Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 25 – July 29
Official: Google Panda 2.3 Update is Live
- Google recently confirmed that late last week it pushed out a small update to the Panda filter.
- “We’re continuing to iterate on our Panda algorithm as part of our commitment to returning high-quality sites to Google users,” a Google spokesperson stated, adding that “This most recent update is one of the roughly 500 changes we make to our ranking algorithms each year.”
- This update “incorporates some new signals that help differentiate between higher- and lower-quality sites. As a result, some sites are ranking higher after this most recent update.” It’s important to note that, each time Panda is run, there’s a chance some hit from the last update will improve, while other sites might see traffic drops.
How Being “Friends” on Google+ Leads to Better Rankings
- Searchengineland.com’s Danny Sullivan recently wrote an article stating that, if you want to rank better on Google, getting people to add you to their Google+ Circles seems to provide a potentially huge boost.
- As an example, Sullivan added Ford Motor Company to his Circles. Later, when searching for cars on Google, he found a listing for Ford at the bottom of the first page of results, in the 10th position. In addition, there was an enhancement stating that Ford had shared the link because he was connected to the company on Google+.
- Google’s Social Search results have allowed content from people you know to rank higher since 2009 – so, with Google+, “knowing” Ford and other such entities ups the chances that it will show up in the top results as long as you’re logged in. So far, the social media network is for consumers only (with the exception of a few brands like Ford), but time will tell what business pages will do for individualized Google rankings.
Ad Effectiveness: Above-the-Fold, Repetition Clicks with Users
- New research released today by Casale Media shows that above-the-fold ad placements displayed within the first screen of a user’s browser window were found to be the most effective. In fact, they were almost seven times more effective at generating a click-through than ads delivered below the fold.
- Based on analysis of nearly 2 billion ad impressions in the first quarter of the year, Casale also found that users were three to four times more likely to act on an ad if it was the first one they say during their session. From there, ad effectiveness plummeted as the user progressed through their online viewing.
- Casale also noted that advertisers, particularly those focused on brand penetration with customers, should take into account a number of factors when considering the environments in which their ads will be running; for example, ads may not even be seen by the audience when surrounded by engaging content like photo galleries.
Twitter Intros Ability to Target Promoted Tweets to Followers
- As it continues to develop the advertising opportunities available on its service, Twitter is now allowing brands to target their promoted tweets to followers only. Like other promoted tweets, the messages appear at the top of users’ timelines upon login, and scroll down afterwards. They can also be dismissed completely.
- Kevin Weil, the product lead for Twitter’s monetization products, stated that “traditionally, you could target with a set of keywords and restrict to geographies. With this, you can target to your followers – anyone following the brand is part of that.”
- Twitter says engagement on Promoted Tweets already generate 3-5% engagement, and the targeting is likely to increase that metric.
Facebook Debuts “Facebook for Business”
- On Tuesday Facebook debuted a step-by-step online guide aimed at helping small businesses use the social networking site. The company is billing the new page, found at Facebook.com/business, as an “online education center” that gives directions on such things as how to set up a profile page, create targeted ads and deals, and interact with customer feedback online.
- The timing is interesting, as it comes just a week after Google began shutting off al company profiles on its Google+ social network. The search engine giant says it’s just company policy to restrict Google+ access to individual users at the time being.
- Facebook’s new business page does not come along with any new features – it simply puts a lot of information that may be handy for small businesses on one place, silently suggesting that (unlike Google+), Facebook encourages companies to use its services for company branding.