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Aqueous SEO | Professional UK SEO
  Updated Wed, 29 Nov 2017 12:00:25 +0000
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Photobucket: A lesson in how not to treat your customers
Category Digital Marketing, P500, photobucket
Published:
Description: Back in July the internet world woke up to find that the images that should be showing on bulletin boards, blogs, forums and shopping sites such as eBay and Amazon, had disappeared. What they found instead was the Photobucket ‘P500’ error image. Photobucket had, overnight, pivoted their business model to disallow users from sharing images […]  more...

Back in July the internet world woke up to find that the images that should be showing on bulletin boards, blogs, forums and shopping sites such as eBay and Amazon, had disappeared.

What they found instead was the Photobucket ‘P500’ error image.

Photobucket P500

Photobucket had, overnight, pivoted their business model to disallow users from sharing images on any other website unless they paid for a ?premium? plan.

One of the biggest issues, however, was that it came out of the blue. No one knew about it. There were no announcements, no emails warning people that it was about to happen and more importantly, no explanation.

Given that their mission statement appears to be “Your photos are our number one priority. It’s our mission to help you share, store, edit and enjoy them — all in one place” it was a very strange move.

Naturally, the internet was up in arms about it; just search Facebook, Twitter or Reddit to see for yourself. Bulletin boards across the globe were crippled as previously vibrant threads with detailed images disappeared. People who had used Photobucket for hosting these images successfully for over ten years found that they literally had to start again with what for some, amounted to a lifetimes work.

Taking a step back and looking at it from a commercial point of view, there must have been a growing imperative to step away from a model primarily reliant on advertising. With a growth in customer numbers and an increase in bandwidth usage, their cost base must have been spiralling. It’s a by-product of their success.

The solution however surely was not what they have come up with?

Firstly, why make the change with no notice? Why simply change overnight and then dump on your customers?

Secondly, how on earth did they arrive at their pricing point of $399? When so many people use their service specifically for third party hosting and nothing else, why provide this service only at the highest price point you have?

Finally, unless they have deliberately set out to rid themselves forever of customers using ‘free’ accounts then how will they survive the fallout from this?

Their website is currently drowning in crass advertising and is virtually unusable.

One commentator on Reddit summed the problem up nicely;

“you cant even begin to imagine what this will mean to internet forums and blogs. older internet users remember what a dumpster fire the internet was when angelfire, geocities, and tripod stopped offering free hosting, broken links everywhere and it was the exact same cause, they started out to give everyone free hosting, but they reached critical mass as more people signed up for the free than the paid.”

The backlash from this decision was inevitable. Many people closed their accounts, and more, I?m sure, are planning to do so when their annual plan expires. When there are so many other alternatives out there it seems that Photobucket is relying on inertia from their customer base to survive.

I doubt they will be allowed to.

From a Marketing Communications point of view, this was a case study on how not to do it.

Not only did they dump this on their users with zero notice, but they compounded the issue with their communications, or lack of them.

Four months on from the start of this process their Facebook and Twitter ‘Customer Services’ teams are blithely carrying on as if nothing has happened and people are being ignored or stuck into pre-defined responses.

People have stopped complaining on the Photobucket forum as they were being asked to email them, at which point they got a ‘canned’ email which amounted to nothing more than FAQ’s. None of which answered any of the questions their customers had.

Today, most of their customers have taken to Twitter or Facebook to vent their anger and they are not happy. Everything they now do, no matter how positive, is subject to a barrage of abuse and hate.

And their traffic has suffered. According to SimilarWeb their traffic has halved since they made this change.

This is nothing short of a P.R disaster and has left a very bad taste in the mouth for many people. Given that Photobucket was set up as a photo storage and sharing website, removing the sharing option unless you pay $399 seems bizarre. People are still feeling that they are being held to ransom.

It is highly unlikely that Photobucket will rethink this policy, or even survive as a business. Even if they do then they may end up being remembered as the people who broke the internet.

 

 

Will Google ever be toppled from the top of the tree?
Category SEO, alta vista, Bing, dog pile, Google, Yahoo
Published:
Description: With the act of searching online now more often than not, being referred to as ?googling?, it?s difficult to imagine a time when this search engine giant wasn?t ruling the internet.  Google really cemented their reign over online search in recent years when their name became a commonly used verb for searching for something online, […]  more...

