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 masses of stats and a surprising dearth of Google related news. Yes Google merely comprises 2/5 of this week’s stories. To make it for it next week, Google is planning on shutting down the internet until you nofollow all you ill-begotten links.

Half of all weekend searches are made from a mobile

Bing Ads has released insight into UK consumer behaviour on mobile devices, revealing that one in two searches over the weekend are now made from smartphones or tablets.

Data from search trends across the Bing Network last year has shown that retail sees the highest share of weekend mobile device searches (54%) with travel (48%) and finance (36%) rounding out the top three.

The number of questions asked on smartphones grew by more than 20% year-on-year. Searches asking ‘what’ have nearly doubled (+48%) and those asking ‘which’ are up by more than a third (+32%).

Under 35s account for more than half of smartphone queries (55%), whilst over 50s continue to dominate searches on tablets (40%).

Yeah I made you think it was all just from one mobile didn’t I? Apologies.

Google has officially killed toolbar PageRank

We knew this day was coming, mainly because we covered it more than a month ago, but as of last Friday PageRank has officially been removed from public and third-party eyes.

Google will still use the (admittedly massively outdated) signal internally, but for now it will be their little secret.

17% of enterprise marketers still don’t have a content strategy

As Chris Lake reported this week in CMI’s content marketing trends 2016, despite huge investment, only just over a third of marketers said that they had a documented content marketing strategy while the rest either didn’t have a strategy or one that was written down.

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You can now search and listen to podcasts in Google Play

Rejoice users of Android in the US and Canada, Google Play has adapted the same technology it uses for its music service and launched contextual podcast playlists to make it easy for you to find the right podcast, for whatever the occasion, for whatever your mood.

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That occasion mainly being “I want a podcast that’s the same as Serial” and the mood being “I’m annoyed that this podcast isn’t as good as Serial.”

Spend on social advertising jumps 86%

Spend on social advertising made a sudden rise to 86% year-on-year in the Q1 2016, thanks to a 122% rise in mobile ad spend, according to the latest report from Kenshoo.

Growing spend on Instagram ads and Facebook Dynamic Product Ads helped drive total social spend in Q1, significantly higher than Q4 2015, going against the normal seasonal ad buying pattern.

In paid search advertising, much of the 13% YoY growth in spend during the quarter came from marketers investing 77% more on smartphone ads. They also spent 98% more on Product Listing Ads than in Q1 2015, generating three times more clicks than a year ago.

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