Welcome to ‘What Happened in Search’.
Packed full of the week’s digital search news each Friday, this week’s edition features Mother’s Day search, Expedia vs. Priceline and WordPress SEO.
SOCIAL MEDIA REFERRALS UP
According to a report released this week, social media is now the number one driver of all website referral traffic. As of December 2014, 31.24% of all referral traffic was from social media, compared to 22.71% from the same period in the previous year.
While this is great news for marketers who are investing heavily in social media marketing, it’s important to ask if these numbers can be sustained.
Of the many different content management systems and web publishing platforms, WordPress is often the most popular choice.
Blogs, company websites and web shops run on WordPress. Designers are fascinated by its versatility and the range of adaptations possible with it. Users love its simplicity and effectiveness.
It’s a simple blogging system that needs little or no knowledge of coding, website design or other technical details. Nearly 25% of the world’s top 10 million websites — including TIME, Mashable, Marketing Land and Search Engine Land — are built on WordPress.
MOTHER’S DAY SEARCH INSIGHTS
In the US, Mother’s Day ranks third in consumer spending after Christmas and Back-to-School. Last year, it trumped over Valentine’s Day as consumers spent $20 billion on mums, daughters and other women in their lives, according to the National Retail Federation.
In a new blog post, Brittney Thomas, vertical manager at Bing Ads, offers insights for search marketers prepping their Mother’s Day campaigns. One thing that’s clear is that all gift categories don’t act alike. Looking at Mother’s Day related search data across the Yahoo Bing Network, Bing Ads found searches for technology peak nearly a month ahead of the holiday, while gifts and flowers searches reach their highest levels the week before Mother’s Day.
In fact, on mobile, searches rose in the week of Mother’s Day as consumers looked for last-minute, local options, while PC and desktop searches taper off. While the mobile surge in the final week may not be surprising, it’s striking how much mobile was a factor last year.
SEARCH IMPACT REPORT GOES LIVE
A few weeks ago, Google opened up a form to seek testers for a new report within Google Webmaster Tools. That new report is now available to a sub-group of those testers and is named the Search Impact Report.
Its purpose is potentially to ultimately replace the Search Queries report currently within Google Webmaster Tools, adding plenty of additional features. Specifically, it allows for better analysis of a site’s performance in Google search results by showing clicks, impressions, CTR and average position while enabling comparison of these metrics using different dimensions such as dates, queries, pages, countries, devices and search property.
EXPEDIA VS. PRICELINE
Last month Expedia bought partner-rival Travelocity for $280 million and yesterday news came out that it was buying Orbitz (and associated brands) for $1.6 billion.
It was widely known that Orbitz had been exploring a sale to private equity or another party, so the news doesn’t come as a surprise.
There will now effectively be two major companies controlling online travel in the US and much of the rest of the world: Expedia and Priceline.
Paid Media’s SEO Value
Investing in advertising might feel like we’re simply buying people’s time and attention, but there’s far more to it than that. Done right, advertising can show returns in many organic channels, including SEO.