The New Google Local Search Display

In early August 2015, Google released a new local search display format that will have a major impact on local businesses. The update was not a change in local search ranking factors, but rather a change in the way local business information is displayed on the search engine results page (SERP).
In the past, Google displayed a variety of organic and local results. Typically, seven local results (the “7-Pack”) were shown, depending on the location and search inquiry. Following this recent update, however, we are now seeing only three local results (the “3-Pack” or “Snack Pack“).

Searchers do have the option to click for more results, but this additional step will likely have a negative impact on local businesses ranked in positions 4–7.
Another significant change is the increase in the number of ads showing above the fold on mobile results. While this doesn’t specifically apply to local mobile results, it’s sure to impact search visibility for local businesses by pushing the 3-pack below the

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Gmail Ads: An Old Ad Type, But A New Addition To AdWords

Gmail Ads have been around for nearly two years now in one form or another, though they used to be known as Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSPs) and existed within a unique advertising platform. As of earlier this month, however, Gmail Ads have been integrated into AdWords.
Though the experience for consumers remains unchanged, the switch from the original GSP platform to the AdWords interface has brought about some notable changes for advertisers. SEMs who are already familiar with AdWords may find it an easy and intuitive transition, while others may be scrambling to figure out how to manage their Gmail Ads within a new system.
In my column on Marketing Land today, I discuss what’s changed (and what hasn’t) with Gmail Ads as a result of the AdWords integration. You’ll also find a guide detailing how to set up this new ad type within the AdWords interface. Take a look:

Gmail Ads: What’s New (And Not New) With This Native Ad Type

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SearchCap: Google Manual Actions, SEO Disasters & RIP Dana Lookadoo

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the Web.
From Search Engine Land:

SEO Disasters: Preventing The UnthinkableSep 18, 2015 by Mark Munroe
Is your site suffering from a sudden drop in traffic? Columnist Mark Munroe notes that most SEO issues are preventable and shares his process for keeping these issues at a minimum.

About To Launch A WordPress Site? Here’s What You Need To Know About SEOSep 18, 2015 by Neil Patel
WordPress can be a great choice for your new website, but it’s not search engine optimized right out of the box. Columnist Neil Patel explains how to lay the foundation for great SEO when choosing WordPress.

How Google Now, Siri & Cortana Predict What You WantSep 18, 2015 by Danny Sullivan
It’s like magic when your digital assistant has an answer before you think to search. Here’s how they understand your needs.

Google Says Repeated Violations Of Their Webmaster Guidelines Will

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DuckDuckGo Is The Default Search Engine In New Adblock Browser

Today, privacy search engine DuckDuckGo announced it is the default search engine in Adblock Browser for iOS and Android devices.
In addition to being the default for the Adblock Browser, DuckDuckGo says it is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on a new “Do Not Track” standard, and also has agreed to sign the “Acceptable Ads Manifesto” – an effort to promote non-intrusive ads – along with Reddit, Stack Exchange and Adblock Plus.
All three of these initiatives are in effort to reduce tracking across the Internet, which will reduce the ads following you around and more questionable issues like charging different prices to different people based on profiling.DuckDuckGo Blog
While ad-blocking has been available on Android phones for some time now, the issue has taken center stage with the release of Apple’s iOS 9 and its new content-blocking capabilities that make it easier to block cookies, images, resources and pop-ups on mobile devices.
You can read more on the

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Google Snubs & Bing Embraces The 2015 Rugby World Cup

Photo from Rugby World Cup site.
Looking to get the latest information on the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which began today and runs through October? Don’t google it. Bing it — because Bing’s got scores, line-ups and information while Google has nothing.
Search for “rugby world cup” on Bing, and you get the latest scores of any matches:

That includes a link to the current standings. You can also click from the box to various days to see upcoming matches, along with Bing’s prediction of who will win:

Google has no special display like this. Google has done this type of thing for other national and international events, but rugby doesn’t appear to earn that respect.
Google earlier snubbed the FIFA Women’s World Cup in not providing a special display on desktop and iOS devices. Android users did get a special display. But for the Rugby World Cup, there’s not even anything special for Android.
Google’s also not giving the event a special doodle

