Google Issues Big Refunds to Advertisers Over Invalid Traffic

The digital advertising space is totally based on trust. It can work effectively only when all participants are good, and when no one attempts to spoof anyone else. But this trust had been shaken by some fraudulent companies that had been selling ad space on some premium sites for which they didn’t have any access to, or on fake versions of original sites, as per the report by Business Insider. (Source: http://www.businessinsider.in/Googles-been-running-a-secret-test-to-detect-bogus-ads-and-its-findings-should-make-the-industry-nervous/articleshow/59699825.cms)

No need to worry about the nitty-gritty of such ad-fraud companies because Google is in the trust restoring mode. Yes, Google is trying to win back the trust of online marketers by issuing large refunds for their ads that ran on sites with fake traffic. This move by Google has been taken to fight against such ad-fraud. Some of these refunds are as large as “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” – as per a report in the Wall Street Journal. (Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-issuing-refunds-to-advertisers-over-fake-traffic-plans-new-safeguard-1503675395). The refunds are being made for ads purchased via company’s automated technology, referred as DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Google is working on ways to offer marketers more transparency in the digital advertising space, plus automatically rebate clients when Google & their ad partners serve ads placed next to a fake traffic, including the ads that don’t load in the right ways, or ads served to bots in place of people. Google’s Director of Product Management for Advertising Scott Spencer tells WSJ that he thinks the hundreds of technology partners Google works with will be supportive of the effort.

As per a conference call with investors (in the month of April), Google CEO Sundar Pichai said:

“As marketers continue to shift to its programmatic ad buying, our DoubleClick platform makes it easy for them to effectively reach the right audiences. We’ve been focusing on making more inventory available to more advertisers, especially premium inventory.”

Moreover, according to a Google spokesperson – “We can’t comment on specific details of ad fraud but the vast majority is filtered in our systems before our advertisers are ever impacted or charged… In our own platforms, we’re working with our exchange partners to remove monetary incentives for spammers and increase transparency for buyers,”

It seems that they refused to declare any final verdict on the details available in the report of the Wall Street Journal, but committed that the refunds were made for ads placed across their partner websites with invalid traffic produced by bots, or automated software modules that simulated to be valid users.

Google rolls out AdWords account-level call extensions & More Click-to-Call Updates

Last summer, in 2016 Google started a test by displaying business names in the headlines of call-only ads after the phone number, and that change led to outstanding conversion results. That’s why now Google is rolling it out of testing worldwide.

Google has just made the announcement regarding the Account-Level Call Extensions & More Click-to-Call Updates this Wednesday.

Account-level call extensions

With Account-level call extensions, advertisers will soon be able to set up all their call extensions on a larger scale rather than implementing them at a campaign or ad group level. However, this extension makes possible for advertisers to implement call extensions across their entire account. It is expected that this new series of update is slated to take off sooner at some point this week.

Call extensions detail at keyword and ad levels

Soon Reporting columns for “Phone calls” and “Phone impressions” will be available to check phone-through rates at the keyword and ad group levels in the interface of AdWords.

More Advertisers Will Be Included in Automated call extensions

Google will soon be adding more advertisers in automated call extensions in the coming months. Most probably the program will be introduced in January, in which Google automatically drags the phone numbers highlighted on landing pages and sets up call extensions in advertisers’ accounts that do not already have them.

Therefore, if you have got call extensions set up, then you don’t need to worry about this or if you intentionally don’t use them, then see the following link: http://searchengineland.com/adwords-call-only-ads-business-names-256953

Migrate your HTTP Sites to HTTPs as Google is Going to Mark It Unsecured!

The security team of Google Chrome has recently announced that the browser will start labeling Http connections as non-secure by the beginning of the January 2017.

So, it has been recommended that site owners should migrate their website to HTTPs to increase the level of security towards the personal and other sensitive data like login credentials. HTTPs is mainly created to help protect the integrity and the confidentiality of sensitive data which moves between the websites and end-users. Without HTTPs, the site’s important or personal information can be stolen.

Emily Schechter, Team Member of Chrome Security, said that “Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP sites that transmit passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.”

Fact and figure shows that Google Chrome presently holds 55 percent of the mobile and desktop browser market share, in which half of the web browsing individuals will not be able to access your site, without HTTPs. So it is necessary to use HTTPs, especially if you are collecting payment info, passwords or any other personal information on any of your web pages. With HTTPs, Google will also give a slight boost to your website’s ranking.

