Category Archives: Industry News

Google Doodle Marked ‘Grand Finale’ of Cassini Spacecraft Journey

cassini-spacecraft-dives-between-saturn-and-its-rings-google-logo-800x388

On Wednesday, April 26, Google’s homepage featured an animated doodle showing the Cassini spacecraft personified as a jolly triangular photographer taking pictures of a passing smiling Saturn, paparazzi-style. Designed by Nate Swinehart, the fun doodle was to put up to mark the beginning of the ‘Grand Finale’ of the spacecraft’s journey of two decades. On Wednesday, the Cassini started taking photos and measurements between Saturn and its rings, making the first of a series of orbits to help scientists gain more insight on the nature and origin of the planet’s rings.

A mission of exciting discovery

The landmark Saturn mission is a NASA project with backing from the Italian space agency (ASI) and the European Space Agency (ESP). The Cassini’s 2.2 billion mile journey began 20 years ago from Cape Canaveral in the United States in 1997, when the spacecraft left Earth on its way to our solar system’s second largest planet. The spacecraft reached Saturn 7 years later in 2014, when it began exploring around the planet and its satellites.

Over the years, numerous remarkable discoveries have been made and astonishing photos have been compiled into a stunning collection, including a picture of our tiny planet taken through Saturn’s rings. Early in April, when Cassini was exploring one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, it discovered the presence of molecular hydrogen, suggesting that the planet could support extraterrestrial life.

A glorious tragedy

Running out of rocket fuel, the Cassini spacecraft will plunge to its death on the 15th of September, 2017, ending its historic journey. NASA has to destroy the craft to avoid letting debris and microbes from Earth contaminate Saturn’s moons (Enceladus and Titan), cause disruption to whatever may exist there, or prevent us from finding out about the possible existence of extraterrestrial life. When the spacecraft dives into Saturn’s atmosphere, it will have many of its instruments on to ensure it keeps transmitting to Earth until the moment it burns up and gets destroyed. Before its final moment, Cassini will tell us what the planet’s atmosphere is comprised of.

Once it embarked on the first of 22 orbits around Saturn, the Cassini began a journey of no return as its path is not determined by thrusters anymore, but largely by the effects of gravity. No matter what the scientists at NASA do, the spacecraft will inevitably end up in Saturn’s atmosphere on said date.

It will be sad to see the Cassini go after seeing two decades of the phenomenal service it has rendered to science, expanding our knowledge and deepening our understanding of Saturn and its satellites. Nonetheless, it is a glorious ending to an astonishing journey of discovery.

Google’s updated iOS app pulls in YouTube videos, menus & more

Google ios App

The Google iOS app has been described by iTunes as ‘’the best of google in one app’’ and it just got better. On Wednesday, 4th January 2017, Google updated its iOS app to version 22.0, a revamped new version which includes several new features that allow users to do more without having to leave the app.

With the new version,users can now:

  • Play YouTube videos direct from cards on their feed, without having to open the YouTube app or access a new webpage.
  • View restaurant menus from restaurant search results,without actually having to visit the restaurant’s website. The Knowledge Graph Cards for restaurants search now have a new menu option and tapping on the menu option will allow users to view the restaurant’s menu.
  • View rates and booking info. All you have to do is to search the name of the hotel and expand the Knowledge Graph Box.

The new version of the app also has a built in Gboard, which allows users to change their keyboard to Google’s Gboard, without having to download it separately- as long as they have the google app installed and they change the necessary settings.

Google also updated its google calendar app on Thursday. The update turns the to-do app into a sport-orientated tool. In doing so, it brings the Apple Health integration into the iOS app.

With all the good stuff on the iOS app update,it’s beginning to feel like some users’ view that Google is making better Apps for iPhone than for Android and it might just be justified. Dieter Bohn on verge states that “Google on the iPhone is sometimes better than google on Android’’. I for one however, would like to see some of the cool features from the newly updated version 22.0, available on google on Android soon especially the YouTube videos.

We do know one thing for sure: Google did a good job on the newly update. The iOS 22.0 is great and we are loving it!

Facebook Launching Custom Frames That Appear Similar to Snapchat Geofilters

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Facebook is constantly launching new features to keep its users interested and hooked. However, its recent feature ‘Custom Frames’ seems to be borrowed from the Snapchat Geofilters concept.

