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Google ranking factors to change search in 2021: Core Web Vitals, E-A-T, or AMP?

September 17, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • The biggest Google update of the year is called the Page Experience update.
  • Core Web Vitals are part of that update, and they are definitely ranking factors to keep in mind, especially when optimizing images.
  • AMP is no longer the only way to get a “Top Stories” feature on mobile. Starting in 2021, any news webpage can become a “Top Story”.
  • Combining AMP’s privacy concerns and cost of operation might mean that AMP will disappear within a couple of years.
  • E-A-T is not a ranking factor right now, and we don’t know if it will become one in the future.

2020. What a year. History is happening around us, and Google? Well, Google keeps on revamping their search algorithms. Over the years, there have been many many major algorithm updates, as Google worked to keep us on our toes. 2020 was no different: in one fell swoop, we got the news about a Page Experience update and AMP news. All the while the debate about whether or not you need E-A-T for ranking rages on. How do the Core Web Vitals stand in changing the search game in 2021?

Let’s go over each of these innovations and see which will change the way we do SEO, and which will fade into obscurity sooner rather than later.

1. Importance of core web vitals for SEO

Core Web Vitals were part of Page Experience update, and, by far, caused the biggest ruckus.

There’s a lot to learn about Core Web Vitals, but they boil down to the three biggest issues on our webpages:

  1. LCP — Largest Contentful Paint, which deals with the loading speed of the largest single object on the page.
  2. FID — First Input Delay, which means the reaction time of the page to the first user input after (whether they click, tap, or press any keys).
  3. CLS — Cumulative Layout Shift — this is the measure of how much the content of the page jumps while loading content, mostly visual content, after opening.

How core web vitals influences rankings

Of course, some SEO experts think that the entire Page Experience update is nothing special, and could even: “[…] distract, […] from the core mission of communication and storytelling,”.

And, sure, most of Page experience update is simply an assembly of things we’ve known for a while: use HTTPS, be mobile-friendly, control your page speed, and so on.

But Core Web Vitals are a bit different and can influence the SEO practice in unexpected ways. Key factor that’s already changing rankings is Cumulative Layout Shift.

As most SEO experts know, for a while an important part of image optimization was using the <decoding=async> attribute in the <img> tag to avoid losing page speed while rendering the page.

Using <decoding=async> could lead to some seriously janky pages if coders didn’t specify the height and width of every single image to be rendered. Some websites did it anyway, for example, Wikipedia on most of its pages has a predefined space for images created ahead of time.

Core Web Vitals and other ranking factors for 2021 - Wikipedia

But as SEO experts we didn’t have to worry about pages being jumpy all too much, as that didn’t influence the rankings. Now with CLS being formally announced as a ranking factor, things will change for a whole slew of websites and SEO experts.

We’ll need to make sure that every webpage is coded with CLS in mind, with the needed space for every image defined ahead of time, to avoid the layout shifts.

The verdict

Overall, of course, it’s too early to tell, and more work by SEO’s around the web needs to be done here. However, it seems that if you aren’t used to focusing on technical SEO, Core Web Vitals becoming ranking signals might not influence your day-to-day work at all.

However, if you are conducting complicated technical SEO, then Core Web Vitals will definitely change the way you work in as-yet unexpected ways.

2. Importance of AMP for SEO

The AMP’s relevance today is kind of an open question. While it’s always been great as a quick-and-easy way to increase page speed, the privacy concerns have been voiced over and over again since the technology’s very inception.

But in 2020, significant changes are afoot, since, within the same Page Experience update, Google announced that there’s finally no requirement for us to create AMP pages to occupy the “Top Stories” SERP feature.

That’s a pretty huge step for anybody trying to accrue as many SERP features as they can, and, in particular, for news websites.

Core Web Vitals and other search ranking factors for 2021 - Top Stories

How AMP influences rankings

If we believe John Muellers’ words, then AMP is not a ranking factor. Seems plain and simple enough. But of course, things aren’t so simple, because AMP comes with pretty significant gains in page speed, and speed is an important ranking factor.

Thanks to AMP’s pre-rendering combined with some severe design limitations, AMP webpages often really do win in page speed, even if not in ranking as is.

The “Top Stories” SERP feature, however, was a huge benefit to using an AMP for any news agency with a website, and it’s easy to understand why. Just look at how much of the page is occupied by the “Top Stories” results.

Not only do “Top Stories” automatically get top 1 ranking on the SERP, but they also sport a logo of the website posting them, standing out even more from the boring old blue-link SERP.

This means that for a few years now news websites were essentially forced into using AMP to get into a “Top Stories” SERP feature on mobile since it absorbs a whole lot of clicks.

On the other hand, it takes quite a lot of resources to support AMP versions of the webpages, because you are basically maintaining a whole additional version of your website.

Added to which, a page that’s been properly optimized for speed might not need AMP for those speed gains, as well.

The verdict

While it’s tough to imagine that AMP will fade away completely within the next couple of years, AMP’s privacy issues combined with the cost of maintaining it might spell the end of it being a widely used practice.

Now, with the “Top Stories” becoming available to non-AMP pages, there’s virtually no reason to jeopardize the users’ security for speed gains you could get by proper optimization.

3. Importance of E-A-T for SEO

Expertise. Authority. Trust. All perfectly positive words and something we should all strive for in our professional lives. But what about search optimization?

Coming straight from Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines, E-A-T has been the talk of the town for a good moment now. Let’s dive in and see how they might change the way we optimize for search.

How E-A-T influences rankings

For most of us, they don’t really.

Sure, Quality Rater Guidelines provide valuable insights into Google’s ranking process. However, E-A-T is one of the lesser-important factors we should be focusing on, partly because these are nebulous, abstract concepts, and partly because Google doesn’t exactly want us to.

As Google’s official representatives informed us, E-A-T is not in itself a ranking factor.

Receiving follow-up questions, Google’s John Mueller then reiterated that point, and Ben Gomes, Google’s VP of search engineering confirmed that quality raters don’t influence any page’s rankings directly.

However, in practice, we often see that the so-called YMYL websites already can’t rank without having some expertise and authority established. A very popular example is that it’s virtually impossible to rank a website providing medical advice without an actual doctor writing the articles.

The problem here is that expertise, authority, and trustworthiness are not easily interpreted by the search algorithms, which only understand code.

And, at the moment, there seems to be no surefire way for Google to transform these signals into rankings, except to read the feedback of their quality raters before each algorithm update.

