Five of the most interesting SEM news stories of the week

In this week’s round up we have penalties for bloggers, Google indexing image alt tags and the most expensive AdWords keywords. 

Google begins testing green ‘ad’ labels

A few people starting spotting green ‘ad’ labels on Google paid ads from yesterday.

It initially seemed to be a UK test, but I’ve since seen examples from around Europe, the US and Australia so it seems Google is testing this widely.

The question is why, and it’s not hard to guess that making them seem more like organic results is a possible explanation.

US green ads

Testing whether Google will rank keywords in image alt tags

An interesting test conducted by Dawn Anderson, which she writes about on SEM Post.

Dawn explains the test in detail, but it shows that Googlebot will read and index keywords in the image alt tag.

plinkyploppitypippity

The most expensive PPC keywords in the UK

With help from SEMRush, Chris Lake looked into the most expensive PPC keywords on Google UK.

The most expensive was £148…

tech keywords

Mobile advertising stats

This week we released our State of Mobile Advertising 2016 report, produced in association with Search Optics.

It contains plenty of useful insights on mobile advertising from clients and agencies.

For example, Paid search is found to be the leading mobile channel for ROI, though measurement and attribution issues are holding advertisers back.

paid search roi

Google punishes bloggers for linking to reviewed products

After last month’s advice to bloggers reviewing products they’ve received free of charge to nofollow any links to product pages, we’ve had a spate of manual actions.

Google penalty

Bloggers reviewing products have reported receiving notices like the one above when logging into Search Console, and Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that these are linked to Google’s earlier advice.

Whether the action are justified or not is another matter, as we have no idea how Google can tell if links are due to freebies or not. However, bloggers now need to be careful when reviewing and linking.

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