Get Free Quote
Bruce Clay, Inc. Newsletter
  SEO Newsletter | Volume 144 | May 24, 2016 This Month's News
Convert More Visitors

Liveblog Reports from Conversion Conference


SEO is the practice of attracting new visitors to your website. CRO is the practice of turning those visitors into paying customers. CRO — conversion rate optimization — was the topic of Conversion Conference in Las Vegas last week and BCI was there liveblogging it.

There are 10 liveblog reports of keynotes and sessions from ConvCon here for you to digest. Presenters are the biggest names in the field of CRO today, including conference chair and SiteTuners CEO Tim Ash, Google analytics advocate Krista Seiden, former KISSmetrics marketing director Dan McGaw, PPC hot shot Larry Kim, and UX lifestyle author Mona Patel.

Read all the Conversion Conference #ConvCon liveblog coverage here.


CRO of the Future


Read the Feature posts if you're looking for mind-expanding models for thinking about conversion optimization in progressive and productive new ways.

Back to Basics

CRO Tools and Best Practices


Read the Back to Basics if you want foundational CRO best practices and tools to get you going on CRO today.

Hot Topic

Announcing Real-Time Indexing and AMP for Recipes at Google I/O

Author: Paula Allen

At this year's Google I/O event, Google debuted exciting consumer products that usher in a more conversational way of interacting with technology everywhere.

  • The smart, AI-powered Google Assistant (a more advanced chatbot than Google Now) was on display in several forms.
  • A new device called Google Home uses natural language processing and Google Search to listen and respond to a family’s questions and carry out task requests (such as adjusting the thermostat or making a dinner reservation) in a futuristic, conversational manner.
  • A new messenger app named Allo and a new FaceTime video-chat rival, Duo, also make use of the Assistant’s advanced machine-learning-based chat capabilities.

As David Amerland observed, the I/O product announcements revealed a focus on "search as a ubiquitous service powering everything and an increase in the utilitarian nature of Google products and services with the end user at the center of everything they do."

This year's Google I/O event packed out a stadium built for rock concerts, offering proof that tech news has widespread popular appeal. Of course, the search giant also announced advances of special interest to search marketers and developers.

Top Google I/O news for digital marketers:

  • AMP is growing: Google added recipes as a new category of AMP results (Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project). Until now, only news content could be featured in a special AMP carousel at the top of mobile search results, and marketers have been wondering when Google would open new content verticals. Google’s Richard Gingras told the I/O audience that Google has indexed more than 125 million AMP documents from 640K domains so far. He also announced that AMP results will be visible in the next iOS and Android search apps, for further exposure.
  • Real-time indexing is being tested: Google is testing a real-time indexing API that would enable trusted publishers to send new content directly to Google rather than waiting for crawlers to find and index it. Searchers would see these results without delay, under a "Happening now" heading. A beta will be available in the coming months.
Education Matters

Fully Rebuilt Google Analytics and AdWords Platforms on the Way

Author: Paula Allen

If you're a BCI PPC client, we'll soon be coaching you on a number of changes to AdWords and Google Analytics related to mobile user behavior and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

At the Google Performance Summit today, Google announced a "completely reimagined and rebuilt" AdWords system for a "mobile-first world." Both the advertising platform and Google Analytics are getting major redesigns to help search advertisers better meet mobile consumers' needs.

Advertisers will have more opportunities to benefit from Google’s unparalleled knowledge of searchers' "micromoments" — those moments when a person is ready to buy, make a decision, or get information — and design ads that address the individual’s intent and context.

For example, AdWords can design your display ads for you using your provided headline, description, image and link, showing the ad differently on each ad platform throughout the Google Display Network.

Text ads will look different, too, with 50% more room for text overall in order to better describe your offering to encourage clicks. Bidding can be set for each device individually, within the same ad campaign, giving more opportunity to aggressively target a segment that’s producing better returns.

New reporting features will enable custom-designed reports that integrate Google Analytics data with AdWords data seamlessly. And much more will be rolled out throughout this year.

If you're not a BCI client and want to explore the new features and what they can do for your PPC campaigns, give us a call at 866-517-1900 or contact us online. We’ll talk about your unique opportunities and give you a free PPC audit to boot.




Facebook is losing a key executive, Mary Lou Jepsen, who has been with the company a little over a year as its executive director of engineering and head of display tech at its Oculus virtual reality division. Jepsen announced she is joining health care startup Oscar, where she’ll help build a different type of consumer wearable, one that uses MRI images to help cure diseases. She said, "I want to get this to every doctor in the world."

