Weekly SEO news: 26 August 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Google announced that your exact match and phrase match keywords in Google AdWords will be matched with ‘variation’ or ‘near match’ starting in September. What does this mean and how will it affect your Google AdWords campaigns?

In the news: mobile pages don't lead to duplicate content problems, negative SEO and Google, new ad management tools for AdWords and Bing ads, more about HTTPS as a ranking signal, and more.

Table of contents:

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1. How will Google's 'near match' change affect your AdWords campaigns?
Google announced that your exact match and phrase match keywords in Google AdWords will be matched with ‘variation’ or ‘near match’ starting in September. What does this mean and how will it affect your Google AdWords campaigns?

close variant matching

What exactly will Google change?
In a blog post, Google announced that it will no longer be possible to bid on exact match and phrase match keywords without including keywords that are very similar to the entered keyword.

According to Google, more than 7% of Google searches contain a misspelling. For example, if you advertise for the exact match keyword "kid scooters", Google will show your add for the search terms “kid scooters”, “kid’s scooter”, or “kids scooters”.

Until now, 'exact match' meant that the ad was only shown for "kid scooters" and not for the variations.
Is this a good change or is there a downside to it?
Of course, the official Google statement is that this change is great and that you will get many more clicks with this change.

This also means much more money for Google and it's unclear whether the variation keywords will have the same conversion rate as the initial keyword.

It's clear that this change will be beneficial to Google but it might not be beneficial to all Google AdWords users.
This change affects exact match and phrase match keywords
As explained above, Google will show your exact match ads for more keywords. This also happens with phrase match keywords.

For example, if you advertise for the phrase match keyword "brown shoes" then your ad will be shown for the searches "buy brown shoes", "brown shoes shop", "brown shoes are crap", "my girlfried hit me with my brown shoes", etc.

When Google activates the near match change in Septemer, your add will be shown for many more variations, which means that you wil have much higher costs.

Unfortunately, there's not much that users can do to prevent this change. You might consider changing your phrase match keywords to exact match keywords. Google won't add too many unwanted additional keywords to your accoun then.

Further information on how to improve your Google AdWords ads can be found in the step-by-step instructions of the SEOprofiler manual:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google's John Mueller: don't worry about duplicate content from mobile pages
"You don't have to worry about duplicate content -- definitely not when it comes to mobile versions when they're annotated appropriately.

In your case, you're using the same URLs anyway, so that wouldn't be an issue anyway. Serving different HTML for smartphone users is fine (we call it "dynamic serving" in our docs).

Our main recommendation in this case is to use the 'Vary' HTTP header so that the pages don't get cached in one or the other format (so that desktop users accidentally end up with the smartphone version, or vice-versa)."

GoogleHas Google created a platform for negative SEO extortion?

"I was shocked last week when I read a letter posted online, threatening a business with ‘negative SEO’. [...]

Google’s canned response to use the disavow tool shows that however popular and fantastic the search engine is, it’s still far from perfect.

Whilst it’s helping to clean up spammy results with link algorithms the system can still be very easily played by people with far too much time on their hands – a worry when it says that a poor link profile can indeed hurt your search rankings."

Editor's note: you can delete bad links that point to your website with the link desinfection tool in SEOprofiler.

Google: new tools for managing AdWords at scale

"We’ve rolled out new bulk editing features that help you update your settings across your campaigns quickly and easily in the AdWords interface. Since updating your settings is an important but time-consuming task, the new bulk editing features let you make these changes at scale in just a few clicks, even across hundreds or thousands of campaigns."

GoogleIs it worth it for webmasters to switch to HTTPS in light of Google's recent announcement?

"If you’re running a blog, brochure site, news site, or any sort of information site where users don’t provide you with any personal information, I would recommend not using HTTPS. It costs money; it takes resources to implement; it slows down your site; it’s not needed; and it won’t hurt your rankings.

Long story short: if you make the switch, do it for the users and not because Google said it’s a ranking signal, because it really isn’t."

New features and enhancements in Bing Ads editor v10.5

"V10.5 sports a host of new and enhanced features designed in response to your feedback, like an all new negative keyword library, 15-minute ad scheduling, and ZIP code targeting. We’ve also further refined the advanced sync, import, and export functions."

Search engine newslets
  • Bing Ads is testing close variant matching (US only).
  • Amazon prepares online advertising program.
  • Google's search app now supports more than one language at once.
  • Google asked to remove 1 million pirate links per day.
  • Google’s 2013 mobile search revs were roughly $8 billion.
  • The 8 worst predictions about Google.
3. Recommended resources

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