The Last Month in Search – July 2014

Are you struggling to keep up with the world of Search? Have no fear! We’ll give you the round-up of the latest in search engine marketing news, techniques, changes and industry rumours so you can easily stay up to date without having to scour the web for updates. So what were the not-to-be-missed updates in July?

Google changed how they display search results on mobile devices by increasing the size of the font for titles that have multiple site links and introduced drop down menus making it much cleaner and easier to decipher. This change affects multiple search queries and both Android and iOS devices, including both Google Chrome and Safari.


Google+ Authorship Photos are Gone

In June 2014, Google dropped profile photos and Google+ circle counts from its search listings. There were questions and speculations around why Google did this and this study conducted in July, by Larry Kim, CEO of WordStream, suggests that when there are less author photos in the search result, then users click more on Google AdWords ads. Kim writes about research that he claims proves that the removal of Google Authorship photos “was based on authorship photos’ impact on the CTR of paid search ads”.

New robots.txt tester was launched in Google Webmaster Tools

Google made it easier for you to detect site errors by launching an updated robots.txt testing tool in Webmaster tools. The update allows users to highlight errors, test if URLs are blocked, edit your file and view older versions of your robots.txt file. For more information about the update see the announcement on the Webmaster Central Blog.

Twitter launched dashboard to provide insight on organic performance

Yes that’s right, for the first time, advertisers can see how many times users have viewed and engaged with organic tweets. The new dashboard compares impressions, total engagements and retweets month on month. It also records how your tweets are performing in real time and tracks retweets, replies, favourites, follows and all that good stuff you want from Twitter, plus you can export your tweet performance into a nifty CSV file. What I like about this is that if a tweet goes viral and is re-tweeted many times, you can view the performance of that tweet with a breakdown of how influential each category has been. Nice!

Google+ drops real name policy

Google announced that it will now allow people to use whatever name they would like on Google+. In the past, Google required only real names on user profiles. However, speculation is rife that Google+ may become a haven for trolls, but Google Senior Engineer Yonatan Zunger is confident that the Google Spam team is fully prepared. “Oh, don’t worry,” he wrote on a Google+ post, “one of the reasons this is safe to launch is that our troll-smashing department has gotten very good at their jobs. :)”

Less video snippets showing in Search Results

There has been speculation that Google is showing less video snippets in search results. See the below screenshot where SEER Interactive has compared Vevo’s video pages (which are still getting snippets) to Moz’s Whiteboard Friday posts (which have lost snippets).

Google Analytics for iOS is finally here!

iPhone users: get excited! You can now download the official Google Analytics iOS app. You can view traffic, behaviour, conversions and more all through your iPhone, Thanks Google!

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New AdWords Editor for shopping campaigns

For any of you who are looking to use Google’s new Shopping campaigns you will need to download the new editor (released on July 8th 2014). Google announced the old style of PLA campaigns will be shut down in late August.

On 24th July Google introduced dynamic site links –  automatically generated site links that appear below your text ad. Google also noted that “It’s important to continue adding and optimizing site links because impression share for dynamic site links will be low. In fact, the site links you set up will always show, except for the few instances when the dynamic site link might perform better.”

Articles we were reading in July:

What have you been reading this month? Are there are any other updates that you think should be included in this monthly round-up?

Remember that our FirstClickers are experienced, passionate and performance-driven people, who love all things search, therefore don’t be shy about commenting and discussing anything you have read or come across in your search efforts!

You can also reach out and talk to us on LinkedIn or Twitter

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