Wrapping up September, search market share data from ComScore showed the market hasn’t experienced any major shifts recently. Google’s domination remained strong while Bing grew 0.2% at the expense of Yahoo! and Ask. ComScore also released data from their Video Metrix service showing AOL as the leader among video ad properties with their recent takeover of adap.tv. Yahoo! remained the top Web property for the third month in a row according to ComScore’s Media Metrix report.
And with that, let’s dive into the top Internet marketing news from October.
- Google can now index apps to provide seamless user experience across websites and mobile apps. The Googlebot can index content on an Android app and then attempt to show deep links straight to your app from the search results page. Below is an example of the synergy provided by Google’s Webmaster Central Blog.
- Google launches “Google Web Designer” which allows advertisers to create HTML5 advertisements for mobile and desktop. While still in Beta, the program is sure to become popular as a free alternative to products like Adobe Muse.
- Google’s image search now includes a small authorship rich snippet which shows a link to the author of the image using, of course, Google+.
- Google acquired Flutter, creator of hand gesture recognition technology similar to Xbox’s Kinect. While Google hasn’t said where they aim to integrate this technology, it can be easily woven into most of their products.
- The fifth update to Penguin, dubbed Penguin 2.1 was announced with Matt Cutts saying it “affects ~1% of searches to a noticeable degree.”
- Google rolled out new features to Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to a limited number of retailers. These updates include local store availability where a user can click on an ad and see if a product is in stock at a local store as well as get directions to the store or links to online retailers. Advertisers will only charge at the initial click and customize the information in Google Merchant Center. Google also updated PLAs for smartphones with the ability to swipe left and right to see more results.
- Google adds Google Now type info cards directly into Google Maps incorporating personal travel like flights, hotels and restaurant reservations. In addition, Google Maps now features upcoming events when looking at a venue.
- Google is expanding its Shared endorsement program where a user’s name, photo, comments, ratings, or +1s will appear on organic and paid results when searching for a brand or local business. The endorsement is pulled from Google+ and users can opt out of the program. Below are some examples of the new ad formats.
- Google updated AdRank to incorporate ad extensions and formats in addition to max CPCs and quality score. Google wants advertisers to use relevant extensions to improve CTRs and provide users with more useful ads.
- Google is testing integrating large banner ads on branded search queries. This small test is only in the US with 30 advertisers such as Crate & Barrel, Virgin America and Southwest Airlines. Marketing Land put together a slideshow of these banner ads worth checking out:
- Bing launches call extensions utilizing fellow Microsoft product, Skype, across all devices.
- Bing added Pinterest boards to its image search which appears on the far right of the image search results page.
- Bing Places, formerly known as Bing Business Portal, has expanded into Canada and the United Kingdom. Marketers in those countries can manage local listings to be included in Bing’s search results.
- Bing announced Klout-verified snapshots of people, places and certain topics to appear on the right side. The snapshot will include LinkedIn summary, social profile links, Klout score, influential topics and influential public moments from Twitter and Instagram. To start you need to sign up for Snapshot on Klout.
- Bing Ads users will soon have to switch to Microsoft accounts to access Bing Ads and Ads Editor. While primarily for security with two-factor authentication, this further pushes the single login access to all Microsoft products.
- Yahoo! updates its search experience for iOS devices, mirroring the PC search update in June. Below are before and after images from Search Engine Land:
- Yahoo! launches two-step verification and app passwords for higher security. Utilizing a security question or mobile number, Yahoo will require verification for unrecognized devices similar to Google’s process.
- Building on its prior acquisitions, Yahoo purchased Bread, a URL shortener and temporarily shut it down for improvements.
- Yahoo! also acquired LookFlow, a startup that develops image recognition software to improve Yahoo’s Flickr.
- YouTube has been rumored to launch a subscription based music streaming service by the end of year. This service would compete with platforms like Pandora and Spotify.
- YouTube announces the ‘YouTube Music Awards’ Show revealing nominees and voting via Google+, Twitter,or Facebook. Mashable has a full list of nominees by categories.
- Google’s DoubleClick announced they will be able to utilize Facebook Ad Exchange to sell ad unites through their bid manager. This opens up the ability to target Facebook users based on their browser history outside of Facebook.
