As digital marketers, we strive to be constantly up-to-date on the latest happening in the online world. We have Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Web Design, and more covered. Staying on top of digital news is our job and not only pushes us with our ideas and strategies but ensures our clients come out on top as well. Whether it’s a new app exploding on the scene, a Google algorithm update, or the latest behavior tracking tool we’ll review, preview, and make note of it here. So if you’ve missed checking your RSS reader or your favorite sites this week no worries. New to 2016 is our what we’re listening to section full of a podcast, song, or piece that has been in our heads all week. Check it out to find out what you should be listening to regardless of topic. Come back every Friday for a new collection of our favorites and the most noteworthy pieces from the digital news sphere.

What We’re Reading for March 11th

Google Experimenting With Local Business Cards In Search Results

Google is experimenting with a local business carousel at the top of the SERPs. Users notice that this carousel isn’t limited to mobile–the carousel also appears on the desktop version of the SERPs. Content that appears in he carousel is also shareable! (Contributed by Technical Search Strategist Claudia Pennington)

Angie’s List Drops Subscription Fees

Angie’s List has long been struggling with their paid subscription as well, people don’t really want to pay for things on the internet. As of late there have been an incredible amount of start-ups also offering the same services but at no cost putting more pressure on Angie’s List. With this new model any users will be able to see ratings and reviews for companies without paying. There will still be premium offerings but the basic features users are looking to find will be free. Which now, makes Angie’s List reviews even more important for local businesses! (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Anna Horn)

Google Shopping Ads Testing Carousel Ads on Desktop

These new shopping ads will simulate the experience found on mobile devices, in that the user can scroll to the right to view additional products. In addition, if the user’s query contains the terms “top” or “best”, then rankings will appear (in order) for each product. This is just one step further into a more “shopping-friendly” SERP. (Contributed by PPC Manager Matt Burkarth)

Google’s Take On The Recent Changes To The Results Page

2 weeks ago the SEM world was abuzz with opinions about the new ad layout for Google that completely removed sidebar ads (except PLAs). Everyone has an opinion, but this week Search Engine Land got the details from a Google employee, Matt Lawson. The most important thing to remember is that Google has more data than any company has ever had, and that this change was extensively tested before rolling out. (Contributed by Paid Search Specialist Bill Hartz)

Reverse-Engineering AdWords Quality Score Factors

With easier access to Quality Score information (via a new version of the AdWords API) it’s now possible to get a better understanding of each of the factors that contribute to Quality Score (Landing Page Experience, Ad Relevance, and CTR). This makes prioritizing which factors may need improvements a much easier process. It’s now possible to visualize Quality Score data to make more informed decisions. (Contributed by Paid Search Specialist Kevin Koehn)

Using Semantically Related Keywords to Improve your On-Site Optimization

You’ve done your keyword research. You know what queries your business needs to rank for to be successful. Now it’s time to take it a step further by identifying semantically related keywords and phrases to incorporate into you page copy. Rand suggests looking at pages that already rank well (top 10-20 organic results) for your target keywords and queries and finding other, highly-relevant terms that consistently appear on these pages, along with your target keywords. Once you’ve determined which of these semantically related terms make the most sense for your business, you can start including them in your page copy to boost ranking potential. (Contributed by Online PR Specialist Emily Long)

What We’re Listening To

Six Pixels of Separation, Episode #504 Modern Economy with Douglas Rushkoff

If you were curious to understand disruption, the digital economy, and the potential perils of disruptive growth, Douglas Rushkoff is the person you should follow. This conversation between two industry luminaries is enlightening as it is engaging. (Contributed by Director of Search Marketing Justin Emig)

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