Monthly Archives

February 2016

AcroBabble – Going (Creatively) Digital – February 25, 2016

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Going (Creatively) Digital

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Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Places Emphasis On Speed For Rankings

The latest salvo in the app versus mobile web publishing wars comes courtesy of Google, which is preparing to roll out Accelerated Mobile Pages to deliver publisher content with faster load times. Other combatants include Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles and Snapchat’s Discover. Advertising Age reports that among other things, big publishers like Hearst are looking forward to delivering video via AMP, which will be accessible from Google search, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or, potentially, anywhere online. Content is delivered quickly via AMP because it’s cached in the cloud (Google doesn’t have to grab it from websites). For search results, will Google favor AMP sites? Ad Age quotes Richard Gingras, senior director, news and social products at Google, as saying that faster sites with the same search scores as slower sites will win out.

 

What eBay Plans To Do To Take On Amazon

FORTUNE magazine does a deep dive on eBay’s plans to take on Amazon for e-commerce supremacy now that the traditional online auction house is on its own following the spinoff of PayPal. What are eBay’s challenges? Consider this: eBay offers some 800 million items. But people on mobile devices don’t want to scroll through a list of, say, every android device in the world when searching eBay. This detracts mightily from the company’s frictionless user experience that people have come to expect. One answer is to give eBay searchers a choice of categories for smartphones that might include “best value or brand new.” FORTUNE also notes that eBay is still on the Google rankings mend after being penalized in. SearchEngineLand has a recap of the problem with Google that impacted eBay’s bottom line significantly.

 

Latest Gallup Data Show Impact Of Social Media On Brand Sales

If you are a skeptic of the impact social media is said to have on brand marketing sales, you’ll probably enjoy the latest research from Gallup. The research firm surveyed 18,000 people who were asked about the impact social media has on their spending decisions, with 62% indicating none at all. Just 5% said social media has a great deal of influence. One school of thought is that the billions of users of sites like Facebook, Twitter and others aren’t interested in the mass of marketing messages coming at them on these platforms and that it’s become easy to ignore them. Fully 94% of the respondents said they use social media sites to connect with friends and family, compared to 29% who are looking for information, product reviews and trends. To view the information from Gallup, check it out via The Wall Street Journal.

 

Mobile Devices And Apple iOS Dominate Email Openings

Desktop computers represented about one-third of email opens in 2015 while Apple iOS devices dominated at 56%, according to an analysis of Movable Ink data by MarketingLand. While Android OS tablets and smartphones represented about 53% of all U.S. devices, they combined for a mere 11% of email opens. The data were derived from analysis of some 6 billion emails. The 2015 report covers how the holiday season compared to the rest of the year; a slowing trend in mobile and tablet email opens; conversions by device and vertical; when emails are opened during the day by device type; and time spent in email based on device. The full report can be downloaded here.

 

Instagram Adding Video Views To Site User Metrics

Marketers not satisfied with accumulating Likes on Instagram can soon begin adding video views to their profiles. According to VentureBeat, Video view counts give creators a tally of the impressions a video has received, whereas likes could be viewed as an engagement metric. With this feature, users will not only see the number of views but also how many people have liked and commented on a video. In a blog post, Instagram says: “As a widely expected industry metric for video, we believe video views are the best measure of viewer intent. And we often hear from our community they’d like to better understand how people are engaging with their videos.”

Inside Acronym – February 25, 2016

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Meet Acronym’s Gabriela Calogaro

PPC Analyst

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When did you join Acronym?

I started in late July of 2015.

Where were you previously, what was your title and what clients did you work with?

I was working at Baruch’s Center for Entrepreneurship as a Marketing Assistant where I managed their social media and email marketing. I was mostly marketing to students to share with them the resources the Center offered as well as spreading the word about upcoming events.

 What is your title at Acronym and which clients do you work for?

I’m a PPC Analyst and I work on Denihan Hospitality Group, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and now The Wallace Foundation.

 What are your specific responsibilities?

I maintain and monitor the revenue generation, budget pacing, ROAS, impression share and other metrics across accounts. I also build out new campaigns and write ad copy per clients’ request.

 What do you consider the most interesting things you do at work?

I think testing out new initiatives such as GSP and YouTube campaigns are one of the most interesting things I do.

 What do you like to do best when you are not working?

When I’m not working I like to go to the gym and box. I also like trying out restaurants I’ve never been to.

 

Google App Indexing Raises Visibility Of In-App Content

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By Mike Levin & Nyambura Mbugua

App_295x175Google App Indexing allows users to click listings in Google Search results and to be dropped directly into an app sub-location on iOS and Android devices if the app is present on the user’s phone. If the app is not present, normal web results are presented, sometimes with links to the app’s page within the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Just like webpage deep links, we expect to see direct deep links in the search results to app sub-pages. A good example would be the app-based social platform Instagram. When a user searches for a term/Instagram caption based on a user’s public profile, for example “Good Marnieing” in the mobile search results bo below, the Instagram application to the public profile appears. Google SERPs show that depending on how relevant the Instagram caption/search term is the app window box will appear with the most related posts from the user’s profile.

