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Return On News: Negative SEO, AdWords Ranking Formula, Facebook Ads, and More

It has been a while since we have shared a list of Return On News items, so today we are covering some of the more interesting content items that were shared by our team during October 2013. To keep up with this sort of content in real time, please follow Return On Now or our founder, Tommy Landry.

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Below are some of our top posts found online. Click the title of each entry to open the original content in a new tab. Enjoy!

Penalty Slap on Strong Brand, A Case Study in Negative SEO

Andrew Pincock of Search Engine Journal composed this great and detailed account of a Penguin manual penalty situation that Maggie Sottero faced. While there have been a plethora of penalty remediation advice columns across SEJ and other industry sites, this one is unique in that the client’s problems were a direct result of a negative SEO attack. And here’s the rub: They still haven’t manage to dig themselves out from under the penalty. We’ve seen a great deal of speculation that this can happen, so give a read to a real example where it actually did occur.

Mega-SERP: A Visual Guide to Google

Courtesy of the fine folks over at, Dr. Pete (Peter J. Myers) has created a reference tool for us to keep up with what might be found on a typical Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The sample provided in the post is in no way a real SERP. But it does run through all of the possible types of results or listings you might find on any particular search results page during a real query. He includes samples from Local SERPs, Advertising / Paid Results, Knowledge Graph, and Vertical Search, among other items. Great for beginners to learn or experienced marketers to keep tabs with the latest offerings from Google. There are even some heavy-hitter SEOs who give him kudos for this post in the comments, so it will be worth your time to review the post.

My $45,300 Mistake: How Text Drives More Traffic Than Video Content

One of my favorite search marketing blogs is QuickSprout, a platform where industry thought leader Neil Patel shows his wares. He has been experimenting with different content types over the past year, hoping to learn where there are opportunities. Luckily for all of us, he regularly shares his findings. This post in particular covers his test to determine if it is worth investing in video content over text content. After spending over $45K on videos and web design to house them, he learned something very insightful: Tools and Text-based content are better, at least for his own website. Read this before assuming video-based content will drive traffic on your own site. It may or may not be the right answer for you.

New AdWords Ad Ranking Formula: What Does It Mean?

Larry Kim, founder and CTO of WordStream, is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, focusing his materials on SEM / PPC / Paid Search. In this post, he reviewed the new Ad Ranking formula that Google recently rolled out for AdWords. He covers how CPC bid and Quality Score influence your position on the SERP, how AdRank itself influences the cost per click you end up paying, and the latest changes as announced by Google. If you are not using ad extensions on your PPC campaigns, it will be well worth your time to read about how they now factor more heavily into your overall positioning and CPCs for Enhanced AdWords Campaigns.

The Truth About Facebook Ads: They Don’t Actually Work.

Jamie Turner, a.k.a. “The 60 Second Marketer”, investigates whether Facebook ads are a good option for lead generation and driving positive return on investment. He initially came across a Forrester Research study that suggested Facebook provides the least business value among 13 different mediums considered. The other 12 media included tactics such as search marketing, email marketing, Twitter, mobile marketing, YouTube, online display advertising, and a company blog. In response, he fielded his own poll to determine how many respondents have been able to generate positive ROI on Facebook advertising. Check out his results, analysis, and conclusions in this intriguing post.

R.I.P. Facebook?

The past few years, content marketing has driven many writers to make grandiose predictions about the demise of different marketing disciplines and platforms. Seriously, how many “SEO is Dead!” posts have you seen since Google started aggressively penalizing cheaters back in 2011? Now that Facebook is perched atop the social media mountain, it was only a matter of time before folks started to predict its downfall. In this piece from Website Magazine, they cover Ian Lurie’s analogy of Facebook to AOL and his conclusion that Facebook is heading down a similar path. They also analyze the demographics of the user base to understand whether further growth is possible, or if stagnation is a reality coming sooner than you might think. Is this post far fetched? Possibly, but worth a read just to get you thinking.

5 Myths About Google’s Hummingbird

Although the volume of content covering Google Hummingbird is morphing into digital din, I would be remiss to exclude Joe Hall’s 5 Myths as posted to the Internet Marketing Ninjas blog. He clears the air about several items, including what Hummingbird truly is, how it impacts SEO as a whole, and whether or not we need to spend dedicated time adjusting our behavior to comply with Hummingbird. This post fully reinforces my notion that, if you have been doing the right things all along as recommended, it should be business as usual moving forward. Joe is a smart guy, so check out his work for yourself.

That’s it for today folks. Thanks for reading this edition of Return On News! If you like this post, please share it using the share buttons below or your favorite social bookmarking tool.

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As Founder and President of Return On Now, Tommy Landry provides the vision behind our SEO and SEM methodologies. With over 25 years of business experience and a deep understanding of modern internet marketing techniques, he spends his time providing hands-on consulting, insightful content, and engaging public speaking appearances to Online Marketers of all skill levels.
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