By now, you’ve probably seen (or at least heard about) Google’s recent video and new white paper about Quality Score in AdWords. In fact, when I first heard about the updated Hal Varian video, I was a bit surprised, given that Google hasn’t bothered to update it for about five years! Whenever Google officially communicates information about their various algorithms, for obvious reasons there’s often more going on than meets the eye. In my column today, I’ll share with you my take on what you really need to know about Google’s new Quality Score information. What The Heck Is Going On? At face value, the new material appeared to be an update of the older stuff, which is Google’s official position relating to how Quality Score results in happy customers, happy advertisers and a happy Google. However, there was one rather huge change in positioning from previous materials — Google downplayed the importance of Quality Score in the white paper, … [Read more...] about What Marketers Need To Know About The New AdWords Quality Score
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When executing a link building campaign, we try to gather as much information as we can about a site, a site’s audience and the person we’re reaching out to. We may try to get to know the person through social media; we may think we have a good understanding of what they like to write about and share; and, we may feel as if our outreach is spot on. However, do we really know what the person we are reaching out to actually understands (or believes) about links, SEO, or even marketing? Probably not. As search marketers, I think we tend to forget a very important thing… Non-SEOs Don’t Care About Links! It’s true! Have you ever talked to a friend not in the SEO or marketing industry about link building? Your friend may understand the concept, but it can take quite a bit of explaining. You walk them through the steps and logic and reasoning, and even then you may still hear questions like, “Do you add a link to them?” or “What do they get … [Read more...] about It’s Not (All) About The Links: Communicating For Outreach
Let’s just start by admitting that we’ve all Googled ourselves. And by “ourselves,” of course, I mean “our brands.” If you’ve Googled your company name recently (or the name of any company, for that matter), you’ve probably seen the Knowledge Graph at work in the rich side panel of search results. That’s just the beginning of the Knowledge Graph at work. There are many types of Knowledge Graph widgets, but perhaps most concerning are the times that Google scrapes content from websites to display it directly in search results. In fact, 1 in 5 search results now include Knowledge Graph features, and the potential impact on organic search traffic is enormous. (Wikipedia page views declined 21% after the Knowledge Graph came out.) These developments beg many questions. Will these answer boxes start showing up for keywords that are important to my business? Will the Knowledge Graph begin to impact my traffic and bottom line? Do I want my … [Read more...] about What Can Businesses Do About The Knowledge Graph Dominating Search Results?
Google and Twitter are back together (again). In early February, the news broke that Google and Twitter had reached an agreement that will provide Google full access to Twitter’s stream. Although we don’t know all the details, we can make a few clear statements plus some assumptions about what’s ahead for the world of search and social. What Does Google Get From The Partnership? The partnership means that Google now has access to the stream of tweets known as the firehose. The firehose, aptly named, sprays nearly 9,000 tweets per second (as of the time of writing) into the ether of the Internet. As if Google didn’t have to index enough information! In the old world, Google used to crawl Twitter in order to pull out relevant tweets for search results. That didn’t work very well — try to crawl a velocity of 8,766 tweets per second, and you’ll find out why. If Google did try to crawl Twitter at the appropriate rate, Twitter might very well crumple … [Read more...] about Everything You Need To Know About The Google-Twitter Partnership
The theme for the inaugural Search Engine Land Awards, Celebrate The Power Of Search, is appropriate for the obvious reason: we’re recognizing successful search marketing strategies implemented by individuals, agencies and internal marketing teams. The awards ceremony will take place during a very special evening awards celebration in New York City, September 30, and we’re making this year’s After Dark Event @SMX our biggest and best yet. You won’t want to miss it! On top of that, the search community has one more big reason to celebrate — It’s all for a couple of worthy causes! ALL PROFITS from the 2015 awards entry fees, event sponsorships and awards ceremony tickets sold* will go to two designated non-profit organizations. The search community has donated more than $60,000 to worthy causes in the last several years at our SMX After Dark events. All awards entrants can designate which of the two charities the proceeds of their entry fee will … [Read more...] about Why We’re THIS Excited About The 2015 Search Engine Land Awards
