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Online Marketing News this Week – 2nd Mar 2012

March 2nd, 2012

Google – 40 Search Changes plus Panda 3.3 Update

Recently on the official search blog, Google announced 40 changes to their search system.  This is for February alone.  Interestingly, 4 of the changes which cause the most discussion come at the end of the list:

Panda update. This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.

Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.

SafeSearch update. We have updated how we deal with adult content, making it more accurate and robust. Now, irrelevant adult content is less likely to show up for many queries.

Spam update. In the process of investigating some potential spam, we found and fixed some weaknesses in our spam protections.

Improved local results. We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.

And related to the last one:

Improvements to ranking for local search results. This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.

Changes to link evaluation and local search have the potential for major consequences. With the mention of spam, the early signs are that Google is continuing to clamp down on cheap link building for ranking. We will be returning to this subject in an up-coming post.

Google’s New Privacy Policy Comes into Effect this Week

You may have seen the announcement of Google’s new privacy policies all over the Google network in recent weeks. This is the week it comes into effect. It is hugely controversial, the EPIC advocacy group have tried to block it and Japan and countries in Europe are saying that it may violate local privacy laws.

Google insists it will improve your search experience and give a nice innocent example:

So in the future, if you do frequent searches for Jamie Oliver, we could recommend Jamie Oliver videos when you’re looking for recipes on YouTube—or we might suggest ads for his cookbooks when you’re on other Google properties.

They go on to say:

The new policy doesn’t change any existing privacy settings or how any personal information is shared outside of Google. We aren’t collecting any new or additional information about users. We won’t be selling your personal data. And we will continue to employ industry-leading security to keep your information safe.

They point at if you don’t like the idea you can switch off the features which lead to personalised search results. You don’t have to sign into Google either. But many of these features are default and many will not realise when they are being used or how. Much is being written on how to prevent Google ‘watching you’ and this is a story which is not going to go away.

Online Marketing News this Week – 19th Jan 2012

January 19th, 2012

Google Launch Search Plus Your World

The launch of Search plus Your World by Google last week further increases the possibilities for personalised search results if visitors are logged into Google while searching.  Your World will provide you with search results influenced by your own search history and that of people in your Google plus circle.

This from the Google Blog announcing the launch:

“We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:

1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;

2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,

3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community. “

Users can opt out of personal search or simply search without logging in to Google.  Perhaps more useful is the option Google are giving to view either personalised or traditional results.  It’s a big change for searchers and it’s going to mean big changes for search marketers as well. You can see the selection of personalised results in the top right corner of the screen in this video:

Microsoft Start Testing Ads on Yahoo in Europe

Testing of Microsoft adCentre ads on Yahoo is beginning in France, UK and Ireland. According to the Microsoft Advertising blog, the aim is to provide a full paid search service during the first semester of 2012.  They also announce their intention to introduce location and language targeting.

New Mobile Targeting Options on Google AdWords

You can now refine your mobile ad targeting further than before.  AdWords have introduced WiFi targeting and operating system targeting options.  These options will help you to target ads at relevant users and reduce the risk of frustration caused by a user clicking on an ad that is not supported by their operating system.

New Duck Duck Go Design Goes Live

Search engine Duck Duck Go has announced that it has gone live with a new design.  Comparisons are inevitable:

Duck Duck Go Home Page

You may be interested and even draw comfort from the evidence of all the traditional teething problems associated with redesign on the Duck Duck Go forum where the announcement was made.  The results page has a cool and uncluttered look and clearly shows the right result in first place!! ;)

Duck Duck Go Results

The Perfect Search Engine

January 18th, 2012

When it comes to marketing we are regularly advised to think like our customers. When it comes to online marketing we also need to think like a search engine. Google, the most important search engine, states its aim to be able to think (and therefore respond) like a searcher. So thinking like an online customer and thinking like a search engine should become closer and closer to being the same.

I remember well the number of things that now seem obvious that I had never thought of before I started thinking about search properly. When you are designing a marketing campaign or an SEO campaign or a Pay Per Click campaign you begin to think about what customers are looking for and what words they will use in order to find it. At that point a whole world opens.

The people who know most about this are the ones who design search engines. This makes them think and think hard about how people approach the task of looking for things on the Internet. It means thinking about the obvious. That is so often the hardest thing. We assume the obvious is what we already think. Try setting up a Pay Per Click campaign and monitor the difference between the keywords you thought would find you buyers and the reality.

