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It appears that Amazon may be responding to changing trends in consumer spending due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to an article in Buzzfeed News, Amazon has reported a surge in buying that has necessitated hiring an additional 100,000 workers to meet the demand.
As reported by Buzzfeed:
“As Americans retreat to their homes to weather the coronavirus pandemic, they are increasingly turning to Amazon to get basic necessities such as groceries, as well as medicines, cleaning supplies, and, of course, toilet paper.”
Amazon is turning its focus toward meeting the demand of citizens who are “sheltering in place.” To shelter in place means to stay in ones home and not leave except for basic necessities like food and other home supplies.
Yet fear of contracting COVID-19 has consumers wary of leaving their homes so they are turning to Amazon.
According to the report by tinuiti:
“Amazon seemed to abruptly change course towards the end of January 2023 across many product categories and was less prevalent through the first week of March.Profound Change in Search Trends
What is happening is that online sales is undergoing an extreme change in buying trends. Demand for household items and medical supplies are spiking to an extraordinary degree. The change is so dramatic that Amazon is hiring 100,000 new workers in order to meet the demand.
The following Google Trends graph illustrates the dramatic change in search trends. Considered together with Amazon’s decision to ship only essential goods, these both may be signals of a profound change in consumer buying trends for the next few months.
Yoga mats and Apple Air Pods are listed by Amazon as among the most popular products for sale on Amazon within their respective categories.
But as you can see in this Google Trends graph, demand for toilet paper has dwarfed that of yoga mats and Air Pods.Amazon Focuses on Medical Supplies and Household Staples
According to a report on Search Engine Journal, Fulfillment By Amazon shipments have stopped except for household and medical supplies that consumers need.
Amazon’s statement noted:
“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock.
With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers.
For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.”
According to Amazon, this change in focus will continue through at least April 5, 2023. That’s a little more than two weeks. The CDC has ordered a ban on crowds of 50 or more people for eight weeks. Some communities have banned gatherings of as few as ten people in one place.Takeaways
Amazons dramatic pivot away from Google Ads may be a sign that online sales of non-essential consumer products may begin to trend downward as medical and household supplies rise in demand.
It’s also possible that these trends may affect affiliate marketing. It will be hard to make an affiliate sale through Amazon if Amazon is not shipping the high margin products popular with affiliate marketers.
Read report on Amazon disabling shipping on Fulfilled by Amazon products that are non-essential.
Read the report on Amazon virtually cancelling Google Ads by tinuiti
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A sitelink is an ad extension that’s widely used in all kinds of industries and business categories. It’s one of the oldest forms of ad extension, and it can help you connect with your potential customers by displaying additional pages of your website. For instance, if your ad is directed to a landing page, but your sitelinks take users to a different page that provides additional value or information, then that’s a good thing.Location Extensions
A location extension is a type of app that lets people easily find their current location or a map of their current location. It can also include a call button or a phone number. This extension can be used for businesses that rely on in-person transactions, such as restaurants, barber shops, and beauty salons.Affiliate Location Extensions
An affiliate location extension is a type of website that allows merchants who sell their goods through major retail chains to show their nearest stores. This helps search engines find you and your products.
Setting up an affiliate location extension is relatively easy. Just select the Google database of auto dealers or general retailers that you want to target. It will then show the closest proximity of these establishments to the searcher.Product Extensions
Product extensions are helpful tools that allow you to enhance your Google Merchant account listing. They can also be used in campaigns that target keywords.Call Extension App Extensions
Extensions for Android and iOS are great if you want to show off your app alongside your ad text. They should be especially important if you believe that the app helps drive site purchases, or if you see numerous transactions happening through it.Seller Rating Extensions
Building trust and showcasing your business’ reputation are two of the most important factors that you can consider when it comes to building a strong online reputation. With seller ratings extensions, you can easily see how your business has been compared to other businesses. These ratings are then combined with the number of reviews to create a single rating.Price Extension
Have you ever been a victim of an oil change price rip-off? I was able to avoid getting ripped off by a mechanic shop that tried to do it with me ahead of time, as I saw an extension for the price. Price extensions are not about preventing employees from deceiving their customers, but rather setting clear expectations. When users see an extension for the price, they are more likely to make an informed purchase.Image Extensions Lead Form Extensions (New)
A lead form extension from Google Ads allows users to submit their contact details directly to the search results page. This eliminates the need for them to fill out an application form on your site’s landing page. If the user is a Google account holder, the relevant data can be pre-populated.Automated Ad Extensions
You can’t manually add these extensions to your ad list. Google automatically chooses the appropriate ones for you based on its evaluation of how they can improve the performance of your ad.Conclusion
Before you start using an extension, think about its purpose. It’s important to consider the quality of the work that it does and avoid extensions that are not helpful or do not contribute to your main goal. For instance, if you’re planning on using a lot of sitelinks, make sure that they’re not only good for you, but also for the development of your site.
