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Pinterest has released its yearly Halloween report for 2019, detailing what costumes, content, and creepy festivities are getting the most attention leading up to the big day. 

Pinterest is one of the most popular social platforms for Halloween content ahead of the holiday, with tens of millions of Halloween-related boards available. 

For the report, the company analyzed searches across its platform throughout the past year. 

While it covers the obvious inclusions like costume and makeup ideas, the report also reveals a wide range of Halloween-themed ideas, including searches related to tattoos, wedding, games, and more. 

Top Costumes for Those Identifying as Female

  • Powerpuff Girls
  • Pirate
  • Circus
  • Stranger Things
  • Alien
  • Mermaid
  • Harley Quinn
  • 80’s costume
  • Poison Ivy
  • Alice in Wonderland

Top Costumes for Those Identifying as Male

  • Superhero
  • Viking
  • Spider-Man
  • Joker
  • Jedi
  • Animal
  • Circus
  • Pirate
  • Mad Max
  • Robot

Top Trending Singles Costumes

  • Alien (+659%)
  • Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (+446%)
  • Elton John (+442%)
  • Space Cowboy (+359%)
  • Freddie Mercury (+145%)

Top Trending Costumes for Pairs

  • Lilo and Stitch (+1205%)
  • Timon and Pumba (+154%)
  • Woody and Bo Peep (+836%)
  • Velma and Daphne (+274%)
  • Pulp Fiction Couples Costume (+384%)

Top Trending Group Costumes 

  • Stranger Things (+653%)
  • The Powerpuff Girls (+379%)
  • The Lion King (+283%)
  • Alassin family costumes (+176%)
  • Toy Story (+151%)

See more from the report, including the most popular searches for Halloween-themed makeup, party, and snack ideas here.

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The bad news is half or more of your website traffic likely comes from bots. The good news is that is actually a huge improvement from in the past.

A new report from Imperva Incapsula shows that approximately 48.5% of all traffic to websites comes from bots, not actual online users. That number comes from a review of over 19 billion visits to 35,000 Incapsula client websites around the world with a minimum daily traffic count of at least 10 human visitors gathered over a 90 day period in 2015.

According to the data, 51.5% of all Web traffic comes from human users, while 29% come from “bad bots” which automate spam or other malicious activity, and 19.5% came from “good bots” which are used by search engines and other online services.

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While this sounds bad, the share of human traffic is actually rising compared to past year. The report explains:

In a similar 2013 study conducted by Imperva, humans made up only 31.5% of all visits to sites, compared with 51.5% in 2015. This shift is mainly due to an increase in human traffic as more people use the Web and a decrease in good bot traffic.

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The ratio of bots-to-humans your website receives is likely influenced by how popular your site is, as the most popular sites examined showed the smallest ratio of bot traffic (39.7%). In comparison, the least popular sites included in the traffic had the highest share of bot traffic (85.4%).

No matter what percentage of your traffic comes to bots, the best solution is to continue emphasizing marketing that directly connects with real humans such as social media marketing and PPC.

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It has been clear for some time now that neglecting to have a mobile-friendly site can hurt your Google rankings, particularly in mobile search results. However, some have been wondering if the reverse is also true. Does having a desktop-friendly web site have a similar negative impact on your desktop rankings in Google?

Well, last Friday Google’s John Mueller clarified the situation in a Google Hangout, saying you do not need a “desktop-friendly” site in order to rank well on desktop. The only caveat is that your mobile site must still render properly on desktop.

John Mueller said that you need to “make sure that desktop users can still see some of your content, if it is formatted in a way that works best for mobile, that’s perfectly fine.”

“You definitely do not need a specific desktop website in addition to a mobile website,” Mueller added.

If your business depends on desktop traffic and conversions to properly reach your market, it is still highly important to provide a pleasing experience when users come to your site. For that reason, I’d hesitate to suggest going all-in on mobile leaning design utilizing extra-large buttons and minimal navigation.

The most reliable strategy is to use a design technique such as responsive design to provide a great experience for users no matter where they are coming from. If that isn’t an option, it may still be best to keep operating separate sites for mobile and desktop so you don’t wind up losing customers just because they are using a desktop computer or smartphone.

You can see the full video below, or jump to 12:50 in the video to get straight to Mueller’s answer.

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As you may have heard, yesterday Google announced massive restructuring that included launching a new parent company called Alphabet and appointing a new CEO. This is obviously big news, but it has also left many webmasters scratching their heads wondering what impact the new “slimmed down” Google will have on search.

Under the announcement, which was made by former Google CEO and new CEO of Alphabet Larry Page, Google will now be scaled down to only include the operation of the company’s primary internet products, while the newer research and innovation ventures will fall under the Alphabet umbrella.

For example, these ventures include Wing, a drone delivery system, Calico, a company focused on anti-aging, as well as robotics research and more.

The new, smaller Google will be led by new CEO Sundar Pichai. Since the announcement, several former and current Googlers, such as Matt Cutts, have expressed excitement about Pichai’s new leadership and think he is a great choice for moving the company forward.

Page says the restructuring will allow for a renewed focus on Google and described Pichai as someone who cares deeply about innovation.

While it is hard to predict the long-term implications of the restructuring, it seems as if there will be no immediate changes to Google search or AdWords. So, you can breathe a sigh of relief for now.

Starting now, Page will no longer be a part of day-to-day operations at Google, instead running Alphabet with President Sergey Brin. The pair says they are excited to be able to give attention to “more ambitious” projects, and they have no plans to turn Alphabet into a large consumer brand. Rather, Alphabet is set to be a platform for companies to grow their own brands.

