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MAR-2016 – Changes Afoot at Google

Your Monthly Prescription for Ad Industry Updates | March 2016

Topics of the Month

Google Eliminates Right Rail PPC Ads

There has been a lot of hubbub about Google ending the right rail pay-per-click ads on their search results pages on desktop. Do you think Google would end a program if it was making them a profit? The top 3-4 text ad spots have always been the coveted listings. The click-through-rates (CTRs) on text ads on the right rail has never been phenomenal and Google is probably slating that real-estate for better money-making opportunities. But Google is not putting all their eggs on the top four baskets of text ads, they are also leaving that space for product listings.

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Google AMP: What it Means to Marketing in Healthcare / Pharma

by Ron Kost

Google’s lead on the new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) venture is perfectly in-line with Google’s stated goal of making the internet quicker, more versatile and superior. Certainly it will be superior to the existing ways of loading the internet on mobile devices. Great. So why is that important to the healthcare/pharma industry, and specifically digital marketing in the healthcare industry? To begin with, Google and The AMP Project are stripping out considerable amounts of advertising opportunities and mobile sponsorship opportunities in the way AMP renders a page.

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Your Monthly Prescription

Google Releasing Another Penguin?

by Renee Kennedy

Google has several algorithms that can have a significant impact on your website traffic each time they are updated. The following algorithms have the potential to affect your organic search traffic from Google:

1. Panda – Last update July 17, 2015: The Panda algorithm was rolled out for the first time in February 2011. Since then it’s had over 28 updates. Its main purpose is to prevent sites with low-quality content from ranking in the Google search results. If your site is doing any of the following things chances are your organic traffic will suffer a scratch from Panda: duplicate content, shallow content, keyword stuffing, cloaking. Panda is a true phenomenon on healthcare publisher sites; we’ve documented the effects of Panda on several site audits.

2. Mobile Friendly – Rolled out April 21, 2015: Mobile optimized sites enjoyed a Google search engine ranking increase while non-mobile optimized sites bit the dust. Several healthcare publisher site audits throughout the 2015 summer proved this out.

3. Pirate – Last update October 21, 2014: Pirate is updated infrequently. It was rolled out in August 2012 and has only been updated once. The Pirate algorithm was created to smote sites that infringe on copyrights. None of the healthcare publishers that we’ve audited this past year have ever been robbed by the Pirate algorithm.

4. Penguin – Last update October 17, 2014: Rolled out in April 2012. Penguin’s main purpose is to prevent sites with a lot of “spammy link” referrals from ranking in the organic Google search results. This means if your site gets traffic from low quality sites, paid link programs, or keyword-heavy links, your site may have the potential to be penalized by the Penguin algorithm. The following article will explain what is going on with our little penguin friend and how to prepare.

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