Five 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: loads of holiday related stats, and not even for the holidays you assume.

Christmas Eve revealed as the most popular time of the year to propose

Look, I’ll level with you, there’s not a lot going on in the world of search marketing news right now.

We’re barrelling towards the holidays, everyone is going to see Star Wars or avoiding the internet because they haven’t seen Star Wars yet… it’s a quiet time for search. But let’s try to make the best of this, huh?

Chilli Sauce has revealed that after surveying 10,000 people across the UK it found that Christmas Eve is the most popular day of the year to propose (31%).

Other results include:

  • 33% of men will pop the question on Christmas Eve.
  • 29% of women would rather their partner propose to them on Valentine’s Day.

Facebook also released data from the US which shows when most users are changing their relationship status to engaged, with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve being the most popular

You can use that information right? Yeah course you can. Go do some Champagne retargeting.

Bing reveals Valentine’s Day search insights

’Tis the season! Wait what?

Bing has revealed its search trends for Valentine’s Day on Bing Ads.

valentines-bing

In the US, Valentine’s Day saw a total spend of $18.9bn in 2015, a 10% increase from 2014. And what are people searching for on Bing Ads?

The majority are looking for the appropriate gift (40%), while 16% are offering flowers, 15% jewellery and 10% want to offer something sweet. According to Bing, its Bing Ads audience, compared to Google, is 11% more likely to have spent $100-199 on flowers, 23% more likely to have spent $500 or more on jewellery and 8% more likely to have used paid service for gift certificates in the last six months. 

So that’s Bing there saying its a better place for lovers than Google. Are you going to take that lying down Google? Hmmm, may have been a poor choice of words.

Facebook chilling out about that whole ‘real names’ thing

Facebook has begun testing a new tool that will let people provide more information about their circumstances if they want to use an assumed name on Facebook.

The review will be done by an actual human team now and will hopefully improve matters after a wave of criticism from the transgender community and victims of abuse.

Holiday gift research trends

According to a Searchmetrics study, 67% of 2,000 US consumers polled will have researched gifts online on their smartphones.

However 20% say their phone is the only device they’ll use for researching gifts online during the holidays.

devices-us-shoppers-research

62% of US consumers will have researched Christmas gifts by looking on Amazon, and 44% performing searches on Google.  

However social channels are fairing well too, with 27% of consumers using Facebook, and the same percentage using Pinterest. 16% of the consumers said they will use Instagram for gift ideas, while 12% mentioned Twitter.

us-shoppers-christmas-2015

Google to index HTTPS pages above HTTP pages

Google has been giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs in search results since last year. These are of course recognised as more secure pages than their HTTP equivalents. 

As a continuation of this, Google has announced that its adjusting its indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages… 

“Specifically, we will start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page. When two URLs from the same domain appear to have the same content but are served over different protocol schemes, we’ll typically choose to index the HTTPS URL if:

  • It doesn’t contain insecure dependencies.
  • It isn’t blocked from crawling by robots.txt.
  • It doesn’t redirect users to or through an insecure HTTP page.
  • It doesn’t have a rel=”canonical” link to the HTTP page.
  • It doesn’t contain a noindex robots meta tag.
  • It doesn’t have on-host outlinks to HTTP URLs.
  • The sitemaps lists the HTTPS URL, or doesn’t list the HTTP version of the URL
  • The server has a valid TLS certificate.”
Found some proper search news right at the end there. Good save!

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