The verdict

While using E-A-T to rank websites might sound like an inarguable benefit for the searcher, there is a couple of concerns that aren’t easily solved, namely:

  1. Who exactly will be determining the E-A-T signals, and according to which standard?
  2. The introduction of such factors creates a system where the smaller and newer websites are punished in rankings for not having the trustworthiness that they couldn’t realistically acquire.

Responding to both of these concerns requires time and effort on the search engine’s side.

As things stand right now, E-A-T is not something to keep in mind while doing day-to-day SEO operations.

Let’s imagine a fantastical scenario where a webmaster/SEO expert has some free time. Then they might want to work on E-A-T, to try and stay ahead of the curve.

On the other hand, there simply isn’t any proof that Google will actually use E-A-T. Or that, even if used, these signals will become major ranking factors. For this reason, E-A-T shouldn’t be your priority ahead of traditional SEO tasks like link building and technical optimization.

Additionally, consider this. The entire Quality Rater Guidelines is 168 pages long. However, a comprehensive explanation of what E-A-T is and why it might be calculated a certain way will take many more pages than that.

Conclusion

As of the time of this writing, the Core Web Vitals seems to be the most important ranking news to come out in 2020 in practical terms. However, search is an extremely volatile field: what worked two weeks ago may not work today, and what works today might not work for most of us.

The matters are further complicated because we’re fighting an uneven battle: it’s simply not in search engines’ best interest to give us a full and detailed picture of how ranking works, lest we abuse it.

This is why it’s crucial to keep our hand on the pulse of optimization news and changes occurring every single day. With constant efforts from our SEO community to work out the best way to top rankings, it’s possible for us to close that gap and know for sure which trends are paramount, and which we can allow ourselves to overlook.

Aleh Barysevich is Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario.

The post Google ranking factors to change search in 2021: Core Web Vitals, E-A-T, or AMP? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Are search engines dead in China?

September 15, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • WeChat, a widely-used Chinese app, provides users with a variety of features including messaging, shopping, and more, inevitably affecting the search landscape with the abundance of data and content it provides to users.
  • Chinese users are stepping away from using traditional search engines, and instead, are leaning on searching within one-stop apps that are more tailored to their search queries.
  • Many companies like Bytedance and Alipay are increasingly trying to make their mark in search by creating large ecosystems that effectively tend to users’ needs.
  • Many of these challenger platforms are aiming to gain more dominance in the search market to capitalize on rising search demands.

 Are search engines dead in China?

You can’t imagine the internet without the search engine. It started out as a way of finding stuff on the various websites that were popping up, but ended up shaping the very medium it was indexing. Nobody would build a website without making sure it was molded around the demands of the biggest search engines in its customers’ region.

But that doesn’t mean search itself isn’t changing. As we’re seeing in China, the days of the search engine website that you visit to start your exploration could be numbered.

WeChat, therefore WeSearch

The largest search engine in China has always been (and remains) Baidu, which has a billion regular users, making it the second most popular search resource in the world.

But there’s a new player in town. WeChat has 1.2 billion users globally, mainly in China. It’s a one-stop app with a multitude of uses, not limited to messaging, consuming content, shopping, accessing services, and mobile payments. It’s ubiquitous in the nation, so it’s easy to see how it could become a hugely disruptive element in the search landscape. Because of its huge user base and multiple functions, there are billions of different user actions recorded and thousands of items of content being created and consumed on a daily basis. 

WeChat has a large volume of content and data within its ecosystem, including articles from WeChat official accounts (similar to Facebook business pages), mini-programs (mini-apps embedded within WeChat which don’t require installation on users’ mobile devices), news content from Tencent News, along with content from Tencent Music and WeChat Video channel. More importantly, WeChat has a partnership with Sogou, China’s second-largest search provider, to pump more information into WeChat’s ecosystem.

WeChat stats

Plugged into this huge index, WeChat search has become a powerful tool to find information. A survey by SocialBeta showed that 32% of WeChat users use it as their prime search engine of choice, and 46% use it as a general search tool. These are big numbers.

Now, Tencent, the owner of WeChat (and Sogou’s major shareholder), is moving to buy Sogou outright, potentially empowering its business model to take on more of the traditional search engines’ market share and to grab the benefits that come with it.

Search is moving away from pure search engines

The amount of searching going on in China is as strong as ever, but increasingly, people are turning away from the traditional search providers and searching within the enormous ecosystems Chinese tech giants build. 

A typical Chinese consumer can have various different sources to search for information depending on what they are looking for. To search for a product, they can go straight to dominant ecommerce platforms like Taobao and JD.com, then search in Xiaohongshu to look for inspiration and community reviews. If they are interested in a brand, a celebrity, or trending news, they will head to WeChat, Weibo, or Toutiao. To find a nearby store or a local service they will search in WeChat and Alipay without downloading any apps. A typical American would do most of that through Google, even when searching for products on Amazon, despite it having a perfectly good search engine of its own.

Search engine market in China

Search defragmenting

When it comes to search engine market share in China, only traditional search engines like Baidu and Sogou will be classified in the landscape by all the statistics providers. The movement of other players has been neglected for a long time. Toutiao, for example, is the top news and information aggregation app in the country, with 275 million monthly active users. Its owner is Bytedance, a company that’s currently in the Western news, as it’s the owner of TikTok, a video sharing app that President Trump wants to ban in America.

TikTok’s cousin in China, Douyin, has more than 400 million users. Similar to WeChat, millions of pieces of content and actions happen across Bytedance’s portfolio, ranging from news and articles to videos. With the data and information continuing to grow in the app, an increasing number of users are adapting to use search in the news app to look for information.

However, in March 2020, when Toutiao launched an independent search engine to rival Baidu, it failed to meet expectations and didn’t make much of a crater in Baidu’s landscape.

With 700 million users, Alipay is another rising star in the search landscape. It is a financial app that allows users to not only pay for things, but do a host of daily tasks like picking up parcels, ordering food, applying for credit cards, and buying and selling stocks and shares. Again, search within this ecosystem is a significant competitive thing, as it can guide users towards certain products and services over rivals.

According to third party research, half of the search queries happening in Alipay are finance related. In early 2020, Alipay even made an improvement to its in-app search algorithm so users can directly search for the name of a stock or finance product, instead of accessing them through the menu.

Alipay has not stopped there – this year, as the major sponsor of a trending reality show, “Street Dance of China Season 3″, Alipay has been actively placing branded search bars in the show to encourage more viewers to engage with its in-app search function.

Alipay sponsors major reality show in China

Why are they all eyeing the search market?

The answer is ad revenue. Many of the platforms mentioned above, including Weibo, Tencent, and Toutiao are already offering paid search ad positions to capitalize on the search demand.