With the act of searching online now more often than not, being referred to as ?googling?, it?s difficult to imagine a time when this search engine giant wasn?t ruling the internet. 

Google-LogoGoogle really cemented their reign over online search in recent years when their name became a commonly used verb for searching for something online, but they haven?t always been top dog!  Before Google?s time there were plenty of search engines to choose from including the likes of Yahoo, Lycos, Excite, Dog Pile and Ask Jeeves? Phew, what a blast from the past some of those names are!

Google?s innovation, complex algorithms and drive to deliver searchers with high quality, relevant search results have catapulted them to the top of the pile.  Their immense success has killed off a lot of their competition and thus given them a huge amount of power in deciding which webpages can easily be found online and which cannot.

But is Google?s status as top dog unconquerable or could they be dethroned in the not so distant future?

Where does Google stand now?

Net Market Share research from April 2017 shows that Google still holds 77% of global search engine usage and names the next top 3 search engines as Baidu (8%), Bing (7.13%) and Yahoo (5%).

Search Engine Net Market Share 2017

 

With Google receiving over 6 billion 500 searches a day worldwide, it would be a pretty impressive feat to topple them from the top spot any time soon, but let?s take a look at the top contenders.

The Competition

Baidu

You can be forgiven for not having heard of Baidu before as they are China?s answer to Google. Google is blocked in mainland China due to strict digital rules and regulations and instead, Baidu rules supreme with over 80% of China?s search engine market.

Bing (Microsoft)

Bing is Microsoft?s answer to Google.  Bing are currently working their socks off trying to encourage people to jump ship from Google and are seen as their main competition.

Microsoft?s search engine lost some credibility back in 2011 when they were caught ?copying? Google?s search results after a number of nonsensical searches returned the exact same results on both search engines.

Whilst many people sneer at Bing, they are said to use very similar ranking factors to Google.  They claim that it is easier to rank highly with them over Google as so many people are preoccupied with ranking on Google alone.

Microsoft are more and more frequently integrating Bing into the Windows operating system and Windows phones in an effort to win more users, and it seems to be working, particularly in the UK and the US.

Earlier this summer, in their latest attempt to win more users, Microsoft started offering ?Microsoft Rewards? to those that use Bing. These reward points can be collected and exchanged for freebies. Unfortunately, the move was seen by many as a desperate attempt to ?buy? users.

Yahoo

Yahoo receives a lot of help with their search facilities not just from their long-term partner Microsoft Bing, but also from Google themselves.  In 2015 Yahoo signed a 3-year deal with Google that gave them search ads, algorithmic search and image search for both desktop and mobile. Whilst these partnerships help to increase Yahoo?s popularity and revenue, it also proves that sadly they just don?t have the technology to outdo their competition at the moment.

Challenges for Google

Quality

Although Google are currently far out in the lead, there are a number of challenges keeping them on their toes.  They have recently been under fire for the quality of their search results after a series of embarrassingly questionable results were publicised in The Guardian.

Reputation

It is this kind of mistake that could spoil their reputation and have people turn to one of their competitors, or even alternative search engines like the privacy-friendly DuckDuckGo.

Mobile market

The mobile market could also have a big effect on Google?s popularity.  With more and more people performing searches whilst out and about using their mobile phones there is plenty of scope for Microsoft Bing to win more customers on Windows devices.

For now, it doesn?t seem like Google?s top position is in any immediate danger as for the most part they set the standards when it comes to SEO.  However, if the search giant wants to remain the kingpin then they need to stay on their toes and keep on innovating and improving the quality of their search results to keep their reputation intact and remain at the top of the pile.

Want to find out more about ranking on alternative search engines like Bing? Get in touch with our SEO team here at Aqueous SEO to get optimised for Bing by calling one of our team on 0800 285 1424.

 

5 SEO must read books for 2018
Category SEO, books
Published:
Description: One of the most vital aspects of promoting your business is to ensure you have a good SEO strategy. The problem is that Google is constantly evolving its algorithm to cut down on spam and ensure only the best quality content reaches the top of the SERPs. So to stay ahead of the many changes […]  more...

One of the most vital aspects of promoting your business is to ensure you have a good SEO strategy.

The problem is that Google is constantly evolving its algorithm to cut down on spam and ensure only the best quality content reaches the top of the SERPs. So to stay ahead of the many changes in SEO, you need relevant, up-to-date information.