According to DigitalTrends.com,Facebook now lets users create their own frames, which are like graphics that can be overlaid on images and videos. Users of photo editing apps such as PhotoShop and PicsArt should be very familiar with the concept of overlaying.

The new feature can be accessed via the in-app camera effects platform. Facebook’s existing feature ‘Profile Frames’ has been upgraded by adding special effects that can be downloaded and customised by users to create new backgrounds for their pictures.

The new feature is currently undergoing testing in some countries like UK, Ireland, and eventually, the U.S.

How Does It Work?

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Create Your Designs

Right now, there are a few ready-made templates, but users in the countries listed above and a few others have been assigned the fun task of creating frames with design tools in PNG format. The frames are saved with a transparent background. This allows them to be used smoothly in the overlaying process.

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Upload them to Facebook

After creating frames, they are uploaded unto Facebook. The frames are previewed to get an idea of what they would look like in various sizes, for example: portrait, landscape, square, etc. Basically, this is how you know the type of frame that fits different screen orientations.

Include Details about Your Design

Users also fill out details about their frames before submitting them to be reviewed. The reviewing process can take up to a week.

Get Approval and Track Your Creations

Once you get an approval, your creations become active and available to others for their videos and photos. One amazing thing about this is that you actually get to see the stats on how popular (or not) your designs are with Facebook users.

The Question on People’s Minds

Considering how similar this new Facebook feature is to Snapchat Geofilters, we’re all curious as to whether or not it will be launched successfully,and how well Facebook users will catch up on the new trend.Well, if some really unique frames were created, it would definitely give Facebook an edge over its competitors. The new ‘Custom Frames’ feature also appears to be intended for use by more than one individual,considering several people can use uploaded frames. Either way, it’s likely to be a huge hit amongst Facebook users.

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Twitter Rolls out Automated Direct Message Replies for Businesses

Twitter

On November 1, 2016 Twitter announced the launch of an automated direct message feature for business accounts. Businesses can now send welcome messages to their clients automatically. They can use this feature to create multiple welcome messages, replies, and link clients directly to a particular greeting from tweets, websites, apps etc. A reply can be automatically sent to a direct message from a customer.

This feature was kick started to help businesses create relevant and beneficial communication with their clients without being distracted from the other tasks at hand. The new features are there for increased efficiency and productivity of businesses, while still keeping customers satisfied.

How it works is that once a Twitter user enters a direct message conversation with you (by selecting your account as the recipient of their intended message), an automated welcome message from your business account will be sent to them. This will be sent even if the customer does not send you a message first. When they eventually send the message, the features allows you to automatically send a message back to the user immediately.

With welcome messages and quick replies, businesses can now show the public that they are committed to serving their clients as best as they possibly can. Some of the messages could include a prompt that links the customer directly to your company’s customer support line. The message feature will reduce how long people have to wait before getting a response from you. It will be particularly beneficial in cases where the information needed by the user,such as contact details of your brand is included in the message body.

However, these automated messages should not take the place of you having a conversation with your brand. Customers like to engage with a real person as opposed to engaging with an automated one. This feature should not stop your account manager from personal replying to enquiries from clients.

Brands such as Evernote and Pizza Hut are making use of this feature to increase the level and quality of their interaction with their customers. Your business account can do the same thing. Start by visiting Twitters support settings page so that every personal account user can enjoy this new level of engagement with you.

Twitter Rolls out Automated Direct Message Replies for Businesses

Refreshed Mobility Compare Website Launch!

Mobility Compare header

We are pleased to announce the launch of our updated consumer site MobiliyCompare.co.uk. Mobility Compare is aimed at helping consumers compare mobility products from the UK’s leading providers.

The updated site was launched in order to provide a better user experience for our thousands of monthly visitors. We also had to focus on making the site more mobile friendly which has helped reduce bounce rates and increase dwell time on the site.

The launch of the updated website coincides with the launch of new marketing campaigns and channels as well as other updates.

Below you can see a few of the key updates:

  • New Updated Website – We have invested significantly in re-designing and building a brand new website, for improved user experience fit for our target market/audience.
  • New PCA Predict™ Software Integration for Address/Post Code, Mobile number & email address validation and verification. This results in higher quality leads and increased contactability.
  • Launch of New ‘LimeFrog‘ in house lead management platform – To make it easier for our Partner’s/provider’s sales teams to track and update lead status.

