This past week Google rolled out a significant algorithm update, turned AdWords into a more powerful tool for mobile advertisers, and is making remarketing even more effective.
Full details about each of these headlines are included in this week’s SEO and internet marketing news roundup.
Google Penguin Update
Penguin is the name of Google’s algorithm which targets sites that engage in spammy link building practices. It used to be a standalone algorithm that would run on its own at certain periods of time. This created problems for site owners; if they were penalized by a Penguin update, they had to wait until the next update rolled out before there was any hope of recovery.
Google used to be fairly consistent when it came to updating Penguin. However, it was going on almost two years since the last update, which means some site owners have been waiting that long to be released from under Penguin’s grasp. Now there will be much less waiting — Google has confirmed a new Penguin update was launched this week.
It’s not just any Penguin update, this one is different. Penguin has been integrated with Google’s core algorithm, meaning it’s no longer separated. Second, since it is part of Google’s core algorithm Penguin will now be running in real-time. What does that mean for site owners? It means recoveries will happen much faster. By the same token, it also means penalties can be dished out faster as well, so be careful out there.
With Penguin now being a regular component of Google’s algorithm, the company says not to expect any further announcements about it. This may be the last we hear from Google about Penguin for a long time.
Penguin Recoveries Already Happening
Google inadvertently created more news about Penguin this week, when Google’s Gary Illyes stated on Twitter that recoveries from previous Penguin updates are already happening, and will be finished by the end of the week. This is great news for site owners. If you have been penalized by Penguin in the past and have taken the necessary steps to recover, you should already be seeing some improvement.
While this may sound great, it’s worth mentioning that having a penalty removed will not automatically cause your site to start ranking better. It helps to be proactive — if you have done nothing other than trying to get bad links removed, you may only see a slight ranking adjustment. On the other hand, if you have been removing bad links while also acquiring good, new, links then you may see a more significant rankings adjustment.
AdWords Cross-Device Remarketing
Have you ever visited an Amazon product page, only to see that same product advertised to you afterward on Facebook? That’s called remarketing, and Google AdWords does it too. AdWords remarketing used to be relegated to one device; there was no connection between the ads you see on desktop and the ads you see on mobile devices.
This week, Google announced AdWords cross-device remarketing, which will allow you to target the same ads to the same users as they move between their devices. Ads will also be remarketed toward users across websites, apps, and anywhere ads on the Google Display Network are eligible to be shown.
You can’t use AdWords cross-device remarketing just yet, but it will be made available over the next few months.
Even More AdWords Updates
Google appears to be doubling down on remarketing as of late, as even more features were announced this week. Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) was an existing feature that allowed advertisers to adjust search ads, bids, and keywords based on how a person previously interacted with a website.
Google is improving RLSA first by having it work in conjunction with the cross-device remarketing capabilities mentioned in the above section. Second, you can now keep site visitors on your list for up to a maximum of 540 days. Later this year, Google will also make it possible to create remarketing lists at a campaign level.
To top it all off, Google has launched demographics for search ads (DFSA). With DFSA you can target specific customer groups by adjusting bids for age and gender. AdWords will also provide reports on how each demographic is impacting your campaign. You can even exclude specific demographics in order to narrow down your audience even further.
This week Google released the Penguin update everyone has been waiting for, with sites already recovering from old penalties. Google has made remarketing even more useful for advertisers and is finally allowing advertisers to set demographics for search ads. There’s always something changing in the world of search, and it’s our job to keep you caught up with it. See you next week.