Google has been in the headlines after organisations including the British Government, Channel 4, The Guardian and the BBC started pulling their Google ads on YouTube. This is following a recent investigation by The Times which found adverts from major brands appearing alongside content from supporters of extremist groups. In addition to the unwanted associations, the YouTube adverts were estimated to be making the publishers around £6 per 1,000 views, leading to claims that top brands are “funding” extremist groups by unknowingly advertising on their videos.
This is following more than 1000 advertisers, including Kelloggs, BMW, Visa, T-Mobile, Nordstrom and Lufthansa pulling advertising out of Breitbart, the right wing news site.
Is My Business Affected By This?
If you are using Google AdWords, then the answer is very likely yes. By default, Google ads will not just show in Google search results, but in Google Partner sites including YouTube and millions of other sites who display Google ads in return for commission.
What Can Be Done?
Crescent Digital take the reputation of our clients & of ourselves extremely seriously and have placed a temporary block on our clients’ YouTube advertising, pending reassurances from Google. Additionally, we have temporarily placed a restriction on showing our clients ads on all video sharing platforms and sites showing right wing, left wing and religious topics.
How To Exclude AdWords Placements By Domain
Sites can be excluded from placements by domain name. Campaign Negative Placement lists can be created & maintained in the shared library for each account.
In the shared library, create the Campaign Negative Placement list, add keywords and apply to campaigns where placements are used.
These lists cannot be shared from a MCC agency account for several client accounts. For this reason, Campaign Negative Placement lists are likely to be difficult to maintain, particularly with managing several client accounts, hence why topic exclusions are also recommended.
How To Exclude Placements by Topic
In the AdWords campaign, select placements -> targeting:
Select Add Campaign Exclusions -> Topics
Search and Select Topics to Exclude:
Click close & save.
How To Exclude Video Sharing Placements
In the AdWords campaign, select placements -> targeting:
Select Site Category Options and exclude Video-Sharing Sites
Steve Baker, Founder, Certified Google Partner & Chartered Institute of Marketing Accredited Digital Marketing Specialist.
As a graduate software engineer, I started operating as a professional web designer in 2000, working on projects such as Brittany Ferries and Team Philips
. I am also a Google Certified partner
, accredited by the CIM
and formally approved as a service provider for the UKTI
for International Digital Marketing
.I specialise in offering a complete service in order to generate more clients to help your business grow:
- SEO (search engine optimisation) of websites.
- PPC (pay per click) marketing campaigns such as Google AdWords
- Social Media campaigns such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook
- Email campaigns
- CRM tools in order to provide the systems for your sales staff to convert more leads.
If your business would like to attract more clients and grow, please get in touch
- I'd love to chat.
I was scrolling through Twitter the other day when a noticed that a good friend had tweeted a picture of a ‘footnote’ that he’d found in a brand new book. For those of you that don’t know, a footnote is that handy reference number that authors use to direct readers to the bottom of the page for an explanation. However, this footnote was very different to anything else that I’d seen before because it simply said … ‘Google it’.
The image on Twitter was perfectly accompanied by the line ‘a footnote for our times’ and that’s true, it really sums up how we all operate. We tend to Google absolutely everything these days including ‘what purpose do X Factor winners have’, ‘what does Daisy Duke looks like now’ and ‘when was the last time a club like Leicester won the league’ … all valuable stuff, well sort of.
Sarcasm aside, from a commercial point of view it’s actually hugely important, especially when you consider that an estimated 64% of people Google something before they purchase it and that’s regardless of whether it’s either an ‘on’ or ‘offline’ transaction. The simple fact is, if you can’t be found after a visit to Google then you might as well turn the lights off, flip the open sign to closed and pull the shutters down.
There are lots of very obvious reasons why Google has become such an important part of our lives but here are our favourites:
1) It’s become a very personalised and highly specific way of sourcing information. Ploughing through brochures searching for relevant information is largely a defunct practice now.
2) It saves time and is more efficient. Could you imagine reaching for the Encyclopedia Britannica every time you wanted to know something, only to find that it’s not actually in any of the 24 volumes that you own.
3) The sheer volume of information that’s there. Asked yourself if you’ve ever Google’d something and found that no results have been returned.
4) The development of personalised technology. This has been massive for Google as people don’t even need to fire up the desktop to find something out. We all carry the internet in our pocket which means we’re never that far from Google.
5) Peer to peer recommendation. This is the case more than ever before as ‘bloggers recommend’ and ‘reviewers suggest’ to the extend that this information has become more important than the official commentary that we were used to.
Even doctors aren’t immune to the power of Google. Every GP in the country is familiar with the phrase ‘Doctor Google will see you now’ and it’s a worrying trend which is leading to the increase of self-diagnosis. It proves that Google has an undoubted level of the power that has the ability to redefine businesses in either a positive or even a negative way so be careful, Google is a tricky beast.