Clearly, Chinese people regularly use all or most of these apps on a daily basis, so they don’t tend to stick to a single search engine, as is the case with Europe and the US, where Google dominates and permeates throughout the entire digital world. A rough parallel could be the search results given by Facebook and Twitter, but neither has the dominance or the captive audience that these Chinese giants can boast.

Should Baidu be worried? By far, Baidu provides the biggest index compared to all the other players. Also, like Google, Baidu has vigorously diversified, and provides dozens of services from maps to cloud storage – and its search engine backs up the whole ecosystem. The biggest long-term challenge for traditional search engines is that all the valuable data and content from super apps like WeChat, Toutiao, and Aliplay have not, and will not, open their indexes to service users outside their ecosystems.

In the short term, Google’s search dominance doesn’t look like it will be challenged in the same way Baidu has been. Through accidents of history and habitual use among consumers, it’s hard to knock big search engines off their perch. But nothing is predictable in digital, and analysts will certainly be keeping a close eye on the petri dish that is the Chinese search sector.

Ada Luo is Regional Account Director (APAC) at Croud.

The post Are search engines dead in China? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


How to get your YouTube videos appear in Google’s video carousel

September 11, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Google is giving a lot of visibility to video content through its interactive SERP section called a “video carousel”.
  • Getting your video ranked in Google’s “video carousels” can drive lots of views to your channel but it will also allow you to control more elements in your target SERPs.
  • Ranking in Google’s video carousel is quite doable and doesn’t require months of work or waiting. All you need is keyword research and video page optimization.

YouTube is one of the most popular social media networks out there allowing brands to get discovered by their customers. While creating a popular YouTube channel takes time and a lot of effort, it is well worth it. One piece of a puzzle many YouTube creators are missing is optimizing your videos for organic discoverability through Google’s video carousel.

Here’s a comprehensive guide that looks into all the elements that you can capture to win your spot in Google’s top SERP real estate.

What are YouTube video carousels?

Google offers a huge deal of organic visibility to YouTube videos through so-called video carousels, that is, interactive boxes featuring videos relating to the target search query:

What are Google's video carousels

Source: Google as of August 2020

There’s even more organic visibility for videos in mobile search results where videos carousels take almost the whole screen:

Mobile search results for Google's video carouselSource: Google as of August 2020

Whenever my video starts ranking in Google organic, it brings in lots of well-engaged views, especially as compared to other videos, even for very new/inactive channels:

video carouselSource: YouTube as of August 2020

But this strategy is not only helpful for driving views to your own channel. It is also a good way to better control your target Google SERPs. 

There’s no denying a fact that videos are highly engaging and convert well, and we are pretty sure that visuals (in this case video thumbnails) may be stealing a lot of attention from Google’s organic results (in fact, there’s a real science behind the visual impact on consumers’ behavior), so ranking your video there will help you drive more exposure for your brand.

The good news, YouTube SEO takes less time than traditional SEO does. I have seen my videos ranking in Google within a week after I upload them to YouTube! So this is a pretty fast way to boost your channel views by ranking your videos in Google’s video carousel. 

Craft a detailed and factual title

Your video page title is what you type in the “title” field when uploading your video:

Create a well informed title to rank your YouTube video in Google's video carousel

For SEO purposes (which implies organic search visibility), the title of the page is the most important on-page element, so treat it with care.

Optimizing a page title is always about maintaining a fine balance: You want it to be creative and original enough to get clicks while still being able to add some searchable keywords.

You can only make your title 100 characters long max which is not much!

Here are a few suggestions for you:

  • Always include a searchable keyword (here’s a quick guide on identifying one)
  • If your video includes entities (names, places, events, brands, products, etc), include those in the video title
  • Titles that include numbers generally get more clicks, so experiment with adding numbers to your video title
  • Titles that are worded as questions may spur curiosity and get more clicks
  • How-to titles always perform well for guides and instructions

Tip: Create videos around your target queries

You can go the other way around: Instead of trying to find a searchable keyword for your video idea, you can create videos around keywords you already know are popular with Google’s users.

You can easily do that with tools like Placeit that allows you to turn text content into the video format:

Placeit - using a tool to identify keywords for YouTube videosScreenshot source: Placeit as of August 2020

Placeit doesn’t require subscription payment, plus it offers free templates which makes it the most affordable video creation solution on the market.

The way it could work:

  • Grab any article from your site that received Google traffic
  • Use Google Search Console to find which search queries exactly drive clicks to your page
  • Create videos around those queries (using your existing article)

Another way to find opportunities to get your video visible on Google’s video carousel is by using Ahrefs:

  • Run your domain in Ahrefs and click to “Organic keywords”
  • Click the filter called “SERP features” and check “Videos”

Here you go. There are all keywords your site is ranking for in Google and those are also search queries showing video carousels. 

Ahrefs tool showing organic keywords for YouTube videosSource: Ahrefs as of August 2020

Ahrefs is my preferred SERP analytics tool due to its usability but of course, there are many more cool tools that can help you with this task.

Create a longer description

While for the video titles, we don’t have too many characters to work with, the video description field allows more characters than enough, so take the full advantage of those.

The video description field allows creators to put up to 5000 characters. It is important to create more detailed description for your video because search engines still rely on text content to index and rank your video.

Here are a few ideas on creating a more detailed and high-ranking video description:

1. Create your script

If you are uploading a video interview, a webinar, or conference coverage, chances are you have more than enough text spoken to create a detailed description.

Fiverr is full of gigs offering you to transcribe a video and turn it into text, so it is a pretty easy way to create the text version of any video:

Getting video transcribes with FivverSource: Fiverr as of August 2020

2. Use semantic analysis

I turn to semantic analysis at any time I am writing content. It always helps me discover more topics to cover and identify more questions to answer.

Text Optimizer is an easy and effective semantic research tool that analyzes Google’s search snippets to identify underlying concepts which will make your content more relevant to your target topic:

TextOptimizer brandedSource: Text Optimizer as of August 2020

I don’t think I know an alternative to Text Optimizer for creating an optimized context so easily, but here’s more on semantic analysis and why it is useful.

3. Create a time-stamped video outline

Don’t miss this step! YouTube allows you to add clickable timestamps that take viewers deeper into your video to where you discuss that subtopic.

Here’s a detailed tutorial on creating YouTube timestamps:

  1. Play your video up to the point where it starts discussing a new topic
  2. Pause your video at the point you want to timestamp
  3. Type the time exactly as you see in the video player into the video description field.

Copy time YouTube timestamp - Use it to get your video ranked in Google's video carouselSource: YouTube as of August 2020

This clickable video outline in the video description will drive people deep into the video, so you will see more engagements.