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Today Google is celebrating the United States’ Women’s World Cup win with a Doodle on the homepage of the search engine. The logo appeared last night after the United States team defeated Japan in the final game 5-to-2.

Google received some criticism during the tournament for not devoting space for a special box on search results pages related to the tournament like they have done for all major sports championships. Unlike in the past, only searchers using Android devices saw a special box with scores and game times during the championship.

After last night’s win, however, Google immediately put the team front and center on the search engine with a special Doodle.

Midfielder Carli Lloyd was the breakout star of the championship game, scoring three of the team’s five goals. Her third goal was a stunning kick from just past midfield over the Japanese goalie, giving Lloyd the second hat trick of her career and the earliest hat trick in a Women’s World Cup game in history. Her performance won Lloyd FIFA’s Golden Ball for the most outstanding player in the tournament.

The logo celebrating America’s win is currently showing across the United States, but Google’s Japan homepage also features a slightly modified version of the logo with the prominent U.S. flag removed.

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The U.S. is the first team to win three World Cup titles, with previous wins in 1991 and 1999.

A new study by Blue Nile Research investigated search behavior and found some interesting trends that give insight into exactly how people are searching online and what they are looking for. Most notable among the findings are the discoveries that searches use question formats in 27% of queries, and are perfectly divided on searching in short form (under 4 words) or long form (4 or more words).

According to the findings of the study, 27% of searches phrased their search in the form of a question, using words such as ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘what’, and ‘which’ rather than a ‘statement query’.

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When broken down, most question queries included the word ‘how’ (38%), followed by ‘why’ (24%), ‘where’ (15%), ‘which’ (12%), and ‘what’ (11%).

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The study also finds that searchers are perfectly split when it comes to search length. The report shows that 50% of searchers break queries into so-called ‘fragment queries’ which contain 2 to 3 words, while the other half use ‘full queries’ which contain 4 words or more.

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You can read the full report from Blue Nile Research here.

Google is constantly making changes – both big and small – and the latest changes will affect how your site appears in the search results.

Yesterday Google announced it would be altering how URLs are shown on mobile search results. Well, altering isn’t the right word. More accurately, Google is completely removing URLs in favor of the “real world” name of the site.

Instead of showing the simple URL, the search engine will display the site’s location in a breadcrumbs-like format, as shown below:

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As Google explains in their announcement, the change intends to make searching easier for users.

“To help mobile searchers understand your website better when we show it in the mobile search results, today we’re updating the algorithms that display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites…”

The new style will be rolled out gradually and are exclusive to mobile search results. For now, the change will only be affecting the US, but will likely come to other countries in the near future.

If you want to keep control of how your site name is shown, there is a simple structured data markup set you can use.

Just use this structured data markup to tell Google’s algorithms exactly how you want your website name displayed.

yahoo-search-appAccording to new data from web traffic analytics provider StatCounter, Yahoo has reached its highest share of the U.S. search market in more than five years thanks to a recent agreement with Mozilla.

In December, Yahoo’s search share jumped to 10.4 percent, up from 8.6 percent in November. The new share of the search market came at the expense of Google, who was previously the default search engine for Mozilla’s web browser Firefox.

In late November, Mozilla agreed to a five-year partnership with Yahoo, breaking a 10 year partnership with Google. December marked the first full month during which Yahoo was the primary search engine on Firefox.

The drop brought Google to its lowest share ever recorded by the analytics firm, falling from 77.3 percent to 75.2 percent.

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“The move by Mozilla has had a definite impact on U.S. search,” says Aodhan Cullen, chief executive at StatCounter. “The question now is whether Firefox users switch back to Google.”

Bing also saw an increase in their share of the search market last month, though not nearly as significant of an increase as Yahoo. From November to December, Bing’s share rose from 12.1 percent to 12.5 percent. The “other” category stayed practically the same, fluctuating from 2 percent to 1.9 percent.

Emoji’s have become an essential part of every day communication for many smartphone owners, and now they appear to be making their way to search engines. On Monday, Bing announced their search engine would now be capable of recognizing emojis and using them as a search term.

“With the explosion of mobile devices and the ubiquity of texting, it has become a shorthand language used by billions of us around the world,” wrote Nick Roberts, senior program manager at Bing Relevance & Intent, in a blog post. “We want you to be able to search the same way you communicate every day.”

Users can search for single emojis, or you can combine them in a mix of text and emoji as they are typically used in text messaging. Notably, Yahoo and Duck Duck Go are also capable of recognizing emojis, but Google is not.

You can see examples of what this looks like below:

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A couple weeks ago, Google released an update directly aimed at the “industry” of websites which host mugshots, which many aptly called The Mugshot Algorithm. It was one of the more specific updates to search in recent history, but was basically meant to target sides aiming to extort money out of those who had committed a crime. Google purposefully targeted those sites who were ranking well for names and displayed arrest photos, names, and details.

Seeing how a week went by without response, you wouldn’t be judged for thinking that was the end of the issue, but finally one of the biggest sites affected, Mugshots.com, publicly responded to Google’s update. Barry Schwartz reported Mugshot.com published a blog post, in which they claim Google is endangering the safety of Americans.

Mugshots was among three sites who suffered the most from the algorithm, the others including BustedMugshots and JustMugshots.

In their statement, they say, “Google’s decision puts every person potentially at risk who performs a Google search on someone.”

If Mugshots.com could tone down the theatrics, they might have been able to make a reasonable argument. However, they also ignore there are many other means for employers and even common citizens to find out arrest records and details in less humiliating and more contextualized means.