Now make your New Year even more secure with a secure web. See this thread to know how to do it. See this thread to know how to do it https://www.searchenginejournal.com/step-step-guide-migrate-site-https/177790/

Google 2016 Update – Was it Worth to Wait for Penguin 4.0?

A long awaited penguin 4.0 update is rolling out now!

The wait is now over, the long awaited (for almost 2 years) Penguin update is finally rolling out! Google recently (23rd of September) confirms that a Penguin 4.0 update is now running in real time within the core search algorithm.

It seems that September month has been a month of fluctuations for the SERPs. Here is a graph from MozCast:

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As per these graphs, most of the local SEOs observed a major fluctuation around September 1st, when the temperature (as shown in the image above) was at its peak value, i.e. 108 degree. It was officially recognized by the name of “Possum Update” and MozCast observed an overall drop in local pack presence in their own data set on that day. MozCast also noticed a massive drop in SERPs (13-14 September) with image results on the first page in their own data set, which further caused a significant volatility, because the image results achieve an organic rank and so those SERPs acquired an additional organic result on the first page. MozCast noticed a temperature of 111 degrees Fahrenheit on that day.

As Google states it:

“With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page.”

Moreover, it is also confirmed that Penguin is not only sitewide but has also become more page-specific.

As per Google – “Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting the ranking of the whole site.”

Moreover, this Penguin update is just rolling out and it is not fully live till now – according to Google. Thus, there is no confirmation whether a website would see any changes rapidly or not. There is a good news about this real-time penguin update that you don’t have to wait any longer (as compared to a wait of previous two years) for a major Penguin refresh.

Make Your Ecommerce Business Stand Out from the crowd,,!!

Today the internet has turned individuals into shrewd online shoppers. So, every online retailer should be an exaggerated version of themselves, especially when they’re in front of their potential audience. Because we believe that making an e-commerce business stand out throughout competitors is not as simple as it sounds. But don’t worry, here we have hand picked some phenomenal quirks, tendencies, and eccentricities that help you build a powerful brand strategy and get your e-commerce business noticed.

Let’s start reading….

Offer Cutting-edge Products

New and better products on your online store will automatically stand out your business from the crowd. If you’ve abundance of the same items in your store as everyone else, then price is the only way to compete and differentiate yourself from competitors. In fact, this technique will quickly turn into a race to the bottom.

As an online retailer, you should keep your close eye on each emerging technology and expansion, so that you can create buzz and excitement for your e-commerce business. Plus, innovation, development of own custom products and improvements to existing ones can allow your business to stay on top of e-commerce trends and dominate the particular market for long.

Your competitors can anytime jump on the trend you are dealing with, so never rely on manufacturers to furnish your online store with new opportunities, just think beyond, adapt the changes constantly and come up with your own product lists.

Raise Your Brand Name

Sometimes, your store is not able to compete on price, product as well as shipping. In that case, you should ensure that your voice is something that others can’t copy. If they create a duplicate business in every other regard, your brand name remains your own and unique.

Just look at the ways and highlight the different aspects of your business. For instance; Do you sell customized or hand made  products? Is your e-commerce business customer-friendly? Do you offer high-quality products as compared to your competitors? Is your persona quirky in some way? Have you considered to bring humor to a market that’s filled with seriousness or vice versa? Have you planned to use custom packaging?

These are the strategies that can be easily imitated, although there are also some that can’t be emulated. So, be careful and analyze the difference and always ready to adapt the change when your new or unique selling proposition is no longer uncommon.

Benefits of Third-party channels

Valuable marketing tools are another great way to stand out your business in the online market. But always keep in mind that showing up the value of your business on other people’s platforms will help you with your SEO as well as with your credibility.

Not only this, you can take advantage of third-party channels by delivering value adding content to your potential audiences. However, this strategy will improve your online profile and increase new clients in the process.

If you want to get featured on new sites and industry blogs, then try to respond to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) queries. But make sure never forget to use badges to showcase the notable publishers on your site that have described your business.

Evidence-Based Practices

Credibility indicator is a social proof which encourages new website customers to place an order with you. If you find that your visitors browsing your site for a while, but not making a buying decision, means there’s a little social proof that can be upsetting them.

So below we shared some good examples to leverage social proof on your website.

Celeb endorsement: You can highlight those products that celebrities enjoy using or wearing to push your visitors to hit ‘Add-to-Cart’ Button.

