Welcome to ‘What Happened in Search’.
Packed full of the week’s digital search news each Friday, this week’s edition features city searches, clickable ads on Instagram and pinpoint targeting.
SMX RECAP: VOICE SEARCH
Today, smartphones represent 75% of all mobile devices in use, and by the end of 2015, that number is expected to be over 80%, comScore reported in 2014. Increasingly, those smart devices are equipped with voice search in the form of Siri, Cortana or Google Now.
Voice search is changing the way consumers interact with their smartphones, and it’s important for marketers to understand this shift. It’s even more important for those targeting teens, as 55% of them are using voice search daily.
GOOGLE’S CITY SEARCHES
Search for a major city on Google, and you’ll likely see hotel booking information in the knowledge graph box.
Listed just under the city’s weather info, Google’s knowledge graph for city searches now includes the city’s average hotel star rating, costs, and a link to “view hotels”.
Searches for a number of cities, including NYC, San Francisco, San Jose and Louisville, Kentucky, all included the new hotel booking info.
INSTAGRAM’S CLICKABLE ADS
Instagram took a large step forward as a marketing tool this week, giving advertisers the ability to link out from Instagram posts for the first time.
The functionality is part of a new carousel-based ad unit that the company has introduced. The ad format features multiple images that users can view by swiping left within the mobile app. In a blog post announcing the new feature, Instagram compared the ad format to splashy print media campaigns.
The ability to link to other sites will certainly be a welcome change for marketers, at least those given access to the ad format. One of Instagram’s shortcomings as a promotional tool is that there’s no way to include clickable links within posts. That limitation means Instagram has long been considered a place for businesses to build their brand and plant their flag rather than drive traffic back to their websites.
PINPOINT TARGETING ON PINTEREST
As Pinterest continues to grow its advertising product, efficiencies for marketers are blooming. According to a new report from AdAge, Pinterest ads will be gaining granular targeting options as well as a new test ad format; animated ads.
The new targeting options will help advertisers hone their ideal personas. For example, instead of marketing to sports enthusiasts, advertisers will be able to reach football fans. Additional audiences will have the ability to be targeted (much like Facebook ads) so that marketers can simply add in “outdoor enthusiast” instead of only being able to choose from the initial 30 categories available during the Pinterest ads launch.
A new animated ad, which will move when users scroll down the page, will also be tested. This format will be trialled in the “coming months.”
GOODBYE, LINKS RANKING?
A team of research scientists at Google published a paper explaining the idea of Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT), an alternate way of determining the quality of web pages by looking at how accurate they are.
The paper describes how Google could use an extraction process to compare the facts it finds on web pages to facts that are stored in a knowledge base (think Knowledge Graph/Knowledge Vault), and reward pages that are found to be more accurate.
TRIAL & ERROR
Nearly two-thirds (59%) of consumers find native advertising interesting and informative, and a third are more likely to trust it than traditional advertising, according to a new report.