Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Introduces A Re-Brand For Marketers

Thursday, July 5th, 2018
Google Re-brands

Recently, Google announced some big changes that would be coming to their marketing tools with the hopes of making the wide variety of products easier to understand and use. Google continues to dominate the search engine marketing landscape and staying ahead of the ever-evolving technology means continuous innovation and, often, new and revamped products. Over the years, Google customers have requested that Google simplify their portfolio of products. As of this month, the wait for a streamlined portfolio is over.

What Changes Are Coming To Google Marketing?

Three major changes make up this new re-branding effort.

  1. Google AdWords is becoming Google Ads
  2. DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 are becoming the Google Marketing Platform
  3. DoubleClick For Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange are becoming Google Ad Manager

According to Matt Lawson, the VP of Ads Marketing at Google, “this change signals that our ad offerings are about more than search.” The ability to communicate that Google’s marketing console includes much more than the standard search engine marketing capabilities is going to be a big win for the search engine giant.

Let’s Talk Google Ads

Dropping the “words” from Google AdWords doesn’t mean that Google is abandoning the keyword aspect of their marketing offerings, though. SEOs of the world – no need to fret! The re-branding to Google Ads is more indicative of the display, video, and app buying that is offered through Google, as well.

Why Combine DoubleClick And Analytics?

As the technology to collect information evolves, the usage of that data is becoming more and more prevalent in the marketing world. The fact is, if you’re not operating on a data-driven strategy, your marketing is probably not performing the way it could be.

Many Google consumers are already using both DoubleClick and the Analytics Suite, so why not bring them together? Lawson says, “The reality is when you combine advertising and analytics you get better insights into the customer journey and are able to drive better results.” By integrating these two products, it becomes easier to understand, execute, and optimize your campaign elements all in one place.

Can Google Successfully Re-Brand?

This isn’t the first time Google is making the effort to re-brand some of their product offerings. As marketers, we know better than most of the failed re-branding efforts that have saturated the marketing – GAP’s record-breaking new logo that lasted all of one week comes to mind. Marketers and customers alike can be skeptical of change, but this re-brand does appear to be 100 percent customer-centric.

Renaming and reworking the marketing product offerings that Google has doesn’t stem from the need to acquire more users, but rather the user’s need to understand and use the products more effectively and efficiently. While veteran users will likely still refer to the products by their original names, as demonstrated by the shift from Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console, new users can glean a better understanding of what marketing tools the search giant has to offer by name alone.

Ultimately, this is a nod towards what the future of marketing with Google has in store. We’re looking forward to this re-brand and everything it symbolizes in the digital marketing world.

Do you need help transforming data into effective marketing tactics? Contact the experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing today to learn how digital marketing can move your bottom line.

AI Is Changing The Face Of Marketing: Part 2

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Robot representing AI typing on computer.

Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The SEO Landscape

Simply put, SEO is the practice of configuring a web page to provide the best user experience for a certain search term. When optimized effectively, this means that a human user can find exactly what they are looking for on your web page when they enter a specific keyword. An optimized page is only as good as the technology available to match it to the specific keyword, though. As technology has advanced, search engines, like Google, have continuously updated the algorithms that are used to streamline the process of matching results to search queries.

Enter Google RankBrain

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence research and have since incorporated machine learning into their page ranking algorithms. Referred to as Google RankBrain, this piece of the algorithm is recognized as the third most important ranking signal. Prior to the incorporation of RankBrain, the search results algorithm was 100 percent hand coded. Engineers would make educated changes to the algorithm with the goal of improving user experience with search results. If it worked, the change remained in effect. If it didn’t, then it was changed again. RankBrain is able to make these changes on its own, thus expediting the entire process.

RankBrain looks at how Google searchers interact with the search results for specific keywords and makes adjustments to improve the overall experience with the results page. Some may say that a machine couldn’t possibly understand human behavior better than the actual human engineers, but when they put RankBrain to the test, the algorithm accurately predicted the #1 search result 10 percent more often than the engineers were able to. Ultimately, the incorporation of artificial intelligence with SEO makes SEO more effective.

How Does Google RankBrain Work?

