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What's Bigger than a Panda and More Powerful than a Penguin?

Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorhithm Update on April 21!

Google has announced a major “mobile-friendly algorithm” update that Google’s own Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team was quoted saying will impact more sites than the notorious Penguin and Panda updates. The update is scheduled for April 21, 2015, but you can expect Google to start indexing for the new results 7 to 10 days in advance of the release.

Why so important? Recent reports put mobile at 50%+ of all search traffic, and search traffic at more than 50% of most site’s total traffic. That’s a quarter of your site’s traffic potentially impacted by mobile search.

Google’s update seeks to bring forward sites that provide the best mobile user experience. It will be a yes-or-no assessment – your site is mobile friendly or it is not – and that rating...

Carousel Updates Expand Google’s Role in Hotel Research

Back in the good ol’ days… say a year ago… a search for “Orlando hotels” brought up three things: paid ads, Google local listings (with a map) and organic listings. From here, the visitor would typically soon leave Google for a hotel’s website, TripAdvisor or an OTA. With recent changes to the Google Knowledge Graph Carousel for the hotel industry, Google has continued to steadily expand its role in the travel planning process. I’m going to take you on a visual tour of what happens when searching for “Orlando hotels” today to demonstrate how a Google visit that used to last seconds will now go on for several minutes.

In the process, we will tackle the following tasks:

  • Research properties and narrow our list without going to Expedia or Orbitz
  • Compare...

Consumers Visit More Than 38 Travel Sites When Vacation Planning

We are all familiar with the travel planning funnel. Except….

 

Much like Billy from Family Circus, consumers don’t take the straight path – they do a lot of exploring along the way. The broad and winding route to travel purchase was recently tracked by Expedia Media Solutions and Millward Brown Digital in the study The Traveler’s Path to Purchase, conducted by Compete. This research documents the online consumption habits of the average U.S. vacation package booker during the 45-day period leading up to...

Google Keywords Go 100% (Not Provided) – What Next?

Five things marketers need to keep in mind

You have likely heard the buzz in the last week that Google has switched over to all secure encrypted searches using HTTPS. In English, this means traffic from Google will now show in your analytics as keyword = (not provided). Website metrics such as traffic, revenue, conversion rate and engagement will no longer be available at the keyword level.  These metrics will be available about organic Google traffic overall, but no longer by keyword.

Here are five things we believe resort marketers need to keep in mind as they listen to the uproar surrounding this development:

1) The Sky is Not Falling. While some are positioning it as a “sudden” change, this move by Google was neither abrupt nor unexpected. Google began encrypting search keywords two years ago and, as a company who frequently cites its commitment to user...

SEO

Hop on the Google Carousel

Sometime in the last month you have done a Google search for “your city + hotel” and said “Whoa, what is that?” If not, go open a new tab, try it and then come back to the party.

 

Notice the new image results across the top of the page, complete with ratings and reviews? Google has rolled out the “Local Carousel” for searches that have clear intent to find local businesses. Throughout 2013, Local Carousel was popping up in beta testing in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), particularly for attractions and events. The full-blown U.S. rollout was confirmed in June, 2013. This new format appears along the top of the page and combines...