Get Ready to Bing it On!

If you’ve visited Bing’s home page recently, you’ll see a “challenge” at the very top:

Clicking on this challenge will take you to “Bing It On“, where Bing and Google are pitted against each other in the ultimate search-off (of sorts).

According to the Bing Team, people chose Bing search results over Google’s nearly 2:1 in blind comparison tests. Their research is based on a representative sample pool of over 1000 participants. Very impressive… but that wasn’t the case when we took the challenge. Check out our results here, where we only favored Bing 1 out of 5 times.

Breaking it down even more, we ran additional challenges in different categories to see how the two search engines matched up:

– Restaurant and food searches in specific locations: Google clearly had the upper hand with microformat markup which displays the visually appealing 5 star ratings.
News searches (such as The Emmy’s  and the Endeavour space shuttle): Both Google and Bing were closely matched displaying the main search topics with recent news stories underneath.
How-to and tutorials (such as how to change a tire and how to make pizza): Google and Bing were also evenly matched with a diverse amount of instructions and videos from different sources.

Of course, there are many other tests you can run and different search combinations you can try. This little experiment is a great way PR move for Bing when so many have expressed public distrust and disappointment in Google’s search results. Make sure to take the challenge for yourself and let us know what you think of the outcome!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

PPC Landing Pages and Quality Score

Google quality score
Have you heard the recent news about pay per click landing pages and how it affects your Quality Score?

Google recently announced some changes they are making to determining Quality Score. After some previous testing in Latin America, Google liked what they saw. These ad quality improvement updates will start rolling out worldwide.

If you take a look at the image to the left, you can see all the different components that make up Quality Score. Google’s recent update means the quality and relevance of your landing page will play a bigger role in determining your Quality Score.

Why?

Although it seems like a canned response, Google’s goal of these making changes is to “improve user experience.”As businesses try to adapt to these changes, they will also be improving their PPC ads to make it easier to find what they’re looking for. In other words, they’ll be doing things that they should be doing in the first place! This means:

– Having original content that is relevant to the user
– Being clear about the nature of your business, customer interaction and your intention of what to do with visitor information
– Having a fast loading and easy-to-navigate. Pop-ups and pop-unders should be kept to a minimum!

If you need more help with your Quality Score and PPC campaign, here are some helpful “Tips for Success” on how to improve your Adwords results posted by Google. Or you can contact a PPC company that is Google Adwords qualified, like Emarketed, today!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google Fail?

Google failJanuary 15, 2012 is officially Doomsday. More specifically for Google Buzz, Code Search, iGoogle social features, and Jaiku. In a post titled “A fall sweep”, Google officially announced that these services would no longer exist.

Have you taken a look at all the Google Products? Maybe it was just about time that they took  a look around and cleaned up shop on the products that weren’t doing so well. While many are anticipating more products to go (ahem Google Wave), I think it’s interesting how Google chose to announce this news – in a very nonchalant and informal manner.

But after all, maybe Google was trying to keep attention away from the online audience about the shutdown of Google Buzz. Remember early last year? Google was hit with a huge class action lawsuit claiming that they violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Many people were also upset over privacy issues and other bugs that were initially present when Buzz first launched. Overall, I don’t think it’s a product that will missed very much.

Do you think the shutdown of these services means failure for Google or is it just paving way for new and better features?

After all, it was Albert Einstein who said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Diaspora – Your Next Alternative to Social Networking?

Join Diaspora

Privacy concerns about Facebook and Google+ are growing. Just check out this infographic about Facebook security. As Facebook announced its new Timeline, many people feel that these features are too stalker-ish. Do you really need or want to know your friends’ timeline of events from the day that they were born? New privacy features enable all friends to see all your activity – this means your boss, client, mom, professor or whoever else you happen to be friends with. Although Mark Zuckerberg made it seem so good, this “frictionless sharing” is what a lot of people are afraid of. This problem also carries on over to Google+ accounts, which seems to made even more for public search than Facebook.

While Facebook and Google + seem to want you to open up more to the public, it’s hard to see how you can socialize AND keep your privacy. But the answer you’re looking for may come in the form of Diaspora. The selling point of this relatively new social network is that it is secure – you can share WHAT you want, with WHOM you want. Another great thing is that you own the pictures you upload. There’s none of this nonsense where you give the company consent to use your pictures however they please, ahem.. Twitpic.

I admit that I’ve had my Diaspora account for sometime, I haven’t been making full use of it. I’m pretty sure that my non-internet marketing friends and family are even aware of what Diaspora is. Which is part of their problem… some early reviews say that the profiles are too plain and that there needs to be more features. Also, Diaspora needs a helping hand when it comes to monetary funds and have been asking for donations to help further their project. Sometimes, simplicity is best and I’d like to see where Diaspora takes things.

What do you think? Are you worried about social networking privacy features of other mainstream sites and would you look into using alternatives like Diaspora?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Recap of 2011 Google Agency Summit

Here’s the recap of our visit to the Google Agency Summit that we’ve been promising!

