Bing has announced that its search engine crawler, Bingbot, will be going evergreen over the next few months by adopting the Chromium-based Edge browser to render webpages.

Essentially, this means it will be able to crawl, render, and properly index more of your content more closely to how to actual users see it. 

As Bing says in its announcement:

By adopting Microsoft Edge, Bingbot will now render all web pages using the same underlying web platform technology already used today by Googlebot, Google Chrome, and other Chromium-based browsers. This will make it easy for developers to ensure their web sites and their Content Management System work across all these solutions without having to spend time investigating each solution in depth.

The additional upside is that this mirrors steps recently taken by Google, which suggests it may become easier to optimize for both search engines without specific steps for each platform.

Source: CourseEnvy

No matter how good your marketing or advertisements are, you can’t succeed online without a great landing page. Whether you’re landing page is irrelevant to people’s interests or it is just too slow or cumbersome for mobile users, your potential customers are going to bounce back to the search results if they can’t get to what they need quickly.

Of course, no one intentionally sets up a bad landing page. Sometimes, you just can’t see what’s not working without an extra set of eyes to show you the problems you’ve overlooked. Thankfully, Google is helping give you exactly that, with a new Landing Pages tool designed to identify why specific landing pages need improvements.

The Landing Pages tool, which was announced earlier this year, is rolling out for advertisers over the next few weeks.

With this tool, you can quickly assess your landing pages based on the amount of engagement (clicks) each URL receives, as well as the “Mobile-Friendly Click Rate” (MFCR). The MFCR is a measure of the percent of mobile clicks coming to your landing page from smartphones or other mobile devices.

The new report allows you to identify exactly which landing pages need work. For example, pages that are not optimized for mobile but that receive a high MFCR should likely be improved and optimized to prevent high bounce rates.

Once it is completely rolled out, the Landing Pages tool will be able to provide data on landing pages for search, display, and video campaigns. However, currently, the MFCR data is only available for search campaigns.

untitled-design-27-700x400

Bing has unveiled the top marketing keywords searched for throughout last year, based on their US search data. The new reveal sheds light on what people are thinking of and what the biggest upcoming trends are, with personal assistants beating out the competition.

”Personal assistants and artificial intelligence were a clear priority for marketers over the past year. Advances in chat bots and virtual assistants, such as Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo – as well as updates to several smartphone chat bots, were likely drivers for these search terms.”

Of course, Microsoft owns both Cortana and Bing, so it is possible that played a role in the high rank of personal assistants on the list. Still, the popularity of other services such as Siri and Alexa shows that virtual assistants are quickly becoming a major part of the tech and marketing landscape.

In addition to personal assistants, Bing says augmented reality and virtual reality are also poised to play a big role in marketing.

”Virtual and augmented reality came second to intelligence, with the popularity of searches representing the growth of this technology throughout 2016 – and it’s likely continual development into next year.”

Check out the rest of the top marketing search terms for 2016 below:

  1. Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents
  2. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  3. Search Marketing
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Email Marketing

Year in Search

Google has finally released its annual year in search list, breaking down the biggest stories and searches of the past year. As usual, it is broken down into several categories and countries, making it easy to see what was trending in 2016 in your area or around the world.

Google’s Top 10 Worldwide searches of 2016:

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball
  6. David Bowie
  7. Deadpool
  8. Olympics
  9. Slither.io
  10. Suicide Squad

The top searches for the US are almost identical, except for a few changes. “Powerball” bounces up to the top slot, because it can only be played in America. Meanwhile, “iPhone” slides entirely off the list.

Google’s Top 10 US Searches of 2016:

  1. Powerball
  2. Prince
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Pokemon Go
  5. Slither.io
  6. Olympics
  7. David Bowie
  8. Trump
  9. Election
  10. Hillary Clinton

While the iPhone 7 didn’t make the top US searches, it does lead the worldwide top tech searches of the past year. Apple also dominates 3 of the top 4 searches for consumer technology. Considering its recent reveal, it is also somewhat surprising to see the Nintendo Switch also makes the list at number 9.

Google’s Top 10 Consumer Tech Searches Worldwide:

  1. iPhone 7
  2. Freedom 251
  3. iPhone SE
  4. iPhone 6S
  5. Google Pixel
  6. Samsung Galaxy S7
  7. iPhone 7 Plus
  8. Note 7
  9. Nintendo Switch
  10. Samsung J7

Of course, there are plenty more interesting categories in Google’s Year in Search 2016 to look through including beers, fashion designers, GIFs and much more. Check out the lists for yourself.

Bing is launching a new feature specifically for local businesses to make it easier for customers to reach you at any time. With the new chat feature, users can click a link to “chat online with a representative” directly from the search engine.

After clicking the link, you are immediately connected to the business through their primary chat program. That could be a native chat service or other options like Facebook Messenger.

You can see what it looks below:

bingchat

In this case, Bing links to Facebook Messenger:

bing-kp-chat-online-messenger

The new feature makes it easier than ever for searchers to contact your business for questions and concerns. It also makes it more important than ever to make sure your business is taking advantage of online chat services to provide customer service.

They say word-of-mouth is the best advertising a business can have. The same could also be said for the online version of this: user reviews. There are few better ways your company can earn the trust of potential customers than showing how much other customers have enjoyed your services or products.