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How Google Now, Siri & Cortana Predict What You Want

Google, Apple and Microsoft all have agents that want to be your personal assistant. But how well Google Now, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana can predict your needs depends on how much you want to share, how wedded to particular platforms you want to be and, in some cases, how much you actively want to help make those predictions happen.
Going Under-The-Hood
Ferreting out how these agents work is a challenge. The companies all have pages that describe Google Now, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana. But those are generally focused on what they can do, not how exactly they do it.
There are various help and privacy pages, but those aren’t always helpful. Google Now information is, in part, spread out across a page for the Google App for iOS and another area for Android. Cortana has a nice single page on privacy but still lacks specifics on some points. Apple’s privacy page notes that it doesn’t mine mail for ads, but neglects to

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About To Launch A WordPress Site? Here’s What You Need To Know About SEO

WordPress is the most widely used content management system (CMS) in the world — roughly half of sites that use a CMS use WordPress.
There is good reason for WordPress’ popularity. It’s versatile, easy to use and highly customizable, due to the numerous plugins and themes available.
Many believe that using WordPress to host a site automatically guarantees good SEO. As the belief goes, all you need to do is start a WordPress site, and your SEO will take care of itself.
It doesn’t work that way. If you’re on the cusp of launching a new WordPress site, here’s what you need to know to maximize search engine visibility. My goal in this article is to provide several overarching strategies (rather than a technical how-to) that will improve your search potential.
1. WordPress Is Not An Automatic SEO Solution
First, let me reiterate the fact that WordPress is not an SEO silver bullet. The value of WordPress for SEO is that it is simple and intuitive. The platform

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SEO Disasters: Preventing The Unthinkable

Like any SEO veteran, I can recount my share of horror stories — launching Google Analytics and noticing that sudden, sickening drop in traffic.
Sometimes, sudden drops in traffic may be the result of an algorithm changes (such as Panda). However, in many cases, they are caused by bugs, inadvertent changes or overambitious engineers with a little bit of SEO knowledge.
In this article, I will examine three real-life case studies and outline the steps necessary for SEO disaster prevention.
Case #1: “Something Bad Is Happening To My Website.”
I was at a company offsite, and my phone had been vibrating with several calls. I left my meeting and saw that my good friend (let’s call him “Tony”) had called several times and left a message: “I think something bad happening to my website. Traffic is crashing. Some sort of SEO problem.”
Tony runs iFly, an extremely successful airport information site. Like many of us, he is very dependent on Google traffic; an SEO issue would be a big

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Study: Position 1 In Search May Get Fewer Clicks Than Position 2 With Rich Snippets

The folks at Blue Nile Research have released a study on the impact of rich snippets in the search results.
Rich snippets, often enabled by adding structured markup to your code, can potentially add stars, images, videos and so forth to the search results you see on Google or Bing. The richer user experience often leads to searchers paying more attention to the search results with the rich snippets versus the basic snippets.
Blue Nile Research claims that rich snippets in position 2 will have a 61 percent click capture rate, whereas no rich snippets on position 1 would have a 48 percent click share. This is compared to no rich snippets in position 2, which would result in only a 35 percent click share. So there is a 26-percent increase in the percentage of clicks the second result sees, if that second result has rich snippets.
Here is the chart:

You can download the full study over here.
The post Study:

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Are You Making These 5 Mistakes When Importing From AdWords To Bing Ads?

The “Import from Google AdWords” feature within Bing Ads has proven to be a blessing to many a time-crunched PPC practitioner. However, its simplicity belies the fact that there are a few additional optimizations — some unique to Bing Ads — that could help ensure you’re getting the most ROAS (return on ad spends) from your campaigns.
Taking just a little more time to make a few extra tweaks can be absolutely worth it — not just for your bottom line, but also to avoid costly errors.
Here are five common mistakes when porting campaigns over:
1. Assuming “Time of Day Targeting” Works the Same Way As On Google
On AdWords, dayparting is based solely on the time zone specified by the advertiser (and can’t be changed) when setting up the account. Bing Ads’ ad scheduling is based on the location of the person viewing your ad.
This means if you set up your campaign to serve ads from 9 a.m. to 5

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