On top of that, your video may enjoy even more exposure in search, because Google sometimes grabs that outline to show right inside search results:

Video outline in Google's video carousel searchSource: Google as of August 2020. (Google giving extra visibility to a video by showing its clickable outline right inside search results)

Add more tags and a few hashtags

YouTube tagging is still a good way to categorize your video the right way. They help search engines to better understand what it is your video is about and rank it accordingly.

You can up to 500-character worth of tags for each of your videos, and there’s no reason saving on those characters. Feel free to use all of them.

Hashtags were introduced not so long ago, and creators still confuse the two, so to help you out, here’s a quick list of how they work and:

YouTube tags YouTube hashtags
Where to enter Separate the “Tags” field on the video edit page Anywhere in the video description
Has limits  Max 500 characters Max 15 hashtags
Have the hash/pound symbol # No Yes
Is visible on the public video pages No Yes
Helps make the video more findable Yes Yes

While tags are mostly for YouTube search rankings, hashtags appear as a visible part of the page, so they send some relevancy signals to search engines:

Tags and hashtags help find relevanceSource: YouTube as of August 2020. (Enter hashtags into the description area and tags in the separate “Tags” field)

If you need help brainstorming more tags for your video, try Rapidtags.io which generates tags:

Rapidtags.ioSource: Rapidtags.io as of August 2020

Create an eye-catching video thumbnail

A video thumbnail is what shows up in Google’s video carousel, so it will directly impact your click-through. This makes your video thumbnail one of the major assets for your video:

Create eye-catching video thumbnails to rank in Google's video carousel

Source: YouTube as of August 2020

Luckily creating an eye-catching and, more importantly, click-inviting video thumbnail is not difficult. There are tools to create one for free, as well as cool templates to come up with your own unique recognizable style:

Conclusion

YouTube video optimization strategy is very much like any SEO strategy: You need to create a lot of relevant context for search engines to be able to understand and correctly classify your video. To optimize your YouTube video page:

  • Craft an attention-grabbing title which would include your target keyword
  • Write a detailed, semantically optimized video description (and include clickable video outline for viewers and search engines to easily access the part they are most interested in)
  • Add tags and hashtags to make your video even more findable

Finally, links play a huge part in organic visibility, so make sure to link to your videos from your own site. This includes both embedding your videos and linking to them directly.

Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

The post How to get your YouTube videos appear in Google’s video carousel appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Top six ways to optimize crawl budget for SEO

September 9, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Crawl budget is an area that remains underrated in SEO.
  • If you’re running a large-scale website, crawl budget is something that site runner can, and should, be optimized for SEO.
  • April Brown talks about the basics of crawl budgeting, why it matters, and how you can optimize it for SEO.

Crawl budget is one of the most underrated concepts in SEO. Although most people might have heard of crawl budgeting, they might have considered using it, to begin with, or even think about it, when it comes to SEO. While some experts will tell you to ignore crawl rate, in truth, if you’re running a large-scale website, crawl budget is something that site runner can — and should — be optimized for SEO.

In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of crawl budgeting, why it matters, and how you can optimize it for SEO.

What is the crawl budget?

“A crawl budget is responsible for influencing crawl frequency,”

Michael Railsback, marketer at 1Day2Write and NextCoursework defined, further adding,

“And, it affects how quickly your updated content gets to the index since Google’s robots will scan your pages for updates and collect information, which will ultimately determine your position in search rankings. As a result, it should prevent Google from overcrowding your server, and have it crawl at a normal frequency.”

Why does a crawl budget matter?

Since Google is always assessing parameters to decide which of your pages should be ranked in searches and how fast to do so, you should optimize your crawl budget to achieve upscale online visibility. However, the number of pages your domain accommodates should never exceed your crawl budget, or else all pages over that limit will go unnoticed in search.

So, if you want to expand your online platform in the future, then keep reading.

How to optimize crawl budget

While there are still super heavy-duty things that many site runners might not think about, we’re here to unmask them for your benefit. With that said, here are six ways to enable crawl budget optimization, thus letting you watch out for things that might negatively affect your site.

1. Simplify your site’s architecture

Your website should be structured layer by layer, in the following order:

  • The homepage
  • Categories/tags
  • Content pages

Afterward, review your site structure, before you organize pages around topics, and use internal links to guide crawlers.

2. Ensure that important pages are crawlable, not blocked

The .htaccess and robots.txt should not block your site’s important pages; and bots should be able to access CSS and Javascript files. However, in the same token, you should block content that you don’t want popping up in search results. Here are some of the best candidates for blocking:

  • Pages with duplicated content
  • “Under construction” areas of your site
  • Dynamically generated URLs

However, search engine spiders don’t always respect the instructions contained in robots.txt. Although a page may be blocked in robots.txt, Google doesn’t cache it, but may occasionally hit it.

Instead, use robots.txt to save up your crawl budget and block individual pages you don’t consider important. Or, if you don’t want Google to hit it, use metatags.

3. Beware of redirect chains

A common-sense approach to ensuring healthy website health, you must avoid having redirect chains on your entire domain. Yes, avoid the 301 and 302 redirects at all costs! If you start accumulating a bunch of those, they can definitely hurt your crawl limit, to a point where crawlers will eventually stop crawling without getting to the page you need indexed.

So, keep in mind that one or two redirects here and there might not hurt much, but don’t let that number grow.

4. Prevent 404 and 410 error pages

In truth, 404 and 410 pages can eat into your crawl budget. Plus, these pages can also hurt your user experience. So, what can you do?

Fix all 4xx and 5xx status codes. Doing this will ensure that your crawl budget isn’t eaten up. And, fixing these codes can ensure that users get a good experience on your site.

Website audit tools like SE Ranking and Screaming Frog are effective for optimizing crawl budget.

5. Update, update, update

“It’s important to take care of your XML sitemap by updating it every so often”, says Jai Tardent, a business analyst at Australia2write and Britstudent. “When you update your sitemap, bots will have a much better and easier time understanding where the internal links lead.”

In addition, as you update, use only the URLs that your sitemap is familiar with. And, the URLs should correspond to the newest uploaded version of robots.txt.

6. Manage your URL parameters

If your content management system generates a lot of dynamic URLs, they’ll eventually lead to one and the same page. However, by default, search engine bots will treat these URLs as separate pages, thus wasting your crawl budget and, potentially, creating content duplication concerns.

Therefore, manage your URL parameters, so that they don’t create duplicates and confuse search engine bots. In your Google Search Console account, go to “Crawl,” and then “URL Parameters.”

Conclusion

So, if you’re still not sold on the idea that crawl budget optimization is important for your website, please understand that it is because it helps your site not only get recognized in search results but also helps you prevent users from being led to a dead-end rather than your page.

