SEO-trends for 2017: expert speak
The year 2016 gradually comes to an end, and it's time to think about next year's plans. What SEO tactics should be left behind, and what is necessary to pay attention to? Or it does not take anything to change and just follow the beaten path? Our editorial staff along with a wide known webmaster’s complex SEO tool PowerSuite decided to find out what awaits us next year.
TOP-10 automated services of contextual advertising02.23.2017
Digital agencies long abandoned the "manual" campaign management methods on the Internet in favor of SAAS-solutions long time ago. This approach allows the agency to avoid errors in the institution of advertising campaigns, improve advertising results, ensure the implementation of KPI client.
10 major mistakes made by beginners when setting the contextual ads02.23.2017
There are many articles and books about the contextual advertising, as well as training videos and webinars. But our observations show that there are still some casual mistakes that most beginners make when creating the campaign.
Google actively promotes accelerated mobile pages (AMP) at the international level. This information has been reported by the RankRanger analytical service.
AMP-results have become much more frequent in the Google news block in a number of countries outside the US since mid-July,: Israel, Poland, Norway, Austria, New Zealand and Switzerland.
One can also observe a % raise of the first pages in mobile search results that have at least one AMP result in three countries: Taiwan (+ 92%), Germany (+ 27%) and Norway (+ 286%).
It should be recalled that AMP-pages appeared in Google.ru search results in February 2017.
AMP support began to be introduced by such search engines as Baidu, Sogou and Yahoo Japan in April. Thanks to this, the project has been expanded to more than 1 billion users living in Asia.
The Israeli SimilarWeb Company, which deals with web analytics, has brought $47 million of investments for further development. This information has been reported by TechCrunch.
The next stage for funding was headed by the Israeli Viola Growth foundation. Among the investors you can see Saban Ventures, CE Ventures and others.
During previous rounds, the company raised the investments by $ 65 million. The next $47 million is planned to be spent on international growth and innovation. SimilarWeb plans to expand its business in Tel Aviv, San Francisco, New York, London and Tokyo, as well as open new offices in other countries around the world.
The company's total valuation received from the deal is kept a secret. According to TechCrunch, it amounted to about $ 800 million, a double increase after the previous round, which took place in October 2015. SimilarWeb was valued at $ 400 million at that time. The source of the publication in the company claims that it is close to becoming a unicorn.
SimilarWeb startup was founded in 2007 in Tel Aviv. The platform provides developers and publishers the tools which can be used to track their traffic and competitors.
According to the service reps, a half of the companies from the top-100 Forbes ranking along with "thousands" of other investors, analysts, marketing agencies and consultants use this service. SimilarWeb customers are such giants as Google, eBay and Airbnb.
Google is testing the automatic playback of video clips on the Knowledge Grid panel. The experiment is held on a limited scale.
TheSEMPost blog writer Jennifer Slagg noticed this newly introduced feature yesterday using the Internet Explorer browser.
Google rep confirmed this information in the interview to Search Engine Land and stated: "We are constantly experimenting the ways to improve the experience of using search tool, but we have nothing to make this public at the moment."
According to Jennifer Slagg, Google automatically plays videos that appear on the Web knowledge bar when searching for queries related to movies and TV shows.
It is not clear yet whether this experiment will take a higher scale or not.
Google’s spokesman John Mueller said that the server's 503 response code should be used within a few hours, but not weeks.
503 error means that the server is temporarily unable to process requests for technical reasons (this may be a maintenance, overload, etc.). This is a good method to help Google understand that the website will be unavailable for a limited period of time.
However, it is not recommended to use it for longer than a few hours. According to Mueller, "weeks" does not mean temporary. He also added that the webmasters are misleading Google in this case.
If it's not accessible for weeks, it would be misleading to include it in search, imo. It's an error page, essentially.
- John ☆ .o (▽ ≦ ≦) o. ☆ (@JohnMu) June 8, 2017
We should remind you that John Mueller previously told how not to lose the position in the search engine, if there is a need to temporarily suspend the website (for a day or more) either due to technical maintenance or for other reasons.
Google AdWords users all around the world noticed that is a new keyword-level bidding interface is launching soon.
From now on when clicking on the bet in the column "max price a click"the following UI appears:
Before only the dialog box was displayed:
Google will show recommended bids for different ad positions on the page, even if the bid simulator for this keyword is not available.
Some phases were also changed a little bit. Instead of the "top of the page" is now replaced by "over all organic results"; instead of "first position" the tab "over all other ads" will be now used.
There was no official launch announcement yet.
Let us remind you that Google AdWords changed algorithm of work of the Optimizer of the price for conversion last week. Earlier this tool could raise the maximum bid for prospective clicks by no more than 30%. Now this restriction is lifted.
The victims of the mass cyberattack that occurred on May 12 were 200 thousand users from 150 countries. This information was stated by the press-secretary of the European police department (Europol) Jen Ohn Jen Hurt.
According to him, there are many affected companies, including large corporations. He also noted that the cyber attack may continue on May 15, when people come to work and turn on their computers.
The virus, called WannaCry blocks access to files and requires affected users to pay $ 300 ransom in bitcoins. Unless the price is paid in three days, hackers threaten to double this amount, and after 7 they remove all files from the computer.
The first reports of cyber attacks appeared in the media and social networks on Friday, May 12. According to Europol, the malware was launched from the National Health Service of England. Then it affected networks in other countries. The virus infected computer networks of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Megafon and other organizations in Russia. Proofpoint specialist Darien Hass and author of the MalwareTech blog managed to stop the spread of the virus using code to access a meaningless domain on May 13. However, the WannaCry creators released a new version of the virus, which no longer refers to this domain name.
It is noted in Europol that the motivation of hackers is not fully understood. Typically, this type of attack is revenue-oriented. However, in this case, the amount of the repurchase is small. According to the ministry, only a few companies and individuals agreed to pay $ 300 to attackers, following the recommendations of law enforcement agencies. According to The Guardian, the accounts of the creators of the extortion virus received $ 42,000 from approximately 100 people.
