Five most important search marketing 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 we have new updates from Bing Ads and AdWords, plus a glimpse into the automated future where robots can write these search news round-ups instead of me.

*kicks coffee machine for not pulling its weight*

Upgraded URLs now available in Bing Ads

According to a Bing Ads blog post this week, it has launched Upgraded URLs to simplify tracking campaign performance.

With Upgraded URLs, you can quickly make updates to your tracking codes and keep your ads running. According to the post, the major benefits are:

  • More efficient tracking management: Manage and update tracking information for multiple URLs with a single shared tracking template.
  • Less down time, more conversions and clicks: Quickly and confidently make tracking changes to your URLs using an account-level tracking template without your ads being sent to review by our policy team.
  • Additional tracking insights: Track additional insights with new custom parameters and dynamic text substitutions to learn more about the source of your ad clicks.

And here’s a handy video that can explain things far better than I can:

More than half of large UK retailers struggle to connect in-store and online

New research by RetailMeNot reveals that while 92% of large retailers are now selling online, surprisingly nearly two-fifths are failing to offer consistent pricing across all channels.

Here are some more stats from the survey:

  • 59% of retailers are recognising that a lack of visibility across channels to be the biggest challenge they face today.
  • 42% are restructuring their business and integrating their in-store and online teams together, to deliver a more consistent experience.
  • Almost two-fifths are redirecting their usually separate channel-specific marketing budget toward one fully-integrated multichannel budget.
  • 73% of retailers are now recognising that mobile and email can help close this gap and are ramping up tech investment across multiple channels to drive online shoppers in-store.

Is automated content the next evolution for marketers?

As Al Roberts reported this week, marketers have high hopes for automated content. According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, a growing number of senior marketers in the US and Europe have positive sentiment around automated content production.

Three-quarters of those Forrester polled believe that automated content creation will make it easier “to maintain and update content,” a logical expectation.

More than half (56%) expect that automating content creation will give them the ability to produce content that is modular and can be assembled dynamically, while nearly half (47%) see automated content as a means to adjust and respond in real time.


Google AdWords will return null Quality Scores from September

As reported by Matt Southern in Search Engine Journal, Google AdWords will begin to report on null Quality Scores for both new keywords and keywords lacking recent click and impression data.

According to Matt, “Currently, when a Quality Score cannot be determined, AdWords defaults to reporting a score of ‘6’. Come September 12, you’ll start seeing dashes in place Quality Scores when you either add new keywords to a campaign, or have keywords in your campaign that do not have any recent activity.”

The global evolution of social media

We’re not above just popping something in the news round-up just because we think it’s cool, and luckily this is both cool and interesting!

The On Blast Blog has created a lovely interactive infographic of the evolution of social media across the globe, across all the major social changels.

You can see the infographic in action on the On Blast Blog.

global evolution

And that’s your lot for this week. I’m going to go apologise to the coffee machine now. It’s stopped giving me coffee. I think it’s upset.

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