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If a user does not have the specified app (in this case, Instagram) from where the content is derived, Google will show the “Marnie The Dog on Instagram” app button and a button to download the Instagram app on Google Play will appear in the search results.

This all lends credibility to Google’s assertion “App Indexing plays a key role as a ranking signal for how your app appears, both when the user has your app installed and when the user doesn’t. This helps you increase your install base and keeps your users coming back.”

So, does this app method work for less popular content from 6 months ago and prior? Our tests found that guaranteed uniqueness of an author’s Instagram caption did not always correlate to presence in the Google search results. Instead, Google favored serving the Web-version of the Instagram page, or no page at all for the unique term.

So is there a Google-preference for one type of content or the other (Web vs. in-app)? Will it tend to show in-app mobile content when available? If the answer becomes “Yes” then we have to start adjusting our content strategies, giving more thought to the primary place we imagine our content to reside. In-app may no longer be a second-class citizen, as far as visibility to general Web-search is concerned.

Now that app indexing plays a key role as a ranking signal and how your content appears in search results, marketers must re-evaluate their decisions about which platforms are worth being present on, and why. Previously isolated “island communities” may now suddenly find their hidden content suddenly much less hidden and their in-app communities potentially of much more interest to marketers.

And finally, app indexing may also impact a marketer’s own app-development priorities, opening the possibility of baking natural-search optimization strategies into their own app products.

 

Monitoring The Impact Of Google’s Paid Results Repositioning

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By Peter Semetis

2Google_295x175Unless you have an unlimited budget, patience will be a virtue in the aftermath of Google’s shifting of paid results to the left-hand side of desktop, mirroring mobile results and posing a host of issues going forward.

 

Overview

Starting earlier this week, only four paid search results will now appear at the top of the page. Paid search ads that fall below the fourth rank will appear at the bottom of the page, which has limited visibility. (If you are not seeing this change, try utilizing incognito mode on your browser.)

This change is being rolled out globally across google.com and all other google country sites such as google.co.uk.


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Top of the Page Results:
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Bottom of the Page Results:
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Google now has opportunities to push other ad units, like Google Shopping and Knowledge panels such as Hotel metasearch ads.

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Why is this Happening?

Google continually tests different ad layouts, to identify the most optimal page configuration.

A Google spokesperson noted via Search Engine Land:

“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”

http://searchengineland.com/google-no-ads-right-side-of-desktop-search-results-242997

As mobile traffic has grown at an accelerated pace over the past two years, this new layout makes the desktop experience very similar to the current mobile SERP.

What is the Impact?

This will likely impact ad campaigns in the following ways:

  • CPCs will increase. As advertisers compete for the first four positions of the SERP, Acronym anticipates the average cost per click for paid keywords will increase. Advertisers are more likely to adjust their CPCs to maintain top positions 1-4, especially focusing on the top 3 positions, which would appear above the fold. For advertisers, the new layout increases the importance of bidding high enough to attain prime visibility on the SERP. For Google as a business, the inflation of CPCs will yield healthy revenue gains.
  • Budgets may go up. Advertisers may spend more in the next couple of weeks as some might panic and try to ensure top positions, making the space more competitive.
  • Impressions and clicks may decrease. If you are an advertiser that typically appears mostly on the right-hand side, you will likely see a decrease in impressions and clicks as your ads drop below the fold. For keywords that you typically bid in position 1-3, there may not be much impact on impression.
  • CTRs could increase. Expect higher click-through rates for paid search ads within the top four positions, as right-hand paid search ads are no longer present to detract clicks.
  • Average Position will increase. As some advertisers panic to increase bids to gain a higher position, their positions will improve. The impressions received will likely be for higher positions only.
  • Impression Share will decline.
  • Mobile strategies will be leveraged for desktop. As the desktop SERP becomes more like mobile, Google is forcing advertisers to use a mobile mindset for managing desktop keywords and bids.
  • Organic search will be impacted. By adding a fourth paid search ad to the top of the SERP, Google has pushed organic results farther down the SERP. This will impact organic rankings in the top 2 positions. Rankings that are lower in position (Positions 3-4) could gain more traction especially in results where the right-hand side of the page has no listings at all.
  • Upper-funnel keywords will be less affordable. This is likely to impact the affordability of broader keywords that are utilized to build awareness and new traffic. With already high CPCs, these keywords may not be possible anymore.

What Should You Do?

Don’t panic. The fight for top positions will begin and CPCs are going to go up. We do not want to run out of budget by increasing positioning/CPCs without solid data to back this up.

