Google Enhances AdMob Tools and Adds Mediation Partners

Google has introduced a set of tools for its mobile ad network, AdMob, at the company’s annual I/O conference. The updates enable mobile app developers to hide ads from certain users and serve targeted ads in more major ad networks.

The company has added a new feature in beta to the Audience Builder tool, which allows developers to hide ads from highly-engaged app users. Audience Builder, powered by Google Analytics, helps developers segment users based on how they use a mobile app. For example, they can create a list that defines users who have been inactive for two weeks, and show ads to the list to re-engage those inactive users while they’re in other apps or across the Web.

Now, developers not only can show ads to inactive users, but also can hide ads from certain users with Audience Builder.

For example, if they want to offer an ad-free experience for loyal users who already spend a lot on in-app purchases, they can create a VIP list via Audience Builder to make sure this group don’t see ads and keep engaging with their app.


Meanwhile, Google has enhanced AdMob’s mediation tool that allows developers to run other mobile ad networks through the platform. In the past year, the company has added 15 major ad networks to AdMob, and now it supports 40 mediation partners, including Facebook, Twitter, Millennial Media and Tencent, one of China’s largest mobile ad networks.

Google acquired AdMob five years ago, at the price of $750 million.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

New Google AdWords Products and Partnerships Focus on App Attribution

New products and partnerships will make it easier and more effective for marketers to track their mobile app campaigns, Jason Titus, senior director at Google, said today during a livestream from the search titan’s annual I/O Conference in San Francisco.

Google Analytics for Apps offers more sophisticated segmentation and a more comprehensive view of app monetization from ads and purchases. Beginning today, Google has partnered with 20 new ad networks, including mobile-focused inMobi and Millennial Media. Integrating data into these new ad networks will give marketers consistent metrics, such as lifetime value and retention across an often-fragmented ecosystem. In the near future, marketers will also be able to postback, or create an HTTP post to the same page the form is on, their conversions to referring networks.

Advertisers using Google can also now integrate app install and event data from third-party measurements into AdWords. Some new mobile measurement partners include Kochava, Tune, Appsalar, AppsFlyer and Adjust.

“Mobile has really evolved so we want to make our offerings more cohesive and let you use the same APIs across platforms to build the apps that you want,” Titus said.

Beyond measuring apps, Google has also launched a new product, Universal App Campaigns, to help marketers promote their apps across its array of media. In February, the search powerhouse unveiled Search Ads on Google Play, which promised to reach consumers by showing ads alongside app search results. Along those lines, Universal App Campaigns provides simple installs for Android apps in AdWords or directly from the Google Play Developer Console. From there, the campaign scale can reach across Google Search and its AdMob network, as well as mobile sites, YouTube and Google Play.

Search Ads on Google Play and Universal App Campaigns will both be rolled out to in the next few months.

Google Adds Unified Search to Calendar and Drive

In a move to offer a unified experience across its wide range of products, Google has enhanced Google Calendar and Google Drive search capabilities.

Search bars at the top of Google Calendar and Google Drive will now feature not just information saved within the respective apps but also content from across Google owned and operated properties along with web search results. Whether users access the search bar in Drive, Calendar, or Gmail, they will be able to see relevant emails and calendar events as well as files stored in Google Drive and web

For example, when users type the keyword “data” into Google Calendar, they will see suggested web content, relevant files and calendar events if there are any. When they click one of the results, it will open in a new tab.

Gmail users have been enjoying this search feature for a while, but this is Google’s first attempt to make other apps more searchable, though it seems the feature doesn’t work within all apps. Entering keywords into the Google Docs app only leads to relevant Word documents in search results.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

New Tools to Help You Create Social Media Archives and Boost E-Commerce

Since every social media strategy is unique, every Hootsuite dashboard should be too.

One of the best ways to customize your dashboard—along with setting up streams and saving keyword searches—is by taking advantage of the Hootsuite App Directory. You’ll save time and increase your productivity by having access to the tools and social networks you use on a regular basis in one centralized dashboard.

From collaboration tools like Google Drive and Yammer, to customer service and sales platforms like Zendesk and Salesforce, the Hootsuite App Directory contains over 125 extensions and applications with over one million downloads (and counting).

