The High Five: our searches go on, and on

Turkey, “Titanic” and the pope’s new ride were on our minds this week. Here are a few of the week’s top search trends, with data from the Google News Lab.

Almost time for turkey

As people in the U.S. prepare to gather around the table for Thanksgiving next week, our Thanksgiving insights page has all the trends. Pumpkin pie dominates searches in the U.S., but pecan pie is more popular in the southeast and apple pie is the state favorite in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. A smoked turkey is popular in most states, though some contend it should be roasted, fried or grilled. And Friendsgiving continues to rise in popularity, with searches like “friendsgiving ideas,” “friendsgiving invitations” and “friendsgiving games.”

We’ll never let go

Two decades ago, “Titanic” left an iceberg-sized hole in our hearts, and now it’s coming back to theaters in honor of its 20-year anniversary. In the years since its debut, search interest in “Titanic” reached its highest point globally in April 2012 when Titanic in 3D was released. All this talk of sinking ships made us think about other famous boats—the top searched shipwrecks this week include the Batavia, the Edmund Fitzgerald and the USS Indianapolis.

Hot wheels

The “Popemobile” got an upgrade this week. Lamborghini gifted the Pope a special edition luxury car, which he decided to auction off for charity. Though the Pope is known for his affinity for Fiats, interest in “Pope Lamborghini” zoomed 190 percent higher than “Pope Fiat.” People also searched to find out, “Why did the Lamborghini company give the Pope a car?” and “How much does the Lamborghini that they gave the Pope cost?”

That’s a foul

Searches for “UCLA basketball players” shot 330 percent higher this week when three players returned home after being arrested for shoplifting while on tour with the team in China. The search queries dribbled in: “How long are the UCLA players suspended for?” “Why did China let the UCLA players go?” and “What were the UCLA players stealing?”

All about the music

With hits like “Despacito” and “Mi Gente” taking over the globe this year, the Latin Grammys last night were a hot ticket. People searched “How to watch the Latin Grammy awards online,” “What time are the Latin Grammy awards on?” and “How does music qualify for a Latin Grammy award?” Of the nominees for Record of the Year, “Despacito,” “Guerra,” and “Felices Los 4” were the most searched.

Private blog networks: A great way to get your site penalized

Columnist Kevin Rowe explains what private blog networks (PBNs) are, how to identify them, and why you should steer clear.

The post Private blog networks: A great way to get your site penalized appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Searc…

Where to go next with your Google My Business listing

So, you’ve set up your Google My Business listing but still aren’t seeing results. What’s the next step? Columnist Brian Smith lays out some suggestions to further optimize your listing for better local search visibility.

The post Where to go next wit…

10 thought-provoking digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week

Without further ado…

Half of online shoppers abandon a purchase if they don’t like the delivery options

MetaPack’s latest report suggests that delivery has the power to make or break the online shopping experience, often being the difference between a purchase or an abandoned basket.

In a survey of 3577 consumers across Europe and the US, 54% of respondents said delivery defines what retailers they regularly shop with. Half of all shoppers also said they would abandon a purchase if delivery choices were unsatisfactory, while 39% would never use an online retailer again following a negative delivery experience.

Lastly, the report also suggests that expectations are rising, with 54% of survey respondents saying they want online retailers to offer one-hour delivery services in metropolitan areas.

89% of B2B businesses attribute growth to ecommerce

With ecommerce predicted to represent 11% of all B2B sales in the US by the end of this year, CloudCraze has uncovered the value B2B organisations are seeing from digital and online channels.

In a survey of more than 400 B2B decision-makers in the UK and the US, it was revealed that 48% of B2B businesses sell their full line of products online. As a result, 89% of B2B decision-makers attribute expected business growth to the success of digital commerce, and 60% indicate that the growth of digital has caused their sales team to grow along with it.

