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Aug 23

Big Changes From Google This Fall

Jasmine Maleknia

As we continue through Q3 and into the end of 2011 a few updates from Google may make a big difference in your Search Engine Marketing campaigns.

Google Search- Experimenting With Infinite Scroll

Keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Google is experimenting with infinite scroll for search results pages, basically having one giant search result page. Well, not really. Results would still be displayed in increments of 10, and a user-initiated click would show more results, or the next 10. But this all happens on one page. The user would no longer have to click through to the next page of results. You may have already noticed this feature on Google image searches, which has received lots of positive feedback prompting Google to experiment with this on main search. The implications for SEO, PPC and overall SEM are still unknown, but results on page two and up may see more click-throughs. All we can be sure of is that the battle for page one continues.

Google Analytics- Sessions Re-Calculated

Here is what Google announced on August 16:

"Currently, Google Analytics ends a session when:

  • More than 30 minutes have elapsed between page views for a single visitor.
  • At the end of a day.
  • When a visitor closes their browser.

If any of these events occur, then the next page view from the visitor will start a new session.

In the new model, Google Analytics will end a session when:

  • More than 30 minutes have elapsed between page views for a single visitor.
  • At the end of a day.
  • When any traffic source value for the user changes. Traffic source information includes: utm_sourceutm_mediumutm_termutm_contentutm_idutm_campaign, and gclid.

As before, if any of these events occur, then the next page view from the user will be the start of a new session."

So...what does all that mean? Well, first of all you may see more traffic to your site. Why? User sessions are now reset when the source value for that user changes. If a user googles you (company name), clicks-through to your site, then leaves your site and proceeds to view competitors’ sites- let's say, then, that user googles you with more detail (company name + specific product, for example) and then proceeds to your site again...all within 30 minutes...then they have had two sessions, and will virtually be two visits. Before it was only one because Google would attribute the second query to the first one.

Google Panda Update

International panda of mystery. For any international marketers this update to Google's search algorithm may be a big deal. In February a substantial rollout affected English queries in the United States, and slowly Google spread changes to various international markets. On August 12 this change was applied to all language markets, except for Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Basically the search results and queries have been updated for searches done in English in international countries. Here in the U.S. you likely won’t be seeing any considerable differences in your SEO campaigns from this rollout.

With Google constantly experimenting and continuing to make changes, it is more important than ever for we search engine marketers to stay on our toes and evolve and modify our campaigns!

 
 
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