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October Online Marketing Roundup

Big changes in Facebook and Google! Find out all about these updates and get ready your online marketing campaigns. Read our October online marketing roundup!

1. Facebook Tests Ads for Groups

Facebook’s ad business could be expanding to Groups, a popular feature that “allow[s] people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.”

Groups are used by more than a billion people each month, making them a potentially lucrative source of ad inventory for Facebook.

According to a statement Facebook issued to TechCrunch"

“We have started to test delivering ads to people in Facebook Groups, and will be evaluating the response before determining how we will move forward.”

Currently, the ads, which are formatted similarly to Facebook’s News Feed ads, are appearing on desktop and mobile in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

2. Google Keyword Planner Adds Import Keywords From Existing AdWords Campaigns

The Google AdWords keyword planner tool added a feature to get forecasts for campaigns or keywords from your existing accounts.

Google announced this on Google+ saying you can now automatically import your existing campaigns into Keyword Planner. Google wrote you can use it to upload your existing keywords, inform budgets, and project the impact of adjusting bids.

To help you save time when doing this, "Keyword Planner now lets you automatically import your keywords directly from your campaigns and ad groups into the tool," Google added.

3. How Google's Ad Layout May Affect Organic Traffic

Google has changed its search engine results by adding additional ads at both the top and bottom of the results. These search results were aimed at ‘highly commercial queries’ or searches that are highly competitive with bids.

Not only has the top and bottom of the search results been altered, Google has also changed the right side ads, removing all text from the ads.

Research has shown that users often ignore the right side ads and focus more on the organic listings.

Google has also been moving their focus to mobile users, and right side ads don’t fit into this trend, so mobile now, normal then is becoming more and more important.

What Effect Does This Have on Organic Search?

With ads removed from the right side and ads showing in the results, SEO is more relevant than ever.

Keep in mind these new search results are based on highly commercial queries, meaning not all search results will display this way.

Similarly, paid advertising is not cheap, and that’s why businesses love SEO. By ranking organically on the first page, you eliminate the paid advertising cost.

Although the organic results have been moved down, additional organic results have been added to search results as well. Now users can find answer boxes from the knowledge graph, local result carousels, image results and videos slideshows giving sites more options for organic listings.

Often marketers worry about users clicking to their site by finding an article or item but not utilizing image search or videos.

Just like interactive content is becoming important for your page, in the same way Google tries, and so far has been successful, to put up “interactivity” on its search results page.

4. Facebook Now Re-Ranks News Feed Stories in Real Time on the Client Side

Facebook’s efforts to make News Feed more accessible to all users regardless of the speed or reliability of their internet connections has led to a change in how stories are ranked.

For brands, publishers and marketers using Facebook, it means that speed is more important than ever. To understand the change, it helps to first know how News Feed stories used to be ranked.

In the past, when a user visited Facebook, the ranking for all possible News Feed stories was calculated on Facebook’s servers and sent to the user in the exact order that Facebook’s algorithm decided was best.

The problem was that it didn’t take into account the speed or strength of a user’s internet connection.

Last December, Facebook announced that it was changing News Feed to accomodate users with slower connections — but the ranking of stories was still happening on Facebook’s servers.

In other words, rather than ranking all stories while they’re on Facebook’s servers, stories are leaving the servers and being put into a pool of possible content to show in the News Feed.

And then Facebook is able to rank them in real time as a user scrolls through the News Feed.

What does this mean for publishers and marketers? As the blog post explains, speed is more important than ever.

This architecture also enables us to surface stories that have been optimized for your connection at the time of your session. For example, slow-loading content gets temporarily down-ranked while it loads because, before we show a story in your News Feed, we check to see whether the media in the story — the image, the video, the link preview, etc. — has been loaded on your device. If it hasn’t, we re-rank the stories on the client and prioritize those that have fully-loaded media.

The Facebook engineers wrap up by saying even though these changes were born from trying to improve Facebook for users in emerging markets, “these updates also will benefit people who typically have strong internet connections, as we all experience less than ideal internet connections at times.”