83% of 18 to 24 year olds have bought an item of physical media in the last year 

While the success of digital services like Spotify and Netflix might suggest otherwise, new data from eBay indicates that a large percentage of consumers are choosing physical media.

In a survey of over 2,000 consumers, eBay found that 76% of Brits have bought a book, a DVD or Blu-ray, CD, vinyl record, or video game in the last year, rising to 83% for 18 to 24 year olds or so-called ‘digital natives’.

Insight suggests that this could be due to an increasing desire to connect with the digital world, coupled with the emotional and intellectual appeal of owning physical objects. 

CMOs overhaul digital strategy amid brand safety concerns

New research from Teads has revealed that concern over brand safety has risen in the path 12 months, leading many CMOs of large UK brands to make drastic changes to their digital advertising strategies.  

In a survey of 100 leading CMOs, 83% said they have become more concerned about brand safety in the past year, with 77% more worried about ad fraud than before. As a result, 95% of CMOs say they’ve overhauled their digital strategy, demanding greater transparency from suppliers and agencies, with 44% questioning their supplier relationships and 43% scrutinising agency relationships.

What’s more, 36% of CMOs say they have boycotted or reduced spend on channels that can’t guarantee brand safety, and 37% of CMOs say they are now directly involved in the execution of digital strategy. 

Singles Day results in a 61% increase in mobile traffic

Analysis of Singles Day by Qubit has revealed that this year’s shopping event drew 593% more visitors from China to UK retail sites compared to an average Saturday. 

There was a 236% increase in overall traffic from Singles Day in 2016, with 59% of visitors to UK retail sites from China coming from mobile.

However, despite this growth, just 16% of revenue came from mobile shoppers, while desktop generated 82% of total revenue.

Strong performance in search correlates to retail success 

New research by PI Datametrics suggests that the most successful retailers are those who consider organic performance as a key KPI.

From analysis of the top UK retailers – including ASOS, Boohoo, and Missguided – it was revealed that the most successful all have a strategy focused on customer intent and search data. 

ASOS has the strongest share of voice overall, which perhaps correlates to it also generating the most commercial success. Last year, its revenue grew 33% to £1.88bn.

Top retailers by share of voice

Searches for GDPR rise 215%

According to research from i-COM, more than 3x the number of people are searching for information about the GDPR legislation than they were at this time last year.

Searches for terms related to GDPR have risen by 215% in the past 12 months, going from 138,290 in October 2016 to 435,600 searches in October 2017.

Ads failing to represent diversity in Britain

According to a study by the7stars, UK advertising is failing to represent the diversity of life across the UK. 

The study – which involved a survey of 1000 Brits plus face-to-face workshops – found that just 11% of people feel advertising truly reflects where they live. In contrast, 55% of respondents say that it does not, and 56% agree that the debate around diversity in advertising is a big issue.

Interestingly, there appears to be a regional split, with 18% of Londoners saying that advertising is reflective of life compared with just 1% of those in the North East.

Emotion is key to Black Friday email success – not deals

From the analysis of email subject lines by 50 UK retailers during Black Friday 2016, Persado found that five key emotions generated greater levels of success.

First, more than 20% of consumers engaged with challenge-focused emails, such as “are you ready?”. Meanwhile intimacy and encouragement also prompted consumers to respond. A third emotion was guilt, instilling in consumers a fear of missing out, as well as fascination – with interest piqued at the promise of trying something new.

Overall, Persado determined that emotional language accounts for as much as 60% of audience response, showing the clear potential for retailers in 2017.

In-app purchases boosted by ‘reward’ ads 

A new study by the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) has revealed that ‘reward’ ads in gaming apps – which offer free items to users if they interact – can boost overall in-app purchases.

By studying 1.4m transaction records and in-app behaviour, JAR found that more than 17% of users made subsequent purchases after clicking on a reward ad, compared with just 2.75% of users who did not.

Finally, the study also found that those who spent more time playing gaming apps each day responded better to reward ads in terms of overall spending value.

