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Digital Marketing News Round Up: Bing Malware and Geotargeting Tools, Real-Time Conversions in GA, Google Patent Panic and Location Sitelinks in Brand Searches

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Inbound marketing manager

This week’s Digital Marketing News Round Up sees a lot of items pertaining to Google and its various tools as well as new features in Bing Webmaster Tools.

Let the news commence!

Malware re-evaluation and geotargeting tools added to Bing Webmaster Tools

On 26 April last month, Bing announced the launch of both malware re-evaluation and geotargeting tools in Bing Webmaster Tools. This is great as far as SEO is concerned as it gives more control to webmasters. This will allow them to more easily maintain a healthy website as well as target location-specific users on a far more granular level than was previously possible.

The malware evaluation tool helps discern whether or not your site contains malware, while also allowing you to submit and track malware re-evaluation requests. If Bing detects a site is serving malware or other harmful elements (unwillingly or otherwise), it warns users that visiting said site could be dangerous while also sending a malware alert message to the site’s webmaster. Expanding on the information previously available in the crawl information tool, the malware tool provides further information on the nature of the issue as well as allowing webmasters to submit and track a malware re-evaluation request once this has (hopefully) been fixed.

malware-re-evaluation

Geotargeting allows you to provide Bing with information about the intended audience for a site, or a specific section of that site, by defining these with a specific country affinity within a single view and account. Sites can also be geotargeted on multiple additional levels:

  • At domain level – For geotargeting an entire domain, available to sites on geotargetable top level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, .net, etc. Most sites with country code TLDs (ccTLDs) will not be able to set country affinities as these provide their own strong geotargeting hint (although they can still use all of the following options)
  • At subdomain level – Great if a site is segmenting its content by country, for example http://nl.example.com/ (the Netherlands)
  • At directory level – For country-specific directories or folders, for example http://www.example.com/italy/ (Italy), which would result in all the pages in the targeted folder to be considered for visitors from Italy
  • At page level – Perfect if a site has single landing pages intended for visitors from a specific country, for example if a site based in the Netherlands (and thus a .nl ccTLD) had a page specifically for its German audience (for example http://www.example.nl/willkommen-deutsche-gaeste.html)

As a note, the order of preference for when multiple geotargeting rules apply is given by Bing is as follows: page > folder > subdomain > domain.

Real-time conversions now live in Google Analytics

real-time-conversionsYou can monitor how many of your website visitors are converting – and against which goals – in real-time. According to the Google Analytics blog, this feature can be used to track live performance data on newsletters, ad campaigns or even TV commercials.

Although the first launch is currently limited to URL-based goals exclusively (meaning that computed goals such as time on site or pages/visit are not yet included), the post by Google Analytics products manager Linus Chou certainly seems to suggest that these features are almost certainly going to make an appearance in the future.

You can read the entire announcement post here.

Matt Cutts: “Holding a patent doesn’t mean we use that patent in search quality”

Matt Cutts is clearly frustrated with the large number of SEOs who seem to be reacting to Google patenting news and updates as if they were “golden truths”.

In his latest video about SEO misconceptions, Cutts said: “just because Google has a search quality or ranking patent, it does not mean that the patent was or is currently part of the algorithm.”

Is Matt Cutts dismissing the significance of Google’s patents all a cunning ruse? What do you think?

Google showing sitelinks to nearest locations in brand searches

brand-local-sitelinksNew sitelinks for local pages are appearing in Google SERPs, putting increasing pressure on brands to ensure they have dedicated landing pages on their site for each of the locations they operate from.

With this in mind, here are a few tips for making location pages appear as sitelinks in SERPs from Blumenthals.com:

  • Have a local landing page for each location that is clearly title tagged and optimised around location
  • Be sure that all locations are properly claimed and located in Google Places for Business as well as make reference the local landing page
  • Use that local URL in all directories and upstream providers
  • Make sure the location page includes complete address information that is marked up using rich snippets formatting
  • Reference each of these local landing pages in the sitemap and the KML file for the site
  • Make sure that the location pages are easily crawlable by Google and are not hidden by some search routine
  • The site architecture should be relatively ‘flat’ and the local landing not too distant from the homepage

Visit us again on Monday for the latest dose of weekly digital marketing news.

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