Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week


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Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week, Google has been spotted testing a new user ratings feature in film and television search results; the National Football League has rowed back its heavy-handed social media policy; and a new report has revealed the distance that still remains between the marketing and IT sides of a business in the digital age.

Google tests user ratings for films and TV shows

Google was spotted testing a new user rating feature in its search results for films and TV shows with a small sample of users this week. Searchers in Google’s test sample found ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ buttons appearing above the Knowledge Graph on the right-hand side, which pulls information from sites such as Wikipedia to provide a quick answer to search queries.

Tereza Litsa reported on the change for Search Engine Watch, observing that the new feature “is a quick way for Google to build user ratings depending on its own audience.

“Even if Google hasn’t revealed its plans yet [for the feature], it could be an interesting addition to its database which may even lead to further plans on building users’ reviews and gather more features on its own site.”

google user ratings

Digital to receive the lion’s share of new ad spending in 2017

Some good news for digital advertising business: according to GroupM, the world’s largest media investment group, digital is due to receive 77 cents for every new dollar spent on advertising in 2017.

Al Roberts reported for Search Engine Watch’s sister site, ClickZ, that “All told, GroupM predicts that global ad spend will top $547 billion next year, up from $524 billion this year. While television will still capture the biggest share of that 12-figure pie (41%), digital’s share will grow from 31% to 33%.”

But the picture for digital advertisers isn’t all rosy, as by some estimates, as much as 80% of this new revenue is being captured by Google and Facebook. According to Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, this overwhelming market dominance is set to “reach critical mass” in 2017, while competition heats up between other marketing organisations for the remaining 20% of new ad spending.

CMOs and CTOs need to be more aligned

A survey of more than 500 senior marketing and IT professionals has revealed the differences in perspective between marketing and IT when it comes to communications infrastructure.

The survey’s findings are explored in a new report, ‘Communications Infrastructure: The Backbone of Digital‘, published this week by ClickZ Intelligence and Zayo, a provider of communications infrastructure services. In an article for ClickZ this week, Linus Gregoriadis dived into some highlights of the research, which sheds light on the obstacles that marketing and IT need to overcome in order to truly work hand-in-hand towards the same goals.

zayo graph

National Football League revises its restrictive social media policy

Last October, the U.S. National Football League (NFL) implemented a heavy-handed social media policy aimed at discouraging the posting of video content during games on social media, with fines of up to $100,000 levied at anyone who violated the policy.

The NFL has seen a worrying drop in its ratings throughout 2016 which threatens its television revenue, the League’s main cash cow. Videos posted to social networks like Twitter and Facebook are thought to be the main culprit, as they allow fans to catch the most exciting moments of the game at their own convenience, without needing to tune in to entire games on television.

But a number of NFL teams took badly to the NFL’s new restrictive policy, and took to Twitter to troll the League. Now, as Al Roberts reported for ClickZ this week, the NFL has seen fit to relax its policy two months on. Roberts wrote for ClickZ about the new flexibility that the NFL has afforded to its teams, including allowances for live video and Snapchat.

AMP results are appearing in Google Image Search

Search Engine Roundtable reported this week that Accelerated Mobile Pages, Google’s lightning-fast mobile webpages, are now showing up in search results for Google Image Search.

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, were first launched in the Top Stories carousel in February before being expanded to the core mobile search results in August. Now, a number of search results with an AMP logo are appearing in Google Image Search, which when selected, will take you to the AMP version of the page in question.

AMP image search

Image: Search Engine Roundtable

With Google’s search index set to go ‘mobile-first’ in the new year, searchers can expect to be seeing a lot more of mobile-first webpages very shortly. To get ahead of the game, check out Amanda DiSilvestro’s guide on how to prepare your business for Google’s mobile-first index.

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