We hope that this guide will help you optimize your crawl budget and improve your SEO in no time at all!

April Brown blogs at Thesis Writing Service and Write My Coursework. She also edits at Originwritings.com. As a freelance writer, she specializes in marketing and graphic design. In her spare time, she loves reading and traveling.

The post Top six ways to optimize crawl budget for SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


How businesses can use YouTube to tackle the COVID-19 business crisis

September 7, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • In the “coexisting with-COVID-19” world, an average user is now spending “Remote” is the new usual.
  • Using the avenue of YouTube for your business can be an open-ended option to help with marketing and product promotions during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • If you think this is an approachable recommendation for your business, here’s how YouTube can help you out in the COVID-19 situation.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has led global businesses to a scenario where business continuity has severely been challenged. All kinds of businesses – be it food and beverage, apparel and footwear, beauty, automotive, travel, or hospitality all have been severely impacted. Opportunities that help businesses navigate the strategic, operational, and financial change through the usual ways of marketing and promoting a business might not work anymore.

In the “coexisting with COVID-19” world, an average user is now spending “Remote” is the new usual. Hence, utilizing the avenue of YouTube for your business can be an open-ended option for organizations to help with their marketing and product promotions. So, if you think this is an approachable recommendation for your business, here’s how YouTube can help you out in the COVID-19 situation.

1. Get exposure to international clients

Either they post their own videos or watch the works of other YouTubers. With such a large audience in the funnel, bringing your business marketing to YouTube would be a good move. This holds true for businesses because they can register their presence on YouTube to showcase their resources. So, if you can create a channel on this platform and upload your organizational videos, you are opening yourself to a prospective audience that can be a potential clientele. If you are a setup based on any of the online business ideas, this can increase the sales as well as the overall recognition and reputation of your company.

Here are a few examples of YouTube video uploads for a business:

  • YouTube podcasts with an expert panel
  • Listicle videos of “Top 10”
  • Explanatory videos for your business offering
  • Product/service reviews of your business offering
  • YouTubeLive
  • Company presentations
  • New product launch videos

If you are concerned about the geography and language for your videos, it was never a barrier to YouTube, thanks to subtitles. While it is not feasible and easy to record your videos in multiple languages, YouTube does provide adding subtitles almost free of cost. So, that’s a box ticked off.

YouTube is heavily based on the viewership and subscription count of a channel. So, to increase the viewers and subscribers on YouTube, you would have to stay consistently active on this platform.

Tip

Skip the old content format. Create your new blogs in the video format with a voiceover and some animation. Listicles are by far one of the most popular YouTube video formats.

2. Become more visible on Google

As you probably already know, the Google search engine does not only pick up blogs and articles but also accumulates SEO juice from YouTube videos. Since videos are very high on engagement percentage, it is a great time to get on the video platform of YouTube. So, if you create a lot more unique content regularly, then it will be easier for your channel to appear in the search results.

You would also have to choose a suitable title for it. A relatively neutral title can help your videos show up on the “Trending” page. You would also have to provide some brief yet proper descriptions under your videos. This will make it easier for search engines to pick up your video content. Choosing the right time to post your videos should be based on your audience if you really want to maximize engagement.

As YouTube is a part of Google, you can also increase your website’s authority on the search engine by incorporating the same. In simple words, the more popular your YouTube channel is, the higher your website will rank in Google’s search results. It is also highly recommended that you employ the right SEO tools to further amp up the SEO game of your content.

Tip

If a YouTube video has a view time of fewer than 10 secs it’s going to count as a negative count – A huge factor that loses rankings!

3. Build revenue through AdSense

Besides getting popular on the business side of YouTube, you can also generate some amount for your business through YouTube’s AdSense. Almost every full-time YouTuber earns a lot more money than many people. Revenue from YouTube ads came to $ 4.7 billion in the fourth quarter, up 31% year over year. However, all sectors have been differently impacted by the eventual change in Ad spend.

This is something that can be achieved if your channel has enough of a viewer base. Firstly, a viewer would see your video’s or business’ ad through the video of any other channel and click on it. However, you will have to pay a small amount of revenue for it. Here’s an ideal scenario.

  • After clicking, the viewer would proceed with your video and watch it. Nevertheless, if you already have added some ads from other content creators, then your viewer would watch them, too, in the process.
  • With each click on those ads, you will earn some.

It does not sound really massive, right? But, if more than one million people watch your videos regularly, then, through AdSense, you can definitely earn some good money.

Tip

Figure out the categories of monetized videos on YouTube and try to jot them with your business content so that you don’t miss those AdSense dollars.

4. Seek inspiration from standard businesses and their YouTube channels

Almost every popular or highly-established company has its own YouTube channel. Check out the YouTube channels from Y Combinator, TED, Skillshare, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Neil Patel. These are a bunch of very popular business-oriented channels that are worth seeking inspiration from. So, if you do follow them, then you will be able to gain a lot of insights about marketing strategies and campaigns.

This can help you learn more about the crucial aspects of business and come up with your own ideas, and self-branding that can boost the growth of your organization.

Tip

YouTube is a trend-heavy platform where creators follow several patterns to bring their video to the “Trending” slot. While those can effectively help you, staying original in your pursuit can carve a niche for you.

5. Keep your content alive with YouTube repurposing

Before COVID-19 hit us, all businesses were on their usual path to creating their marketing content in several formats such as blogs, infographics, videos, whitepapers, eBooks, and more. However, now is the time to repurpose all the content or videos that you have created before and utilize them for aggressively claiming the YouTube business space for your industry.

You do not have to waste your time on the same project again and use it on another channel or place to reach your target audience quickly and easily.

For repurposing, you can use four different formats, which are – video series, infographics, podcasts, and presentations. This approach would help you to keep your audience engaged with works, which, in turn, might help you gain some new audience and clients.

Tip

Repurposing old content for conversion into YouTube videos not only saves your time but also keeps you in a mode where you are able to churn good content and post it out consistently.

6. Make use of YouTube influencer marketing

Based on your take on marketing budget, you can seek Influencer Marketing and rope in YouTubers to promote your products/services through their videos. This way, you might be able to gain some business through the means of their loyal fanbase.

Moreover, if you do enable the comment section of your videos and be active with the interaction, your business might be able to get some active leads for potential customers who are keen to engage with your business offering.

Tip

Influencer marketing is witnessing Micro-influencers making waves. So, do consider tapping this opportunity.

What else matters?