10 thought-provoking digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week

Without further ado…

Half of online shoppers abandon a purchase if they don’t like the delivery options

MetaPack’s latest report suggests that delivery has the power to make or break the online shopping experience, often being the difference between a purchase or an abandoned basket.

In a survey of 3577 consumers across Europe and the US, 54% of respondents said delivery defines what retailers they regularly shop with. Half of all shoppers also said they would abandon a purchase if delivery choices were unsatisfactory, while 39% would never use an online retailer again following a negative delivery experience.

Lastly, the report also suggests that expectations are rising, with 54% of survey respondents saying they want online retailers to offer one-hour delivery services in metropolitan areas.

89% of B2B businesses attribute growth to ecommerce

With ecommerce predicted to represent 11% of all B2B sales in the US by the end of this year, CloudCraze has uncovered the value B2B organisations are seeing from digital and online channels.

In a survey of more than 400 B2B decision-makers in the UK and the US, it was revealed that 48% of B2B businesses sell their full line of products online. As a result, 89% of B2B decision-makers attribute expected business growth to the success of digital commerce, and 60% indicate that the growth of digital has caused their sales team to grow along with it.

83% of 18 to 24 year olds have bought an item of physical media in the last year 

While the success of digital services like Spotify and Netflix might suggest otherwise, new data from eBay indicates that a large percentage of consumers are choosing physical media.

In a survey of over 2,000 consumers, eBay found that 76% of Brits have bought a book, a DVD or Blu-ray, CD, vinyl record, or video game in the last year, rising to 83% for 18 to 24 year olds or so-called ‘digital natives’.

Insight suggests that this could be due to an increasing desire to connect with the digital world, coupled with the emotional and intellectual appeal of owning physical objects. 

CMOs overhaul digital strategy amid brand safety concerns

New research from Teads has revealed that concern over brand safety has risen in the path 12 months, leading many CMOs of large UK brands to make drastic changes to their digital advertising strategies.  

In a survey of 100 leading CMOs, 83% said they have become more concerned about brand safety in the past year, with 77% more worried about ad fraud than before. As a result, 95% of CMOs say they’ve overhauled their digital strategy, demanding greater transparency from suppliers and agencies, with 44% questioning their supplier relationships and 43% scrutinising agency relationships.

What’s more, 36% of CMOs say they have boycotted or reduced spend on channels that can’t guarantee brand safety, and 37% of CMOs say they are now directly involved in the execution of digital strategy. 

Singles Day results in a 61% increase in mobile traffic

Analysis of Singles Day by Qubit has revealed that this year’s shopping event drew 593% more visitors from China to UK retail sites compared to an average Saturday. 

There was a 236% increase in overall traffic from Singles Day in 2016, with 59% of visitors to UK retail sites from China coming from mobile.

However, despite this growth, just 16% of revenue came from mobile shoppers, while desktop generated 82% of total revenue.

Strong performance in search correlates to retail success 

New research by PI Datametrics suggests that the most successful retailers are those who consider organic performance as a key KPI.

From analysis of the top UK retailers – including ASOS, Boohoo, and Missguided – it was revealed that the most successful all have a strategy focused on customer intent and search data. 

ASOS has the strongest share of voice overall, which perhaps correlates to it also generating the most commercial success. Last year, its revenue grew 33% to £1.88bn.

Top retailers by share of voice

Searches for GDPR rise 215%

According to research from i-COM, more than 3x the number of people are searching for information about the GDPR legislation than they were at this time last year.

Searches for terms related to GDPR have risen by 215% in the past 12 months, going from 138,290 in October 2016 to 435,600 searches in October 2017.

Ads failing to represent diversity in Britain

According to a study by the7stars, UK advertising is failing to represent the diversity of life across the UK. 

The study – which involved a survey of 1000 Brits plus face-to-face workshops – found that just 11% of people feel advertising truly reflects where they live. In contrast, 55% of respondents say that it does not, and 56% agree that the debate around diversity in advertising is a big issue.

