What's New in Search? 15th April 2016

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

Welcome to our weekly round-up! Every week we discuss what’s been happening in the integrated world of Digital Marketing.

SEO

Alex has taken a look at Linkbuilding and how the landscape has been changing and how PPC and SEO work together to get the best from your keyphrase research…

More Google Link Penalties

Last weekend Google’s manual action penalty occurred. This was an outbounding links penalty. Google recently warned webmasters and bloggers that any followed links that were placed in posts in exchange for reviews of products or services would be hit with a manual penalty.

This again is another form of linkbuilding which Google is trying to clamp down on. Webmasters have seen their sites penalised however they do have an opportunity to get off the Google naughty step. If webmasters clean up their act by adding a disclaimer to their post and making outbound links no follow then a ‘reconsideration request’ can be made to Google which will be manually reviewed. If successful the penalty will be removed.

Long Tail Organic Opportunities

Another interesting article which I have read this week talks about placing higher priority on keywords that aren’t being targeted by paid search ads due to low search volumes. Generally these keywords will be long tail. These terms are usually more informational based but are becoming important and useful to rank for with conversational search becoming more popular.

With the recent change in the search engine results pages whereby 4 ads appear at the top of the results, followed by the local pack and then the first organic listing showing above the fold. It’s a good idea to optimise for terms where the listings are less populated and where this is more opportunity from an organic point of view.

PPC

Giada has been looking at some of the “sneaky” tests that Google have launched…

Green advert labels replacing the standard yellow labels

While we have not come across this yet, several users have posted screenshots of searches carried out both in the UK and abroad returning PPC adverts with green labels.

To the average user, this may seem like an innocuous change but actually this new test seems to be an attempt to mask the fact that PPC listings are in fact adverts and to make them blend in more with the organic results.
This is obviously in Google’s favour as, historically, users have placed more trust in organic listings so if they are unable to tell the difference between paid and organic results, we would expect to see advert CTRs increase.

New Local Advert Formats

A new format for local adverts on mobile has been spotted that shows adverts as if they were free Google Maps results. The only distinguishing feature is the yellow ad label above the listings.

Once again, this is another tactic to increase traffic generated through paid ads.

Additional Structured ‘Highlights’ Snippet Being Tested

Google also seem to be testing a new header, ‘Highlights’, as part of their structured snippet extension options.

The headers that were initially released are quite specific while the new ‘highlights’ header option is fairly generic which will allow more advertisers to include this extension in their adverts and use them more like callout extensions i.e. to showcase their USPs. We haven’t seen this option available in any of our accounts yet but we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled!

Watch this space for more updates on Google tests, new features and more!

Stay tuned for more updates on the world of Search!

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