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Check out our new animated video… we love it!
If you get a chance, take a look at the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Dayton. They have over 1,000 volunteers helping provide safety and comfort for our most desperate neighbors. And if you have a heart like a Giraffe… contribute some cash or some time.
Do you shove lots of ads at the top of your web pages? Think again. Tired of doing a Google search and landing on these types of pages? Rejoice. Google has announced that it will penalize sites with pages that are top-heavy with ads.
Top Heavy With Ads? Look Out!
The change — called the “page layout algorithm” — takes direct aim at any site with pages where content is buried under tons of ads.
From Google’s post on its Inside Search blog today:
We’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.
So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience.
Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.
Google also posted the same information to its Google Webmaster Central blog.
Sites using pop-ups, pop-unders or overlay ads are not impacted by this. It only applies to static ads in fixed positions on pages themselves, Google told me.
How Much Is Too Much?
How can you tell if you’ve got too many ads above-the-fold? When I talked with the head of Google’s web spam team, Matt Cutts, he said that Google wasn’t going to provide any type of official tools similar to how it provides tools to tell if your site is too slow (site speed is another ranking signal).
Instead, Cutts told me that Google is encouraging people to make use of its Google Browser Size tool or similar tools to understand how much of a page’s content (as opposed to ads) is visible at first glance to visitors under various screen resolutions.
But how far down the page is too far? That’s left to the publisher to decide for themselves. However, the blog post stresses the change should only hit pages with an abnormally large number of ads above-the-fold, compared to the web as a whole:
We understand that placing ads above-the-fold is quite common for many websites; these ads often perform well and help publishers monetize online content.
This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page.
This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads.
Impacts Less Than 1% Of Searches
Clearly, you’re in trouble if you have little-to-no content showing above the fold for commonly-used screen resolutions. You’ll know you’re in trouble shortly, because the change is now going into effect. If you suddenly see a drop in traffic today, and you’re heavy on the ads, chances are you’ve been hit by the new algorithm.
For those ready to panic, Cutts told me the change will impact less than 1% of Google’s searches globally, which today’s post also stresses.
Fixed Your Ads? Penalty Doesn’t Immediately Lift
What happens if you’re hit? Make changes, then wait a few weeks.
Similar to how last year’s Panda Update works, Google is examining sites it finds and effectively tagging them as being too ad-heavy or not. If you’re tagged that way, you get a ranking decrease attached to your entire site (not just particular pages) as part of today’s launch.
If you reduce ads above-the-fold, the penalty doesn’t instantly disappear. Instead, Google will make note of it when it next visits your site. But it can take several weeks until Google’s “push” or “update” until the new changes it has found are integrated into its overall ranking system, effectively removing penalties from sites that have changed and adding them to new ones that have been caught.
Google’s post explains this more:
If you decide to update your page layout, the page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as we re-crawl and process enough pages from your site to assess the changes.
How long that takes will depend on several factors, including the number of pages on your site and how efficiently Googlebot can crawl the content.
On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.
Our Why Google Panda Is More A Ranking Factor Than Algorithm Update article explains the situation with Panda, and how it took time between when publishers made changes to remove “thin” content to when they were restored to Google’s good graces. That process is just as applicable to today’s change, even though Panda itself now has much less flux.
http://searchengineland.com/too-many-ads-above-the-fold-now-penalized-by-googles-page-layout-algo-108613?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feed-main to read
January 12, 2012
Retailers’ paid mobile search budgets grew in the fourth quarter
Mobile paid search put in a stellar performance in the fourth quarter of 2011 with a pair of new reports indicating mobile’s share of paid clicks doubled during the period while retailers increased their mobile search spend by 269 percent.
The growth in paid mobile search supports the growing penetration of smartphones and tablets, with consumers increasingly using these devices as part of the shopping experience. During the fourth quarter holiday shopping season, many retailers reported significant increases in mobile traffic as well as sales through mobile devices.
