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It’s the start of Autumn and we are starting to see a few end of year changes being rolled out. Most noticeably the Panda update.

SEO

Google announced the latest version of its Panda Update to help clean up websites containing thin or poor quality content.

In a recent post on Google+, it was announced that  a “slow rollout” had began earlier this month and will continue, before being complete. Google said that depending on location, about 3%-to-5% of search queries will be affected.

According to Google the current rollout is supposed to be more precise than previous updates and will allow more high-quality small and medium-sized sites to rank better.

 

What this could mean for your business?

This could be good news for anyone who was penalised by Panda in the last update as they have a chance to emerge, if they made the right changes. So if you were hit by Panda and have made alterations to your site, you should have noticed an increase in traffic.

On the down side, new sites or sites that managed to escape the previous Panda update might get caught out, so keep an eye out for a sudden traffic drop.

PPC

Google AdWords rolled out a new feature to help those advertisers scale text ad creative with “ad customizers.”

Ad customisers can now use information, organized into a spreadsheet, about a business’s product, prices, and promotional timing for campaigns, ad groups, or keywords in order to “generate extremely relevant and timely ads,” the announcement says.

This information is stored in a new “business data” section in AdWords, where it’s accessed when needed.

You create your ad with customizers that tell us what information from your spreadsheet you want inserted into your ads. AdWords will dynamically take the product information that is most relevant to what each customer is searching for and insert it into your ad text. This saves you time, and lets you deliver a powerful, customized ad experience to each of your customers, every time.

The announcement gives a number of ways this new feature can be leveraged, including:

Creating an ad with lots of variations:

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Showing real-time calls to action, as illustrated in the following example:

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AdWords gives more examples of how to use this feature, such as if you want to:

  • Target by keyword
  • Use customizers across campaigns or ad groups
  • Update your ad based on recurring events
  • Count down to a one-time event

Social Media

Twitter is testing a ‘buy’ button that will let users buy products directly from a tweet.

The social network will be testing this new feature for a small group of US users, including brands, non-profit organisations and celebrities.

If a user clicks the ‘buy’ button they will be given additional information and be prompted to enter shipping and payment details. Once they have entered and confirmed the order information is sent to the seller for delivery.

Instagram launches new ads

UK Instagram users may have noticed that the feeds are now showing ads. These ads have been designed to covert thephoto-sharing app into a ‘sustainable business’.

The social network will begin showing native ‘high-quality’ sponsored ads from selected brand partners including Channel 4, Sony Music and Waitrose.

The ads will be rolled out slowly on the main feed of the application alongside a sponsored logo. The network allows users to hide an ad and provide feedback about why they didn’t feel it was relevant or right for them.