We’ve recently added three new apps to the Hootsuite App Directory that can help create archives of your social media activity, boost your ecommerce activity, and track positive or negative mentions about your brand. Here’s how you can put these new apps into action.


ArchiveSocial is an automated social media archiving solution for compliance, records management, and digital preservation. The ArchiveSocial app for Hootsuite allows you to fully search your social media archive from within Hootsuite, and compose new posts from historical content. This app is available for Hootsuite Pro or Enterprise users, and those with an ArchiveSocial subscription.

Who should use this app?

Regulated industries with record keeping and compliance requirements, such as government, finance, and health care.

What can I do with this app? 

Although archiving social content is essential for regulated industries, it can also be a complicated and time-consuming task. Social content exists in a variety of complex, interactive, and non-standardized formats, and no matter how careful you are about preserving your own content, comments or messages sent to you can be quickly deleted and lost forever.

Using the ArchiveSocial app for Hootsuite, you can view archived posts within the same dashboard that you use to schedule and publish social content. The app also allows you to quickly search through your previous social posts to find specific keywords or conversations.

A municipal government, for example, could use the ArchiveSocial app for Hootsuite to review past interactions with citizens on social media and identify trends within those conversations. They could then use that information to proactively plan future responses or campaigns, or craft new posts from this historical content and immediately publish them across multiple social networks.

Try ArchiveSocial today


Shoppost is a fast and easy way to start selling products in social media news feeds through interactive posts and rich content. A shoppost is a post on social media that offers an interactive preview of your product and its variants—including price, size, or color. Using the Shoppost for Hootsuite app, you can manage all of your shopposted products from one stream.

Who should use this app?

Anyone selling a product—from small businesses to major retailers—who wants to connect their ecommerce strategy to their social communities.

What can I do with this app?

The Shoppost app for Hootsuite allows you to engage directly with your customers while supporting your marketing goals and initiatives, all from one streamlined dashboard.

A small business—let’s say an art supply store—could use the app to view all of the shopposts they’ve created for their newly added line of acrylic paints in one stream and easily schedule them to go out across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and more.

They could also use Hootsuite’s powerful social listening capabilities to notice an influx of mentions or inquiries from their target audience about a certain trend or product, and then use those insights to adjust their shopposts and social commerce strategy accordingly.

Try Shoppost today


The Reador Easy Filter app allows you to monitor specific hashtags or keywords from Twitter, Instagram or RSS feeds, all in one place. The app also allows you to filter these results based on positive or negative sentiment, and assign these messages to someone within your Hootsuite organization.

Who should use this app? 

Companies that want to monitor conversations on social about their brand or competitors, or track specific hashtags and keywords within one centralized stream.

What can I do with this app? 

Let’s say a television network has a new show premiering. The social team could use the Reador app for Hootsuite to gauge the level of excitement about this premiere by pulling any positive mentions of the show’s title from Twitter or Instagram into one stream, and any negative ones into another.

The network could then start connecting one-on-one with these potential viewers—or clarifying any misinformation about tune-in times or casting information—by replying directly from within the stream, or assigning the messages to other members of their team.

This type of proactive outreach can help identify any potential detractors, extend the reach of marketing messages about the premiere, and turn early buzz into sustained hype for the duration of the show’s season.

Try Reador today

Do you want to build and distribute an app through the Hootsuite App Directory? Apply for developer access here.

3 Challenges in Enterprise Social Media (and How to Solve Them)

Download your free copy here

#1 – Picking the right metrics to inspire large teams  

A survey of over 300 marketers by Contently, a leading content marketplace for brands, found that over “90 percent of marketers were not confident in their key content metrics.” It’s not just about investing in better analytics. Teams need the confidence to know where to focus their attention.

Metrics tell your team where to devote their daily energy. If leaders aren’t confident in these metrics or if they shift focus from quarter to quarter, this can derail efficiency and create very confused employees.

Metrics need to inspire and connect individual actions of employees to the broader mission of your company. Getting them right is incredibly important.

As Bill Macaitis the CMO of Slack, which is one of the fastest-growing enterprise software product in history, recently put it this way: short-term metrics make marketing teams do short-sighted things.

