Seven of the most interesting SEM stories and stats 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: improvements to Google Maps, Search Console and Yahoo, as well as news on the success of this year’s Singles Day.

You can use Google Maps offline now

You just have to remember to download the specific area to your phone before you embark on your spirit quest/drive to see your parents.

According to Google, roughly 60% of the world is without internet today, therefore you need a way to navigate these wildernesses without the need for Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G or… God forbid… buying an actual map. 

You can download an area by searching for a city, county or country, and tapping “Download” on the resulting place sheet, or by going to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the “+” button. Once downloaded, Google Maps will move into offline mode automatically when it recognizes you’re in a location with spotty service or no connectivity at all.

It’s a wonder that we can still tie our own shoe laces anymore.

Singles Day: US paid search stats

I’ll republish the opening statement of the press release here, so you can read between the VERY WIDE lines yourselves…

“AdGooroo published new data examining paid search advertising on ‘Singles Day,’ the Chinese shopping holiday said to be the world’s biggest shopping day of the year, finding it’s unlikely to overtake the American owned high-profile commercial holidays in search spend anytime soon.”

There may be some confirmation bias here but these are the major stats from the research…

  • Total spend on Singles Day keywords by all advertisers totalled just $2,600 in October 2015, none coming from retail advertisers
  • However, spend figures will undoubtedly increase in November, with retailers such as Newegg and Bonton entering the field.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain top. ‘Black Friday deals’, ‘Cyber Monday’ and ‘cyber Monday deals’ generated more than $1.5m in paid search spend in October.

Next week, a study on how little is spent on Thanksgiving related paid search  in the UK.

Singles Day: Alibaba beats its own record

As reported by Alizila, Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce Goliath that strikes fear into the heart of all western ecommerce Goliaths reducing them to a bunch of scaredy-pants Davids, beat last year’s record of $9.3bn in just 14 hours.

In the 24 hours of Alibaba’s ‘Global Shopping Festival’, it managed $14.3bn in sales, making it the biggest online spending day of all time, across any market.


Now to finish reading the rest of my David and Goliath storybook.

Elle uses beacons to drive 500,000 retail store visits

In big news for multichannel/beacon/retail/push-notification fans (give me a whoop-whoop!), Elle successfully trialled a program called Shop Now, in which editors pick products available in the ShopAdvisor and RetailMeNot apps and then if any of the apps’ users are within a mile of a partnered store, they’ll receive a push notification. If they open the notification and visit the store, they’ll receive another push notification with a discount.

As reported by DigiDay, the push open rate was 15 times higher than the mobile advertising average of 0.8, while in-store visit rates were 100 times higher. This translated to 500,000 in-store visits in five weeks.

Or looking at it another way, these are 500,000 times people forgot to/didn’t know how turn off push notifications.

Attitude replaces age for targeting consumers

A study by Network Research of 1,500 UK consumers looked at how people relate to some of the UK’s most popular brands based on rational and emotional attitudes. This reveals an alternative view on the traditional target demographics that merely deal with age and gender *cough* millennials *cough*

Some examples of the research include:

It’s not just people aged over 65 who are worried about personal security (89.7%), those aged 25 to 34 have similar concerns (83.4%).

Having children is a big factor in the likelihood of recommending a brand. For M&S, 64.7% of those with children are likely to recommend the retailer versus 35.6% without.


Yahoo launches a refreshed look for US desktop Firefox users

Yahoo has improved its header and brought image and video results front and centre to its search engine. Now, when you search with Yahoo for famous people and movies, you’ll see a strip of related videos and images across the top of the page. 

Results will include:

  • Latest movie information with IMDB.
  • Check movie times and purchase tickets with Fandango.
  • Click to listen or purchase music from iTunes.
  • Enjoy photos and reviews from Yelp and Trip Advisor.
  • Get up to date stats from Yahoo Sports.
  • See Flickr images, including your own personal Flickr photos when you’re signed in, when you do an image search. 

So just to reiterate, you can only see these if you’re in the US. And on a desktop. And using Firefox. And have held the door open for someone in the last seven days.

Google Search Console to rank blocked resources by severity

In a statement published on Google+, Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller (who still uses Google+ anymore? Oh right yeah, people at Google) said that Search Console now shows the estimated severity of blocked resources with the Fetch & Render tool. This is useful because “embedded content (like images, scripts, CSS files, etc) sometimes plays a big role in how Google’s able to render & index a page for search.”

You can access the Blocked Resources report here, and to check an individual page, you can use the Fetch and Render tool.



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