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SEO Recap for January: Structured Data, Knowledge Graph & More

 

Every month, On Target wants to provide you with the latest SEO and Digital Marketing news and updates. Here’s what’s trending in January so far:

Google Updates Their Structured Data Testing Tool

Google announced and launched several updates to the Structured Data Testing Tool as of January 15. The new features include validation for all Google features powered by structured data, support markup for the JSON-LD syntax with dynamic HTML pages, clean display of the structured data items on the page and syntax highlighting of markup problems in the HTML source code.

In addition to those updates to the tool itself, Google recently made revisions to its documentation and guidelines surrounding structured data and markups. The new documentation includes the markups you need to add in order to enable certain search features for your content with code examples in supported syntaxes.

On Target Pro Tip:

The update to the structured data testing tool will make it easier for webmasters to add structured data used by Google on their website.  The new functionality will identify areas of improvement, and the new documentation provided gives the blueprint you will need in order to easily integrate the essential structured data markups into your website.

Google’s Knowledge Graph Adds Functionality

Google has been enhancing features within the knowledge graph in the search results in order to improve the overall user experience. New features added to the knowledge graph include:

  • Link, on-sale dates and availability for concert, tour and show tickets, etc.
  • Delegated Event Listings that allow you to delegate event information to be pulled from another trusted source other than your website.
  • Comedians are now supported for ticket sales within the knowledge graph.
  • Venue events allow the user to see all upcoming events with corresponding dates at a specific venue that includes concert venues, libraries and fairgrounds.

In addition to this new functionality, Google has been allowing other social networks to preview in the Knowledge Graph (other than Google+) for celebrities, political figures and bands since November. In January, they’ve now rolled out this ability for brands as well. Brands can use this new markup to identify their social profiles, eligible for display on the Knowledge Graph.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 4.35.03 PM

On Target Pro Tip:

This enhanced Knowledge Graph functionality will allow an audience to easily connect through the web with the brand on various platforms.  Check out the new markup to see how you can integrate it on your website to have your social profiles show up in Knowledge Graph.

Ad Sharing in the Adwords Shared Library is Going Away

As of February 11, Google is removing the ability to share Adwords ads across campaigns and ad groups in the Shared Library. A similar functionality is still available with the Business data section and ad customizers, which allow advertisers to customize ads across campaigns and ad groups.

If you’re using the Shared Library, you won’t have to do anything for the update because your ads will be copied to the ad groups they were shared with and performance history will be carried with them.

On Target Pro Tip:

Adwords has an easy way to copy and paste ads anywhere within your profile.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 4.42.32 PM

  1. Select the checkboxes to the left of each ad that you want to copy and paste.
  2. Click the Edit Dropdown, and click copy.
  3. When you’re in the desired paste area (your new campaign or ad group), click the Edit Dropdown again, and hit paste.  Whatever ads you copied will now appear in that location.

Google Is Now Issuing Mobile Usability Warnings to Webmasters

Google is issuing mass notifications through Webmaster Tools and email to websites that do not have mobile-friendly or responsive versions for other devices. The issued warning informs the webmasters that their rankings on smartphones will suffer without a mobile-friendly version of the website.

Allegedly, Google is testing a new algorithm that will affect mobile rankings, and it’s anticipated to go live in the near future.

The warning will appear as such:

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 11.55.55 AM

On Target Pro Tip:

This is an easy one.  Make sure that your website is compatible with mobile devices and tablets.  If your site is responsive, there is no need to worry.  If your site has a mobile version, you should be okay.  If you’re not sure, make sure to keep an eye on your email or your Webmaster Tools messages.

Smartphone Users Account for 40 Percent of U.S. Search Ad Spend in Q4

Marin Software released their Benchmark Report for Q4 that shows that smartphones are continuing to chip away at desktop’s share of paid search in the US. The share of ad spend that is  attributed to smartphones rose nearly 5 percent from Q4 in the previous year, which accounts for more than 40 percent of total search spend domestically.

Desktop continues to see decreases across the board with an impression share decrease of 6.3 percent, click share decrease of 6.9 percent, spend share decrease of 6.1 percent and conversion share decrease of 10.1 percent.

Despite the gains made by smartphones in the previous quarter, desktop continues to hold the majority of the share of impressions, clicks and conversions in paid search.

On Target Pro Tip:

This data just reinforces the necessity of having a mobile-friendly or responsive website.  More and more people are using mobile and tablets for all their digital and online needs.

Bing & Yahoo Paid Search Share Rises Two Consecutive Quarters

According to the quarterly report from IgnitionOne, there was overall growth in U.S. paid search in 2014 with an 11 percent increase year-over-year in Q4. The growth was driven by an increased spend on the Yahoo Bing Network, which had spend share gains for the second consecutive quarter.

The recent changes are attributed to the changes in default search engines (Firefox using Yahoo is the most significant), as well as cost-per-click decreasing year-over-year on Google compared to the increases experienced on Bing Ads.

On Target Pro Tip:

Don’t go running to Bing or Yahoo yet for your paid advertising.  These numbers just mean that it may be time to start exploring what type of impact your brand can have in paid search on the Yahoo Bing Network.

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