Digital marketing news update: Twitter introduces Ad Groups tool and Google reduces the number of organic search results

Welcome to Tech Treats, our weekly feature where we provide our clients with the latest news on all things digital marketing. From current trends and innovations, to fresh tips on getting the most out of your marketing spend, we’ll ensure you’re always kept in the loop!

Study finds Google is reducing organic search results

A new study from Searchmetrics has revealed that Google is now less likely to feature organic links on the search results page.

The study, which shows the impact of changes to Google’s search results interface, has found that an average of 8.5 blue organic links are now being displayed on the first page. This has dropped from 10, the amount that the first page previously consisted of.

These organic results are also more likely to be supplemented with the likes of featured snippets, app packs, knowledge panels, images and videos, Search Engine Land has reported.

The TJM take: Although it’s not been confirmed whether less organic results are being displayed as a test, we think that fewer organic results could be becoming more commonplace as Google generates more revenue from ads at the top of the SERP (search engines result page).

With there being a decrease in blue organic links, it’s also safe to assume that users will be more likely to click on paid adverts, thus generating even more revenue for Google. The increase in competition for the first page will push more people to paid, thus increasing costs for both.

Twitter introduces Ad Groups tool for better targeting

This year Twitter has introduced Ad Groups, a new tool to encourage larger brands to advertise on the platform by improving their targeting options.

As Twitter has explained in a previous blog post, “One campaign can have many ad groups, and an ad group can have many targeting criteria and creatives. This level of granular control helps advertisers improve how they measure results, set promotion schedules, test different audiences, and identify which Tweets work best.”

The TJM take: Some popular targeting options for Twitter (as have been outlined in this Search Engine Watch article), include gender targeting, geo-location targeting, device targeting, language targeting and follower targeting, amongst others. With the new Ad Groups feature, it’s now easier to segment audiences and apply these targeting options.

Nonetheless, while obviously great for optimisation, Ad Groups will also make it easier for advertisers to split test their ad campaigns, leading to better results in the long run.

Bing Ads unveils its 4 latest updates for advertisers

As you may already know, Bing has recently released 4 updates for its advertising platform, Bing Ads.

These updates, which include expanded device targeting, the introduction of Shopping Campaigns and the Structured Snippets ad extension, follow closely in the footsteps of their main competitor, Google, who has recently reintroduced device-level bidding for desktop, mobile and tablet for AdWords users.

Both Structured Snippets and Shopping Campaigns are also already available in Google AdWords.

The fourth new feature to be released by Bing Ads is the ability to compare the performance of present ad campaigns against those from an earlier time period. Using the three timeframe options (‘Previous period’, ‘Same period last year’ and ‘Custom’), users can easily compare changes in impressions, clicks and related metrics.

For more information, check out this article from PPC Hero.

The TJM take: Though it’s obvious that Bing has taken more than a little inspiration from Google, these features are eagerly welcomed.

We’re looking forward to trying them out for ourselves and seeing how they perform in comparison!

Research finds that nearly 40% of searchers only use smartphones

In their newly released “cross device” research, How People Use Their Devices, Google has discovered that mobile is the most dominant device with 80% of people using a smartphone each day and 39% of people only using a smartphone to perform searches on any given day.

According to the research, users spend an average of 170 minutes on their smartphone, compared to 120 minutes on a desktop PC and approximately 75 minutes on a tablet. Google also found that ‘Home’ was the most popular location to use a smartphone, followed by ‘Work’, ‘Stores’ and ‘Restaurants and Bars’ (in that order).

As Marketing Land points out, another mobile usage study from Burke and Thrive Analytics had similar findings and argued that smartphones are becoming increasingly popular for ‘at-home’ use (as well as when ‘out and about’).

The TJM take: We’ve stressed time and time again the importance of ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, and this study further confirms just how vital this is. Not only that, but the increasing use of smartphones also confirms the need for the recently reintroduced device targeting option in Google AdWords.

Want to know more about device targeting for your PPC campaigns? Check out a previous Tech Treats update on the topic or get in touch with the Traffic Jam Media team. We’re always happy to help!

Are there any topics you’d like covered in future Tech Treats updates? Send us a message on social media or drop us an email.

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