Google News February 2018

We’ve been blogging about Google since 2007. A lot has changed in that time! Here’s a recap of the latest Google updates that we think will impact your business online that’s happened recently.

  1. Google Launches Beta Version of Brand New Search Console

    Google has rolled out the beta version of the new and improved search console and so far we’re liking how it looks. It was built from scratch and the way the data is presented allows you to easily toggle on the clicks, total impressions, average CTR, and average position.

    To access the new console click here and then click the “Try the new Search Console” link. See below for what that looks like.

    The most promising new feature is access to 16-month-old historical data. It enables year over year comparison which is great.  So the new search console currently includes index coverage, performance, and the ability to upload a new site map. All of the other features remain in the old version.

    Some stats we found on our site that were interesting: 273k impressions over the last 12 months (this is how many times we’ve shown up in search results), out of that number 64k were on mobile, and lastly we received 505 clicks from Google search. For the last year in total we have received just over 25k in visits. Some views below from the new console.


    The new search console will also help you validate newly fixed AMP URLs. The updated AMP status report will provide details into the specific Errors.

    As of now, the above-mentioned tools and features are the biggest highlights of the new search console. But it’s still in the beta and many tools and features are yet to come, so stay tuned.

  2. You Can Now Add Videos To Your Google My Business Listing

    Google was testing a new video feature in early January that allowed business owners and customers to add videos, related to the business. Allyson Wright from the Google My Business advertiser community announced that they have fully rolled out the video feature and now all business owners can add videos to their listing. These videos will be visible on Google Maps and local search results. Some important points to consider:

    • Videos up to 30 seconds in length are supported.
    • Videos will appear in the overview tab of the GMB Dashboard.
    • Customer uploaded videos can be found in the “customer” tab.
    • Merchant uploaded videos can be found in the “by owner” tab.
    • All videos can be viewed together in the “videos” tab.
    • After upload it could take up to 24 hours for the videos to appear. Once live, they will display where local photos do.

    The process to add videos is same as photos. Go to your GMB dashboard, click photos on the left and instead of adding photos, add the link to the videos. We just posted a video to our page so the video should be live within 24 hours.

  3. Page Speed Will Officially Be A Ranking Factor In Google From July 2018

    It’s 2018 and if your web page takes more than 10 seconds to load, then you are far behind! Nobody likes to wait minutes just for your page to load — they will simply hit the back button. Personally I hit the back button sooner!

    According to this study, 53% of the users will abandon sites that take more than 3 seconds to load. So it came as no surprise when Google announced that site speed will be a ranking factor within the mobile search results in July 2018.

    If you are not sure about your site’s speed, you can use the Google’s “Test My Site” tool. This tool uses a standard 3G connection to replicate what most people are using to surf the web using mobile. It not only tells you about your site speed but also gives suggestions on how you can improve. Our home page loaded in 5 seconds which Google says is “good” but according to the above study it’s “not good”. We NEED to improve our page speed ASAP. I’ll post a followup blog on how we improved our website speed and provide some insight into how we did it.

  4. Important Google AdWords Updates For February 2018

    There’s a ton happening in the AdWords world. Here’s the important stuff:

    • The Dynamic search ads allow you to target the entire website or domain name so that you can target a broad audience. However, Google has made some significant changes to it and the changes will go live soon. To know exactly how it will affect you, click here.
    • Google made changes to their algorithm for AdWords sometimes increasing budgets by 2X. Find out how advertisers are responding to it and does it really change anything within AdWords … find out.
    • Google and Facebook get the biggest slice of advertising cake. A recent study revealed that 25% of the global advertising spend goes to Google and Facebook. However, the number may drop soon as people are starting to allocate their ad budget to different platforms.
    • Google is officially removing the Adwords Review extension and all the performance data will be deleted by the end of February 2018.
    • Last year we saw shocking reports that YouTube ads were running alongside some inappropriate videos. It scared advertisers. Addressing the issue, YouTube has now made it mandatory for users to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours  of viewed content if they want to monetize their content (more below on this).
    • Remarketing is one of the best marketing weapons in your arsenal. Here’s a great guide on how to utilize it to the fullest.
    • What is Doubleclick adoptive re-marketing and how does it work? Find out more here.
    • Manually selecting placements to run display ads may seem like a good option, but it is not the right solution to click frauds. Also, it causes you to miss the flexibility of automated placements.
    • Remarketing is good but only if done in a balanced manner. Many advertisers overdo it and as a result, annoy the users. Although Google can’t tell advertisers to stop targeting a particular user, they may give the power to the users to block re-marketing ads coming from a specific advertiser.


