Monthly Archives: September 2020

Why site speed is critical for your SEO success and how to make it happen

September 6, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • The fact alone that the search engine giant has deemed site speed important should be enough for you to make it a priority.
  • As your page load speed increases second-by-second, the bounce rate also increases a lot.
  • It’s challenging enough to craft a call-to-action that convinces your site visitors to buy your product or services without adding any additional hurdles.
  • Sprinkle in a bit of slow page load time, and you could be missing out on a ton of revenue.
  • A walk through how to identify your site speed issues and fix them.

Google has confirmed site speed as one of the 200+ factors that Google uses to determine your website’s position in search. The fact alone that the search engine giant has deemed site speed important should be enough for you to make it a priority. Beyond that, however, there are other reasons you should place a focus on the speed of your site.

Let’s look at a couple of other critical reasons why you need to focus on your site’s speed for the success of your SEO efforts and the success of your business.

Keep visitors on your site

In a recent report, Google noted that 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. That’s where we’re at in this world in regard to our attention spans. Think about all the traffic you could lose if over half of the visitors to your site leave simply because they don’t have the patience to stick around longer than three seconds for your site to load.

And with every second it takes for the pages on your site to load, the chances that your visitors will bounce increases. Take a look at this chart from the same study. It shows that, as your page load speed increases second-by-second, the bounce rate also increases, a lot.

site speed stats on mobile speed

Source: Think with Google

Reducing your site’s bounce rate is a focus for virtually every site owner or it should be anyway. So, make sure to pay attention to site speed to avoid issues in this area.

Stop losing business

It’s challenging enough to craft a call-to-action that convinces your site visitors to buy your product or services without adding any additional hurdles. Sprinkle in a bit of slow page load time, and you could be missing out on a ton of revenue.

In fact, in 2012, Fast Company had conducted a study showing that even a one-second increase in page load time could cost Amazon $ 1.6 billion in lost revenue. Granted, your business likely doesn’t bring in the same revenue as Amazon, but you can still work the formula backward from Amazon’s actual revenue, determine what percentage that loss accounts for and then apply that to your revenue.

Site speed and bounce rate

Source: Fast Company

Whatever that number is, I can guarantee you it’s not a number you want to lose when it comes to revenue. No business wants to lose revenue, no matter how large or small.

What causes slow site speed and how do you fix the issues?

You get the importance by now of making sure your site loads quickly. So, now let’s look at a few reasons why your site might be bogged down.

1. Large media files

Videos, images, graphics, and other large media files can take up a lot of space. When a visitor hits your site, your site begins to serve up images, graphics, videos, and other media files that are supposed to exist on the page on which the visitor lands. If the files are super huge, this can slow down the speed of your site.

The fix

Host your video files elsewhere. Rather than hosting them on the site, host them in places like YouTube, Vimeo, and other such services. Then, embed the videos on your site. That way, visitors can still play the video right there on your page, but they won’t deal with any lag in load time. Regarding optimizing your images, try to use file types like JPEG, PNG, and GIF. These tend to load much more quickly than less optimized file types.

2. Avoid slow hosting services

While you may be tempted to cut costs in an area like website hosting, I strongly advise against doing so. There are some affordable hosting options that do offer decent site speed, but often the cheap, cost-saving hosting services come with slow page load speeds.

The fix

First, look to avoid shared servers if you want your site to load fast. Shared servers are ok for smaller sites, but if you want to avoid the lag time, opt for another type of hosting. There are a variety of options here depending upon your site and your particular needs. So, do your research and figure out what the best option for hosting is for your site.

3. Not picking the right CMS

There are tons of great CMS options for creating your website. Options such as Joomla, WordPress, Wix, and others are higher quality options and often help with your site’s load speed. There are less reliable CMS options, however, which can slow your site down.

The fix

WordPress is my personal preference for all the great plugins and other available tools at your disposal to help you boost your site’s performance. Avoid some of the lesser-known options, especially those with reputations for being highly unreliable. Focus instead on more proven options. If you’ve never heard of a particular CMS, do some digging, look at reviews, ask your peers, and make the best choice for your business.

4. Having too many redirects

Redirects are an easy way to point site visitors away from content like a 404 page and toward relevant content that actually exists and might meet their needs. The problem is, if you have too many redirects on your site, you can start to aggravate your site visitors. Think about the extra second or two a redirected link causes as it finds the new content. Those seconds could lose a visitor’s attention.

