Monthly Archives: April 2016

GOOGLE AND MICROSOFT DROP THEIR LONG STANDING ANTITRUST CHARGES AGAINST EACH OTHER

google-microsoft-antitrust

No sooner does one chapter close, another one opens up – this is how Google finds itself in its current state of legal affairs. It was an action-packed week for Google with EU levelling charges of “unfair business practices” against the search giant, which stem for having Google Apps preloaded on Android gadgets. This however was followed by a bit of relief for the search giant as both Google and Microsoft reached an amicable solution over a long standing feud. As per its new legal priorities, Microsoft officially agreed to drop its long standing legal battle against Google.

Talking about the long standing feud, it all started with Microsoft filing a formal antitrust complaint with the EU, claiming that the search giant favours its own properties in organic searches. Besides that, third-party search engines had an issue with the fact that they were not able to search or index anything from Google owned YouTube.

Settling the long standing antitrust dispute with Microsoft comes as a bit of relief for Google, who also agreed to drop its similar complaint against the company in the EU. It does come as a huge sigh of relief considering the fact that EU recently accused Google of using “Unfair Business Practices”, which stems from the fact that all Android devices come preloaded with Google Apps.

On the other hand, Microsoft has enough on its plate at the moment, with under performing sale of devices impacting its revenue system and the fact that Windows 10 has not been received well by the masses. It was perhaps in their best interest to set aside the dispute, considering the other issues that both Google and Microsoft have to deal with at the moment.

THIS MAY BE THE LAST PENGUIN UPDATE, REVEALS GOOGLE’S GARY ILLYES

update

Businesses can take a heavy sigh of relief as Google gives more indications that there won’t be any new update happening after Google’s next Penguin version. Expect an official confirmation to arrive from Google on the matter after it rolls out the next Penguin version 4.0 in due course of time. Google’s Gary Illyes recently made it clear via his Twitter handle that after the yet to arrive penguin update, we may not experience a new one.

He tweeted that “it’s likely there won’t be next one,” referring to the next Penguin update.

Happy? Don’t be. Because the next slated penguin installation is expected to be a real time algorithm update unlike other normal updates. It means that businesses, who are not prepared for penguin’s real time version roll out will have to suffer a bit longer, as the process of new penguin penalties and retrievals will take place alongside it’s entire run time.

Much like the Panda updates, Google claimed that it will be rolling out this update without anyone noticing them, over a period of time. However, we did experience some small updates which were not as extreme as the ones that were rolled out in the past. The next slated Penguin algorithm update should be pretty quick, based on how fast Google indexes pages on the web.

So, for one last time businesses will have to prepare themselves in advance, as the next installation of Penguin version 4.0 is just round the corner.

In case, you need assistance to resolve any of your queries related to the next Penguin algorithm roll-out, we’re more than happy to help you. Just email us your concerns at sales@ebrandz.com or call 1-888-545-0616 (Toll-Free) for assistance.

GOOGLE BRINGS A MAJOR UPDATE TO ANALYTICS MOBILE APP FOR BOTH ANDROID & iOS

google-analytics

Google now wants to catch businesses on the go. That’s the reason why Google went for a makeover of its Google Analytics mobile app. The new Google Analytics mobile app update allows businesses to supervise and share key analytic information with their clientele and make necessary changes on an urgent basis. The updated Android and iOS version 3.0 is available to be used by businesses globally.

Listed below are some features that the updated version of the app promises to deliver

  • Improved communication on the go, like sending reports through text, chat, emails and much more.
  • Easy customization of reports and access to stored information for follow-up.
  • A brand new look and feel, making it more convenient to use than ever before.
  • Tap and swipe through metrics and dimensions with new scorecard visualization.
  • Add segments and dig deeper to make any changes and comparisons
  • Easy navigation and report discovery.

You can also check below the nine-minute tutorial video put together by the Google Analytics team on how to use the new and updated Google Analytics mobile app.

Although the company is working on adding a landscape mode, as of now the new Google Analytics mobile app is available only in the portrait mode.

GOOGLE ADDS TO LOCAL SEARCH MARKETERS’ WOES BY BRINGING TWO AD CHANGES

local-listing

Google likes to be in control and that’s why it keeps making changes in its search algorithm, to keep businesses guessing and the search industry on its toes. This time again Google made some changes to the local SERPs. These changes will have an impact on searches pertaining to the physical location of businesses, especially retailers and service providers.

Ads to Now Appear in Local Finder Results

Business ads find themselves in a new space, in the Local Finder results as big brands are being forced out of the local SERPs. Locating these branded ads now becomes a task as the user has to click on the “More Places” option that is being served in Google’s three pack search results. Brian Barwig, the local SEO specialist spotted these ads first in the Local Finder results.

Panic will set in amongst businesses with ads being moved to a new place. But this also serves an opportunity for businesses, especially the lowly ranked service providers and retailers who will now have to figure out a new way to find a place in Google’s top three search rankings. They will have to do so quickly as the new functionality now requires a user to click on the “more listing” option in Google’s SERPs to search for information about the bottom listed businesses. Besides that, SEOs will have a hard time figuring out how to move their clients’ organic search ranking to the top of the SERPs.

