May 2012

Transcript Below

SEO – Penguin Update Hits!

The big news in SEO was something called the Penguin Update that hit the Google search index on April 24th. This was the second major update this year. What it aims to do is to weed out low quality content. Several sites like SearchEngineLand have a number of posts up describing this update, and how it affects you.

In fact, the official name before it got the name Penguin was the “Over Optimization Penalty”. The kind of sites that seem to be hit the hardest are Directories, Aggregation sites and sites with very few High quality links.

Most business sites should not suffer from these problems, but in case your site rankings/traffic have dropped, a good resource to refer is Amit Singhal’s post from last year on high quality content. He lists out 23 different questions to ask about your content, that may be getting it into trouble with the Google index.

AdWords – Changes for Optimization

The first major AdWords change is that Google has changed the way the “broad match” function works. It automatically takes misspellings, singular/plural, abbreviations and shows your broad match keywords more often. If you use broad match a lot in your campaigns, you should expect an uptick in the number of impressions and clicks from there. Do closely observe the conversion rates and shift these keywords to “phrase match” if needed.

The second change is that Google has started providing more guidance when it comes to Quality Score in your campaigns.

It provides three new pieces of information:

  • Expected Clickthrough rate – A guidance on whether you need to touch up your ad copy
  • Ad Relevance – A guidance on whether you need to tweak your keywords and ad groups
  • Landing Page Experience – A guidance on whether your landing page needs a redesign

This change should make a bit easier to decipher the complicated world of Adwords optimization.

AdCenter – Share of Voice (SoV)

A low impact, but fascinating in the PPC world happened when AdCenter launched a new metric called SoV. This is a term very familiar to brand marketers who use display advertising or premium banner buys as this metric is provided by publishers.

Just like brand advertising, this metric aims to capture the percentage of times your ad was shown in the larger pool of all possible times it could’ve been shown. SearchEngineLand has an excellent piece of different uses for it in your KPIs. As Google adapts to the world of large brand advertisers, I can see this metric coming to AdWords soon too.

Facebook + Search

As Facebook’s IPO rolls ever closer, the rumors about it entering the search market keep getting louder. There was a whole set of rumors that Microsoft was willing to sell Bing to Facebook, arming the social media giant for a real fight with Google. But followup rumors also said that Steve Ballmer (yep – the man who can dance like crazy, and sell Windows like it’s on TVC) wasn’t on board with the deal.

If Facebook did get into search though (it’s a really long shot in my view), it would ease the Antitrust pressure off Google’s back significantly. So maybe Google’s secretly hoping for it?

SEO & Email still popular with Social Marketers

Social Media Examiner released its annual survey of Social Media Marketers (44 page PDF) – and surprisingly SEO and Email marketing are still very popular activities.

That’s it for search marketing news, if you’d like to read more news summary in Social Media, Mobile, Display Advertising and much more – subscribe to our Singapore Marketing Newsletter here.

Rachit Dayal

Is the Managing Partner at Happy Marketer, and handles clients with needs in Web Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Google AdWords, Website Design and Conversion Consulting.

As Singapore’s first Qualified AdWords Professional and one of the first Analytics Qualified Professionals in the region, Rachit has been on the forefront of search marketing in Singapore since 2004.

But as this industry comes into maturity, he believes now is when the fun is starting – when clients dare to dream of exciting campaigns, and we can finally show tangible positive ROI from all marketing campaigns.