The fix

I’m not saying don’t use redirects. They are a highly useful tool. That said, try to use them sparingly. Also, try to limit multiple levels of redirects which can add even more seconds on to the page load time.

5. Too much code

Too much code can bog down your site.  Javascript, CSS, and HTML can all include unnecessary code that can lead to your site slowing down.

The fix

Cut down on any unnecessary characters like commas and spaces. This alone can help speed up your site. Also, get a skilled developer to look at your code. There are potentially a lot of lines of code on your site that are unnecessary. One example of how this can happen is when someone copies and pastes something from a Word Document right into your site. This can add lots of lines of unnecessary code. In this instance, it’s best to instead copy and paste the text into a text editor, then bring the copy into your site.

These are just a handful of the many things that can slow down your site. Start here, as each of the above can have a significant impact. Then take it a step further and bring in an expert to dig through your site and analyze any other issues that might be impacting your site’s load time.

Wrapping things up

You’ve seen the evidence. Now I highly recommend digging around and checking out the page speed on your own website. Fortunately, that task is simple. Here are a few great tools to easily check the load speed of your website.

  • Google’s Pagespeed insights
  • YSlow
  • Pingdom
  • Uptrends
  • Dotcom-Monitor

I can’t stress enough how important it is to focus on the speed of your website. Why put your site at risk of turning visitors away and missing out on revenue critical to the growth of your business. Even if you run a blog and don’t sell services or products directly on your site, your revenue likely comes through Google AdSense clicks or affiliate marketing, thus you still need to rely on high traffic levels and people sticking around your site.

So, no matter what niche you are in, get focused on site speed now, and address the issue before it becomes a major problem.

Anthony is the Founder of AnthonyGaenzle.com a marketing and business blog. He also serves as the Head of Marketing and Business Development at Granite Creative Group, a full-service marketing firm. He is a storyteller, strategist, and eternal student of marketing and business strategy.

The post Why site speed is critical for your SEO success and how to make it happen appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

OrCam Technologies co-founder Amnon Shashua to speak at Sight Tech Global

September 6, 2020 No Comments

If the measure of progress in technology is that devices should become ever smaller and more capable, then OrCam Technologies is on a roll. The Israeli firm’s OrCam MyEye, which fits on the arm of a pair of glasses, is far more powerful and much smaller than its predecessor. With new AI-based Smart Reading software released in July, the device not only “reads” text and labels but also identifies people by name and describes other important aspects of the visual world. It also interacts with the user, principally people who are blind or visually impaired, by means of an AI-based smart voice assistant.

At the upcoming Sight Tech Global virtual event, we’re pleased to announce that OrCam’s co-founder and co-CEO, Professor Amnon Shashua, will be a featured speaker. The event, which will take place virtually on December 2-3, is focused on how AI-related technologies will influence assistive technology and accessibility in the years ahead. Attendance is free and pre-registration is open now.

Shashua is a towering figure in the technology world. He is not only the co-founder of OrCam but also Mobileye, the company that provides the computer-vision sensors and systems for automotive safety and autonomous navigation. Intel acquired Mobileye for $ 15.3 billion in 2017, the single-largest acquisition of an Israeli company ever. This year, Shashua received the Dan David Prize (Future Category) for his work in artificial intelligence.

Shashua started OrCam at the prompting of his aunt, who was losing her sight and hoped that her technologist nephew could apply his prodigious talents as a scientist and AI expert to help. With that goal in mind, he started OrCam in 2010 with co-founder Ziv Aviram . The firm has gone on to raise $ 130.4 million dollars from investors, including Intel, and sell the OrCam MyEye device to tens of thousands of users in over 50 countries. At $ 3900 per device in the U.S., the OrCam MyEye is far from affordable for most people, but the firm says the device price will come down as production increases.

At the start of a new era for assistive technology, OrCam’s approach with the lightweight, offline-operating OrCam MyEye is nothing if not thought provoking (the device was recognized as a TIME Best Invention of 2019). Will miniaturization of sophisticated sensors and electronics lead to unobtrusive sensor arrays as the foundation of assistive tech? Will the AI-based natural-language processing lead to an all-purpose, customizable personal assistants that work with abilities as needed?

