Who Will Win & Lose With The Google AdWords Layout Change

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A week ago Friday, Google removed right ads from the AdWords layout and placed potentially four ads at the top of the listing page.

Now, webmasters wait to see if CPCs will increase, how CTR will change and which advertisers will win and loss from this change. Early feedback I am seeing is that CTR is sky-rocketing now for the ads, but that might change over time. The big data point we are waiting for is Google’s earnings report, which will share some of this information.

The moderator at the WebmasterWorld forums shared who he thinks will win or loss with this change:


  • heavy ad testers, you no longer have to figure out if your sitelinks were showing, not showing, etc. The ads are now consistent.
  • people who have a bid system in place. It’s easy to get into a bid war unnecessarily, and with fewer ad slots, its going to happen more and more; so those who let math dictate parts of their account over emotions are going to do OK; but they might get less conversions from search as they get fewer clicks
  • position 4 ads: The ctr on position 4 is skyrocketing. Depending on the keyword, position 4 is going to have a 400%-1000% CTR increase.
  • ecommerce: Expect to see more shopping ads on a consistent basis.


  • Aggregators: Often the large SMB premier partners want to show ‘proof of advertising’; and having less ads on the page is going to make that harder. With fewer ad slots, those who are managing 10-20+ companies in the same geo vertical will have problems as there are less ad impressions to go around.
  • Low sophistication advertisers in competitive verticals: With fewer ad slots, advertising becomes more competitive, and those who are bidding just to show vs bidding for a business purpose are going to eventually run into issues.
  • Low margin businesses/arbitrage: The 1st page bids will be higher with fewer ad slots; so companies with thin margins are going to have a lot of words fall to page 2.


  • Brand based bidders
  • Niche companies
  • Any display & video campaigns
  • Primarily mobile advertisers. Mobile got another ad slot last year.

Do you agree?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

Google Leap Year Doodle

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Google Leap Year Doodle

Today on Google.com is a special logo, aka Doodle, for it being a Leap Year. Today, February 29th is a Leap Day, where we add another day to the calendar.

Google explained “the 29th of February only happens every four years.” This is to keep our calendar in sync with the rotation of the Earth around the sun. Without Leap Day, we’d be out of sync by about six hours per year.

Google added, “Leap Day happens every four years unless that year is divisible by 100. If you were around in 1900, you would have missed out on the magic of February 29.”

The Bing home page is pretty cool also:

click for full size

We did cover the Leap Year Doodle in 2008 with leaping frogs and the 2012 one with Gioachino Rossini.


click for full size



click for full size

Forum discussion at Google+.

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

Androidify Station In Android Garden

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Androidify Station In Android Garden

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

What You Missed At Mobile World Congress — And Why You Shouldn’t Have

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The advertising industry’s presence at the Mobile World Congress last week is still relatively small compared to the Consumer Electronics Show, which is often referred to as Second Cannes. Yet agencies like McCann have been going for five years now, and executives like Martin Sorrell, Laura Desmond and Nestle’s Pete Blackshaw all spoke on panels. Moreover, marketing’s presence is growing at the MWC, which drew an estimated 100,000 people to Barclelona.

Evidence panels covering issues that the industry has been wringing its hands over, such as ad blocking and a lack of understanding how to engage in and get up to speed in mobile advertising. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and DMexco, like last year, had a full day of panels as well.

While many attendees said that there wasn’t a ton of completely new technology (at least that’s useful for brands), this year was significant because what was showcased is coming imminently. For marketers, that’s critical because they can see things at MWC they could put to use in short order. A first-mover advantage poses its own set of challenges, but the sooner marketers get to experimenting, the better.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

3 Ways Digital Advertising Gives Tactical Support to Your Content Marketing Mission

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In today’s digital, content-saturated world, it’s no secret that we marketers are all battling to connect, engage and inspire action from our respective audiences. As a result, having an integrated content marketing strategy is of paramount importance.