The intruders have not been revealed yet.
There is an update on this. The threat is also prevented by anti-virus programs. In particular, Comodo software gives a pop-up message:
The alert link brings us to a video on YouTube.
The Italian Antimonopoly Authority fined WhatsApp service developers for 3 million euros. This information was reported reported by Reuters.
According to the agency, WhatsApp imposed conditions on the users that obliged them to agree to data transfer to Facebook parent company. In particular, they were persuaded that without agreeing on this they would not be able to continue using the service.
The WhatsApp press service commented on this situation the following way: "We are considering this decision and preparing a response to the authorities."
The supervisory authorities of all EU countries demanded that WhatsApp last year to suspend the transfer of Facebook data because of users’ doubts' in agreeing on the conditions.
The fact that WhatsApp will open Facebook access to the user base became known in August 2016.
English-speaking users noticed that Google is testing a new format for the search results that would include ready answers.
From now on the website, the content of which was used to generate a response will no longer be displayed in the search results. The reference to it is contained only in the block with the answer.
"Google removed the result from the search on the page that was already shown in the block with the answer for this query. Now the block with the answer is the only result for the page on a specific request, "says The SEM Post blog
See how it looks:
Basically this result is located on the first page of search results:
It is noted that the new feature is currently available for many users, but not all of them. This can mean a large-scale testing or a gradual launch.
Twitter added additional filters, which allow you to turn notifications off from certain account categories. This feature is designed to help users secure from trolls.
From now on you can turn off notifications from the following account types in Twitter (provided that the user is not subscribed to their updates):
User accounts that do not follow your account;
Accounts with a default profile photo;
Accounts without a confirmed e-mail address;
Accounts without a confirmed phone number.
Now you have even more control over your notifications. Mute accounts that do not follow you, new accounts, and more. https://t.co/UapP6DtTtY pic.twitter.com/RcBQGx219k
- Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) July 10, 2017
The instructions for setting up new filters can be found in the Help Center.
Earlier it became known that Twitter is also testing a new feature that will allow users to tag tweets with false or malicious information.
The American Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) human rights organization has published another annual report on how Internet companies protect their user data from the authorities.
In 2016, nine companies received the highest ratings (5 stars), including Adobe, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest, Uber and WordPress. At the same time, such popular services as Snapchat and Twitter have scored three stars, whereas WhatsApp got only two.
EFF was basing on five criteria when evaluating companies:
Clear interaction with the authorities;
Notifying users about authority requests to disclose their data;
Guarantee of non-transfer personal data to third parties;
Legality verification of NSL-requests (secret requests from the US government, which are not subject to disclosure);
Advocating the reform of article 702 of the Act on FISA amendments (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act).
Companies received a star for every criterion compliance.
According to the report, the WhatsApp messenger does not notify users about requests from authorities, does not guarantee the non-transfer of their data to third parties and does not check NLS-requests of special services.
The EFF report is based on data published by companies in the public domain.
The US media intend to appeal to Congress to get the right to collective bargaining with Google and Facebook this week. The permission is necessary because the USA has an antimonopoly prohibition on similar associations between representatives of one branch. This information was reported by The New York Times.
The publishers are represented by News Media Alliance. It includes such major news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
According to the media, Google and Facebook are a threat to the country's economy. The goal of publishers is to fight against the duopoly of these companies in the digital market, which adversely affects the news and information business.
"We are getting more concerned and even angry about the asymmetric and unprofitable relationship between publishers and large digital platforms," Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times Company, describes the current situation in the industry.
Publishers are confident that by uniting together, they will be able to get more concessions from Google and Facebook struggling for digital space. It's about preserving quality journalism, which requires a lot of expenses, and preventing the spread of fake news.
"If you want a free model, you will get news. But it will be garbage news. For instance, “the Pope blessed Trump"says David Chavern, head of the News Media
Despite initiatives taken by IT companies aimed to help publishers adapt to the new digital reality, News Media Alliance participants consider this to be inadequate.
According to eMarketer, Google and Facebook will occupy about 60% of the Internet advertising market in the US in 2017, and the total volume of this market will reach $83 billion.
Users noticed that Google added a new "Menu" tab to the local search results panel for catering centers.
The new option has got the following appearance:
When you click on a new tab the menu gets loaded.
At the moment the new feature is seen by users in the US and Canada. The date of worldwide launch is still unknown.
It should be reminded that Google updated the interface of the local knowledge bar, which appears when searching for local companies, shops and institutions and contains detailed information on the desired business. Now it includes two sections: "Review" and "Feedback".
The SEMrush Company shared the results of the study devoted to the main factors of Google's ranking in 2017.
The aim of the research was to identify stable patterns in the ranking mechanism that can be useful for both the company's customers and the global SEO community.
The report is based on data on more than 600 thousand keywords from various local databases. SEMrush specialists have chosen the 12 most famous and contradictory ranking factors for the analysis. As a result, in the terms of their significance they have the following scheme:
The report summary:
• The website attendance is the most important factor in Google ranking. More authoritative resources receive more traffic and are more likely to get into the top of the search delivery.
• Behavioral signals, such as time on the website, view depth and bounce rate, are indicators of the credibility of the site; this also affects the website ranking.
• The number of referring domains to the webiste is another indicator of the authority of the resource and, in combination with the factors mentioned above also affects its position in the search results.
• The presence of the HTTPS protocol on the site is of a great importantance, but has little impact as a ranking factor.
• On-page factors have little effect on ranking. Thus, they should no longer be considered as basic ones.
