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SEO News: Organic, Paid, and Voice

Facebook’s mobile ad network reaches the top; Organic SEO news looks at 2016 data; The future of voice search

For the first time, Facebook’s mobile ad network has topped Google. MediaPost is reporting on this story, saying “Facebook’s mobile ad network emerged as the top-performing advertising network during the second part of 2016, giving marketers running campaigns on Android devices a higher return on investment (ROI) compared with Google AdWords, according to a study released Tuesday.”

This information comes from San Francisco-based Singular, which looks specifically at mobile analytics. “Singular’s study found the average cost of running ads across AdWords to be roughly the same as other leading networks on iOS, although the average revenue from users acquired through AdWords was comparatively lower. The discrepancy between the amount that iOS advertisers spend on AdWords and the revenue those dollars typically drive suggests “a market correction” on the horizon, per the findings.”

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The article continues. “Users are about 1.65-times less expensive to acquire through Android ads compared with iOS ads. Yet iOS ads drive 1.3 times higher ROI than Android ads, which means that for each dollar a marketer spends to acquire a user on iOS, they can expect to get back 1.3 times more revenue than if they had spent that dollar on Android, per the findings.”

After taking a look at information on paid search, let’s switch gears to “SEO visibility” and look at some impressive data coming from Searchmetrics annual Winners and Losers Report. Search Engine Watch is discussing this new report. “Among the biggest winners, although only making up 10% of the ‘winner’ sites overall, was social media. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook all ranked in the top 10 in terms of absolute gains, with Pinterest the surprise leader of the back – it came in at #2 in terms of overall visibility (Google, surprise surprise, was #1) and had a whopping 80% gain in overall visibility during the year.”

The article continues by addressing the publishing industry. “Media and publishing was the largest category of ‘winners’ in 2016, with nearly two-fifths (38%) of sites who gained SEO visibility falling into this category. However, a large number of media sites also lost visibility in the same period, with the likes of Wired, USAToday, NYMag, Time and BuzzFeed all appearing in the ‘losers’ category.”

We continue by taking a look at a concept that many haven’t fully wrapped their heads around yet. This subject is voice search, and we’re sharing an article from Search Engine Land on the topic. “With the exponential growth of connected devices hitting over 20 billion by the end of the decade, more users will expect to interact with their devices without a screen, fueling the rise of voice search. But we still need screens if Google and the others want to turn a profit. Otherwise, we won’t be able to rapidly process information to make our decisions.”

“Other solutions to the paid voice search conundrum include selling digital assistants as a service or these companies simply choosing not to monetize voice search and the map. The first option raises huge ethical questions about who gets access to digital assistants. The second option would be asking Google and Amazon to pass up a chance to make money. Neither is a likely alternative.”

The article continues with tips for marketers. “Ads are coming to voice search sooner than you think. Last week, Amazon already started toying with the idea of selling ads on Alexa. Still, my advice for marketers is to begin optimizing for organic voice search. In the future, organic listings won’t go away; they’ll just be harder to earn.”

It will be interesting to see all the developments in search engines, including voice search, going forward.

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