Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.
This week, we follow up on the launch of Google’s new ad label to ask how it will impact marketers, and look at attempts by Google’s tech incubator Jigsaw to clean up language on the internet. Plus, a new study has revealed that 63% of top-ranking websites use keywords in their URL, and Bing has a new function that allows you to filter restaurants by Pokéstop.
How will Google’s new ‘Ad’ label impact marketers?
In last week’s round-up we reported that after some testing, Google has officially rolled out a new look for its ad labels on the SERP. But the question on everyone’s lips is: how will this affect marketing campaigns?
Clark Boyd took a detailed look at the possible implications of the chance for Search Engine Watch this week, including considering why Google has chosen to change the look of the ad labels, the impact it will have on paid search CTR, and the possible effect on organic search.
Google’s Jigsaw aims to increase the quality of online conversations
Jigsaw, the technology incubator formerly known as Google Ideas, has launched an API which aims to rid the web of bad comments.
Called Perspective, the API “uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation” and can be used to identify and filter out comments that are likely to be “toxic.” When fed the content of a comment, the API will give a percentage rating as to how similar it is to “toxic” comments.
Perspective uses machine learning models to determine the likelihood of a comment being toxic.
Needless to say there has been some skepticism over how well this model can work, but it’s already being tested out by a number of prominent publishers, including the likes of the New York Times, the Guardian and Wikipedia. Al Roberts took a look at the issue for ClickZ, and considered whether a human issue like online abuse can really be solved by machines.
Google’s DeepMind app is saving NHS nurses two hours a day
There was significant controversy surrounding DeepMind, the Artificial Intelligence arm of Google, last November when it was revealed to be at the center of a massive data-sharing agreement involving the medical information of more than 1.6 million patients.
But the NHS Royal Free London Hospital, which is trialing an app by DeepMind designed to detect early signs of kidney failure, has spoken out in defense of the technology and revealed that it is saving nurses up to two hours every day.
The logo for Streams, the real-time health information app by DeepMind.
Wired UK reported that more than 26 doctors and nurses at Royal Free are using the app, which is “alerting” them up to 11 times per day of patients at risk of acute kidney injury (AKI). According to NHS figures, acute kidney disease costs them more than £1 billion every year – although it’s unknown how much the NHS is paying DeepMind for the use of its technology.
“Within a few weeks of being introduced, nurses who have been using Streams report it has been saving them up to two hours every day, which means they can spend more time face-to-face with patients,” the hospital said in a statement.
Study: 63% of top-ranking websites use keywords in their URL
How beneficial is it to have keywords in your domain URL? There has been little definitive information to answer this question over the years. Matt Cutts and John Mueller, both of Google, have previously gone on record (one in 2009, and the other in 2016) to state that keywords do make some contribution to search ranking.
But what does this look like in practice, and how does it vary across different industries? A study by HigherVisibility, shared exclusively with Search Engine Watch, set out to answer this very question, analyzing the top ranking websites for various keywords across ten major industries.
The study found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of top-ranked websites use keywords in their domain URL. Of the industries studied, the debt industry had the highest incidence of keywords in domain URLs with 76%, while email marketing had the lowest, with 47%. Read the full write-up and analysis of the findings.
Bing lets you filter restaurants by Pokéstop
What are the qualities of the ideal restaurant? Good food, ambiance…. nearby Pokéstop? If you would pick the last of these, you’re in luck, because Bing now allows you to filter restaurants by whether or not they have a Pokéstop nearby.
The SEM Post’s Jennifer Slegg was the one to notice the change, which hasn’t been publicized by Bing in any way. So far the feature is only available in US search, but it could be a boost for some businesses. Wired reported in September 2016 that one in 10 US smartphone users were still playing the game, and a slew of new Pokémon have been introduced since then. Maybe now would be a good time to splurge on a lure or two.