The Fresh Egg blog
Latest digital marketing news
This week’s round up of digital marketing news sees a succession of service updates big and small. AdWords and Analytics can now be linked with minimal fuss, AdWords has a handy new ‘top movers’ report, the tilde (~) search operator has been axed from Google, and America’s Federal Trade Commission has dusted off its antiquated search engine advertising guidelines.
Also this week: Google provides an official line on common questions about backlinks and reconsideration requests. Read on to find out how these issues will affect you and your business.
Linking a site’s AdWords and Analytics accounts usually takes multiple steps across many pages, but in the near future, users will be able to connect their Google AdWords and Google Analytics with just three clicks.
With a programme of updates constantly rolling out, Google gets asked a high volume of questions in the Google Webmaster Forums. Some of these questions turn up repeatedly, especially with regards to backlinks and reconsideration requests. This is unsurprising considering the effect that Google’s updates are having on the bottom lines of affected businesses.
In the interest of keeping things orderly, they’ve posted the answers up on their blog. A selection of points follow:
Q – When should a reconsideration request be sent?
A – If your site has been flagged by Google as spam and you have received a notification in Webmaster Tools, you need to read and understand why your site has been placed under penalty. Once you understand why your site has been flagged, you need to make an effort to fix the spam problem so that you no longer break any of Google’s quality guidelines. Once you have done as much as you can, it’s then time to file a reconsideration report.
Q – How much information should be included in the reconsideration request?
A – As much detail as possible. More detail included in the reconsideration request will show you have made a real effort to fix your site and can also help Google with investigating your case.
Q – How long does processing the reconsideration requests take?
A – As these are all looked at manually, it can take from a couple of days, to a couple of weeks, depending on the volume of requests being sent.
Google has created a new report in AdWords to help give an overview on which campaigns and ad groups have seen the biggest movement, both positive and negative. This ‘top movers’ report can help with accounts which, at a glance, appear to be doing well, but are seeing large fluctuations when observed closely.
The report will show you the top increases and top decreases for both cost and clicks. To find it, browse to the ‘Dimensions’ tab and click ‘View’. The report will compare data between two consecutive time periods of equal length and looks at the biggest changes within those timeframes. You have the option to compare seven, 14 and 28 day periods.
The tilde sign was used in search to include synonyms for the word it was placed directly in front of. For example, searching for ‘bacon ~sandwiches’ would additionally return results for ‘bacon rolls’, ‘bacon sarnies’ and ‘bacon butties’.
Dan Russell, search research scientist at Google, confirmed that the tilde had been discontinued, claiming that maintaining synonyms “takes real time and costs us real money” – too much time and money when so few people use the function.
In 2002 the American FTC (Federal Trade Commission) created guidelines for search engines on how paid and natural search listings should be displayed. Over a decade on, the FTC has decided to refresh their guidelines to correct the potential for search users to be misled. Letters have been sent to all major search engines with one issue at the top of the agenda: users find it harder than ever to distinguish between natural and paid listings.
One of the primary concerns is with the use of a different coloured background on paid listing in search results. The FTC has noticed that on certain mobile devices and computer monitors is it near-impossible to differentiate between the two. The FTC suggests search engines use a more noticeable shade which will be clear on all devices, a border around the paid listings, or both.
Letters were sent to AOL, Ask.com, Bing, Blekko, DuckDuckGo, Google, Yahoo! and 17 other heavily trafficked specialist search engines. The move will likely be welcomed by professionals in Digital Marketing, who have seen organic search space shrinking in recent years as search engines attempt to more efficiently monetise their services. The full post from the FTC can be found here.
Fresh Egg has an integrated approach to digital marketing that can help your business remain visible despite constant update activity. Please use our online form or speak to us on 0845 373 1071 to find out more.