Q and A: What are the upcoming changes to Google AdWords?

QuestionHi Kalena,

I’ve been hearing rumors that Google is about to roll out some major changes to AdWords. Do you know anything about this yet? I’m a bit nervous about it.



Hi Kylie

Google announced some major changes to AdWords today – the main one being Enhanced Campaigns.

Basically Enhanced Campaigns mean that advertisers can now present consistent ads to people via multiple devices in the right context within a single campaign, rather than setting up separate campaigns for mobile/tablet users.

The focus here seems to be Google’s way of increasing the adoption of mobile advertising.

I’m still getting my head around the new functionality and will post an indepth article here about it soon, but if you’re interested to learn more in the meantime, here is a round up of articles about it:

More soon!

Fast Five in Search – Week 6, 2013

fast-fiveYes, it’s that time of the week again! I hope you enjoy this week’s eclectic Fast Five selection.

1) The Evolution of the Use of the Internet – the Italian Case by Gianluca Fiorelli            This well researched piece, written by Italian SEO professional Gianluca Fiorelli, outlines the important changes taking place in European Search. Gianluca includes intriguing graphs throughout to illustrate the overwhelming monopoly of Google and Facebook, the explosion of mobile search and the impact of social media on organic search results. Thanks Gianluca!

2) The Penguin That Taught Me to Eat Humble Pie by Chris Holgate                             Chris shares his personal experience of dealing with Penguin’s impact on his business in this informative yet informal post. Many webmasters will probably relate to the experience of receiving bad SEO advice in good faith and later realising they should have listened to their own gut instincts. Make sure you read to the end to get his ‘nuggets of advice’ – well worth a read.

3) 4 Things New Site Owners Need to Understand About SEO by Nick Stamoulis                I can’t go past a good back-to-basics SEO post. Nick gives a nice clear run-down on what ‘newbies’ need to know about marketing their business online: “These four things aren’t technically action items but more of a mentality a new site owner needs to have when they are ready to start their own SEO campaign.”

4) Elements of Google Plus – Part Six: Ripples by Bria Jordan                                        This is part six in an excellent series of posts by Bria which outline the various aspects of Google Plus, step-by-step. Ripples can be used to track the way content is shared, which is incredibly useful in a post-penguin world. “Ripples can uncover Influencers, targeted subjects or keywords: it’s a perfect research tool to determine what is and isn’t working.”

and finally…

5) Using Google Analytics for Blog Post Timing Insights by Alexander Villamizar              I’ve often wondered what’s the best time of day to publish a blog post or perform site maintenance? Here Alex gives us a step-by-step guide for using Google Analytics to extract hourly organic search trends – very useful to understand the rhythms of a site.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless

How to Find Compelling Internet Statistics Without Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

If you’re like me, you do a lot of research online. Cat in a Cup

Whether I’m writing an article, preparing a slide deck, putting together a presentation or researching a subject for a client, I always seem to be hunting down compelling Internet statistics of one kind or another. Particularly topics like:

  • Number of US households with Internet access.
  • Latest search engine market share figures.
  • Most popular search terms for a particular year.
  • Number of Facebook users in a particular country.
  • Amount of e-commerce expenditure in past 12 months.

I always start a search for stats like these thinking it’s going to be a simple task and then end up down some bizarre rabbit hole, emerging two hours later with an amusing picture of a cat in a teacup.

To prevent this from happening again, I’ve bookmarked a list of *Go To* sites for Internet statistics in my Evernote account and today, (you lucky things!), I’m sharing them with you:

  • Internet World Stats – This site lists a range of Internet usage statistics sorted by country and population figures. The site is regularly updated and features a range of handy charts and graphs. There are also links to the latest Facebook usage statistics.
  • ComScore – The press releases and reports from ComScore are often geared to the search industry, so I can usually find something of relevance here related to my particular slide deck or training workshop. Their white papers and presentations are also fantastic sources of visual cues and infographics to help illustrate your points.
  • Forrester Research – Forrester is a prolific publisher of research documents, market reports, analysis and studies of all kinds and in all industries.  A common focus of their research is the impact of the Internet on business activity. Many of their reports are available for purchase, but they also regularly release synopsis’ of their more influential studies for public use through their media department.
  • Google Trends – Don’t overlook Google Trends as a source for useful web statistics and anecdotes. For example, if you enter a search for *mobile phones*, you can track Google’s search history for that phrase and related phrases since 2004 and note the peaks and troughs as the use of cell phones impacted our daily lives. The items highlighted with a letter of the alphabet are influential news items relating to the search term over the historical period. These make fun anecdotes for your presentation e.g. in 2010, Fox News reported that mobile phones have more bacteria on them than the handles on public toilets. Ewww.
  • Facebook Marketing Bible – The FMB apparently started life as an internal company manual and has now become a published guide to marketing your brand, company, product, or service on Facebook. The Facebook Marketing Bible includes summaries about the inner workings of Facebook, strategies to using Facebook for your business, specific how-tos, successful case studies, and insights from social media experts across the board. I include it in this list because it contains some of the most interesting Case Studies for using Facebook that I’ve come across and everyone knows that compelling case studies are the lifeblood of a successful presentation.
  • Nielsen – Nielsen is another prolific global research company. Anything that Nielsen publish quickly becomes extremely influential and many businesses make major decisions based on the data published by Nielsen. Their whitepapers and webinars are freely available for download once you register for the site and new reports are published every day. If I need stats quickly, I always start here.
  • Gartner Research – Gartner Group provide insightful research on the impact of the Internet and the increasing role of IT in business. Gartner’s specialty is technical research, particularly relating to applications development and business intelligence. Unlike Forrester, Gartner’s research is generally only available via paid subscription, but they do offer a 30 day free trial.
  • Simba Information – Simba offer market intelligence primarily for the media, education and publishing industries, but their research reports often include useful technology-related statistics e.g. *The iPad and its Owner: Key Trends and Statistics 2013*.
  • Google Zeitgeist – Google’s annual wrap of the most searched-for topics, year by year, country by country. Think of it as Google’s answer to the Guinness Book of Records.
  • Gap Minder Not strictly Internet related, but Gapminder is a non-profit site that publishes the World’s most important trends in the fields of wealth, health, global development and the environment. In their own words, Gapminder is a modern museum on the Internet with the intention of being a *fact tank* that promotes a fact-based world view. Gapminder produces videos, Flash presentations and PDF charts showing major global development trends with animated statistics in colorful graphics.

Hopefully this list has helped shorten your search time for compelling and useful Internet statistics and prevented you from falling victim to the Rabbit Hole syndrome. After all, the last thing we need on the Internet is more pictures of cats in teacups.

Postscript: Factbrowser has been suggested as a worthy addition to this page. Thanks Keith!


Search Industry Job of the Week – Software Development Engineer

Job Title: Software Development Engineer II – Bing
Job Reference:  822237
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Microsoft
Location: Bellevue, WA, United States
Date Posted: 27 January 2013
Position description:

Are you looking for opportunities to work full stack from advanced HTML5 / javascript to data mining over huge datasets and everything in between? Do you like working on high visibility projects that routinely get press coverage? Do you want to make an impact on all the web developers, SEOs and website owners out there?

The Bing Webmaster Tools team is hiring extremely talented, highly motivated and productive developers to help build the next generation of the Bing Webmaster Tools (bing.com/webmaster). The Bing Webmaster Tools are a scalable way to communicate with all the web developers, SEOs and website owners on the web.The team ask them for all sorts of information to help Bing understand their websites better, and in return, they give them advanced reporting tools to help them see their website through Bing’s eyes.

This role encompasses a wide range of skills, from web-scale data mining, implemented across thousands of servers, to HTML5 web application development and everything in-between. On a day to day basis you might be working with multi-terabyte datasets to generate and aggregate index, telemetry and social data from dozens of different sources (using their cloud based map-reduce variant, COSMOS and SCOPE), and on a different day, experimenting with visualizing and presenting data using HTML5 technologies to enable the world to understand the web in a more comprehensive way.

This is an area that requires creative thinking, strong engineering skills and a passion for doing things “the right way”. When people need this data, it is imperative that it is fresh, correct and presented to them FAST, so a knack for identifying bottlenecks in your code and optimizing them to be faster is a must.

This job requires strong technical skills. You must have the following skills and experience:

  • 3+ years programming experience in C# or similar
  • Experience in web application development (MVC/HTML/JS/CSS)
  • Strong track record of shipping high-quality product features on schedule
  • Willingness and ability to quickly learn new technologies
  • Demonstrated experience in a rapid development environment
  • The following skills are big pluses: azure storage (tables & blobs), autopilot, cosmos, machine learning, sql server, jquery, c++, data mining, data visualization, performance engineering, and testing experience (unit testing / functional testing / performance testing)

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info from: Microsoft Careers
Contact: Send resumes via online form to: Microsoft Careers

For more search industry jobs, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.