The ads that now show up in the Local Finder results will make use of AdWords extensions to get a physical location for listed businesses. The process is similar to the updated Google Map feature that uses AdWords location extensions when searching for a business location. But unlike results in Maps, Business Ads listed in the Local Finder results are not pinned on the Map results.

Let’s see what a Google spokesperson has to say about this new experimental test. “We’re always testing out new formats for local businesses, but don’t have any additional details to share for now.”

Google Maps No longer a Search Partner

Besides announcing a few changes in how ads will show up in Google Maps, Google has now officially removed Google Maps as a Search Partner. On one hand, Google is doing away with the regular text ads and on the other it may soon display ads along with location extensions in Google Maps. Moreover, Google has also made it known to businesses about its decision to remove Google Maps services as a Search Partner.

Here’s what the changes in the Maps’ status may mean to the users

  1. Businesses using location extensions will now be able to run ads in Google Maps to see a surge in their click through impressions when their ads are displayed in the Maps.
  2. Businesses that are search partners but opted out of the location extensions could witness a drop in their click through impressions since their ads are no longer being displayed in the Maps.

Google plans to include more businesses in Maps Ad auctions, which is why it’s been included as a part of Google’s search inventory. Google’s emphasis on location extensions is purely on the basis of it’s over dependence on structured data and feeds, which online retailers will vouch for.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

RIP GOOGLE’S EXTERNAL TOOLBAR PAGERANK OPTION

google-pagerank

Google has reportedly decided to do away with the PageRank scores option in the Google Toolbar. That means, the next time you’re browsing the internet using a tool or your favorite browser that previously allowed you to track PageRank data from Google, you won’t be able to do that anymore. This is because Google has finally cut the link that allowed a browser to fetch data from Google.

About its decision to do away with the PageRank option, Google said that the company still uses the feature internally within the ranking algorithm, but the external support is going away completely.

Post this decision, there are several media reports claiming that web users are complaining about the unavailability of PageRank score, which previously appeared as an option on their browser’s toolbar.

pagerank-score

Talking about PageRank score, it had been quite a while since Google updated the PageRank scores. This is because Google had been trying to downgrade the importance of PageRank score which also added up to your Google search ranking.

A month ago, Google had officially confirmed reports that it’s going to scrap the first ten ranking scores from Google Toolbar feed and that in the weeks to follow the option would go dark. Last Friday, on April 15, 2016 PageRank was scrapped completely.

GOOGLE NOW INVITES ELECTRICIANS AND HVAC SERVICE PROVIDERS TO JOIN ITS HOME SERVICE ADS NETWORK

google-travel-search

As a part of its latest endeavor, Google’s inviting small business owners like plumbers, locksmiths, home cleaners and other home service providers to better advertise their services on its home service platform. This initiative by Google is directed towards revamping its home service ad platform, which fell short of the company’s expectations last summer after receiving a lukewarm response from customers.

To expand the home services ads platform, Google recently carried out an experiment that enabled users to call or text Google to find a local plumbing service provider. After plumbers, Google’s now inviting HVAC service providers and electricians to advertise their services on Google’s home service ads platform.

hvac-san-francisco-google

After testing beta testing, Google rolled out home service based ads to the San Francisco Bay users in July, 2015. Generally, these home service ads contain listings of three service providers along with their ratings, contact numbers and a call to action button that sends a request to them.

This service enables users to send contact request to up to three local service providers, which now includes plumbers, locksmiths and electricians or HVAC service providers.

After taking care of the formalities, home service business owners can set up their account in Google AdWords to increase their search visibility.

Besides San Francisco Bay, Google’s home service ads are also available to Sacramento advertisers.

The move further indicates that Google has lost confidence in its algorithmic search capabilities to return reliable and trustworthy information or that it’s just trying to move in a new direction, away from the automated algorithmic searches.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE’S NOW SERVING A BIG RED WARNING TO PROHIBIT SEARCHERS FROM VISITING DECEPTIVE SITES

spam

Last November, Google took up Safe Browsing initiative to protect its users from deceptive online tactics. These tactics trick a user into doing something unintended, such as downloading unwanted software or exposing private and confidential information. Google recently announced that it’ll be prohibiting searchers from accessing sites that contain deceptive content. Google will warn its click through users by showing a page containing a big red warning signal that will warn the users about the presence of a “deceptive site ahead.”

Here’s a snap of the warning signal that Google will be serving its click through users.

deceptive-site-ahead-warning

About this latest development, Google was quoted as saying,

We’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.”

Google’s definition of a deceptive ad is as below:

  • Fools a user to act, or gives the impression of a trusted online entity- just like your own gadget or browser or your official website
  • tricks a user into carrying out the unintended tasks by creating an impression of a trusted domain – just like sharing your password or calling tech support.

