Google adds Affililiate Extensions to Adwords extension roster

affilliate-extension2-picmonkeyAd Extensions are one of the most powerful features within Adwords. When used correctly, they provide searchers with an additional, personalized “nudge” that translates into higher click-through rates, which can translate into a higher Quality Score, which has a beneficial influence on CPCs.

Google already has Call Extensions, Location Extensions, Review Extensions, Price Extensions, and Seller Rating Extensions. Last week, it added Affiliate Extensions to this roster, and that’s welcome news for OEMs distributing product through local retailers.

My colleagues at Didit have more on this big announcement you can read right here:

Google adds Affiliate Extensions to Adwords

Google Podium promises preferred organic SERP positions for “select entities”

The Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines podium as “a raised platform for a speaker, performer, or the leader of an orchestra,” and that’s an apt description of Google’s new product (which Google defines as “an experimental new podium on Google.”

Google describes Podium as a “new way for users to hear directly from select entities they’re searching for on Google,” and promises that “verified individuals and organizations can now communicate with text, images and videos directly on Google. Creating content is fast and simple, and once published, posts will appear instantly in search results related to the publisher. Each post can also be shared on popular social networks.”

Like a real-life podium, Google’s new feature elevates the status of those who demonstrate to Google that they are “select entities,” in other words brands, celebrities, or other high-status individuals. This elevation is achieved both by giving them preferred real estate (in the form of a horizontally-swiped carousel) in the above-the-fold area of the SERP, and by furnishing them with an area (which the user accesses after clicking on the carousel) serving as a repository for the posted content. This latter area looks a bit like a simplified Google Plus page. Sharing options on this page are limited to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and via email.

Google’s new functionality hasn’t been rolled out publicly yet; it’s an invitation-only program that’s been limited to an elite set of influencers, including the major U.S. presidential candidates and some influential fashion people. The rest of us will need to join the waiting list, which you can do by going to:

Podium isn’t yet a finished product, but it promises a lot to marketers in terms of SERP position, reputation management, and general digital visibility. My colleagues share more thoughts on Podium over at

Google Podium (AKA Google Posts): what marketers need to understand



What does it take to succeed on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn (now owned by Microsoft) is a great social network for businesses – large and small – to advance their causes, but success only comes to those who apply themselves in methodical fashion.

This means building (and maintaining) three main things: 1) a solid company page that’s as impressive as what’s on the business’ WWW domain, 2) a solid network of contacts, and 3) a sensible plan of engagement that delivers results over time.

As my colleagues at Didit note, “achieving influence on social media takes time, patience, and elbow grease (while some social media tasks can be automated, the better part of them require human decisions and human action). Unless you’re lucky enough to have skilled staffers with free time, or can avail yourself of agency services, you’ll need to prioritize. Don’t expect short term results: social media is a slog, not a sprint.”

You can read more about what it takes to get the most out of LinkedIn right here:

3 things small businesses must do to succeed on LinkedIn


Using SEO as a backstop against unanticipated traffic losses

Over the past two years, Facebook has been reducing the ability of publishers to reach audiences on its network, and publishers (and brands) aren’t happy about it. But the good news is that publishers appear to have learned from this painful experience, and are taking action to make sure that it never happens again. Major publishers, including The New York Times, Rodale, Time Inc., and others are hiring SEO strategists, coders, and analysts to strengthen their visibility on their own web-based platforms, with the ultimate goal being to generate independent, loyal engaged audiences on turf they control.

This is a healthy trend – the web is about independence – after all, not being a captive to the rules of any given private network attached to it. My colleagues at Didit have written more about the trend of publishers using SEO to regain control over their own destinies; you can read it here:

Digiday: Major publishers doubling down on SEO to replace lost Facebook referral traffic


Email is a powerful, effective, reliable marketing channel in 2016

Electronic mail — invented the 1970s — has been with us longer than many people have been alive. Along with the spreadsheet, it stands among the true “killer applications” of modern, distributed, personal computing.

But email has gotten a bad rap over the past decade, as newer, slicker, web-based marketing environments have grown up, and as the email channel has become clogged with spam (and spam filters!)

But electronic mail is still an incredibly strong channel, and a new report from Adobe Digital validates its strength. For example:

1. Americans check email more often than they check Facebook (or, for that matter, any social network)

2. Email — not Quora, not Facebook, not the web — is the channel one goes to when one expects an immediate response.

3. Email (and direct postal mail) is still the preferred channel for receiving marketing messages.

4. Millenials are just as hooked on electronic mail as boomers or GenXers.

Electronic mail isn’t sexy. It doesn’t stream, or know where you are, and it can’t recommend a new friend, product, or song. But email is EFFICIENT. And that’s why marketers need to regard it as a proven, reliable channel with the power to deliver results.

My colleagues at Didit have written more about Adobe’s findings here:

Adobe: email is still the “alpha channel”

Good news – 52 percent of LI large cap companies are now mobile-friendly


Didit’s corporate HQ is on Long Island and many of our people work in Nassau and Suffolk counties, so we have a natural interest in how Long Island-based companies are handling the digitally disruptive changes now transforming all facets of business.

One particular issue we’ve paid attention to is mobile-friendliness. After all, with consumers increasingly using their mobile devices as primary computing platforms, sites that fail to deliver a good mobile experience aren’t a good thing to have. Mobile-friendliness isn’t the only indicator of whether a given corporate site is healthy, of course: along with site speed and User Experience, mobile-friendliness is a necessary but insufficient condition for digital excellence.

Back in 2015 — at the height of MobileGeddon — Didit surveyed about 800 sites — including the sites maintained by the biggest, large cap companies on Long Island. At the time, we found a very worrisome situation: only 22 percent of these companies fielded sites that were “mobile-friendly” (as defined by Google’s Test Tool). This was by far the worst performance of any industry sector we analyzed, and we did our utmost to warn these companies to get their sites in shape, both on Didit’s main web site and in direct e-mails to management. On our site, we wrote:

Senior management needs to take this issue seriously. While our findings should be cause for concern, there is no need for corporate management to panic. In most cases the problems causing a “Fail” on Google’s Mobile Test can be easily solved, by unblocking resources for Google’s robots and by deploying responsive themes that render equally well on all devices. But the proprietors of very old sites that were built years ago (before smart phone access was a factor) may have to do some major “heavy lifting” to bring their sites into compliance. This work should be started now, because there “mobilegeddon” is just two weeks away.

That was then; this is now

Over the past 18 months, much progress has been made. This week, our team resampled the original data and was pleased to note that today, 52 percent of sites of the large cap companies are now in full compliance with Google’s mobile-friendly edict. That’s a huge improvement over the situation in the Spring of 2015.

Of course, a 52 percent compliance rate isn’t exactly great. In other segments we’ve subjected to resampling, compliance is much closer to 100 percent than to 50. So progress on Long Island – at least in our opinion — has been far too slow. While some mobilegeddon-related issues are difficult to solve (because they involve server-level surgery or software updates), many are not, and these could likely have been fixed within a few months of Google’s original compliance deadline passed in April of 2015.

Still, it’s good to see Long Island’s population of web sites become more modern, easier to use, and more mobile-friendly. Even if it’s been a long, slow toward compliance, there’s no doubt in my mind that Long Island’s industries will someday reach 100 percent compliance.

If you’re interested in which companies on Long Island are mobile-friendly as of this date, and which are not, click the link below, which will take you to the full data set.