A new analysis says Google Image Search traffic is down 63 percent on average. Facebook tests Graph Search ads and debuts CPA bidding. Bing calls a search malware analysis "wrong".
All this and much more in our quick recap of search and social marketing news and tips from the past week.
Safe Searching with Bing: A Response to AV-TEST's Search Malware Analysis – Bing Search Blog
Bing says a recent malware study's conclusions are wrong because AV-TEST used Bing's API, not bing.com. "We show results with warnings for about 0.04% of all searches, meaning about 1 in 2,500 search result pages will have a result with a malware warning on it." Yandex has also challenged the study.
Google search manipulation starves some websites of traffic – PCWorld
Harvard Business School associate professor Ben Edelman, who is a paid Microsoft consultant, puts out another anti-Google study, this time on flight search, and reports an "85% increase in click-through rates for paid advertising and a 65% decrease in click-through rates for non-paid algorithmic search links to competing online travel agencies."
Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts answered a couple of questions on the YouTube GoogleWebmasterHelp channel:
A newspaper company wants to add an archive with 200k pages. Should they add it all at once or in steps?
Will multiple internal links with the same anchor text hurt a site's ranking?
Google: Disavow Links Even If Removed As A Best Practice – Search Engine Roundtable
Says Google's John Mueller: "While it's really important for the web-spam team when processing the reconsideration request to see significant effort put into resolving the issue at its roots (on those external sites), it can also be a good practice to at least have those sites listed in your disavow file in the meantime (use them in parallel, don't get bogged down with contact requests before adding them)."
Google Removes Related Searches – Blind Five Year Old
Useful keyword research feature has vanished from Search Tools menu.
Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List – Backlinko
Good compilation of ranking factors/signals – some proven and some "SEO nerd speculation."
How Google’s Image Search Update Killed Image SEO – Define Media Group
On a sampling of 87 sites – U.S. and international – image traffic is down 63 percent on average, with some verticals (e.g., Fashion & Lifestyle, Entertainment) seeing a 78 percent drop in traffic.
Q1 2013 State of Paid Search Report – The Search Agents
"Overall impressions increased 4%, click-through rate increased 15%, and clicks increased 11.7% … 8.8% increase in CPC and a 21.6% increase in spend, YoY."
Google Loses Round In Lawsuit About AdWords Pricing – MediaPost
Google didn't give Arkansas lawyer and AdWords advertiser Rick Woods of Arkansas "smart pricing" discount in six instances and didn't geotarget his ads as promised. This case could potentially become a class action lawsuit.
A healthy advertising ecosystem – Inside AdWords
Google highlights its updated rules for downloadable software. Software must: be pre-approved by Google; offer one-click, complete uninstall; provide clear, full disclosure and transparency to people about what is being installed and what changes are being made to their devices; install itself on only one browser per download; and be bundled with and distributed by only reputable parties who comply with Google's policies.
Bing Ads and You: Search Terms Report Coming Soon – Bing Ads Blog
Real-Time Widgets Now Available in Dashboards – Google Analytics Blog
Four new real-time widgets you can and add to any dashboard.
Facebook Tests Its First Graph Search Ads, But They Aren’t Targeted To Your Queries – TechCrunch
The ads "use standard Facebook targeting and retargeting, look like its sidebar ads, and appear at the bottom of the page — and only if there is more than one page of results."
Facebook Announces Cost-Per-Action Bidding – Marketing Land
Advertisers can now do CPA bidding on page Likes, Offer claims, and link clicks.
Facebook tests larger photos and icons to increase the prominence of links – Inside Facebook
New link format test features bigger photos, no headline/summary, and domain-specific icons in bottom right corner of a post.
Facebook Expands Promoted Posts Option To ‘Everyone’ – AllFacebook
Admins can now promote a post to "Everyone on Facebook," which includes the people who Like your page and their friends.
