Seven of the most interesting SEM 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: the sheer massiveness of this year’s holiday weekend spend, a couple of Google updates and a shameless plug.

Thanksgiving is the new Black (Friday)

Kenshoo has revealed the paid search trends over the past holiday weekend, and they show that retailers are seeing more opportunity on Thanksgiving than ever before. The day of Thanksgiving showed an increase of 19.6% in search spend YoY while Black Friday spend remained relatively flat.

Here are some of Kenshoo’s holiday stats

  • Search spend rose slightly: total search spend was up 3.7% vs. same period last year
  • Search budgets are being directed toward Shopping campaigns: product ad spend within search was up 35% over last year for the entire period
  • Mobile product ads saw even more spend growth: spend for product ads on mobile climbed 85% YoY and now make up 10% of total search spend for the period
  • Overall mobile search spending saw much bigger investments year-over-year (YoY): mobile search spend for the entire period increased 64% over last year

holiday-2015-by-device

Mobile is also now driving half of all retail search clicks on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

mobile-clicks-nov-2015

Cyber Monday surpassed $3bn, breaks the record

ComScore has revealed that the total digital spend on Cyber Monday reached $3.1bn, a 21% annual gain vs. $2.586 billion spent on Cyber Monday 2014. 

This marks the first time in history that total digital spend surpassed $3bn in a single day. 

Mobile commerce is estimated to have accounted for 27% of total digital commerce on Cyber Monday 2015, with $838 million spent via smartphones and tablets.

The weekend after Thanksgiving also reached a major milestone as it saw its first ever billion dollar online shopping day on Sunday, while Saturday sales reached the $1bn mark for second year in a row. 

Bing revealed the top US and UK searches of 2015

Just in case you didn’t visit us yesterday – no it’s FINE, we understand – Bing revealed its top searches of 2015.

  • Top film: Star Wars: Force Awakens
  • Top US celebrity: Caitlin Jenner
  • Top UK celebrity: Cilla Black
  • Top song: ‘Uptown Funk’
  • Top US news item: the ISIS attacks in Paris
  • Top UK news item: General Election
  • Top US sporting event: Super Bowl
  • Top UK sporting event: Rugby World Cup
  • Ninth most popular weird news item: pizza rat

Google brings app ’Trial Runs’ to mobile ads

Google has announced a new mobile ad format that will give app developers the ability to mobile users users a streaming 60-second or less version of their full-size app that will respond to touch just like the full downloadable version. This basically means a mini-version a mobile game.

google-trial-run-app

TechCrunch interviewed Sissie Hsiao, Google’s new head of product for mobile ads, one the reasoning for this.

“You can buy ads, you can get apps installed. But a lot of apps are used once or they’re never used, even after they’re installed. We found that 1 in 4 apps is never even used, and there’s often this ‘try once’ experience, and then [the app is] never used again.”

These streaming app ads will give searchers the chance to trial an app right from within the ad itself.

Google has removed ‘change location’ from search

Google dropped the ability to filter your search results by changing your location this week. Previously, if you clicked on ‘Search Tools’ you could set a different location from the one you’re in. 

This was particularly handy for me as it allowed me to check retailer’s PPC campaigns from around the globe for my customer journey from search articles. 

Here’s what it looks like now.

google-search-without-location

According to a Google spokesperson on Search Engine Land, “it was getting very little usage, so we’re focusing on other features”.

Snapchat to allow ‘deep linking’ to publisher’s content in its app

Snapchat has a host of media partners now, including Buzzfeed, CNN, Hearst and Vice, but until now these ‘Discover publishers’ couldn’t link to their Snapchat pages from anywhere outside the app.

However, according to Digiday, Snapchat is enabling its publishing partners to promote their channels on Facebook and Twitter with links directly to their content.

They can now share links on social media apps and the mobile web that will take people directly to their Snapchat content. 

Shameless plug alert: come to Connect!

We’ve launched a brand new search event. We call it Connect and it takes place on the beach during 4-5 February 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami.

This place… right here… 

ritz-carlton-miami

You should come, and then you too could be a tiny dot in that photo!

Also you should come for the amazing speakers, including the brilliant Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google. As well as more than 500 of your peers, world-renowned search marketers and business leaders, all helping you to excel in the new era of search marketing.

Interested? We’d love to have you with us. Super Saver Rates expire today (December 4) and you can get your hands on an All Access pass for just $895. Register here.

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