If you want to learn the fundamentals of today?s SEO or improve your existing strategy, you should invest in at least one of these top 5 SEO books for 2018. And if you are stuck for thoughtful presents for someone in your life there’s bound to be something here if they are into SEO.

The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimisation 3rd Edition

By Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer and Jessie Stricchiola

This bestselling book by three of the world?s top SEO experts is ideal for beginners and advanced SEO practitioners alike.

It contains everything you need to know about new techniques and tools to plan and execute a successful SEO strategy in 2017.

Novices receive a comprehensive SEO education, while experienced practitioners are updated with up-to-the-moment methods and tools to improve their ongoing strategies and add to their SEO knowledge.

Search Engine Optimization 2017: Learn SEO with Smart Internet Strategies

By Adam Clark

This updated version reveals the secrets of gaining more traffic in 2017. It focuses on effective link building without incurring Google penalties in a simple step-by-step process.

The book covers all the latest changes to Google?s algorithm, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Key features include:

  • Essential secrets to stay ahead, including potential changes coming up in 2017
  • How beginners can quickly learn the fundamentals of SEO to get more customers
  • 25+ little known, effective SEO marketing tools
  • Bonus chapter on how to set up an instant pay-per-click campaign

 

SEO Fitness Workbook, 2017 Edition: The Seven Steps to Search Engine Optimization Success on Google

By Jason McDonald PhD

SEO guru, Jason McDonald, reveals the seven steps you need to be SEO fit. Clear and concise, it?s perfect for SEO newbies, explaining the basics of SEO in easy-to-understand terms.

Key features include:

  • Practical worksheets you can apply to your website
  • Chapter links to supporting videos for better understanding

 

SEO Like I?m 5: The Ultimate Beginner?s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

By Matthew Capala

Don?t be fooled by the title. This bestseller is not condescending or, indeed, just for beginners. It offers a refreshing approach to learning SEO in a simple and practical way, making it the must-read book for businesses that want instant results without getting bogged down in the complexities of SEO.

Packed full of practical tips, case studies and walk-throughs, the book focuses on producing strong content and social media presence as opposed to keyword stuffing and coding.

Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies

By Bruce Clay

Described as the ?most comprehensive coverage of SEO?, this straight-to-the-point guide cuts through the tech talk to get you set up and ready to use an effective SEO strategy in the quickest way possible. The new version contains updated material for 2017, information on web design, and how to use SEO to stay ahead of competitors.

Whatever stage you are in your SEO career you are bound to be able to glean something from the five we have featured in this list. Buy them for Christmas and enjoy into the New Year!

Photobucket have made a lot of people very angry?.
Category Technology
Published:
Description: It doesn’t take much to make the internet angry these days but even so, this latest stunt from Photobucket takes some beating. At first, some people thought it was a scam. There are plenty of posts saying that they thought Photobucket had been hacked but these swiftly turned to anger when they realised that it […]  more...

Photobucket Comments_LIIt doesn’t take much to make the internet angry these days but even so, this latest stunt from Photobucket takes some beating.

At first, some people thought it was a scam. There are plenty of posts saying that they thought Photobucket had been hacked but these swiftly turned to anger when they realised that it was real.

The issue; Photobucket have decided that it’s a great idea to stop people from using their platform for sharing photos on other websites unless you pay them $399 a year.

As many angry people have pointed out, the service has been glitchy and inconsistent for some time. As somewhere to store your photos it’s been OK but for sharing it has been prone to issues. And the solution they have come up with of charging everyone for doing something that has previously always been free has not gone down well.

This is the sort of thing you can find today if you go and look at their Facebook page;

Facebook Photobucket

Twitter is no better and what’s adding fuel to the fire is the ‘corporate speak’ responses to every complaint. Quite simply people are not being heard.

Photobucket Twitter Comment

The change has meant that bulletin boards and auction sites across the internet are a train wreck this morning, along with people’s personal blogs and websites. And to date, Photobucket is doing nothing about it. They appear to be hunkering down and hoping they can weather the storm.

The problem they face is not simply that disgruntled customers may go elsewhere but that in doing so they will shout as loudly as they can about how badly they have been treated. Forget that many of these people, in fact, many of the 166 who have commented so far today on their Facebook page, probably have a free account, the fact is that they are customers.

