Six of the most interesting SEM news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week, a slightly less tumultuous one then last week, but there’s still some juicy stats, intriguing updates and hot gossip.

AdWords CTR increases as Right Side Ads dropped

Possibly surprising nobody, Google dropping ads from the right sidebar has meant that the click-through rate has increased on paid search results at the top of the screen.

Mainly because that’s all we see now.

london hotel Google Search

Accuracast has taken a look at the CTR during the 7-day period before and after the change in ad placements on Google desktop search.

post right hand side ads purge ctr

It shows a large increase of 18.2% for ads in position 4, and substantial increases for position 1 and 2 (8.4% & 7.7% respectively).

adwords-right-ads

Interestingly, the only ad position where the CTR dropped after the change, has been for position 3.

According to Accuracast this is understandable, “as the third ad unit used to sit just above the organic search results. Now it’s in the middle of a block of ads, and is more likely to be skimmed over.”

Position 4 is the new position 3.

Facebook to favour live videos over recorded videos in the News Feed… kind of

In an announcement this week, Facebook has stated that its recently rolled out Facebook Live Videos service has received an update where live streaming videos uploaded via the service are more likely to appear higher in the News Feed when they are actually live, as opposed to after they’re available as pre-recorded videos.

According to Facebook:

“People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live. This is because Facebook Live videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact.”

It doesn’t necessarily mean ALL live videos will rank higher than ANY standard video, but it is an interesting change.

Smash cut: one year from now, all the actors from Star Wars Episode VIII having to do a live reenactment of the trailer every time a Facebook user scrolls through their feed.

Investment in mobile app ads drives 196% increase in installs

Kenshoo has published a new report on mobile app advertising detailing a few interesting industry trends, including…

  • Total spend on mobile app install ads increased 155% year-over-year (YoY)
  • Mobile app installs increased 196% YoY
  • Cost per install decreased 14% YoY
  • App install ads on Instagram delivered more than 20% of all app install ad
    clicks
  • Once consumers click on a gaming app ad, they are much more likely to install compared to consumer apps (39% vs. 11%) resulting in a drastically reduced cost per install (CPI) ($1.73 vs. $2.70)

Snapchat now boasts 8 billion video views per day

It was only in January when Snapchat stated it had 7 billion video views per day. Now, barely more than a month later, you can add another billion to that number.

This is even more impressive when you consider that Snapchat had ‘just’ two billion daily video views in May 2015.

According to Recode Snapchat is serving the same number of daily video views as Facebook.

You can learn lots about Snapchat in this helpful guide over at ClickZ.

The Dress: one year on #DoomedToRepeatHistory

Yes that’s right, this week saw the anniversary of the global incident that has come to be known as The Event – no wait that was a toxic cloud – The Dress!

And in honour of this occasion Moz and Fractl have released as study on the impact of PR stunts.

The research takes into account press mentions, organic traffic, and backlinks, based on seven companies that appeared in the news between February 2015 and February 2016.

You can see seven different PR stunt examples in the online flipbook but for ‘old time’s sake’ here are some stats from The Airborne Toxic Event… sorry The Dress…

  • Roman Original’s, the makers of #TheDress, received a 560% increase in global sales within one day of media coverage.
  • Negative stories received 172% more headlines and 176% more social shares.
  • Large companies’ traffic and backlinks saw less dramatic increases after the media frenzy, even though these brands were mentioned in 148% more headlines.

roman-originals-results-infographic

Head of Wikimedia resigns over search engine plans

As we’ve covered recently in the news round-up, Wikimedia may or may not be developing its own rival search engine to Google. There’s an excellently detailed account of the affair so far here: everything you need to know about the Knowledge Engine – and the latest gossip is that the executive director of the Wikimedia foundation, has resigned.

According to The Guardian, this follows a “row within the community over leaked plans” which were indeed to build a Google-rivalling search engine.

Tretikov wrote in her resignation letter:

“I am both inspired by, and proud of, the many great things we have all accomplished at the Foundation over the last two years, most significantly reversing the loss of our editorial community … I remain passionate about the value and potential of open knowledge and Wikimedia to change the world.”

And that’s probably the closest we’ll get to TMZ.

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