Google news, Facebook canvas ads, ad blocking backlash

Mar 11th, 2016

In the week it was announced that mobile ad spend will overtake TV and desktop spending in 2016, Click Consult brings you a round-up of the week’s biggest search marketing news…

Google news

What our search engine overlord has been up to over the past week.

77 million requests to remove copyright

Google revealed this week that it had received more than 77 million requests to remove links to alleged copyright-infringing content over the past month alone – double the number this time last year. Content owners who believe their copyright has been violated can ask Google to remove questionable URLs from its search results.

PageRank disappears from Toolbar

Google’s John Mueller has also confirmed that PageRank will be removed from its Toolbar saying: “As the Internet and our understanding of the Internet have grown in complexity, the Toolbar PageRank score has become less useful to users as a single isolated metric. Retiring the PageRank display from Toolbar helps avoid confusing users and webmasters about the significance of the metric.”

Local ‘card carousel’ experiment

Google is testing a new feature that allows businesses to post custom content into organic search results, in what Search Engine Land is calling ‘Local Business Cards’. They look similar to Facebook carousel ads, but have also reportedly included GIFs and animated content. Google has made no official announcement at the time of this posting and test appears to be limited to a handful of US-based businesses.

Google Shopping

Again in testing: a scrollable carousel for Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on desktop, similar to that which is displayed in Google mobile results, as spotted by Sushan Sharma:

You’ll also begin to see a change to the way PLAs are displayed as Google has started to incorporate customer ratings into rankings for queries that include a qualifier like ‘top’ or ‘best’, for example:


Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook’s canvas ads

The social media platform has rolled out canvas ads, “a full-screen ad experience for bringing brands and products to life on mobile”.  We think canvas ads are a great way for brands to quickly tell a story and increase brand awareness, specifically targeted to mobile devices. It acknowledges that load speed and data sizes are important obstacles of the mobile experience, so this is a good alternative to video.

Ad blocking

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has issued guidelines for advertisers in the form of a Publisher Ad Blocking Primer, to help them persuade consumers to whitelist their site, while Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has branded ad blocking a “modern-day protection racket”, adding that he will set up a round table to tackle the issue.

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