Testimonials: Your website’s ‘Testimonial Page’ should offer a balanced perspective like good and bad customers’ reviews for your new and future clients, although give them a sense of security.

User-generated content: If possible, ask your visitors to share pictures of themselves using or wearing your item to increase the number of sales.

Implement “Like” or “Favorite” button: Let your audience to “like” or “favorite” products without purchasing them. Then, show the total specific number in your product lists to encourage the future customers.

Charitable Partnership Can Be Powerful

Most of the audience believe that they are doing good for the world, even with their online shopping. So, create a standout customer experience with a charitable cause and show viewers that you, the owner of the brand/store, are donating a portion of your revenue to feel them better about your business as well as with their shopping.

Business partner or any new partner can cause you personally, so be careful with your choice. When you are looking for an organization or charity to tie up with, just explore wisely and find a good fit that helps you in marketing and PR standpoint, plus support you in increasing media exposure.

Therefore, these are some essential ways that help your online business stand out. Just work on displaying your business’s unique personality instead of toning it down. Always consider points that make you fascinating about e-commerce sites, use it in your website and marketing to earn the customers for life.

2016 Shipping trends that Ecommerce Businesses Should Never Miss!

When it comes to customer satisfaction or customer experience, shipping is one of the most important first and final frontier. We understand that every e-commerce business has different challenges and tactics to create the most effective and efficient shipping strategy possible. But adopting some latest and demandable shipping trends can get orders to your buyers quicker. If you are adhesive on your old shipping routine, it might end you up with a cost that you don’t even think.

Just stay ahead of the curve and keep a close eye on the shipping trends in 2016. Below we have compiled a few shipping trends for e-commerce businesses, that you can’t afford to skip!

Demand for Free Shipping

As per the survey by Deloitte, the top most priority for shoppers is free shipping. When shopping online, nine out of ten online buyers prioritize free shipping rather than fast shipping. If you are running a small e-commerce business and you don’t have much budget to let your shoppers have free shippings than following the strategies will help you cover the business cost of free shipping;

• Increase the cost of products to cover shipping costs.
• The complete price of shipping has paid by the business.
• Slightly increase the product prices to cover some shipping amount so that both pay a portion.
• Offer free shipping when a shopper hits the least order value.

However, these strategies can help your e-business in increasing an average order size and profits to offset shipping costs.

Exact Time Slot for Delivery

The major concern of most consumers are getting a specified time slot for delivery and their biggest peeves are receiving postage slips (which carried “sorry we missed you”) on their front door, or even worse knowing that the package stolen off their doorstep.
76% of shoppers want to get the deliver packages at a specific time and 37% are willing to pay a premium for it, according to the research of Temando. Though the good news is, many tracking agencies have improved their services and assisting the recipients to know the estimated delivery date and their package is on which route so that they roughly know when their package arrives and can plan a day accordingly.

So we suggest e-commerce business owners should consider providing local shoppers on-demand delivery services like Deliv or UberRUSH to control over delivery times. These kind of services will help shoppers to have the exact time of a specific day they would like to receive their order.

If you find difficulties in shipping small products out-of-town shoppers, then take help from the United States Postal Service. USPS offers a Hold for Pickup option which allows the recipients to pick up the package at a mentioned post office location. In fact, USPS also provides Package Intercept, which allows shoppers to reroute their domestic packets if they are going on a business trip or family trip.

Shipping Options at Checkout

Normally, buyers get a few shipping options during checkout, such as standard, expedited and overnight. When it comes to how and when shoppers have their order arrive, they look for flexibility.

Accenture researched shows that 66% of shoppers have picked up a retailer who has numerous delivery options.

Now retailers should consider other various delivery options like same-day shipping, local pickup, carrier-specific and more to avoid shopping cart abandonment and upset clients. Generally, the most reasonable option for lightweight or small packages is USPS while FedEx and UPS are best for larger products. So provide all options and let your buyers select a specified carrier – UPS, FedEx or USPS – to create a satisfied, repeat customer to your store.

Keep Business Data at Your Fingertips

There’s no doubt that the data of businesses have been around for a long period of time. Most people sitting in cabinets as an untapped resource. So it’s time to thank new technologies, because of these shipping facilities, small or all e-commerce businesses can now leverage their data to serve their consumers even better than they expect.

