All posts by Arvind Kumar

About Arvind Kumar

Arvind Kumar, an Engineering graduate has over 2+ years of hands on experience in digital marketing and posseses a vast knowledge of SEO, Online Maketing, Social Media and much more.Apart from his professional interests he loves photography, visiting tourist places.

Here are my most recent posts

About Arvind Kumar

Arvind Kumar, an Engineering graduate has over 2+ years of hands on experience in digital marketing and posseses a vast knowledge of SEO, Online Maketing, Social Media and much more.Apart from his professional interests he loves photography, visiting tourist places.


Google’s RankBrain now working for every search result

Google introduced RankBrain for around 15% of search queries in October 2015.

And, now Google is more confident about it and widely using RankBrain algorithm for every search query, which is directly impacting the rankings a lot.

The news evolved a few weeks earlier as a part of Steven Levy’s Backchannel story about Artificial Intelligence and machine learning efforts of Google. From the story, in account to RankBrain: Read More

2016 Top Google Searches: Pokémon Go & iPhone 7 Searched The Most

Google lately released search trends for 2016 in nine categories from overall searches ranking to the most searched people and news trends.

In their most prestigious global searches 2016 list, Pokémon Go has been at the top following iPhone 7 and Donald Trump.

The American singer Prince’s sudden demise and craze of Powerball boosted their presence in search ranking and respectively got fourth and fifth position in the list. Read More

Google testing to expand Google text ads headlines without sacrificing ad copy

Search Engine Giant, Google made an announcement that they are working on a new format of text ads.

From past few months, Google has been removing text ads from the right rail of the search results on desktop, and now a new format – Dubbed Expanded Text Ads, featuring longer headlines, is being tested by them.

Extended headlines have become the norm

Presently, advertisers can extend headlines to include the first line of description copy, in case if that line ends with a punctuation mark. This feature was limited to ads that were served in the mainstream, but now with the end of the right side ads, Google can change the convention text ad formatting system wide.

One of the biggest differences in this test   is that now text ads will display a double headline and the full 70-character count of description copy. Here is a screen shot of before and after look of the new version of text ads which was soon deleted from twitter as it went viral amongst the advertisers.

Recently, Google announced that they are working on a new format of text ads. A few months back, search engine giant removed text ads from the right rail of the search results on desktop, and now the new format, Dubbed Expanded Text Ads, is being tested by them that will feature longer headlines.

Extended headlines have become the norm

Presently, advertisers can extend headlines to include the first line of description copy, in case if that line ends with a punctuation mark. This feature was limited to ads that were served in the mainstream, but now with the end of the right side ads, Google can change the convention text ad formatting system wide.

One of the biggest differences in this test   is that now text ads will display a double headline and the full 70-character count of description copy. Here is a screen shot of before and after look of the new version of text ads which was soon deleted from twitter as it went viral amongst the advertisers.

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Display URL format changes

The other changes that Google has made with this test include the display URL formatting. Now advertisers will have the option to add on to two paths or directories to their domain name. In the above picture, it shows that the advertiser would have entered two paths as “/NewYorkCity” and “/Budget.”

As per the news, now in AdWords there will be a new field for the second headline, a single field for description copy, as well as new fields for the Display URL paths.

Closed Beta

Search engine giant, Google has yet not officially confirmed about the launch of this test, but one of their spokespersons told, “We regularly test different ad formats with the goal of providing useful information to users and driving even better results for advertisers. Beyond that, we don’t have anything to announce at this time.”

Google’s iOS apps gets AMP content and sports highlights in Now Cards

A few months back, Google announced the new upgrades for their iOS apps, which are especially designed to deliver a faster mobile experience.

As per search engine giant, they have sliced down the loading time of the apps and is rolling out AMP content on the Google iOS app with this update.

Talking more about this update, an article from the Google’s Inside Search Blog read, “Now news articles from a vast array of publishers will load instantly for your reading pleasure. Just look out for the lightning bolt and “AMP” next to articles in the “Top Stories” section of your search results and enjoy blazing-fast news.”