“If you’re focused on short term metrics, like leads, the pipeline and the opportunities—the very traditional sales-type metrics—it creates a lot of incentives to do bad things to people—like putting them on prison cell-style landing pages, or calling them before they’re ready.”

Macaitis says, “we’re seeing a revolution in marketing, where we starting to think about advocacy marketing, life-cycle marketing, nurturing, and content marketing. A lot of these are really meant to reach people earlier in the funnel, provide great content, provide a great experience, …and find the people who really love you to leverage that evangelism to spread the word.”

#2 – Structuring social media teams with multiple products and business divisions

Building the most effective team structure for large companies can be daunting. Only 16% of organizations feel confident in their social media governance model, says a recent study by Altimeter.

In our experience, companies often begin with a product-focused lens, building social media profiles and teams to support different products and business divisions.

But do these internal divisions and complex brand ecosystems make sense to your customers?

For example, one of our enterprise customers is a global company with multiple household products. Customers love their central brand. But to make social media easier to manage across their multiple product lines, they divided up their teams by business divisions and the countries they serve.

The challenge was that customers didn’t understand (or care to learn) these internal divisions. They might buy a product from the kitchenware division but then engage and ask questions on the central brand’s Twitter handle.

James McIntyre, a Solution Delivery Manager at Hootsuite, helps some of the world’s largest organizations structure their social media teams. “Fracturing social media followings is often a mistake,” he says.

“Many companies break down their audiences into different products, creating many different accounts for each section of the business. A better approach is to begin where your audience is. For example, if you have a range of household products … where do people talk about kitchenware? Where do they talk about cleaning products? Begin by building out different social media profiles around those customer communities.”

Assignments in your social relationship platform can also help. For example, customers might contact your central brand when they have a customer support question. Assignments can then route that response to an internal division (such as to a product specialist in your TV division).

This helps to create two structures: the visible organization that the customer sees (your global brand and related accounts) and the internal organization (how you coordinate and collaborate).

#3 – Dealing with decentralized teams and activities

With a growing number of teams and external agencies helping to execute social media strategies, your company needs tight workflows and coordination to enable a consistent, unified voice. But as rule-heavy processes and systems grow, employees can become inefficient.

Whether it’s having too many stakeholders on planning committees or having unclear roles and ambiguous metrics, all of these decisions impact the efficiency of teams.

One of the best places to start is by removing ambiguity from roles and teams.

As Julian Birkinshaw, a Professor and Chair of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School, recently wrote in Harvard Business Review, “Changes to job titles, to the layout of the office, to the agenda of the weekly meeting, to decisions about who gets promoted — all of these are attention “cues” that collectively shape people’s views of what is important, thereby shaping how they behave.”

Once you’ve clarified roles and responsibilities, collaborate and solve a common social media challenge together—for example, brainstorming ways to drive more referral video traffic from Facebook.

We recommend that you have a weekly social enablement call to bring together different divisions or countries to share best practices.

One week, a manager in Brazil might share new Facebook engagement strategies they’ve found to be effective; the next week, the London team might offer tips for writing blog posts on LinkedIn. Focus on the weekly wins (such as the top shared content) and analyze success together.

What to do next:

We’ve offered a few high-level solutions in this post.

These insights come from Manage Complexity: 4 Ways to Simplify Social Media in Large Companies.

In this resource, you’ll discover:

  • How to identify and eliminate unintended complexity in social media
  • Best practices for managing social media in large companies
  • How to structure your social media teams

Download your free copy here

Lenovo REACHIt Extends Cortana Search Capabilities

Coupled with Cortana, a new Microsoft search feature called REACHIt makes it easier to find a specific photo or file in Windows 10.

REACHIt allows users to implement Cortana voice search across devices to access specific files via personal cloud. A unique Lenovo user ID will link all Windows 10-enabled tablets, PCs, and phones to connect all of a user’s personal files, including photos, videos, emails. Cortana search works from all devices, so a file uploaded to a PC can be accessed from a phone or tablet from anywhere, using a variety of different keywords, such as location or date. lenovo-reachit

For example, a Lenovo user looking for a vacation video saved to a phone doesn’t have to remember the name of the video or even have the phone accessible. He or she can simply ask a REACHIt-enabled device to find “that video I took in Paris.” 