Interestingly, there appears to be a regional split, with 18% of Londoners saying that advertising is reflective of life compared with just 1% of those in the North East.

Emotion is key to Black Friday email success – not deals

From the analysis of email subject lines by 50 UK retailers during Black Friday 2016, Persado found that five key emotions generated greater levels of success.

First, more than 20% of consumers engaged with challenge-focused emails, such as “are you ready?”. Meanwhile intimacy and encouragement also prompted consumers to respond. A third emotion was guilt, instilling in consumers a fear of missing out, as well as fascination – with interest piqued at the promise of trying something new.

Overall, Persado determined that emotional language accounts for as much as 60% of audience response, showing the clear potential for retailers in 2017.

In-app purchases boosted by ‘reward’ ads 

A new study by the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) has revealed that ‘reward’ ads in gaming apps – which offer free items to users if they interact – can boost overall in-app purchases.

By studying 1.4m transaction records and in-app behaviour, JAR found that more than 17% of users made subsequent purchases after clicking on a reward ad, compared with just 2.75% of users who did not.

Finally, the study also found that those who spent more time playing gaming apps each day responded better to reward ads in terms of overall spending value.

Black Friday SEO: Last-minute tips for the holiday season

Black Friday kicks off a shopping season that lasts through Christmas each year, with online retailers vying for the profitable attention of consumers. With spending expected to rise by 47% this year, competition will be fierce. Some final tweaks to your SEO can make the difference between rising to the top of results and languishing at the bottom of page one.

Search in Pics: Google Polish dress-up, old Urchin sign & Android winter statue

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. A terrace at the Google Singapore office: Source: Twitter Urchin light up…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

How Google AdWords (PPC) Does and Doesn’t Affect Organic Results – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

It’s common industry knowledge that PPC can have an effect on our organic results. But what effect is that, exactly, and how does it work? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers the ways paid ads influence organic results — and one very important way it doesn’t.

How Google AdWords does and doesn't affect Organic Results

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about AdWords and how PPC, paid search results can potentially impact organic results.
Now let’s be really clear. As a rule…

Paid DOES NOT DIRECTLY affect organic rankings

So many of you have probably seen the conspiracy theories out there of, “Oh, we started spending a lot on Goolge AdWords, and then our organic results went up.” Or, “Hey, we’re spending a lot with Google, but our competitor is spending even more. That must be why they’re ranking better in the organic results.” None of that is true. So there’s a bunch of protections in place. They have a real wall at Google between the paid side and the organic side. The organic folks, the engineers, the product managers, the program managers, all of the people who work on those organic ranking results on the Search Quality team, they absolutely will not let paid directly impact how they rank or whether they rank a site or page in the organic results.

However:

But there are a lot of indirect things that Google doesn’t control entirely that cause paid and organic to have an intersection, and that’s what I want to talk about today and make clear.

A. Searchers who see an ad may be more likely to click and organic listing.

Searchers who see an ad — and we’ve seen studies on this, including a notable one from Google years ago — may be more likely to click on an organic listing, or they may be more likely if they see a high ranking organic listing for the same ad to click that ad. For example, let’s say I’m running Seattle Whale Tours, and I search for whale watching while I’m in town. I see an ad for Seattle Whale Tours, and then I see an organic result. It could be the case, let’s say that my normal click-through rate, if there was only the ad, was one, and my normal click-through rate if I only saw the organic listing was one. Let’s imagine this equation: 1 plus 1 is actually going to equal something like 2.2. It’s going to be a little bit higher, because seeing these two together biases you, biases searchers to generally be more likely to click these than they otherwise would independent of one another. This is why many people will bid on their brand ads.

Now, you might say, “Gosh, that’s a really expensive way to go for 0.2 or even lower in some cases.” I agree with you. I don’t always endorse, and I know many SEOs and paid search folks who don’t always endorse bidding on branded terms, but it can work.

