For years, Google’s simple, uncluttered layout has been appealing feature for searchers. Yesterday, Google revealed that they are evolving from their traditional search results page to a more advanced display. The Google search toolbar located at the top of the screen has been moved to the left-hand side. Soon searchers will be able to refine their searches by news, updates through social media channels, blogs and much more all from one place. Google has also given searchers the option to define a specific timeframe of their search results.
This new overhaul has many critics scratching their heads and noticing glaring similarities between Bing’s display results and Google’s proposed layout. Many Googlers aren’t particularly thrilled with the transition from Google’s simplistic organization to the more advanced format. However, industry experts feel Google’s improvements were only a matter of time. With the upcoming Bing (MSN) and Yahoo merger; MSN will be taking up a larger percentage of the search market. According to the latest Hitwise results; Yahoo occupies approximately 14.9 percent of the search market and Bing roughly 9.43 percent.
Love or hate the new layout, one thing is clear; the competition between Google and MSN is becoming more intense. I have a feeling that Google’s recent makeover is only the first of many changes searchers will see in the near future.
Any advertiser who participates in search engine marketing understands the importance of having your ads seen. Constantly monitoring keyword cost per clicks can be difficult for just a search campaign, never mind a content campaign. Because your ads are appearing on such a wide array of relevant sites within the content network; indicating the ad position in each site can be daunting.
Recently, Google has modified the options for content campaigns. While excluding category types is not a new function, the ‘below the fold’ exclusion is new. What does ‘below the fold’ mean? According to Google, below the fold ad placements occur ‘when people need to scroll down a page to see your ads. If ads are visible immediately when someone visits a page, those ads are above the fold.’
This new feature is invaluable to ensuring that searchers are, in fact, seeing your ads. Online advertisers have long awaited an exclusion feature such the below the fold option to not only automate content campaign ads, but improve click through rate (CTR). Traditionally, content campaign campaigns tend to have an extremely low CTR. A low CTR indicates that your ads are being displayed, but are not being clicked on. Even though, the searcher may not see the ad, due to its position, it is still counted as an impression. However, the potential to greatly improve the CTR in content campaign is now possible.
Test this option in your content campaign by accessing the exclusion option and selecting the ‘below the fold’ as a category exclusion. Utilizing this tool is just one more way to help you stay on top of your competition.
Online advertisers are forever searching to get ‘a leg up’ on the competition. While interesting and captivating ad copy is a way to get searcher attention; there now is another way.
Recently, Yahoo has released a new function which allows an advertiser’s favicon to appear next to display URLs within the branded ads. Typically, a favicon is an icon or brand logo that appears within the web browser. Having a favicon appear within the branded ad not only draws attention, but best of all, it’s completely free. Unfortunately, as of now, favicons are only available to appear on branded ads and keywords.
In order to have your favicon displayed within your branded ads a 16X16 pixel image and simple coding needs to be placed on the backend of your homepage. Even amidst the new partnership with MSN; this new element is only available through the Yahoo Search Marketing platform. Leave a last impression on searchers and establish brand credibility by participating in this program. Since this feature is new you may want to reach out to your Yahoo representative to ensure proper implementation of this element within your Yahoo Search Marketing campaign.