And Photobucket is about to find out that when you upset customers en masse then no amount of backtracking will protect your brand. There is only one way this can end well and it involves them reconsidering this bizarre move. Every other way sees Photobucket come to a sad and sticky end.

Aqueous celebrate our 6th birthday!
Category Blog
Published:
Description: What a year. It?s been an amazing journey over the last twelve months and there is so much in the pipeline it?s hard to know where to begin! This time last year we published this blog post in which we outlined our plan to grow the business to £1,000,000 turnover by the end of 2019. […]  more...

What a year. It?s been an amazing journey over the last twelve months and there is so much in the pipeline it?s hard to know where to begin!

This time last year we published this blog post in which we outlined our plan to grow the business to £1,000,000 turnover by the end of 2019. One year on and we are on target to achieve this mark. In fact, if everything goes according to plan (and you know what they say about the best-laid plans?.) then we could even do it a year early!

When we set the business up in 2011 in a small office with no customers but big aspirations, the aim was always to provide a service that customers would want, value and gain benefit from. Six years on and we have hundreds of successes behind us and customers still with us who have been with us almost from the start.

In the last year, we?ve seen more of our customers get more number one positions on Google than ever before. We?ve expanded the team so there are now nine of us and we?re still recruiting and we?ve retained our Google Partner status for the fourth year running.

The team gained more Google qualifications than ever before, we took on a Head of Sales and we won the Halton Business Awards Marketing Excellence Award. We?ve even shifted our social media followers from under 1,000 to over 10,000 in total.

It?s been amazing. But the plans for the next year are even more exciting!

Right now, are looking to recruit two new technical heads for our office, to add to our in-house SEO and PPC expertise and we will be taking on more office space in the near future. We are also recruiting for two more sales people in the next six months.

On top of this, we have a new Aqueous Digital website under construction (watch this space!) and we are investing heavily in a training programme for the business. We are also investing in IT, infrastructure and unified communications to help us provide an even better service to our customers.

With all that going on you?ll understand it when we say that today, in the office, it will be a low-key affair. No streamers, bunting, cakes or champagne. But we do have big plans in the pipeline for the next two weeks so follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see what adventures we get up to!

Spike in 404?s in Search Console. Should I be worried?
Category Blog, SEO
Published:
Description: 404 Errors usually occur when the webpage you were trying to access cannot be found on the server. This is caused by either the page being removed or moved somewhere else and the URL you are using has not be changed. It could also be caused by you incorrectly typing in the URL or clicking […]  more...

404 Errors usually occur when the webpage you were trying to access cannot be found on the server. This is caused by either the page being removed or moved somewhere else and the URL you are using has not be changed. It could also be caused by you incorrectly typing in the URL or clicking on a pre-existing link that is incorrect. More often than not 404 errors are caused by a URL being incorrect as opposed to their being a problem with the server. Despite this, you may often notice periods where there is a spike in 404 errors in Google?s Search Console. There will be periods where you will continually try to access a website that should be available to you only to find you are met with 404 error pages.

Search Engine 404 errors example

According to those working at Google, this is a perfectly normal process and is likely to happen from time to time. In creating temporary 404 pages, Google regularly checks to see if there are any changes with the existing URLs, particularly older pages that may no longer be in use.

Recently on Twitter, a user tweeted at John Mueller, a Senior Webmaster Trend Analyst at Google asking if there was a ?change in search console that increased found error pages at the beginning of April?. Mueller not long after replied with a tweet stating that there was ?no change in reporting. We periodically recrawl older URLs to see if there?s something awesome there, maybe you?re seeing that.?

Whilst this may seem inconvenient and unnecessary, it is actually one of the best ways to ensure that websites are accessible. If at some point in its timeline a URL has been 404?d but is soon to contain new content it. Without Google retrying these old 404 URLs then that content would not be available to you or anyone else.

Ultimately, there is no reason that this should panic you if you find that pages are flagged as 404 errors. If however, the number of errors continues rising for if they appear for page that should exist then you have a problem. If the page you are trying to access belongs to you there are a few steps you should take. Firstly, check the URL to ensure that you haven?t mistyped something- as mentioned previously, most of the time this is the issue and can be resolved in a matter of seconds. If however you have checked this and you are still seeing a 404 page on a site that belongs to you, you should check that it is in fact live and that the issue isn?t from your end. Only once you cannot find a problem on your end should you then contact your web developer or web hosting provider to resolve any 404 issues.

