BrightEdge Weekly Search Recap – 11/11

This week Google announces Google+ pages for businesses, learn effective Content market tricks and what the updated local search formatting means for your marketing campaign.

1. A Fresh List of Google Winners & Losers

Google announced their latest big change to the search results November 3 – fresher, more recent results, which they initially said impacted 35 percent of all searches, but have since clarified to say that it only “noticeably impacts 6-10% of searches depending on the language and the domain you’re searching on”. The best advice that you can take about this is to, once again, not panic. Look at your analytics, look at your data, look at your trends, and make informed decisions, not knee-jerk reactions based on data that may not correctly reflect what’s going on with your site.

2. Do brands need an exact match domain?

If you’re about to begin an internet business then you’ll probably be planning an online marketing campaign that involves SEO. After all, most website visits begin with a search engine and exact match domains (EMDs) will often dominate the Google SERPs for a given result.

The importance of EMDs is a frequently discussed topic, with most SEOs saying this is becoming less of a search ranking factor in the future. Ultimately, though, if you can avoid a highly popular term as a brand name, then do so. A business really needs to rank for its own name, especially in the long-term.

3. Updated: Google+ Pages For Businesses: The AdWords Impact

Google’s introduction this week of Google+ Pages for businesses will likely have a dramatic impact on +1s in AdWords.

When businesses create a Page on Google+, they can link the page to their web site URLs and also to their AdWords account. When that’s done, +1s for any of the linked URLs — on web sites or landing pages for AdWords ads — will all accrue to the brand, making the numbers much larger.

4. New Google Local Search Results Show Directions, Menus, Pics

A new Google search results page layout for places queries adds significant benefits for users, but poses a real threat to marketers through pushing the PPC ads below the fold and reducing their value. Google has added a large, graphic display on the right side of SERPs for restaurant, museum, and other local attraction queries.

When the information needed to populate this feature is available, Google displays a box that may include a link to get directions to the place, a map, pictures, a list of related keywords/hours of operation under the heading “Details,” and links to reviews on Expedia and other review sites.

5. Will Siri Eat Google’s Lunch?

The iPhone 4S is on the streets, and accompanying it is a helpful young virtual assistant named Siri. There has been much talk about her, which has hit a fever pitch with Siri’s native launch on the 4S. Of course, Siri isn’t perfect. She’s been down and out and has experienced a backlash due to limitations in voice recognition, inability to open apps, etc. But many people (among them, one Eric Schmidt) take another stance: Siri is game-changing, and not only that, she poses a significant threat to Google (and beyond).

6. 10 Takeaways from Google’s Holiday 2011 Consumer Intentions Report

Google’s fourth annual research on consumer shopping trends and intentions was released last week. The webinar and report confirmed a lot of hunches online marketers have had for a while now – that mobile and tablet markets continue to grow and influence online shopping – and unveiled some new insights, like the fact that the search query volume is increasing faster than ads can follow. This article highlights the major points for online marketers including 46 percent of consumers plan to use search engines more for researching holiday purchases this year and the importance of having a good mobile site.

7. Up Close With Creating & Managing Google+ Pages

Google has launched Google+ Pages, allowing businesses to take part in its social network. Here’s a walk-through on how to create and manage these pages.

8. Search Hits Big Time, Top Engines Buying Supportive Studies

It’s official: the search engine industry is playing at the big table. In the past year both Bing and Google have given financial support to researchers who have produced studies claiming they were “less biased” than the other when it comes to plugging their products preferentially. The ultimate question that needs to be answered by these researchers is “Do the search engines have the right to place their own stuff at the top, especially given the person is already at their site?

9. Should Amazon Buy Yahoo?

With no CEO and rumors of a sale swirling around, Yahoo is once again in the business news for all of the wrong reasons. While Google and Microsoft have been touted as potential suitors alongside the option of selling the company’s Asian assets, one company that isn’t being mentioned has the size and cash to buy Yahoo – Amazon. But is this a good business move for Amazon?

10. Content Marketing Essentials: Tactical Advice From A To Z

From boardrooms to blogs, mainstream marketers are fixated on “Content marketing” and why it’s so important these days. In reality, savvy advertisers, PR pros, brand evangelists, SEOs, in-house and agencies have been leveraging content’s intrinsic power since the dawn of organized marketing activities. This article offers a roundup of Tips and tricks for Content Marketing.