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Bruce Clay, Inc. Newsletter
  SEO Newsletter | Vol 129 | January 20, 2015 This Month's News

Bruce Clay's 2015 Predictions for the SEO Industry

Author: Bruce Clay

Since 2006, Bruce has posted annual predictions of what he expects will jostle the Internet marketing industry in the year to come. What follows are nine predictions by Bruce Clay on mobile, local, video, voice search, and shifts in the Internet's dominant players. Bruce's predictions build on the following:

  • With mobile use surging, Bruce predicts mobile results satisfaction will become the search engines' priority, and the battleground for Bing and Google's search market share showdown.
  • Local results will be the next page-one real estate that search engines look to monetize. Expect enhancements to local listings such as coupons and photos ━ for a fee.
  • Google will introduce an ecommerce product or platform to strengthen consumer use of Google for product searches, as Amazon threatens Google's PPC revenue. For more on how and why this all happens and the big picture that ties it all together, read Bruce's 2015 Predictions for the SEO Industry.

Read More

  Back to Basics

6 Mobile-Friendly Navigation Best Practices

Author: Chelsea Adams

Is your website ready for the imminent mobile-friendly ranking factor? In this week's Back to Basics we use eight big-brand mobile navigation examples to show you how to design a mobile-friendly navigation that makes life easy for users and search engines.

Follow Joe, our model mobile user, as his efforts to make a purchase from the backseat of a taxi teach us six valuable lessons about mobile navigation design, including:

  • Why the order of your navigation matters and what to include first
  • Why it's better to keep it short, and how short is short enough
  • How to choose fonts and colors that make reading on a tiny screen easy
  • What font size Google recommends you use
  • The nuance of touch design, and why there's more to it than just slapping on some big buttons
  • How taking an active interest in your consumer's multi-screen behavior can help you design a navigation that aids task completion

Read More


We're Hiring Top SEO Talent


The name Bruce Clay is synonymous with SEO, and we are offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the man himself and become a valuable member of our consulting team. We are on the hunt for a talented, energetic and experienced senior SEO analyst to work in our main offices in Southern California. Interested candidates with at least 5 years of experience should apply through LinkedIn.


Hot Topic


Mobile friendliness is now imperative. We've been talking about the rise of mobile usage (now accounting for over 50 percent of all Internet access) and the importance of making your website mobile-friendly for a long time. But this week's news indicates that, if you want continued search traffic to your website, mobile friendliness is no longer an option.

Here's the news: Google is currently sending out mass notifications to webmasters whose websites are not mobile-friendly. The "Fix mobile usability issues" warnings are being delivered via email and Google Webmaster Tools. This is not the first step Google has taken to push websites toward mobile readiness — previously, Google improved its PageSpeed Insights tool to include mobile metrics (Aug. 2013), added mobile usability reports to Google Webmaster Tools (Oct. 2014), and in Nov. 2014 launched a mobile-friendly testing tool, began displaying "Mobile-friendly" labels in mobile search results, and confirmed it was "experimenting" with mobile-friendly criteria for ranking.

The day when mobile friendliness becomes a Google ranking factor is imminent. In addition, Bing's algorithm has included mobile factors for at least two months. Whether you've received a Google notice or not, we recommend running your critical landing pages through Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool. If you find any issues, become educated on mobile SEO and read this issue's Back to Basics article on mobile-friendly navigation best practices. We're not crying wolf; there's seriously no time to lose.


Education Matters


Bruce Clay predicts that in 2015 marketers will absorb the discipline of SEO. If you're a West Coast marketer ready to sharpen your technical SEO skills, Bruce Clay's one-day SEO training workshop on Mar. 2 in San Jose is the event to start your year off right. This is the official SEO workshop of Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West and a one-day intensive SEO course in high demand. Attendees will be taught up-to-date SEO best practices by the man who has been at the helm of digital marketing since 1996.

The one-day SEO Training workshop covers:

  • How search engines work and how ranking occurs
  • On-site and off-site factors that affect SEO
  • Technical SEO strategy and concepts
  • Review of the latest algorithm updates and changes
  • How to deal with penalties
  • How to use the SEOToolSet® (all attendees will be give an SEOToolSet subscription)

If you're considering attending, don't wait to sign up — seats always fill up fast for this SEO workshop. We also have an exclusive discount code for SEO Newsletter readers. Use the code "BRUCECLAYSMXW15" when signing up to save 10 percent.

As SMX West approaches, make sure to keep tabs on the Bruce Clay, Inc. Blog. Leading up to the conference, the blog will feature interviews with SMX West VIP speakers including:

  • Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager at Bing
  • Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google
  • Bill Tancer, General Manager at Experian
  • Dr. Pete Meyers, Marketing Scientist at Moz
  • Mindy Weinstein, Director of Education at Bruce Clay, Inc.
  • Luke Summerfield, Partner Services Program Manager at HubSpot
  • Bill Slawski, Director of Search Marketing at Go Fish Digital



Twitter has acquired ZipDial, a mobile marketing company based in Bangalore, India, to expand its services and content reach within emerging markets around the world.

