The Latest Trends

Google to Shut Down Google Compare

By | Google | No Comments

Google to shut down Google Compare, its financial comparison service. The service will be closed in both the UK and US. 

The company said in an email to its partners on Monday that Google Compare’s U.S. and U.K. services would start winding down this month and terminate on March 23. The email cited that the service didn’t meet its expectations and that the company will now focus on AdWords and future innovations.

On the face of it, the news will have competitor comparison sites jumping for joy, as Google Compare constituted a major threat to their own business models.

When Google introduced the service, there was plenty of concern from existing players in the market that it was a conflict of interest. This was understandable, given the prominence Google affords it in some very high value searches.

The email to Compare partners:

From: Google Compare Team
Subject: An Update on Google Compare

Dear Partner,

Beginning on February 23, 2016, we will start ramping down the Google Compare product, which is currently live in both the US and UK. We plan to terminate the service as of March 23, 2016. As you know, Google Compare (formerly Google Advisor in the U.S.) has been a specialized, standalone service that enables consumers to get quotes from a number of providers for financial products such as car and travel insurance, credit cards and mortgages.

Despite people turning to Google for financial services information, the Google Compare service itself hasn’t driven the success we hoped for. We greatly appreciate your partnership and understand that this decision will be disappointing to some. But after a lot of careful consideration, we’ve decided that focusing more intently on AdWords and future innovations will enable us to provide fresh, comprehensive answers to Google users, and to provide our financial services partners with the best return on investment.

We’re grateful for all the feedback that you have provided over the course of this product’s development, and we are looking forward to partnering with you to achieve greater success in the future.

We will work with you during this transition and beyond. Please reach out to your Google representative if you have any questions and to discuss the next steps.

The Google Compare Team

Google Removing Ads From Right Side Of Desktop Search Results

By | Google, SEO | No Comments

Instead of showing ads on the right side of desktop search results, Google says it will show a fourth ad above search results, but only for “highly commercial queries.”

Google is rolling out a dramatic change that removes ads from the right side of its desktop search results, and places ads only at the top and/or bottom of the page. At the same time, the company says it may show an additional ad — four, not three — above the search results for what it calls “highly commercial queries.”

To make up for the loss of the rest of the right-side ads, Google is adding a fourth ad above the search results, but only on “highly commercial queries,” as explained in Google’s official statement:

“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”

To clarify, the elimination of right-side ads impacts all desktop searches worldwide; the addition of the fourth ad above search results will happen for “highly commercial queries.” This would involve searches like “hotels in New York City” or “NYC cleaning service” and the like.

Google Testing Images in Mobile Results

By | Mobile SEO, SEO | No Comments

Recently while spot checking a few keywords on mobile for a client of ours, we noticed something in search we had never seen before. That something very well may be part of Google’s most recent algorithm update, but it doesn’t have to do with the usual the-sky-is falling scenario (i.e., your rankings are dropping). It has to do with the way users interact with mobile, the shifting tides of the social media landscape, and pretty pictures.

What we are starting to see in quite a few mobile searches is an image being displayed right alongside the organic search result. These are straight-forward static pages, not Google News results. While this may remind you of the wave of video schema thumbnails that crashed on our digital shores some time ago, this is totally different in that Google is picking whatever image on the page it wants.

Be the Expert in Your Industry

By | Branding, Reviews | No Comments

A survey conducted by Moz revealed that nearly 55% of respondents saw online reviews as being an important part of the decision-making process. Polyvore, which offers a curated shopping experience, boasts a higher conversion rate and higher average order total than Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites combined. Having too many choices can be overwhelming, which explains why consumers are looking for help when making a purchase.

Brands should not only be focused on providing customers with what they ask for, they should also be positioning themselves as experts in their industry to help guide customers through difficult choices.

They should consider how best to provide the advice that customers are looking for (and will trust), whether through on-site product reviews, look books that demonstrate how to wear this seasons trends, or other forms of high quality content.

 

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