Category: SEO

Google Revamps its SEO Starter Guide

As one of the most fundamental starting points of any campaign, the Google SEO Starter Guide is very important. The guide has made some very important changes that search marketers might have missed out in the past. However, as we know, SEO changes all the time. The constant updates of the algorithms and its general process has been ongoing for many years.

Google will revamp the SEO Starter Guide to make it more updated. This has happened recently, after several years of inactivity on the guide. So, users who have been looking to learn about SEO basics should turn to the new document.

This old document, a PDF, was retired at the end of 2017. If you would like to look over what the new guide has added, you can check it out here. If you are new to SEO or simply want to know what Google is asking for, this is a good place to start.

Why Google SEO Starter Guide Matters?

According to Google, this update was very much worth the wait, saying that: “The updated version builds on top of the previously available document, and has additional sections on the need for search engine optimization, adding structured data markup and building mobile-friendly websites.”

This should be a very interesting point of development for the Google platform. With SEO becoming more and more prominent today, understanding is vital. While in the past it felt like SEO was a closed shop, guides like this can help to make it easier to understand.

Google has undergone a major change to its algorithms many times. With little information or understanding given to search marketers, it’s hard to know what kind of effects these changes would/could have had. Now, this guide will help to open up and better detail the changes taking place so that users can feel far more comfortable dealing with SEO.

If you run a business and want to help get yourself used to Google’ new algorithms, start here. The guide is very much worth your time reading.

What do you think of the revamped Google SEO Starter Guide? Sound off in the comments section below.

Source: Search Engine Land

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Google: Improve Low Quality Content than Delete it

For anyone running a website today, one of the most important things that you can do is improve old content. While in the past it was recommended that you merely tear down that old content, today the advice is much more positive. Instead of the scorched earth approach of just burying anything that your site might not want to display, working to fix it is best.

There is no real reason as to why removing low quality content would make sense, anyway. For one, content is there to inform your readers. It helps to convince people to use your website and to make the most of it. Without content – even ‘low quality’ content – you cannot convince anyone. If you start to remove every piece of writing on-site that isn’t to the highest standard, what are you left with?

The latest advice from Google’s John Mueller via Google Webmaster Hangout is to improve low quality content. Whether that’s using popular plug-ins such as Yoast SEO to help improve readability, or simply adding detail, is your choice. What no longer is a choice, though, is the idea that ‘bad’ content should just be thrown to the trash.

Your website needs as much detail on-page as it can. Content that does little for you today could, with improvement, do a lot tomorrow. There has to be a conscious decision made to start spending more time looking at improving content. This includes:

  1. Developing new ideas and refining the quality of the writing.
  2. Improving the message and modernizing it to a new audience.
  3. Utilizing keywords naturally to help improve ranking.
  4. Making good use of headers and similar formatting tools.
  5. Adding images, outbound links and improving the overall data provided.
  6. Referencing recognized sources and giving the reader more value than beforehand.

So, at this point, you need to be ready to start improving content based on the ideas above. If you were about to initiate a content purge, it might be time to take a deep breath and think before you do so. Instead of tearing it all down, look to see how it can be improved.

Not sure how to do so? Then outsource the writing. Send your old articles to a writer on freelance websites or agencies. Let them improve your old content and get it ready to meet with the latest changes.

There’s no reason to just remove your old content. With a bit of refinement, it could be much more positively suited to the intended purpose.

Source: Search Engine Journal

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Google Increases Meta Description up to 320 Characters

Search marketers have wanted longer meta descriptions. As a key part of selling a page and describing it to a potential reader, change was something that many wanted.

Meta descriptions are used to help a reader know what the page will involve before they click on through to it. in the past, these were much too short and thus didn’t carry the same depth of information expected.

Now, that has changed. Google has officially made the change to allow the Meta description of a page to be 320 characters. This is much better than the previous 160 number and makes it so much easier to highlight and describe a page if you are a search marketer who has been waiting for this change.

Google themselves were quite happy with the change, noting that: “We recently made a change to provide more descriptive and useful snippets, to help people better understand how pages are relevant to their searches. This resulted in snippets becoming slightly longer, on average.”

This is very useful and should play a major role in the search industry for some time. While this might mean having to go back and make old Meta descriptions more detailed, it shouldn’t be a particularly major issue.