Google is graduating its Google Glass wearables project out of Google X Labs into its own division, and Google has chosen Tony Fadell, the founder of Nest and creator of smart home thermostats, to lead future Glass development. Meanwhile, Google has halted sales of the product in its current version.

Google has had to do some shuffling in Europe lately. The search engine shut down its engineering team in Russia, at least temporarily, ahead of a new law prohibiting data about Russian citizens from being stored outside the country. Meanwhile in Spain, Google stopped including any Spanish publishers in Google News due to a new copyright requirement to pay publishers for showing their news. The Spanish law does not allow individual publishers to opt out, a restriction no doubt added because Germany's earlier attempt to extract similar copyright payments from the search engine failed. While the main Google News Spain page has closed, Google continues to show snippets from Spanish news sites.

Bing rehired Duane Forrester less than two months after he was laid off. A popular search-industry figure, Forrester returned to the same position he had left, Bing's senior project manager in charge of webmaster outreach.

Facebook has acquired Toronto-based design agency Teehan-Lax gaining its key personnel as additions to the Facebook design team.

Zomato, a global restaurant search provider founded in India, has purchased Urbanspoon. The acquisition will enable Zomato to expand into the U.S. local restaurant search market, with a plan to merge the products by March 2015.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer promoted Prashant Fuloria to senior vice president of advertising products, overseeing all ads (display, native, video and mobile). Fuloria joined the company last year when it acquired his former employer, the mobile-ad startup Flurry. In a memo announcing Fuloria's promotion, Mayer predicted, "2015 is the year that we return our display revenue to growth."

Pay-per-click advertising expert David Szetela has joined Vizion Interactive as part of its executive team. The move comes as a result of Vizion's acquiring certain assets of FMB Media, an advertising agency Szetela cofounded.

Digital marketing software company Acquisio has named co-founder and former executive vice president Marc Poirier its new CEO and president.




Here is a roundup of Internet marketing conferences happening soon. For a schedule of conferences throughout 2015 across the globe, check out the Digital Marketing Conference Calendar brought to you by Bruce Clay, Inc.

Feb. 3–5, SEOToolSet Training comes to India. Bruce Clay and author/speaker Mindy Weinstein will present the course covering fundamental-to-advanced search engine optimization strategies. Don't wait to sign up; this training sells out each year! If you're a marketer, IT professional or website owner, or anyone responsible for organic traffic, you can't afford to miss this training in Gurgaon, India.

Digital Summit Phoenix happens Feb. 4 and 5 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A new LocalUp conference, organized by Moz and LocalU, meets on Feb. 7 in Seattle, Washington.

The Traffic & Conversion Summit 2015 comes to San Diego, CA, Feb. 17–19.

MarketingSherpa's Email Summit event is set for Feb. 23–26 in Las Vegas.

Registration is now open for SMX West 2015, which is happening Mar. 3–5 in San Jose, California. Bruce Clay and our team will be there — hope you will, too! Use the discount code BRUCECLAYSMXW15 and get 10 percent off your conference registration.

The Digital Marketing Innovation Summit hits New York City on Mar. 19 and 20. Special for SEO Newsletter readers: Use code BCLAY20 and receive a 20 percent discount on any two-day pass!

Facebook's f8 conference for developers is scheduled for two days this year, Mar. 25 and 26, in San Francisco, California.

Social Media Marketing World takes place in San Diego, California, Mar. 25–27.

The MarTech conference is coming to San Francisco Mar. 31 and Apr. 1.

Copyblogger's content marketing summit Authority Rainmaker meets in Denver, Colorado, May 13–15.




Google is donating about $300,000 to Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine that was attacked by armed religious extremists on Jan. 7, leaving 12 people dead. The donation reportedly comes from Google's press innovation fund.

A Conductor survey revealed some noteworthy trends among B2B, B2C and agency marketing executives. The survey found that 65 percent of participants planned to invest more in marketing technology during 2015, with 28 percent planning to spend "significantly" more. Additionally, 90 percent of respondents said that during the last 12 months, data had "more" or "much more" of an impact on their marketing decision making.

The Facebook-owned mobile messaging service WhatsApp is growing fast. According to an announcement by WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum, WhatsApp has reached 700 million monthly active users, increasing from 500 million as of April 2014.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser market share soared nearly 10 percent between November and December, unexpectedly retaking the lead over Google Chrome, according to StatCounter data. News of the Spartan browser, which Microsoft is developing for release with Windows 10, may have caused IE's usage surge.

The top 10 most profitable YouTube channels in 2014 (according to OpenSlate) include a few predictable names (Taylor Swift, EMI music label) but a lot of surprises. The No. 1 channel, DisneyCollectorBR, made $4.86M featuring videos of women's hands unboxing and playing with toys.