27 Percent of Time Spent Online is on Social Networking – Experian Marketing Services
If Internet usage were a clock, it'd look like this in the U.S.:
And this in the UK:
Now playing: Twitter #music – Twitter Blog
Twitter teams up with iTunes, Spotify, and Rdio for launch of new music discovery app.
Twitter Partners With BBC America to Promote Branded Videos – Mashable
The first "in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series".
Google’s Wildfire Scraps Standalone Programs, Forces Full Subscription – Marketing Pilgrim
Wildfire is retiring Basic, Standard, and Premium promotions as of June 30 in favor of the full social marketing suite, which starts at $2,500 per month.
B2B Marketers Say Twitter is Now but Google+ Is the Future [Infographic] – Marketing Pilgrim
The most popular platform among B2Bs? 85% chose Twitter; 82 percent LinkedIn; 77 percent YouTube; 71 percent Facebook; and ... at 36 percent, Google+. Yet Google+ will be 3x more relevant this year somehow, according to this infographic summarizing a B2B Marketing Social Media Benchmarking Report.
Bringing Google+ Comments to Blogger – Official Google Blog
New integration brings together comments made on Blogger blog posts, Google+ comments, and shared content that links to your blog post. Also, anyone wanting to post a comment will need a Google+ account.
Google will now mute your microphone if you’re typing during a Google+ Hangout – The Next Web
When you get muted, Google will put up a message saying, "Sounds like you're typing so we muted your mic."
What it Means to Your Personal Brand When You Connect on LinkedIn – Fast Company
Before you accept that invitation to connect on LinkedIn, remember: "You are whom you choose to befriend".
Your Links On Pinterest May Be Stopping Traffic In Its Tracks – Marketing Land
If you're using a URL shortener on Pinterest, beware it may take users to a page that says: “Suspicious Link: This link redirects to another site, it may link to spam or other inappropriate content.”
Australian small businesses inch towards social media – Econsultancy
78 percent of (200) small businesses say they plan to increase their time on social media over the next year, according to Bibby Financial Services Australia study.
Borrell: There's Money in Local Media – ClickZ
Traditional and pure-play local media companies are reaping healthy profits from digital sales, according to a new report.
A few reports on mobile advertising and usage. Check out:
- The State of Mobile Advertising, Q1 2013 – Opera
- Why 75 cents of every dollar spent on mobile advertising is spent on iPhone and iPad (Mopub) – VentureBeat
- iPad Still Dominates Tablet Ads With iPad Mini Gaining, Velti Finds – TechCrunch
- March Tablet Update: iPad Usage Share Rises for First Time Since December, Now at 81.9% – Chitika
Making your mobile search faster – Google Inside Search Blog
Google adds expandable sitelinks, or "quick links" (essentially sitelinks within sitelinks), as well as an experimental blue "Quick view" badge that only works with Wikipedia pages. Google Operating System explains how the feature really works.
Apple records and keeps users' Siri queries for up to 2 years – Los Angeles Times
Data is anonymized after six months, but Apple keeps the data for product testing and improvement purposes for another 18 months. Turning off Siri will delete data from past six months.
Google Games, Anyone? Play Services Is Getting Real-Time And Turn-Based Multiplayer, Invitations, In-Game Chat, Lobbies, Leaderboards, And Achievements! – Android Police
Google Glass companion app has some interesting finds.
Windows 8 App Refresh – Bing Search Blog
Bing News app is now customizable, offers offline reading, and supports RSS; Bing Maps now has "improved driving, transit and walking directions, as well as up-to-the minute traffic incidents notifications"; plus the Finance, Sports, Travel, and Weather apps have also updated.
A New Mobile Experience Designed for the Everyday Professional – LinkedIn Blog
Android and iPhone apps get redesign to put more emphasis on images and personalization. Oh and there will be ads (er, "sponsored content") as part of a "small test."
Alibaba Reboots Its Cloud-based Mobile OS Strategy – Alizila
Company outlines new plans seven months after Google blocked a smartphone featuring Alibaba's OS software in China.