At the Search Insider Summit last month Adam Goldman chaired a panel on the subject of the Perfect Search Engine. This is a 45 minute video of the discussion. It gives a great insight into the ways search engineers are thinking. Perhaps the most important part of it for online businesses is the section on ranking factors.

If some of it seems impenetrable then I recommend an excellent article by George Michie at Search Engine Land: How Would You Create The Perfect Search Engine

Online Marketing News this Week – 18th Nov 2011

November 18th, 2011

Google+ Facebook-Style Business Pages Launched and Already Showing in Search Results

Google+ launched Google+ Pages for use by businesses and organizations on Nov. 7th. Selected Google+ Pages have already been spotted in search results and Google have announced partnerships with six companies to create page management tools. The companies are: Buddy Media, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Hoot Suite, Involver and Virtue.

When you are setting up a Google+ Page for your business one of the options you will be offered is: ‘Local Business or Place’. This gives you the option to include contact information not available in the other categories. Just in case you are wondering if Google+ can take the place of a Google Places entry or vice-versa, the answer is no. They must be managed separately. Google told Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land:

Currently, Place pages and Google+ Pages must be managed separately. A Place page provides information about a business and makes it easy for customers to find local businesses on Google Maps and local search; while a Google+ page provides business owners with additional ways to engage, build relationships and interact directly with customers.

Last Week Google+ Recorded its Third Best Week Since Launch

Not on the face of it amazing, except that the previous two best weeks were over a month ago amid the hype of Google+ going public. It has been pretty much downhill since then. Last weeks improvement is most likely due to the introduction of Pages and the announcement of upcoming enhancements. The research comes from Experian Hitwise who say:

Last week Google+ recorded its 3rd largest week in terms of total US visits for the week ending Nov. 12, 2011 receiving more than 6.8 million total US visits. The growth represents a 5% increase versus the previous week and a 25% increase compared to a month ago.


Google Search On the Rise Again

According to research by ComScore Google’s share of search is rising again meaning that Bing are no longer making inroads in spite of Microsoft’s huge investment.



Google’s share has been rising since August while the combined Yahoo!/Bing share has been falling. If this continues Google will reach the 66% it had last year next month and Yahoo!/Bing will struggle to be above 30%. Bing cost Microsoft $5 billion last year. As business insider puts it:

That kind of expenditure looked bad enough when Microsoft was only eking out a few tenths of a percentage point in gains every month. Now that it’s starting to decline, it looks even sillier.

Many are commenting on the need for real competition for Google. The weak competition Bing is providing is, in some ways, perfect for Google. For the user, much stronger competition is highly desirable. Of course it is up to Bing to really give us something to inspire us to move.

the week ending Nov. 12, 2011 receiving more than 6.8 million total US visits. The growth represents a 5% increase versus the previous week and a 25% increase compared to a month ago.

E-commerce Outlook – Christmas Shopping Online 2011

November 9th, 2011

According to comScore’s latest retail sales estimates, US online retail spending reached $37.5 billion for the second quarter of this year.  That’s up 14 percent on the previous year.  It’s the seventh consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth and the third consecutive quarter of double digit growth.

Against this background and with Christmas approaching, we thought it was time to see what this year’s online shopping is likely to look like.

Search Engine Watch posted yesterday on Google’s Holiday 2011 Consumer Intentions Report.

There is plenty in the post but these 3 sections interested me:

  • 50% of shoppers will start shopping in the next 22 days.
  • Search Query volume is up 46% year-on-year while Google is servicing 26% less ads.
  • The importance of mobile and tablets.

These 3 points have implications if you plan to sell this Christmas:

  • If you don’t already have your act together, it is time to get something in place.
  • Google Adwords should have some cheap inventory if you can find it.
  • Price is not the only differentiator you have.

How Will These Shoppers Buy?

Recent research by Ipsos shows holiday shoppers intending to spend less and seek deals.  This trend towards deals and coupons is also raised in the Google post.   The 2011 Social Shopping Study from Power Reviews  gives us some insight into how shoppers are likely to research and buy online.

Interestingly the findings indicate that Facebook and Twitter are not a factor in most online purchasing decisions:

  • 71% answered “I rarely” or “I never” read and research on social sites to gather ideas

When researching branded products online, which most closely represents where you begin that process?

  • 44% Search engine
  • 33% Retailer sites

I’ve seen some pretty one dimensional conslusions on how and why people buy based on this and similar studies.  It is clear from various sources that online research is driving increasing online sales and also impacting more and more offline retail sales.  A study on how consumers research, select and buy goods online, though, sort of designs in particular outcomes.