Word on the Wire


The "Internet of Things" buzzword, referring to devices for homes, cars and persons that are made "smart" by being networked to the cloud, permeated many new product unveilings at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas earlier this month. While many manufacturers addressed security concerns in their product announcements, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez warned that "Any device connected to the Internet is vulnerable to being hijacked," and "As we purchase more smart devices, they increase the number of entry points an intruder could exploit to launch attacks on or from."

A Google spokesperson said that "Penguin is shifting to more continuous updates" and that Google plans to finetune their link-spam-fighting algorithm "as they go." This gradual method of rolling out Google Penguin updates seems to have begun with the Penguin 3.0 update, which began Oct. 17, 2014 but continued to have noticeable updates at least through mid-December.

Google confirmed on Dec. 22 that it was in the process of rolling out the Pigeon algorithm update (which aims to improve local search results) to the U.K., Canada, Australia and all other English-speaking locations except for India. Pigeon was first launched in the U.S. on Jul. 24, 2014.

You can now put structured markup on your official website to have Google include your social profile links in the Google Knowledge panel in search results.

Google also upgraded its Structured Data Testing Tool and improved the user documentation and support available to webmasters.

Bing Ads will no longer allow phone numbers in pay-per-click ad copy. PPC advertisers will have to use locations or call extensions instead, as Google AdWords advertisers have been doing since Google discontinued allowing phone numbers in April 2013.

Instagram's active user count now tops Twitter's. The service also plans to add badges to verify celebrities, athletes and brands.

Facebook now lets U.S. advertisers put a call-to-action button — such as Sign Up, Shop Now, Learn More, or four other choices — on an ad. The feature will roll out to other markets soon.

Facebook search has been improved so users can find posts they've seen before. Meanwhile, business accounts need to rethink their Facebook strategy to make posts less promotional if they want to maintain distribution. For advertisers, improvements to the way Facebook right-hand column ads appear are reportedly making them more effective at driving views and clicks.

Facebook has launched its new enterprise social product Facebook at Work. The app, which is available as an iOS or Android download, creates a private social-sharing environment for use within a company or other group.

Google has launched a new service to help people choose a domain and get a website up and running easily. Google Domains partners with several popular website builder services, integrates with, and offers domain names with many creative domain extensions (.dance and .guru are among the 60+ choices). Packages start at $12/month.

Google News Archives can be searched again, back to 2003. Google has re-enabled this feature, which was shuttered in 2011, based on popular demand.

Yahoo Search has been spotted testing a new results page format that looks similar to Google's search engine results page layout.

Microsoft is reportedly building a new web browser to be introduced with its Windows 10 rollout. Code-named "Spartan," the new browser will operate more like competitors Chrome and Firefox.

Microsoft releases the new Denim update for Windows phones this month. Highlighting this release are improvements to the Cortana voice assistant, ability to add Live Folders, and the new Lumia Camera.

Pinterest officially made Promoted Pins available to all advertisers on Jan. 1, following eight months of beta testing in which advertisers experienced a 30 percent increase in earned media (free impressions) and good engagement (repins).

A major upgrade to LinkedIn's search function now enables non-premium members to search more widely, including connections, friends, and friends-of-friends rather than just their own connections. The increased search reach means better visibility for people, jobs, and content on the LinkedIn platform.

Also in the works are plans to add intra-office communication features to LinkedIn. A feature for sending InMail between coworkers even if they're non-users will be tested in coming weeks; then a separate app will let companies share content with specific groups of employees.

The controversial satirical comedy The Interview, which was pulled from theaters in response to threats from a cyberattack group allegedly backed by North Korea, became Sony Pictures' top online movie release ever, earning more than $15M during the first four days it was available for rent or purchase.

In China, access has been partially blocked to Google properties including Search and Gmail. Many Chinese users reported being unable to access these features beginning Dec. 25, and Google's transparency reports show greatly reduced usage in the country.

AT&T announced it will be the first U.S. carrier to support WebRTC (Web RealTime Communication), which enables users to make voice and video calls natively in the browser without needing a plug-in such as those used by services such as Skype and Google+ Hangouts.

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on proposed new rules for net neutrality, regulating Internet providers, at its Feb. 26 meeting. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler drafted legislation for his fellow commissioners to review this month; resistance from industry advocates and Congress is expected.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 16 Republican lawmakers in both houses introduced legislation that would make net neutrality the law, prohibit the FCC from regulating it, and maintain broadband service's current classification as a Title 1 "information service," which is more lightly regulated than Title 2 "common carriers," a reclassification President Obama supports and the FCC may be planning to attempt.

Pres. Obama stated that encryption in online messaging apps and smartphones should not be so strong that police and spies cannot gain court-authorized access. "If we find evidence of a terrorist plot… and despite having a phone number, despite having a social media address or email address, we can't penetrate that, that's a problem," he explained. His remarks followed two days of meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is pursuing a ban on encrypted messaging apps in the U.K. unless intelligence agencies can have access.

The U.S. and the U.K. have agreed to work together to simulate cyber war games designed to test each other's resilience to cyberattack and share information. The first simulated attack is expected to target the financial industry later this year.

Hot Topics





Word on the Wire





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