Making search engines work for you and your business is important, in fact it’s vital and if you ever need any help on how your business is defined by Google then talk to us at Crescent Digital. We’re a Google badged Partner agency and if you’re not sure what that actually means then can we suggest that you … well I think you know what to do.
At Crescent Digital, we are regularly called in to perform website audits following a drop in visitors. Over the past 18 months, we have seen more sites moving towards using HTTPS encryption following Google’s announcement of using HTTPS as a ranking signal (1).
However, when adopting HTTPS incorrectly, you will likely see your search traffic suffer.
Clients are absolutely correct to adopt https for their websites as although the ranking increase may be relatively minor, the reassurance to clients that your website is safe and secure will help increase engagement.
Why Mixing Your HTTP & HTTPS is a Bad Thing To Do
Google & other search engines see www, non-www, http & https versions of websites as separate sites each with its own trust & authority.
According to Google (2), technically all of the following urls and domains are different:
Your website’s domain will have earned trust & authority which will directly affect where it appears within the organic search results. However, your new https prefixed domain will likely have none, meaning a big drop in search engine trust, authority, rankings and ultimately traffic following the change. In addition, the search engines will not know which version of your site to show in the results when users are searching because they will be seen as duplicates.
What To Do
Having established that Google sees www, non-www, http & https versions of websites as separate domains, diluting any search authority, it is critical to configure your site correctly and there are several critical factors configurations to consider:
- Set-up permanent redirects to redirect any visitors and search engine spiders towards your one preferred domain.
- Set-up permanent redirects to redirect any old pages (particularly those with a large volume of links & social shares) to the corresponding pages on the new domain / site. This will likely be achieved using the htaccess file if using Apache web server.
- Configure Google Search Console in order to set your preferred domain.
What Not To Do
Please do not use the URL Removal Tool to remove old web pages or domains as you can end up removing your whole domain for 6 months. With redirections configured correctly, the search engines will understand and within time start to show the appropriate results.
HTTPS as a ranking signal https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html
Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO – https://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-advice-url-canonicalization/
Google has been testing different search results pages and have this week rolled this out the changes which may make a significant impact.
What has changed:
- 4 paid AdWords ads at the top of the page (previously 1-3) – there is now more opportunity to show ad extensions in the 3 and 4th positions such as site-links and snippets
- The Ads down the right hand side of the page have disappeared completely
- Organic search results have been pushed down the results page further
The winners are the advertisers who have ads in positions 1-4. The losers are advertisers in positions 5+ as these will now be shown on the bottom of the page or even page 2. The other losers are organic SEO results as organic results now make up a minority (36.4%) of the search results.
We always recommend using several streams of traffic for your website rather than being over dependent on AdWords or organic Google results. For AdWords advertisers, according to recent data, position #3 has seen the biggest increase this week with a 15% increase in click-throughs and with our clients AdWords, we are positioning ads at position #3 and would suggest as a good tactic to follow if managing your own.
Costs haven’t inflated for positions 1-4 yet, however there’s likely to be a lot of jostling for position when advertisers realise what’s happened so we’d recommend keeping a close eye on positions of ads and traffic.
My thoughts are that contrary to some reports, its not time to panic as we’ve seen several changes before. We’re a little disappointed that this wasn’t communicated to Google Partners and that Google has become even more ‘pay to play’ with prominent results dominated by those with the largest budgets. However, if you’re starting to get fed-up with Google, there’s a lot of chatter about a search engine that doesn’t track you.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Crescent Digital Ltd. are officially recognised as a certified Google Partner.
This certification demonstrates proficiency in search advertising, including best practices for creating, managing and optimising AdWords search campaigns and means that we have access to the best resources available to get the most visibility for your website in Google and its partner sites.
What Does This Mean For Our Clients?
As partners, we are trained & work with Google & have access to Google assistance and account management. As a client, this means that you get to work with ourselves and Google in order attract visitors to your website and get them converting into paying clients. You’ll also be eligible to receive promotional credits.
High performance keeps our clients happy and improves our standing as a Google Partner. In order to attain & maintain Google certified Partner status, Crescent Digital have had to demonstrate high performance & best practices of our client accounts.
What Specialist Services Do We Offer?
Crescent Digital can train staff or operate as your outsourced digital marketing partner that operates as part of your main team in the following areas:
- AdWords PPC marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Google Penalty Removals
- Conversion Rate Optimisation
- Google Analytics Configuration and Analysis
- Google Webmaster Tools Configuration and Analysis
Provide better leads and stop wasting money
Please contact us to find out more.
AdWords Management Services