• The difference in the content length between websites in the top 3 and 20 position is equal to 45%;
• The difference in the number of referring domains between the 1 st and 10th positions is 10 thousand;
• 65% of sites that are ranked by RF-requests are switched to HTTPS;
• The average bounce rate among sites in the top 3 reaches 49%;
• After switching from the search engine, the user visits 3-3.5 pages of the website per session;
• 18% of domains that are ranked according to RF requests do not contain keywords in the page body.
The full version of the SEMrush report (in English) is available to all comers upon request.
Google operates different types of unnatural links unequally. This information was reported by the search representative Gary Illyes on Twitter.
Thus, if violations are identified as "rough manipulation of links," the website is likely to be sanctioned. The rest unnatural links are mostly ignored by Google.
That depends on the purpose of that link really, but it's not likely to be ignored
- Gary Illyes ᕕ (ᐛ) ᕗ (@methode) June 2, 2017
It should be recalled that the Penguin algorithm stopped lowering websites for spammed links. Instead, the service began to devalue the spam itself.
Google updated the interface of the local knowledge bar, which appears when searching for local companies, shops and institutions and provides detailed information about the business enterprise you are looking for. Now it includes two sections: "Review" and "Feedback".
The "Overview" section contains general information about the company: address, working hours, etc. The “Feedback" provides the overall rating of the company on a five-point scale and get you acquainted with what customers think about this or that company.
It has the following appearance:
The testing of the new design started in May. It seems that now it is launched for all users, although no official confirmation from Google has been received so far. This is to remind you that the search engine added a link to the knowledge bar for goods and services of the company this April.
Google tested the new "Highlights" section on the local Knowledge Grid panel for cafes, bars and other places in May. It contained icons with signatures, displaying the features of the institution. For instance, "recommended by critics", "restful spot", "places to visit with children", "free style clothing", etc.
Facebook is planning to launch about two dozen different shows and TV series in mid June, created specifically for the social network. This information was reported by Business Insider with reference to its sources. The company also gave the go-ahead for another TV programs production.
According to the publication, Facebook is interested in the content in two main formats: long-term large-budget projects and 5-10 minutes episode programs, which will be released daily.
It is assumed that the series of the first category will take the level of "Card House" and "Scandal". Short videos will be focused primarily on young audience.
Social network considers high-quality video content as a significant aspect of user retention. Besides this, Facebook shows will allow to offer advertisers an alternative to traditional TV and will give the company another source of revenue.
Facebook began negotiations with television studios in December 2016. At that time it was reported that the social network does not plan to invest in expensive movies and series. However, according to the Business Insider, the plans for the company have changed.
Google reported that the Street View service is now able to extract textual information from photos to update Maps. This was achieved with the help of machine learning algorithms.
From now on Street View can not only collect images of the real world, but also extract names and street numbers from them. This innovation will automatically add new addresses to Maps and update the data in real time.
Google used photos taken in different countries to test the new technology. It was possible to automate the process of "reading" the contents of images with an accuracy reaching 84% with the help of neural networks in France. The developers noticed that this indicator significantly exceeds those opportunities that were previously available for them.
Algorithms can even recognize abbreviations and convert them into words. For example, "Av" converts into "Avenue".
Automated system simplifies the process of adding new streets and buildings to Maps. It is also able to "read" the names of companies, which allows you to quickly update the data.
The source code for the model is available to everyone on GitHub
Google spokesman, Gary Illyes, said on Twitter the other day that adding a video to the page does not help get the ranking higher.
"Having a video on the page does not help to get higher position in search results. Nevertheless, you have the right to your own opinion,"wrote Illyes.
Adding a video to the page does not harm the website. However, it can slow down the page loading from a technical point of view.
Google employee John Mueller admitted that embedded YouTube videos can slow the pages down. At the same time, he noted that the search engine does not distinguish between built-in elements from its own services and competitors' websites. He also added that YouTube players should not reduce the download speed too much as they are well optimized
Google agreed to pay € 306 million to settle the tax dispute down in Italy. This information was reported by Reuters.
Last year Italian tax police office said that Google earned 1 billion euros in the country between 2009-2013, but the taxes were not paid in full.
Google and the regulator states that the agreement covers the period from 2002 to 2015.
"Besides the taxes already paid in Italy over these years, Google will pay additional 306 million euros," - reports the Press service of one of the Internet companies.
Google has repeatedly been accused of tax evasion in Europe. The claims are related to a scheme that allowed the company not to pay taxes at high rates in individual countries by the registration of the revenue received in Ireland.
It should be recalled that Google settled a tax dispute in the UK in January 2016. The company agreed to pay $ 185 million for dept redemption in the period from 2006 to 2011.
In 2015, Google saved $ 3.6 billion to pay taxes through a financial scheme known as the "double Irish and Dutch sandwich."
Google is adding new functions related to AMP Search Console, and invites webmasters to take part in the beta testing.
On May 4, John Mueller, the QA manager, sent out a message to the service testers. The letter was entitled as "New beta opportunity for AMP-site-masters".
Search Console users who have implemented AMP on their websites can also be involved in the testing. For this, you need to fill out the form in Google Doc.
Mueller confirmed that the newsletter was indeed sent and the link source is safe and protected (comments on Twitter):
Those who wish to participate in the testing, but have not received the newsletter, you can try to contact John Müeller on Twitter for details.
Google does not lower sites for having pages with 404 error links. This information was reported by TheSemPost referring to the search representative Gary Illyes.
Some webmasters believe the pages with 404 error on the websites are lowered in the search results ranking. However, Gary Illyes denies this opinion.
The 404 errors can be caused by various reasons: website redesign and incorrect redirection, permanent or temporary unavailability of the resource. At the same time, many webmasters do not track outgoing links on an ongoing basis in order to quickly identify and fix these errors. However, it would be unfair to punish webmasters for the problems of another resource, says TheSemPost founder, Jennifer Slagg.
As for UX, 404 pages can worsen the user's experience, so it makes sense to periodically scan the website and fix the links that are no longer running.
Low download speed of the website can significantly affect the performance of the online store. This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by Akamai.
