Good day readers,
Here are three heavy hitters from the digital realm this week:
1. Pinterest Introduces Cost-Per-Impression Bidding
This week, Pinterest began inviting advertisers to bid, auction-style, as a means of establishing prices. Adweek has the full story:
“Pinterest is out to prove that it’s a performance-driven advertising platform that can compete head-to-head with Google.
Starting today, advertisers will be able to bid on cost-per-impression through an auction—much like Google’s Display Network—to set prices. Brands can already buy ads based on cost-per-click and cost-per-engagement through the auction, but up until now, brands have had to buy CPM-based ads at a fixed price. In theory, brands will be able to optimize their media spend better to achieve either more impressions or cheaper ad prices with the new tool.
Pinterest has also added frequency capping to limit the number of ads that consumers see at once. Advertisers are able to control their own frequency cap.”
2. Paid, Organic, Who Can Tell the Difference?
A UK study of 1,010 people concluded 55% could not decipher the difference between ads and organic listings on the SERP. Search Engine Watch explains further:
“55% of searchers don’t know which links in the SERPs are PPC ads, according to a new survey.
I covered this topic back in April, using data from an Ofcom report which found that up to 50% of users shown a SERP screenshot could not identify paid ads.
The article also mentioned data from Varn, which found that, of the 1,010 UK internet users who were asked the question below, 50.6% couldn’t identify which links were ads:
The survey above is from February this year, but there have been a few changes to the SERPs since then, so Varn repeated the survey…
The new one found that almost 55% now don’t know which links are paid ads and which are organic.
The results are also split by age, with the general trend being that the younger you are, the more likely it is that you’ll spot the ads. Though almost 50% of 25 to 34s still aren’t seeing ads.
As before, the results can seem surprising when you look at a typical search results page, and the results labelled as ads.”
3. Accelerated Mobile Pages 101
Noticing a new lightning bolt on the SERP? That’s Google showcasing AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
What are the implications of AMPs and is there anything you need to do? Moz has answers to some commonly asked questions:
“AMP has had a fairly positive reception both from site owners and from users. It’s much faster and more streamlined for searchers, especially on mobile devices that tend to be a little bit slower connection-wise.
Not a ranking boost
It’s important to note that AMP pages in the mobile search results do not receive an additional ranking boost. Google currently has the mobile-friendly ranking boost, and because AMP pages are mobile-friendly, they receive the same ranking boost.
There isn’t an additional incentivized reason to use AMP strictly for ranking purposes. Don’t switch everything to AMP simply because you think you’ll get an additional ranking boost to help you beat out competitors.
There are indirect ranking benefits, though. For example, if searchers seek out AMP results, some sites could see higher clickthrough rates on their AMP pages. And as consumer awareness grows about AMP, that will likely rise.
Will you be penalized for not displaying AMP?
No, Google is not planning to penalize a site simply because it isn’t AMP. Your site will still have the same positioning in mobile search results as the mobile version of the page.
Google will simply replace the mobile-friendly page — or the desktop page, if a mobile-specific page isn’t available — and show the AMP version of the page.
For sites that don’t have an AMP version of their page in the SERPs, Google will opt to show the mobile-friendly page first, or the desktop page if there’s no mobile-friendly version. But sites that are AMP-less will not be demoted in any way.
Should sites ditch their mobile version for AMP?
This question is going to become a bit more interesting as this rolls out to the 10 blue links. There are sites that are currently only available in AMP, such as the AMP Project website itself. But with Google now showing the AMP version in place of the mobile version, should site owners be concerned about having a mobile site?
Well, as of now, this is a Google AMP initiative. Other search engines haven’t announced the use of AMP in their own search results. First you’ll need to consider whether other search engines have issues with sites that are AMP-only — for reference, Bing has no problems indexing AMP-only sites.
Another consideration is that AMP pages are definitely more bare-bones than your typical mobile page. You need to look at it from a user-experience point of view. Are there elements on a page that will negatively impact your customer’s experience if they’re not displayed on AMP?
Also, look at it from a resource perspective. For sites that maintain a separate m.site already, maintaining three versions of the page could be impactful from a resource and work hours perspective. This won’t be as much of a concern for those using responsive design, since changes made to desktop automatically get rolled out to the mobile version.
Will users gravitate to AMP results?
Just as many searchers gravitate towards search results that are tagged “mobile-friendly,” it’s very likely that some searchers, especially those on slower connections or those concerned about their data usage, will gravitate to those results that are in AMP format.
Also, because AMP pages tend to be less ad-heavy when compared to their mobile counterparts, some prefer AMP for this reason alone.”
Have a great weekend all,
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