“In OrCam’s roadmap,” says Shashua, “the ultimate AT must have the right balance between computer vision and natural language processing. For example, the “smart reading” feature recently launched harnesses NLP (natural language processing) in order to guide the device to which text information to extract and communicate to the user. NLP allows the user to specify precisely what he/she needs to know. For example, the “orientation” feature recently launched allows the user to prompt the device to describe the objects in the scene and to provide audible guidance to those objects. We see the “orientation” feature growing with respect to vocabulary, with respect to search (e.g., “notify me when you see a Toilet sign”), and with respect to obstacle avoidance (where is the free-space in the scene). The technological challenge in bringing these desires into reality critically depends on the progress of compute and algorithms.

“By ‘compute,’” says Shashua,  “I mean the ever-growing trend to miniaturize processing power enables more sophisticated algorithms to reside on smaller and battery-powered footprint. By “algorithms” I mean the ever-increasing sophistication of deep-tech to mimic human intelligence. Combining the two creates a powerful impact on the future of assistive tech for people who are blind and visually impaired.”

Shashua received a B.Sc in mathematics and computer science from Tel-Aviv University in 1985 and his M.Sc in computer science in 1989 from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He received a Ph.D in brain and cognitive sciences in 1993 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), while working at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Sight Tech Global is a virtual event on December 2-3 and attendance is free. Pre-registration is open now. 

Sight Tech Global welcomes sponsors. Current sponsors include Verizon Media, Google, Waymo, Mojo Vision and Wells Fargo, The event is organized by volunteers and all proceeds from the event benefit The Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Silicon Valley.

Mobile – TechCrunch

How do I unsubscribe from Netflix?

September 5, 2020 No Comments

 compte netflix gratuit Have you seen every possible and unimaginable series on Netflix? Are you just disappointed and think it’s time to unsubscribe?

Whatever your type of subscription to the Netflix platform, know that it is easy to delete your account.

In this tutorial, we explain how to cancel your Netflix subscription, whether you still have the welcome offer or not.

Unsubscribe from Netflix

Netflix is ​​an online video platform that offers three types of subscriptions ranging from € 7.99 to € 15.99.

If for any reason you wish to end your subscription then follow these video streaming service unsubscribe steps.

  1. Sign into your account.
  2. Click on your profile at the top right and select Account .
  3. In the Subscription and Billing section , click on the Cancel subscription option .
  4. On the page that opens, all you have to do is click on Complete the cancellation .
  5. Your cancellation is now registered and will take effect on the last day of the month.Please note that you can reactivate your account at any time. The latter will be permanently closed 10 months after deactivation.If you consider this delay too long, then Netflix advises you to send an email to   privacy@netflix.com , from the email address given during your registration.Also, we recommend that you delete your bank details, in order to avoid any use of your account without your consent. You can also request it in your cancellation email.Remove a profile from your Netflix accountIf you only want to delete one or more profiles associated with your account, then follow the steps below.

    Log in to Netflix.

    Click on your profile and select Account .

    In the My Profile section , click the Manage Profiles option on the right.

    Choose the profile, then click Remove. 

For more information on boosting and saving your personal data, then go to the help center.

To access it, click Account , then click Help Center from the drop-down list. Finally, in the search bar, type Information deletion and information retention policy .

Cheap Phones

LinkedIn Ads & Hubspot Integration: The Rundown

September 5, 2020 No Comments

One Paid Social Strategist covers how to integrate a LinkedIn Ads account with the Hubspot CRM and all of the benefits that come with the integration.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero

Five reasons why SEO should be prioritized over paid media campaigns

September 4, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Most marketers combine SEO and paid media campaigns, but the marketing budget between the two should not necessarily be split down the middle.
  • Paid media campaigns, which include PPC, social, and influencer campaigns, are a one-and-done expense, meaning the investment doesn’t build on itself.
  • SEO can take weeks or months to show results, but after the effort, it’s cost-effective and sustainable.
  • All in all, SEO should be prioritized if you’re focused on the longevity of your company’s marketing scheme.
  • Elevation Marketing’s Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services explains why SEO gives more bang for your buck.

US digital ad spending was expected to grow 19% to $ 129.34 billion by 2020, finally surpassing traditional advertising methods. According to eMarketer, this figure accounts for 54.2% of total ad spending in the country — and this isn’t a fluke. Digital marketing is effective, but there are multiple routes marketers can take. So, how do you know which?