Shown below are some instances of deceptive online tactics.

install-flv

download-play

media-player-update

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com

IT’S TIME TO EMBRACE FUN AND INTERACTIVE IN-APP MOBILE ADS

mobile-user-agent

There’s no denying the fact that we all love to hate those annoying ads that pop up suddenly. The reason being, we don’t often find these time-consuming ads to be interesting and that’s why we tend to block them when they show up. But making these ads a bit more interactive could possibly make them more acceptable to the users.

In order to make them user-friendly, CrossInstall, a mobile programmatic platform recently announced the launch of interactive PrePlay ads. These ads allow users to try out the demo version of a game, before being directed to the App Store or Play Store to install it on their devices. According to Newzoo’s 2015 Mobile Marketing Report, the net worth of the gaming industry comes to round about $35 billion. This means that acquiring new customers to play games could prove to be a bit more challenging due to the rise in user acquisition costs. Ads may be annoying but they are a necessary part of the marketing campaign and often end up providing great marketing solutions. Hence, serving playable ads to users could help achieve more compelling views from potential customers.

Here’s what Jeff Marshall, CEO and Co-founder of CrossInstall was quoted as saying through a press release:

“CrossInstall’s PrePlay ads are designed to be interactive, playable ads that are tailored to the individual user, from casual to hardcore gamer, creating a fun and dynamic engagement. For users to return to a game, they have to experience and enjoy the first session. Playable ads remove this first step so the first point of contact happens before the download.”

Noticeably,  CrossInstall conducted an experiment and found that 30% of users went on to install an advertised app after a trial run.

FACEBOOK INTRODUCES NEW FEATURES THAT ALLOW USERS TO SHARE & TRACK THEIR LIVE VIDEO COUNT

facebook

There’s no doubt why Facebook’s live video feature is scaling the popularity charts these days; it allows its users to create and share content on their timeline. The company rolled out this feature to all its users earlier this year, in August, 2015. The newly added features are so designed to attract more users to the platform.

Make your videos go live in Facebook Groups and Events

The addition of live video feature provides more broadcasting options to users; it was previously possible only through a page or a personal profile page of a user. But now users have the luxury of broadcasting a video within their own set of groups as well as their event pages. Broadcasting live videos in event pages gives a natural touch to the proceedings, as it allows participants to share videos with other viewers who were previously unable to watch it.

New interactive features to increase User Engagement

Here are some extra features that are designed to increase audience engagement level

  • Live Reactions: Users can make use of the live reaction pack to respond to the video posted on the timeline.
  • Replay Comments: This feature enables users to watch replays along with comments of other users while watching the recorded broadcast of the live videos.
  • Live Filters: Now users can make desired changes to their live videos by making use of Facebook’s five filter pack. The company is currently testing it, before making it available to the users. Besides that, the company is also testing the ability to draw or doodle on videos.

Ways to discover Live Videos

Similar to what one does with Periscope, users can now make use of Video Map Feature to discover Live Videos on Facebook. Also, users can search, share and invite friends to watch live and recorded videos on the basis of their interests, creators and topics.

New ways of tracking Video Metrics

Besides the above-mentioned features, Facebook has added some new metrics to track viewership of live videos on it’s platform. During a broadcast, the new tracking feature takes note of the total number of live viewers. The new chart shows the count of live viewers tuned in to watch live video broadcasts. Users can make use of Page Insights and the video library section to leverage these newly added metrics.

Above mentioned features can be expected to be rolled-out to all Android and iOS users in weeks to come.

GOOGLE TARGETS US AUTOMOTIVE ADVERTISERS THROUGH AUTOMOTIVE MOBILE SEARCH ADS

pr-crisis-ppc

This time Google’s doing its bit to help the cause of US automakers by launching specialized mobile search ads for US auto manufacturers and dealers. Google had initially announced this in May last year, but it is only now being made available to Google AdWords subscribed US advertisers.

The US automotive advertisers, especially the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) can now run Model Automotive ads via Google’s mobile search ads for automakers and models. Google’s mobile search ads include large resolution automotive model images, performance details along with the manufacturers’ website links, nearby available dealers and other information.

At present, US auto manufacturing giants such as Ford and Toyota are relaying their ads on Google’s model automotive ads platform for some of their models. About the customer engagement rates, Google says that on an average it’s 30% on the higher side as compared to standard text ads.

Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Director of Traditional and New Media for Toyota Motor Sales, USA says, “Across our core line of car models, we’ve seen a 45-percent increase in conversion events and a 30-percent decrease in CPA compared to standard text ads.”

The US automotive franchise and authorized dealers can also make use of the new format for mobile ads on Google. The new format for automotive ads includes location and directions with the click-to-call functionality for local dealers, which is currently being displayed at the top of mobile SERPs. The dealer ads combine well with the Model Automotive Ad version, which is easily accessible from the “Dealers” tab.

The fact that more than half of Google powered automotive searches now happen on mobile is what Google took into consideration while coming out with automotive search ads for US auto dealers and manufacturers. Besides that, Google image searches of car and truck brands increase by 37% year over year and the mobile platform contributes to 80% of these searches. Also, Google searches for nearby car dealerships is now twice more than in the previous year, with the mobile platform again contributing to almost 80% of these searches.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com. You can also check out our Pay Per Click packages if you’re looking out for professional help.