My own feeling is that when you survey how people research online, respondants will overstate how much they research, how important it is and how actively they will seek deals.  We want to believe that we are somewhat intelligent creatures.  When the question is put to you, it seems a bit silly not to research.  Not to look for deals.  In reality, our decisions are much more emotional.

Relationships, offers and email can prompt purchases.  Word of mouth, online and off will prompt purchases.  These purchases don’t start and often don’t involve any research process.  So relationships and communication through your site, your social media and your email list can and will still impact on your sales.

What is clear about the consumer research process is that it goes from Google to retailer sites.  So SEO and SEM will be crucial to getting part of the pie.  There will be more searchers than ever online in the run up to this Christmas and while most still prefer to shop offline, online sales continue to grow.

Online Marketing News this Week – 28th Oct 2011

October 28th, 2011

Google introduce Dynamic Search Ads to AdWords

According to Google, 16% of searches that occur each day have never seen before. Apart from this startling fact, many on-line businesses make regular changes to their inventory. It can be hard to keep even a fully managed AdWords campaign up to date and searches can be missed. Dynamic Search addresses this issue by generating search relevant ads directly from website content. Your existing keyword-targeted ads take precedence but if it looks like you will miss a relevant ad view, Dynamic Search can generate an ad for you. Google say that early results in their beta testing are very positive.

We haven’t had a chance to check Dynamic Search out yet. The question is going to be does Google controlling what my ads view for increase or decrease my ROI? It’s never helped in the past but let’s see.

Does Google think SEO is spam?

Answer: No!

Spamming is spam. Some SEOs indulge in spamming techniques.

Search engine results provide potential benefit to businesses. Businesses will always look to maximize that benefit. Some will become expert and use their expertise to help others. SEO is born. Some tension between Search Engines and SEOs is inevitable and necessary. Listen to Matt’s outline of good SEO and you’ll hear it touch on all aspects of organic traffic strategy. Conversion, usability, return on investment. Without SEO, most of the Internet would still be unintelligible to search engines.

There’s a lesson here if you are buying SEO services. Some companies will find out about your business and look to map out a strategic approach to attracting traffic that will make you money. They will look to cover many of the areas that Matt mentions in his video and more. Others will give you a cookie cutter proposal when you ask them how much to get you to the top of Google. Which of these is more likely to engage in what Google considers spam?

PS Matt: for “Snake Oil Salesmen” see: SEO, Spellcasting and Snake Oil Salesmen

Mashable reports Twitter growth spurred on by Apple iOS 5

Twitter has reached 100 million active users and 250 million tweets per day. Their growth this year has been extraordinary and the integration of Twitter in Apple’s iOS 5 has given the company another big boost. According to Twitter CEO Dick Costello, Twitter signups via iOS 5 devices have tripled since the launch of that iOS update.

Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines leaked

Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines (Updated version) were leaked last week and not for the first time. You can probably still dig up a link to the PDF if you search Google for it.

Class action law suit against YELP dismissed

Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of YELP writes:

“Last year, a few small businesses from among the 20 million or so in the United States filed misguided lawsuits against Yelp alleging that we reward or penalize businesses based on whether they advertised with Yelp. Nothing could be further from the truth; our automated system applies the same objective criteria to all reviews regardless of a business’s advertiser status. (Just check a Yelp advertiser’s business page — I bet they have a negative review or two; after all, you just can’t please everyone all the time.)”

StumbleUpon reaches 20 million members

StumbleUpon proudly announce reaching 20 million members. They now have 1,000 stumbles per second at peak times and are dealing with as many per hour as they did in the whole of their first year, 2003. StumbleUpon started as a Firefox extension ans is now available on all browsers as well as iPhones, iPads and Androids.

Google to withhold referral data for signed in searches

Google have begun withholding referral data for searches made by users who are signed in to Google. Their reasoning is that it enhances privacy for the user. Questions arise:

What makes a search term a privacy issue?

If it is a privacy issue then why is it not being addressed for paid search and all organic search?

How to Get Multi-Touch Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics

October 20th, 2011

If you are serious about your web marketing, you will have conversion tracking in place. This allows you to measure the return from your website in terms of leads, or sales or whatever metric works for you. It allows you to assess the contribution of various traffic sources to your efforts and measure your ROI. It is, in short, vital.