However, business owners can easily and automatically check the info like mobile device usage, parcels’ time in transit, pricing histories, shipping destinations, website traffic, etc. with the right tools to take wise business decisions. Moreover, these technologies will help businesses in reducing the overall costs and boosting practices.

Now think of it and start with little to speed up your fulfilment and keep your potential buyers happier rather than waiting.

Hope you find this post useful! Thank you 🙂

Compare Queries – A New Feature in Google Search Console

Recently, Google added a new filter – “Compare Queries” in the GWT or Google Search Console which allows users to compare two different queries.

It is a very simple process to access this feature. First, you need to logging into your Google Search Console account. Once after login into your account, click on Search Analytics. Next, you need to click on the Queries section. From the Queries drop-down section, select “Compare Queries” option. This selection will enable you to make a comparison between two search phrases.

Here is how you can access “Compare Queries” in your GWT or Google Search Console:

google-search-analytics-compare-queries-action

google-search-analytics-compare-queries

We hope this blog post has been advantageous in acquainting you with the new feature of Google Search Console. You can start using this feature for your own SEO purposes that Google Search Console has for you.

Source: http://searchengineland.com/

SERP Update – Google Changes Title & Description Character Lengths

It seems that Google has made a significant change to the width of its search results by increasing the length of titles and descriptions. Ross Hudgens (Founder of Siege Media) was the first to identify and spotted it on Twitter & Jennifer Slegg (Search Engine Marketing Consultant) reported the same at The SEM Post.

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Here’s What You Need to Know

The new title length is 70-71 characters. This is an increase of 10-11 characters as compared to the previous title length of 50-60 characters. That’s pretty significant and offers an opportunity to add additional 2-4 words in the title tag.

Meta description’s length has been extended by 100 characters per line and increased from 2-3 lines. Depending on this new length of meta title and descriptions, websites can tell searchers more about their web pages.

According to Jennifer Slegg, Google is still shaking up meta description lengths and truncating the length to 2 lines or showing up search results with 160 characters or sometimes 278 characters per line.

Thus, it is essential to bear in mind that this may be a test by Google, and Google could roll back the changes at any time. It may be a kind of A/B testing by Google. So, it would be wise for you not to totally rely your SEO efforts on these character limits until it’s 100% sure that these new character counts will become a permanent change in the SEO world.

Is Google Ranking Algorithm Getting An Update?

At Envision Ecommerce we always keep an eye on things happening around which can impact your online Business. While working on one of our project for Digital Marketing, we noticed some changes in the Google ranking since a week. The changes were in the rankings and they were not normal which caused us to investigate more.

We at first thought that it could be possibly due to some programming changes but on detail investigation we feel that it is having Panda Update signals in it but this is based on initial investigation.

According to Moz’s Google algorithm change history, there is an unnamed update occurred on Jan 8, 2016:

“Google Confirms: Core Search Ranking Update Took Place But Not Penguin Related (SER)”.

Furthermore, Gary Illyes (Google Webmaster Trends Analyst) mentioned about this translation in his tweet:

 

 

And John Mueller (Webmaster Trends Analyst) did also a tweet:

 

We still have queries & doubts around what this exactly means and eagerly waiting when Google will officially announce about this update & its impact.

As we get to know more, we will update you.

Credit:

https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-core-ranking-21460.html

Now You Can Set Special Hours in Google My Business

Google’s Marissa Nordahl (Local Merchant Operations Team Lead at Google Inc) this week announced the launch of “Special Hours” in Google My Business listings.

“Special Hours” – seems a new & important program aimed at helping business owners in informing their customers about special hours (either longer or shorter store hours) on the basis of upcoming holidays. Now, business owners can add certain special hours or even a special store event to their local listings within their Google My Business listings.

Screenshot of how the special hours looks:

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The holiday season is just around the corner. Thus, it is most important for business owners to have this new feature for their store so that customers can get correct information like when they can visit your business. Moreover, a disclaimer will also be available for customers to get that “hours might differ” for a particular store & holiday.

Disclaimer Screenshot:

google-my-business-special-hours-disclaimer

As per Google, there are three methods (A complete Guide from Google) to set special hours for your business:

(A) Set special hours via spreadsheet.

(B) Set special hours online.

(C) Set hours that extend into the next day.

All these methods necessitate your business’s regular hours. And, Google would not allow you to manage your special hours without providing your regular hours.

Blog Credits: SearchEngineLand