Besides faster experience, the Google’s iOS app will also get sports highlights within the Now Cards.

Google’s VP of product management, Tamar Yehoshua, wrote more about this update, “When you get a card with a sports highlights, just tap the play button and watch it right from the app.”

According to search engine giant, this update will save users a combined 6.5 million hours in the app this year.

Bing Introduces More Intelligent Autocomplete Suggestions for Movie Titles and Academic Paper Searches

According to Bing, it has become easier for the users to search movie titles and academic papers with lately introduced intelligent autocomplete feature, which analyzes the users natural language and provides interpretations based on it.

Bing has made an announcement that they are making improvements in their autocomplete technology for academic papers and movies queries.

According to Bing, their academic suggestion improvement was originally launched earlier this year, which was developed using technology designed by the Cognitive Services and Academic Search teams of Microsoft. “The feature allows users to explore the relationships between papers, authors, topics and publications through a large object graph,” said one of the representatives of Bing.

As per Bing, “There are many scenarios that the user can explore, for example:

  • Find all papers by an author
  • Find a paper written by particular co-authors
  • Find a paper about a specific topic presented at a conference
  • Suggest titles or authors

 

We have built on that foundation to provide more intelligent autocomplete functionality. The graph relationships are explored in real-time and the most relevant suggestions are generated for the user, even if Bing has never seen the query before.”

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Bing says that they have built the updated automation technique that analyzes the natural language of the user and determine intent in real-time to put interpretations based on it.

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Bing previous autocomplete suggestions was dependent on the past queries and searches of the users. Now their newly updated autocomplete feature for movies and academic papers provides suggestions even for the first time search. Bing says “This system can generate extensions to the query even if no user has ever typed them in before, allowing additional, never-seen-before suggestions to be generated.”

Free product reviews penalized by Google over the last weekend

Over the last weekend, search engine giant, Google took manual action for outbound links that was associated with the warning Google gave a few weeks ago for bloggers exchanging links for free products and services.

On April 11, 2016, a report circulated over the web that Google sent outbound linking penalties to a huge number of webmasters past weekend. These penalties were directly linked with the warning that search engine giant gave a few weeks ago for bloggers who exchanged links for the free products and services.

Google asked bloggers to, “nofollow the link, if you decide to link to the company’s site, the company’s social media accounts, an online merchant’s page that sells the product, a review service’s page featuring reviews of the product or the company’s mobile app in an app store.”

After a few weeks of the announcement, Google took manual actions in typical Google style against those who regulated their guidelines.

Google’s John Mueller stated about the warning given by them in a few threads in their support forum. Individuals can now about the warning on https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/03/best-practices-for-bloggers-reviewing.html.

He further added, “In particular, if a post was made because of a free product (or free service, or just paid, etc.), then any links placed there because of that need to have a rel=nofollow attached to them. This includes links to the product itself, any sales pages (such as on Amazon), affiliate links, social media profiles, etc. that are associated with that post. Additionally, I imagine your readers would also appreciate it if those posts were labeled appropriately. Its fine to keep these kinds of posts up, sometimes there’s a lot of useful information in them! However, the links in those posts specifically need to be modified so that they don’t pass PageRank (by using the rel=nofollow).

Once these links are cleaned up appropriately, feel free to submit a reconsideration request, so that the webspam team can double-check and remove the manual action.”

“Add a Pitstop” feature introduced in Google Maps for iOS

A few days back, search engine giant, Google rolled out a new feature “Add a Pitstop” within their Google Maps. This feature is presently available for iOS devices in the countries where navigation is offered. Earlier, for viewing the direction of the location outside the route, one needs to leave the navigation mode. But, with this new update, individuals can now add a detour, or ‘pit-stop’ to their route, while still staying within the navigation mode.

This feature was launched in October 2015 for Android devices, and now it is has finally made a way to iOS. This amazing feature can only be accessed in the navigation mode. In the navigation mode, individuals have to tap the top left magnifying glass option, and search for the next destination where they like to stop at.

