Digital Marketing News Round Up: Stock Image Ranking, GWT Additions and Bugs, Bing Ads Intelligence Update and the End of Link Building?
In the wake of
This week, Matt Cutts offered reassurance that the use of stock images has no negative algorithmic impact. Asked on the Google Webmaster Help YouTube channel if “using stock images on your pages [has] a negative effect on rankings” and whether “original images help you in this regard”, Cutts stated that neither stock images nor original images are used as an algorithmic ranking factor currently.
Nevertheless, he noted that factoring in image originality into organic search was a great suggestion for a potential future signal. It’s also worth observing that he qualifies his answer by saying that this isn’t a factor “to the best of [his] knowledge” no less than three times in a 56 second video.
The importance of using images in content – to add value to the user and help improve user experience – remains unchanged.
Google Webmaster Tools adds Google Tag Manager verification support
Google has now added another method of webmaster verification to Google Webmaster Tools, making it easier to claim ownership of a domain. Instead of the existing methods – adding a meta tag, linking GWT with Google Analytics or signing in to your domain name provider – you can now use a Google Tag Manager account.
Launched last October, Tag Manager is a tool that makes managing a variety of tags (including tracking and marketing optimisation tags) easier. Considering that both GWT and Tag Manager fall under the same website administration banner, an explicit link between the two accounts makes sense. More information on setting up a Google Tag Manager account can be found here.
New updates to Bing Ads Intelligence
Microsoft’s Bing Ads Intelligence, an Excel add-in useful for keyword research and performance analysis, has received a raft of new updates offering new functionality. Tweaks include:
- The addition of a ‘Bing Ads Intelligence’ toolbox to the Excel ribbon
- The ability to perform keyword and bid research in a single spreadsheet
- Quicker, easier downloads of account, campaign and ad group keywords from within the tool
- A bulk export tool for adding keywords back into your Bing Ads account.
The Bing Ads community blog has more information on using these new features.
Google Webmaster Tools bug
Google Webmaster Tools is apparently up to ranking’ has been subtly changed. A line stating that:
In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.
Has suddenly changed to:
In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.
Is this the end of the link building as we know it? No. Having a strong, natural link profile is still an important part of building an authoritative site. This update does, however, re-emphasise that links come after (and as a direct result of) strong onsite content.
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