Using our years of digital marketing expertise, we launched Mobility Compare to help thousands of customers find their perfect mobility product using our smart comparison engine. Checkout the official press release on PR Web here: Mobility Compare News

AdWords Sidebar Ads to be Removed – Now 4 Ads Above the Results

Google recently announced that they will be doing away with the classic AdWords sidebar adverts in the SERPs. On top of this, they also said that instead of 3 ads, there will now be 4 ads showing above the organic results.

This is a major change, as these AdWords sidebar ads have have been around since the year 2000. None the less, this is not a surprise, as Google have been testing this ‘no side-bar ad’ format over the past few months.

Google Chrome Browser as viewed via Macbook Pro 13 inch.

Google Chrome Browser as viewed via Macbook Pro 13 inch. Notice the IKEA listing is the first organic listing on this page, and it only just makes above the fold.

The implications from an SEO perspective are:

  • Highly competitive terms will have 4 ads above the organic results, thus pushing the organic listings further down the page (and likely below the fold on screens below 15inches in size).
  • Potentially less organic traffic from kws with more than 3 AdWords listings.
  • According to some online sources, about 20% of kws searched via google have 4 or more Adwords Advert listings.

From a PPC Perspective:

  • Forces advertisers to bid more aggressively for top 4 positions (no more AdWords sidebar ads)
  • Will result in a drop in CTR, Clicks and a potential increase in CPA for ads with avg pos below 4.
  • Good for e-commerce sites who use Google Shopping.
  • Good for advertisers who’s ads are consistently in pos 4 or above (likely an increased CTR).
  • Advertisers will need to be more diligent about which keywords they increase bids for and which ones they reduce bids for, in order to maintain their CPA targets/goals.

This move was probably made for the following reasons:

  • To increase Google’s revenues and profits (no surprise!)
  • To combat the ever increasing levels of competition for ad space on the search engine.
  • To discourage active SEO practices by devaluing the benefits of organic page 1 listings.

It goes without saying that the removal of the AdWords sidebar ads, and addition of an extra ad above the organic listings, will likely have a negative effect on smaller businesses who don’t have a strong organic foot print or who can’t bid for top 4 positions for their relevant keywords.

We will be keeping a close eye on how this effects all the client accounts we are working on.

 

Google Panda 4.2 Algorithm Update (Starting 22nd July 2015)

Google Panda 4.2

Google Started to Roll out Panda 4.2 on July 22nd 2015.

Google Panda 4.2 was officially released on July 22nd 2015. As many of you know already, this is a ‘progressive’ release and will likely take a few weeks to take full effect.
As a reminder, Google’s original  ‘Panda‘ Update back in February 2011 was all about ‘content’. It penalised websites with poor/duplicate content related issues, and favoured those who had a good content rich site that engaged users and provided a good user experience overall. This recent Google Panda 4.2 updated stays true to its roots, and is said to be affecting 2-3% of Google searches.

This new roll out will allow for certain websites to experience ‘Penalties’ or ‘Recoveries’. Those who were hit badly by a previous Google Panda update, and have since cleaned up their act (in terms of content), may now see a positive increase in rankings. Whereas those who have poor quality content, and other content related issues may experience negative effects of this recent Google Panda 4.2 update.

Five days into the Google Panda 4.2 release, and we haven’t noticed any significant effects of this update either way (positively or negatively) for our client rankings. Although we have noticed fluctuations in a small percentage of target  keyword searches. However, this may be related to the indirect effect of other websites in the SERPs shifting positions due to the negative or positive effect of the Google Panda 4.20 update.

We expect to have a much better understanding of how Google Panda 4.2 has affected our client organic rankings towards the end of August. We will be monitoring the SERPs relating to this update on a daily basis in order to learn how this has impacted the SERPs across various industries.

If your site has been negatively affected by Panda 4.2 or any of the Google algorithm Updates, get in touch with us as we can help get your site back on track and in terms of rankings and traffic. Just as we did for our client MyFavuouriteVoucherCodes.co.uk – Case Study HERE

Google Launch New ‘AdBirds’ Functionality – Place Your Ads on Real Birds!