In a recent tweet someone asked Google’s John Mueller if using stock images affects rankings. The person related that a friend has the opinion that using non-original content such as stock photography can indeed affect rankings.
“It doesn’t matter for web-search directly.”
Some might find that answer a little vague. But it accurately communicates that stock images don’t matter for regular web search.
The search results are full of top ranked sites that use stock images. Many of Search Engine Journal’s featured images are stock photography and they rank perfectly fine.
There’s a longstanding SEO idea that non-original content is a negative thing that can affect rankings. Obviously there is some truth to non-original content being unable to rank.
But there’s a certain point where that truth can get stretched and used in a different context it’s not meant to apply to.
Stock photography is non-original content. But if Google took off marks for the use of those, half the Internet would never rank.
Mueller’s answer continued:
“For image search, if it’s the same image as used in many places, it’ll be harder. (There’s also the potential impact on users, after search happens, eg: does it affect conversions if your team photo is obvious stock photography?)”How to Use Stock Photography for SEO
There are probably many opinions on the best use of stock photography.
It’s probably a good idea to first stop and consider how it is appropriate for your situation.Does the Image Accurately Represent the Topic?
Sometimes images are used metaphorically and that’s not always the best choice.
For example, it is arguably a lost opportunity to use images of race cars in an article about the “race to succeed.”
That’s an instance of using an image that takes the word “race” in a context that’s different from the topic.
It’s not necessarily a bad choice but there could be a better choice.
A better choice could be an aspirational image, one that shows the success that can result from using the product.
That can be a successful holiday meal, a person graduating from college, whatever the outcome from the use of the product is can be a conversion-oriented image.
Perhaps the important consideration is that the audience can see themselves in the image or can relate to it.
That’s a strategic use of an image to help a page convert a visitor into a consumer or whatever the goal of the webpage is.
Related: 41 Best Stock Photo Sites to Find High-Quality FREE ImagesWould the Image Work Well In a Featured Snippet?
This is a good test of how relevant an image is to the topic. Studying the images used in featured snippets is a good way to improve your understanding of what it means for an image to be relevant to the topic of a web page.
Will a strategic use of a stock image help it rank in a featured snippet? That’s debatable.
I find that images with close ties to the topic, that can communicate an answer tend to work well for me. That means using original images or updating and improving on stock images.Does the Image Help Conversions?
I’m consulting for an organization that was using stock images showing a mix of people who typically use their product.
It turns out that most of the clients are a specific gender. And the people making purchases are largely from a home office type situation.
My suggestion was to increase the use of images featuring that gender and to use images with settings that represent the typical users of their product. That way the potential consumer can see themselves into the picture and understand how much better their lives would be if they made the purchase.Stock Images and SEO
Using stock photography won’t ruin your SEO. However the strategic use of stock images can help a page be more relevant for the topic that it’s about.
Read the full Twitter discussion here:
It doesn’t matter for web-search directly. For image search, if it’s the same image as used in many places, it’ll be harder. (There’s also the potential impact on users, after search happens, eg: does it affect conversions if your team photo is obvious stock photography?)
— 🦇 johnmu: cats are not people 🦇 (@JohnMu) June 27, 2023
President Donald Trump erroneously stated in an emergency address that Google is building a coronavirus testing website.
Trump said 1,700 Google engineers are working on a coronavirus screening site that could be launched as early as this Sunday.
On the contrary – not only is the site not ready to launch but it’s not even being developed by Google. The site is being developed by a company called Verily, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Google and Verily are entirely different companies, which Google itself clarified in a tweet:
“We are developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid-19 testing. Verily is in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time.
“We appreciate the support of government officials and industry partners and thank the Google engineers who have volunteered to be part of this effort.”
Verily provided its own statement to TechCrunch:
“Verily is developing a tool to help triage individuals for COVID-19 testing. We are in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time,” the company said in its statement. “We appreciate the support of government officials and industry partners and thank the Google engineers who have volunteered to be part of this effort.”
That’s a fairly important piece of information to leave out in a statement that was broadcast live to the entire United States.
Just for comparison’s sake, read Trump’s statement below:
“I want to thank Google. Google is helping to develop a website. It’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location… Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now. They have made tremendous progress.”
Based on what we’ve learned since Trump’s statement, here are the key takeaways from all of this:
Verily is developing a coronavirus screening website, not Google.