SEO and paid media campaigns are two of the most common digital marketing strategies, and they’re often implemented together as a one-two punch. SEO is a more long-term play in which marketers will work to enhance a website’s SERP rankings, and the latter includes anything from paid social media ads to PPC campaigns. While paid media can get you thousands of impressions,  it may not always be worth the largest chunk of a marketing budget, especially if you’re thinking about the bigger picture.

The truth is that most online experiences (about 68% according to research) begin with a search engine, and that’s where SEO shines, despite the fact that 25% of marketers admitted to having a less than average understanding of organic traffic. A great SEO strategy won’t see immediate returns like PPC campaigns might, but it provides an effective strategy that is far more scalable and sustainable. 

For this reason, SEO should take priority overpaid media, especially when your marketing budget is tight, but ultimately both types of digital marketing strategies work best when used hand-in-hand.

1. SEO is cost-effective

The ROI of an SEO campaign is a bit harder to calculate than that of a paid campaign. If you’re paying for links or ad clicks or paying an influencer to create a sponsored post, you can easily see the real-time profits. SEO is a little bit different because it can take months to reap the benefits. Nonetheless, it’s still more cost-effective in the long run because once a comprehensive SEO strategy is correctly implemented, it’s set and tends to snowball. You only need to invest in maintenance and updates, rather than investing every single time you run a paid campaign. 

When it comes to search engines, SEO generally has a smaller CPA (cost per acquisition) than PPC. That’s not to say that SEO doesn’t require an initial investment. A great strategy requires a sharp, well-versed professional — which does come at a premium. Google also uses more than 200 different factors to rank websites and some of these factors are constantly evolving, so a long-term investment is a must to keep up with the ever-changing SEO landscape, it just doesn’t usually cost as much as consistently running paid advertising campaigns throughout the entirety of your company’s lifespan.

There are also multiple resources on the web that allow you to learn the basics of SEO on your own. This technical SEO checklist gives step-by-step instructions on how to perform on-page checks that will boost your search engine rankings. This is perfect for those who are just starting out and want to get some base-level SEO added to their site. 

2. SEO has longevity

You might get great results for things like paid search and digital display media, but the second the campaign ends, that success is over. For example, you can bid for a spot on the first page of Google (which can be very expensive depending on the keyword), but that disappears the second you stop paying for it. At the end of the day, paid media is artificially inflated growth.

There is some truth to the old adage that all good things take time, and SEO is a prime example. With a great strategy, you should see solid results by six months, and even more solid results by a year, but these results don’t just disappear the second you decide to divest and reallocate your marketing budget to something else. Once your website’s SEO is established, it’s established (i.e. when you’re in, you’re in). The rest is maintenance, like minding Google’s core updates and creating regular content, or it will trickle to a stopover time. Think of SEO as building a foundation for a house and paid media campaigns as furnishing the room.

3. SEO is sustainable

Paid media’s longevity problem makes it difficult for startups and smaller, newer businesses to maintain long term. While most brands invest a solid amount in paid campaigns from the beginning, it’s not exactly a sustainable strategy. Think of it this way: the average social media influencer charges between $ 75 to $ 3,000 per sponsored post — and it can go way beyond that. That’s just for one post that will get buried in a feed, whereas a business could invest the same amount in SEO content, and see the returns for months on end.

In short, SEO is a sustainable way to elevate your online presence and raise brand awareness. Your ROI from SEO will continue to climb long after your paid media efforts have peaked. Even organic social media marketing doesn’t perform the same way. For example, pages with more than 500,000 likes on Facebook have seen a dramatic decrease in reach, possibly to encourage companies to increase their ad spend.

4. Users prefer organic links

Flatly put, people prefer and trust organic links over paid ads. In fact, organic results can get 15 times the CTR of paid search results if you rank well on a high search volume keyword, and that’s because people just don’t trust advertisements. Consumers want results because they’re relevant, not because someone paid to be there.

A survey done by MarketingSherpa showed that 70% of the links users click on are organic, while only 25% are paid. This emphasizes the importance of having your site rank organically as users are far more likely to visit your site via an organic link.

Stat on organic vs paid media campaigns performance

Of course, backlinking is also a crucial part of any SEO strategy. Users may overwhelmingly favor organic content, but there’s a fair chance they won’t see it unless you’ve got a solid link building strategy that includes placements from trustworthy, high-quality, third party websites. Studies have shown that 91% of all pages don’t get organic traffic from Google, largely because they don’t have any backlinks. More than half of all website pages don’t even have one backlink when the more backlinks a page has, the higher it ranks on Google’s SERPs.

