Side by side: Comparing two performance marketing tools/agencies

As performance marketers, we’re conditioned to want to test everything. From the impact of feed titles to the incrementality of each channel, we want to be sure that we’re making the right choice before we commit all our resources to something.
That goes for deciding which tools/agency to use as well. Moving your performance marketing activities from one tool/agency to another (or picking one to start with) is a big commitment and not one you should take lightly.
Most (probably all) tools/ agencies claim to do the same basic thing: improve your campaign performance. The way they do this or the methods they use will differ, but with so much choice out there, how are you to know which one will actually deliver?
To help them make the right decision, many companies will ask for a side-by-side comparison test between two tools/agencies. We were recently asked to participate in a split comparison test against a Philadelphia-based product ad technology for

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Locadium: a new ‘point solution’ to monitor GMB listings changes

LocalSEOGuide is releasing a new Google My Business monitoring tool called “Locadium.” It’s conceptually similar to other local listings monitoring services; however it’s exclusively focused on Google My Business (GMB).
Yext, Moz, Brandify, Vendasta, BrightLocal, SIMPartners, Chatmeter, among others, also provide local listings scans and monitoring. However, according to LocalSEOGuide founder Andrew Shotland, Locadium is the only tool that will monitor both the “front end” (consumer fields) and “back end” (API) of GMB. It sends alerts when there’s any change on to a company’s listing in any of the data fields.
It will be marketed to agencies, multi-location brands and SMBs. Pricing is variable for agencies and brands but for SMBs it costs $5 per month.

Similar tools on the market monitor local listings across the internet. However Shotland doesn’t see Locadium evolving into a broad-based listings monitoring service outside GMB. “We have no desire to compete with Yext,” he says. The appeal of Locadium is its focus and simplicity.

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YouTube using Redirect Method technology to fight terrorist video content in search results

In its continued fight against terrorist video content, YouTube announced it has rolled out a new search feature based on the Redirect Method technology designed by the Google tech incubator Jigsaw.
According to the announcement, YouTube will now display a playlist of videos aimed at debunking “violent extremist recruiting” content when people search for certain keywords.
The announcement did not include specifics on what the “certain keywords” are, but Jigsaw’s site covering its Redirect Method project listed the following statement explaining how it worked with Moonshot CVE (an initiative that uses data to counter violent extremism messaging) to determine relevant keywords:
For the English campaign, Moonshot CVE created 30 ad campaigns comprising 95 unique ads and over 1,000 keywords. The keyword generation was focused on terms suggesting positive sentiment towards ISIS.
YouTube says the goal is to offer more resources and content that may be able to “change the minds” of people at risk of being radicalized by terrorist organizations —

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An update on executive changes on the editorial team

This month, Third Door Media’s Michelle Robbins takes over as SVP of content and marketing technology, overseeing editorial direction as Editor in Chief of the three industry publications and aligning the content strategy with programming at Third Door Media’s event series, Search Marketing Expo and The MarTech Conference.
Robbins succeeds Search Engine Land founder Danny Sullivan, who shifts to an advisor role at the company.
Robbins, who has a background in publishing and has been with Third Door Media since its inception, working across all divisions — editorial, marketing, events and sales — while managing the corporation’s technology, will bring a fresh perspective to all three editorial properties.
Her significant technical expertise, 360-degree view of the company’s business objectives and depth of knowledge in both the search marketing and marketing technology fields align in this new role.
As an integral part of Third Door Media’s conference operations behind the scenes and as a member of the program development team, Robbins

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Report: 43% of millennials have made a voice-device purchase in past year

Alexander Supertramp / Shutterstock.com
According to a new “Future of Retail” report from Walker Sands, 19 percent of consumers have made a purchase using a voice-controlled device in the past 12 months. The numbers go way up, however, for millennials, with 37 percent reporting “they ‘always’ or ‘often’ shop online via voice-controlled devices.” Among this group, 43 percent made a purchase using voice in the past year.
The data are based on a recent US consumer survey of just over 1,600 adults and can be interpreted in bullish or bearish ways for voice. More than 80 percent of the overall survey population said they had not made a voice-driven purchase and nearly half (48 percent) said they were “not at all likely” to do so.