In a prepared statement, Mark Cohen, vice president of ecosystem and cloud services at Lenovo, described REACHIt as a cross between a personal assistant and trusted friend. “What you need is an assistant – a friend – who is always at the ready to help. That is where Cortana and REACHit come in, enabling people to find their personal content in an incredibly natural way – by asking a friend for help.”

7 Directives to Help You Navigate the SEO Landscape of the Future

Think of a Rip Van Winkle like scenario where an SEO who went to sleep a few years ago, woke up today. Will he be able to recognize the current SEO process? Probably not – it’s changed drastically. With Google trying to make search a better place, all its algorithm updates have one core focus – get rid of spammy links and fetch only the most relevant search results.

As SEOs, we need to revisit our strategies and sort them out to navigate the changing landscape. With the way things stand, you must ensure your SEO strategies are future-proofed to add a semblance of consistency and solidity to your campaign.

Here are seven tips that should drive your SEO efforts in 2015 and beyond:

1. Google Wants “Quality,” But You Define the Threshold

Link building isn’t dead; it has evolved. Building links to your site still remains a crucial SEO activity. It is how you create these links that matters. Google wants you to earn these links and what is even more important – build links for humans and not search engines; the kind of links that are not only meant to increase rankings but also direct people to relevant content.

Your links need to be useful and take people to content that provides a solution for their needs. Link spam needs to be avoided at all costs. When building links, keep in mind that directories are over, commenting on blogs strictly to build links is a bad idea, and social should be an important part of your strategy. The whole idea is to sweat it out while building links and employing a bit of creativity to attract natural links towards your web pages.

2. Relationships Are the New “Add Link” Buttons

If you want to build backlinks, you need to build a relationship with various stakeholders. This includes influencers, brand advocates and your target consumers. If you really want to build high quality backlinks, you need to interact and engage with real people.


Relationship-based link building is the way ahead. One of the first things you must do is target the influencers in your niche. Tools exist that let you search for Twitter bios of people related to your niche and sort them out on the basis of their social authority. Now, get in touch with these niche influencers and thought leaders.

This initial contact is important and sets the stage for a more fruitful relationship. Leave insightful comments on their blog posts, send an email, or connect at conferences or even on Twitter.

And keep at it. Once you start interacting regularly with influencers, give them a reason to link to you. What you want to offer is a mutually beneficial quid pro quo. One of the better ways of asking for a link is offering a high-quality blog post in return. In this particular case, they get readymade content that can be published on their site and you get a link, usually by way of an author bio.

The fact that you’ve spent time getting to know them and they know you means they will be amenable to this idea. If not, you could even ask them upfront for a link and what they would like in return.

3. Go Big or Go Home

Make SEO a part of your larger marketing efforts. Yes, if you get your SEO strategy right, it will go a long way in improving rankings. But why not leverage it a wee bit more? Think big.

Looking at SEO from a brand building prism will put things in perspective and also streamline your efforts. Ask questions like, “How will my optimization tactics benefit target customers?” “How do I make CRO an integral component of my SEO strategy?” or “Will organic traffic be the sole metric to calculate SEO ROI or will lead generation and sales figure in the ROI as well?” It would also help to ask how SEO can strengthen a brand, increase brand messages, and improve reputation and credibility.

4. When It Comes to Keywords, Long Tails Will Take You Far

If SEO has still not lost its relevance, why would keyword research? It’s still as important as ever, although the spotlight is now on long-tail keywords, which have risen in prominence partially due to Google Hummingbird. Gone are the days when Google would pick certain keywords from a search query and fetch results.


Creating high-quality content that revolves around long search queries of your target users will allow you to scale SERPs. This also gives you more scope to come up with content that is user oriented more than anything else. You can move away from focusing purely on keywords.

5. UX Is the Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

UX, including mobile, is super important for the success of your SEO efforts. While there is no clear indication from Google that UX is a ranking signal, there is a reason why offering a satisfying UX can influence search results.

Take site speed, for instance. If your site loads quickly, it’s a clear indicator of a satisfying UX. But if your site loads slowly, there is every chance it will suffer high bounce rates. And a high bounce rate is rumored to be bad for rankings.