According to the data presented, the delay in loading the page in 100 milliseconds reduces the level of dextop conversion by 2.4%, while the mobile version by 7.1%.
1 second delay reduces the conversion from desktops by 21.8%, for smartphones by 20.5%, and from tablets by 17.8%. With two seconds delay, the figures fall even lower: by 36.5%, 26.2% and 25.1%, respectively.
The maximum conversion level was observed if the loading time was:
1.8 seconds (conversion rate 12.8%) for desktop devices;
2.7 seconds (3.3%) for smartphones devices;
1.9 seconds (7.2%) for tablets and gadgets.
Basically, the pages that are converted are loaded 26% faster.
As for the average conversion rate, on desktops it was ranked at 4.1%, on 1.4% on smartphones and 2.7% on tablets.
According to Akamai, almost half of all buyers (47%) are viewing products on smartphones, but only 1 out of 5 transactions ends on a mobile device.
Despite the fact that only 22% of mobile websites ends up in a conversion, this figure should be growing with the upcoming months and years.
The study also showed that the highest failure rate is among the mobile users. At the same, the minimum failure rate was observed on the tablets.
The optimum load time at which the failure rate is kept at the lowest level is from 700 msec to 1.2 sec for all devices. The delay in loading in 2 seconds raises this indicator up to 103%, and also reduces the duration of the session by 51%.
Hackers from the OurMine group got access to hundreds of YouTube channels and called this event the biggest hacking in the history of video service. This information is reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
The following message was displayed in the hacked accounts: "Hello, this is OurMine. Do not worry, we're just checking your safety. Contact us for more information."
The attack was set down. Leaks from user data were avoided.
OurMine hacking group hacks the accounts of authoritative users of social networks to draw the attention of their developers to security issues.
"We have no bad intentions. We are just worried about the security and privacy of your accounts and the network," the group's website says.
We should recall that in summer, 2016 OurMine hacked accounts of Google's CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Google does not have sanctions for using Caps Lock in the Title. This was stated by the search representative Gary Illyes in response to a question from one of the webmasters on Twitter.
The question was: "Are there sanctions for using Caps Lock for certain words in the title tag?" Illyes answered shortly: "No, there aren’t any".
It should be recalled that the capital letters in the URL also do not affect the ranking of the website in Google.
Soon, Google AdWords can start providing advertisers with more information on the Quality Score. This information was reported by Search Engine Land with a link to the post in the Israeli version of the blog Inside AdWords.
The publication described a number of new Quality Score metrics that are launched in the AdWords interface. The post was published on March 10, but, unfortunately, received little attention. For unknown reasons, it was removed March 12. We do not for sure whether Google announced about the upcoming changes in other countries, but this infomation is still kept a secret.
Judging by the date on one of the images in the post, the innovation is tested at least since December. A new section dedicated to Quality Score will include seven additional columns for analysis.
Advertisers will also be able to view data on the quality score for a particular day. The new metrics for the Quality Score will also be available at the manager account level. If this change is triggered, advertisers will be able to analyze trends in Quality Score.
Google's press service on the request for comments has not yet responded.
The enhanced Quality Score statistics became available through the AdWords API in last March.
The average number of active advertisers in Instagram has exceeded 1 million a month. This information was reported in the company's blog.
Over the past six months, this number has been doubled. It was ranked 500.000 in September 2016.
The service representatives also reported that more than 8 million companies linked business profiles for their pages on Instagram. Russia along with the US, Brazil, Indonesia and the United Kingdom turned to be among the countries with the largest number of business profiles.
80% of Instagram users around the world are subscribed to the brands' pages on the platform. More than 120 million users of the service have been looking for posts related to a particular business or subscribed to brand accounts.
Instagram sees to actively develop business profiles to promote communication between users and brands on the platform in the nearest future.
We should remind you that Instagram launched business profiles in June 2016.
Google announced the it launches the shortcuts to get quick answers to the most frequent queries like weather, sports, entertainment. The new feature will be incorporated to a mobile search version and iOS and Android apps. Users from the United States will be the first to test a new feature.
«Google Search is a great tool for finding the answer to a specific question. But there are times when you just want to get the latest information on the topics you are most interested about, "- says the company blog.
Labels will be added to the main search page. This will be a block selection, located just below the search box. Selections will include categories such as "Places Nearby", "Tools", "Entertainment", "Weather" and others.
The information on these topics will be constantly updated so that the user receives the most recent data.
Google also plans to add relevant information about major events and world events such as the Olympic Games.
Last Monday the notorious Platon Shchukin published another FAQ on the delicate transfer to the https protocol in his blog. He covered most of the questions that often arise by webmasters when running a protocol transfer, however, the question on the regional linking was not touched in no way.
The specialists of the company that holds 39 websites faced a difficulty when moving to the new protocol the regional data was not transferred for an unknown reason. They asked Platon to answer this question. He said that regional data should be specified manually:
The specialists of the company that work with 39 websites emphasize the importance of linking to a specific region, as it is critical for the successful ranking of most commercial websites:
"If suddenly when moving to https the optimizer or the website owner will forget about miss this point of specifying the region manually, as suggested by Yandex support, the website can easily lose all positions and go to the botton for all geo-dependent queries, in which it was previously ranked in the top before moving to https. The regionality in Yandex.Webmaster allows you to make search requests for associative goods or services geo-dependent”.
Platon Shchukin was also put a question to one of his comments made in the post regarding the need to indicate the region manually, as well as the request to highlight this point in the relocation guide. Platon promised to take this remark into account:
"Thanks for the comment, we'll take this point into account.
Indeed, at the moment the regional linking to the new main mirror needs to be done again. "
We hope that now the webmasters will not forget about this important moment. Good luck when transferring the protocol!
Google Maps users on iOS and Android will be able to share their location and routes with other people in the upcoming days. This information was reported in the company's blog.
