You could be mistaken for thinking that we’ve somehow time-travelled back to the 90s this month – what with Pokemon making a comeback, Blink 182 being back together and link building coming back to the forefront of SEO techniques. We’re here to break it all down for you, step by step.

Pokemon Go & Local Marketers

It’s a funny old world we live in – especially when grown men are found hunting Charizard on every corner during their lunch breaks. Parks have become “Pokemon Gyms”, people’s gardens are being invaded by teenagers who have spotted a rogue Pikachu and families are falling out over the new obsession sweeping across the world.

The game, which uses GPS and your camera phone to turn reality into a digitally augmented world rife with Pokemon, encourages “trainers” (players) to wander the streets, trying to catch ‘em all.

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But what on earth has this got to do with your marketing plan going forwards? Hear us out, we haven’t gone as mad as seemingly the rest of the world has!

The game includes places called PokeStops, where trainers can stock up on accessories and tools, and Gyms, where captured Pokemon are trained. These virtual spaces are paired with actual IRL landmarks – anything from a Costa Coffee to the banks of a river.

Of course, marketers are dying to get their teeth into the advertising opportunities that augmented reality offers, and Niantic, the company who developed Pokemon Go along with Nintendo, has already announced that it intends to do just that. “Sponsored Locations” will soon be coming to Pokemon Go in the way of PokeStops and Gyms, which will usher hundreds of gamers to physical locations.

No doubt, brands will be paying through the roof for these locations, and geo-optimisation and timing will also be up for the bidding war, but it’s clear to see that the marketing game has changed once and for all!

Watch this space!

Google Ranking Study Shows Links are Still Important

There has been plenty of speculation over recent years about the importance of links – but a new study published by Stone Temple Consulting showed that links may be even more important now than they ever have been.

The study states that there is a “near perfect correlation” between ranking highly in Google and the links pointing to that page. Three different statistical models were used when analysing the results of the top 50 results across 6,000 SERPs.

Stone Temple Consulting CEO Eric Enge, said, “If your content isn’t competeitive in relevance and quality, links won’t help. If it is, links will make all the difference.”

The full study can be found here.

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The end of PPC as we Know it is Nigh

As of October 26th this year, advertisers will no longer be able to create standard text ads. The change comes with the rollout of expanded text ads, these have two headlines, each with up to 30 characters and a description of up to 80.

According to Google, the extra copy has been designed to give mobile users more information, and claimed that CTR bumped up by 20% in tests.

ETAs

Device Bidding is also getting a revamp over at Google HQ, and advertisers can now start setting bid adjustments for separate devices on mobile, tablet and desktop.

Also recently announced, are Responsive Display Ads that Google will generate from a headline, description, image and URL provided by the advertiser. The ads will serve across all devices and will be eligible for the native ad inventory Google has opened up.

To view Google’s new best practice guide on these updates, click here.