Google and Verily are both owned by Alphabet, but are otherwise separate companies.
People will be able to visit the website and enter their symptoms to discover if they’re consistent with symptoms of coronavirus.
The website will help direct individuals to the nearest facility where they can get properly tested.
Results of in-person tests can later be retrieved on the website.
At this time we still don’t know when the site will launch, or any other pertinent information.
SEO can be a tricky process with so many components that need to be considered. One component you may not have heard about is website redirects, and their impact on the performance of your site. Redirect chains are particularly significant if they involve multiple pages or organizations. In this blog post, we’ll explore what exactly redirects do and how they can affect your website performance as well as SEO rankings.
We’ll examine some that are more beneficial than others and provide recommendations for best practices when using them. Whether you’re relatively new to SEO or an experienced marketer, understanding how redirects work will give you the tools needed to boost website performance and rank higher in search engines.
What is a Redirect Chain?
This generally happens over time due to oversight from the website owner.
Here is an example −
Phase 1 − You created page A.
Phase 2 − You replaced page A with Page B after a year.
Phase 3 − You redirect Page A to B. This is necessary because when a user enters the URL for page A, it automatically redirects them to Page B.
Phase 4 − After some time, you replaced Page B with Page C.
Phase 5 − Redirect Page B to Page C.
Phase 6 − A redirect chain between Page A and C is created.
The problem is people unaware of redirect chains are not thinking about Page A when setting Page C. Their aim here is to redirect Page B to Page C, completely forgetting what will happen when someone enters the URL of Page A.Types of Redirect Chains
There are commonly two types of redirects: 301 and 302301 Redirect
301 refers to an HTTP status code sent to your browser by a web server. It signals a permanent redirect from one URL to another.
It is commonly used when you have to plan to move or remove a page permanently from a website.
This is because 301 signals search engines that the content has been moved. This allows google and Bing to update their index. As a result, when you use 301 redirects to redirect URL A to B, B receives all the ranking power awarded to A by search engines.302 Redirect
302 redirect is conducted temporarily, directing users and search engines to a desired page for a small timeframe. It is sometimes shown as 302 found (HTTP1.1) or moved temporarily (HTTP 1.0).
Most Webmasters use 302 instead of 301 redirects. This is because they don’t know the difference. Google has to consider whether the 301 or 302 redirects were necessary. This is because google constantly works to improve the search experience of users.
Events where 302 redirects are recommended
Getting feedback from customers on the new page structure and design without affecting the site’s ranking.
Updating a webpage in the background without hampering the user experience.
Conducting A/B testing to check the functionality and design of a page.
You need to fix broken web pages without ruining users’ experience.Causes of Redirect Chains
Redirect chains are often unintentional, as they are barely noticeable. Sometimes you may deploy a redirect without knowing the existence of a previous redirect. As a result, you end up creating a redirect chain.Due to Content Updates
It may happen while changing backlinks when you update your page’s content. In such events, you usually contact the site’s owner of the backlink provider. You ask them to remove or redirect the link to the new URL.
However, as your website grows and contents change, it becomes more complicated for you to contact them repeatedly. This could be a contributing factor to redirect chains.Due to URL Specifics
That means you are redirecting the HTTP to the HTTPS URL. However, it creates another issue. Well, the link does not have a trailing slash. So you amend the URL to
So, as you noticed, it turns from one redirect to three. It’s way easier to create a redirect chain.Does Redirect Chains Impact SEO?
Yes, redirect chains can have a strong negative impact on your SEO. First, it ruins the user experience. User experience is something google absolutely cares about while updating algorithms. Another reason is that it hinders the crawl ability of Google bots.
A single redirect is acceptable, but too many can be bad for SEO. They make it hard for crawlers to index the webpage. Sometimes, Googlebot would stop crawling due to a large number of redirects. These redirects can also significantly slow down the loading speed of the site. Overall, it dramatically affects your SEO.You Lose Ranks in SERP
When you redirect one URL to another, the new URL receives all the PageRank from the old URL. This lets you update or create a new version of old pages without losing your SEO values.
However, there is a problem.
Once google detects a redirect chain, it treats it as a 404-page error. When that happens, google will not pass the PageRank beyond the second redirect. This can devastatingly bring down your search engine rank.Site’s Pages Will Load Slower
Page loading speed is linked with user experience. So, it is one of the crucial determinants for google search ranks.
Studies show that people will move on to another website even with a page loading delay of 2 seconds.
