Page 1

Google announces Universal Analytics – 31st October 2012 Google has announced the roll out of Universal Analytics (in beta),an extension if its existing analytics tool, allowing users to track the performance of multiple platforms. The Analytics blog states that it performs this "via the new Measurement Protocol (an API that enables you to send your data to Google Analytics)" in order to "measure how people actually become and remain loyal customers". The focus of the new data appears to be on tracking the performance of mobile apps. Other features include tracking point of sale type data, such as loyalty cards. Currently this is just in Beta and the article does not give a lot of specific information about how these changes will be integrated with a note at the end stating: ‘Universal Analytics won’t mean any changes in your account…But if you’re a large enterprise that is interested in exploring the integration options, you can request access to the Universal Analytics beta.’ – Hannah Struve More details:

Non-Social Facebook Ads Begin Creeping Into the News Feed – 31st October As Facebook’s quest for revenue continues, News Feed relevance appears to be declining. Under intense pressure to generate meaningful ad revenue, Facebook has begun sponsoring stories and pages, and most recently suggesting posts. The key to these new ad units has been intrinsically social — promoting a Facebook post or page and are now testing the placement of traditional non-social ad units in the News Feed. Traditionally, Facebook ads and News Feed content have been separated, with ads always placed to the right of the social content. However Facebook have commented: "We are currently running a small test that makes other ad units eligible to appear in News Feed. This is just a test; we have no further details to share at this time.” While these ads may appear similar to 'Sponsored Stories & Pages' that don’t allow for specific ad copy customization, these ads allow marketers to utilise traditional copy testing rather than post-by-post testing. It also does not appear that these ad units will display any connection information from friends.

– Chris Richardson More details

Surface to help push Bing? – 29th October 2012 At the end of last week Microsoft launched the much anticipated Surface tablet to feature alongside soon to be released Windows 8 and Windows 8 Smartphones. Soon after going on release for pre-order the Surface soon "temporarily sold out" on the Microsoft UK website. It will interesting to see what impact these latest releases have for Microsoft and Bing online. Will the introduction of these revolutionary tablets combined with Windows 8 encourage more customers on to Bing search platform? Advertisers should definitely be aware of these developments and pay close attention to Bing activity in the coming weeks to see how big or small an impact Surface will truly have on the wider search market.

– Kevin Ting More details:

Google Dynamic Search Ads Available to All Advertisers – 30th October 2012 Google introduced Dynamic Search Ads as a Beta last October; a feature that will become available to all advertisers in the next few days. What are Dynamic Search Ads? It’s an efficient new way to target relevant searches with ads generated directly from your website. Instead of keywords, Google uses content from your website domain to target your ads to specific searches by using the organic search index of your website to determine which searches might be relevant to the products and services offered on your website. The text headline and a destination URL will be dynamically generated, while you will also have the ability to control other parts of your text ads using your own template. Dynamic Search Ads has delivered incremental and efficient results with beta testers’ traffic and conversion volume from AdWords boosted by 10% and outperforming their own non-exact keywords by 10% on click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC) and cost per action (CPA). Here are some examples of the type of businesses that are a good fit for Dynamic Search Ads: -

Websites featuring different products or services.

Website offering listings of services or products which change frequently. -

Retailers who sell seasonal product lines or other offerings.

Dynamic Search Ads can save you a lot of time in mapping keywords, bids, and ad text to each product on your website. Give it a go if you have a large number of landing pages featuring different products! – Blair Liu More Details DSAWork

Google Gets Tough on DKI and CTA in Latest Policy Update – 26th October 2012 Google recently announced it will be cracking down on marketers, via its AdWords Policy Update. There has been much talk in the last few months about the site links policy and the requirement for each link to direct to a different destination page or tab, for a better user experience. Now it’s not clear if that has been fully enforced, since we know Google like to roll things out and presumably policy enforcement is no exception. In the latest policy update, there is a significant focus on DKI and calls to action. Regarding the former, it is common knowledge that covering all possibilities in terms of ad copy in order to allow for a grammatically correct description is very difficult. It would appear the new rules are going to make this even more difficult, as it is now a requirement rather than just beneficial to the marketer who may forgo a few grammatical errors in the interest of time saved, particularly for larger accounts. The policy update talks about ‘extremely bad grammar’ and ‘meaningful ad text to user’, which is fairly subjective and ultimately at the discretion of Google. What this ultimately means, is a full review of an account identifying keywords that can continue being used for DKI and those that can’t. Additionally, singular and plural variations of all keywords need to be distinguished and subsequently ad copy written to cover both. The keywords that don’t make the DKI cut will need ad copy created for them specifically where they won’t fall foul of the new policy. This is where generic stock copy would come in handy. As far as calls to action are concerned, it is stated that where ‘Buy’ is included in creative, the destination page must have this option. This is obvious of course, as far as relevance and quality score is concerned, but in instances where the destination page is a search page with several products that relate to the creative yet don’t have an option to buy, then ‘Search’ or similar must be used in the copy. Amending affected creative should prove far easier than the legwork involved with the new DKI policy, since the relevant pages will most likely include ‘search’ in the URL.

As mentioned earlier, these policy updates aren’t news, yet their greater enforcement may prove to well be, so it’s definitely in the interest of marketers to be prepared for these changes and avoid being in an uncomfortable position where a large number of amendments need to be made at short notice. – Jafar Mahir More details:

Voice Search for Xbox expands to Bing – 25th October 2012 It is an exciting time for Xbox fans as Microsoft continues to develop and enhance their 'New Entertainment Experience'. For a few months now, Xbox owners have been able use their voice to search for media (Games, Photos, films etc) on their console but the announcement has now been made that voice search will include Bing internet searches. The official statement reads: "Search the Web from Your TV: With the addition of Internet Explorer, you can now search across the web, as well as the content on your Xbox, to find the most relevant results. Bing on Xbox also searches YouTube for web original video. So, if you’re searching for a film with Jason Statham, you not only get results for his movies from within Xbox, but you can also view related web content within the same search."

This could offer an extremely interesting opportunity for marketers as the evolution of TV search and connectivity continues. Having said this, there are some potential pitfalls. The main problems revolve around voice recognition. Depending on the quality of the recognition, marketers may find that keyword builds will become much more complex as many aspects must be taken into account (e.g. accents, pronunciation and dialect). If the software does not 'understand' the users search query, the ad will not be served or may be served for the wrong query. In summary; it is an exciting update from Microsoft and a big step towards a new search experience. Having said this, it will certainly require a lot of thought and planning from search marketers as to just how accounts should be built to work efficiently on the platform. – Andy Negus More details: 10/22/bing-on-xbox-updates-arrive-on-xboxlive.aspx oducing-the-new-entertainment-experience-from-xbox.aspx

Search Lately: Issue 65  

The world of search is such a fast paced environment in which it is vitally important to stay on top of the latest developments and stay ahe...