Once you have created your business YouTube channel, you have to focus on optimizing and growing it. Here are some of the checkboxes you need to tick off:

  • A channel trailer is a great way to welcome new visitors who are coming across your channel for the first time. They would instantly know what videos to expect.
  • Figure out the video length that works for your business. Too short or too long videos can kill the channel’s growth even before you know it.
  • Channel art is crucial and can work its way to attract new audiences to your channel and make a lasting impression. Check out GaryVee’s channel art.

How businesses can use YouTube to tackle COVID-19 business crisis

  • To provide your channel with a visibility boost, paid promotion can always help.
  • Organic growth can be your thing. All you have to do is keep producing high-quality videos that are relevant to your business and its audience.

Conclusion

It is true that this virus has highly impacted various segments in the business industry. Businesses are now looking to figure out possible steps and responses to mitigate risks in these uncertainties. As apparent, YouTube is a great platform to grow your business, especially during the time of COVID-19. So, stop waiting for the grass to grow and create a channel on the website and start working on it today.

Catherrine Garcia is an experienced Web Developer at WPCodingDev and a passionate blogger. 

The post How businesses can use YouTube to tackle the COVID-19 business crisis appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


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


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.

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Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers should implement today

September 1, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Having a promotion plan is a key component of a successful content marketing strategy.
  • There’s more to effective promotion than just sharing articles on social media. Your promotion strategy has to be tactical if you want to cut through the noise.
  • The best way to maximize the number of people that see your content is to promote and distribute it across various channels.
  • Directive’s Content Writer, Izabelle Hundrev, shares five creative content promotions strategies that SaaS marketers can use to cut through the noise in an overpopulated industry.

What’s the point of creating content if no one sees it? There isn’t one.

That’s why promoting and distributing content is equally as important as writing it. Without a solid promotional strategy, even the most original and compelling piece of content has the potential to fall flat. 

When looking at the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry specifically, space is becoming increasingly crowded. No matter what audience or niche your business serves, there’s a good chance there’s already content out there that’s covering the topics you’re trying to target. 

Software marketers must think outside-the-box if they want their content to stand out and connect with audiences.

In this article, I’ll share five simple and effective promotional strategies that are guaranteed to get more of the right eyes on your content. 

Five easy-to-implement content promotion strategies

Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is to drive traffic, generate leads, and grow revenue. 

You can spend countless hours crafting the “best”, most comprehensive resource on the web. However, if that article just sits on your site with no traffic or engagement, then it’s not really making much of an impact toward your bottom line.

To have a powerful content marketing strategy that meets your target audience, you must build out a robust promotion plan that extends across multiple channels.

Let’s get started. 

1. Social media

Social media is likely the first place your mind goes when you think of promotion.

It’s no secret that social networks are a simple way to get eyes on your content – and fast. The downside is that everybody knows this, and therefore, everyone’s already doing it. 

To make your content stand out on social, you have to get creative.

The power of multimedia

Social feeds are crowded. 

Think about how quickly you scroll through your Twitter or Facebook feed. Brands have to go the extra mile to make their posts stand out and entice the right people to stop scrolling. One of the simplest ways to do this through multimedia.

When building out a content promotion plan, strategize what graphics, GIFs, or videos could accompany your social post. 

This could be as simple as sharing a funny GIF that relates to the article or creating a video testimonial to share alongside a brand new case study. Users are much more likely to engage with your posts if you incorporate an element of entertainment or creativity to capture their attention.

Here’s an example of a graphic that incorporates a quote:

Five content promotion strategies Saas marketers: social media


Source: Gong

This post is eye-catching and features a quote to further pique the viewers’ interest. It also ties in a real person’s photo, showing a personal touch.

In a study done by Buzzsumo, the data shows Facebook posts with images get 2.3x more engagement. This isn’t just unique to Facebook either. According to Brandwatch, tweets with images receive 18% more click-throughs and 89% more likes.

As a reader, you’re naturally more inclined to stop scrolling and pay attention if there’s a compelling piece of multimedia to draw you in.

“One more time for the people in the back”

There’s no reason why you can’t share content on social media more than once, as long as it’s done correctly. 

The most important thing to keep in mind when re-distributing old content is to offer variety. Switch up the copy each time you re-post. One easy way to do this is by highlighting different pieces of the article in your posts. 

For example, let’s say the first time you shared the article you included a quote from the piece in the social copy. Next time you share it, include a different quote, or maybe a compelling statistic or graphic instead. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different platforms either. If you primarily share content on Twitter and LinkedIn, try sharing the same piece of content on Facebook or Instagram with different visuals. 

I’m harping a lot on variety here, but there’s a fine line between resharing content with added value, and just resharing for the sake of it. You don’t want your social media feeds to be filled with stale, recycled material. Nowadays, social media users can easily spot a brand account that’s lazy with their posts.

The primary focus of your social media accounts should be on highlighting new content pieces. However, it’s generally OK to sprinkle a few old ones into the mix as long as there’s something new and compelling being offered to the viewer. 

It takes a village to find the essential balance 

While we don’t know for sure what factors trigger different social media posts to appear on users’ feeds, we do know that engagement helps. This means every like, share, and comment can help to boost a post’s reach and impressions.  

There’s no guarantee that other users will engage with your posts, but you can encourage your coworkers and other internal employees to help the posts’ awareness. 

After all, your fellow employees are an extension of your brand. Each of them has their own unique social network of followers that could benefit from seeing your content.

You don’t want this to feel like just another work-related task. It can be easy to forget that not everyone is a naturally-gifted copywriter that feels confident sharing and posting. Aim to make it simple for others in your organization to get active on social media. 

For example, when you’re gearing up for a big promotional launch, create a cheat sheet of pre-written social copy and send over several variations that fit different channels. 

People have the option to use the copy you wrote or they can lean on it for inspiration. Doing small things like this can help to lessen some of the friction that comes along with asking others to engage with your posts.

2. Email marketing

Email newsletters are a popular marketing tactic due to their many benefits and use cases. Content Marketing Institute reports that 70% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content and 40% cite newsletters as critical to marketing success. 

It’s clear there’s inherent value in using email as a channel for content promotion. The people on your subscriber list are some of your most loyal brand advocates. Think about it — they “opted into receiving your emails. This makes your subscribers some of the best people to share your content with.

Personalization comes first

Your newsletter isn’t going to be very engaging if it’s just a roundup of the last five articles you’ve published. 

A newsletter that’s been hastily thrown together is a guaranteed one-way ticket to the unsubscribe button. When sharing content with your email subscribers, make the experience feel special and curated. Think carefully about what types of content matter most to your email list.

In the example below, take note of how the tone is really conversational and makes the reader feel like it’s a personal email from a friend or colleague, rather than a newsletter.

