guide

Additional Commentary

Behind the Technology of Snapchat’s Advertising API

Snapchat has recently fired up its ads API which author Garett Sloane has provided us with an inside look at this platform. Sloane reveals that, for targeting, Snapchat will allow email matching allowing advertisers to use their own customer lists. Snapchat has also enabled their own form of ad testing, called A/B testing, so brands can split test different creative concepts. Snapchat will also be providing “performance visualization” in the form of web-based dashboards so advertisers can view their ad’s statistics. Source: Garett Sloane, Ad Age

Developers: If You Aren’t Thinking SEO, Quit!

In this blog post for SEMrush, developer-turned-SEO Philip Kushmaro takes a stand for SEO and explains why developers aren’t doing their job if they’re ignoring SEO. He even goes as far as saying “if I had a time machine and I could go back, I would slap myself across the face and try to understand what SEO was and how it relates to development.” Among the elements of SEO that developers tend to get wrong, Kushmaro mentions CSS/mobile design, redirects, URL structure, and site-wide security. Source: Philip Kushmaro, SEMrush Blog


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