Google, Getty Images enter a multi-year global licensing partnership

Late last week, Google parent Alphabet and Getty Images announced a sweeping partnership that effectively ends a long-standing copyright and antitrust dispute between Getty and Google, which was filed in early 2016.
The newly announced deal was characterized by Getty as “a multi-year global licensing partnership, enabling Google to use Getty Images’ content within its various products and services.” As part of that deal, Google will be using Getty images across many of its “products and services.”
Another change, according to The Verge, is that Google will make copyright attribution and disclaimers more prominent in image search results and will remove view links to stand-alone URLs for Getty photographs.
Getty’s complaint against Google alleged traffic and revenue losses to its customers’ sites because users could see (and potentially copy) images directly from Google Image Search results. Getty claimed that the ability to save and download images promoted copyright infringement and “piracy.” Getty is not the only party to have made

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Effective July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’

July is shaping up to be a big month for Google. Earlier this month, the company announced its Speed Update set to roll out in July, and today announced it will then also mark all sites that have not migrated to HTTPS as “not secure.”
This move will coincide with the release of Chrome 68 and will look like this in a user’s browser:
HTTPS warning in Chrome 68
Google has been pushing webmasters to make the change to non-secure web sites a for years now – including hinting at small rankings

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AdWords Express launches notifications for calls from search ads

After launching goal tracking in the platform last year, AdWords Express, the simplified ad platform designed for small business, is adding support around calls to a business with two types of call notifications.
Now, when a call received via a search ad ends, the advertiser will get a notification on their phone to leave feedback about the relevancy of the call. The feedback prompt appears as a simple question that can be answered “yes,” “no” or “not sure”:

The feedback will be delivered to Google, with the intention of improving targeting that will yield higher-quality calls over time.
The other new offering provides a solution for small business owners who are often juggling more than one thing at a time and wind up missing calls from potential customers. Now, a notification will pop up from the AdWords Express app alerting the advertiser that a call was missed. The business owner can simply hit “Call Back” to get back in touch

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Google adds new SEO Audit category to Chrome’s Lighthouse extension

Webmasters, web developers and SEOs are getting a new feature in the widely used website auditing tool Lighthouse. Google announced today the addition of an “SEO Audits” category to the Chrome extension. You can access the new audit category via the “Options” button in the extension.
By no means a replacement for a comprehensive SEO audit, the new feature does provide feedback on basic/fundamental SEO best practices, returning a report that checks for:

Descriptive anchor text.
Titles, description.
If the page can be crawled by Google.
HTTP status code.
Valid hreflang and rel=canonical tags.
UX — legible font sizes, plugins.
… and makes recommendations for additional reports.

From a sample report I ran against Starbucks.com:
SEO Audit Report from Lighthouse Extension
According to the post, they’ll be adding more features to the SEO audit, and they are actively soliciting user feedback in the Github project and webmaster forum.
The post Google adds new SEO Audit category to Chrome’s Lighthouse extension appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Who wins? Google & Bing’s ‘Super Bowl ad’ search results are quite different

Searches for “Super Bowl ads” are about to heat up as we head into Sunday. People turning to Google and Bing for information about the official Super Bowl Lii commercials will find very different treatments of the results on each of the engines.
Here’s a look at how those results compare. Going in alphabetical order, we’ll start with Bing.
Bing’s carousel of Super Bowl ads
Whether people are searching Bing on desktop or mobile, they’ll see a carousel at the top of the results featuring Super Bowl Lii commercials.
Clicking on any of the thumbails in the carousel brings up the search results for the specific ad including a video player to watch the commercial. The carousel remains at the top of the page so users can easily navigate to more of the commercials.

