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Tag Archives: Google

GROWING BING SEARCHES HARDLY AFFECT GOOGLE’S SEARCH MARKET DOMINANCE

google-analytics

If comScore’s last month’s search market report is anything to go by then the search market leader, Google has clearly been outperformed by the ever increasing Bing searches. On one hand, the second-ranked Bing searches grew by 0.2%, while on the other hand the number one ranked Google searches dipped by of 0.2%.

The last month dip reported in the number of searches takes Google’s overall existing tally of US-based desktop searches to 63.8% – a 0.2% dip in the previously held 64% mark, as opposed to Bing-powered US desktop searches which are sitting pretty at 21.6%.

The growth of Windows10 version could be the reason behind Bing desktop searches in the US overtaking Google, as Microsoft-powered Bing searches thrive mostly on integrated desktop operating platforms.

The other reason could well be the increasing number of voice-enabled searches being made on Bing’s platform, which rose to 25% largely due to contributions from Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. However, comScore’s report strictly takes into account only desktop searches.

Yet, Microsoft’s “Cortana” and the latest Windows10 version, both could have played a significant role in the increasing volume of voice enabled searches being made on Bing’s platform. Speaking of Windows10, it allows users to conduct a voice-based search from anywhere using “Hey Cortana” as the search command. This has led to more Windows users upgrading themselves to the latest Windows version, which could have contributed to the desktop voice search volume on Bing.

It will be interesting to see if the same trend continues in the next month as well. But Google, without any doubt still remains the desktop search market leader. It is next to impossible to see any change in that status in the foreseeable future, but credit to Bing for at least attempting to try the improbable.

GOOGLE UPDATES SEARCH ANALYTICS REPORTS TO HELP BUSINESSES TRACK THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR AMP ENABLED PAGES

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There’s great news in store for businesses who have not only got themselves a mobile friendly site but also upgraded their smartphone users’ experience with lightning fast Google AMP technology. After powering their websites’ pages with AMP technology, a lot businesses must be wondering how their AMP enabled pages are faring in the searches.

Well, seems like Google just heard you as it’s rolling out a new filter in the Google Search Console that will enable businesses to track the progress of their AMP enabled pages in the searches. Google’s reportedly added a new AMP search filter to the Search Console’s analytics report section that will allow businesses to filter those reports by AMP pages. This is how businesses can get find out how many searchers have come to discover their AMP enabled pages in mobile SERPs.

About the new feature, Google said that they’ve just started to roll out the new search filter as an addition to the Search Analytics report in Google Search Console. The newly added search filter informs businesses “which search queries lead to their AMP content being shown in the mobile SERPs?”

To track the progress of AMP enabled pages, businesses are required to set the filter in the Search Console’s Search Analytics reports by clicking on the drop down tag in the “search appearance” section. After selecting AMP pages from the listing, they will be allowed to compare how their AMP search metrics fared against other mobile SERP links. The feature will also inform businesses about the evolution of search visibility of their site’s AMP enabled pages over a period of time.

Here’s a screenshot.

amp-google-search-console

This is a welcome addition to Google’s AMP project after the addition of AMP error report to the Search Console in January, 2016, which allows webmasters to debug implementation errors in their AMP enabled webpages.

GOOGLE’S ROLLING OUT A NEW VERSION OF MOBILE-FRIENDLY TESTING TOOL

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After testing it out, Google’s officially announced the launch of new version of mobile-friendly tool on Google’s central webmaster blog post.

Recently, it was reported in some media circles that Google’s working on a new mobile-friendly tool that allows businesses to check the mobile-friendliness of their sites.

The new version of the mobile-friendly tool comes loaded with some feel good factors like a cleaner look with more space and loads faster than the previous version of the tool. Noticeably, Google had first launched the mobile-friendly tool 2 years ago, in 2014 and the latest update by Google seems to be the largest update to the tool since its inception.

Here’s what the new version of the tool looks like.

mobile-friendly-test

The new tool is slicker and less frightening than the original tool. Google said it brings more “room to continue to improve on its functionality, and over time, we expect it to replace the previous Mobile-Friendly Test.” The tool is mobile-friendly as well! So you can test if your sites are mobile-friendly right on your smartphone. It seems like they mainly upgraded the backend infrastructure so that they can scale it later.

Right after the launch, there were some reports that the tool’s new version is not working on smartphones. But Google’s John Mueller, through his twitter handle asked everyone to remain patient as the update is still to be rolled out completely.

So if you are encountering any such problems, you’ll have to wait for the update to roll out completely.

Here’s the error report as encountered by some smartphone users.

mobile-friendly-error-phone

For more detailed information on the subject, you can write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE WILL NOW DISPLAY AD UNITS IN ITS IMAGE SERPS

google-analytics

Google is reportedly introducing ads for the first time ever in it’s image SERP ecosystem. The search giant is launching its shopping ads on images in mobile. So the next time you do a Google image search for a particular product, you’ll start seeing a line of sponsored items next to the product on display. However, the update is rolling out slowly, starting with shopping ads which will take its own time to be rolled out completely.

