Google Analytics Moves to Sessions – Goodbye Visits

I notice today that my Google Analytics screen now refers to “sessions” rather than “visitors”. New visits % are replaced by “new sessions %”. The description unique visitors has disappeared to be replaced by “new users”. In some respects this latter description brings Google Analytics into line with Statcounter, my other web analytics platform of choice. I would also suggest it is a description more easily understood by clients than unique visitors.Google Analytics Sessions Screen

The Google Analytics Sessions Screen


Google Removes Adwords Keyword Search String Data

The paid search industry has been buzzing with rumours and actual facts about Google’s latest move to remove the search string from Google Adwords searches.

The search term data is still available in Google Adwords search query reports and still available within matched search query reports in Google Analytics. However, third party systems that parse the search string will no longer be able to do so. See this example from a Statcounter report that I have just run.

Analytics Data Searches 11-4-14

Analytics data searches minus the keyword

As this image taken from a Statcounter report shows 4 of the 6 paid searches are now showing “Keywords Unavailable” and look remarkably similar to the organic searches next to them.

Apparently the data is still available via a Google API and many of the third party vendors of Google Adwords software have mounted major PR offences to push this information out into the search marketing community.

Meanwhile, a Google Analytics matched search query report covering the same period shows all the keyword detail.

The most comprehensive assessment I have seen so far is by Larry Kim on Search Engine Land.


Matt Cutts: Facebook and Twitter Signals Don’t Help You Rank

I’ve just picked up on this 4 minute video from Google’s Matt Cutts.  Covered in an article on Search Engine Land, the video is Matt’s response to the question: Are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the [Google] ranking algorithm? How much do they matter?

Matt’s short answer is no. He specifically refers to Facebook likes and Twitter followers as not being ranking signals. His caveat is that this is “currently” and to the best of his knowledge. Remember he works for the anti-spam team. And does not directly oversee management of the Google ranking algorithm. Matt goes on to explain why the social signals are ignored.

My initial response was to share the video and related post on my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. I also asked the question about the implications for all those social media agencies that are still out there telling people that social media signals do have a direct relationship with Google rankings. Within the video Matt points out that an observed correlation – that is websites with lots of social signals may rank highly on Google – is not necessarily causation.


Travel Local Appoints Simply Clicks for SEO Campaign

IndoChina River Boat Travel Local

IndoChina River Boat Travel Local

Asian travel specialist Travel Local has appointed Simply Clicks to handle their organic search marketing activity. The deal was essentially sealed at this year’s World Travel Market in London.

Travel Local specialises in authentic private tours in Central Asia and the Silk Route, the Indian sub-continent, China, Taiwan and Mongolia and IndoChina and south east Asia. The full list of destinations includes the following destinations:

  •  Central Asia and the Silk Route
  • SE Asia & Indochina
  • Indian Subcontinent
  • China & Mongolia

The key point of difference for Travel Local is that they utilise local travel companies to organise local transportation.  Organising travel components locally leads to a better, more authentic trip – as no-one knows a country like a travel company based there. UK consumer payments are protected by the Travel Trust Association.

Simply Clicks was appointed to handle Travel Local’s PPC management in September.


The Content Marketing Show – Strategy

Last Friday I attended the Content Marketing Show in London. This is just the third show in the series. The show is put on by the same people as Brighton SEO. My rationale for attending was to keep up to date with the latest trends in content marketing and the impact it is having on SEO practise.

Content Marketing Strategy Model - Brilliant Noise

Content Marketing Strategy Model – Brilliant Noise

There were several good presentations over the day. However, for me, the most informative was the presentation on content marketing strategy by Lauren Pope of Brighton digital marketing agency, Brilliant Noise. Lauren showed us a model for content marketing strategy, then explained how she goes about sourcing, creating, publishing and amplifying relevant content.

As in all of these models and constructs, the key is how each of the elements link together. Getting a clear idea of purpose and sharing and agreeing that idea with others in the marketing and PR team ensures that content marketing is built on strong foundations.

Conveniently, and as a aide memoire, all of the key elements begin with a “P”.

  • Purpose
  • Principles
  • Platforms
  • Processes
  • People
  • Performance