Internet Marketing News August Recap

September is here so get ready for some football, tailgates, and the next installment of Internet marketing news updates!

To close out the top Internet marketing news from July let’s look at the ComScore Core Search Share Report. Google grew briefly to 67% while Microsoft stayed constant right below 18%. Yahoo!, Ask, and AOL each dropped .1%.

July ComScore Core Search Share Report

And with that we dive into the top internet news from August.

Google

  • At the end of July, Google announced internal testing of the new Google Now Cards. In August, the company launched a series of new cards including car rentals, concert tickets, reminders for TV shows, and book releases. Google Now Cards keep appearing in desktop search results and now users can ask quick questions about travel and logistics. If someone has content around flights, packages, or any reservations in their Gmail, asking questions pertaining to the email will show the result in native Google.
  • Google also announced the end to the much loved Keyword Tool and its replacement Keyword Planner. The trickiest part of this change is the need to set up an AdWords account before accessing the new tool. To learn more, our own Organic Search Manager, Andrew Ruegger wrote a full guide on How to Use the new Keyword Planner for SEO
  • Google is rolling out In-Depth articles for many topics below the standard SERP. This allows users to find high quality content around an important theme. For instance, below is an example when I searched Taylor Swift.

 Google In Depth Articles Example

  • Google Launched Manual Spam Actions viewer in the Search Traffic tab of Webmaster tools for site owners to check the status of a Google spam notification. For anyone who has received these notifications, Google created seven videos of the most common manual action notifications.
  • Google Maps now features Waze traffic updates on its iOS and Android App, showing first signs of the integration of the acquisition. The Waze app still remains and now has been updated to include a Google search box and incorporate Google street view.
  • For five minutes this month, Google.com went down. While most of the hysteria took place on social media, GoSquared reports that 40% drop in global page views showing the world’s reliance on the Internet giant
  • Google launched AdWords paid and organic report allowing users to see organic and paid query data side by side. The report features clicks and impressions for both paid and organic making it easier to analyze how organic and paid campaigns interact. Below is an example of the report.

 AdWords Paid and Organic Report

Bing

  • In another effort to gain users, Bing launched a Hometown Homepage Photo contest where users can submit photos to be featured on the Bing Homepage via Facebook. The top ten finalists will be featured on their Facebook page where users can vote for a winner.
  • Bing also seems to be testing displaying favicons in search results next to the title of the search result. While the specific test was not verified by Bing, below is a screenshot of the find via Search Engine Land

Bing Favicons in Search Results

  • Bing also announced upgrades to the Windows Phone 8 including search feature design updates, infinite scrolling for images and videos, new instant answer topics and a mobile version of Bing’s Snapshot feature.
  • Bing Shopping is being replaced by Product search which integrates product results within Bing search instead of in a separate destination. However, unlike Google, Bing offers both paid and organic options for merchants to have products listed.

Yahoo!

  • The biggest news surrounding Yahoo is ComScore’s report that Yahoo sites received more visitors than Google in July. This would be the first time since April 2011. More importantly is that these numbers did not include Tumblr which should help Yahoo in the coming months.
  • Yahoo continued their purchasing binge with their newest acquisition, Rockmelt. Yahoo paid between $60 and$ 70 million to use the technology to turbocharge its media properties, according to AllThingD.
  • Yahoo released an update to Flickr photo app which allows take photos and edit with filters similarly to Instagram. Flickr does feature live lenses where a user can select a filter prior to taking the photo.
  • In August, Yahoo updated a few different properties including Yahoo Sports, Movies, Music, TV, OMG, and Games. While the changes are small, they do feature the Stream Ads and Billboards announced back in April.
  • Yahoo also announced that they will unveil a new variation of the current logo. During most of August, Yahoo featured different logos as a part of their “30 Days of Change” campaign. The final logo will be announced September 5th and will still feature the same colors and exclamation mark.  Below is the video announcement of their campaign.

