July 2019 – SEO and marketing news

Jul 19, 2019 by
July 2019 – SEO and marketing news

With Europe in the midst of a powerful heatwave, the SEO world is heating up too. Aside from the usual updates from Google, this month we also put a spotlight on the 5 top SEO mistakes made by marketing agencies, check in on LinkedIn’s new algorithm and Microsoft’s advertising platform. While Google might be the SEO gatekeepers, they are certainly not the only party in town.

LinkedIn gets personal

LinkedIn is changing how posts are ranked in their users’ feeds by tailoring content to their professional interests. Now, rather than ranking viral content, posts will show up higher in the feed if a user is more likely to join in the conversation.

The algorithm, which determines who a user knows by looking at a users’ connections, who they’ve interacted with, who they’ve worked with and who they have shared interests with, follows the company’s new framework: “People You Know, Talking About Things You Care About.”

The feed may also surface posts from people a user is not connected with if they’re relevant to the user’s interests. That’s determined by signals such as groups a user belongs to, as well as hashtags, people, and pages they follow.

Posts will get an even greater boost if they’re from a connection who uses a relevant hashtag. It’s all part of a strategy LinkedIn appears to be experimenting with that is all about driving conversation.

49% of Google searches are no-click

A study by marketing analytics firm Jumpshot recently found that zero-click searches on Google have steadily risen over the past three years. In the first quarter of 2019, 48.96% of all US Google searches captured by Jumpshot ended without a click, an increase of 12% from the first quarter of 2016.

The data also showed that, in the first quarter of 2019, 41.45% of Google searches resulted in organic clicks to non-Google sites and 5.9% of searches ended with the user heading to another Google-owned website. When looking at just the searches that resulted in a click, 12% went to Google-owned sites.

With nearly half of all searches going no further than a search results page, and 12% of those that do lead to clicks headed to an Alphabet property, some marketers (particularly those that work in sectors in direct competition with Google) may be feeling the pinch.

SEOHowever, it’s important to note that the figures are based on over one billion web browser searches, done on ten million domestic desktops and Android devices. This doesn’t include searches conducted on iOS devices, the Google Search app, voice-only devices or searches that ended in a click to a mobile app.

The top 5 SEO mistakes revealed

A study of top 30 marketing agencies in the UK by Reboot Online reveals the most common mistakes made when it comes to SEO. The 5 most common SEO issues found were:-

  1. 70% of agencies had a poor page speed- the average score given was 41.
  2. 63% of agencies had a lack of internal linking.
  3. 57% of agencies had undesirable pages indexed by Google.
  4. 52% of agencies had pages containing thin content.
  5. 47% of agencies had pages poorly optimised for keywords.

Of course, it’s not all bad news. The study also pointed out the areas in which these agencies were succeeding. 29 out of 30, for example, had a strong social media presence and they all had a marketing blog and HTTPS.

Google tests carousel of mobile text ads 

Google is testing a carousel of text ads on mobile, with searches now planned to feature a “people also considered” section that users can swipe left or right to scan through.

It’s a format that will prove very familiar for heavy social media users and is part of Google’s strategy to reignite text-based ad growth after a 12% slump in media spend in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018.

The test was caught by marketing analytics agency SemRush and the official line from Google is that they are, “Always testing new ways to improve user and advertiser experience.”

Google saw great success with the format on its Google Shopping platform, so it seems likely they will migrate it across to other platforms. It will certainly need to do something if it hopes to fend off Amazon, whose ad revenue share of global digital ad spend will grow to 8% by 2023 from 3% last year, according to Juniper Research.

Parallel tracking coming to Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising (formerly known as Bing Ads) is going to be making several updates in the coming months to improve page load for users and provide better tracking for advertisers.

When parallel tracking is enabled, a user is taken directly to the landing page after clicking an ad, while the ad click measurement process happens separately in the background. The landing page can load immediately, which means users who stick around.

Google Ads rolled out parallel tracking for search ads last year and for display ads in May this year. Microsoft Advertising currently has it available as an option in some accounts, and the company says it expects to make it available to all advertisers soon. If you’re interested in participating in the beta, you might want to consider reaching out to your ad rep.

Google’s diversity update gives smaller sites a chance to rank

A study on the effect of Google’s diversity update concludes that smaller sites now have a greater chance to rank for competitive keywords. Google’s diversity update, which rolled out last month, limit the number of times a domain can appear in a single SERP to no more than two URLs from the same domain.

In their study, Searchmetrics compared the results for a set of thousands of keywords from March 2019 with results from June 2019 and discovered that there were no results containing more than 3 URLs from one domain and that 52.3% of searches return unique domains for all positions.

Google will still return multiple results from the same domain when the name of the domain is included in the query, which shows Google is not sacrificing relevance for the sake of diversity.

The study also found that the diversity update impacts transactional searches to a greater degree than informational searches. As a result, searchers are seeing a wider variety of domains. This is good news for smaller retailers, who now have an opportunity to show up for keywords that were once dominated by giants like Amazon.