As a matter of fact, 80% of B2B marketers have some sort of content marketing strategy in place, according to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

But, the question is: Are you using all the weapons in your content marketing arsenal?

Including digital advertising such as paid search ads, boosted social posts or remarketing in your tactical mix can help you hit your target. How? Well, consider the following facts and stats:

  • Marketing expert Sonny Ganguly says social media advertising is set to explode in the next three years because it helps businesses find new potential clients by using users’ own shared information to identify interest. (Source)
  • Users who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert. (Source)
  • A bakery saw a 35% increase in conversions and a 330% increase in impressions on the Google Display Network. (Source)
  • When it comes to remarketing, Wordstream found that conversion rates increase the more users see an ad. (Source)

With a little research, planning and testing to find the right mix for your brand, digital advertising can round-out your integrated content marketing strategy. Use some of our tips below to ensure you’re getting the most out of your paid efforts.

Direct Hit: Connect with the people you know.

Marketers have a detailed picture of who they want their content to reach. And the first target is usually the known audience.

Your digital advertising weapon of choice? Remarketing or account-based style paid advertising programs.

Your known audience is the low-hanging fruit for engagement and it’s typically receptive to your content regardless of the topic. These people could be current or past customers, brand advocates, industry influencers you’ve connected with or your social following.

As an example, a TopRank Marketing client recently launched a new product within their suite of SAS software. The client knew their audience, but wanted direction on how to get the new product in front of them. We recommended a remarketing program.

The program involved remarketing several key pieces of content to different segments of our “known”  target audience with the ultimate goal of driving demo’s for the new software. The result? A 26% percent increase over their current advertising tactics.

demo requests

Depending on your brand, one way to get the most out of your remarketing efforts is by spreading your targeting over multiple channels. Your audience isn’t just on one channel so showing your ads on multiple platforms will help you reach your audience wherever they are.

New Alliances: Your untapped audience.

Digital advertising allows brands to target a specific audience using keywords, affinity, topics, interests, demographics, geographic criteria, title, company—and the list goes on and on.

The tactical advantage? Delivering topical, relevant content to a previously unknown audience.

When should you use this tactic in your content marketing strategy? When you want to fill the pipeline, drive additional sales, increase product visibility or build brand awareness.

As another example, a healthcare technology client recently created several assets surrounding a dramatic change within their industry. This information was useful to a large audience and presented an ideal opportunity to reach out to those consumers via paid promotion. Our goal was to position our client as a thought leader while filling that aforementioned pipeline.

Using several targeting methodologies we were able to drive extremely high engagement with a relatively untapped audience. And the engagement numbers significantly surpassed historic performance.

performance and CTR

If you’re just getting started with a campaign, test different messaging styles and tones, and offer different calls-to-action and assets. If you do this, you’ll soon have a clear understanding of the type of content your audience is asking for and how they want that information delivered to them.

Special Forces: Discover insights that allow you to tailor content to your audience, known and unknown.

Having accurate intel is important to every mission. When you launch a digital advertising campaign, whether it be on social platforms or search engines, you begin to collect valuable insights and metrics that you can use to plan your next move.

For example, paid search campaigns feature search query reports. These reports show all of the search queries that resulted in your ad being shown. You’re able to see exactly what people are searching for, and use that information to create content that fits with the intent and terminology your audience is actually using.

Make sure all of your tracking dots are connected so you can review the data for even better better targeting and content on your next mission. For example, if you’re running paid search ads on Google, make sure you have a campaign synced to your Google Analytics account or whatever tracking software you might be using. This will ensure that the proper data collection is happening. You’ll easily be able to evaluate what is and isn’t working as consumers move through your landing page and dive deeper into your site.

It’s also a good idea to look outside the chosen tracking platform for other engagement data. This allows you to add some additional context to the data you’re receiving, and this is often the true test of content and paid promotion.