5. SEO is scalable

SEO is fully scalable, meaning you can adjust your campaigns as your company grows. In fact, many business owners first dive into the world of SEO by reading up and implementing their own basic strategy before they have the funds to bring in the professionals. The more you do, the better it’s going to work. 

Paid media doesn’t work in the same way. Sure, it can generate impressions and raise the brand, but ad blindness is an extremely real consequence. According to Forbes, Americans are inundated with 4,000 to 10,000 every single day, and it’s no secret that they start to filter them out eventually. 

Overall, a solid SEO strategy sets up a solid foundation for marketing success that can only be elevated through paid campaigns. The same can’t be said for the reverse.

Ryan Gould is Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing. He can be found on LinkedIn.

The post Five reasons why SEO should be prioritized over paid media campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

Daily Crunch: Apple delays ad-tracking changes

September 4, 2020 No Comments

Apple announces a surprising delay, Facebook bans new political ads for the week before the U.S. election and SpaceX is testing its Starlink internet system. This is your Daily Crunch for September 3, 2020.

The big story: Apple delays ad-tracking changes

At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that in iOS 14 (currently in public beta), app developers would have to ask users whether they wanted to be tracked for ad purposes.

The move seems like a straightforward win for privacy, but some developers and advertisers have been pretty worried — Facebook, for example, predicted that this could render its Audience Network ad network completely ineffective. So Apple announced today that it’s delaying the changes until early next year.

“We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result, the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year,” Apple said in a statement.

The tech giants

Facebook to block new political ads 1 week before Nov 3, adds more tools and rules for fair elections — Campaigns can still run ads to encourage people to vote, and they can still run older political ads.

Nintendo’s latest trick is turning the Switch into an RC controller for an AR Mario Kart game — The idea is that you can control real RC cars in your home.

Amazon launches an Alexa service for property managers — The company’s goal is to Alexa a tool for smart home management, even for those without their own Amazon account.

Startups, funding and venture capital

SpaceX confirms Starlink internet private beta underway, showing low latency and speeds over 100Mbps — While the current private beta is limited to SpaceX employees, the company said that the public Starlink beta is still on track to kick off later this year.

Optimizely acquired by content management company Episerver — In a statement, Episerver CEO Alex Atzberger said this is “the most significant transformation in our company’s history – one that will set a new industry standard for digital experience platforms.”

India’s Zomato raises $ 62 million from Temasek — The food delivery startup announced in January that Ant Financial had committed to provide it with $ 150 million, but apparently the firm has yet to deliver two-thirds of that capital.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

9 top real estate and proptech investors: Cities and offices still have a future — Optimism still runs high for startup hubs as well as supercities like New York and San Francisco.

Media Roundup: Patreon joins unicorn club, Facebook could ban news in Australia — Are you interested in the media business? Do you appreciate my news-gathering skills? Then this is the roundup for you!

What happens when public SaaS companies don’t meet heightened investor expectations? — The lesson for startups is clear: You’d better be damn impressive.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Spirit Airlines starts testing biometric check-ins — It’s starting at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

NSA call records collection ruled illegal by US appeals court — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the NSA’s “bulk collection” of call records violated the law, but the judges fell short of ruling the program unconstitutional.

Disrupt 2020 Labor Day flash sale — Starting today, you can save $ 100 off the price of a Disrupt Digital Pro Pass.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Mobile – TechCrunch

Funnel.io Setup Tips For Marketing Reports

September 4, 2020 No Comments

Data management for reporting is time-consuming, so the right tools are key. One paid media strategist shares her enthusiasm for one of those tools, Funnel.io.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero

How to become a master of featured snippets

September 3, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Featured snippets are here to stay, so it’s time for you to adapt.
  • 65% of organic Google searches now include at least one rich snippet.
  • Ranking for them isn’t as difficult as you think.
  • There is a structured and repeatable process for gaining those positions.
  • Ahref’s Mark Webster shows you how to analyze and create featured snippets.

The trick is being able to get featured snippets is using a structured process. One that you can repeat over and over again. Which is exactly what we show you how to do in this blog post. But just before we go any further into how to do that, let’s do a quick brief on featured snippets.

What is a featured snippet?