According to media reports, Google Ads will occupy an entire line of screen space, taking a large share of screen space in image search results. As per Google, the reason why ad units find a place in Google’s image searches is the fact that most online shoppers prefer to do an image search on Google before actually purchasing a product online.

Also, most online shoppers are more or less faced with a similar set of queries pertaining to the purchase of a product like how much is the cost of the product and where they can purchase it. Online shoppers can expect most of their queries to be answered through Google’s new look of image search results, which will now include ad units displaying information regarding the product such as product pricing and the location where one can possibly purchase the advertised product.

Google’s new image search results containing ad units are now being officially rolled out to worldwide users. The Google Display network displaying images will display your PLAs in image searches, if you opted to become search partners as a part of your AdWords campaign.

GOOGLE RESTRICTS PAYDAY LOAN ADVERTISERS FROM USING ITS ADVERTISING PLATFORM

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Google recently updated its personal loan advertising guidelines that will have an impact on a lot of financial players in the market. According to its new advertising guidelines, Google’s not going to let misleading ads and sites that openly promote dangerous payday loan offers to use its AdWords advertising space.

…we’re banning ads for payday loans and some related products from our ads systems. We will no longer allow ads for loans where repayment is due within 60 days of the date of issue. In the U.S., we are also banning ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher.

Because of the Short Payback Periods

As per new AdWords guidelines, Google will no longer accept and show ads promoting payday loans requiring repayment within a couple of months. The reason being, Google doesn’t intend to host brands that run ads promoting higher interest rates and short repayment cycles as they may lead a lot of borrowers to sink into unmanageable debts. By banning offers from websites that can possibly harm the end user, Google’s latest policy update will help businesses that offer better repayment options to the consumer.

This change is designed to protect our users from deceptive or harmful financial products and will not affect companies offering loans such as Mortgages, Car Loans, Student Loans, Commercial loans, Revolving Lines of Credit (e.g. Credit Cards).

Taking a cue from Facebook and other online advertising platforms, Google’s banning ads from websites that mislead users into buying short repayment cycle bound personal loans. As per its existing Ad policies, Facebook bans any form of paid advertising on its platform that promotes payday lending, irrespective of their repayment terms.

Because of the High APRs

Also, Google intends to restrict advertisers that promote personal loans having more than 36% of APRs. This, in turn can impact several online businesses which offer personal loan schemes, with over 36% cap through their site content or via SEM ads.

Short Repayment Loans and Payday Loans are particularly infamous for offering loans at higher Annual Percentage Rates (APR). However, escalation in the rate of interest can reach over 400% mark, which totally depends on the borrowed sum. Leveraging these kinds of loans puts greater financial burden on the consumer, who finds himself unable to clear the debts owing to the saddling of high-interest rates.

When reviewing our policies, research has shown that these loans can result in unaffordable payment and high default rates for users so we will be updating our policies globally to reflect that.

Google’s latest endeavor is so designed to protect consumers from getting involved in deals that could harm them financially. In order to protect borrowers, Google’s pushing for small loans at 36% APR cap on both federal and state legislationlevels, which will help counter the devastating impact that 300% loans have had on struggling families.

By restricting sites offering personal loans with high APR and short payback time, Google’s trying to protect the consumer from getting involved in deals that are difficult to pay off. However, this may take time, as the 36% Rate Cap is Gaining Renewed Acceptance and notices are being sent across to personal loan issuers to make their site content and offers compliant with the new personal loan based guidelines in the next couple of months.

Local News Sources to Get Special Mention in Google’s Dedicated Local News Section

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Google is giving due credit to local news service providers, which includes local reporters, media agencies and content publishers through a special mention of their stories in its local news feed section.

Noticeably, Google already has a dedicated local news feed section, but the company realizes the importance of local news coverage that can be of regional value or even turn into national news. Rarely do local sources get the mention that they deserve for breaking a news story that later assumes the importance of national level news.

But not anymore! Google is providing an opportunity for local news service providers to shine by earmarking their stories under the title “Local Source”, which will be displayed in the local news section of every Google news edition. This way, the locally covered news articles can be identified by searching in Google history pages.

However, the earmarked local news articles will only appear in the extended story space provided on the Google News & Weather app for iOS and Android and on news.google.com.

GOOGLE EXPERIMENTS WITH BLACK LINKS IN ITS SERPS INSTEAD OF THE TRADITIONAL BLUE LINKS

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Looks like Google is yet to come out of its experimental mode. According to some media reports, Google is experimenting a new link color in its search results. Instead of using the typical blue colored links, Google is now displaying black colored links in its SERPs.

On one hand, Google uses red colored links in its china based Google searches and on the other it has never before used any other color besides blue in other parts of the world. But Google recently tested different shades of blue colored links in its SERPs.

