Friday briefing 24/02

The marketing team gives us a roundup of this week's hot topics

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Joannie McLellan. Gordon Carslaw. Megan Reid.

This Friday Joannie and Gordon discuss the latest Google updates including the retirement of Google Site Search and the implementation of green ad labels in Google Adwords, while Megan investigates Instagram's new controversial update.

Google Retiring Google Site Search

Google Site Search, a paid service that lets brands power their internal website’s search engine through Google will be discontinued by the end of the year.

Google Site Search customers will need to find a new internal search engine service but not surprisingly Google said they are directing those consumers to either the ad-powered product named free custom search engine or the new cloud search product.

Find out more information about Google Custom Search here.

Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive

Google Green Outline Ad Labels officially being rolled out Globally

You may remember last month, in the 27th January Friday briefing, I brought the news to you that Google was in the process of testing out new colour Ad labels. This time it was a green outline label on a white background and over the last few weeks and, in particular, the last few days we have seen the amount of these ads being rolled out accelerate. So what’s the latest Google?

Well, Google confirmed to Search Engine Land this week that the new look is now being rolled out globally. A Google spokesperson said, “We routinely test potential improvements to the look and feel of our search results page. After experimenting with a new search ad label with a green outline, we’ve decided to roll it out. The new ad label is more legible and continues to make our results page easier to read for our users with clear indication of our ad labelling”

Testing new Ad Labels isn’t new with Google, from yellow, to green and now to a green outline it could be argued that Google are committed to making distinguishing paid results from organic results as difficult and confusing as possible, after all 90% of Google’s revenue comes from Search. This update will no doubt raise these claims again but Google has stressed that testing indicated no bearing on consumers’ ability to distinguish ads from organic results on the search results page. However, like every update on Ad labels, I’m anticipating an initial increase in Ad click through rates.

For more information on Ad Labels and to check out the new Ad Labels you can view them here on Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/official-googles-green-outlined-ad-label-replacing-solid-green-version-269868.

Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Executive

Instagram's Latest Controversial Update

Instagram is perhaps becoming more known for controversial changes to their platform than the would like - and the latest is no different. Mashable has said that "Instagram has dug is own grave...forgotten what made the service so popular in the first place". What could be so controversial and against Instagram's ethos that it would cause such huge backlash from publishers? Instagram has introduced its equivalent of albums.

Why is this such a big deal? Mainly because of Instagram's beginnings and its USP. Instagram came along at a point when users were uploading every single picture they took on their cameras to huge Facebook albums. Instagram encouraged the exact opposite; to take one snap that told the story of the whole experience.

This is why it could be said that Instagram is taking a serious step away from its roots, and becoming far more like a browsable Facebook.

The move could, however, become a step in the right direction for advertisers, as ads with carousels will now look far more like native content, which will encourage users to interact with sponsored posts more.

It will remain to be seen how many users pick up on the new feature and incorporate it into their daily use- another controversial move from Instagram.

Megan-Lucy Reid, Social Media Executive