Google processes more than three billion searches every single day. If it seems hard to fathom that Google could have an accurate answer for every search query, you’re right. About 15 percent of search queries entered each day are being searched for the first time. Before artificial intelligence, Google would scan the internet to find pages that contained the exact match keyword that someone searched for.

For example, say you are searching for a “movie with talking cat and tornado.” Google would scan for pages that contained the individual words “movie,” “cat,” and “tornado.” As you can imagine, the search results would likely lead you far from The Wizard of Oz, which is the answer you are really looking for.

Google RankBrain looks at search queries as a whole and tries to interpret the searcher’s intent to provide much more accurate results. This is done by matching new keywords to keywords that Google has already seen before. When you search for “movie with talking cat and tornado,” Google RankBrain understands that you are looking for the title of a movie with those features, rather than those features by themselves.

Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

This is not a new concept. Google has been working with machine learning to understand intent since 2013. Their technology, which they call Word2vec, focuses on transforming keywords into concepts. According to a previous Google blog post discussing this technology, Word2vec “understands that Paris and France are related the same way Berlin and Germany are (capital and country) and not the same way Madrid and Italy are.” We can assume that RankBrain operates on a much more sophisticated version of this same type of technology.

Understanding User Satisfaction

RankBrain still follows the fundamental practices that are used to measure user satisfaction. After showing a set of results that the artificial intelligence thinks best matches the query. It watches how users interact with the search results – how often a search result gets clicked on, the time spent on the page, how often users bounce, etc. RankBrain uses these interactions to determine whether a result should be ranked higher or lower.

How AI Is Changing SEO

SEO has changed tremendously over time. The easy ways that used to get you ranked number one (keyword stuffing, for example) now harm the rankings of your pages. Shortcuts do not work when the algorithms used to rank pages understand the concept as a whole. Additionally, an outdated best practice was to optimize individual pages for a variety of long-tail keywords. Now that RankBrain is able to interpret search queries as a concept, instead of just looking to keywords, the algorithm understands that different varieties of long-tail keywords are essentially looking for the same answer so you see much less variation in the SERPs.

Interestingly enough, the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the process of SEO makes the entire search process more user-friendly. RankBrain is helping Google put the best content in front of users, which is a call to action for all webmasters: time to improve your content.

As a leading SEO agency in Denver, FiG Advertising + Marketing specializes in keeping up with changes in the search world and capitalizing on them for the benefit of our clients. If you’re interested in improving your search presence and ranking #1, contact us for an SEO audit today.

Google Search Console: New and Improved

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
online search

In August of last year, Google released the beta version of the updated Search Console with some new features. A select group of users tested out the two new features – an Index Coverage Report and AMP fixing flow.

Earlier this month, Google announced that they would be releasing the beta version to all Search Console users.

What Is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, is an online tool that allows webmasters to check the indexing status and gather insights to optimize websites. The tool allows webmasters to gain an understanding of how Google is viewing their digital assets. Webmasters can then use that data to make adjustments that will improve the performance of the website in search results.

Originally launched in 2005, with just four report options, Google Search Console has expanded exponentially to include more than twenty-four reports and tools that offer a variety of information about a site. The primary goal of the Search Console is to help webmasters improve their search performance.

Redesigning For Better Data

After a re-brand in 2015 from Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console, the experts at Google determined that it was time for an update to more than just the name. There were a variety of updates to already existing tools in the Search Console, including:

  • issues grouped by the likely root-cause
  • ability to share action items when diagnosing and fixing issues
  • on-the-spot testing to speed up fix acknowledgment
  • search preview to confirm fixes

These updates were based on discussions with a number of organizations. Google worked to understand how webmasters were using the tool and then optimized it for maximum efficiency on the user side.

New Features In Search Console

In addition to the updates, Google introduced two entirely new features to the Search Console.

The Index Coverage report provides webmasters with a count of the indexed pages, as well as a guide to fixing indexing issues. It also enables a sitemap submission flow that is able to filter all of the data into any sitemap that has been submitted.

This tool will not only allow webmasters to gain better insights regarding what pages of a site could not be indexed and why but also allow them to fix problems more efficiently and update the index more quickly.

