Lab Weekly: One of our team could be leaving us!

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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It is with a heavy heart that we prepare to say goodbye to one of our technical SEO legends – but the job offer they have received cannot be competed with!
Google is hiring an SEO manager and we can think of no-one better for the job! The exact job listed is for a “Program Manager, Search Engine Optimization”. It appears that Google need a little help with how their company ranks in search results…
Wait a minute!

“you will work with cross-functional teams across Marketing, Sales, Product Development, Engineering and more to help drive organic traffic and business growth. You will take part in website development and optimization, help shape blog and social strategy, improve website code hygiene and define web architecture for international websites” (Source)

The search engine giants are looking to increase organic traffic to their key landing pages.
Is there nobody within the company equal to the task in hand? Is this one of those funny moments where you have to be seen to be advertising a position externally even though everyone knows someone is going to be promoted from an internal role?
Surely and I mean surely Google have all the answers they need to triumph in search – didn’t they create it? Don’t they create the guidelines, the algorithms and the top experts within this field?
If they are not getting everything right at the point of conception then what chance does anyone else have?
Still, if you are looking for an exciting opportunity they don’t come much better than this bombshell of a job opening.
So now we have had a little chuckle at that what is new in the world of SEO, content, PPC and social media? Let’s find out.
SEO – Google Penguin Refresh
Every time there is mention of a new algorithm refresh to the Panda or Penguin elements of Google’s search engine the industry as a whole seems to go into some sort of a panic or spin. So this week there has been some light relief in the fact that Gary Illyes from the Webmaster Trends Analyst team has stated this week that there will be no Google Penguin refresh for some time, in fact in his own words it is “months away”.
Google of course is still stating that it is working towards making Penguin run in real time with continuously fresh link data but here also Gary Illyes has said that this would take months to implement.
While we are on the subject there has been an interesting article published this week on Search Engine Watch by Marie Haynes highlighting the fact that Penguin and Panda are NOT actually penalties and that Google are resolute that what most SEO’s deem a penalty is actually simply algorithmic changes as recently quoted by John Mueller

“From our point of view, Penguin isn’t a penalty. It’s essentially a search quality algorithm… a penalty is something that is done manually”

the piece is a well-structured read and we would recommend that you take a look.
PPC – Purchases on Google
Google has announced “Purchases on Google” so that you can buy straight from PLAs. The new pilot is among many other updates that Google has announced around mobile shopping ads.
Never has a button been so much anticipated. Though it turns out the new feature isn’t actually a button. The “Buy on Google” messaging will appear on eligible product listing ads viewed on iOS and Android smartphones. It is being trailed via a small pilot with selected retailers. The specific ads, when clicked on, will take purchasers to a page hosted by Google where they will be able to make a purchase. Their payment criteria will be stored with Google. Orders are then passed through to retailers who fulfil them and provide their standard customer service.
As well as this feature Google have also announced new mobile ad formats for voice search, expanded PLAs when viewing the carousel on mobile and Google now in-store cards.
New ranking and ratings are being included in the ad formats or consumers who use voice search to find products. Google have seen a 11% increase in click-through from this addition. When users swipe to reveal more in the PLAs on smartphones Google are expanding ads to show full product titles. It will also show extensions including ratings and nearby availability. And finally, when users are near a store they will see a Google Now in-store card that will show sales, closing hours, loyalty card information and more.
So lots of changes to enhance the mobile experience and improve PLAs – we are sure there will be plenty more to come.
Social Media – Twitter
Twitter has once again been adding new features and functions in its fast paced program to improve the Social Media platform. The latest to be announced that is of any real significance is the new data dashboard that is being rolled out to all users.
The new dashboard has been designed with a range of new information that Twitter says will assist users in managing security and privacy of their accounts and that this includes details and device history. It will also allow users to see in a single view all of the apps that you have logged into through your Twitter account (see quote from the recent announcement)

“Your Twitter data dashboard — which you can access from the settings menu on — shows your account activation details, the devices that have accessed your account and your recent login history. With this information, you can quickly review your account activity and verify that everything looks the way it should.”

Probably the nicest feature for most users will be the ability to download all accessible data that correlates to your account which includes your entire tweet history and listings of accounts you have blocked or muted.
Keyword Takeaway
A nice keyword takeaway for you to try. It has very useful local search implications.
Essentially you just use the asterisk to help identify unknown searches that appear with Google Autocomplete – such as:
Keyword Takeaway 01
You can use this to discover new angles for PPC campaigns. It gives you extra snippets of data to factor into your campaigns that are based entirely on what real people have been searching for. So if we look into the industry of SEO to help streamline our blog and invest our content and PPC budgets in the right areas, we could simply try:
Keyword Takeaway 02
Now we know to write around plugins for wordpress and people are still trying to find the best SEO tools. We could equally look at the different strands of digital marketing to hone our research data down further. It really is a limitless insight into search volumes.
Try entering some generic phrases and getting a handle on how it works before drilling into your subject matter and making some key decisions over the direction your SEO, PPC and content campaigns take. This one amused us:
Keyword TAkeaway 03
Do you think the Google Autocomplete search will come in handy? I will leave you to have a play with it and see if you can make it work for you.
Thanks for reading our weekly roundup and we will see you same time, same place, next week!

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