  5. Youtube’s New Monetization Policy, Not A Bad Decision

    Recently, YouTube has announced that it will demonetize all the small channels on the platform, as per the site’s new eligibility criteria channels need to have more than 1,000 subscribers, with at least 4,000 hours of watching within the past 12 months.

    The decision came after Logan Paul’s ‘suicide video’ incident. According to the company, the decision of demonetizing the small channels is taken in order to, “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.” The channels that fail to meet these criteria will no longer be able to monetize and will lose access to tools and features associated with the YouTube partner program by next month. If any channel fails to meet the criteria but, later if they manage to pass it, will be automatically re-evaluated in the new criteria. All the new channels joining the platform will have to, manually apply for evaluation.

    Though many are criticizing YouTube’s new policy and terming it as “favoritism” for big channels or “penalty” for small channels, we feel it’s not a bad decision.

If you’ve made it this far YOU are my hero. May the Google gods bless your website.

Warm regards,

Matt Ramage
Chief Emarketed Guy

PPC Lessons of 2012

The holiday season is a crucial time for effective online marketing campaign strategies. Let’s take a look back and see what we’ve learned this year and what we can build on moving forward!

Integrate the idea of being “evergreen – Traditionally, aiming to create evergreen content is a major goal in creating content for blogs, web pages, white paper, slideshows and more. The point is that the content will never get old because it contains long-lasting ideas that can be used for years to come. When using this in your paid ad copy, keep things simple, straight-forward and something that will rightfully belong in your ad group as you make other changes, while keeping this consistent.

Consistency counts – Small business owners might get the urge to spend more on PPC when things are going well and completely turn ads off when things aren’t so great. Just like with SEO, paid ads can be greatly affected (in a negative way) when it’s on an erratic schedule. Online campaigns should be kept at a consistent level even if it means cutting back on bids instead of completely shutting the campaigns off. (Again, it depends on your business and industry and it’s always best to consult with an experienced PPC consultant.)

Divide and conquer – No matter how much you plan, research and test, sometimes, certain phrases or keywords don’t perform so well. It could depend on customer preferences, search trends, and even the weather. (Yes, rain and cold weather can have a huge affect on customer spending behavior!) Instead of having the entire ad campaign suffer from the lack of conversions, it might be a good idea to move them to another group and keep the winners from suffering.

Stay focused – Speaking of testing, there is such a thing as too much testing. Dealing with irrelevant minutia of multiple campaigns can get to a person and prevent you from seeing the bigger picture in the long run. If possible, it’s better to choose a few of the most important metrics to consistent test and limit the amount of campaigns that are consecutively running. This way, you can actually sit back, analyze them, and make changes for the better instead of obsessing over the details… and even possibly getting yourself confused as the campaigns blend together. Never a good thing!

Do your best and be realistic – This isn’t just a reminder of what to tell your customers but something you should always keep at the back of your mind. It’s easy to manipulate statistics and even bring in more traffic, but it all comes back to one thing… is it relevant? Conversions will give you the answer to that. Promising something impossible like the number one ad spot all the time is overly ambitious and can also make your business sound less trustworthy. Building false hope of a successful campaign may sound enticing but it never leads to any good in the end. From the beginning, it’s important to set goals that you are capable of achieving and some that you know you can meet. This way, you can move forward to bigger and better accomplishments instead of trying to dig yourself out of a hole by making empty promises.

Paid search is expected to grow even more in 2013. Lists of important lessons will also grow but there will always be the core foundations that rarely change!