Below the carousel is a list of related searches and news results about the query “Super Bowl Ads”.
Here’s how the results look on mobile:
Bing is not serving any paid

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Google Assistant adds new media capabilities ahead of HomePod release

The Google Assistant has been updated to make entertainment content more accessible to voice control. The company announced today that users can set alarms to play a favorite song, playlist or radio station instead of a loud, unpleasant alarm sound.
Users invoke this by speaking, “Hey Google, set an alarm for 6 a.m. that plays [insert favorite musician].” This is optimized for Google Play Music but will work with other services as well (e.g., Pandora).
Google added that you can now ask for TV show schedules using the Google Assistant. You can also set reminders so you can catch shows at specific dates and times. The Google Assistant can control TV programming as well.
This isn’t entirely new; users can “cast” content to their TVs from the Assistant on Netflix, YouTube TV and a couple of other sources. If you’ve linked your Netflix account to Google Home, you can now say “Watch XYZ show . . . “ and the

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Merkle Q4 2017: Search ad click growth fell, ad spend rose 23% across Google, Bing, Yahoo

Overall, in Q4 2017, search ad click volume growth slowed by 9 percent as the average cost per click (CPC) increased 14 percent. Spend rose 24 percent year over year. Engagement and conversion performance from search ads improved, however, and clicks from phones accounted for 50 percent of all clicks for the first time. Those are among the findings reported in Merkle’s Q4 2017 Digital Marketing Report.
Source: Merkle
These search ad trends are consistent with the Q4 performance trends reported by Marin Software last week.
Google ad spend growth slowed slightly from Q3
Spending on Google search ads increased 23 percent overall year over year in Q4 2017. Retail and consumer goods spending on search ads rose 24 percent during the holiday season, according to Merkle’s Q4 2017 Digital Marketing Report.
That growth in search ad spend is actually a slight deceleration from Q3. Search spend jumped 38 percent on mobile and 21 percent on desktop. Click volume growth slowed sharply to 8

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Marin: Search CPCs outpaced spend growth in Q4 2017

Paid search spending increased by just over 10 percent year over year in Q4 2017 across Marin Software’s customer base. CPC growth doubled that of overall spend with an increase of roughly 20 percent year over year.
Mobile CPCs increased 25 percent year over year, accounting for 53 percent of total spend. Google took 89 percent of search spend share, with 11 percent going to Bing. The findings are part of Marin’s Q4 2017 Digital Benchmarks Report highlighting some of the key metrics realized across the accounts running campaigns through the platform.
Click volume was off roughly 7.5 percent from Q4 2016, while click-through rates increased from roughly 1.75 percent to more than 2.5 percent.
Source: Marin Software
Given the holiday season, it’s not surprising to see investment and activity in Shopping ads increase. Marin saw Google Shopping ad click share increase by 31 percent from Q3 to Q4 2017.
Looking more closely at CPCs by industry, education continues to stand out,

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Study: 80% of Google Home results come from snippets

Digital agency ROAST has released a Voice Search Ranking Report (registration required), which seeks to categorize and understand how Google processes and responds to voice queries. It also tries to determine when Google Home uses featured snippets/Answer Box results and when it does not.
The company used keyword analytics to compile a list of “616 key phrases in the UK featuring snippet answer boxes.” It then determined the top phrases by query volume across a range of verticals (e.g., medical, retail, travel, finance). The tests were run in November and compared Google Home and traditional search results.
The study sought to answer the following questions:

How many of the key phrases were answered [on Google Home]?
Do the answers given match the answer boxes’ results?
Which key phrases prompt Google not to user answer boxes?
Can we compare visibility on voice search to answer boxes? Is there a difference?

In the majority of cases, the Google Home result mirrored the snippet/Answer Box, according to the

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Google adds keyword functionality to the AdWords app

We haven’t heard much about development on the AdWords app lately, but there’s a new update out today that makes the app more useful.
Advertisers can now add, edit and remove keywords from their campaigns using the AdWords app.

You can now add, edit or remove keywords on the go using the AdWords app. Learn more: https://t.co/CHjsn1uZHr pic.twitter.com/ZhMzM6IaiL
— Google AdWords (@adwords) January 18, 2018

To add a keyword, simply click the new round blue “plus” button that appears in the bottom right corner of the various Keyword views in the app.
To delete existing keywords, click on the keyword you want to delete and then on the trash can icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
From that same specific keyword screen, advertisers can edit the word itself or change the match type. That’s also where advertisers can pause or enable a keyword and change manually set bids.

For full instructions, see the help center page.
The AdWords app can be downloaded

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