Users who check out website should now see a longer Meta description for just about any page that they visit. That’s a very important change – the old average of 160 was prohibitive. Now, websites can be much clearer in explaining what they offer, which should have a positive effect on content descriptions.

If you are looking for an easier way to help sell what your website is all about, this should make it much easier. That small extra descriptive style should go some way to helping improve website descriptions. Now, readers know what to expect before they click on through to the link.

Are you happy with the adjustment? Please let us know your thoughts below.

Source: Search Engine Land

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Google Search Corresponds to User Location, Not Domain

In another one of the many changes that Google has brought to the table in recent weeks and months, a new change means that Google searches are altogether changed from what they once were. Google summed up the latest change via their webmaster blog as searches now correspond to user location and not domain:

So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.

That is quite a useful little adjustment. It’s a big change to how we do searches on our mobile devices, our desktop devices and even Google Maps. In fact, according to Google, 1 in 5 searches are now going to be concentrating on a location-related question and answer instead of anything else.

Naturally, that should make it a fair bit easier to see why so many are turning to using this kind of search. It’s a powerful feature and is likely to make quite a difference to the kind of searches that we once do. Currently, you don’t need to change to .com, co.uk, .jp etc. to get the answers based on the nation that you are looking at.

Now, the user location is going to be chosen based on where the search is coming from or where is the searcher’s actual physical location. It will naturally make it a bit tougher for you to get a search going in another nation.

On a mobile device, you can easily just go to the settings and change your location search from within there. This search can be found under ‘Region for Search Results’ and will make it easy for you to begin to scour other parts of the world still without having to do anything else.

If you are online looking at advice for, say, your taxes, you are less likely to be reading a guidance plan for another nation – many people find themselves as experts on US taxation as they would do all their searches on US Google.

You can easily just adjust to make sure that as many searches as you want are carried out in the kind of manner that you wish. The days of being able to just change the URL are gone, yes, but this is altogether more relevant for users to give them a better user experience.

Source: Google Webmaster Blog

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Google: Ranking Factors Change, Depends on Query

For years, Google has been looking at ways to continually improve its algorithm and ranking factors. Having watched it grow since the beginning, Google has often been the driving force behind search engine queries and changes. They were one of the primary players in the transformation of how content is ranked on search engines.

Google has made yet another new range of changes this time looking at trying to adjust how search engine queries are made. While there are no ‘top three’ ranking factors, as some have led us to believe over the years, instead, the top-ranking factors that a website is rated on will be based on the actual search query in the first place.

There is no specific set of results which is going to see you ‘rank higher’ – it’s all down to so many little factors.

This means that what is being asked is more likely to determine what appears rather than how you stuff in those keywords or how you try and use links every few paragraphs.

This also should mean that the days of trying to stuff in links to try and get extra ranking ‘brownie points’ with Google should be over. People has come to realize that many high-ranking pieces of content out there are hitting the spot and do the job that you would intend. This ranking system is fair enough. It just means we should be able to see relevant search engine results to reach the top of the rankings.

It’s important that we can begin to pay more attention to the improvement in how ranking adjustments take place. After all, if everything used the same adjustments and judges to try and work out if they should be ranked high or not, many pieces of truly relevant and informative content would never be seen by the public

It’s for this reason that ranking adjustments are becoming so important when it comes to changing and altering the way that you try and rank content when it comes to the search engines.

Source: Search Engine Journal

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30% of Google Search Results on Page 1 and 2 are Ignored

In the ever-changing world of SEO and online marketing, one of the most common problems that people have is misinformation. One person can sure sound like an expert, but they could just be talking nonsense. It happens, sadly, and many people are perceived as experts on topics that – broadly – they know nothing about. So, for this reason, we want to take a closer look at what makes good quality content and how you can best make sure that you are going to be able to be seen on Google search results.

However, we want to draw your attention to the fact that simply being on page 1 or page 2 of the Google search engine results page for your own website isn’t enough to be seen. According to a study, 30% of these results are routinely ignored by searchers!

This study, put together by the team over at Internet Marketing Ninjas, shows that one of the biggest boasts of most companies – “I’m on Page 1 of Google!” might have a good chance of meaning nothing at all. You likely do it yourself, too; skim the results, ignoring a good portion of them until you find what solves your issue. We all do it, and for that reason it should not be a big surprise that the majority of people are the same; most just simply don’t want to click on every link.