Conversion tracking has a problem because most analytics solutions are using last touch tracking. When a visitor buys from your site (or completes any goal you choose to measure), the credit is given to the most recent source. The reality is that purchases don’t always come in a single session and often involve multiple touch points from multiple channels. We spoke about this when we discussed how Last Touch Attribution Sucks in this post on your most valuable traffic sources.  The final referring source for your completed goals is important information but what about how the visitor first found your site?  What other referral sources contributed?  To get this information you need multi-touch conversion tracking or what Google calls Multi-Channel Funnels.

This used to be a lot more difficult than it is now.  A few months ago you’d have to find Google’s beta test of Multi-Channel Funnels and go ask to be added.  A few months before that you’d have had to code your own solution.  Basically, that means that you’d have had to guess.  Now it’s pretty easy.  In late August, Google announced that Multi-Channel Funnels would be available to all Google Analytics users.

Setting Up Multi-Touch Tracking

I am assuming here that you already have goal tracking and / or e-commerce tracking set up through your Google Analytics.

To get multi-touch tracking you need to switch to the new version of Google Analytics.  Click on  ”New Version” towards the top-right of the page:

Select the site that you want to look at then select “Conversions” from the left-hand menu column:

Now select “Multi-Channel Funnels”:

Multi-Channel Funnels is broken down into 5 sections.  The one that I’m interested in right now is Assisted Conversions, so click on that:

You should see a report breaking down your conversions according to the referring channel and giving data on both assisted conversions and “Last Interaction” conversions.  I’ve had to black out the data from the screenshot below in order to protect the innocent.  I feel a bit like the FBI.

I often have several different goals set up for one site and depending on how this is done, it might be important to look at them separately.   In these cases, you might need to choose only a single goal to analyse at once.

Also, really useful is the “First Interaction Analysis” which breaks down goals and goal value by the first source the visitor used to find your site.

The assisted conversion figures can be a bit confusing.  Another thing to note is that although Google is tracking interactions between the visitor and your site across multiple sessions, it is only doing so for a 30 day period.  If the first visit was more than 30 days prior to the conversion then it won’t be tracked in this report.

Multi-Channel Funnels may not be perfect but Google Analytics has taken a big step forward with the introduction of multi-touch conversion tracking.  You’ll still have more to do to fully understand and interpret your traffic and referral sources but at least now you have a measure for sources that contribute to conversions across multiple visits.

Social Media Research October 2011

October 14th, 2011

We follow social media trends pretty closely.  Over the years, I come across research and pick up little bits of information.  The problem is that I then forget the exact figures and where I found them. I end up spending time digging around looking for something that I already know.  So, I decided I’d gather some important pieces of recent research into one place so I could find it easily.  I thought it might be useful to others, so here it is.  My great big list of Social Media Research.

This is pretty long and includes 3 sections:

Social Media Usage and Growth

Social Networking Usage Hits 65% of Online Adults

According to Pew Internet in August 2011,

  • 65% of online adults use a social networking site. 43% daily.
  • Of daily activities only email (61%) and search engines (59%) are used more frequently.
  • Pace of growth wise, in feb 2005 only 8% of Internet users and 5% of all adults said they used them.

Social network users were asked for one word to describe their experiences.  The resulting word cloud really tells a story:

There is also information in this study about the changing demographics of social use if that’s of interest to you.

“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and co-author of the report. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

The Social Habit 2011

Conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron, The Social Habit studies consumer adoption of the Internet and new technologies.  This data is from May 2011:

  • 52% of Americans (12+) have a profile on one or more social networks
  • Facebook 51% of Americans (12+).
  • Twitter is as familiar to Americans as Facebook (with 92% and 93% familiarity, respectively).
  • however, Twitter usage stands at just 8% of Americans 12+.
  • One in four social network users knowingly follow brands, products or services on social networks.
  • For those who use these sites and services several times per day, this figure increases to 43%.

Jay Baer wrote a  summary of the above research on his blog Convince and Convert back in May.  It is interesting for Jay’s commentary on what he calls Super Socials (use social media several times a day).

Understanding this group is really important to your online marketing.  They are:

  • More likely to be on Twitter
  • More likely to use Smartphones
  • More likely to interact with brands

It is important to be aware that Twitter’s adoption is tiny and it’s also important to understand that Twitter users can be very important to your marketing strategy.

