Quickly wrapping up October, search market share data from ComScore showed the market hasn’t experienced any major shifts recently. Google saw no change month-over-month, while Bing grew slightly to 18.1% as Yahoo! decreased by .2%. And with that, let’s dive into the top Internet marketing news stories from November!
- Google introduced Helpouts, where users can connect with experts providing live help via video for a price. These experts are vetted by Google and for those looking to join as the experts, it is currently invite-only.
- Replacing the former “Search & Display Networks” option, Google introduced “Search Network with Display Select” to enable advertisers to serve ads on Google search, search partners, and GDN. Google says the new program offers better results with a 35% higher CTR and 35% lower cost-per-order.
- Google AdWords updated their opportunity tab with new opportunity types including where to add site links, make location bid adjustments, increase or decrease bids, and when to create a new ad group.
- Google also rolled out a new targeting feature “In-Market Buyers” where advertisers can serve ads only to those that Google identifies as ready-to-buy consumers. While Google doesn’t specify exactly how it categorizes these users, it does say these customers are “researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer.”
- Google’s hotel finder that launched last year is now available on mobile at www.google.com/hotels. The portal provides the ability to filter search results by price, hotel class, ratings and distance.
- Google Shopping was updated to allow users to access new product details and get a better look at the product. Users can now click on a product to see sizes, colors, descriptions, local availability and similar options. Many products also include a 360-degree product tour.
- The company also rolled out a new CPM bidding by viewable impressions. This means advertisers will only be charged for impressions that are viewed in-screen rather than how impressions are traditionally measured.
- Google Now also received some updates for iOS and Android including hands-free voice search using “OK Google” as a cue. Chrome browser also introduced this feature when a user is on the Google homepage or SERP. Google Now also features new cards such as relevant articles, movies and TV recommendations, reminders, and In-Store pick up cards.
- For those searching for music videos, Bing rolled out a new music video search results page featuring an artist’s most popular music video as well as top songs. Videos are from sites including YouTube, Vimeo, MTV, Artist Direct, and more. Below is an example provided by Bing.
- Bing officially shut down its shopping portal, Bing Shopping, replacing it with Product Search which directly integrates product results within the SERP. Unlike Google Product Search, Bing’s tool has a free option in addition to pay-to-play.
- For those planning a vacation using Bing, the search engine closely integrated TripAdvisor’s information within the search results. Bing now displays reviews and photos as well as allows you to use TripAdvisor’s hotel price comparison tool.
- In an effort to provide extra reach to Bing advertisers, and most likely generate more ad revenue, Bing introduced Broad Match Keyword Targeting.
- Bing Webmaster Tools added connected pages to their dashboard. Users can now verify social networks and see the number of clicks and impressions each site sent over from Bing’s search results. Social networks include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Windows Store, Google Play, Apple Store, Pinterest, Windows Phone Store, YouTube, Instagram and MySpace.
- Yahoo! launched new Image ads utilizing HD images in slideshow or image-rich environments in a variety of Yahoo! properties such as Yahoo Sports, omg!, Music and TV across mobile and desktop devices. Below is an example from FIAT.
- The next Yahoo! app to get updates is Yahoo! Finance which now allows users to customize their newsfeed by choosing which companies they want to follow.
- Yahoo! made another acquisition, this time purchasing a startup SkyPhrase to help improve Web searches. The platform will allow Yahoo! Web users to get more personalized search results.
- Facebook updated its iOS and Android Messenger apps where users can now send a message to anyone, similar to a SMS text. The app is also faster to compete with current texting speeds.
- Facebook updated the “like” button getting rid of the thumb and including the square F logo and the word “like.” Below is the new button which is rolling out to all sites soon.
- Facebook introduced a new process for admins to schedule posts reducing the steps from 12 to only four. Admins can also now view upcoming scheduled posts in their Admin Panel.
- Instagram kicked off November with its first advertisement by Michael Kors. While the ad received a tremendous amount of likes, some users expressed their disinterest in the comments. Later in the month Ben & Jerry’s debuted their first video ad.
- Twitter kicked off November with its highly anticipated IPO debuting at $45.10 per share up 73% from its initial IPO price. The stock price continued to climb until November 25 when it hit its low at $38.80 and has seen modest growth since.
- Twitter released “Custom Timelines” a new feature which allows publishers to create and share timelines related to a specific topic.
- Twitter also announced enhanced mobile targeting where advertisers can target users by operating system, version, device type and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Twitter updated their IOS and Android mobile apps adding photo search filters, tweet filters, trending timelines in discovery that show trends with associated tweets, and new trending TV shows as well as nearby events.
- Twitter expanded its connection to TV with conversation targeting. Brands can now serve ads to users who engage with a show regardless of whether the brand is running a TV spot on the program.
- For brands that require age verification like alcohol brands, Twitter debuted a new age screening process. Once a user follows one of these brands, they will get a direct message where the user will have 24 hours to supply his or her age.
- Google+ made another update to its cover photos displaying the full image while also showing the user/page information at the same time. Below is a screenshot of the Catalyst Google+ Profile.
- YouTube made the controversial upgrade to their comments with Google+ integration, which was announced back in September. Comments are now threaded and prioritized by people in your circle and then ranked by popularity. The change was met with mixed reviews as many users were unhappy that they had to link their YouTube profiles with Google+.
- YouTube held their first ever YouTube Music Awards live early in November. You can watch the recorded version below.
- LinkedIn launched “Showcase Pages” a feature on Company pages where consumers can interact with a product or product line. For example, Microsoft now has a specific page for Office where their consumers can interact with Office specific content instead of all Microsoft product content.
- LinkedIn replaces LinkedIn Today with its recent acquisition Pulse on both mobile and desktop versions of its site. Pulse will provide users with relevant recommendations and allow them to comment and like articles using their LinkedIn IDs.
- Pinterest announced a new feature: dedicated Pinterest pages on a brand’s site. This new feature that showcases pins that are trending around the brand. Below is an example from Zappos.com.
- Pinterest took a significant step into local search marketing with the introduction of Place Pins, an interactive map for the places people want to visit. These pins also include information like address and phone number right on the pin.
- Catalyst launched a new eBook, e-Commerce SEO Strategies: Mastering the Art of Online Retail, which provides intelligent SEO strategies, tactics and guidance to improve your online retail results. Download your free copy today!
- Check out our newly designed Thoughts Page that has our latest publications, blog posts and featured articles including:
- No Budget Social Media by Clayburn Griffin on Social Media Explorer
- How To Design Analytics Dashboards From Google Webmaster Tools Data by Benjamin Spiegel on Marketing Land
- Digital Hospitality, AKA Predictive Personalization by Benjamin Spiegel on ClickZ
- New Coffee with Catalyst video featuring Digital Analyst Angela Davis Discussing e-Commerce SEO strategies. Angela Davis is one of the authors of the latest Catalyst eBook on e-Commerce SEO.
- Dan Cristo, Director of SEO Innovation, holds the latest Catalyst Patent Watch on the patent behind Google’s latest algorithm update Hummingbird. Dan’s blog post has more information plus a link to the recording. Below is a SlideShare of his presentation.
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 January for our December monthly recap!