Nine fascinating SEM news stories and stats from this week


Just like the current series of The Muppets, our weekly programme has been put on hiatus for re-tooling. 

Unlike the current series of The Muppets however, our re-tooling has involved mixing up the normal parade of SEM stats with some of the most interesting search industry news stories from the week.

Who knows what The Muppets will do? Probably not the above. Although try reading the following round-up using Rowlf’s voice in your head for a sneak peek into that alternate universe.


UK companies are not investing sufficient resources in digital marketing

Marin Software’s second annual Digital Marketing Manager’s Census (registration required) shows that 49% of all UK adult media consumption is via digital channels, yet just 46% of the UK’s £15.7bn total ad spend goes on digital. 

The gap is even more pronounced when it comes to mobile. On average 25% of all UK media consumption is via mobile devices, yet only 10% of all ad spend is on mobile. 

Also from the study, 39% of managers feel senior marketers don’t fully understand digital and 61% of respondents said more money needs to be shifted from offline marketing. However 35% think their organisation has the balance between on and offline spend just right. We call this the ‘smug Goldilocks contingent’.

Google updates its mobile-friendly algorithm to punish obtrusive app interstitials

From November 2, mobile web pages that serve a giant, content smothering app interstitial when you click to a site from search will no longer be considered mobile-friendly. Hooray!


Instead of full page interstitials, Google recommends less intrusive messages such as app install banners or whispering softly into a visitor’s ear.

Twitter’s organic search traffic increased 20% over the last six months 

According to SimilarWeb, Twitter organic desktop search traffic rose nearly 20% over the last 6 months, which is the equivalent of 35m monthly visits. 

As you may have guessed, the increase stems from Twitter’s deal with Google earlier this year which saw real-time tweets made available in its SERPs. 

The largest growth occurred between June and July, with a 14% increase in desktop searches, equating roughly 25m visits. Searches for branded keywords and names of people seem to be driving the bulk of this traffic.

You can now pre-set holiday hours on your Google My Business page

In what may come as a shock to those who didn’t realise you couldn’t do that already, Google has launched a feature that allows you to pre-schedule specific hours for holidays or special events on your business page. 


You can also do this 365 days in advance and there’s no need to return and reupload your hours after the event or change has ended. To celebrate, be good to yourself and book a little half-day closing in April next year.

More than half of UK mobile users have never heard of ad blockers

As reported by DBM.Today, survey company Instantly polled 984 people in the UK and found that 53% of respondents had never heard of ad blockers. It’s almost as if most people don’t read digital marketing websites every day.

18% of respondents had installed an ad blocker in the last two months and 39% said they would install one if it was offered to them.

More than half (55%) of respondents said they found mobile ads generally annoying and disruptive and chose to skip or ignore them. 50% said they had never clicked on mobile banner ads, while 55% always skipped ads on YouTube.

The Wayback Machine to undergo major revamp

Everyone’s favourite way to check out how stupid websites looked back in 1997 is getting an overhaul. Including an updated user interface, a keyword search tool (as opposed to copying and pasting an entire URL) and a general aim to optimise the scope and quality of pages it crawls. But don’t worry guys, the Space Jam website is still exactly the same.

Mobile search enquiries to increase nine times before Black Friday

Bing Ads has released its UK Retail Insights Report ahead of one of the busiest retail days of the year.

Based on searches made across the Bing platform, it has found that marketers can expect mobile search enquiries to increase by nine times the day ahead of Black Friday and 10 times on the day itself.

  • Black Friday is ‘Mobile Day’, with more than half of all retail intent searches made from mobile devices
  • 35-64 year olds had the highest search enquires
  • Jewellery was the most popular searched for product on mobile devices

Amazon to open its first retail store

As reported by ClickZ UK this week (full transparency: by me), on Tuesday 10 November, the company that brought you the Kindle, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime and many other services that mean you never have to leave the house again, will open its first ever bricks and mortar bookstore in University Village, Seattle.


It will sell only books and a variety of its own tech goods, will feature customer reviews pulled from the site, its shelves will be stocked with only the most relevant books pulled from its vast reservoir of local customer data and piling irony on top of irony, you won’t be able to pick up your Amazon orders from the store. 


Source link