Google AdBirds Select Your Bird

After logging into one of our Client’s Google AdWords accounts today we noticed a new alert within our notification centre saying ‘Let your ads take flight with AdBirds. Increase your campaign reach by placing ads on real birds. Just select your bird, write your text and let it fly.’

AdBirds Message in AdWords notification centre

Message in AdWords notification centre

 

Naturally always wanting to be at the cutting edge of Paid Search, we clicked ‘view’ and were presented with the following page:

Choose your text ad for your 'AdBird'

Choose your text ad for your ‘AdBird’

As you can see, there is the option to place text on the beak, head, wings and tail feathers of the AdBird. The character limits seem to follow the standard character limits for text AdWords text ads, 25 characters for the title and 35 for line 1, line 2 and display URL.

You also have the option to select which ad-group you want the AdBirds to be attributed to. According to Google the birds are targeted based on the settings of your campaign and are subject to migratory flying patterns!

You can choose between having a sparrow, owl, duck, eagle, pigeon or even a penguin. Though I would assume the CPC’s for penguins would be a lot less, as they can’t actually fly.

There is a small disclaimer saying:

“What happens next? Your AdBird will be reviewed by Google, and may not fly until that review is complete. Most AdBirds are reviewed within one working day. No birds will be harmed by using this ad format.”

After inputting your ad/bird text you can then click ‘let’s fly’ and you are presented with the following:

Google AdWords 'AdBirds' April Fools 2014

Google AdWords ‘AdBirds’ April Fools 2014

 

Happy April Fools Day from firstClick digital!

firstClick digital is a London based digital marketing agency with a wealth of experience backed up with the technology and valuable knowledge needed to deliver a healthy ROI for any campaign. Feel free to give us a call on 0207 289 3218 or fill out the contact form and see how we can help your business grow!

Mobility Compare – The UK’s First Mobility Comparison Website

Mobility Compare Image

We have partnered up with performance marketing company digitalbox, to re-launch Mobility Compare – The UK’s first Mobility Comparison website.

Customers can come to the site and search and compare over 30 of the UK’s top Mobility product providers. Our comparison engine then recommends the best suited providers based on the customer’s requirements.

Using our years of digital marketing expertise, we have launched Mobility Compare to help thousands of customers find their ideal mobility product using our clever comparison engine. Checkout the official press release here:  Mobility Compare News

Firstclick Digital Attending the London A4U Expo 2012

 

a4u expo 2012 - Meet Me Logo

The Firstclick Digital team will be at the London a4u Expo 2012 on 16/17 October.

This year should be good, with a mixture of networks, merchants, agencies and publishers attending. This is THE event to attend in the performance marketing space, so get involved if you have’t already.

Why Performance Marketing?

Performance marketing offers a no/low risk way of increasing sales for any advertiser. Whether you are small or big, it makes sense to branch out into performance marketing (also known as affiliate marketing).  An advertiser only pays for an acquisition (ie, lead, sale, signup, application etc).

With the cost of traditional/offline advertising still sky high, combined with the current economic climate, performance marketing offers the perfect opportunity to generate incremental sales online.

Performance Marketing is on the Rise. Meet us at the a4u expo 2012

Performance marketing can be delivered via a number of different channels, such as; Search, Comparison/Deals/Promocode sites, Email Marketing, display, etc. Different channels may better suit certain advertisers. For example, if you run a company that sells products that Google doesn’t allow you to advertise for freely, then you could potentially look to partner up with a deals/promocode site in order to generate some extra sales.

At Firstclick Digital, we offer Paid Search/PPC on a performance basis. IE  If we don’t perform  we don’t make any money! See below for a simple breakdown of how we can generate more sales for any campaign we manage:

Landing Page Creation and Optimisation
• Bespoke Design
• Increased Conversion Rates
• Exposure

Complete Management
• Management of all your PPC activity
• Pure cost per acquisition
• CPA/CPL

More Sales/Conversions
• High quality customers
• Increasing volumes
• ROI

Get in touch with terry[at]firstclickdigital.co.uk (Head of Partnerships) or fill out this contact form,  to arrange a meeting on either day 1 or 2 of the a4u 2012 expo, or any other day that suits you.