In order to use this feature you will need to open the application menu or touch the blue dot on the map, click "Share my location" and then choose to whom and for how long to show the location.
The people selected by the user will see where he is. In this case, its location will be displayed on both mobile devices and PC. Above the compass on the user's map there will be an icon reminding that it shows your location.
This function will also be available in the navigation mode. You will need to touch the menu icon at the bottom of the navigation screen and click "Share a Trip" to activate it. Those friends whom the user selects from the contact list will see his movements along the route on the map and an approximate time of arrival. When he/she reaches the destination point, the access to information about the user's location will be automatically closed.
You are free to disable this function at any time.
Google said that the new feature will be available to all Maps users "in the near future." The exact release date is still kept a secret.
It should be reminded that in February Google Maps made available to save your favorite places.
Google AdWords announced that on March 29, 2017, the default conversion tracking period will be reduced from 30 days to one day.
The "Conversions" column shows how many times users saw a graphic or display ad, but did not click on it, and after a while they made a conversion on the website. The data presented in this column is not reflected in the "Conversions" column.
From March 29, the "Conversions" column will only show those conversions that occurred within one day after the ad got on the screen.
The new update will affect new conversion actions, as well as existing ones, if they have a default accounting period for them.
"We found that viewing advertisements much more often leads to buying in one day, when our message is still fresh in the memory of customers", - comments the innovation manager of the advertising agency Jet.com Ben Weinberg.
Google AdWords has announced several updates on ads with phone numbers.
Phone number extends to the account level
This new feature is launched for those advertisers who use the same number in call extensions. Now they do not need to apply the same extension several times inside within one account.
Updated reportings for call extensions
Google will begin to provide statistics on the display of phone numbers and calls at ads and keywords level.
Automatic extensions "Phone Numbers"
In the coming months, access to this type of extension will get even more advertisers. Automatic extension testing on "Phone Numbers" was started in January.
Updated ads of the "call-only" format
Last summer, AdWords began to test the company name in the headers of "Only phone number" ads. Now this change is launched all around the world.
We should recall that Google AdWords started showing phone contacts of different company branches in the ads in January. The innovation is launched in the test mode.
Google is buying an online platform for researchers in the field of data analysis and machine learning. The name of this company is Kaggle. This inforamtion was reported at the Cloud Next conference, which was held in San Francisco. Terms and conditions of the deal were not disclosed.
According to TechCrunch, the purchase of Kaggle will allow Google to access the largest and most active AI community. As a result, the company will be able to attract the best specialists in this field to its projects.
The company Kaggle was founded in 2010 by Anthony Goldbom and Ben Hammer. At the moment, Kaggle is the main platform for the competition in the field of Data Science. More than 500 thousand specialists are registered in the community.
According to Crunchbase, the platform has attracted $ 12.5 million of funding from the funds Index Ventures and SV Angel for 7 years of its existance, as well as the private investors: co-owner of Mail.Ru Group. Yuri Milner, the founder of PayPal, Max Levchin, and others.
We should remind you that Google and Kaggle launched a competition dedicated to the development of algorithms for auto-tagging YouTube videos with a total prize pool of $ 100 thousand in February.
In May 2016 Google introduced a new search feature by Emoji. From now on the requests data is displayed in the "search queries analysis" report in the Search Console.
The new feature was recognized by one of the service users in Germany. Below is the screenshot showing the website that got 50 results on the Emoji request in the cake chart:
Earlier this month, Google also returned Emoji back into the search results.
In 2015, Google Search rep, John Mueller, said that Google would no longer show the Emoji icons in the title snippets, and advised webmasters not to waste time adding them to the website. It's been more than a year Emoji did not appear in the search results, but now they are back.
Google Panda algorithm analyzes all aspects of the quality of the website, including its architecture. This information was reported by a representative of the Google search, John Mueller, during the last meeting with webmasters.
He was asked the following:
"Does Panda consider the architecture of the website during the evaluation or the improvement of the categories does not really matter?".
"If we detect a problem on the website, which, in our opinion, could have had a significant impact on the quality of the resource, we would then consider them. Therefore, if you have problems with the categories on the website, and you can improve them, then do this."
We should also remind you that the Panda algorithm 1.0 was released on February 24, 2011, which is six years ago. Its main function lies in fighting against websites containing low-quality content. This is one of the most significant search filters created by Google.
About a year ago Panda filter has become part of the prime Google algorithm.
English-speaking users have noticed that Google is testing a new format of the local search results considering mobile devices.
The interface test version carries the search results presented in the form of individual cards, which can be viewed by swiping the screen left or right.
In the current version of the interface presents the search results are displayed in a list.
We should recall that in December 2016, Google added the filters into the local queries unit that goes both for the desktop and mobile devices.
January this year, Google tested a trade show for the local search results on mobile devices. Particularly, by some specific requests it was giving local ads assortment.
At his last meeting with webmasters John Mueller told the way to optimize images for search engines.
One of the participants asked how Google achievements in the field of image recognition affected SEO. Particularly, he wanted to clarify whether the image optimization is still valid or it is no longer necessary.
According to Mueller, the future optimization may not be needed. But now it is still applied.
"Using clear file names, alt attributes, tag titles that it all helps. The subtitles under the image, the text that that describes, all of this helps us to understand what was going on in the picture. All this is necessary. At least, at the moment,"- said Mueller.
According to the author of the TheSEMPost blog, Jennifer Slegg, Google needs another 5-10 years, in order to recognize the non-optimized images. It is unlikely that this situation is to get changed in the nearest future.
Therefore, SEO-experts still have to optimize the pictures so that Google can better understand them.
Google began launching a new version of advertising icons in AdWord. Now they will be appear in the green box:
Americans were the first to recognize the change. Google confirmed the launch and added that the new feature will be realized on a major scale.
