Weekly Digital Marketing News and Trends: 12/1/17

Every week we’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of December 1, 2017.


Google Trends to Provide More Real-Time Data

Google is expanding its real-time data capabilities for Google Trends, according to a post on its Keyword Blog published on Monday. Google Trends had previously served as a tool for users to gauge public interest in certain topics according to web search volume.

The expansion in real-time data announced Monday now allows users to gauge interest according to other search functions and platforms, including image search, news search, Google Shopping, and YouTube. This update to Google Trends gives marketers more specific context for when and where users are looking for information.

How Local Search Can make The Register Ring This Holiday Season

In an article for Franchising USA Magazine, Location3 CEO Alex Porter details how a local search marketing strategy can maximize revenue for franchise brands. While e-commerce continues to grow, it’s still dwarfed by in-store purchases. In fact, 90 percent of retail purchases are made in-store.

That means retail brands and other franchise systems that rely on in-store visits still have a massive opportunity to capitalize on holiday sales. Porter shares a couple of overlooked strategies, including making sure your business location is accurately listed online and creating ads using non-branded industry keywords.

Read here for further analysis and insight.

The Beginning of the End of the Featured Snippet?

In a post from November 20 on Search Engine Land, Brian Patterson and Chris Long take a look at the changing SERP landscape in terms of the featured snippet. The featured snippet is also known as an answer box and refers to the dedicated space on Google’s SERP (as seen above) for answers to a user’s search query. The featured snippet has become a top priority for sites for a few reasons, according to Patterson and Long.

  • It ranks above all of the organic search results.
  • It takes up a lot of SERP real estate.
  • It attracts a ton of eyes and drives a lot of organic traffic.
  • It is often the answer to questions asked to Google Home/Google Assistant.

But at the end of October, Patterson and Long began noticing that their clients’ sites were no longer showing for answer boxes they had previously claimed. Instead, they noticed an increase in knowledge panels, which are dedicated boxes on the right side of the SERP usually dedicated to business information. Patterson and Long hypothesize that this is merely a test, and the valuable featured snippets will return, but it’s something worth keeping an eye on. For more details, the post can be read here.

6 New Search Engines to Keep an Eye On

It’s Google’s world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options when it comes to search engines. Amanda DiSilvestro of Search Engine Watch recently compiled a list of six up-and-comers that offer a variety of search services. Here’s a brief recap of a few that made the list:

  • Oscobo: This privacy-focused search engine very closely resembles Google, but doesn’t log users’ IP addresses or drop any cookies.
  • Good Gopher: The “world’s first privacy-protecting search engine that bans corporate propaganda and government disinformation,” this search engine seeks to promote independent and “honest” sites – Real News, if you will. Proceed with caution.
  • Semantic Scholar: Designed for academics, students, and the intensely curious, Semantic Scholar provides relevant results for those looking for scholarly journal articles.

The rest of the list can be found here.


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