But whether Google’s latest endeavor will go down well with the audiences or not, is a thing to be seen as there are many other reports doing rounds in media circles, including Google’s Help forum.

These snapshots from Google’s mobile and desktop SERP serves as proof of Google’s experimental nature:

google-black-serp-desktop google-black-serp-mobile

Again, this is a test that many searchers are seeing right now.

The discussion forum is at Google Web Search Help.

GOOGLE RELEASES GOOGLE MY BUSINESS API’S LATEST VERSION 3.0

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Managing multiple business locations simultaneously can be a strenuous task for businesses with large set-ups. But not anymore! Google’s latest API version comes with some additional features that will enable large businesses to manage their business locations with ease. Although there’s no official word from Google on the release of its latest version, going by the new look of the changelog and the mention of new Business API features in the help section it is more or less confirmed that the latest media reports are right.

It was in December, last year that Google had last updated its Google My Business API, which allowed businesses to automatically manage their listings.

Let’s see what Google has to say about the release of its latest API version.

Version 3.0 adds new functionality for people who manage locations at scale. The “key new features include the ability to read and respond to customer reviews and provide additional attributes for locations, such as whether a restaurant accepts reservations, serves brunch, or has outdoor seating.”

Here’s a list of some new features that the changelog with the latest version brings to the table

  • Attributes:- It provides businesses with more specific, category-based information about their business location.
  • Reviews:- Businesses can now recover and reply to business reviews by using the new API feature.
  • Look for Business Matching Location:- This feature allows businesses to search and manually link their current Map locations with their actual business address.
  • Transfer Business Location:- This is a new actionable feature which lets businesses transfer their location (based on business information) between two accounts (personal or business).
  • Selected Photo:- It gives businesses the option to first display their selected picture in Google Maps business listings and searches.
  • New Google Search Filters:- This new feature informs businesses about new updates from Google.
  • New Business Location States:- This feature now includes information on the verification status of the businesses – whether the business is verified or needs to be verified.
  • Image URL Improvements:- It allows businesses to upload photo based URLs, without any other requirements
  • Backwards Modifications:- Businesses can now update their photos for locations having a Google plus presence. The output section now includes fields such as the category_name and location_name. When setting their categories, businesses can use the category IDs. Location requirements aren’t mandatory for the Field masks section. Businesses can only use Prefix for included fields. The create/update operator now uses business location details with other parameters being included in the query section.

GOOGLE’S NOW TURNING THE HEAT UP ON SITES USING SNEAKY MOBILE REDIRECTS

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After serving several notices to businesses employing “sneaky” mobile redirects that mislead the users to do something unintended, Google’s now coming out to punish those who didn’t heed to its warning.

In its 2015 webspam report, Google had announced that they are taking manual action against sites that sneakily redirect the users. So businesses that recently witnessed a drop in their organic search ranking, need to verify the status of their site on Google’s webmaster forum.

Google’s webmaster forum will make you understand the process that you have to go through to clean up your site of the sneaky mobile redirects. After cleaning up the mess, the site owners must submit a reconsideration request to Google to hopefully waive off the penalties. This, in a way will also serve as a warning to other sites that intend to mislead their online visitors using sneaky mobile redirects.

It was in April, 2014 that Google first updated its webmaster guidelines pertaining to the use of sneaky mobile redirects. This was the first instance where the company openly warned businesses of mass manual actions against sites found guilty of using such tactics.

GOOGLE’S HTTPS MISSION SPREADS TO INCLUDE BLOGSPOT DOMAINS

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With the ever increasing online spamming incidents, internet security is one of the prime concerns for Google at the moment. Google’s leaving no stone unturned to see to it that security is being made available to every single online entity. This is the reason why Google supports the idea of bringing HTTPS to all BlogSpot domains on the web. Bloggers don’t need to press the panic button as it will be an automatic transition that doesn’t require a user to do anything upfront.

With Google redirecting all the HTTP BlogSpot domains to the highly secured HTTPS version, bloggers don’t need to bother about the search visibility of their content. This transition won’t impact the chances of their content being discovered on the new secured server.

From making HTTPS a ranking signal to now moving every BlogSpot domain to a more secure server, Google’s doing everything it can to expand it’s HTTPS everywhere mission on the web.

Let’s see what Google posted on its official BlogSpot

HTTPS is fundamental to internet security; it protects the integrity and confidentiality of data sent between websites and visitors’ browsers… Today, we’re launching another milestone: an HTTPS version for every blogspot domain blog. With this change, visitors can access any blogspot domain blog over an encrypted channel.

The intended move by Google will not only benefit bloggers, but also it will make their on-site visitors feel safer. The “green lock” icon besides the URL is a sign of safe browsing experience. This will ensure that there is be no trust deficit amongst your online visitors with regards to their online privacy, which could make them visit your domain more frequently.

However, Google’s intended URL transition to HTTPS accompanies certain functionalities that may not work on the latest URL version, as it includes incompatible templates, mixed content, devices, etc. Google’s currently working on fixing these errors.