"We regularly test the possible improvements in the design of the search results page. After testing the advertising icons, we decided to stop at this version. The new icon is more visible. As a result, the readability of the search results page is improved and advertising is clearly identified this way"- comments the company’s Search Engine Land spokesman.
It should be recalled that Google began testing the promotional icons in January. At the same time, the company also tested black and orange markings.
In the summer 2016 Google changed the color of advertising icons from yellow to green.
Google is still considering the exact date for mobile-first index launch. This information was reported by Google Search rep, Garry Illyes at the Friends of Search Conference.
He also added that the preparations for the launch may take several months more than it was previously planned.
We should also remind that Google started testing mobile-first index in November 2016. This means that the search algorithms will primarily assess the relevance of a mobile version of the page in the nearest future.
It is noteworthy that the mobile-first Google will not measure speed loading of the pages; neither will it consider this factor in the rankings. At least at the startup.
If the website faces a problem after the transition to a new type of indexing, Google will warn you via Search Console.
Google has updated report about scanning application errros in the Search Console. This was reported on Data Anomalies page in the Help Center section.
The updated report contains a more precise data on the number of pages with URI. As Google informs that from now on the owners of the application will receive correct information on the number of indexed pages.
The updated statistics became available from 23 January 2017.
English-speaking webmasters noticed that after the update number of indexed URL in the report has been increased. This error pages also were pulled up in quantity.
Therefore, the Search Engine Roundtable application had about 5600 indexed URLs and no errors, but after the update the number went up to 7084 and 578 respectively.
Google Maps application for Android and iOS have now got an opportunity to create a list of places, send them to other users and keep up with people whom you trust.
By clicking on the place you are interested in, and then clicking "Save" you make the chosen location in one of the existing lists, such as "Places of Interest" or "Favorites". You can also come up with your own list name. You can get back to the previously made lists through "Your places of interest" (in the sidebar), in the tab "Saved." The icons of your saved places will appear on the map.
You can easily send your places of interest via SMS, e-mail, social networks or popular instant messengers. Here's how it works:
All created collections, as well as subscribed ones will remain on Google Maps, no matter where it is. They can be viewed on both mobile and desktop devices and even offline.
"Google Maps has got millions places of interest, restaurants and other interesting locations, so you will definitely have enough for yourself and have a lot more to explore. We have put the whole world on a single map, and now it's time for you to point out your own world starting from fashion city outlets to the places of your dream", - reports Google blog.
Google Analytics launches new interface for all users. The information was reported by Search Engine Roundtable.
The redesign was announced in October 2016 and it was intended to simplify the interface of the service while maintaining a frequently used functionality.
Initially it was reported that the new UI will be launched within a few weeks after the announcement. But at that moment only a certain group of people could access it.
Foreign webmasters noticed some signs of Google's search algorithm update last week. It is assumed that the update was released on the 7th of February.
Apparently, the was a major update. Many webmasters have seen significant changes in the positions of their resources: both bad and good sides.
According to Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land, this update is unlikely to have something to do with updating algorithms to fight against link spamming. In this case it is likely that it has to do with Panda.
The SERP monitoring tools, such as Mozcast, RankRanger, Accuranker and others also make an indication that the update took place on February, 7.
Google did not confirm the update and declined to comment any webmasters' comments.
English-speaking users have noticed that Google SERP brought Emoji back.
The tests showed that the Russian-language search results also have Emoji
We should remind you that in 2015, Search rep John Mueller said that Google will no longer show the Emoji characters within the snippet titles. He also said that soon the Emoji will completely disappear from search results, and webmasters advised not to waste time adding them to the website.
Google is not scanning the content of the page, if it sees that the server returns 404 error. This information was reported by John Mueller during the last video meeting with webmasters. Therefore, filling the content of the page in terms of search engine optimization (not UX) does not make much sense doing that.
"If we see a 404 error, we do not look at the content. We do explore what appears on pages with 404 error, "- explained Mueller.
Custom 404 pages are undoubtedly useful. They help to keep visitors by redirecting them to other pages on your website. However, some webmasters use them for search engine optimization.
According to Google's guide for assessors, assessing the quality of the search results users must see what the page 404 content is and how useful it may be. Therefore, some webmasters use page 404 to improve the quality of the source. Now, however, it became clear that this option is not so important for the search engine, as everybody thought previously.
Again, in terms of UX quality 404 pages are important because they allow keeping visitors on the website and helping them find useful information. But what it is in these pages, Google does not look into them at all.
"Pixel Plus" team has reported the launch of a new free tool in the "Pixel Tools", which represent parsing tips in the Google search results. Parsing search tips allows you to make up to 20,000 phrases and multiply expand the semantic core in just one click.
It customizes the following:
• Query List
• The depth of parsing for iterative collection
• Search engine (RU, COM, UA, BY, KZ)
• Available functions: tips collection with and without space after each phrase with Cyrillic and Latin alphabet, with over numbers after phrase
• Words-exceptions: Specifies words that should not be in the final nucleus (they are just removed and analyzed)
All the parsing results are saved and stored in CSV-file format in the “Pixel Tools”. Recently collected data can be also either downloaded or analyzed through the web interface.
We should remind that, the new version of the "Pixel Tools" service with significantly enhanced functionality was launched in October 2016. In January 2017 "Pixel Tools" introduced free Yandex search parsing tips.
Google AdSense shared information that blocking certain ad categories and subcategories is now available to all publishers. So they will be able to control what kind of ads appear on their websites.
Also, the service reps reported that the number of categories and sub-categories has been increased from 250 to 470. Adding new subcategories will allow publishers block the undesired ads more thoroughly.
For instance, instead of disabling the "Accessories" category you can choose between the subcategories of "Sunglasses", "Bags" or "Watches".
At the moment along with English, blocking ad service also available in Russian Polish, Simplified Chinese, Turkish and Dutch.
Google shared some advices with its users regarding the personal data protection in the network. The company described the principles of operation of their systems that take care of the security services and other aspects.
