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Digital Marketing News Round Up: DoubleClick on Facebook, Ad Rank Changes, Google SERP Tests and Matt Cutts at Pubcon

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SEO engineer

The digital marketing news has a definite paid search flavour to it this week, with a little Google SERP result testing and Matt Cutts at Pubcon thrown in for good measure. Read on to find out more about the latest happenings in the world of search marketing.

DoubleClick Bid Manager re-joins Facebook Exchange


DoubleClick, a bidding manager owned by Google, will be re-joining Facebook Exchange (FBX), a real-time bidding exchange that allows third parties to retarget through Facebook. 

Payam Shodjai, DoubleClick senior product manager, writes:

 “We’re always looking at ways to serve our clients even better – starting in a few months, clients will be able to buy inventory on FBX via DoubleClick Bid Manager.”

For advertisers, this is great news and gives another method of tapping into the hugely targeted pool of users on Facebook. For Facebook users, it means they will likely receive more tailored and engaging advertising than they do at the moment.

Amazon.com is also getting access to FBX, so expect to see a lot more of its products in Facebook’s ad space in the coming months.

Changes to Google AdWords Ad Rank

Google Adrank

In order to position the order in which paid ads are displayed, Google AdWords uses a calculation called Ad Rank. Up until recently, this was worked out using two variables: the max CPC bid for an ad, and its Quality Score.

Now, a third factor will be taken into account: the expected impact of any ad extensions and formats used. This chance may make the PPC process that little more complicated, but with this recalculation also comes more automation for serving extensions in the right context.

Chris Roat, staff software engineer, writes

“For example, consider someone downtown searching on a mobile phone for "auto repair." In this example, the user might be most likely to respond to your ad when they can click to call a phone number or tap a link to get directions to visit in person. So we may show a combination of call and location extensions with your mobile search ad.”


This is an interesting move from Google that will hopefully create stronger and more engaging adverts in their SERPs, no matter where the site is being accessed from.

Google tests large banner ads in SERPs

Image source: @SynrgyHQ

The news with advertising doesn’t stop there this week. Google has been spotted testing large banner ads in its SERPs for specific big brands. This access has been given, according to Barry Schwartz, to around 30 advertisers, including Crate & Barrel and Virgin America, although the test will only show for less than about 5% of queries. 

This is an odd move from Google, considering it once announced: “There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages.” 

The banners are impressive and go to support the current Google ethos, which suggests SEO is now about brand building rather than simply targeting specific keywords. It will be interesting to see the requirements needed to qualify for these large banners – will it be reserved for only the biggest and most authoritative companies?

Matt Cutts on the future of Google at Pubcon 2013


Image source: Searchengineland.com

Interestingly, on Wednesday 24 October 2013 Google’s Matt Cutts gave a talk as the keynote speaker at . Pubcon in Las Vegas

At the social media and optimisation conference, Cutts talked extensively about the changes Google has been making and offered a few juicy insights into some of the future developments on the cards for the coming months. 

Here are the golden nuggets that John Rampton picked up while there:

  • Update lull – “Going to be honest, you won’t see many updates for the next six months. We’re going after hackers and extreme spammy people”
  • Mobile is critical – “We should be busting our butt to make our sites mobile friendly.”
  • Authorship getting tightened – “15% reduction. We want to improve the credibility of the authors for readers. Quality is huge”
  • Rich Snippets may depend on site quality – “We’ve found a middle ground and going to implement a lot more of it”
  • PageRank is dead –“The PageRank […] toolbar broke the other day. We have nobody on staff to fix it. So we won’t update it for the rest of the year. Sorry”

It’s unusual to see Cutts, often known for his shyness with company happenings, spilling some beans – perhaps this could be part of Google trying to become more transparent and help webmasters make a better web.

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