How does it work
The HTTP/2 protocol was published in 2015 with the aim of creating a faster, more secure Internet. Adoption has been gradual and is ongoing, but there are clear benefits for marketers who make the upgrade. So what exactly is HTTP/2 and how does it affect SEO? The variety and quantities of information transferred on the Internet have changed dramatically in the past decade. Content formats are larger and more complex, mobile usage has increased significantly, and there is a growing global population of Internet users on a daily basis. It is within this ever-changing landscape that a group of developers built SPDY (pronounced ‘speedy’, aptly enough), to build on the syntax of the original Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). As the name suggests, SPDY was developed with the core aim of finding faster ways to transport content on the Internet that would reduce page load speeds. SPDY was primarily developed by a group of Google engineers and it provided the platform for … [Read more...] about What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?
Many clicks and scrolls into my search, I realized that what I was looking for wasn't as simple as getting myself a raise. I had stumbled onto a deeper, more pervasive problem than the need to continue financing my addiction to live music concerts. I realized I was an infantrywoman in the fight for gender parity. For those who don't know me, I'm a young female search analyst working at Horizon Media. Fortunately, Horizon is a progressive company when it comes to issues of equality and acceptance. Still, this is an issue that goes beyond any one company. It permeates our society and our culture, and it influences my own mindset about my self-worth and the professional expectations I set for myself. I decided I had to do something about it - I had to be bold for change. So, what does that mean, exactly? And how does it apply to a young woman in digital marketing? The International Women's Day site was a good starting point, but I needed more. Ernst & Young offered some great … [Read more...] about What does it mean to be bold for change?
For those of us in SEO (or aspiring to be), there are a lot of little details that fill our days. Server architecture, 301 redirects, 404 errors, title tags, and various other things. Sometimes, we forget to sit back and figure out what it all means. Add to that the fact that most SEOs were never trained, but just picked things up “on the job,” and it’s no surprise that most SEOs don’t really know how search engines work. When’s the last time you sat down and considered how search engines (like Google) really work? For me, it was last month, while writing the post about a recent Google Webmaster Hangout and the information about link disavowal that came out of it. But before that, I think it honestly had been 8 or 10 years since I’d really thought about it. So let’s fix that. Here is a high level explanation of how one search engine (Google) works. While the terminology and order of operations may change slightly, Bing and Yahoo use a similar … [Read more...] about How Search Engines Work — Really!
AdRank in AdWords is a key AdWords marketing concept that plays a huge role in determining how prominently your ads are displayed in a SERP and also your cost-per-click. So, when Google quietly announces huge changes on how AdRank is being calculated, you should definitely pay attention! In my column today, I’ll explain in detail what AdRank is — and everything you need to know about the algorithm change! How Are Google Ads Ranked On A SERP? AdRank determines the order in which competing ads should be ranked on a SERP, which (obviously) has a huge impact on the visibility of your ads to potential customers. Here’s the basic concept: The preceding figure illustrates how competing ads on Google are ranked in descending order of Ad Rank. The advertiser that has the highest product of maximum CPC bid and Quality Score wins the coveted top ad spot. How Does AdRank Impact Cost-Per-Click? A less known (and more confusing) fact about AdRank is that it plays a huge role in … [Read more...] about New AdWords Ad Ranking Formula: What Does It Mean?
Ever since the Hummingbird update, there has been a ton of Internet buzz about entity search. What is entity search? How does it work? And what exactly is an “entity”? However, the topic of entity search as it relates to e-commerce and Google Shopping has been neglected. Everything you have learned to date about entity search, semantic search and the semantic Web also applies to e-commerce. The big difference in the shopping vertical compared to other search verticals is that all entities searched for are of the same type. Every product in Google is, in fact, an entity of type “product.” It should therefore be treated and optimized as such. Although there are other search verticals in which all entities searched for of the same type (recipes, patents, images, maps, etc.), there is one key differentiator in e-commerce. In e-commerce, there is a unique global identifier that is leveraged across all major comparison shopping engines and search engines: namely, a … [Read more...] about How Online Retailers Can Leverage Unique Identifiers & Structured Data
One of the first things all new and prospective clients want to know is how long it take for a content marketing strategy to see real organic results on Google (yes, I know they aren’t the only search engine). Some want to know how long it will take to get from zero, as they don’t have a website or have as few as 100 unique relevant search visits daily. For others, they have a bit of history and want to step it up. I know the answer for what happens when we content marketers start from zero, too. The vague answer is: it depends on how hard your client wants to work, meaning how much real and relevant content can be created and how much competition there is for their key word phrases. Also, how big is their niche? If no one would ever search for their desired niche, they may never be found. And if they don’t have time or desire to work hard, it depends on how much money they have to invest in their content marketing team. A concrete answer:100 unique organic visits … [Read more...] about Case Study: How Long Does It Take to See Organic Search Results?
After the months of speculation and years of debating, Google has finally announced its next step in personalization across many of its ad products. Earlier this week, Google released Customer Match, a feature that gives advertisers the ability to upload a batch of email addresses to Google. This ultimately provides targeting capabilities to specific customers that were previously unavailable. Google has long debated the privacy implications of such a move, given its market share. However, the success of similar Facebook and Twitter products – Custom and Tailored Audiences, respectively – has made this feature impossible to ignore. Custom Match will be available across four of Google’s largest products: Search, YouTube TrueView, Gmail, and the Google Display Network. How Does It Work? First, you need a minimum of at least 1,000 targetable customers before you can create a list. This is a much larger amount than Facebook requires, with a goal of increasing anonymity … [Read more...] about How to Use Google’s New Customer Match Feature
Continuing my promise to deliver a slightly more wide-eyed ingenue spin on all things search related, here is an exploration of another important term that crept into the SEO conscience way back in 2013: semantic search. What is semantic search? It’s probably easier to give you examples rather than trying to paraphrase the rather verbose Wikipedia entry. Remember how ‘back in the day’ you would type a search query into Google and it would hit you with a result based purely on your keywords? Like if I had typed in ‘Portishead’ without context I would have been offered a mixture of results based on the band and possibly the town in Somerset. However right now in this modern semantic world of ours, if I type in ‘Portishead’ I’m purely given results about the band, mainly because most of my search history is music related and not at all Somerset related. That’s semantic search at its most simplistic. Taking various details about the … [Read more...] about What is semantic search and why does it matter?
It’s hard to meet anyone in the digital industry who hasn’t heard about RankBrain. And it comes as no surprise that this system along with its impact on search results raises endless questions and disputes. We’ve made an attempt to understand the way RankBrain operates and if there’s anything we can possibly do to optimize for it. Let’s start from the very beginning. What is RankBrain? RankBrain is a machine-learning system developed by Google to help improve search results and to interpret brand new queries that haven’t been previously searched for. Some experts consider it to be part of the Hummingbird search algorithm, which was launched to help Google better understand the meaning of the entire query behind exact keywords. The first official statement about RankBrain was made by Google senior research scientist Greg Corrado on October 26, 2015. Here’s how Greg explained the operating principle of the algorithm: “If you’re … [Read more...] about How does RankBrain work and what does it mean for search marketers?