Posts

 GoogleSearchConsole

A Google Sitemaps bug is causing many webmasters to see significant indexed page count falls within Google Search Console, but a fix should be on the way according to Google.

Google Search Console, known as Webmaster Tools until recently, is experiencing an issue causing confusion and concern among webmasters and marketers as huge declines are appearing in the indexed pages shown in the Google Sitemaps report.

Barry Schwartz is one expert who has seen hundreds of thousands of pages being suddenly displayed as no longer indexed by Google, and shared an example of how the problem can look on a report:

index_error-800x322

Google is already aware of the issue and is hard at work to resolve it. Google’s Gary Illyes responded to Schwartz on Twitter saying “it’s confirmed and we’re working on it.”

If you’ve encountered similar drops in indexed page counts on your reports from July 14, there’s no cause for alarm. The glitch will be fixed soon and won’t affect your traffic or rankings through the search engine in the meantime.

So far, 2015 is shaping up to be a huge year for the mobile internet. Between Google’s “Mobilepocalypse” and the news that searches from mobile have overtaken desktop search volume, mobile was already on the way to dominance, but a new report from IgnitionOne shows mobile search spend is also growing by leaps and bounds.

According to the recent Q2 Digital Marketing Report, paid search spending has risen 22 percent for tablets last year, and a massive 71 percent for smartphones.

Both mediums showed comparable growth in CPC and CTR (24 and 28 percent for phones, 26 and 17 percent for tablets), but smartphone clicks have outpaced those from tablets by 41 percent. The report also noted smartphone impressions had climbed 8 percent, but tablet impressions have declined by 17 percent.

“Google has incredible dominance on [the mobile] side,” says Will Margiloff, chief executive (CEO) of IgnitionOne. “But they still have, for the most part, a mobile display business and not really a native to phone and tablet business like Facebook. Google’s got their work cut out for them when it comes to mobile native or native display, and the only real player there is Facebook.”

ignitiononestudy1-370x229

The report also showed Google’s display growth was down 9 percent year-over-year while Facebook’s is up 48 percent, which gives the social platform 16 percent of the display share. In comparison, Google’s share is at 31 percent, down from 38 percent last year.

After years of debate whether another search engine could ever prove to be a meaningful challenge to Google’s market share dominance, Facebook’s recent gains suggest it may actually be social media that poses the greatest challenge to Google.

ignitiononestudy2-370x229

IgnitionOne’s research found programmatic data spend increased 33 percent year-over-year while eCPM rose 35 percent from last year. Impressions, however, have fallen 1 percent.

SC_lockup

Over the past decade, website operators have relied on Google Webmaster Tools for ensuring their sites were being properly displayed and indexed across the search giant, but big changes are on the way. Google is rebranding one of its most popular services to Search Console and there a few new features coming with the new name.

According to Google, the shakeup is the result of user feedback, as only a small portion of users actually identify as “webmasters.” Google is hoping the new name will help bring the service to a wider user base.

“It turns out that the traditional idea of the “webmaster” reflects only some of you. We have all kinds of Webmaster Tools fans: hobbyists, small business owners, SEO experts, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters as well… So, to make sure that our product includes everyone who cares about Search, we’ve decided to rebrand Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console.

Search-Analytics-for-apps-752x600

The rebranding is coming in the next few weeks, and Google has announced two new features that are expected to roll out about the same time.

With Search Console, users will have access to all the functionality they have come to expect of Webmaster Tools, as well as the ability to see how searchers are accessing your content via Android apps through Google Search within Search Analytics reports and the ability to see your app content through Google’s eyes with an alpha version of Fetch as Google for Apps.

Google-Webmaster-Tools-LogoGoogle Webmaster Tools is usually the best friend for any webmaster trying to keep informed, but users have noticed the normally up-to-date service has not been updated in over a week.

The problem was noted by Search Engine Land last week and has been the main topic of conversation on the Webmaster Tools forums all weekend, but so far Google has no response.

The closest thing we have to a response comes from forum user ‘Kai Z’, who wrote “Known issue. […] Give it a few days to update/ return”. Normally forum posts like this wouldn’t carry much weight but it seems notable that Google webmaster trends analyst John Mueller marked this response as ‘best answer’. Naturally this has caused quite a bit of speculation but could potentially be meaningless.

The outage seems to line up with a similar issue in Google Analytics. Many users reported data in analytics was missing for Monday February 9, but Google that problem received a prompt response from Google on its product forums: “We’re sorry for our unusually bad case of the Mondays. We’ve fixed the issue and no data was lost. Analytics users should start seeing any missed [data] soon.”

