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Digital Digest – September 2018

We’re on the busy stretch coming up to the Holiday period, and things are ramping up in the digital space. Whether you want to keep abreast of what’s going on in organic search, paid ads or social – we’ve got you covered in this months Digital Digital digest!

The Google Related Items

Google Provide Insight Into The ‘Next 20 Years Of Search’

Late September and the 20 year anniversary saw a post by the Search Engine giant providing insight into where they see the ‘next 20 years of Search’ and how they’re ‘improving’ it. Some of the shifts seem to be taken from social platforms, but it details 3 fundamental ways that they will be approaching Search. It was written by Ben Gomes, the VP, Search News and Assistant and paraphrasing of these key items are:

It’s great to get this rare insight into some of their visions for the future and it looks like we’re heading into some exciting times.

Small Algorithm Update Confirmed

Whilst it didn’t cause as many waves as the August ‘Medic’ Update, the Search Engine did confirm via Danny Sullivan (Google Search Liaison) on Twitter that there was a small update on the 27th of September. Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable pressed him about some rankings fluctuations that some SEOs had witnessed.

Some webmasters have speculated that it was a reversal or adjustment of the medic update. We have not noticed much across our client base – have you experienced any rankings or traffic drops or gains? Let us know!

Search Console Moves Out Of Beta

The new Search Console (formally Webmaster Tools) launched at the start of 2018, and early September saw it ‘graduate’ out of Beta! Whilst there are still a couple of things from the old version that haven’t migrated across, there are some great new additions (including access to more organic traffic data and a URL inspection tool).

Read more here on the Webmaster Central blog.

Expansion Of Exact Match ‘Close Match’ Variations

Traditionally an ‘exact match’ in Google text ads was exactly that: only a search performed using the keywords/ phrase would bring up ads if typed in exactly the same – word for word, letter for letter, in the correct order. Over the years, exact has morphed into ‘close variants’ which included mis-spelt phrases and plurals of words (rolled out in 2014) and different ordering of words and functions (2017). September 2018 saw the announcement of a further expansion of exact match keywords to include variations that Google deem to have the same meaning – things like paraphrasing and implied words. So basically the exact words typed in are no longer the only trigger for ads to appear on exact match keywords.

exact match keywords close variants

The main driver is the meaning or intent of the query and the example that they have provided is, ‘“running shoes” or “shoes for running,” what they want remains the same; they’re looking for running shoes’. They have done this to help businesses owners and marketers reduce the need to build out very long lists of keywords in their campaigns.

We will be monitoring our clients campaigns closely to see the effects on this and ensure they’re not receiving irrelevant clicks. How do you think this could impact your paid Google campaigns?

The Other Stuff From Around The Web

Sales Made On Mobile Now Over 50% Globally

A handy report for Ecommerce webmasters to review in the lead up to the Silly Season, Search Engine Journal is reporting that sales made on mobile devices are now more than 50% (over desktop) globally. The information stems from Criteo’s Global Commerce Review for Quarter 2 of 2018 which analysed the online shopping data from over 5000 online retailers across over 80 countries. The other interesting factor from this was that purchases made from Apps are also increasing.

We are yet to identify a significant trend across our Ecommerce clients in NZ, with sales still being made more from desktop. Let us know if you are experiencing this or a rise on mobile sales on your e-retail site.

Instagram Building A Standalone App For Online Shopping?

Continuing on the Ecommerce theme, The Verge have reported that Instagram are looking to harness online sales power by building a stand-alone application. Although the Social Media platform has declined to comment, The Verge has stated that ‘2 people close to the matter’ have informed them that the app may be called ‘IG Shopping’ and will allow users to browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase from them directly within the app. Does this sound a little like Pinterest to anyone else? There is no release date but this is certainly a story to keep track of!

Software Giant Adobe Purchase Marketo

Adobe announced in late September that they have acquired the sales and marketing CRM Marketo. This will certainly be a great addition to their product suite and will integrate their Cloud based analytics application. For more information see the link mentioned or the Press Release.

That’s All Folks!

That’s a wrap for another month. If we have missed something vital or you have any questions, please get in touch with us on 0800 878 833.