Relevant news, random thoughts, and infrequent rants. Calling it the way we see it, simply because we can.

Mar 14, 2014

The New Look of Google SERPs

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Google recently altered a few elements in the design of their SERPs, and I’m guessing that anyone reading this blog has already noticed. The two major design changes are: the titles/headlines in both paid search ads and organic results are no longer underlined, and the light beige background behind the paid search ads no longer exists. Now, paid ads are denoted by the little orange box that says “Ad”


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Jul 26, 2012

Google’s Q2 2012 Conference Call

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Like our GOOG Q1 2012 conference call post, we’ll start of by saying that none of us own Google shares or Google debt. This is not about whether Google makes for a good investment or not, rather it is intended to highlight some of the more interesting aspects of the conference call and financial results, released July 19, 2012.

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Jul 16, 2012

Product Listing Ads – Now Mobile

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Last Friday Google announced it had implemented its Google Shopping ads (aka Product Listing ads) within smart phone and tablet SERPs. This comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that Product Listing ads on Google Shopping will no longer be free. Indeed, it seems like a pretty well-thought-out strategy to help monetize mobile traffic – particularly on smart phones.

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Jun 6, 2012

Goodbye Google Places

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Farewell Google Places. Hello Google +. Try a few local-based searches on Google. What you’ll probably find is that the information previously contained on a Google Places page now exists only on Google + pages, with some additions. Most noticeable are the Scores in lieu of Stars. Formerly, each reviewer would rate the business between 0 and 5 stars. Now, reviewers can rate businesses between 0 and 3 points. Each business gets a score out of 30 points, calculated based on averaging these user reviews.

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Jun 4, 2012

Website Optimizer, Meet Google Analytics

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Starting August 1 2012, the capabilities offered by Google’s Website Optimizer will be included in Google Analytics, effectively ending Website Optimizer as a stand-alone product. The change was announced last Friday, in this post.
 
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May 24, 2012

AdWords – Keyword Details & Auction Insights

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As of May 22, Google officially re-branded the “See Search Terms” tool. It is now called “Keyword Details” and it functions almost exactly the same as “See Search Terms” – with one addition. For certain (high volume) keywords, Google created an additional layer of information – called Auction Insights – which include metrics related to: impression share, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate compared to other domains.
 
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May 21, 2012

Microsoft Unvieils So.cl

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Over the weekend, Microsoft announced their latest social media concept, dubbed “So.cl” – you can check it out here. Interestingly, you can sign into a So.cl account with your Facebook or Windows Live account, which seems to imply that So.cl would augment (rather than replace) your social media account(s). If you don’t already use Facebook or Windows Live, So.cl still works as a stand-alone application.

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May 17, 2012

The Google Knowledge Graph

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Yesterday, Google announced it would be slowly introducing a number of changes which, collectively, amount to a relatively drastic alteration in SERPs – but only for certain types of queries. Their announcement of the “Knowledge Graph” elicited quite a reaction – within hours there was even a WSJ article about it, among others. The full effect of the update will not occur immediately, so we’ll have to see how it plays out.

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May 16, 2012

Google & Intuit Join Forces – “Get Your Business Online “

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Over the last couple of months there has been a little buzz about Google & Intuit offering free website services. But until a few days ago, we hadn’t seen it for ourselves. This relatively new marketing initiative has been dubbed “Get Your Business Online” and is available to business throughout the country. According to their statistics, well over 50% of small businesses do not have websites – which presents Google with an obvious opportunity assuming they can cross-sell AdWords.
 
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May 1, 2012

AdWords Update

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It has been an eventful couple of weeks, for all of you who follow what Google does with AdWords. As recently as April 17th 2012 during the Q&A session of the Q1 conference call, Larry Page said, and I’m paraphrasing, “..advertisers are focusing on driving ROI.” While this observation is quite logical, I believed it was simply a reiteration of Google’s unspoken, sacred oath: don’t mess with advertisers’ ability to drive ROI.
 
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