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Search PandaMonium


A couple days ago Microsoft announced a deal with AOL to have AOL sell Microsoft display ads & for Bing to power AOL's organic search results and paid search ads for a decade starting in January.


The search landscape is still undergoing changes.


I am uncertain to what degree they are testing search results from Google, but

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on some web browsers I am seeing Yahoo! organics and ads powered by Bing & in other browsers I am seeing Yahoo! organics and ads powered by Google. Here are a couple screenshots.


Bing Version



Google Version



Comparing The SERPs


Notable differences between the versions:


search provider
Bing
Google
top ad color
purple
blue
top ad favicon
yes
no
clickable ad area
all
headline
ad label
right of each ad near URL
once in gray above all ads
ad URL redirect
r.msn.com
google.com
ad units above organics
5
4
ad sitelinks
many
fewer
ad star rating color
blue
yellow
Yahoo! verticals like Tumblr & Answers
mixed into organic results
not mixed in
footer "powered by Bing" message
shown
missing

When the Google ads run on the Yahoo! SERPs for many keywords I am seeing many of the search arbitrage players in the top ads. Typically these ads are more commonly relegated to Google.com's right rail ad positions.


The Google Yahoo! Search Backstory


Back in 2008 when Yahoo! was fighting to not get acquired they signed an ad agreement with Google, but it was blocked by the DOJ due to antitrust concerns. Unless Google loses Apple as a search partner, they are arguably more dominant today in general web search than they were back in 2008. Some have argued apps drastically change the way people search, but Google has went to great lengths to depreciate the roll of apps & suck people back into their search ecosystem with features baked into Google Now on tap & in-app keyword highlighting that can push a user from an app into a Google search result.


In Q4 last year Yahoo! replaced Google as the default search provider in Firefox in the United States.


And Yahoo! recently signed a deal with Oracle to bundle default Yahoo! Search settings on Java updates. Almost all the Bing network gains of late have been driven by Yahoo!.


A little over a year ago Yahoo! launched Gemini to begin rebuilding their own search ad network, starting with mobile. In their Q1 report, RKG stated "Among advertisers adopting Gemini, 36% of combined Bing and Yahoo mobile traffic was served by Yahoo in March 2015."


When Yahoo! recently renewed their search deal with Microsoft, Yahoo! was once again allowed to sell their own desktop search ads & they are only required to give 51% of the search volume to Bing. There has been significant speculation as to what Yahoo! would do with the carve out. Would they build their own search technology? Would they outsource to Google to increase search ad revenues? It appears they are doing a bit of everything - some Bing ads, some Yahoo! ads, some Google ads.


Bing reports the relative share of Yahoo! search ad volume they deliver on a rolling basis: "data covers all device-types. The relative volume (y-axis) is an index based on average traffic in April, therefore it is possible for the volume to go above 1.0. The chart is updated on a weekly basis."



If Yahoo! gives Google significant share it could create issues where users who switch between the different algorithms might get frustrated by the results being significantly different. Or if users don't care it could prove general web search is so highly commoditized the average searcher is totally unaware of the changes. The latter is more likely, given most searchers can't even distinguish between search ads and organic search results.


The FTC was lenient toward Google in spite of Google's clearly articulated intent to abuse their dominant market position. Google has until August 17th to respond to EU antitrust charges. I am a bit surprised Google would be willing to run this type of test while still undergoing antitrust scrutiny in Europe.


Choosing to Choose Choice


When Mozilla signed the deal with Yahoo! & dumped Google they pushed it as "promoting choice."


A cynic might question how much actual choice there is if on many searches the logo is different but the underlying ads & organic results are powered by Google, and an ex-Google executive runs Yahoo!.


"Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black." - Henry Ford


Categories: yahoo
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According to recent research from IgnitionOne, paid search is up year-over-year, particularly in mobile. Meanwhile, Facebook's display growth continues to threaten Google.
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Very few people are naturally-born speakers. The thing is, if you start doing more speaking engagements, you will become more recognized as an expert in your field. It can get you a lot more attention for your business too. So there are a lot of benefits to getting into the game, but there’s also a lot to know. Check out the following 10 keys for improving as a speaker and getting more opportunities. Just Get Started People tend to have a lot of fears associated with public speaking. This stops them from doing anything. But not you, right? You’re serious
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One of the recurring themes I’ve been seeing in the past few months, comes from web publishers trying to confirm when and where Google updates actually happen. This type of thing has been going on for years and it’s not a new topic, what is new is that Google is now confirming that there is a lot of contradictory information out there, making things more difficult for everyone. Having been around for a few years, I’d like to provide a little perspective on the current situation.



What is a Google Update



There’s a phrase from Cool Hand Luke that sums up this situation,
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“what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”, or put more simply, we aren’t speaking the same language as Google. To Google the word “Update” has a very specific meaning, most likely it means a deliberate change to the way things are ranked in the SERPs. What it doesn’t mean, is a change to the underlying data that is used in the algorithm, that results in a change in the SERPs. Google is constantly crawling the web, seeing new pages, new links, new social activity, new user data, link rot, disappearing content, and hundreds of other factors, and making ranking adjustments based on those factors.
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This post is perhaps a bit overdue, but after speaking at the Content Marketing Show about working with bloggers, I figured that some of you might be interested in becoming one of them. I’m here to gently persuade you to give it a go, purely to see if it can help you within your own […]

The post rel="nofollow" href="http://white.net/blog/why-blogging-has-made-me-a-better-marketer/">Why Blogging Has Made Me A Better Marketer appeared first on rel="nofollow" href="http://white.net">White.net.