Featured snippets are the images, content summaries, answers, widgets, or other data that Google displays in their SERPs in addition to traditional web results.

featured snippets

From Google’s point of view, these provide their “customers” with better user experience – they get the information they need without ever needing to actually go to a website. And an improved revenue model for them – paid ads are how Google keeps the lights on.

But it’s a different story for website owners and bloggers. Featured snippets can feel like a mammoth task. But you don’t have to feel that way.

Why are featured snippets important?

There’s a straightforward answer to this – Google has increased its use of featured snippets in the last 12 months.

This is a trend that does not look set to change anytime soon.

If anything, Google will double-down on this approach, treading the fine line between scraping your content (without paying for it) and rewarding you with enough traffic to continue publishing.

There was even a time when you could grab the featured snippet and the numero uno ranking for a given keyword.

So you could effectively rank for position zero and position one. Which obviously drove insane amounts of traffic.

But then Google went and changed its algorithm to terminate “spot zero” rankings, and SEOs went back to the drawing board. The point we’re making is how your visitors interact with your website has changed dramatically.

But this also provides you with an opportunity.

As you probably already know, grabbing the first position result in Google SERPs will give you a CTR of at least 31.7% for a given search query. That’s why SEOs push so hard to dominate that particular slot in the organic SERPs.

But what if we told you that a competing featured snippet gets way more clicks you should get. There is hope, though.

Because around 60% of all featured snippets are owned by sites that don’t hold position one or that keyword. Basically, as long as you rank somewhere on page one it’s simply a matter of reverse engineering how to grab the featured snippet for that result. And yes, we’ve got you covered.

Analyzing the competition

As has been the case with most aspects of SEO over the last few years you should analyze what your competitors are doing.

So, the Authority Hacker team analyzed over one million search results for commonalities in the “how” and “why” of rich snippets.

Our criteria were that we included all types of featured snippets, including YouTube, People Also Ask, Knowledge cards, and more. And we also only analyzed phrases that had at least 1,000 searches per month.

What we found is that anywhere up to 65% of all search results included a snippet of some kind.

Basically, if you’re not optimizing for these rich/featured snippets, I can pretty much guarantee that your competitors are.

Finding featured snippet gaps

Let’s say you rank on page one for your keyword of choice. It typically takes a lot of links and a lot of work to kick down the door to position one. But snagging a featured snippet can help you leapfrog your competitors.

Quick reminder: You have to already rank somewhere on page one for our tactic to work.

With that in mind, head on over to Ahrefs.

Click on ‘Site Explorer’, paste in the URL of your website, click the search icon, and then click on ‘Organic Keywords’.

analyzing featured snippets using ahrefs

Now, filter the results so you only see what pages already rank on the first page of the SERPs.

filter results to find organic keywords for featured snippets

And the final step is to look for the gaps i.e. keywords you already rank for but where you don’t own the featured snippet.

To do that click on ‘SERP Features’ and select ‘Featured snippet” and ‘Apply’.

applying a feature snippet using ahrefs

Here’s what the results look like:

results in ahrefs

Now you know exactly what keyword phrases to target for your next featured snippet conquest.

And yes, you could do all of this manually.

But that’s entirely up to you – Ahrefs is our tool of choice when it comes to this stuff.

How do you get featured snippets?

So now we get to the cool stuff – reverse-engineering the SERPs to snag those premium organic placements.

Remember those commonalities we mentioned a little while back?

Well, what also became apparent during our research is that Google isn’t quite as clever as they’d like you to think they are.

All the talk about using AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to determine search results well it’s basically smoke and mirrors.

It all sounds compelling but it’s still basically fluff. Instead, the process they appear to use is far more mechanical in nature.

Our data indicate that they’re using how content is structured and semantic analysis to figure out what should appear as a featured snippet. Which all sounds very complicated, but it isn’t.

What we found is that Google follows some very basic rules when choosing which page to take a featured snippet from.

In effect, they would appear to be giving preference to pages that structure their data in a very specific way:

  1. “How to”, “What is” or “Best x vs. y” queries are your best targets
  2. You should wrap the original search query, verbatim, in an H2 or H3 tag
  3. You should also include an image within your “answer”
  4. You should write 50-ish words (no more than 300 characters) to answer the query

query terms to best target for featured snippets

What you are effectively doing here is over-optimizing for the search query.

So it’s kinda like being back in 2004, for now.

Some will view this tactic as “keyword” stuffing, which I think is maybe a little hyperbolic.

I see it as simply structuring your data in a way that makes Google pay attention to your page.