How to outwit fraudsters and protect your Google Account?
Very often, users receive messages from their friends and family. However, such messages may appear to be part of phishing activity.
Google came up with a lot of high-tech methods on how to protect Gmail. The company secretly analyzes thousands of signs: who is the receiver, message content, how often this person texted to you and others.
However, if the scammers still got the user's login and password, do not despair since your account stays protected. Google not only checks the validity of the password, but also looks at a lot of small details. This makes it possible to detect suspicious behavior.
Security is not only provided by Google
With the function "Safe Browsing» Google warns users about the dangers of visiting these or those resources. Safe Browsing analyzes Internet resources almost the same way as the search engine, and find dangerous and inappropriate content. Google shows tens of millions of alerts every week for more than two billion devices in different browsers.
A special tool has been developed for Android devices on the basis of our Safe Browsing technology. It analyzes the applications on the network and alerts the user of the danger even before they have set themselves the service. An additional method of protection is by Application Testing that works directly on the Android device. It checks for more than 6 billion apps and 400 million devices every day.
Google has introduced a new Cloud Search service, which allows you to quickly find the right information in the corporate domain G Suite. By using it, you can perform a search on Google Drive, in Gmail, Docs, spreadsheets, presentations, calendars, and other services.
Initially Cloud Search was called Springboard and was available in preview mode for a limited number of G Suite customers. Starting from February 14, 2017, they will be able to take advantage for all the corporate users.
Google Cloud Search is designed to be used in large companies, and allows you to quickly find desired documents, contacts, appointment information. While viewing contact details, users can click to go to the making up of an email, make a phone call or contact that person through a Hangout.
Just as Google Now, Cloud Search provides information in the form of cards, regardless of where it is used either on a PC or a phone. Through machine learning algorithms, the service will first bring the information that may be of most interest to a particular user. Through the cards, it will remind about the upcoming meeting, will display last open files and other information.
Cloud Search is launched for all companies that use G Suite Business and Enterprise. Google promised to add more features to the service in the future, and plans to integrate it with third-party applications.
The American company Priceline Group (Booking.com owner), acquired British Momondo Group. The total cost was evaluated at $ 550 million, according to Venture Beat.
Momondo Group owns popular tourist searchers Cheapflights and Momondo. Under the deal, the company will enter the trend Priceline after it buys Kayak.
«Momondo and Cheapflights created great products used by loyal users all over Europe. We are looking forward to learn from them and share best practices to the extent that both our brands will expand its presence throughout the world ", - said the head of Kayak Steve Hafner.
We should recall that in November 2016 China's largest tour operator Ctrip.com International announced about the idea of purchasing the British website Skyscanner that works with searching for flights, hotels and car rental. The cost of the transaction was ranked at $ 1.76 billion.
Google shared tips on how to prevent spam found in comments and forums. Specialists recommend the following:
• Update the forum software on a regular basis. Pay special attention to updates related to the removal of the security problems. Spammers typically exploit vulnerabilities in older versions of the CMS.
• Add captcha to the website. You can use such services as reCAPTCHA, Securimage and Jcaptcha.
• Block suspicious behavior. Many forums allow you to configure the restriction on the publication frequency of the posts. Such platforms like phpBB, Simple Machines and myBB, also able to monitor excessive traffic with regard to IP-addresses.
• Check the most active commentators daily. If this is a new user on a forum, but has already published a large number of posts it worth checking out his profile.
• Consider disabling comments. For instance, you can disable the very old forum topics, which users will unlikely visit. If you do not have time to regularly review the comments, this function is generally not needed for your users, it is better to remove it.
• Use moderation. Consider the introduction of the rules. For instance, only users with high reputation may publish the references. Or that the references get introduced to public once verified.
• Disable anonymous. Remove the anonymous posting by going to the CMS settings. You can also make sure that the posts made by newcomers get public only after verification.
• Create a black list of words. Block inappropriate comments via spamming words black list.
• Close links by using the attribute nofollow. This will reduce the interest of the spammers when they visit your website. Many blog platforms, such as Blogger add this attribute to the default comments.
• Use automated systems to protect your website. For instance, you can use Akismet.
For more information considering protection of the website from spammers can be found in Google Search Console Help Center.
Over the past few days the amount of AMP-results on Google Mobile News was doubled. This information was reported by data RankRanger.
On January, 25 the AMP content stake on Google News in the US was around 30%. On January, 29, it has been exceeded by 70%:
"The number of articles in the AMP format, which are displayed in the “Breaking news” block in Google search results just “flew up” - said the RankRanger rep, Modi Oberstein.
It is not yet clear what could cause this outburst. Perhaps we are talking about updated algorithm on Google News.
Google press service has not yet commented on the situation.
In December 2016 advertisers’ costs on acquiring new mobile gamers and application users have decreased. This information was reported by Fiksu.
The costs (cost for 1 thousand users) on Android fell to $3.06, whereas in October it was $4.
Cost per thousand on iOS dropped down from $ 7 in October to $ 4.15 in December 2016.
The cost for a single buyer has reduced by 23%, cost per thousand dropped by 31% since November. The cost for thousand is the average amount required for the user to make a purchase or other valuable actions.
Fiksu notes that currently marketers are trying to equally distribute the promotion costs throughout the year. Using this method led to the fact that the holiday season 2016-2017 did not take much expenses.
"Looking back to 2016, it is clear that now marketers understand the value of a consistent, stretched full-year mobile targeting. We also see that many brands spend more diversified campaign rather than concentrate on a single metric, such as the installation "- said Fiksu DSP vice-president Tom Cummings.
According to the report, the iPhone 7 release had a greater impact on advertisers’ costs than the holiday season.
"Reducing costs for thousand and single used explains that the launch of the new iPhone model represents the biggest opportunity for the iOS-marketers to maximize the return on investment in mobile advertising, even greater than the holiday season," - said Cummings.
