Analytics Intelligence

Google Analytics is releasing an update that will make it much easier and quicker to find the data you need.  The new tool Google Analytics will be rolling out is called: Analytics Intelligence.  Analytics Intelligence will allow you to type in what it is you are looking for and give you those results. Instead of navigating through multiple sections within Analytics, you will now be able to type in questions like “How much traffic did CPC bring in this month compared to last?”, and it will quickly show you the answer.

Man working on a project in an office using a tablet; images of analytics intelligence graphs

Beyond answering your questions, Analytics Intelligence also shows new opportunities for you through automated insights, now available in the web interface as well as in the mobile app. These insights can show spikes or drops in metrics like Revenue or Session Duration, tipping you off to issues that you may need to investigate further. Insights may also present opportunities to improve key metrics by following specific recommendations.

To find out more about Analytics Intelligence, check out the complete article here!

Penguin 4.0 is Live!

After a 2 year wait, Google’s Penguin algorithm has finally been updated!  The Penguin filter was designed to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results in ways that Google’s regular spam detection systems might not have noticed.  Previously, the Penguin filter would “catch” sites deemed as spammers, and they would remained penalized even if the site improved or changed until the next time the filter would run (which could take anywhere from several weeks to several months).

Google's Penguin 4.0 program has launched!

With this latest release, Penguin now operates in real time.  Now when Google recrawls and reindexes pages, these pages will be assessed immediately by the filter and then released or caught as a part of this process.

Penguin will now also devalue spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting the ranking of the whole site.  Previously, Penguin was a site-wide penalty, but now only specific pages on a website may be impacted rather than the entire site.

For more information on how this can affect your site’s ranking, contact one of our friendly OMM’s here at Strathcom Media!

What’s New in Waterloo? Google!

Google WaterlooWe were honored to be one of only 16 Google Partners invited to come and spend the day at Google’s latest and greatest office in Canada’s tech hub – Waterloo, Ontario.  This is one of the many perks that we get as a Premier Google Partner in Canada.  The day was packed with insightful speakers, great content, exclusive training, lots of food, and a tour.

If you were not aware, we are giving away 6 trips in September to this very same office where you will be treated to a similar experience – click here for details and to enter.  You will not be disappointed if you win!  

So what did we learn? A lot!  We are going to break this down into three additional posts.  One on Google’s brand new Expanded Text Ads, another on every business’s favorite source of frustration: Google My Business, and finally, one on What’s New with YouTube.  

A little about the newest Google office first.  It is in an incredible building that was built in 1918 and was actually a former rubber plant.  It houses approximately 500 Googlers with the capacity for about 500 more.  These engineers don’t work on Canadian specific projects either; they work on big ticket items like Gmail, Chrome and the Ads Infrastructure.  Like all Google offices that I have had the pleasure of visiting, it has wicked food at the main cafeteria, mini cafe’s on all floors, a cyborg moose (what’s more Canadian tech?) a gym with a climbing wall, nap pods and a whole lot more.

Google Waterloo - CafeteriaGoogle Waterloo - Cafeteria                    Google Waterloo - Cafeteria

What did we learn? For this post I am going to focus on two speakers, the individual posts will take care of the rest.  First up was Ben Wood, Director of Channel Sales Americas.  Ben spoke about how Google focuses on the ‘whole problem’ and works from that perspective.  If someone using Google can’t spell, it’s a Google problem.  If the internet is not fast enough, it’s Google’s problem.  This type of thinking has lead to great developments like Google Suggest (you know when Google suggests searches before you are done typing) and Google Chrome, a way faster and way better internet browser than what was available.  Further to looking at the whole problem, he spoke about 10X and moon shots – essentially the big, big wins that will transform your business, maybe even your industry.  Google considers these types or products over small iteration.  This is how we get self-driving cars, contact lenses to measure insulin levels for diabetics, and project Loon (balloon powered internet for the remote parts of the world).