Five content promotion strategies Saas marketers: Personalized emailsIf you were a search marketing company and you know one-third of your audience cares about PPC, another one-third care about SEO, and one-third care about both – make sure you’re not sending the whole group PPC articles all the time. You’ll lose SEO subscribers.  

Be strategic here.

To take things a step further, segment your email list by more specific criteria. This could include location, age, or even by type of position (executive, manager, or individual contributor). Doing so allows you to serve your content to a more targeted subset of your audience. 

Give the people what they want

Email marketing metrics matter, but those numbers don’t always paint a full picture. 

To better understand how your subscribers feel about your newsletter content, ask for feedback.

You can do this by sending out a survey or investing in a widget that builds feedback into the newsletter interface. Some popular feedback platforms worth checking out include Mopinion and Usabilla.

Whichever you choose, try to make it as simple as possible for your subscribers to share how they feel about the content you’re sending to them. They signed up to receive valuable content and relevant promo offers, not constant surveys.

Your subscribers opted in to receive your emails for a reason, so make it worth their time. The more unique, meaningful, and concise your newsletter is the more traffic that gets directed back to your website and content. 

3. Online communities

There are a variety of online communities that center around creating and sharing content in a specific niche. 

The idea here is to be an active member of a community that’s relevant to your audience. For example, if your SaaS business sells marketing automation software, then you should aim to join communities that focus on related marketing disciplines such as email marketing or demand generation.

Five content promotion strategies Saas marketers: Online communities

Joining an online community allows you to directly interact with your audience while sharing your unique and relevant content with them. 

This can be tricky because it takes time to build authority among members of these communities. You don’t want to come across as overly promotional from the get-go. Instead, always make sure that your interactions are genuine and provide something of value. 

Don’t throw out links to your articles without context. Aim to make every interaction meaningful.

Here are a few suggestions for where to start:

Facebook groups

Although it may have begun as a platform solely for personal interactions, Facebook has grown to be a popular online community for professionals, too. There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups dedicated to different industries and niches. 

These groups frequently have thousands of members, making them a practical channel for content promotion. One example is the SaaS Revolutionaries group, which currently has 4000+ members. This group, run by SaaStock, is specifically geared towards founders, executives, and investors in the software space. 

Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers: Facebook groups
Source: Facebook

GrowthHackers

GrowthHackers is an online community dedicated to sharing content and information related to growth hacking, user acquisition, marketing, and more. 

Articles can be posted and shared by anyone to the GrowthHackers blog. Members of the community will then upvote or downvote the content based on whether they like it or not. The pieces with the most upvotes are displayed prominently at the top of the homepage. 

This makes GrowthHackers a powerful platform for getting more eyes on your content and highlighting your brand’s industry expertise.

Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers: GrowthHackers platform

Source: GrowthHackers

Quora

Quora is a question-and-answer website where users will go to ask and answer questions related to a variety of topics. 

As a promotion channel, Quora can be especially useful because it allows you to answer questions that are directly related to your content. 

This way, you build brand credibility, brand awareness, and are able to help out potential customers.

4. Paid advertising

While it’s true that you don’t need a massive budget to effectively promote your content, paying for content promotion does have its benefits. 

When promoting your content organically, you share a post and cross your fingers that it reaches your target audience. Through paid ads, you can pretty much guarantee it. 

Many of the big social media networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have paid advertising offerings that come with advanced targeting features such as remarketing or lookalike audiences

These features make it easy for advertisers to deliver content to people who are most likely to click and read on it. This is especially beneficial when you’re promoting content with the purpose of generating leads, such as an e-book or whitepaper.

When combined with an organic promotional strategy, paid ads can be a big added driver of traffic and clicks.

5. Measure, measure, measure

Your content promotion strategy is only as powerful as the results it generates. 

That’s why continuously tracking the performance of your efforts is critical to making it worth your time.

When evaluating your promotional channels, here are some examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) you may want to take into account:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Engagement
  • Conversion rate
  • Pageviews

These metrics are typically used because they’re a direct reflection of how users are interacting and receiving your posts. 

Yes, a big part of promotion is about getting views, but it’s also about converting these views into something more valuable: clicks and leads.

It’s important to note that this list isn’t exhaustive. The KPIs you assign to your promotion strategy will be a unique reflection of your business goals, so it’s possible that your list ends up looking a bit different. 

The main takeaway here is you have to keep a close eye on performance across channels. You need to have a clear understanding of these metrics and how they relate to your overarching marketing goals. Otherwise, you can easily get lost in vanity metrics that don’t correlate to real business results. 

Concluding thoughts

An article isn’t done just because you hit the “publish” button. If you want your content to generate meaningful results, you must put in the effort to make it discoverable. 

Next time you find yourself stuck on creating the right promotion plan, revisit these strategies for inspiration. 

Izabelle Hundrev is a Chicago-based content writer at Directive. At Directive, Izabelle combines her sales hustle mentality and creative writing expertise to cover a wide variety of SaaS marketing topics and support long-term marketing strategy. Outside of work, Izabelle is passionate about all things pop culture, food, and travel.

The post Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers should implement today appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Entity Seeking Queries and Semantic Dependency Trees

August 31, 2020 No Comments

Entity Seeking Queries and Semantic Dependency Trees

Queries for some searches may be entity seeking queries.

Someone may ask, “What is the hotel that looks like a sail.” That query may look for an entity such as the building, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

That entity may be identified by looking at Semantic Dependency Trees, which answer a question in the query (example below)

Other queries are not entity seeking queries and do not look for answers about specific entities. An example is “What is the weather today?” An answer to a query like that could be, “The weather will be between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and sunny today.”

Actions May Accompany Queries that Seek Entities

Google was granted a patent on answering entity seeking queries.

The process in the patent may perform particular actions for queries seeking one or more entities.

Those actions may include:

  • Identifying one or more entities a query is seeking
  • Determining whether the query seeks one specific entity or more than one

For example, the patent may decide a query “What is the hotel that looks like a sail” is looking for a single entity that is a hotel.

In another example, a query “What restaurants nearby serve omelets” looks for many entities that are restaurants.

Alternatively, the system may perform may find a most relevant entity or entities, and present what is identified to a searcher if it is sufficiently relevant to the query. For example, it may identify that the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is a hotel and is relevant to the term “looks like a sail,” and, in response, audibly output synthesized speech of “Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.”

Additional Dialog about a Query to Concatenate an Entity Seeking Query

Yet another addition or alternative action may include initiating a dialog with the user for more details about the entities that are sought.