Psychology of Twitter Users

Twitter Psychology for Marketers InfoGraphic
Via: WhiteFireSEO, a Utah SEO Company

28% of Americans use mobile or location based services of some kind.

This report from Pew Internet was released in September 2011.  It assessed 3 things:

  • Get directions or recommendations based on current location – 28% of cell owners and 23% of all adults.
  • Check in to geosocial services such as Foursquare – 5% of cell owners and 4% of all adults
  • Set up social media services to automatically tag posts with their location – 9% of internet users, 7% of all adults.

Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet Project research specialist summarises things quite well in this quote:

“Americans are not currently all that eager to share explicitly their location on social media sites, but they are taking advantage of their phones’ geolocation capabilities in other ways,”

“Smartphone owners are using their phones to get fast access to location-relevant information on-the-go.”

Social Media and Conversions

Consumers Say They are Willing to go From Social to Shopper

The Social Commerce Study was released in May 2011 by, comScore and Social Shopping Labs.  Here are some of the headlines:

  • 42% have followed a retailer through Facebook Twitter or a blog.


  • 58% to find deals
  • 49% to keep up to date on products
  • 39% for information on contests and events


  • 56% of Facebook users say they have clicked through to a retailer’s website
  • 67% of Twitter users have clicked through
  • One third of shoppers would purchase directly from Facebook (35%) or Twitter (32%)

That’s what people say they do but what do they actually do?

Social Media Has Almost No Effect on Online Retail Purchases

This research was conducted by Forrester Research and GSI Commerce based on data from online retailers gathered in November – December of 2010.

The study concludes that:

  • Social media rarely leads directly to purchases online – Less than 2% of  orders were the result of shoppers coming from a social network.
  • Email and search advertising were much more effective at turning browsers into buyers.

Some caveats:

  • Social media was more effective for distributing news about short term deals (in which case 5% to 7% of purchases are influenced by social media).

What Traffic Sources Generate Conversions?

A couple of weeks ago we covered research from See Why showing email (67.37%) and direct  visits (23.69%) driving the massive majority of e-commerce conversions.  Please, please read the “Last Touch Attribution Sucks!” section of this post.   It is really important to understand that both email and direct visits are channels massively dominated by return visits.  They are hugely valuable but you need to address where these visitors FIRST found your site as well.

How Marketers Use Social Media and What Works

Social Media Marketing Lifts Organic Search Conversions

If I needed a reason to use Social Media, this would be it.  This post from August last year covers some really useful stuff on the relationship between search and social.   The post is based on last year’s Marketing Sherpa Search Benchmarking Report.  The new one ought to be out by now but the analysis here is worthwhile.

Marketers working in social media reported a 27% conversion rate on average from organic search traffic.  Marketers not working in social media reported 17%.  Massive difference.   Social media increases the effectiveness of your SEO in terms of driving conversions.

“More marketers said SEO, rather than social media, was a “very effective” way to:

  • Increase brand or product awareness (42% vs. 37%)
  • Increase website traffic (57% vs. 33%)
  • Increase lead generation (35% vs. 18%)
  • Increase offline sales revenue (17% vs. 10%)
  • Increase online sales revenue (26% vs. 9%)

On the flipside, more marketers said social media was a “very effective” way to:

  • Improve brand or product reputation (37% vs. 29%)
  • Improve public relations (36% vs. 27%)

This leads me to a hypothesis: marketers who engage in SEO and social media have 58.8% higher conversion rates for organic traffic because their social media work has increased trust in their brands and products.”

Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2011

Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report gives great insight into how marketers are using social media. The report covers areas such as the time commitment, what social media services are used etc. This year’s report found:

  • Marketers place a high value on social media (90% indicating it is important for their business)
  • 58% are using social media for 6 hours or more per week and 34% invest 11 or more hours per week.
  • Video marketing is on the rise
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs were the top 4 social media tools used. In that order.

The full text of the report is downloadable at Social Media Examiner. One of the things I like most about this survey is that it is annual. You can compare to previous years and get a feel for developments in the industry. This year the report asked marketers what question about marketing with social media did they most want answered. The number one question:

  • How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business?

I don’t know whether that’s a sign that marketers are plowing into social media with no idea whether it is providing a return, or simply them seeking ways to prove it to management and the bean counters?  Either way, this section of the report is interesting.

