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, Larry Kim peers into his crystal ball to make some outlandish predictions for SEO in 2017; Facebook is preparing to flip the switch on a mid-roll video ad offering that will share revenue with users; and – here’s a name you probably weren’t expecting to see crop up in the news – AOL is offering up free wireless data as a reward for engaging with ads.

Nine crazy predictions for SEO in 2017

It’s January, and as we all know, the arrival of January and the new year heralds the arrival of any number of predictions posts across every website you visit. (I myself am guilty of publishing one this week). But with his ‘Nine crazy predictions for SEO in 2017‘, Larry Kim promises a predictions post like no other.

From the biggest rankings shift in the history of Google, to the death of organic listings 6-10, and the complete demise of local SEO (yikes!), Kim has definitely gone bold and big with his predictions, all while citing evidence to back each one up. The predictions might seem “crazy”, but the reasoning isn’t, making this an article you mustn’t miss.


And if anyone would like to set up a Search Engine Watch betting pool where we all place bets on which of the predictions will come true and when, I’m all in.

Facebook to get mid-roll ads and share revenue with users

On top of being the world’s most popular social network, Facebook has also become one of the most popular destinations for consuming online video content. Yet although Facebook has never been slow to monetise other parts of its service, it has sought very little revenue from its videos – until now.

Al Roberts reports for ClickZ this week on the news that Facebook is poised to implement a mid-roll ad offering which will share 55% of the revenue generated with creators. In his piece, Roberts looks into the reasons why this could be a game-changer for Facebook’s advertising business. Last year, recode reported that Facebook is nearing the maximum amount of ads that it can show in a user’s News Feed. It’s clear that we are seeing the beginnings of Facebook’s newly diversified advertising strategy in response to that, following on from its monetisation of Facebook Messenger with sponsored messages in 2016.

Consumers continue to turn to Amazon first for product search

Every year, Google handles more than a trillion search queries, making it the world’s most popular search engine – something that will not exactly come as news to anyone who follows this website. But despite the existence of Google Shopping, when it comes to searches for products, Google is not the internet user’s first choice. According to analysts at financial services platform Raymond James, that honour belongs to Amazon.

It isn’t the first time we’ve heard this news, or something like it; in September 2016, Graham Charlton reported for ClickZ that 55% of all product searches begin on Amazon, and a survey of more than 1,000 US consumers by PowerReviews in June also found that Amazon came first in product search. However, the figures from Raymond James re-confirm the fact that marketers shouldn’t be ignoring Amazon in their paid search campaigns. Could it be that some of their PPC efforts should be redirected towards Amazon?

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Image from Amazon Marketing Services

Why you should be questioning every part of your organic search strategy in 2017

When was the last time you really tore apart your search strategy and examined why it is the way it is? In 2017, Kevin Gamache is challenging Search Engine Watch readers to “make 2017 the year you question everything”.

In his article for SEW this week, Kevin lays out five fundamental questions to start asking about your search strategy, which cover everything from defining your approach to organic search to asking yourself who your customers are and how you want to target them. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to take a fresh look at your SEO strategy, put this piece on your reading list.

AOL tries to lure leads with free wireless data

“AOL”. Just saying the name can give many of us flashbacks to the days of stuttering dial-up tones and a soothing female voice intoning “You have e-mail.” But in 2017, news about AOL is much more rare. Verizon purchased AOL for $4.4 billion back in 2015, and now, Al Roberts reports that the company is leveraging its wireless network as part of a new ad offering called BrandBuilder by AOL.

So what is this new “ad creative framework”, and what do Verizon/AOL hope to achieve with it? Al Roberts looks into the details of the scheme over on ClickZ, and considers whether AOL’s offering of free wireless data as an incentive will be enough to generate true engagement.

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