15

Yesterday Google shared they see greater mobile than desktop search volumes in 10 countries including Japan and the United States.


3 years ago RKG shared CTR data which highlighted how mobile search ads were getting over double the CTR as desktop search ads.


The basic formula: less screen real estate = higher proportion of user

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clicks on ads.


Google made a big deal of their "mobilepocalypse" update to scare other webmasters into making their sites mobile friendly. Part of the goal of making sites "mobile friendly" is to ensure it isn't too ad dense (which in turn lowers accidental ad clicks & lowers monetization). Not only does Google have an "ad heavy" relevancy algorithm which demotes ad heavy sites, but they also explicitly claim even using a moderate sized ad unit on mobile devices above the fold is against their policy guidelines:


Is placing a 300x250 ad unit on top of a high-end mobile optimized page considered a policy violation?


Yes, this would be considered a policy violation as it falls under our ad placement policies for site layout that pushes content below the fold. This implementation would take up too much space on a mobile optimized site's first view screen with ads and provides a poor experience to users. Always try to think of the users experience on your site - this will help ensure that users continue to visit.


So if you make your site mobile friendly you can't run Google ads above the fold unless you are a large enough publisher that the guidelines don't actually matter.


If you spend the extra money to make your site mobile friendly, you then must also go out of your way to lower your income.


What is the goal of the above sort of scenario? Defunding content publishers to ensure most the ad revenues flow to Google.


If you think otherwise, consider the layout of the auto ads & hotel ads Google announced yesterday. Top of the search results, larger than 300x250.



If you do X, you are a spammer. If Google does X, they are improving the user experience.


@aaronwall they will personally do everything they penalize others for doing; penalties are just another way to weaken the market.— Cygnus SEO (@CygnusSEO) May 5, 2015


The above sort of contrast is something noticed by non-SEOs. The WSJ article about Google's new ad units had a user response stating:


With this strategy, Google has made the mistake of an egregious use of precious mobile screen space in search results. This entails much extra fingering/scrolling to acquire useful results and bypass often not-needed coincident advertising. Perhaps a moneymaker by brute force; not a good idea for utility’s sake.


That content displacement with ads is both against Google's guidelines and algorithmically targeted for demotion - unless you are Google.


How is that working for Google partners?



According to eMarketer, by 2019 mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend. Almost all that growth in ad spend flows into the big ad networks while other online publishers struggle to monetize their audiences:


Facebook and Google accounted for a majority of mobile ad market growth worldwide last year. Combined, the two companies saw net mobile ad revenues increase by $6.92 billion, claiming 75.2% of the additional $9.2 billion that went toward mobile in 2013.


Back to the data RKG shared. Mobile is where the growth is...



...and the smaller the screen size the more partners are squeezed out of the ecosystem...



The high-intent, high-value search traffic is siphoned off by ads.


What does that leave for the rest of the ecosystem?


It is hard to build a sustainable business when you have to rely almost exclusively on traffic with no commercial intent.


One of the few areas that works well is perhaps with evergreen content which has little cost of maintenance, but even many of those pockets of opportunity are disappearing due to the combination of the Panda algorithm and Google's scrape-n-displace knowledge graph.


.@mattcutts I think I have spotted one, Matt. Note the similarities in the content text: pic.twitter.com/uHux3rK57f— dan barker (@danbarker) February 27, 2014


Even companies with direct ad sales teams struggle to monetize mobile:


At The New York Times, for instance, more than half its digital audience comes from mobile, yet just 10% of its digital-ad revenue is attributed to these devices.


Other news websites also get the majority of their search traffic from mobile.


Why do news sites get so much mobile search traffic? A lot of it is navigational & beyond that most of it is on informational search queries which are hard to monetize (and thus have few search ads) and hard to structure into the knowledge graph (because they are about news items which only just recently happened).


If you look at the organic search traffic breakdown in your analytics account & you run a site which isn't a news site you will likely see a far lower share of search traffic from mobile. Websites outside of the news vertical typically see far less mobile traffic. This goes back to Google dominating the mobile search interface with ads.


Mobile search ecosystem breakdown


  • traffic with commercial intent = heavy ads
  • limited commercial intent but easy answer = knowledge graph
  • limited commercial intent & hard to answer = traffic flows to news sites

Not only is Google monetizing a far higher share of mobile search traffic, but they are also aggressively increasing minimum bids.


As Google continues to gut the broader web publishing ecosystem, they can afford to throw a few hundred million in "innovation" bribery kickback slush funds. That will earn them some praise in the short term with some of the bigger publishers, but it will make those publishers more beholden to Google. And it is even worse for smaller publishers. It means the smaller publishers are not only competing against algorithmic brand bias, confirmation bias expressed in the remote rater documents, & wholesale result set displacement, but some of their bigger publishing competitors are also subsidized directly by Google.


Ignore the broader ecosystem shifts.


Ignore the hypocrisy.


Focus on the user.


Until you are eating cat food.



Categories: google
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Search Console users will be able to analyze how their indexed app content is performing in Google’s search results.
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A month or so ago I was watching this video on YouTube with John Reese,  Frank Kern, and Tony Robbins were talking about their frustrations in that people who buy their training programs rarely take action.   The really interesting thing is when they talked about how the SAME people keep buying products  for thousands of dollars and then email them email them saying they don’t know how to get started. That video really got me thinking.  After all – I have sold over 25,000 units of my 2 training products  (over ten million dollars worth) focused on educating people on
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