We’ll take a quick overview of marketing spending, display ads, mobile ads, and video in terms of small business use. The overall focus throughout the day was on small business (SMB) growth. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The small business segment is a promising category with big opportunities. Here are some key points that we learned:

SMB Spending and Growth

  • Total SMB digital ad spend is growing at 25% YoY (year on year)
  • Growth is happening within Google local services and beyond on platforms like: Facebook, Groupon and LivingSocial
  • According to Google’s (see graph), total US SMB marketing spending is expected to almost double by 2015. This is a self-proclaimed “conservative” forecast, so we could see numbers even higher than that!

Display Ads

With over 2 million sites, Google now has the largest ad network . What does this mean for the potential of display ads? The emphasis here was on the concept of remarketing. Remarketing allows you to target and show ads to users who have already visited your website. This is helpful to help them recall your products and services, something that they’ve obviously been interested in since they have already been to your site. This is an innovative new way to match the right customers to your message.

Mobile Ads and Video

Mobile ads are evolving and should be a different and more helpful experience for mobile users. There is less space on a mobile screen, which means that functions like “Store Locator” take priority over plain old text. People searching on their phone aren’t going to have the time or space to read text. Learn how you can build a basic mobile site with this free Google tool.

As for video, the big push is for small businesses to come on board, given the massive potential and size of YouTube. Small businesses could utilize video marketing by using banners, pre-roll commercials and even encourage user created content. With so much up and coming news, you can always stay updated with Google’s latest ad products here.

Marketing Goals

At the end of the day, it’s clear that Google is trying to make things easier for everyone – small business owners and their customers. This is why Google is so intent on integration and working closely with with agencies like Emarketed… so that we can help our customers!

It looks like there’s a lot in store in the future for small businesses. As a small business owner, it’s important to stay informed so that you don’t get left behind. Here’s a list of some helpful information on topics related to what we just talked about:

Mobile Web Sites
Video Marketing
Website Marketing
Landing Page Optimization

You can also comment, or find us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google Miscellaneous

In preparation for the 2011 Google Agency Summit tomorrow, we thought it would be fun to compile a list of 5 miscellaneous things about Google that we think you’d find interesting:

Google Lego
Image via Flickr

  1. A Lego Connection: In 1996, the first storage case made to “contain” Google was made of legos. Check it out!
  2. A Google a Day. If a game that allows the use of Googling is your kindof game, it exists! This game is also available in print, above the crossword puzzle in the New York Times. Take that, Sodoku.
  3. Hardcore Interview Questions. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew. These are a few examples of questions that will get thrown your way if you’re lucky enough to interview with Google. You can find out more about their interview process here.
  4. Google Hoaxes. Every year that April Fool’s Day comes around, Google has a new hoax lined up. This year’s Google Motion was beyond ridiculous and I’m looking forward to what they have in store for 2012.
  5. Google’s Most Expensive Keyword… is insurance! Loans, mortgage and attorney are close behind. Take a look at the rest of the list here.

Let us know if you have a favorite Google tidbit and stay tuned for an upcoming post to learn about our trip to Mountain View!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Emarketed to Attend 2011 Google Agency Summit

googleplexImage via Flickr

Exciting news! Emarketed has been invited to the 2011 Google Agency Summit at the famed Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California. We will be attending this all day event, which will take place on Wednesday, September 28th. It’s sure to be filled with the latest and greatest internet marketing news.

Along with many other search marketing firms, we’ll be there to learn about current online marketing strategies and trends. We’re also looking forward to staying updated on important aspects of :

Pay per click: How to increase ROI on PPC and dispelling AdWords myths.
Social media: Discovering more about YouTube and the potential of social networking sites
Mobile: Optimization that helps find new consumer segments

Stay tuned for our blog post review after the summit to read about our visit and feel free to comment if you have any questions/topics that you’d like to learn more about. We can’t wait!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google Study: Paid Ads Do NOT Cannabalize Organic SEO Clicks

Do I have to choose between SEO or PPC?

This has been a popular question that has been highly debated. The theory is that if you choose the same keywords for targeted SEO and PPC campaigns, your efforts will work against each other and you’ll lose out, either in paid or organic search. Cannibalization is the term experts use when SEO and PPC compete against each other… this means wasted time, money and effort – especially when paid search is involved.

Surprisingly, a recent study of 400 campaigns by Google shows that 89% of the traffic generated by paid ads is not replaced by organic clicks. Overall, this means that paid ads did not steal clicks away from organic results in this sample.

Of course, this all depends on your industry and you could see stronger results using SEO and PPC or just one method. If you hear anyone make generalizations about using both methods without analyzing your keywords and business, it’s safe to be on the skeptical side.

For example, if you’re ranking high (or are number one) for a keyword, it probably won’t be helpful to focus your efforts on trying to get to the #1 spot for PPC as well. Instead, the benefit of PPC is that it can give your business better exposure for key words that you’re not ranking so high for organically.

Let us know if you have any questions about whether SEO and/or PPC is right for your business and we’d be happy to help you out!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.