Thanks to this study, it shows that you should be looking to move as high up the rankings as you possibly can. The case study highlights that after position 3 on the first page of Google, results can begin to drop by as much as half. While being at the top of the page can get a click-through-rate of over 20%, the average click-through-rate for #3 on the position is just 7.5%!

These are massive drop-offs, and should go a long way to helping you understand why so many are not happy. We recommend that you take the time to look closer at the fact that many searches end up with no clicks, so it’s important that you spend as much time optimizing your website to move as high up the ranking as you can.

This should be a cause for motivation rather than a signal that all is lost. You should spend as much time as you possibly can by getting used to the idea that a reduced CTR means you obviously need to do more. Never just rest on your laurels and be happy languishing back there in the lower reaches just because you can say that you were on page one; it’s no use just being there, you need to be as high up as you possibly can be.

From making your queries better-branded to catch those looking for promotions to being more diverse to draw in more viewers from other locations, many solutions exist that you can easily tap into and enjoy using.

Just remember; there is absolutely no guarantee that being on the first page will bring you the results you desire. That takes more than just good Search Engine Results Page (SERP) placing.

Source: Search Engine Journal

 

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Google My Business Offers Live Editing in Search Results

For any business that is making the most of Google My Business to help promote themselves, a new online update arrived in September 2017 that helped to change how you use and edit your placing on Google My Business. Any local business that uses this channel should be looking for ways to make their editing and account management as simple as possible, and that has now become so much easier when you are on the go.

This makes it easy for you to just log in, type in the name of your venue and then hit the ‘Edit Info’ button and begin making the adjustments that you wish. This is useful for you to make sure that you can edit your Google My Business info on the go and to avoid any problems being found.

This allows for faster, simpler and stress-free editing that removes much of the challenge and stress that you are likely to deal with as the time goes on. It’s been underway since the summer of 2017, but it’s only now hitting the ‘shelves’ online for Google My Business users in September.

Despite seeming like a small adjustment, this is a big change and it will make editing so much quicker. According to Google, now “you can complete and enhance your listing, share photos and posts related to your business, and see how many views you’re getting.”

Modernize your Google My Business on the Go

Sounds useful, right? Now, you can make sure that you have on-the-go analytics about performance. Just shot a wonderful 4K-quality snap of the outside of your business? Then get it up online and show everyone how proud you are of your venue!

This is a super-simple tactic; one that allows you to easily make a big change to how you work and how you go about preparing yourself generally. You can make sure that you have total control editorially over your Google My Business profile wherever you are.

Got a great new idea? Want to add a new quote or something extra to the site? A new photo from a happy customer? Currently, all of this can be done in a matter of seconds. In truth, this is one of the most effective ways that you can improve how easily you can edit, improve and overall maintain your content.

In the past, great ideas and inspiration would need to hold until you sat down at the PC with a notebook and a cup of coffee. Today, you can make sure that those ideas and inspirations are added instantly. It ensures that you never forget about a smart marketing plan or anything of the sort.

Over time, it can really transform the quality of your Google My Business profile!

Source: Search Engine Land

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57% Search Traffic is Mobile

For years, people have been warning us that eventually there would be a big change to the way that we look after for searches on the internet. In fact, it was a statement made when the tech revolution first kicked off; that within a very short space of time, we would see more traffic and more people using the internet on mobile devices than we would on a desktop device.

And it makes sense, right? You can do it on the train, in bed, on the toilet, on the couch, wherever. With a PC, you need to be physically present and using the hardware to make it work accordingly. However, a study was released in August 2017 that showed that a good chunk over half – 57% – of all search traffic now comes from a mobile device.

Think it sounds too much? Just think about how much searching you do on your phone. From checking out sports scores to looking up promos and deals right down to just settling an argument with a friend or loved one, you can find that using a mobile device is much easier to search on for a short and simple query than it is to fire up the PC and do it from there.

Over time, this is sure to make a wholesale change to the way that you work and the way that you handle yourself. BrightEdge believe that we are already at the point whereby the vast majority of people are looking to make those small searches using a mobile device.

This is also going to have a major effect on how keywords are used and analyzed. It’s also going to see the results we get change and adjust depending on the device used to carry out the said search.

It only means that the revolutionary shouts of mobile taking over desktop came a lot faster than most predicted. If you do mobile search, then there is a good chance that you are now with the majority. However, the death of the PC has been somewhat exaggerated since this message came out, and it means nowhere near as much in terms of a death knell for this particular industry.