Making the Decision to use Broad Match

According to Google, about twenty percent of the queries that they receive on a given day, have not been viewed in the last three months. Some can avoid being part of this undesirable group by using broad match to help improve quality score. Quality score is determined by many variables including: historical performance of your account, landing page quality, and historical click-through-rates of your keywords. First, when you use broad match with Google Adwords, it automatically generates a list of relevant variations of your keywords. Here are some things to consider before using broad match for your campaign:

Benefits of using Broad Match

  • Save time. Instead of spending time building lists or by testing via trial and error, broad match covers all different variations of your keywords.
  • Save money. If an ad isn’t doing as well based on a certain variation of a keyword, the broad match system will automatically stop the ads and search for other variations.
  • Utilize data for trends that you might not see otherwise. Using broad match gives you traffic trends and results from trying different variations of keywords.
  • Help attract more web traffic to gain clicks and conversions.

Broad Match isn’t Right for You

  • An ad campaign for a brand conscious company may not want to stray away from their strict control of keywords; this means giving up clicks in order to maintain the brand.
  • If you are on a limited budget and already spending all your funds on your keyword advertising campaign, broad match may not work for you.
  • If rearranging the order of your keywords will cause a different meaning, broad match may bring you untargeted traffic.

Overall, broad match can help you be successful in getting more clicks. When properly managed, it can be cost effective and help you gain consumer insight about your products and services.

How Quality Score Can Help Or Hurt Your Adwords Campaign

Quality score is a somewhat mysterious variable for Google Adwords campaigns that have a real effect on the cost of your advertising. The price of your pay per click ads is determined by a combination of your bid and your quality score, which means that a good quality score can get you a higher ranking for less than the other guy is paying. So how do I get a good quality score? Well, that’s where Google is a little vague, but there are some strategies.

You can use the keyword report to discover which keywords have a low Quality Score. Once you find those weak keywords, you can use the keyword analysis tool to find out what factors are affecting your score.

The analysis really only gives you three categories and a thumbs up or down. It may not be very useful if you are trying to bump your score up from an 8 to a 10, but it will let you know when you are way off base. The three areas that affect your quality score are: keyword relevance, landing page or landing page load time. Basically you want to make sure your keyword is relevant to the page your ad is linking to, this means including your keyword on the page, and maybe even creating specific landing pages for certain keywords. Also if the link is broken or takes a long time to load, your quality score will go down.

Quality score may not be your number one concern when designing an adwords campaign, but it’s a good indicator of which ads aren’t working at all, and anything that makes your campaign more cost effective is worth the time.

Dealing with Google

I’m going to be frank with my opinion here. Just because Google is an innovative, booming company, one which will change—and probably already has changed—the way our world accesses and manages information, that doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that Google should be treated with some sort of ivory-tower, holier-than-thou deference.

Believe me when I say, Google is as successful as it is specifically because they have done so much to shed the image of traditional mega-corporations. If you tried to call up your brokerage firm for some support and advice, you might get it, eventually. If, however, you are running a Google Adwords or Adsense campaign and you find yourself needing some questions answered, Mr. Google is more than happy to put down his trillions and his yacht and answer your phone call.

This sounds funny, but I mean it. Google has revamped the image of the consumer-conscious company. Their customer support professionals managing the Adwords and Adsense departments are nothing short of spectacular when it comes to helping you iron out your difficulties. But even though I’ve seen this in my own business and with dozens of eMarketed’s clients, some members of our industry fail to realize the significance of Google’s strong commitment to customer service.

In short, if your online venture should take you past the gates of Google, don’t be afraid to knock. They are not your average company. They do not want to be your average company. They want to be bothered, constantly. Their young employees play video games at work and eat gourmet meals three times a day. However, as a testament to their hiring process, Google is staffed entirely with young upstarts who will drop their unicycles and forks at a moment’s notice to answer a client’s call or email. These kids are dedicated to their job, period.

Google’s goal with creating Adwords and Adsense was to level the playing field between the small business and the mega-corp. As a result, small businesses have a leg up because they’re used to handling issues with suppliers and other businesses face-to-face or over the phone. Larger and more traditional businesses will have to adapt their thinking or be left in the dust when it comes to customer service and business solutions in the post-Google Age.