Google WaterlooAfter Ben we heard from Sam Sebastian, Managing Director of Google Canada, or the big boss.  Sam provided us with an unbiased look at what Google is trying to accomplish in Canada – mainly diversify away from search advertising.  He spoke candidly about ad blocking and that one solution will be for Google and Premier Partners like us to build better ads.  One comment that he made was that in 10-15 years every business will be a software business.  He provided examples from big banks and agencies and how software is starting to be at the core of all we do.  Whether he is right or wrong, I am going to learn how to code.  The last concept he shared that really resonated with me was about Yahoo’s sale to Verizon for ~$4.8B.  Yahoo was valued at more than $100B at its peak in 2000.  What happened to the other $95B?  No one knows exactly, but it is this type of event that constantly reminds him (and perhaps it should all of us) that we need to be a little bit paranoid about the next start up.  It is this paranoia that needs to drive us to hit our 10X goals that Ben outlined, to stay in business and not lose 95% of our value.

Overall it was a great day and it is always an honor to be invited to such an exclusive event.  For more information on the day and all the training we received, check out our three other blogs on the event:   Expanded Text Ads, Google My Business, and  What’s New with YouTube.

Thanks,

Duncan Cochrane

The New Google Ad Formats are Here!

expanded text ads allow 50% more ad textWe are living in a mobile-first world, and Google is now making it easier to succeed in this mobile-first world. Back in May, Google announced some huge changes to their ad platform. To make up for the removal of right-hand text ads, Google introduced Expanded Text Ads and Responsive Display Ads. These new features are going live in AdWords today!

Expanded Text Ads will be optimized for screen sizes of the most popular smartphones in the market, and will feature two 30-character headlines and one 80-character description. This will give you almost 50% more text for you to highlight your products and services.

Google has also built Responsive Ads for the Google Display Network to help your ads adapt to all of the different screen sizes we use every day – your phone, your computer and your tablet. These ads will provide 25-character and 90-character headlines, a 90-character description, as well as an image and a URL. The best part? These ads will fit perfectly across any website or app across the Google Display Network.responsive display adsStarting October 26, 2016, standard text ads will no longer be available. Get ahead of the competition! To get started with Expanded Text Ads and Responsive Ads, contact us today!

The Mobile Search Universe Changes on April 21st: Will Your Site Survive or Suffer?

change-noticeLine ’em up. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your mobile ducks in a row.

You shouldn’t be hearing this for the first time now. If you’ve attended an automotive conference, followed this blog, or tried looking up information on your smartphone over the past few years, you have already been bombarded with this message: you need to deliver a great mobile experience to remain relevant online.

Continue reading “The Mobile Search Universe Changes on April 21st: Will Your Site Survive or Suffer?”

Google Adds Fuel Economy Ratings to Search Results

Google’s been busy lately: they’ve already been testing a new type of automotive ads in Europe and have added cars to their knowledge graph in the U.S.

I was doing a quick Google search for fuel economy this morning (this is through Google.ca—right here in Canada), and noticed another new feature on the search engine results page (SERP):

Google Adds Fuel Economy to Search Results

Fuel economy in MPG now shows up for a variety of new cars and trucks. I tested it on a few domestic and import brands including Ford, Dodge, Toyota and Honda, and ratings currently appear for many recent 2013 and 2014 models (there’s nothing for used vehicles).

You don’t even need to include the vehicle brand in the search. Just search for “Prius fuel economy” and Google automatically figures out you’re talking about the Toyota Prius. Very cool.

Prius Fuel Economy Search.

This is yet another indication that Google is increasing their focus on the Auto Industry. While these fuel economy ratings are for U.S. models and only appear in U.S. (as opposed to Imperial) Miles Per Gallon, it’s worth noting that this data is already available in Google Canada searches.

It’s only a matter of time before all of these new Google features come to the Canadian market, and more automotive data is already being added quickly, just as we anticipated.

Wondering how all of this affects your Canadian car dealership? Contact Strathcom Media for more information on what to do about Google’s latest updates.