At Aqueous Digital we provide a range of digital marketing services including SEO which can cover issues regarding 404 errors. For more information call us on 0800 285 1424 or fill in our contact form and we’ll be in touch!

AMPing up your website?s mobile speed in 2017
Category Blog, SEM
Published:
Description: Could AMPing up the speed of your website?s content give you the edge over your competitors? Did you know that all around the world more people are now searching for information online using their mobile devices than they are desktop computers? (According to Google) Mobile browsing has been on the increase for some time now […]  more...

Could AMPing up the speed of your website?s content give you the edge over your competitors?

Did you know that all around the world more people are now searching for information online using their mobile devices than they are desktop computers? (According to Google)

Mobile browsing has been on the increase for some time now and this doesn?t seem set to slow down any time soon.

With the digital landscape constantly shifting and becoming more mobile-oriented is your website keeping up and delivering a mobile-friendly experience?

What is AMP?AMP Google Search Example

Since 2015 Google have been slowly rolling out accelerated mobile pages (AMP) in response to the increase in demand from users for more instantaneous access to information on mobile devices.

In a world where we have access to almost any information we could dream of at the tips of our fingers, we don?t want to have to deal with the frustration of slow pages taking an age load ? we want answers and we want them now!

Accelerated mobile pages can be identified in search results by looking for the AMP initials and lightning bolt symbol next to the listing as shown here:

Rudy Galfi, the AMP Project Product Manager has been quoted saying that on average an AMP-formatted webpage takes 0.7 seconds to load, whilst the average time for other webpages is 22 seconds!

So far AMP has most commonly been used by news websites and blogs but is now being adopted by a more varied mix of websites.  It is expected that as with most things Google, early adopters of AMP will be the ones that reap the rewards!

How does it work?

AMPed pages load almost instantaneously because they are coded to prioritise loading text content.  Additional content like imagery is kept to a minimum and loaded after the text content on the page.

Why AMP?

The key benefits of using AMP are:

  • Improves user-experience by minimising frustration caused by slow-loading pages, which will in turn keep people on your website.
  • Fast-loading pages are great for SEO. AMP is not yet known to be an individual ranking factor, but site speed is!
  • Improved visibility of content. Google uses a ?top stories? carousel that highlights AMP content.

How can I get it?

In order to get AMP on your website you will need new versions of your web pages built and developed using the AMP HTML.  These new pages will strip out all ?non-essential? information on the page when it is being viewed on a mobile phone.  When your webpage is viewed on a desktop computer, visitors will still see the full webpage, giving users on both mobile and desktop devices the best experience for their browsing device.

Worried about duplicate content?

We?ve all had it hammered home that duplicate content is bad for SEO, so won?t your new AMP webpage contain the same duplicated content as the desktop version?

In short, yes, it will contain the same content but using a rel:?canonical? tag will prevent Google from marking either version as duplicate content.  The rel:?canonical? tag simply tells Google which piece of content is the original and should be applied with all the credit and lets it know that the AMP page is a related copy of this page.

Want to find out more about AMP?  Visit the AMP Project website for more details and tutorials or give one of our team here at Aqueous Digital a call on: 0800 285 1424.

And finally, it?s goodnight from DMOZ
Category Backlinks, DMOZ, link building
Published:
Description: DMOZ used to be the holy grail in SEO. Getting a link from DMOZ meant your website would rank higher and it was a mark of a job well done if you could get indexed. But now, it?s gone The Open Directory Project used human editors to organise websites and harks back to a time […]  more...

DMOZ used to be the holy grail in SEO. Getting a link from DMOZ meant your website would rank higher and it was a mark of a job well done if you could get indexed.

But now, it?s gone

DMOZ gone

The Open Directory Project used human editors to organise websites and harks back to a time when humans, rather than machines, tried to organise the web.

DMOZ was launched in 1998, the same year as Google, the competitor that would finally put it out of business. It started life as ?GnuHoo,? then quickly changed to ?NewHoo,? a rival to the Yahoo Directory at the time.

Yahoo had faced criticism as being too powerful and too difficult for sites to be listed in and DMOZ was supposed to be the answer.

It was acquired by Netscape, renamed the Netscape Open Directory then AOL acquired Netscape, giving AOL control of The Open Directory.