On the other hand, fast-loading pages mean visitors tend to find what they want quickly, or even dig a bit more, which is characteristic of a site that is actually delivering value. This can boost your rankings.

Google recommends responsive web design, which means you need to take time out to make your mobile site look great. Other UX aspects that need to be factored in include call-to-action button sizes, readability, accessability, broken links and navigation.

6. Your Brand Is Social

While Google has categorically denied social signals are a ranking factor, the importance of social in improving your business’s search rankings cannot be stressed enough.

You create share-worthy content; ensure this content is easy to share; create social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms; interact with people through these accounts; share links to your content and other curated pieces through your accounts.

This will increase social media referral traffic to your site. Your content will be shared by your fans and followers with their fans and followers. Your content gets the potential to go viral, get more brand mentions and links, and reach more people.

7. Do Your Own Thing

The online world is saturated with content revolving around SEO and how you need to go about your optimization efforts. More content is being published every day. Your job is to sift through all this information, follow reputed blogs and thought leaders, and read/hear what they have to say.

But, at the end of the day, do what you feel is right for your business. Rather than focusing on and reaction to Google’s updates, be comfortable with your SEO strategies. If you are not confident or don’t have the knowledge needed to use a particular tactic, the effort will come across as half-baked and won’t deliver the results you are looking for.

Guidelines For Transitioning A Paid Search Account

Winning new business is always exciting. But when taking over a new paid search account from a previous agency, you never know what you are getting into. It could range from one word ad groups, to ad groups containing 500 broad match keywords.

To ensure you are able to kick things off on the right foot for your new client, you’ll want to make sure you get all of the information you need to manage the campaign successfully. Before you get started on the transition, one of the first things you will want to accomplish is to define success for your client.

When transitioning an account on from another agency, here are a few of the main topics you will want to cover before the transition takes place:

  • Campaign Goals: What was the account being optimized toward? Sales, registrations, e-mail news letter signs-ups?
  • Brand Strategy Documents: Paid search is most likely one of the many things a brand is doing to grow their business. Having a deep understanding of their plans and value proposition value can help your paid search efforts support the bigger goal.
  • Optimization and Performance Insights: Detailed analysis of previous optimization efforts and executed tests. Highlighting is any major shifts in strategy occurred and the results they generated.
  • Previous Reporting Efforts: Whether it was weekly, monthly or quarterly, previous reporting efforts can provide additional insight into some of the items listed above. They also can provide insight into what type of information and data your client is used to seeing.
  • Analytics and Tracking: You will want to make sure you have a deep understanding of what analytics platform is being utilized as well as how and what on the site is tagged. As with any paid media effort, you’ll want to ensure URL parameters are properly set up or if they need to be stripped to whatever new platform will be utilized.

As you take on a new client, focusing on the most important things as part of the transition will ensure you and your client are set up for success. Making sure you can get as much of the information mentioned above from the incumbent agency will surely help achieve this. By doing this in advance of the transition deadline, you can make sure you have the critical details and analysis available.


Homepage image via Shutterstock

4 Ways to Spot SEO Problems Before They Even Happen

SEO Problems*Sigh*

It’s not such unlikely scenario at all….

You spend months and months devising a SEO strategy, dedicate a significant budget to the project and work hard alongside the agency to rank your site.

And then one morning, it’s all gone.

Almost the entire organic traffic wiped out.


It could have been caused by anything – a new algorithm update, manual action or technical problem with the site.

It doesn’t matter.

What does however is that could have been avoided.

A simple monitoring for any problems could have saved your site from plummeting in rankings.

Let’s face it:

In many instances SEO tends to be reactive, taking action only when a problem has already occurred.

But what if you knew what to do to spot problems before they escalate?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to show you today.

Conduct Regular Site Audits

A site audit is a process of examination of a website to establish what is good about it and what is not.

Even the most basic site audit could help identify potential issues like duplicate content or crawler access problems that could hinder your SEO efforts.

But the most important thing about site audits is that they’re not a once off thing.

Many businesses conduct an audit right before launching an SEO campaign and leave it at that.


A website is a variable entity. It changes, evolves and expands with every new page, any other piece of content or functionality added to it.