We’re simply providing you with the information we use to dominate whatever featured snippet we want to.

What you do with that information is entirely up to you.

But just imagine the positive impact this could have on an already successful affiliate site?

Are there any downsides?

As with any SEO “hack”, there is always the likelihood that Google will update its algorithm again, changing the selection criteria.

So – in several month’s time – you might have to adjust your approach to retain your position zero placements.

But the argument I’d make here is that in the meantime you’ll miss out on a lot of free traffic.

Something which your competitors will be more than happy to take the risk on.

For me, this is an opportunity to take advantage of.

And if things change, well I’ll see that as “Que sera sera”.

The post How to become a master of featured snippets appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

Facebook now lets you customize your Watch video feed with #Topics

September 3, 2020 No Comments

Facebook’s video destination, Facebook Watch, is introducing a new feature called “Your Topics” that will allow you to tailor its feed to include more of the content you want to see. Currently, Facebook leverages its existing understanding of each viewer’s interests to personalize the Watch Feed. Topics, however, will allow users to more explicitly tell Facebook what sort of things they like by exploring and subscribing to various content categories.

The feature has been quietly rolling out to Facebook users in recent days, and now some portion of the user base already has the feature in their own Facebook app.

Among the first to notice the new addition was Twitter user @whimchic, who regularly spots updates and changes to mobile applications before they’re made public.

They were alerted to the feature through a pop-up within Watch on the Facebook mobile app, we’re told. Here, a message explained that Facebook will now focus on showing more of the videos related to the #Topics you follow.

“Due to the many different ways your Watch feed is determined and how videos get categorized, you may see videos in your Watch feed that you aren’t interested in,” the message also warned. “Some videos related to the #Topics or Pages you follow may not appear in your Watch feed,” it noted.

Image Credits: Facebook app, screenshot via @whimchic

If you have the feature, you can access it for yourself by clicking on the Profile icon in the Facebook Watch tab on mobile, then clicking on the link to “Your Topics” to browse the available categories.

The subcategories which you can actually follow or unfollow are grouped underneath broader category pages, like Animals, Art & Design, Books, Business, Education, Fashion & Style, Food, Games, History & Philosophy, Home & Garden, Music, Performing Arts, Science & Tech, Sports, Travel & Leisure, TV & Movies and Transportation.

Image Credits: Facebook app, screenshot via TechCrunch

However, you can’t follow these high-level categories themselves — you have to click inside them to follow the individual topics. These can be very specific. For example, within Animals, you could follow #EndangeredSpecies or #GoldenRetrievers. Within Travel & Leisure, you could follow #TravelOceania or #WinterActivities. And so on.

But the subcategory listings are not comprehensive. Upon testing the feature within the Facebook app on my iPhone, a search for many other possible topics yielded no results. (What, no #Corgi videos?!) This, of course, could change in time as the feature is expanded.

Image Credits: Facebook app, screenshot via TechCrunch

Once you follow a topic, a message will confirm your choice and then the topic will appear under “Topics You Follow” in the Your Topics section of Facebook Watch.

From here, you can choose to unfollow the topic later if you decide you want to see less of it in your feed. And if you want to watch only videos from a given topic, you can tap the topic to delve into a customized feed.

The feature is now one of several ways users can personalize and filter their broader Facebook Watch feed.

You can also filter the feed by Live, Music, Following, Shows, Gaming and more, by tapping on the buttons at the top of the screen or from the What’s on Watch category picker that shows up as you scroll further down the Watch Feed.

Facebook also adds groupings like its editorially curated “Get Caught Up” section with videos from paid partners, or those groupings that are more algorithmically sorted, like the one with videos that got the most “HaHa’s” or “Loves” this week, or those that are popular with friends.

Image Credits: Facebook app, screenshot via TechCrunch

The new feature could make Facebook Watch more competitive with YouTube, where there’s historically been a heavier focus on connecting users with individual channels to subscribe to. But YouTube has also embraced Topics in its own way, with broad categories like “Gaming” and “Fashion & Beauty” that are now a part of its main navigation. And it puts personalized topics at the top of the home page directing signed-in users to categories of videos they tend to watch.

Twitter, of course, has its own Topics feature, too, which showcases top tweets that match a particular interest. These may or may not contain videos, however.

Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the addition of Topics, saying “we’re working on more ways to connect people with videos that match their interests.” No further details were provided.


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