Google is on the point to donate about $ 4 million to help migrants. For this, the company has created the largest in the history charity foundation. The decision was made in a response to the US President's words to impose a temporary ban on receiving refugees and citizens from the Middle East and Africa.
Half of the amount donates the company itself and the remaining $ 2 million will be collected at the expense of Google employees donations. These funds will be allocated to four organizations: American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the International Rescue Committee and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Earlier, the head of Google, Sundar Pichai, criticized the controversial decision of Donald Trump to limit immigration. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, took part in the protest, which took place at the international airport in San Francisco.
It was not only Google, but also the leaders of the largest technology companies like Facebook, Apple and Tesla protested against Trump’s decision.
At the moment Google is trying to make all algorithms running directly on a global scale. This was stated by an employee Garry Illyes in Twitter.
"We are working hard to make it working simultaneously for everyone," - said Illyes.
Before Google was rolling out some algorithms only in selected regions and then extended to other countries. For instance, Panda filter was first launched in English-speaking regions, and then spread all over the world. This strategy has been due to the fact that Panda analyzes page content; therefore, it took some time to make it supported by several languages. Penguin though was launched on a global scale at once. This algorithm evaluates links and language works on a sideline.
Twitter announced the launch of a new section named Explore that took the place of Moments one.
The new universal profile will combine popular trends, highlights, assemblies and search in one tab.
The company believes that by using Explore it will be handy for users to find interesting content.
The update is already available in Twitter for iOS. For Android, it will appear in the coming weeks. The regions that cover the new update is not specified yet in the company.
We should recall that the "Moments" service was launched in October 2015. It contains a selection of recent events, which are available to all users, regardless of who they are signed for. One can switch to the tab by clicking on the icon with the image of lightning in the tweet.
In September 2016 Twitter made Moments available for everyone.
Explore tab Testing started in October 2016.
Microsoft has published the results for the second quarter 2017 fiscal year. In the reporting period the company's revenue has increased by 1.2%, i.e. up to $ 24.09 billion in annual comparison. Net profit has increased by 3.6% to $ 5.2 billion.
On December 8, 2016 Microsoft closed a deal to buy LinkedIn. In the second quarter the social network brought them $ 228 million revenue. LinkedIn net loss reached $ 100 million.
In Microsoft's financial results report LinkedIn is assigned to the Productivity and Business branch. Total revenue in this segment increased to $ 7.4 billion, which is 10% more than the year before.
Microsoft's revenue in the Intelligent Cloud segment has increased by 8%, i.e. up to $ 6.9 billion; More Personal Computing segment was decreased by 5%, i.e. $ 11.8 billion.
In the second quarter, the company returned $ 6.5 billion to shareholders in shares and dividends.
We should recall that Microsoft announced its decision to acquire the social network LinkedIn in June 2016. The cost of the transaction was priced $ 26.2 billion.
Since June the company worked on integration plan. According to the head of Microsoft Satya Nadella, the main priority for the corporation is to increase growth rates from LinkedIn.
The Federal Tax Service (FTS) has set a register for Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, FC Chelsea, Netflix and 12 companies to pay the so-called Google tax; VAT rate for electronic services and products from Internet sales by foreign companies for Russian customers.
This information was reported by "Interfax" referring to the statement said by the head of the Federal Tax Service Mikhail Mishustina while meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev:
“The law on the taxation of electronic services provided by foreign companies, including those related to the delivery of any content: games, relevant electronic services delivered to the territory of the Russian Federation entered into effect on the 1st of January. At the moment Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Chelsea, Netflix are set on the register”.
Currently there are 39 companies listed for register submission including those mentioned above: Wargaming, Paddle.com Market Limited, Nintendo, Paddle Payments Limited, Innova Co S.a r.l., KNIGOLUB LTD, Ten Square Games Sp. z o.o., Valve Corporation, Avangate BV, Digital River Ireland Limited, Digital River GmbH, DR MyCommerce Ireland Limited.
According to the head of the Federal Tax Service, next week is expected the application from Amazon Group. The registration deadline is set by January, 31.
We should remind you that the law on the introduction of VAT on the sale of e-services, the so-called “Google tax”, was signed by the Russian president on July 4, 2016. The Act came into force on the 1st of January, 2017 and now foreign IT-companies have to pay 18% VAT in Russia.
In July last year the Federal Tax Service developed a "VAT office Internet company" portal with which foreign IT-companies can pay "Google tax" on a remote distance. Service started its functioning from January 1, 2017.
"We made it the form of an electronic service. You can check online, test whether your company needs to submit the corresponding application and a special declaration for payment of value added tax electronic services (in case those are provided). This service is done in English. At the moment everything goes smoothly, and it is important that the activities of large companies that have never paid the value added tax in the territory of Russia are in conformity with the legislation of the Russian Federation ", - said the head of the Federal Tax Service.
Google has released the 56th version of the Chrome browser for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. From now on the pages that save passwords or data credit card users without HTTPS protocol will be marked in it as unsafe.
From the previous version Chrome browser started marking HTTPS addresses as "Safe" on the left side of the URL. HTTP resources were marked with a neutral icon. In the current version developers have added a gray “unsafe” icon for the HTTP-pages that contain fields for entering a password or credit card numbers.
Chrome plans to tag all HTTP websites as unsafe in the near future. The long term goal is to increase Internet security by transferring all websites onto the HTTPS protocol.
Among other innovations introduced in Chrome version 56 are as follows: speed increase when reloading the pages by 28%, adding support for Web Bluetooth API on Android, Chrome OS, and the Mac, and other changes.
The fact that Google Chrome will begin to tag all the HTTP-sites that transmit users' personal data, as unsafe, became public in September 2016.
In December Google started informing foreign webmasters in Search Console of gathering passwords from unprotected connections will be displayed by warnings as soon as you enter the website.
Google started sending such notifications to Russian websites through Search Console from January, 20 this year.