B. Searchers who’ve been previously exposed to a site/brand via ads may be more likely to click>engage>convert.

Searchers who have been previously exposed to a particular brand through paid search may be more likely in the future to click and engage on the organic content. Remember, a higher click-through rate, a higher engagement rate can lead to a higher ranking. So if you see that many people have searched in the past, they’ve clicked on a paid ad, and then later in the organic results they see that same brand ranking, they might be more likely and more inclined to click it, more inclined to engage with it, more inclined actually to convert on that page, to click that Buy button generally because the brand association is stronger. If it’s the first time you’ve ever heard of a new brand, a new company, a new website, you are less likely to click, less likely to engage, less likely to buy, which is why some paid exposure prior to organic exposure can be good, even for the organic exposure.

C. Paid results do strongly impact organic click-through rate, especially in certain queries.

Across the board, what we’ve seen is that paid searches on average, in all of Google, gets between 2% and 3% of all clicks, of all searches result in a paid click. Organic, it’s something between about 47% and 57% of all searches result in an organic click. But remember there are many searches where there are no paid clicks, and there are many searches where paid gets a ton of traffic. If you haven’t seen it yet, there was a blog post from Moz last week, from the folks at Wayfair, and they talked about how incredibly their SERP click-through rates have changed because of the appearance of ads.

So, for example, I search for dining room table lighting, and you can see on your mobile or on desktop how Google has these rich image ads, and you can sort of select different ones. I want to see all lighting. I want to see black lighting. I want to see chrome lighting. Then there are ads below that, the normal paid text ads, and then way, way down here, there are the organic results.

So this is probably taking up between 25% and 50% of all the clicks to this page are going to the paid search results, biasing the click-through rate massively, which means if you bid in certain cases, you may find that you will actually change the click-through rate curve for the entire SERP and change that click-through rate opportunity for the keyword.

D. Paid ad clicks may lead to increased links, mentions, coverage, sharing, etc. that can boost organic rankings.

So paid ad clicks may lead to other things. If someone clicks on a paid ad, they might get to that site, and then they might decide to link to it, to mention that brand somewhere else, to provide media coverage or social media coverage, to do sharing of some kind. All of those things can — some of them directly, some of them indirectly — boost rankings. So it is often the case that when you grow the engagement, the traffic of a website overall, especially if that website is providing a compelling experience that someone might want to write about, share, cover, or amplify in some way, that can boost the rankings, and we do see this sometimes, especially for queries that have a strong overlap in terms of their content, value, and usefulness, and they’re not just purely commercial in intent.

E. Bidding on search queries can affect the boarder market around those searches by shifting searcher demand, incentivizing (or de-incentivizing) content creation, etc.

Last one, and this is a little subtler and more difficult to understand, but basically by bidding on paid search results, you sort of change the market. You affect the market for how people think about content creation there, for how they think about monetization, for how they think about the value of those queries.

A few years ago, there was no one bidding on and no one interested in the market around insurance discounts as they relate to fitness levels. Then a bunch of companies, insurance companies and fitness tracking companies and all these other folks started getting into this world, and then they started bidding on it, and they created sort of a value chain and a monetization method. Then you saw more competition. You saw more brands entering this space. You saw more affiliates entering. So the organic SERPs themselves became more competitive with the entry of paid, and this happens very often in markets that were under or unmonetized and then become more monetized through paid advertising, through products, through offerings.

So be careful. Sometimes when you start bidding in a space that previously no one was bidding in, no was buying paid ads in, you can invite a lot of new and interesting competition into the search results that can change the whole dynamic of how the search query space works in your sector.

All right, everyone, hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I look forward to your thoughts in the comments, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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SearchCap: Google AMP requirements, AdWords promotion extensions & smart speakers

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google AMP requirements, AdWords promotion extensions & smart speakers appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.