The AMP fixing flow includes an error report with pages grouped by the root-cause with a button to verify fixes and direct Google to re-crawl the affected pages.

AMP, or accelerated mobile pages, were the next big thing in SEO in 2016. The goal of this specific HTML5 coding was to create rich content that was mobile optimized but compatible with all platforms and devices. The median load time for AMP-coded content was .7 seconds, while non-AMP coded content loaded in about 22 seconds, or in Google AMP product manager, Rudy Galfi’s, words “the time it takes for you to leave [a] site and never come back.”

The AMP fixing flow in Search Console will help webmasters identify and solve issues in their AMP-coded pages to ensure fast load times and high-quality user experience.

Now Available To All Search Console Users

Now that the test of the beta version is complete, the new Search Console will be applied to existing accounts. It will live side-by-side with the old version until the new Search Console is finished.

What Does This Mean For Webmasters?

This new Search Console design will allow for more seamless integration of the features, including improved ability to analyze search performance, index coverage, AMP status, and job posting reports. It will also include sixteen months of data, allowing a deeper analysis of long-term trends. The experts at Google have simplified the process of getting actionable insights from the Search Console, making SEO easier and more effective for webmasters.

For more on the expanded release of new Search Console, check out the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog announcement.

If you’re interested in seeing what these actionable insights could mean for your website’s search performance, contact FiG Advertising + Marketing, Denver’s leading SEO agency.

Google Joins Programmatic Television Ad Games

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Over the past two decades, digital advertising has evolved at an exponential rate. Programmatic advertising has been a major player in the evolution of highly-specific, targeted ads.

Programmatic advertising uses real-time bidding to serve ads to audiences based on brand data. This technique allows brands to spend their advertising budgets serving ads to the most relevant audience for their products or services. Last year, programmatic advertising accounted for nearly 80 percent of digital ad spending. And it is not done evolving.

Programmatic ad buying has made its way into the television sector. With more than $73 billion dollars going into traditional television advertising, there is significant room for programmatic advertising to grow into, but some advertisers are skeptical.

Television advertising is largely rooted in traditional methods, including direct negotiations for ad space. As the way television is consumed changes, advertisers have to change their methods to keep up. On digital platforms, the goal of programmatic advertising is to increase the efficiency of advertising budgets. When it comes to television, though, the goal of programmatic advertising will be to reach highly-specific audiences and, ultimately, see higher ROI for their TV ad spend.

CBS is jumping on the programmatic train with their streaming service, CBS All-Access. One of many network services that will be partnering with Google to deliver TV ads through their platform, CBS is a major win due to the popularity of the network as a cable provider. Google, a leader in what seems like everything, has been trying the break into the television sector for a while now; this most recent partnership stands to gain the platform significant leverage as a go-to provider for serving television ads.

As an established leader in the search world, Google, has access to a host of information that would be beneficial to advertisers looking the capitalize on television audiences, including what users are searching for during and following shows and advertisements. This information can give advertisers more immediate information regarding the effectiveness of their TV spots.

remote pointed at television

Additionally, Google’s ad serving platform, DoubleClick, is the most widely used platform on the web, allowing advertisers to programmatically serve ads on YouTube. This gives Google an advantage over other providers because of this experience, which parallels that of serving ads on streaming services.

Television advertisers and broadcasters alike are in a unique situation to cultivate this newest endeavor into programmatic advertising. Brian Stempeck, chief client officer at The Trade Desk, says that the shift into programmatic television advertising can only be successful if it remains focused on improving the advertising experience for consumers. “If we’re replicating TV we’re doing it wrong,” he says. Advertisers are already experimenting with how to reinvent the consumer ad experience, from Fox’s 6-second shorts to ads that allow for consumer engagement.They will continue to test new methods and ideas to bring successful advertising seamlessly into a consumer’s life, instead of interrupting it. Great innovation is needed to ensure that the quality of both the advertisements and the television programs is not compromised as this new approach to traditional advertising takes hold.

Keep your advertising strategy up-to-date with FiG Advertising + Marketing