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Google’s Best Practices for Improving Your Google Ads Optimization Score by @MattGSouthern

Google has released a set of best practices to help Google Ads users improve their optimization score.
Optimization score is a metric that was introduced back in August which evaluates how well a Google Ads campaign is optimized.
The score ranges from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that with 100% meaning that your account is set up to perform at its full potential.
Your optimization score can be found in the ‘Recommendations’ section in Google Ads. It looks like the example below:

How to Improve Your Google Ads Optimization Score
Google offers the following three best practices for maximizing your optimization score.
Efficient account management
Users can manage their Google Ads account more efficiently by prioritizing which actions have the highest potential improve optimization score.
Google Ads makes this easy by recommending the most impactful optimizations for an account.
Optimization score uses historical performance, auction simulations, and machine learning to make recommendations.
Apply recommendations that support business goals
Google recommends checking recommendations regularly. Google Ads frequently provides new recommendations based on real-time data.
Stay on top of the latest recommendations by checking at least once a week.
Focus on recommendations based on score uplift and dismiss recommendations not aligned with your goals.
Analyze recommendations on your own terms
Google points out that users can filter recommendations by these 4 sections:
Ads & extensions
Bids & budgets
Keywords & targeting
Repairs
Recommendations can also be downloaded for offline analysis.
Optimization score currently evaluates how well Search campaigns are set up. Soon it will also include display, video, shopping, and app campaigns.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: January 31, 2019

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
404 Sitemaps To Remove Them In The New Google Search ConsoleGoogle’s John Mueller was asked if there is a way in the new Google Search Console to remove old Sitemaps files. He said you can 404 them to remove them. Maybe Google will add a button to delete old Sitemap files there but for now, 404ing them will eventually get them to be removed.
Most SEOs Want Fetch As Google Even With URL Inspection ToolGoogle told us the Fetch as Google tool is going away and being replaced by the URL Inspection Tool. But some SEOs, well, seems like the majority of SEOs, want Google to port over the Fetch as Google tool as well. A Twitter poll with 88 results shows about 75% want both the Fetch as Google and URL Inspection tool.
Bing: 90% Or More Of Their Core Ranking Algorithm Uses Machine LearningYesterday at SMX West, I did a panel named Man vs Machine covering algorithms versus guidelines and during the Q&A portion, I asked the Bing reps Frédéric Dubut and Nagu Rangan what percentage of the core ranking algorithm is AI or machine learning based. To my surprise, they guessed over 90%.
New Google Search Console Ports Security Issues SectionGoogle has ported another feature from the old Search Console to the new, the security issues section. Google said on Twitter “We hope you don’t need to use a Security Issues tab” but if you do, it has been migrated to the new Search Console.
Google Maps Street View Cars FleetI guess this is where the street view cars live at Google. This photo was posted Instagram and the person said this is where the Google Maps cars fleet is.
Other Great Search Forum Threads:
Search Engine Land Stories:
Other Great Search Stories:
Analytics
Industry & Business
Links & Promotion Building
Local & Maps
Mobile & Voice
SEO
PPC
Other Search

Instagram Stories Are Viewed by 500 Million Users Per Day by @MattGSouthern

Instagram Stories have hit the daily user count of 500 million, which is up from the 400 million reported in June 2018.
Stories are growing amongst advertisers as well, with 2 million now buying Stories ads across Instagram and Facebook.
These numbers were revealed during Facebook’s Q4 2018 earnings call, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed Stories as the company’s latest big game-changing feature.
Instagram’s daily active users were not reported, though Zuckerberg says more than 2 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s properties every day.
So the amount of people viewing Stories each day represents a significant percentage of the company’s daily users.
Yes, Stories are popular, but what’s next?
After spending 2018 focusing primarily on improving security, Zuckerberg says 2019 is all about building new experiences.
More specifically, the company is planning to deliver new experiences in the following areas.
Shopping and Commerce
Zuckerberg says the area he’s most excited about when it comes to Instagram, is delivering “qualitatively new experiences” in commerce and shopping.
Messaging
Messaging is the area growing most quickly, Zuckerberg says. Without revealing too much, he adds:

“…and this year people are going to feel these apps becoming the center of their social experience in more ways.”

He may be referring to the company’s plans to allow Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp users communicate with each other.
Facebook Groups
The way people experience groups and communities will deepen this year.

“We’re going to get to a point soon where people feel like Facebook is about communities as much as it’s about your friends and family…”

Facebook Watch
Zuckerberg is hopeful that Watch becomes more mainstream. There are currently 400 million people who use it every day.
Facebook may introduce new ways for video content to grow outside of the news feed.
For more information, you can read Zuckerberg’s full statement here.

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Bing Allows Site Owners to Submit Up to 10,000 URLs Per Day by @MattGSouthern

Bing has significantly increased the number of URLs site owners can submit for indexing per day.
Site owners can now submit up to 10,000 URLs to Bing per day, which will get crawled and indexed immediately.
There is no limit to how many URLs can be submitted each month.
Previously, site owners were limited to submitting only 10 URLs per day and a maximum of 50 URLs per month.
URLs will still be submitted through Bing Webmaster Tools and through the Bing Webmaster Tools API.
The exact daily quota of URL submissions for a particular site will be based on the following factors:
Verified site age in Bing
Webmaster Tools
Site impressions
“Other” signals that are available to Bing
Put simply, the longer a site has been verified in Bing Webmaster Tools, the more URLs they will be able to submit per day.

However, Bing notes, site verified age is not the only signal used to determine the daily URL quota per site.
Site owners can see their daily URL quota by logging into Bing Webmaster Tools and navigating to ‘Submit URLs.’

Within this section, site owners will also be able to see the last 1000 URLs submitted along with the submission date.
Those who have sites mapped to a sub-domain should be aware that the daily URL quota is allocated at the domain level and not at sub-domain level.
If for whatever reason, you need to submit more than 10,000 URLs per day you can contact the company and Bing will adjust the quota as needed.

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Google Produced 96% of US Mobile Search Visits in Q4 2018 by @MattGSouthern

Google accounted for 96% of all US mobile organic search visits in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Organic search, in general, produced just under 26% of all site visits in Q4 2018, which is a half-point decline from Q3 2018.
This data was revealed in Merkle’s Q4 2018 Digital Marketing Report, which also includes statistics about paid search, social, and Amazon ads.
In this post, I will highlight the key findings related to organic search.
Organic Search in Q4 2018
Organic search visit share usually dips during Q4, as many brands are typically more invested in paid channels.
Total site visits produced by organic search grew a little less than 2% year-over-year in Q4 2018, down from nearly 6% growth in the previous quarter.
On mobile devices, organic searches produced 24% of site visits.
Organic search on mobile phones remained strong at 17% year-over-year, while desktop organic search visits declined 10% year-over-year.

Source: Merkle
Google
Google produced 93% of all US organic search visits in Q4 2018, up from 92% a year earlier.
Mobile devices produced 61% of Google organic search visits in Q4 2018.
Google organic search visits overall grew 3% in Q4 2018, and grew 12% on mobile.
Bing
Bing produced 4% of all US organic search visits in Q4 2018, and 2% of mobile search visits.
Bing saw a decline of 16% year-over-year in overall organic search visits but grew 2% on mobile.
DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo accounted for 0.4% of all organic search visits in Q4 2018 and 0.5% of mobile organic search visits.
DuckDuckGo organic search visits were up 34% year-over-year overall in Q4 2018, and grew 75% on mobile devices.

Source: Merkle
For more data related to paid search and organic & paid social in Q4 2018, download the full report here.

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