Now, Google is giving an even bigger platform to user-generated business reviews by adding “Reviews from the web” to its Knowledge Panels that appear in search results. This comes a month after Google started including best-of lists and critic reviews in results for local search.

local-reviews-google

Source: Google

Consumer reviews will appear in the Knowledge Panel exactly as critic reviews do, but they will be more visible on mobile where they appear before both critic reviews and best-of-lists. You can see how they will appear in the screenshots above and below:

localsearch-1

Source: Google

If you want to feature user-generated reviews from your site or another prominent review site, you need to mark up your content with Google’s review Schema. You must also abide by Google’s guidelines for inclusion.

Including the new “Reviews from the web” section, Google’s Knowledge Boxes are now prominently displaying three review sources. It will still be collecting and highlighting its own reviews, making it more important than ever for businesses to have a strategy to collect reviews from customers across a wide range of platforms.

Thanks to the increased profile of user reviews, it has never been easier for your customers to spread the word about your business to thousands of potential customers every day.

Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

March Madness is upon us and everyone is getting into the spirit, including Bing. The search engine has launched their smart answers in the search results for March Madness and other related searches to see brackets, scores, and predictions.

Users get three options above the normal search results for the basketball tournament. The default view shows the current bracket results, but users can also build their own brackets and see Bing’s predicted outcome. On top of all of this, Bing also offers the schedules and teams playing in the competition.

Below you can see a screenshot of the default view for bracket results, which expands by clicking on the down arrow or the results button:

MarchMadness1

If you choose to view Bing’s predictions, the window gets even bigger. Barry Schwartz captured a large screenshot, which you can click to enlarge:

bing-march-madness-predicts

Bing said:

Now that the bracket has officially been announced, our data scientists are in the lab, working tirelessly to perfect their models so our smarter bracket is powered by Bing Predicts and ready for you to access by Monday morning. Stay tuned for an updated analysis of the Bing smarter bracket on the Bing blog tomorrow.

BingLogo

As of January 1st, Bing is officially powering AOL’s search results as the result of a long-term deal made by the two companies in June of last year. Rick van der Kooi, Corporate VP of Microsoft Search Advertising announced the change, saying:

“Today, I am excited to share that as of Jan. 1, Bing powers AOL’s web, mobile, and tablet search, providing paid search ads and algorithmic organic search results to AOL’s properties worldwide.”

Van der Kooi also shared some interesting bits of information to help illustrate the scale of the partnership, including:

  • 1 in 5 searches happen on Bing.com
  • Bing also powers search results for the third largest search provider in the US (Yahoo)
  • With Bing now powering AOL searches, the engine now powers close to one-third of all US PC web searches.

The company looks to gain even more ground by acquiring the built-in audience from AOL, which is responsible for generating billions of search queries a year.

Unlike Bing’s deal with Yahoo, Bing’s will be powering 100% of AOL’s search results across all devices. In the Yahoo agreement, only 51% of Yahoo’s desktop search results are powered by Bing, with no support for mobile.

 AdWords In Store Visits

Today, Google announced their highly anticipated ‘Buy’ button with the unveiling of the new “Purchases on Google” feature, along with several other big upgrades.

Select retailers running mobile ads can now choose to include a ‘Buy on Google’ option that takes shoppers to a branded product page hosted by Google. From there, shoppers can finalize their purchase and save purchasing information for future use if you choose.

According to Google, this feature is only in the experimental early stages and is being limited to a small number of retailers.

Retailers who choose to use Purchases on Google will only have to pay for clicks on the shopping ads to the product page. They will also have the option to invite customers to join their mailing list during the transaction.

While Google will take responsibility for hosting product pages and providing security throughout the sale, it will be up to retailers to provide customer communication.

Along with the announcement of Purchases on Google, the company introduced a few more new features for AdWords:

  • Swipe to Reveal: When a user swipes on a Google ad carousel will show more information about the products, including price and availability.
  • Ratings and Reviews: Shopping ads with product ratings and reviews will now be shown if searchers use specific trigger words, such as “best”, ”reviews”, “recommendations”, etc.
  • Priority for Local Inventory Ads: LIA’s will now receive priority for local intent shopping queries.
  • App Deep-Linking: Ads from select retailers will now include links to view a product on their app.Today, Google announced their highly anticipated ‘Buy’ button with the unveiling of the new “Purchases on Google” feature, along with several other big upgrades.

If you’re a business owner who has decided to get serious about your company’s online presence and marketing, you’ve almost certainly heard about search engine optimization. Unfortunately to the uninitiated, SEO can seem impenetrable with its endless technical jargon and conflicting opinions from experts about exactly how to get the best online visibility. It can feel a lot like jumping in the deep end without learning how to swim first.

Search Engine Optimization doesn’t have to seem so intimidating however. There may be a lot to learn before you are an expert, but with just a few basic ideas you can drastically improve your business’s online profile.

This infographic from SEOHalt will help guide you through the basics of SEO and give you the vocabulary you need to really get an understanding of what search engine optimization is and how it affects online marketing efforts. Once you’ve got these ideas under your wing, you’ll be ready to dive into the deeper waters of SEO without having to worry you’ll drown.

 SEOBasics