This also means that brands will need to become used to being optimized for both mobile and desktop users. So, the old days of having one website design is gone; now you need to look at what keywords your campaigns are using and where they rank on a mobile device.

Yes, it means having to make more investment into marketing but it also means more opportunities to turn that marketing into a sale or a long-term customer. Marketers should be looking to assess as much detail and information from these searches as they can.

Such dynamics are going to play an absolutely essential role in how visible a business is.

Source: Search Engine Journal

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Study Shows Links Still Play Major Role in Search Engine Rankings

The world of search engine ranking has been changing on a regular basis. It’s like any kind of marketing. Recent studies have showed that links are still a prominent part of the search engine industry. This study, carried out by Stone Temple Consulting, shows that links still plays a huge role in how search engines ranks websites.

It is also important to note that a search engine ranking will play a major role even if your content has no links in it yet. While links do play a big part in your ranking factor, link-free content will not be blacklisted or ignored for lacking a bit of extra content to help sell the story and to help make sure it can be portrayed in the right light.

So, it’s vital that you keep on doing link building. Many businesses have shown a lack of appreciation for the lack of power that search engine rankings hold, and this does a rather fine job of enveloping just how wrong that lack of interest in search engine rankings has been in the past.

Thanks to this study, we can see clearly now why so many are choosing to turn to search engine rankings in the long run. Links will always remain a major part of the ranking factors and it’s unlikely that – given they have provided previous studies with a similar response since 2015 – shows links still matter.

Partly thanks to their rather tight-lipped nature on what is a major part in ranking factors, most are not 100% sure what to think of link building process in the long run. Studies have shown for some time that links are still as powerful.

So, while content without links is still capable of being high ranked and successful, they do play a major role in how a page is perceived. With relevant links that match up with the subject matter at hand, a business can see content soar on search engines when they use good links to help fill out information and enlighten their readership.

This explains why you should keep on doing link building. Just make sure the links are relevant or related in your industry, or it adds value to your readers.

Source: Search Engine Land

Get More Interactions with Google Posts

Thanks to these fresh features, you should be able to easily give people access to time-related events or something new that your local business is offering. With this, you should find it much easier to:

  1. Share high quality special deals, seasonal promotions and much more. It will help make sure that customers can find these with a simple look at your business on Google. It also earns loyalty and could draw in new customers across the board.
  2. To showcase the latest products that you have out at the moment.
  3. Choose one of the easiest ways for people to contact you and take action, from giving them a chance to buy the product now to sign up for a newsletter or even just make a reservation at a restaurant.
  4. Show off new events and get as many people as you can who might be interested in upcoming shows and program. It helps build hype and excitement about what is to come in the near future.

So, what are you waiting for? Try out Google Posts today, you won’t regret it!

Source: Search Engine Land

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Google Local Business URLs Now Lets You Add Links

Google Local Business has been one of the most useful tools for marketers and businesses to help show off their products and services online. One feature that many of its users have wanted to see installed for some time is the ability to add links.

Well, Google have listened and this feature has now been added. Currently, you can add quick links or local business URLs to your listing for easier reservations, ordering and more.

Local Business URLs

Google Local Business just became more user-friendly for your average small to medium sized business. Now, specifically categorized businesses – such as a restaurant, to name but one example – can start to add new kinds of URLs to their profiles. For example, you could now hyperlink a landing page to the ‘Make an Order’ page or to your Menu page or even to a Reservations page. You have more control to market the most effective and useful features that encourages the user to take action and see what you are offering.

This can mean everything from placing a secure online order to making an appointment and ensuring that it is set in stone. This feature is a welcome addition as call to actions will be more prominent and users will be linked directly to the necessary page. Talk about providing great user experience.

We can now see a new way in how we use our Google Local Business pages. From changing how people can get access to the menu to how they reserve a spot or a table, companies such as restaurants and bars should find it much easier to advertise their services. Users will immediately get the information they need with little to no hassle.

How to Add URLs to your Listing

  1. Sign in to your Google My Business account.
  2. Choose the Google My Business listing that you want to edit.
  3. Click into the URLs section.
  4. Enter your URLs in the appropriate fields.
  5. Click Apply.

So, start to take some time getting used to improving your business listings online starting with Google Local Business. When utilized fully, this can be a great way to attract new customers.

Source: Google

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