New ways to think about conversions, the latest on local results and Facebook Instant Articles – catch up on all the highlights from this week!

WHAT’S NEW IN SEM THIS WEEK?

Smart Goals provides new ways to measure conversions

Smart Goals, released this week by Google, allow businesses without Google Analytics conversion or goal tracking to make more informed decisions about valuable visitors to the website. Using aggregated data from the thousands of Google Analytics account holders who have elected to anonymously share conversion data, Google’s machine learning algorithms are employed to infer or surmise users who may be of high worth based on their browsing activity on your site.

From this, pseudo goal achievements can be assigned these ‘high worth’ users, even in the absence of goal tracking being set up.

Read more here!

 

WHAT’S NEW IN SEO THIS WEEK?

Google (maybe) confirms that local results are influenced by clicks

There’s often debate among SEOs in regards to metrics that can affect local listings; one of those is clicks. Google briefly confirmed this to be true when answering a query in help forums. The query was answered by a Google employee who stated the rankings were affected by ‘how many times the listing had been clicked on by users searching with the keyword’. This was then quickly changed to read ‘The number of times it has been useful historically’. Google either removed this due to it being incorrect information, or it was removed because it’s information they don’t want SEOs or webmasters to be aware of.

Read more here!

Google began testing rich snippet markup

On December 4th Google released guidelines on how to add ‘place action rich snippets’ to your site. This is a function that enables sites to add a functionality to search results which allows users to make appointments, place orders and complete reservations directly from the local search results box. The document went live on Friday but disappeared again over the past week. This indicates that Google is perhaps not yet ready to release these.

Read more here!

 

WHAT’S NEW IN CONTENT AND SOCIAL MEDIA THIS WEEK?

Facebook adjusts Instant Articles advertising restrictions

Publishers using Facebook’s Instant Articles platform pushed for Facebook to change their rules on limits for ads within articles. The changes now allow publishers to include more advertising in each article, and also allow them to link to their own content and sites in the ‘related articles’ section. While it’s good news that Facebook is open to collaborating with publishers and advertisers, the power dynamic highlights how much publishers are relying on Facebook for revenue.

Read more here!

 

Come back every Friday for more industry updates. In the meantime, for some exciting news straight outta Search Factory HQ, read about our latest win.