The digital world is a marketing battlefield where an integrated plan of attack is essential to survival. And adding a digital advertising program to your marketing mix will help you gain a tactical advantage. From using remarketing to keep your products top-of-mind to targeting new customers through paid search, digital advertising programs not only support your content marketing efforts, but provide a nice little boost, too.

What’s been your experience with digital advertising? What type of paid ads have been the most successful or least successful for you? Tell us in the comments section below.

Want to learn more about digital advertising and how it can fit with your content marketing strategy? Check out this case study that details how LinkedIn ads helped a B2B company generate 75% more leads at a 40% lower cost!

Header image via Shutterstock

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February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

A whole year? Yes, a whole year for leaping.

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Every four years, the worldwide calendar reminds us of a secret.


Leaping powers innovation, it is the engine of not only our economy, but of a thrilling and generous life.

Of course, you can (and should) be leaping regularly. Like bathing, leaping is a practice, something that never gets old, and is best done repeatedly.

But we don’t need a worldwide holiday (one that lasts an entire year) for you to leap. You’re already doing it.

No, the benefit of the holiday is to give you an excuse to encourage others to leap. It’s socially acceptable to say, “Happy leap year.” And then explain. Every four years we get to spread this subversive idea.

The existing power structure wants to maintain the status quo, and is generally opposed to the concept of leaping. In fact, if you want to make change happen, if you want to give others a chance to truly make a difference and to feel alive, it’s essential that you encourage, cajole and otherwise spread the word about what it means to leap.

Right now, tell ten people about how you’re leaping. Ask ten people about how they hope to leap…

An opportunity to help the people around you level up. It’s an obligation, an opportunity and a chance that I hope you’ll accept. Tell the others.

Culture changes everything.

To celebrate this magical day, a few suggestions. First, two projects I’ve done as fundraisers for Acumen’s educational work (all of my share goes to their essential work in building a new way to educate social entrepreneurs):

Leap First, a short audio program I recorded for Sounds True. There’s a special price today in honor of leap year.


My much celebrated Leadership Workshop is now available in a more traditional online-course format. That link takes you to + Acumen and a significant discount if you sign up with them. You can find the course page here

Thanks to people like you, we’ve already raised more than $120,000 for Acumen.

Here are some quotes and reviews from the first two disruptions on offer:

“So eye opening! Thank you so much for sharing with us and for contributing your knowledge to benefit a larger cause”

“No more standing on the sidelines. If it’s change we are going to make, we are in good company”

“Seth does it again, in a calm and clear voice, sharing ideas that will empower you to think and leap towards working and shipping with intention.”

“I consider myself a student of Seth’s concepts, ideas and work, if you are like me you will find it refreshing and with sharpened insights, if you are new, prepare to live and work in a truly different way.”

“Terrific three hours. Plenty to think about. Plenty to do…” 

And two more to consider, when you’re ready to help people get serious about the opportunity:

You can buy 120 copies of Your Turn for $96 off today only using code LeapYear. What would you do with 120 books? How about starting a conversation across your entire organization about what it means to leap?


Today’s a great day to forward this link about the altMBA. Applications have just opened for session 5, our last session before the summer.

Une dernière chose : Si vous parlez français, vous pouvez consulter cette édition … 

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

Sponsored: The 3 Week Diet [del.icio.us]

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8 Rules of Fat Loss. Warning: Fast Results! Click Here to Watch Video…

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

Article: Data Management Platforms Fall Short of Marketer Expectations

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The use of data management platforms (DMPs) among industry professionals continues to grow. Yet, those same marketers are skeptical of DMPs' ability to deliver on expectations and business goals, according to research.

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

Article: Many Thought the Tablet Would Kill the Ereader. Why It Didn't Happen.

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When Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, many thought it would make dedicated ebook readers obsolete. But six years later, it turns out that didn’t happen. In fact, both categories are still growing.

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized

Article: Smartphone Shipments in India Continue to Rise

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Demand for smartphones in India continues to increase, thanks to growing consumer interest in the devices and heavy discounts by the country's online retailers.

February 29th 2016 Uncategorized