Source: Walker Sands Future of Retail report (July 2017)
Security, privacy, “lack of visuals” and uncertainty about price/payment were the top four reasons that people were hesitant to buy on voice-first devices or devices without a screen. Of

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Bing launches bots for local businesses

Bots are coming to Bing in a big way. Through its Bot Framework, Microsoft is starting to integrate chatbots into search results — to make search more interactive and transactional.
In April, Matt McGee spotted the appearance of chat functionality for selected Seattle-area restaurants. That is now rolling out officially (still only to restaurants) through Bing Places and the newly launched Business Bot program. Microsoft will automatically create a bot from the data in Bing Places.
The business doesn’t need to do anything technical. It just answers a few structured questions and accepts the bot agreement terms. Thereafter, when users search for the business, a screen like the following will appear:

Users can then get basic questions about the business answered through the bot (e.g., “do you have outdoor seating?”). If there’s a question it can’t answer, the bot will refer the user to a phone number.
The bot can also ask business owners additional questions, depending on what information users are seeking. The new

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Twiggle offers plug-and-play semantic search to online retailers

Twiggle is a company founded by two former Google employees. It promises to bring “semantic search” to e-commerce sites with minimal technical integration. Udi Manber, formerly head of search at Google and Amazon’s A9, is a board member.
Last week, the company released a “Semantic API,” which “gives retailers the ability to add a semantic layer to their existing search engines and interact with their online customers in a more personal and natural way.” The idea is that Twiggle will bring state-of-the-art search sophistication to companies that can’t develop the technology on their own.
I spoke with Amir Konigsberg, CEO of Twiggle. He told me that his company spent three years building out an ontology that allows Twiggle to process and deeply understand billions of products and associated attributes. Twiggle also does data structuring and normalization and enhances products with additional metadata.

Konigsberg critiques current e-commerce search capabilities as being very basic and not delivering an optimal user experience. Clicks

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Google makes it easier to see and share publishers’ real URLs from AMP pages

As promised, Google is making a change to how it displays Accelerated Mobile Pages, so that users can easily view and share links that lead directly to publishers’ sites rather than to Google’s copy of the content.
Google has been displaying AMP content by effectively making a copy of it and rendering it from its own servers, something that Google says makes AMP both faster and more secure for users. However, this has raised concerns with publishers and some users, who have found the system difficult for reaching content directly on a publisher’s site.
AMP & Google URLs
For example, consider the situation below that existed before today’s announced change:

The example shows an article from our Marketing Land sibling site, published and displayed by Google in AMP format. Despite it being from Marketing Land, the URL area of the browser shows it being part of Google.com. That means those who copied and pasted the URL to share via a tweet, through Facebook or

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Where is Santa Claus? Your 2016 guide to Santa trackers from NORAD & Google

Where’s Santa Claus? When will Father Christmas arrive? Millions of children around the world are asking these and similar questions on Christmas Eve. To help, two there are two great services that stand ready: NORAD Tracks Santa and Google Santa Tracker.
As usual, Search Engine Land stands ready with its own tradition, to guide you to get the best from the services. Below, discover how to track Santa whether you’re using the web, a smartphone, watching TV or even if you want to make a voice telephone call.
The Santa trackers & how they began
There are many Santa tracking services out there, but we recommend the two below for 2016 as both are dependable, safe and will serve you well:

NORAD Tracks Santa
Google Santa Tracker

How did NORAD and Google get into the Santa tracking business It began with NORAD and a wrong phone number in this ad:
The ad with phone number misprint that got NORAD tracking Santa Claus (source: NORAD)
NORAD is the acronym for the North American

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Move over Amazon Echo & Google Home: Here comes Microsoft Cortana

Can’t decide which voice-activated home assistant you want, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Next year, you’ll have a third choice — Microsoft’s Cortana.
Unlike Amazon and Google, Microsoft isn’t making a Cortana device itself. Rather, today it announced a way for anyone to integrate its Cortana agent into devices, through the Cortana Devices SDK.
That’s apparently going to be used by Harman Kardon to make a speaker with Cortana smarts to be released next year. Microsoft shared the news in a blog post today, along with a short teaser video:

No pricing, exact release date or even a name has been announced. Presumably, other manufacturers could also come out with their own Cortana devices — and it’s a fair bet that Microsoft will likely make its own, too.
The post Move over Amazon Echo & Google Home: Here comes Microsoft Cortana appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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