Just imagine…

One of your colleagues has added new pages to the site but forgot to properly optimize them. And now, in spite of having this new content up, there is little chance that it could achieve good search engine rankings.

Or a programmer unknowingly changed an important aspect of a template while submitting other code updates. Now all pages created with this template will contain that error, potentially preventing them from ranking.

Needless to say, such problems could negatively affect your site’s rankings and organic traffic.

And the only way to prevent them is by conducting regular site audits.

Here are some of the most important problems auditing a site could identify:

Duplicate Content. We’ve written about the duplicate content issue at length in this post. But to reiterate, duplicate content is one that appears on the Internet in more than one location.

This could be the same copy appearing on different pages on the same domain or across multiple domains.

Duplicate content confuses search engines as to which version to display in search results. And thus, it often forces them to either display a copy or drop the content entirely from the index.

Duplicate meta-information. Meta-tags, title and description are two of the most important on-page ranking factors. They help search engines understand what a page is all about but also, they use them to display search results.

But with hundreds of pages to manage, it’s easy to lose track of meta-tags and either start using duplicates or have no title and description tags at all.

Accessibility Issues. To rank your website, Google first needs to be able to access it, scan its pages and include them in its search index.

But if you accidentally block that access, via an error in robots file or a faulty plugin, search engines will no longer be able to access your site. And may even decide to drop it from index as a result.

Broken Links. Links pointing to pages or websites that no longer exist provide a poor user experience and might be considered negative ranking factors.

Monitor Rankings

It’s true:

Rankings are the best metric of SEO success.

They indicate success or failure, make you strategies accountable and allow predicting traffic and conversions.

But they also help spot SEO problems.

No other metric will indicate a problem better than a sudden drop in rankings.

Traffic naturally fluctuates depending on trends, seasonality, events and other factors. And thus, it’s easy to overlook small dips in the number of visits to the site.

An unexpected drop in rankings however immediately indicates a problem. It could be a technical fault with the site. Or Google releasing another algorithm update.

Regardless of the reasons, monitoring rankings can help to spot a problem and start taking action to rectify it.

Audit Your Content Too

You know:

Only few years ago it was perfectly fine to post 350-500 words articles to rank.

But today, in the post-Panda world, you probably know that the search engine will only rank content if it passes very rigorous criteria of length, usefulness and a lot more.

In this post Kathryn Aragon lists the characteristics of ideal, post-Panda content:

  • It should provide real answers to people’s problems,
  • Help or entertain readers,
  • Teach them how to do something,
  • It should include references, quotes and back up every claim,
  • Provide information people want to talk about on their own sites and,
  • It’s a content that gets quoted, shared and linked to.

But how do you know if your content passes these criteria?

One way to find out is by auditing it, simply.

A full-blown content audit will help you to:

  • Identify all the content you have on the site,
  • Find out if it meets the needs of your audience,
  • Find out how well it is optimized for search performance,
  • Understand what actions you could take to improve it and so on.

Content audit is a complex process involving listing all pages on the site, collecting vital data about their performance, traffic, optimization and many others.

To learn about each of these steps, check out our detailed guide to conducting a content audit.

Monitor Data in the Search Console

Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is the search engine’s platform providing webmasters with the insight about their sites and their performance in search.

And needless to say, it includes a lot of data that could help you spot SEO problems before they happen:

No of Indexed Pages. If the number of your site’s pages the search engine has indexed has dropped for no reason (i.e. you didn’t remove those pages from the site), it might be an indication of crawler problems.


(An Index status of a relatively new site. Notice the small fluctuations of the number of indexed pages possibly due to few of them being removed after launch).

Crawl Errors. Similarly, if the number of pages with errors goes up, it might be a signal to investigate.

The screenshot below shows what happened after a change of a WordPress plugin that resulted in some pages being deleted from the site.


Sitemaps. A sitemap helps search engines to index your pages quickly and more thoroughly. But that’s providing that there are no issues with the sitemap. If you use a plugin to automatically update sitemaps, you should regularly check if there are no new issues with updated versions.

Robots. We’ve already talked how an error in robots file could prevent searchbot from accessing your site. Robots tester tool in the Search Console could help you quickly test your file for any potential errors.


Creative commons image by Mike Krzeszak / Flickr

Last updated by at May 28, 2015.