But as the internet grew it was doomed. How could humans cope with the scale of expansion of the internet? A machine was needed to sort the problem out and Google did just that.

For anyone with history in SEO, the demise of ODP will be a real shame and marks an end of an era.

 

How to Optimise Local Business Listings for ?Near Me? Searches
Category Blog, SEO Tips
Published:
Description: Is your local business website optimised for ?near me? searches? If not you could be missing out on a whole lot of relevant traffic. With the ever-increasing surge in mobile searching and browsing, more and more people are now turning to Google to help them make impulsive decisions on places to go, services nearby and […]  more...

Is your local business website optimised for ?near me? searches?

If not you could be missing out on a whole lot of relevant traffic.

With the ever-increasing surge in mobile searching and browsing, more and more people are now turning to Google to help them make impulsive decisions on places to go, services nearby and things to do whilst they?re out and about

Micro-Moments

In response to this trend Google have been putting more of an emphasis on optimising their search results for what they call ?micro-moments?.

Google says that micro-moments are real-time, intent-driven opportunities for brands to shape customer decisions and preferences.

An example of a micro-moment could be your boiler breaking down just before you head out to work or looking for a restaurant to eat at whilst visiting a new city.  Both of these moments require a quick answer to solve a point of pain.

?Near Me? Searches

One of the key ways that Google has reacted to this trend is to start pushing ?near me? searches in their suggested searches for local queries.  If you get your phone out right now and try typing into Google any type of local place or service, chances are you will see a ?near me? search somewhere in the top 5 suggested searches.  Here are a few that we have just performed.

Examples of Near Search in Google

When people are out and about searching on their mobile they?re often looking for immediate answers to a query and so often start typing what they?re looking for and then simply click the most relevant suggested search, eg. ?cake shop near me?.

It is the increase in this type of behaviour that has seen the phenomenal rise in popularity of the ?near me? search over recent years.  For an idea of how popular this search term has become just take a look at the graph below from Google Trends.

Recent trends for 'Near Search'

Reaping the rewards from the ?near me? trend

Don?t miss out on a slice of the pie.  If your local business is not yet benefiting from the ?near me? search trend then it?s time to add it into your keyword strategy and get optimising!

There are a few ways that your business can incorporate ?near me? queries into your keyword strategy to start ranking for relevant ?near me? searches, these include:

  • Add a page to your website that targets your specific near me search term and location.
  • Gain relevant backlinks with your target location/s in the anchor text.
  • If your website has location pages then add ?near me? into the title tags on these pages
  • Add your ?near me? search terms (and variants) into the text content on your website

With just a small amount of time and effort, many local businesses have seen an increase in relevant traffic and customer enquiries by simply adding ?near me? search terms into their keyword strategy.

Want to start benefiting from the ?near me? local search phenomenon? Don?t get left behind, get in touch with our SEO team here at Aqueous SEO to get optimised for ?near me? searches in your area by calling one of our team on 0800 285 1424.

 

Google testing new subtler Adwords format
Category Advertising, PPC, Adwords
Published:
Description: I spotted this yesterday but was on the way out of the office so didn’t get a chance to chronicle the change. We know that Google experiments with the way its advertising looks and feels as this is a critical part of Google as a business. Don’t forget that currently, over 90% of all its revenue […]  more...

I spotted this yesterday but was on the way out of the office so didn’t get a chance to chronicle the change.

We know that Google experiments with the way its advertising looks and feels as this is a critical part of Google as a business. Don’t forget that currently, over 90% of all its revenue comes from online advertising and Adwords is the key driver of that revenue.

Changes to Adwords formats therefore then to be quite frequent but usually quite subtle as a radical change, the sort that could dramatically impact on revenues, is quite unlikely.

The change which it has just introduced is on desktop and mobile advertising and looks like this;

Google Adwords Feb 17As you can see, the mobile version which is shown first is quite a leap forward from the early days of ads on phones, but with the transformation of the mobile environment and the fact that more of us now search on mobiles, this makes perfect sense. The desktop version is, by comparison, quite boring.

The thing that strikes us though is that the green ‘Ad’ tag is very subtle. In fact it is so subtle that the people we tested this with though that they were just normal listings.

Google is always criticised when the advertising looks like natural listings as they get accused of driving profits at the expense of user satisfaction. We will soon see if this change, therefore, is here to stay.

 

 


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