On tapping the magnifying glass option, a number of locations, like gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops and many others, are displayed that individuals can choose as per their requirements. Users can even search the name or address of the location they exactly know where to go.

In the search results, individuals can even see review stars for the locations and the estimated time for which the pit stop will add to your trip. While driving, users can even use voice commands to add detours to their routes. Users need to update their Google Maps app from the App store to enjoy the benefits of this feature.

Portfolio Bid Strategies Introduced by Google in AdWords Automated Bidding

Search engine giant’s AdWords Automated Bidding gets an overhaul and has added with portfolio bidding strategies. This will help the advertisers in setting different CPA targets at the ad group level within the same bid strategy.

Recently, Google has announced that they are now revamping AdWords automated bidding. Some of these changes will be semantic, but the workflow is also getting an update

Here are the naming changes:

  • The flexible strategies will now be called “portfolio” bid strategies. This change indicates that in some cases a single strategy can be fully applied across multiple campaigns, ad groups and keywords.
  • Strategy for a single campaign will now be known as a “standard” bid strategy.
  • Target CPA is the new name for Conversion Optimizer that will be used for all the new bid strategies for simplifying the nomenclature. The Target CPA can still be applied as a “standard” or a “portfolio” bid strategy.

 

Following are the functionality updates of the Google AdWords:

  • Advertisers will now be able to create or add the bidding strategies from their Campaign Setting tab without diving into Shared Library.
  • Portfolio bid strategies for Target CPA will now have different CPA goals for separate ad groups. One of the examples of this update is, “If you’re a clothing retailer with multiple ‘Accessories’ ad groups in a bidding portfolio, you may want to set a lower CPA target for ‘Socks’ compared to other product categories with higher average order value.”

 

These portfolio bid strategies can’t be applied to video or universal app campaigns.

Back in December, search engine giant, Google introduced new reporting features for automated bidding. All these updates will be reflected in the users’ accounts in the upcoming few weeks.

Candidate Cards introduced in Google Search for Presidential Election Season

Google’s non-paid modules are only available for candidates appearing for the 2016 elections

Search Engine Giant, Google is currently giving the Republican and Democratic candidates a special place in 2016 searches. As per their saying, the company has recently launched an experimental feature that will generate a prominent place in the horizontal carousel in search results for the candidate’s messages and contents.

However, it is not an ad unit. The results will appear in a similar fashion as the Twitter posts presently appear for candidate-related results. But, the module is more flexible. The features of this latest add-on are:

  • Candidates will be able to publish the text with lengths up to 14,400 characters
  • Candidates will be able to add up to 10 images or videos per post

Talking more about the upcoming Republican debate, Google stated in their official BlogSpot that, “Political search interest spikes 440 percent on average during live televised debates as people turn to the web to learn more about the candidates and their platforms.” Through this new candidate card, candidates will get access to speak a mouth of words directly to the voters and control some of the content in search about them.

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As shown in the picture, candidates can incorporate text, images and videos for directly communicating with their voters. This feature will be live for the upcoming televised Republican debate on January 28 and will continue throughout the election in November.

The above picture shows that the changes appearing in mobile. Presently, there are no corresponding pictures showing the desktop view, but for sure they will also appear in PC search results.

Search engine giant is planning to show the new ranking cards based on what their ranking algorithms figure out whether a searcher wants to know about the candidate or wants to directly hear him or her. This will work on the same methodology as Google determines how and when to show Knowledge Graph results.

With this feature of Google, the present Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will get access to share & supply content and use the module. Moreover, Google has also indicated that the result of these cards will not replace Twitter in search results.

However, Google has yet no plans to expand this feature beyond politics to commerce or other content areas.

Markup for Managing Local Business Data being tested by Google for Knowledge Panel

Google is currently testing the new schema to markup local business data for updating the local information of any business.

