By Amy @BubbleJobs
It’s fair to say the last week or so has been a pretty busy time for Google. In addition to a possible mysterious algorithm update, over the past 10 days or so, the search engine giant has announced the addition of a handful of new reports and tools and has also shed some light on the implemention of Authorship mark-up.
First up; the reports. In its latest bid to drive yet more businesses into the arms of its advertising business, Google announced last week that it was introducing new Paid & Organic search reports for all its paid search customers. The new reports will be available in AdWords to help advertisers analyse and optimise their “search footprint on Google” – aka both their paid and organic search efforts.
According to the official Inside AdWords blog, the new report is “the first to let you see and compare your performance for a query when you have either an ad, an organic listing, or both appearing on the search results page”. The post goes on to say the new report will help advertisers to discover potential additional keywords to add to their AdWords accounts, improve their presence in paid results and “monitor high value keywords for organic results” and easily report the impact of any changes made “across paid, organic, and combined traffic”.
Now, while Google claims that you can still take advantage of the Organic reports even “if you’re not buying ads”, that’s not stopped many SEOs being a bit sceptical about Google’s latest release. The issue? Many industry experts believe the new reporting feature will help businesses to get the bottom of that mysterious “not provided” traffic data in Google Analytics which provide a valuable insight into how SEO efforts are panning out.
Granted, anything that gives businesses more insight into the progress of their SEO campaigns is a good thing – but at the same time, this new report also brings them one step closer to the temptation of PPC advertising… after all, they need to set up an AdWords campaign to be able to access this data. And once they’re there, I’d say it’s highly likely Google’s going to throw more than a couple of tempting PPC keyword statistics regarding potential traffic their way.
Similarly, regardless of their claims, Google is a business – and at the end of the day, they’re there to make money. With that said, I’d be really surprised if they didn’t make their PPC data look much more impressive than their organic data which doesn’t have any impact on their bottom line. As a result, I think we could see a major increase in profits in the next couple of quarters when it comes to their AdWords department…
The announcement came just a few days before Google turned off its famous Google Keyword Tool. The tool, which is used by both SEOs and PPC Managers to determine keyword relevance and suitability, was officially turned off on Monday (26th August) and has been replaced by the Keyword Planner tool.
Now, just like anything else these days when it comes to Google changes, the decision to replace the old tool with the new one has been met with a mixed reaction. While both tools share similar functionality, many SEOs have been quick to criticise the new Keyword Planner tool, claiming it doesn’t provide the same kind of data as the old tool – and contrary to Google’s claim, SEOs claim it doesn’t necessarily make keyword research any quicker or easier.
This week also saw Google provide a bit more guidance on the implementation of Google Authorship. The main takeaways?
- Authorship should only be implemented when the content belongs to one author on a page – ie. it shouldn’t be used when a page contains content from multiple authors.
- Similarly, Authorship shouldn’t be implemented if multiple authors all contributed to one article.
- Authorship shouldn’t be assigned to things like product descriptions and reviews.
This article on Search Engine Journal has a great run-down of Google’s full announcement. Needless to say, when the words of advice regarding Authorship mark-up are coming from Google, notice definitely needs to be taken.
So there you go; definitely a pretty mixed bag for the SEO community this week. As ever, we’re definitely keen to get your thoughts on the latest Google activity – leave us a comment or tweet me – @amy_edwards88.