Since redirect chains have several URLs, loading would undoubtedly take longer. Overall, it would affect your site’s traffic. Eventually, google will drop your ranking when it notices a massive bounce rate.Internal Linking Will Suffer
Adding links to other pages on your website can end up with numerous chains. It can also happen with inbound links. Sometimes, you may have to change or redirect the final URL after you land a backlink on a new domain.
It is essential to regularly monitor your site for redirect chains and fix them immediately. Otherwise, it will ruin your internal links.How to Find Redirect Chains?
You can review your website manually, evaluating and fixing every link and redirect. However, it is a time-consuming and resource-heavy task.
Alternatively, you can use online redirect checker tools like −
These tools check your entire website for redirect chains within seconds. Tools like Sitebulb evaluate the crawl-friendliness of your site, marks redirect issues and show how these links are displayed. Screaming frog helps you find broken links, duplicate content, and audit link redirects.
Once you get the list of redirect chains, you must check each page for possible issues.
Google published a guide on four ways to drive local search traffic to an offline local business and make more sales. It’s a good reminder that Google is more than just the ten blue links on a search page.
Understanding all the ways customers are trying to find businesses will help create more sales.
For local retail, Google shared that various kinds of searches are growing exponentially.
In particular, three kinds of searches are showing dramatic increases:
The first kind of search involves consumers searching for businesses that are local to them.
The second type of search involves consumers who are searching for businesses local to them that have something specific in stock.
The third kind of search involve restaurant related searches.
Google’s guide shared:
“Searches for “local” + “business(es)” have grown by more than 80% year over year, including searches like “local businesses near me” and “support local businesses.”
Searches for “who has” + “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over, including searches like “who has Nintendo switch in stock” and “who has gym equipment in stock.””Local Restaurant Searches
“Two out of three dining consumers said they used search to find food and beverage information during the pandemic.
Think With Google article: What’s New at Mealtime?YouTube and Local Shopping
YouTube isn’t normally considered as a way to drive sales to a local business. But it should be considered. Google shows YouTube videos in response to search queries and in specific contexts that provide more information for searchers who need to know about a service or product.
According to Google:
“Forty-five percent of viewers say they watch YouTube to see a product demo before buying.
Viewers say they are 2x more likely to go in-store or online to buy something they saw on YouTube versus the competitive average.”Google Maps
Google Maps isn’t normally considered as a search engine. But like YouTube, it’s where people are turning to find local businesses that provide specific services.
This trend highlights the importance of claiming a free Google My Business account and working with that to enhance your Google Maps listings.
The important takeaway here is that Google Maps should be considered as a search engine that provides a highly targeted context for your local business presence.
“Searches on Google Maps for “curbside pickup” have increased 9000% year over year in the U.S.
Searches on Google Maps for “discounts” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year.
Searches on Google Maps for “gift shop” have grown globally by more than 60% year over year.”
Google Maps is more than just a way to learn how to get from here to there. Consumers are using it to find businesses.
(Source: Google Data, U.S., February 2023)
restaurants near me
food near me
pizza”Guide to Offline Sales
The second tip showed how to get up to 42% more referrals from Google.
“The key to driving store traffic from the web into your physical location is letting customers know you’re close by and that you have what they’re looking for.
That 42% and 35% increases in engagement because of photos is not surprising. In an article about images (5 Benefits to Using Visual Content in PDF Marketing Materials) I highlighted ways that images engage consumers and drive sales.
Highlights are:1. Images Are Emotionally Engaging
Scientific research discovered that images can influence a viewer’s emotions in a positive manner that enhances the marketing message.2. Images Reduce Reading Fatigue
People absorb information through images as well as text. Images as a way to communicate how delicious a menu item is or the professional level of your employees should not be underestimated.3. Images Are Easier to Remember
Images make a strong impact on consumers because they are easy to recall. According to research, consumers have the ability to remember over 2,000 images for days with a 90% accuracy.4. Graphs Communicate Visually
Graphs can be a fantastic way to communicate the superiority of your business or communicate ideas. According to MIT neuroscientists, a human brain can identify images within 13 milliseconds. Communicating ideas visually is a powerful way of successfully getting across a marketing message.5. Images Build Trust & Increase Profitability
Researchers have discovered, through analysis of millions of eBay auctions, that the liberal use of images increases sales.Google is More than Ten Links on a Search Result
There are many takeaways in Google’s helpful guide. The most important is to expand beyond trying to rank in Google search and consider ways to increase visibility in Google Maps and YouTube. Additionally it may be helpful to add as many well staged and photographed images as possible in order to communicate the professionalism and high quality of the products and services on offer.Citations
Guide to Offline Sales With Online Ads
5 Benefits to Using Visual Content in PDF Marketing Materials
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