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?
It is seven years ago this month that Chris Sherman first asked me to speak on a panel in London on the subject of multilingual or international search – with an emphasis on the SEO! I’m delighted once more to be presenting on “speaking in tongues” and even more pleased to be following SMX in London with an International Search Summit where we can dive deep into the the whole subject. As always, I wanted to bring something new to the party and it occurred to me that we talk a great deal about geo-targeting our own sites, for instance on whether you should use local domains, sub-domains or folders and does local hosting matter — in fact this was the very first question I was asked in London all those years ago. However, we don’t so often dig into how Google does it for the results themselves. How Do The Filters Work? Let me clarify what I mean. When you put a keyword into a Google search box, how does Google filter its results for you based on the … [Read more...] about How Does Google Know Where You Are?
In September, the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights held a hearing called “The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?” Yesterday, the subcommittee released a letter out of that hearing, advising the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate further — something the FTC was already doing. Reading though the letter made my jaw drop in several places. Despite the subcommittee saying it’s not out to get Google: It is important to note that the concerns expressed in this letter are not an effort to protect any specific competitor The conclusions come across pretty one-sided. But more important, it comes across as a pretty superficial examination of a really important topic. In the spirit of the great piece last week, Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works, here’s my take when it comes to the current look at Google & search. Bing: … [Read more...] about It’s Not OK Not To Know How Search Engines Work, Either
How much does SEO cost? It’s the proverbial, “How long is a piece of string?” question. And if you think about it, this is not without good reason. SEO is not as easy to nail down as, say, sending out a direct mail campaign to 100 recipients. In some ways, it is not always as easy to measure, as many marketing activities may impact organic search traffic. The cost of SEO is also directly related to the potential rewards. Ranking nationally for a highly prized keyword that may be £10 per click in AdWords will have far more costs associated with it than ranking for a locally oriented keyword. But even on a local level, there can be huge variability — and whether you want to rank in a state, county, city, town or micro-area like a borough or village will influence how difficult this will be. This, of course, influences the price of SEO for your unique situation. In this post, I am going to look briefly at the benefits of organic search via … [Read more...] about How much does SEO cost?
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!
In the eyes of many site owners, Google has become that student. For an increasing number of search queries requesting factual information Google (and to a lesser extent, Bing) is returning answers at the top of search results pages that (usually) don’t require any click-through by the searcher. This could be seen as a serious threat to sites that have been accustomed to getting organic search traffic by providing that kind of information. In fact, SEO Glenn Gabe documented a dramatic drop in traffic for several song lyrics sites after Google started displaying lyrics as a direct answer. However, other webmasters see Google’s direct answers in search as a new opportunity to get a jump on the competition and become featured for free by Google. At this year’s SMX West conference in San Jose, three experts who have been keeping a very close eye on developments with Google’s direct answers reported their findings and provided advice as to what site owners can do to … [Read more...] about The Growth Of Direct Answers: How Should SEOs React?
In part 1 of this series, we talked about the origins of good marketing, how SEO fits into modern marketing, why it’s the most dependable and consistent form of quality lead generation, and (most importantly) how to start your SEO machine. Today, we’re diving into the last two levels that will take you from just generating leads to collecting a return on your leads (revenue). Here are the four levels: High Level (search terms, PPC terms). Top of Funnel (indirect content). Blog Level (relevant blog topics and lead generation tools). Back End (marketing automation and database marketing). Most marketers think of their marketing as having two distinct phases: attracting and converting. The problem with this approach is that it leaves much to be desired on the third (and arguably most important) part of your marketing: trust building. Based on my own experience, the most effective three-step process for a profitable marketing and lead generation system is attraction … [Read more...] about A Realistic Formula For Making SEO Work For Your Business, Part 2
Search engine optimization is a complex marketing discipline, and it can be a challenge to perform high-level, high-quality SEO work every single day. When you’re working hard to get the best results for your client, it can be tempting to cut corners here and there to meet (or even beat) deadlines. While this approach may be effective sometimes, ultimately, it can create more work for you down the line. By taking the time to be thorough, you can anticipate and avoid future obstacles that impede progress and create headaches for you and the client. Let’s discuss a variety of ways that you can think smarter in order to create a more streamlined working experience. Ensure you have all necessary materials before you start the SEO project We’ve all been there: You begin to work on an SEO project and find out that you are missing a critical part of what makes the project tick. If you deal with large teams and international brands, chances are that part of the project … [Read more...] about Take your SEO work to the next level
This is the wrap-up of the most popular posts and announcements on SEJ over the previous week. Newsletter subscribers are the first to receive this and other updates. No Sponsored Content on Facebook, Unless You Have a Verified Page Facebook recently made some updates to its branded content policies, which we previously covered, but we wanted to clear up some confusion and make one thing very clear. You need to have a verified Facebook Page in order to post branded content. Verified pages are those pages with the blue badge. If you do not have a blue badge on your page, you cannot post branded content. The new changes to the branded content guidelines are as simple as that; though we realize many will not be pleased with this change. Read more about it in this week’s top news post. Google RankBrain, confirmed as the third most important factor in the ranking algorithm, has now been in play for approximately six months, as it was announced in October 2015. The question is no … [Read more...] about SEJ Wrap-Up: How Does Google RankBrain Affect Your SEO?
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?