Your first step should be to communicate this change internally. You will no longer show up for every single search query unless you have unlimited budget. It’s important that those in your organization understand what has changed, its impact and what you will be doing to respond.

Here are some specific near-term tips.

  • Set up alerts (in bid management tools or engines directly) if CPCs increase by 10% over the previous week.
  • Create two segments of keywords including above the fold and below the fold keyword buckets by brand and non-brand. These will serve as recommendations for positioning in light of this change.
  • Reevaluate ad copy given positioning changes, including site links and other extensions.
  • Monitor and analyze impact on organic listings, including increased CTRs, traffic, etc. across keyword segments by position utilizing Keyword Object’s Keyword Provided Algorithm.

peter400x400Peter Semetis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Acronym – February 11, 2016

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Meet Acronym’s Yas Haque

SEO Strategist

When did you join Acronym?

I started on November 30th of 2015.

Where were you previously, what was your title and what clients did you work with?

I have 6 years of SEO and Social experience. Most recently I was an SEO strategist at Resolution Media, working across six consumer health brands and eight Rx brands for GlaxoSmithKline and Hiscox Insurance. I was also a Social Media and SEO Manager at SWELL (a creative agency focused on fashion, beauty and luxury brands) where I had the pleasure of working with Hermes, Kate Spade and Lancome.

What is your title at Acronym and which clients do you work for?

My title here is SEO Strategist. I work on Acronym’s travel accounts, which include Four Seasons Resorts & Hotels, Denihan, Viceroy and CTC.

What are your specific responsibilities?

My responsibilities include creating and executing strategies with the SEO team.

What do you consider the most interesting things you do at work?

I think the most interesting thing is being able to show the value of SEO. People are so used to instant gratification, but SEO is based on long-term results. So I love showing a client how SEO has driven their KPIs, and then you get that “aha!” moment from them. It’s pretty great to experience.

What do you like to do best when you are not working?

I went to film school, so I’m a huge film buff. I try to watch a new movie every week. I also love traveling, and am very proud to have seen most of Asia. My 10-year goal is to visit the remaining countries.

 

The Battle for the Newsfeed: Twitter’s Latest Algorithm Update

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By Samantha Kretmar

Twitter295x175Earlier this week, Mashable broke the story about Twitter shaking up its part of the social universe with an announcement about the changing face of its newsfeed. The network has been desperately struggling to determine how to attract more users and generate additional revenue from its base of about 320 million monthly active users. At first glance, the latest newsfeed change doesn’t present a clear solution to either challenge.

Sometime ago, Twitter announced the release of the “Moments” feature, which sought to help solve the monetization question by offering users a way to curate the content of their Twitter newsfeeds, which can often seem confusing and disorganized to those who aren’t Twitter power-users. The confusion surrounding content and the organization of the newsfeed remains one of the highest barriers to entry for users joining Twitter. Moments sought to alleviate this issue by categorizing newsfeed content and aggregating posts from those people one follows and others influential to a particular event or “moment,” like the Super Bowl. The latest iteration of the newsfeed update seeks to do something similar by helping to aggregate content in a more organized fashion and, in this case, sorting it by showcasing the “best tweets” at the top of the feed—out of chronological order. However, users can opt-out of this upgrade and keep the newsfeed in the traditional chronological order.

While this recent newsfeed upgrade does offer the possibility of making Twitter easier to navigate for new users, the backlash from existing users has been strong. Regardless, the real question remains the same: will the newsfeed algorithm update be enough to reverse the tide of shrinking monthly active users on Twitter and attract more, new users? The answer: no. This newsfeed update doesn’t offer enough incentive to make Twitter easy enough to use that Granny will join, the same way she hopped on Facebook, and not just to play Candy Crush!

Twitter remains a platform recognized for delivering short tidbits about trending topics that are highly ephemeral and temporal in nature. As a result, the older, non-digital native demographic groups that have embraced Facebook for the social snooping it facilitates don’t get the same benefit from Twitter, and therefore don’t have the same impetus to join. If you aren’t interested in the latest rant from Kanye West or by-the-moment news and political updates, then Twitter doesn’t really jive with you.

In thinking about the percentage of the populous that cares enough about those “of-the-moment” news and pop-culture updates to overcome the barrier of entry to Twitter—taking the time to follow the right people to get the flow of content desired in one’s newsfeed—it makes sense why Twitter’s audience has reached a plateau. Additionally, the trend and time sensitive nature of Twitter also makes it a difficult space in which brands and advertisers can engage. For success on Twitter, brands need to create content on the fly to capitalize on trending conversations and opportunities, and the moments are rare when a brand’s core products or tenants actually align to a trend on Twitter to justify such an investment. Given both of these factors working against an increased pool of users on Twitter and the desirability of the platform for advertisers, Twitter needs to think outside the newsfeed to find a solution to these issues.