Facebook

  • Facebook Graph Search has now fully rolled out to all US users that use the English version of Facebook.  While it was announced back in January, graph search has seen a series of improvements in both speed and search functionality.
  • Facebook advertisers can access professional photos via Shutterstock. Facebook is also allowing advertisers to create multiple ads at once with several images for a single campaign to text each image’s performance.
  • Facebook also revamped their promotion policy by updating guidelines around contests and sweepstakes. In the past,brand managers had to hold contests through third party apps; however, now contests can be held directly on a page’s post with likes or comments.
  • Facebook is also integrating with OpenTable, so that users who access a restaurant’s Facebook page on their mobile device can directly make online reservations. While this is nothing new and competitors like Yelp and Foursquare have already been doing this, it seems like a user doesn’t have to be an OpenTable user but rather can connect directly with their Facebook information.
  • Facebook also announced shared photo albums where multiple users can upload to the same photo album. Each album can have up to 50 contributes that can each share up to 200 photos.
  • Facebook has updated its News Feed algorithm to focus on the highest quality content and foster engagement. The algorithm includes thousands of different factors to customize the News Feed to the specific user
  • Facebook rolled out embeddable posts to everyone. Public posts from any Facebook personal profile or brand page can be embedded a site. Below is an example of the Catalyst Facebook page.

Twitter

  • Twitter launched its own version of Universal Search where content like photos and accounts now appear on Twitter’s main search results page. In addition, while searching a user, Twitter also displays recent and saved searches when a user clicks on the search box. Below is an example of the search results page by Search Engine Land.

 Twitter Universal Search

  • Twitter is testing a new “TV Trending” feature which highlights the most discussed shows in real time. It appears as a card on top of a users’ timeline. Furthermore, Twitter acquired Trendrr, which allows networks and publishers to track TV engagement through social networks as well as visualize the data to identify high-quality tweets.
  • Twitter also updated its app and desktop site to make it easier for users to identify and join in on conversations. The whole conversation can be shared via email on twitter.com or individual tweets can be shared on your mobile device.
  • Twitter unveiled the Lead Generation cards, announced in May, to all advertisers. Twitter reports beta users saw a 4.6% engagement with 1,700 new email contacts in under a week. Twitter did add the ability download emails directly from the Twitter ad into a CVS file.

YouTube

  • Google is bringing skippable video ads to online games using the TrueView format, the most successful format to date. Game publishers can also use image, text overlays, interstitial, or standard video ads in addition to the new TrueView ads.
  • In September, YouTube plans on retiring video responses citing that they receive a CTR of .0004%. YouTube urges fans to upload videos with specific titles, hashtags, descriptions, or to comment with the link and context to increase CTRs.
  • YouTube also updated its app with a new look and new features including the ability to multitask by searching for a video while watching another. In addition, users can search or browse channels for playlists and watch a collection of videos back to back. You can check out a quick video of the new app here:

Google+

  • SoundCloud became the first third party developer to integrate with Google+ to create a plug-in audio file. Users can now embed SoundCloud files directly onto Google+. Below is an example by Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg.

 SoundCloud Googleplus integration

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn introduces University pages where current and prospective students can interact with a university, similar to how company pages work. Given this feature will be greatly used by high school students, LinkedIn is changing their age minimum to 14 year olds.
  • LinkedIn also redesigned group pages to emphasize user content and make it easier to follow conversations. The company announced that there are more than two million groups on the platform making this one of the most popular features on the social networks.
  • Lastly, in an effort to further target brands, LinkedIn announced company page APIs which opens up the possibility of more social management tools to integrate with LinkedIn.

Pinterest

  • Pinterest ties social and e-commerce closer with the introduction of Price Drop alerts. For users who repin Rich Pins, announced back in May, will get an automated email alerting them of the price change.
  • JCrew also announced that the first look at the brand’s fall catalog will be Pinterest, not the traditional in-home catalog subscribers. In addition, New York Fashion week, which begins early September, will have a dedicated Pinterest hub of images and videos from the event.

Foursquare

  • Foursquare is beginning to roll out new push recommendations that would send alerts about a place or venue without any required action from the user. This positions Foursquare as a proactive recommendation guide to the everyday world.
  • Foursquare is making the big leap to desktop by introducing a dedicated app for Windows 8. While check-ins and the social feed take a backseat while the app emphasizes browsing and local discovery. Below is a screen shot of the search results page.

Foursquare Windows 8 app

What’s New at Catalyst

Have any questions about any of the above stories or think we missed something? Let us know in the comment section below. Also, be sure to check back in early October for our September monthly recap!

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  • dancristo

    Such an amazing roundup.

    Those favicon that Bing is now showing… They’ve been on DuckDuckGo for a while now.