Facebook Seeks 7-Figure Price Tag for Summer Debut of Video Ads – Advertising Age
Seeking $4 million in new video ad business per day, advertisers will have to pay Facebook $1 million for a 15-second slot when they debut in June or July.
Google Video trial to continue to Italian supreme court – PCWorld
Prosecutor claims three Google execs should be held accountable for a posted video that showed a handicapped student being bullied. See "Google to Appeal Italian Privacy Ruling and Jail-Time Sentence" for more details on the case's history.
Going Viral not Required to Succeed – with YouTube’s Lane Shackleton – Ramblings About SEO Blog
The product manager from YouTube's monetization team chats with Eric Enge about being successful on YouTube, the role of organic search, AdWords for video, testing, measuring, and much more.
Eric Schmidt Will Take Your Questions Now (Video) – AllThingsD
At D: Dive into Mobile, Google Executive Chairman was interviewed for about an hour. The only noteworthy bits coming out it: Android is on track for 1 billion activations by year's end and he called Facebook Home a "tremendous endorsement" of Android.
Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Google CEO Eric Schmidt – Wikileaks
Transcript of secret 5-hour meeting that took place June 23, 2011.
Why Google - not Facebook - will Build the Database of Affinity – Forbes
Forrester says, "Google is the company most likely to bring marketers a usable database of affinity."
For Google’s Founders, What’s Cooler Than a Private Jet? A Private Terminal – Wired
Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt get their own terminal for their private jets at Mineta San Jose International Airport.
Google gets consumer service ultimatum from German consumer groups – PCWorld
Google issued ultimatum: answer user's questions by email or go to court.
Google Hacked? DNS In Kenya Hijacked By Bangladeshi Hacker – International Business Times
Some users visiting google.co.ke (as well as LinkedIn, Microsoft, and other sites) were redirected to a different website with a large "Hacked" stamp thanks to a DNS (domain name server) infiltration. Google wasn't actually hacked.
Google Doodle Honors Math Brainiac Euler – Mashable
Google celebrated Leonhard Euler's 306th birthday on April 15 with an animated logo.
Microsoft Reports Third-Quarter Results – Microsoft News Center
"The Online Services Division reported revenue of $832 million, an 18% increase from the prior year period. Online advertising revenue grew 22% driven by an increase in revenue per search." Quarterly revenue was $20.49 billion.
Security certificate problem trips up Bing Web site – CNET
Trying to use Bing brought up the following warning: "This is probably not the site you are looking for!"
Yahoo! Reports First Quarter 2013 Results – Yahoo Investor Relations
Yahoo reported revenue of $1.14 billion. Paid clicks increased 16 percent vs. Q1 2012; cost-per-click decreased 7 percent vs. Q1 2012. Search revenue was $409 million, up 6 percent vs. Q1 2012. Display revenue was $402 million, down 11 percent vs. Q1 2012. On the earnings call, CEO Marissa Mayer said Yahoo had more than 300 million monthly mobile users.
Google Exec Reveals Secrets To Its Brilliant, Tear Jerker Ads – Business Insider
Google's "sappiest" employee and Creative Lab CCO Robert Wong and tear-jerker-in-chief discusses the art of storytelling and the importance of not taking "yourself so f***ing seriously."
Sharpening our focus - to bring you new Yahoo! products – Yodel Anecdotal
Yahoo killing off products you probably don't use.
‘Chinese Google’ Opens Artificial-Intelligence Lab in Silicon Valley – Wired
Baidu's new lab is researching "deep learning", described as "an emerging computer science field that seeks to mimic the human brain with hardware and software") not too far from the Googleplex.
March Madness, blekko Style – blekko Blog
Curated search engine adds 77 new slashtags/categories.
The 100 Most Influential People in the World – TIME
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (a "pioneer") and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (a "titan") among those who made the list.