Search engine giant, Google recently announced that they are adding a new structured markup page that will help businesses in providing local business data to Google.

Google presented the document about these changes and wrote “We are currently piloting this feature with a restricted set of initial data providers. We hope to soon open up the feature so any provider who implements spec-compliant markup is eligible to participate.”

Though being in testing phase, the benefit of this new schema is that now businesses can easily markup their web pages and can efficiently communicate these updates to their local business data to Google. These changes by search engine giant can make the process simpler for both Google as well as local businesses in showing more accurate and real-time data in the Google local knowledge panel that shows up in the search results.

What’s more interesting is that Google released the Google My Business API last week that aimed at making the task simpler for the businesses to send updated local business information in a programmatic manner to Google.

This new schema is far different as in this the markup is added directly to the website. When Googlebot crawls the site and notices the markup, the latest data found can be used by Google to update the local business data.

Although the update is yet not out for public, but you can likely start adding this markup to your own site.

An AI ‘RankBrain’ used by Google for answering first time queries

Every digital marketer is aware how Google functions and provides rankings to websites. But what about the queries that have never been searched before?

In order to satisfy first-time queries, the search engine giant, Google does not fully rely on their existing search algorithms. As per the report from Bloomberg, Google uses an AI known as RankBrain to provide results for first-time search queries.

As per an estimate, 15% of search queries entered in Google each day are unique and RankBrain is used for finding the optimum answers to these queries.

One of the spokespersons of Google talked more about RankBrain, “For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of queries a second that people type into the company’s search engine have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain.”

What makes RankBrain different from the existing algorithm is its learning ability and efficacy at answering more ambiguous queries.

Elaborating on RankBrain’s abilities, the spokesperson stated, “If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.”

RankBrain is only one out of the hundreds of signals that are used for determining how search results appear, but being in continuous use, it has become the third-most important signal for displaying search engine ranking results.

According to a Bloomberg report that showcases the quote of an engineer, “Google’s RankBrain AI has become so integral to search that turning it off would be like de-indexing half of Wikipedia.”

Senior Vice President of Google search, Mr. Amit Singhal gave the green signal earlier this year to roll out RankBrain across all the search queries. While RankBrain operates autonomously, it is still being continuously monitored and updated with new data.

Slow Roll Out of Google Panda 4.2

Last month Google confirmed, saying that, Panda refresh has been started and it would take a few months for the update to roll out completely.

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Last year, almost 10 months ago, on September 25, 2014, Panda 4.1 rolled out that affected 3-5% search queries of English language. The same year in October 2014, another Panda update was noticed, though not confirmed by Google, which showed small fluctuations in the Google’s search results.

But, after a halt of 10 months, Google is back with Panda 4.2 that has affected about 2-3% of the search queries, till now. Incredibly slow, even Google says that this update might take a long, almost months for its complete roll out. This slow update quite clearly shows that some of your web pages might not witness these changes immediately, but the changes will occur is sure.

Though the roll out is slow, but it’s confirm that a number of website owners that were penalized by the last Panda update, has a chance to get profited, if they had done all the possible changes required. In case, if you are in the penalized list of Google and have discovered no such changes, then don’t panic, the roll out is yet to complete and you may experience frequent changes in your organic rankings shortly.

This Panda roll out is not similar to the past ones, where the changes were quick and one can easily figure out the rise and drop down in the Google traffic easily.

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Last week, Google’s John Mueller and webmasters had a chat on Google’s Hangouts where John was asked the reason for Google Panda 4.2 updating several times and being very slow than normal.

To this query, John stated, “This [Panda rollout] is actually pretty much a similar update to before. For technical reasons we are rolling it out a bit slower. It is not that we are trying to confuse people with this. It is really just for technical reasons. So, it is not that we are crawling slowly. We are crawling and indexing normal, and we are using that content as well to recognize higher quality and lower quality sites. But we are rolling out this information in a little bit more slower way, mostly for technical reasons. It is not like we are making this process slower by design, it is really an internal issue on our side.”

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