Digital Marketing News Round Up: Bing’s New Look, Google Considers Cookie Cut and How to Rank in Google’s Carousel
Welcome once more to the Digital Marketing News Round Up. This week: Microsoft overhauls Bing’s visual identity and streamlines its results pages, Google readies itself for marketing domination and the secrets of the search engine’s recently added carousel feature are revealed.
Bing’s new look logo and enhanced SERPs
Proving its commitment to pioneering styles and upholding its status as the haute couture queen of web design, Microsoft dazzled audiences at this week’s London Fashion Week by unveiling a trendy new look for Bing. Alternatively, the release of a new logo and search engine result page style may have only coincidentally happened at the same time as one of the ‘big four’ international fashion shows – who can tell?
In addition to the new logo, Bing will also feature several new tweaks to its SERPs aimed at serving more information to users. These are:
- An update to the ‘snapshot’ informational sidebar tech, leading to the addition of information from social. This allows you to see what your friends may have been saying about a topic along with the usual Wikipedia definition and ‘people also search for’ box
- A bunch of instant search updates that Microsoft is calling ‘Page Zero’. As you type, you’ll receive an informational box and links to the search results on other areas of Bing, along with the usual search term suggestions
- A new surface area at the top of the page dubbed ‘Pole Position’, where larger bespoke results can be served up when user intent is obvious
- The layout has been given a responsive design overhaul so it now works optimally on various screen sizes
More details about the new Bing can be found here. Note that you may need to manually set your location to somewhere in the US to see the previews provided.
Google considering ditching cookies for ad tracking
Google is reportedly exploring alternatives to tracking cookies. Having been used, since the days of Netscape, cookies retain details about a user’s visits both on individual sites and across the web. Cookies have been increasingly under fire in recent years – the EU has its own cookie law and Safari blocks third-party cookies, the same policy being also planned for Firefox.
The Google cookie alternative supposedly has the internal name of ‘AdID’, and aims to keep data anonymous. Google spokesperson Rob Shilkin:
Technological enhancements can improve users' security while ensuring the web remains economically viable. We and others have a number of concepts in this area, but they're all at very early stages.
Online advertisers are less convinced that Google is concerned with user privacy, however. A proprietary tracking format could give Google unlimited access into ad agencies’ data. As Adage.com puts it, “In this scenario, Google rises from being the biggest card player at the table to owning the casino.”
How to rank in Google’s carousel
Released back in June, Google’s top of page carousel offers up prime SERP real estate to anyone who can rank in it. Digital Marketing Works have taken a closer look at how Google determines which New York hotels it serves up. Key findings include:
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, carousel rank correlates highly with both the quantity and quality of review ratings
- Half of the hotels in the study were within two miles of the destination searched for, with three quarters being within 13 minutes’ travel time. Therefore, it’s best to optimise for landmarks you’re in close proximity to
- The nuance Google is now getting into search is impressive. If you search for “best of hotels in X”, you see hotels with better reviews ranking, as you’d expect. Search for “downtown X hotels”, however, and fewer positive reviews are served
- The correlation is true regardless of the size of the hotel – small hotels should be just as interested in gaining reviews as the larger hotels they often assume they cannot compete with
Also in the news:
- By the close of the year, Google Analytics will no longer be guaranteed to work when viewed in Internet Explorer 8
- Apple has released iOS 7 with the new iPhone, and Bing is used by default for searches with Siri (but not Safari)
Be sure to check back next week for more digital marketing news. Want to expand your digital marketing knowledge and to encourage your business to thrive online? Please get in touch with the Fresh Egg team today to hear about our ideas for a changing marketplace.