Amit Singh is changing roles within Google. Since 2010, Singh has been president of Google for Work, the division that handles Google Apps for Work and its cloud-based platform. Now he will head up Google VR, the company's months-old virtual reality division.

Meanwhile, Google has hired as president of enterprise sales Tariq Shaukat, who has been chief commercial officer of Caesars Entertainment Corp. Shaukat’s role will fill the vacancy left by Singh's reassignment but be expanded to oversee sales for enterprise apps, cloud services and devices.

Twitter has been overhauling its board of directors with changes that increase its racial and gender diversity. New appointees include Internet entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox, Pepsi's CFO Hugh Johnston, and the chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra L. Lee.




Beyond the shindigs we highlight below, you can find hundreds of SEO, content marketing, paid search and social media marketing events happening around the world in our updated Digital Marketing Conference Calendar.

SEO Training in Milan 2016.jpg

If you're in Europe, don't miss your once-a-year opportunity to spend two days in a classroom with Bruce Clay. Bruce Clay Europe presents SEO training in Milan, Italy, June 8 and 9.

The Marketing Land conference series SocialPro takes place in Seattle, June 20–21. Our social media editor Kristi Kellogg is speaking! Go to learn the best social analytics and management tools and tactics.

SMX Advanced is happening June 22 and 23 in Seattle, Washington. You can register with a 10 percent discount on all passes and workshops using code SMXA16BRUCECLAY.

Our next SEOToolSet Training class is the week of July 11 in Los Angeles. Be part of the learning experience that will update your SEO strategy and equip you with better tools!


Sound Bytes


Like what you read? Enjoy the weekly digital marketing podcast SEM Synergy with host Bruce Clay. Here are the latest episodes available to stream online or download to your podcast app. Subscribe on iTunes to get new episodes sent straight to your mobile.

Optimizing for YouTube

Duane Forrester, Kristi Kellogg and John Alexander share tips and tricks for optimizing for the second-largest search engine: YouTube. YouTube looks at experience signals to rank videos. Listen in to discover what those signals are and how to rise to the top!

SEO and Its Connection to Social Media

The gang's all here: Bruce Clay, Duane Forrester, Virginia Nussey and Kristi Kellogg take on the relationship between SEO and social media. At the end of the day, search and social have the same goal: to drive traffic. Hear what Bruce and company have to say about citations and more in search and social.

Michael Brito on Cultivating Employee Brand Advocacy

Kristi Kellogg and Virginia Nussey welcome special guest Michael Brito, the head of U.S. Digital Marketing for LEWIS Global Communications, who shares his strategies for helping brands and businesses reach their target audiences through social media marketing. Brito takes a deep dive into one particular facet of social media marketing: creating and cultivating employee brand advocacy. When you empower employees to become brand advocates, they can be a powerful force for stimulating brand buzz and trust.

SEO Round Table Discussion

Bruce Clay, Duane Forrester, Robert Ramirez, Virginia Nussey and Kristi Kellogg talk about hot SEO topics, including where AMP(Accelerated Mobile Pages) is headed. The discussion includes exclusive comments from Google's Maile Ohye and advice for specific industries as they prepare for further AMP rollout. They'll also discuss Penguin and RankBrain.




Apple Music introduced a new subscription plan for students that costs half of the normal "individual" subscription. Full-time university students can subscribe at this discount rate for four years. See the rules and restrictions and sign up yourself or your student for an Apple Music Student Membership.

Microsoft is stepping up to combat terrorism online. "When terrorist content on our hosted consumer services is brought to our attention via our online reporting tool, we will remove it," reports a post on Microsoft's corporate blog. In addition to amending its terms of service to specifically prohibit terrorist content, the company will use a "notice and takedown" process within its consumer cloud-hosting services (such as OneNote) to remove content that promotes violence or terrorism posted by or on behalf of organizations on the U.N. Security Council's Sanctions List.


Word on the Wire


Google published a report of its webspam fighting efforts last year, which includes sending 4.3 million manual action notices to webmasters. In our review of Google’s webspam report, we explain what to do if you received one of those manual action penalties.

Google raised the mobile-friendly ranking boost in May, as it promised back in March. This change shouldn’t impact sites that already passed Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, but web pages that are not mobile-friendly will find themselves showing up lower in mobile search results.

Google increased the width of its main search results column from 512 pixels wide to about 600. This means that organic results may display higher on the page, and title and description text can be longer. Titles can show up to about 70 characters (rather than the previous 55 to 60), and description text can also be 16–20 characters longer per line. The width change also affects featured snippets, local pack results and AdWords ads that appear in the main column. Google's John Mueller confirmed that there was a corresponding increase to mobile title tag lengths, as well.