Email, Social Media and Search (SEO and PPC) Budgets to Increase

This survey from StrongMail was conducted at the end of 2010.  It showed businesses planning to increase or maintain their budgets.  The most popular places they planned to increase spend were Email marketing, Social Media and Search.  The most popular places they planned to decrease spend were Direct Mail, Tradeshows and events and Advertising.  I should note that this survey was conducted through Zoomerang and I’m not sure who they surveyed.  If an email marketing company surveys it’s followers for example, wouldn’t this be what we’d expect to hear?

Technorati: The State of the Blogosphere

Technorati’s annual State of the Blogosphere research was last updated in late 2010.   Blogging persists.  Business bloggers see an impact on their business and 56% of bloggers plan to blog more frequently.  Only 14% said that their blog had not yet had an impact on their business.

Hopefully that gives a decent cross section of worthwhile research data.  I’m sure I’ve missed some very useful stuff and I might add some if I come across it.  Feel free to offer suggestions if you think there is anything missing here.

Online Marketing News this Week – 7th Oct 2011

October 10th, 2011


Are you looking for the number one spot?

There are many reasons to advise against an obsession with the number 1 slot in the Google organic search results.  Which keywords?  Who are you competing with?  What is the real value of the keyword to your business?  And so on.  Some research from SEOmoz this week is indicating that there are even more reasons to make sure that your SEO thinking is broad and strategic.  The research looks at eye tracking results and there is a clear tendency to favour images and Google Places style results.  Of course, it’s just one study and eye tracking and tracking clicks is not the same but it’s interesting.

Eye Tracking Google SERPS

Google Places '7 - Pack' Gets Lots of Attention

Webmaster Tools search query data can now be imported into Google Analytics

You can now import search query data from Webmaster Tools and view it directly in your Google Analytics reports.  The data includes:

  • Search Queries: impressions, clicks, position and CTR (click through rate) for the top Google search queries your site appeared in.
  • Landing Pages: impressions, clicks, search positions and CTR for your top landing pages.
  • Geographical Summary: impressions, clicks and CTR by country.

To see how this is done you can read our post: How to import search data into your analytics.

Facebook add new features to their page analytics

A  range of new analytics possibilities is now available to companies using Facebook. Facebook says that the new metrics will help companies understand how their content is being shared and give them the information they need to maximize the benfit of promoting on Facebook. The new features are presented and discussed at Search Engine Watch. They include ‘Friends of Fans’, ‘People Talking About This’, inclusion of the last 500 posts in analytics, inclusion of social signals such as ‘Likes’ in ads and connections between these metrics. It will take some time to see how much benefit these changes can bring.

Google Panda Update

Google confirmed a new iteration to its Panda update this week. They have not given any specifics about the update, merely issuing a general statement:

“We’re continuing to iterate on our Panda algorithm as part of our commitment to returning high-quality sites to Google users. This most recent update is one of the roughly 500 changes we make to our ranking algorithms each year.”

It is safe to assume that poor, duplicate and irrelevant content is in the spotlight along with associated low quality link building.

Webmaster reconsideration requests to become more transparent

Google has announced that they intend to take a more transparent approach to reconsideration requests. When businesses lose rankings or are banned altogether and do not believe they have violated Webmaster rules, they can make a reconsideration request. It is good to hear that this process is to become more transparent. Businesses rely quite heavily on Google and it is only right that they should be able to find out what has gone wrong when they hit serious problems. Particularly if those problems were not of their doing.

How to Import Search Query Data Into Your Analytics

October 5th, 2011

Google announced yesterday that webmasters can now import search query data from Webmaster Tools and view it directly in their Google Analytics reports.  The data includes:

  • Search Queries: impressions, clicks, position and CTR (click through rate) for the top Google search queries your site appeared in.
  • Landing Pages: impressions, clicks, search positions and CTR for your top landing pages.
  • Geographical Summary: impressions, clicks and CTR by country.

All potentially very useful stuff.

We might look at analysing this data in future posts but for now lets get down to how you get this up and running.

Log in to your Google account and go to webmaster tools.

In Webmaster tools, click “Manage Site” next to the site you want to deal with and then select “Google Analytics property” from the dropdown:

Choose a site to manage and select Google Analytics Property

Select the Analytics Web Property to associate with this Webmaster Tools account (i.e. the analytics for this site) and then click save:

Choose the analytics to associate with this WMT account

Now.   Go to your analytics account and then at the top of the screen choose “New Version”:


In the traffic sources section, you will see “Search Engine Optimization” and you can view and analyse data on your search queries, the positions they appeared in Google and the click through rates etc:

View Your Search Queries in Analytics


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