Every year, Google makes changes, and SEOs have to adapt, but 2015 was a fairly uneventful year in the SEO world. What really changed? Mobilegeddon, another Panda, local became a 3-pack, referral spam became a bigger issue, local became partially paid and Google+ was stripped down. If you had to change your strategy in 2015, it’s because you learned something new, you were doing something you shouldn’t have or you weren’t doing something you should have been doing. SEO still is, and will always be, about getting the basics right, paying attention to the details and putting it all together. By definition, trends rise and fall. Every year, someone is proclaiming the death of SEO, link building is dead, keywords are dead, there’s too much content, the sky is falling! Right now, I see more posts about UX, less about content and an increase in posts about links once again. The truth is that SEO is expanding, and it seems like SEOs need to be involved in, or at least … [Read more...] about Not Another Post About The Future Of SEO In 2016
The automotive industry is no stranger to click-to-call advertising, where there is an estimated $4 billion spend on Google call extensions. And with the automotive industry expected to spend $44 billion in advertising this year, according to a Schonfeld & Associates report cited by Ad Age, it is vitally important that this money be put to good use. With 48 percent of all searches for car dealers coming from mobile devices, this industry understands the value of tying online behavior to offline actions. Data from Google shows that 60% of consumers who perform mobile searches regarding parts, service or cars will make a phone call. However, the vast majority of purchases are not made online or on the phone, but in the store, face to face. There is a huge opportunity for automotive service providers and dealerships to optimize every step of the customer journey — from the initial search all the way through walking into the store and finalizing the sale. Knowing when and where … [Read more...] about 5 Surprising Insights About the Automotive Industry
Google uses a machine-learning artificial intelligence system called “RankBrain” to help sort through its search results. Wondering how that works and fits in with Google’s overall ranking system? Here’s what we know about RankBrain. The information covered below comes from three original sources and has been updated over time, with notes where updates have happened. Here are those sources: First is the Bloomberg story that broke the news about RankBrain (See also our write-up of it). Second, additional information that Google has now provided directly to Search Engine Land. Third, our own knowledge and best assumptions in places where Google isn’t providing answers. We’ll make clear where these sources are used, when deemed necessary, apart from general background information. What is RankBrain? RankBrain is Google’s name for a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that’s used to help process its search results, as was reported … [Read more...] about All about the Google RankBrain algorithm
Google is rolling out a new mobile-first index. This means Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users. Wondering how this will all work? We’ve compiled answers below. Since the announcement, we have been tracking what Googlers have been saying about the change based on the industry’s questions. Below you will find a compilation of those questions and answers based on coverage from Jenny Halasz, Jennifer Slegg and me. What is changing with the mobile-first index? As more and more searches happen on mobile, Google wants its index and results to represent the majority of their users — who are mobile searchers. Google has started to use the mobile version of the web as their primary search engine index. A search engine index is a collection of pages/documents that the search engine has discovered, primarily through crawling the web through links. Google has crawled the web from … [Read more...] about All about the Google mobile-first index
Online advertising, and especially its bulky older brother, “programmatic,” are darlings of the digital marketing world. Even folks who typically focus on the content and SEO side are dipping into the implications of bot-driven ads. The ability to deliver highly targeted display ads and sponsored content to key consumer segments, with (literally) super-human speed and precision sounds like the data-driven answer businesses have been waiting for since the dawn of “personas.” But what if there’s something wrong? Not with programmatic, but with the system itself: the vehicle on which ads arrive on consumers’ desktops and phone screens? For many niche and local publications, plans for profitability already feel tenuous; if a startup with $132 million in the bank and a network of incredible talent can’t foresee sustainability in digital ads, what do the next few years look like for the little guys? The Medium move Earlier this month, Ev Williams, … [Read more...] about What does Medium.com’s profit model pivot say about the future of online advertising?