“The huge jump in percentage of total search spend going towards mobile ads in retail on Black Friday was impressive,” said Roger Barnette, president of IgnitionOne, New York. “It makes a very good case for the changing consumer behavior in offline retail towards leveraging smartphones and tablets in the purchase flow.
“It is clear from the data that marketers must include mobile search as part of their media mix,” he said. “Because of this growth it is important for marketers to optimize campaigns for mobile and to optimize landing pages to improve conversions once traffic is driven there.
“We believe there is room for more growth and that we will see that in upcoming quarters.
Retailers’ budgets grow
Mobile search advertising among retailers was up 269 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, according to the IgnitionOne report.
Mobile search accounted for 14.2 percent of total retail search budgets during this period, peaking on Black Friday at 24 percent. During the fourth quarter of 2010, mobile accounted for just 5.2 percent of retailers’ budgets.
Overall, U.S. paid search spending grew 22 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to IgnitionOne.
Mobile search ad impressions increased 317 percent during the same period.
Marin Software found that mobile’s share of paid search clicks doubled in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the third quarter. Smartphone and tablet users accounted for 10 percent of all U.S. paid search clicks.
Four percent of all clicks on paid search ads in the U.S. were made on a tablet and 6 percent on a smartphone.
“The rate of growth was very surprising, doubling share on a quarter over quarter basis,” said Matt Lawson, vice president of marketing for Marin Software, San Francisco.
“Consumer adoption of smartphones and tablet devices is partly responsible for this growth,” he said. “Advertisers also see favorable performance characteristics on mobile.
“According to our research campaigns run on mobile devices had higher click-through rates and lower costs-per-click than campaigns run on desktop computers. We expect mobile advertising to continue to experience rapid investment as long as these performance differences remain.”
Separate mobile search strategy
The U.S. Online Advertising Report from Marin also shows that the click through rate of search ads served on tablets was 38 percent higher than the CTR of ads on desktops when compared with the third quarter of 2011. Smartphones yielded a 31 percent higher CTR.
During the fourth quarter, Marin saw paid search marketers allocate a larger portion of their budgets to mobile devices than ever before.
The results from both reports reflect the importance of marketers targeting mobile device users separately in their search efforts and create ad copy specifically for mobile.
Marketers should also modify creative to account for different size screens, recognize the impulse nature of mobile and account for the drive-to-store aspect of mobile.
“This requires separating desktop and mobile campaigns, and rewriting ad copy for mobile-only campaigns,” Mr. Lawson said.
“Given the smaller screen for most mobile devices, this means shorter and more focused ad copy,” he said. “Also, targeting copy to specific device users has shown to increase click-through rates.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
Since LEDs are far more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, they are at the heart of the latest generation of lights. In fact, research by my team at the University of Edinburgh has shown that, if all the world’s incandescent light bulbs were replaced by LED, the energy saved would be equivalent to that produced by more than 100 nuclear power stations.
However, this is not the only advantage of LEDs. These lights are semiconductor devices similar to transistors, which are commonly found in devices such as TVs, laptops or smartphones. Like transistors, LEDs can be switched on and off very quickly.
We have harnessed this feature to develop novel techniques that enable ordinary LED light bulbs to wirelessly transmit data at speeds many times faster than WiFi routers. We have named the new technology Li-Fi (light fidelity) which we now commercialize via the university spin-out company VLC Ltd.
In our lab, under ambient light conditions, we are able to achieve data speeds of 130 megabits per second. If all light bulbs were able to do this, it would create a simple, energy-efficient solution to the lack of available radio frequency spectrum for future wireless broadband communication. The new Li-Fi technology utilizes existing infrastructures and as a result the installation costs are minimal, let alone the reduced cost of the technology as it does not require an antenna.
On top of this, there are other advantages to this technology. Light does not penetrate walls, and so internet signals cannot be intercepted outside the room in which they are transmitted, which enhances security. Light also travels through water, and so short-range underwater communication is possible. For instance, divers could share pictures, or remotely operated vehicles could exchange information.