- Facebook offers new call to actions on mobile app ads to include “Open Link,” Use App,” “Shop Now,” “Play Game,” “Book Now,” “Listen Now” and “Watch Video” focused to foster more engagement.
- Instagram announced advertising will soon appear on a user’s photo stream in the next couple of months. Instagram has been running its own promoted video educating users on what this new unit will look like. Below is an example of how a sponsored post will appear.
- Twitter allowed ad users to schedule tweets a year in advanced as either organic or promoted tweets.
- Twitter now features all images and videos show in your stream by default so users no longer have to click to open up either rich media. This only works for media uploaded directly to Twitter or Vine.
- Twitter allowed marketers to send targeted tweets to specific countries instead of to all users. This enables multi-national companies to use one Twitter handle and customize its messaging by location through that same handle.
- NBCUniversal and Comcast announced a partnership with Twitter that will allow Xfinity customers to view TV shows and movies via tweets in a new featured titled “See It.” This will allow users to click on a show’s tweet to change the channel or record the show directly from Twitter.
- Google+ announced numerous improvements to videos, photos and Hangouts. Google+ videos introduced Auto Awesome Movies with effects, transitions, soundtracks, and well as filters. Auto Awesome also works on images where you can create GIF sans erase moving objects to make a much cleaner image. Lastly, Hangout broadcasters are able to schedule Hangouts in advance and promote them with a dedicated watch page.
- Google+ has also rolled out vanity domains to all users with a profile photo, at least 10 followers, and an account at least 30 days old. These still cannot be customized but rather Google provides a URL that it feels best fits your Google+ profile.
- As LinkedIn hits 250 million monthly active users, it furthers its focus on mobile presence. It released a more modern update it its app optimized for iOS7. It has also updated its mobile newsreader app Pulse, offers similar changes to the main LinkedIn app. Finally, LinkedIn has launched a new app, Recruiter Mobile, focused at Talent acquisition. Recruiters can now track job openings as well as get feedback from a hiring manager using their smartphone.
- As announced last month, Pinterest has begun rolling out Promoted Pins, Pinterest’s first ad unit. Below is an example of how the Promoted Pins differ from others.
- Pinterest also now features a section of related Pins where Pinterest adds recommendations of Pins it feels a user would be interested in. These Related Pins feature thumbs up or down buttons to help Pinterest make educated recommendations.
- Introduced in July, Foursquare opens up self-serve ads to all advertisers. These are pay-per-action ads displayed when a nearby user searches for relevant topics.
- Foursquare also redesigned their signed in and out desktop sites to featured tailed results to the time of day and location. When logged in, the homepage features tips and local listings organized by categories users frequently search by based on time of day.
- Foursquare provides iPhone users real-time recommendations, a feature available to Android users since August.
- Yelp now offers a new CPC advertising program that is bundled with its enhanced listings. CPC fees vary by industry in an auction based model maxing out at $5/click. These are then bundled with discounted enhanced profile options.
- Catalyst launches new study, Google CTR Study: How User Intent Impacts Google Click-Through Rates, which analyzes organic click through rates across 59 brands.
- Catalyst Canada Wins in Four Categories at US Search Awards
- Check out our newly designed Thoughts Page that has our latest publications, blog posts and featured articles including:
- The Scary Side of Social Media by Clayburn Griffin on Social Media Explorer
- The Future Of SEO Reporting: A Call To The Industry by Benjamin Spiegel on Marketing Land
- Tips for Leveraging Triberr, SEO and Social Media for Blogging: Q&A with Paul Shapiro
- Geo-Location, Geo-Fencing & Creep Factor: The Future of Location Data and Mobile Advertising by Benjamin Spiegel on ClickZ
- Rich Ezzo, Director of Sales & Marketing interviews Dan Beder, VP of Client Services, on his upcoming speaking engagement at Enterprise Search Summit
- Sign Up for the Catalyst Must-Have Digital Insights e-Newsletter for the latest thought leadership, industry updates, and Catalyst news.
- Catalyst is Hiring! We have open positions in each of our offices. Be sure to check out our Careers Page for the latest open positions.
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 December for our November monthly recap!