Google News search results now show new features for AMP pages, including an expanded AMP carousel and a lightning symbol to make them stand out in the vertical results. (See the “Hot Topic” for more AMP news.)

Rich cards are a new search results format, an enhanced form of rich snippets that show up as a carousel of visual cards in mobile results. Existing markup for rich snippets can work for the new rich cards, though Google strongly recommends using JSON-LD code. Rich cards are initially available for English queries on for recipes and movies.

Google Search Console has had some major enhancements this month. 1. A new Rich Cards report (under Search Appearance) shows you how many pages on your site have rich cards and any errors your site has with structured data in general. 2. AMP analytics have been added as a filter in the Search Analytics report. 3. You can now group multiple web properties (such as a desktop site, a mobile site and an app) as a property set so that you can track their statistical data together in Search Console reports.

Google shows no signs of backing down in its six-year battle with the European Commission, though the company may face its first antitrust fine in 2016 over the Google shopping service. The EU also leveled a second antitrust charge in April over Google's dominant Android mobile operating system squeezing out rivals.

Google may be planning to extend AMP to local results sooner rather than later. The search engine's Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative (which webmasters can apply to web pages so they'll display quickly on mobile devices) so far shows only news items in the AMP carousel format.

Google News launched a new "Local Source" tag to surface local coverage of news stories and not just the well-known news publishers. As Barry Schwartz points out, it's interesting that the tag is being applied automatically rather than requiring publishers to add markup code to their content. Google says it identifies a publisher's geographic location based on its history of published stories.

Google Search Console was updated to show clicks and impressions to an associated app separately from website activity. In addition, Google's John Mueller explained: "Other changes include how we count links shown in the Knowledge Panel, in various Rich Snippets, and in the local results in Search (which are now all counted as URL impressions)." You'll notice an "Update" demarcation in your Search Analytics report timelines.

Facebook has quietly changed its 20% text rule that limits how much of an image can contain text in a promoted post. The handy grid tool is also gone. Now the rules are muddier, with images being assigned a grade of OK, Low, Medium or High depending on how much text is visible, and these grades now affect how much reach the post can have. So while there’s more flexibility without the strict 20% limit, there’s now more incentive to reduce the amount of text in order to boost reach.

Twitter users can now fit more actual text within the 140-character tweet limit. Twitter announced that images and other attached media no longer count as characters; neither do @names in a reply. Another rule change is that starting a tweet with "@name" now reaches all of your followers (so no more need to type ".@"), and you can now retweet your own tweets.

Twitter added a "Go Live" button in its main app to let users easily start a Periscope live-stream video. In the wake of competitor Facebook Live’s recent updates, Twitter announced other changes to Periscope, its live video-streaming service. Periscope will make video broadcasts permanent by default, rather than disappearing after 24 hours. In addition, Periscope will let users search for videos by topic and create a broadcast that includes a video feed from a supported DJI drone.

Social networks will need parental permission for users under age 16, according to a new ruling by the EU. By 2018, networks must take "reasonable" measures to make sure users are of age or have their parents permission; otherwise, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the other networks will face fines of up to 4 percent of global turnover. The ruling allows individual European countries to lower the minimum age from 16 to 13.

In China, Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on MSN China, the company’s longtime Chinese portal for search, newsfeeds and lifestyle information. Reasons include stiff competition from local services and the difficulty of operating within the Chinese government's strict censorship requirements.

A controversial report published by Gizmodo stated that Facebook’s Trending Topics list has news curators who have censored many conservative discussion topics that were actually trending and injected other topics that were not trending within the social platform. Facebook’s Tom Stocky published a response the same day denying these “anonymous allegations.” Yet the issue only heated up, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to respond by May 24, 2016 with a copy of the guidelines Facebook uses to prevent the suppression of political perspectives and other information.

Instagram rolled out a new look for its app, making the icons and other elements less eye-catching to put more emphasis on the photo content. Also, the company introduced a new logo design that’s simpler and more colorful. No changes to how you use Instagram were announced.

Hot Topics




Sound Bytes


Word on the Wire




Top Blog Posts

Google's Outbound Link Penalties: How to React without Overreacting

Google's Report on SEO Conduct and Webspam: Ethical SEO Help for Businesses

Monitoring Social Media Traffic: Tricks, Tips and Tools


Connect with us:

RSS Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus YouTube

SEOToolSet info

©1996 to 2016 Bruce Clay, Inc. All rights reserved.