 

Link Wars: The Force Awakens

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LinkWars295x175Call it the Link Wars. Long ago, in a galaxy far away, obtaining website links by hook or crook was the way to get found on engines like Google. Now it’s all about building high-quality content, securing (and maintaining) links from relevant and authoritative sites and weeding out spammy backlinks, as explained by Acronym’s Winston Burton, VP of SEO, in an article originally published by Search Engine Land.
 

 

 

Winston_headshot_400x400Winston joined Acronym in 2014 with over ten years in search marketing. Prior to joining Acronym, Winston was the VP of SEO at Havas Media, one of the world’s top ten global ad agencies. He started the SEO practice for Havas and built the practice to include Clients such as Choice Hotels, Fidelity, Exxon, Volvo and Marc Jacobs to name a few. Winston spearheaded SEO strategy including content marketing, mobile, link building, and all technical areas of SEO. Winston’s career also included the SEO Manager role at Rosetta and time at Zeta Interactive.

AcroBabble – Going (Creatively) Digital – February 11, 2016

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Going (Creatively) Digital

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All Eyes On Verizon As Yahoo Downsizes, Looks For Core Business Solutions

The nation’s largest phone carrier and an increasingly powerful player in digital data and the advertising fueled by the data, Verizon seems to have set its sights on the core businesses of Yahoo. Bloomberg reported this week that Tim Armstrong of Verizon-owned AOL is leading the tire kicking. Among other things, Yahoo’s more than 1 billion users plus Verizon’s 112 million wireless subscribers plus AOL’s couple of million users would provide ample thrust to ad sales within Verizon’s go90 streaming video service. Icing on the cake are the logistical chops of Verizon’s Millennial Media, purchased last fall.

Facebook Still Tops For Social Media Logins But Google Gaining

While Facebook sees itself as a potentially serious search challenger to Google, the social media platform is still tops when it comes to people logging into websites and apps, although Google continues to gain ground. Citing data from tech firm Gigya, Advertising Age reports that Facebook closed 2015 with 62% of the social logins that Gigya tracked. Google followed Facebook with a 24% share of the market, trailed by Twitter at 7% and Yahoo at 4%. Facebook had more than double Google’s share of the market, but the third and fourth quarters of 2015 marked the first time that Facebook experienced share declines in two consecutive quarters since 2011. Google gained during that time period. On mobile devices, Facebook accounted for 80% of social logins in the fourth quarter, compared to Google’s 14% and Twitter’s 5%.

Bing Ads Outage A Wakeup Call For Monitoring Campaign Reporting

Late Saturday afternoon Feb. 6, Bing filed an incident report that confirmed the worst fears of many advertisers: Bing Ads was down. According to Search Engine Land, advertisers lost visibility into campaign performance, including impressions, clicks, conversions and, more critically for some, spend. All components of the platform were affected, including the API, Web UI, Bing Ads Editor and Mobile apps. Advertisers that were not doing their own tracking, relying instead on Bing’s reporting, were at risk of running through budgets on the blind unless they had paused their campaigns. SEL reported on Feb. 10 that Dare Obasanjo, engineering lead for Bing Ads, said that while there was no timeline for a fix, advertisers’ data would show up eventually.

Twitter Adds ‘First View’ Video Ads To Sponsored Spots

 Twitter introduced a new ad unit to its repertoire this week, calling it First View video ads. As TechCrunch reports, advertisers opting for a First View position will essentially jump to the front of the queue in Twitter’s ad network, getting the top ad spot the first time a person opens Twitter, for a period of 24 hours. When users first visit the Twitter app or log in to twitter.com, the top ad slot in the timelines will be a Promoted Video. In a blog post, Twitter said First View helps marketers “achieve significant audience reach with exclusive ownership of Twitter’s most valuable advertising real estate for a 24-hour period.” The company is rolling out First View gradually to managed clients in the U.S., and in the coming months has plans to expand it globally.

C-Suite Moves:

Jango Unwalla to Unissant as Chief Marketing Officer, from Optimos, where he led technology initiatives for the Federal market.

Andrew Grygiel to Keeper Security as Chief Marketing Officer, from Informatica, where he was Chief Strategist of the Americas.

Bob Stohrer to Canary as Chief Marketing Officer, from Yahoo, where he led brand strategy, sports sponsorships and marketing communications for the Internet company’s search, communications and digital content business.

Andres Botero to Aria Systems as Chief Marketing Officer & SVP, from Steelwedge, where he was CMO.

Doron Wesly to Lotame as SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, from Tremor Video, where he headed market strategy.

Andres Campo to United Data Technologies as Chief Marketing Officer, from Axxis Solutions, which he founded.

Ashish Sharma to Spectralink as Chief Marketing Officer, from Graymatics, where he was SVP & GM Americas.