Most likely the problem will be resolved fairly quickly, but the lack of transparency from Google on what is causing the lack of updating has caused some concern within the SEO community.

Every week we try to keep you updated with all the SEM news from around the web, but the Google I/O event this week was packed full of so much information there was bound to be some stuff we didn’t get to cover. Today, we’re going to cover all the latest news from I/O and everywhere else. We’ll start with Google, but there is also some interesting Facebook news to discuss near further down.

Android Reaches 1 Billion Active Users Per Month

To open the annual I/O developers conference, Google rattled off an impressive list of statistics, as large tech companies tend to do. Of these statistics, there is one that was noteworthy and shows just how prominent smartphones have become throughout the world.

At last year’s conference, Sundar Pichai told the audience that Android had around 530 million active users per month. Over the past year, that number has almost doubled, surpassing one billion active users every month.

Other interesting stats include:

  • Android users send 20 billion texts per day.
  • They take 93 million selfies per day.
  • Android users take 1.5 trillion steps each day.
  • They check their phones 100 billion times per day.
  • Android tablets represent over 60 percent of all tablets shipped.

If you’re wondering what everyone is doing on their phones, you can be assured that it involves apps. comScore released a report this week showing that over half of all digital media time is now spent using apps, though its unclear whether more time is spent on Angry Birds or The Wall Street Journal’s news app.

Screen-Shot-2014-06-26-at-10.17.29-AM1-600x334

Google Will Remove Author Images From Search Results

danny-goodwin-google-authorship-pic

Google is continuing to push an emphasis on authorship authority, but don’t expect to continue seeing author images in your search results for much longer. In the next few days, Google will be stripping the author images and Google+ circle counts from desktop and mobile search results in an attempt to streamline search result appearances. In the announcement on Google+, John Mueller said:

“We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices,” he wrote. “As a part of this, we’re simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count.”

Danny Goodwin from Search Engine Watch shared an example showing what the results looked like before (shown above) and what they will look like in the very near future (below).

john-resig-google-authorship-pic

Google is Testing Their Domain Registry Service

Google has expanded into seemingly every facet of online activity, but up until now they have left domain registration to other service providers. That won’t stay the case for much longer as Google recently announced they will be inviting a limited number of people to test their new service called … wait for it… Google Domains.

As the shockingly creative name suggests, Google Domains will let users search, find, purchase, and transfer the domain or domains best representing their business. The service is still being built, which is part of why you shouldn’t expect for it to come out of testing in the close future. But, the service could potentially make the act of creating a website and establishing a company presence online much more easily understandable for the 55% of businesses that still don’t have websites.

Google My Business Comes To iOS and Android

GoogleMyBusinessMobile

Google announced Google My Business earlier this month, and on Wednesday the official apps for the service came out on both Android and Apple smartphones. The apps offer a unified interface that will make it easier to manage your brand’s online presence on the go. App features include:

  • Edit the business listing by changing hours, description, etc.
  • View managers of the page but not manage them
  • Post to Google+
  • Add photos and update cover and profile photos
  • View local insights and analytics
  • Change business pages and accounts

Watch Now Now Influences Facebook News Feed Video Rankings

Facebook is constantly working on its News Feed algorithm and the latest update is intended to improve the quality of videos being served to users. The new video ranking takes note of how long users watch a video for and uses this information to influence content ranking. This metric will be combined with other long-standing metrics such as likes, comments, and shares.

In the announcement, Facebook said, “In our early tests, this improvement resulted in more people watching more videos that are relevant to them.” The announcement also noted that twice as many people watch videos on Facebook compared to the numbers from six months ago.

Wait, So Facebook is Still Popular With Teens?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the rumors, studies, and proclamations that Facebook is losing traction with teens like a car driving off a cliff. From what everyone wants to believe, all the young kids are moving to the burgeoning messaging apps to escape the prying eyes of their parents and lame extended family. Even President Obama has commented that kids “don’t use Facebook anymore.”

The problem with all this is, the numbers don’t entirely support that conclusion and two reports from the past week confirm that Facebook is still the most popular social site for the demographic by far.

facebook-forrester-chart-600x403

First, Forrester Research released a report showing that more than 75% of US online youth use Facebook at least once a month. Their survey polled 4,517 internet users between the ages of 12 and 17, and that Facebook has twice as many users as Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, and more than Instagram and WhatsApp combined.

niche-600x428

The second study, from college and K-12 education review site, Niche, found similar results from a survey of 7,000 teenage users. Specifically, 87% still use Facebook “occasionally” and 61% use it daily (including the 47% who use it “a few times a day.)