Five of the most interesting SEM news stories of the week


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

This week we have lots of stats, only one or two updates from Google (for a change), and Instagram gives Peter Jackson a run for his money.

Google redesigns AdWords

As Matt Owen reported earlier this week, Google has redesigned AdWords to look more visually appealing and easier to use.

adwords redesigned

“The most relevant metrics are front-and-centre Clicks, Conversions, Cost and CTR. While further down, graphs display the ad groups that are performing best, and a nice graph displaying your split across devices. It’s also nice to see a simplified navigation menu, which should mean less time messing around in settings to find location data.”

So these are mostly aesthetic changes to bring it into line with its other products, but it’s also clear that Google wants make it more accessible to the marketer without much training or experience with AdWords.

More than one-third of millennials begin and end social consumer journey on YouTube

Although I haven’t made peace with the term millennials, I have adopted a policy of linking to this article every time I have to write the word by way of a subtle troll.


Collective Bias has discovered that although Facebook ranked as both the “preferred go-to shopping source” initially (20.8% of consumers) as well as the most influential social platform for motivating buying decisions (18.9%), millennials are least likely to consult Facebook. Only 7.5% favoured Facebook for shopping compared to the 36.2% who preferred YouTube.

Click-through rates up 10% for Travel in the post right-hand-side ad era

AdGooroo has published new data examining travel industry keywords in the post-right-rail era of paid search.

Comparing data from February 1-18 (pre change) and February 19 – March 28 (post change), it found a boost in click-through rates by an average of 10% across all 20 travel keywords examined.

  • The number of advertisers on the keyword group dropped by an average of 15.4%, from an average of 38 advertisers per keyword from February 1-18 to an average of 32.
  • Average cost-per-click did increase, but by just 5.21%, or three cents, rising from average of $2.65 to $2.68

You now have an extra 30 seconds for Instagram Videos

Instagram has increased its video functionality by doubling the length of its videos from 30 seconds to 60 seconds. Wow, that’s like all three Hobbit movies compared to Vine’s 6 second long blink.

What will this mean for marketers? Well they’ll probably give up making bespoke Instagram videos all together and just upload their full-length broadcast ads and make Instagram even more of a boring corporate playground.

On the plus side, you get an extra few seconds of aftermath after you’ve filmed your mate falling off a skateboard.

Businesses have been spotted using Google Posts

Although the Post feature, where individuals can post content directly onto SERPs for their own search term, was only being used by presidential candidates, it seems that Google is trialling the future for a few local businesses.

A Google Posts update showing a photograph of comic books on shelves in Escape Pod Comics, with a text explanation that every Wednesday in the store is New Comic Book Day, and these are some of the products that the store has on its shelves this NCBD.

Rebecca Sentance reported the story in full this week. But the skinny is that a Nebraska based spa, and a New York comic shop and a New York based jewellers have been given access to the ‘podium’.

You can see the full results in How are businesses using Google posts?

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