For example, the system may determine that a query is seeking a restaurant and there may be two entities that are restaurants are very relevant to the terms in the query and, in response, ask the searcher “Can you give me more details” and concatenate additional input from the user to the original query and re-execute the concatenated query.

Identifying SubQueries of Entity Seeking Queries

Another additional or alternative action may include identifying subqueries of a query which are entity-seeking, and using the above actions to answer the subquery, and then replacing the subqueries by their answers in the original query to obtain a partially resolved query which can be executed.

For example, the system may receive a query of “Call the hotel that looks like a sail,” determine that “the hotel that looks like a sail” is a subquery that seeks an entity, determine an answer to the subquery is “Burj Al Arab Jumeirah,” in response replace “the hotel that looks like a sail” in the query with “The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah” to obtain a partially resolved query of “Call the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah,” and then executes the partially resolved query.

Looking at Previous Queries

Another additional or alternative action may include identifying that a user is seeking entities and adapting how the system resolve queries accordingly.

For example, the system may determine that sixty percent of the previous five queries that a user searched for in the past two minutes sought entities and, in response, determine that a next query that a user provides is more likely an entity seeking query, and process the query accordingly.

An Advantage From Following this Process

An advantage may be more quickly resolving queries in a manner that satisfies a searcher.

For example, the system may be able to immediately provide an actual answer of “The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah” for the query “What hotel looks like a sail” where another system may instead provide a response of “no results found” or provide a response that is a search result listing for the query.

Entity Seeking Queries and Semantic Dependency Trees

Entity Seeking Queries
Another advantage may be that the process may be able to more efficiently identify an entity sought by a query. For example, it may determine an entity seeking query is looking for an entity of the type “hotel” and, in response, limit a search to only entities that are hotels instead of searching across multiple entities including entities that are not hotels.

Entities in Semantic Dependency Trees

Semantic Dependency Tree

This is an interesting approach to an entity seeking queries. Determining an entity type that may correspond to an entity sought by a query based on a term represented by a root of a dependency tree includes:

Determining the term represented by the root of the dependency tree represents a type of entity.

Determining an entity type that corresponds to an entity sought by the query based on a term represented by a root of the dependency tree includes:

Identifying a node in the tree that represents a term that represents a type of entity
Includes a direct child that represents a term that indicates an action to perform.
In response to determining that the root represents a term that represents and type of entity and includes a direct child that represents a term that indicates an action, identifying the root.

In some implementations, identifying a particular entity based on both the entity type and relevance of the entity to the terms in the query includes:

  • Determining a relevance threshold based on the entity type
  • Determining a relevance score of the particular entity based on the query satisfies the relevance threshold
  • In response to determining the relevance score of the particular entity based on the query satisfies the relevance threshold, identifying the particular entity

This patent on Entity Seeking Queries can be found at:

Answering Entity-Seeking Queries
Inventors: Mugurel Ionut Andreica, Tatsiana Sakhar, Behshad Behzadi, Marcin M. Nowak-Przygodzki, and Adrian-Marius Dumitran
US Patent Application: 20190370326
Published: December 5, 2019
Filed: May 29, 2018

Abstract

In some implementations, a query that includes a sequence of terms is obtained, the query is mapped, based on the sequence of the terms, to a dependency tree that represents dependencies among the terms in the query, an entity type that corresponds to an entity sought by the query is determined based on a term represented by a root of the dependency tree, a particular entity is identified based on both the entity type and relevance of the entity to the terms in the query, and a response to the query is provided based on the particular entity that is identified.

Mapping a Query to a Semantic Dependency Tree

A process that handles entity seeking queries

This process includes:

  • A query mapper that maps a query including a sequence of terms to a semantic dependency tree
  • An entity type identifier that may determine an entity type based on the semantic dependency tree
  • An entity identifier that may receive the query
  • The entity type that is determined
  • Data from various data stores and identify an entity
  • Subquery resolver that may partially resolve the query based on the entity that is identified
  • Query responder that may provide a response to the query

An Example Semantic Dependency Tree

This is how a Semantic Dependency Tree may be constructed:

  1. A semantic dependency tree for a query may be a graph that includes nodes
  2. Each node represents one or more terms in a query
  3. Directed edges originating from a first node and ending at a second node may indicate that the one or more terms represented by the first node are modified by the one or more terms represented by the second node
  4. A node at which an edge ends may be considered a child of a node from which the edge originates
  5. A root of a semantic dependency tree may be a node representing one or more terms that do not modify other terms in a query and are modified by other terms in the query
  6. A semantic dependency tree may only include a single root

An Entity Type Identifier

An entity type identifier may determine an entity type that corresponds to an entity sought by the query based on a term represented by a root of the semantic dependency tree.

For example, the entity type identifier may determine an entity type of “Chinese restaurant” that corresponds to an sought by the query “Call the Chinese restaurant on Piccadilly Street 15” based on the term “Chinese restaurant” represented by the root of the semantic dependency tree.

In another example, the entity type identifier may determine an entity type of “song” for the query “play the theme song from the Titanic” based on the term “play” represented by the root of the semantic dependency tree for the query not representing an entity type and determining that the root has a child that represents the terms “the theme song” which does represent an entity type of “song.”

Entities from a Location History of a Searcher

The entity identifier may extract all the entities from a mobile location history of a searcher which have a type identified by the entity type identifier, such as hotels, restaurants, universities, etc. along with extracting features associated to each such entity such as the time intervals when the user visited the entity or was near the entity, or how often each entity was visited or the user was near the entity.

Entities from a Past Interaction History of a Searcher

In addition to that location history, the entity identifier may extract all the entities that the user was interested in their past interactions that have a type identified by the entity type identifier, such as:

  • Movies that the user watched
  • Songs that the user listened to
  • Restaurants that the user looked up and showed interest in or booked
  • Hotels that the user booked
  • Etc.

Confidence in Relevance for Entity Seeing Queries

The patent also tells us that the entity identify may obtain a relevance score for each entity that reflects a confidence that the entity is sought to be the query.

The relevance score may be determined based on one or more of the features extracted from the data stores that led to the set of entities being identified, the additional features extracted for each entity in the set of entities, and the features extracted from the query.


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Entity Seeking Queries and Semantic Dependency Trees

August 29, 2020 No Comments

Entity Seeking Queries and Semantic Dependency Trees

Queries for some searches may be entity seeking queries.

Someone may ask, “What is the hotel that looks like a sail.” That query may look for an entity such as the building, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

That entity may be identified by looking at Semantic Dependency Trees, which answer a question in the query (example below)

Other queries are not entity seeking queries and do not look for answers about specific entities. An example is “What is the weather today?” An answer to a query like that could be, “The weather will be between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and sunny today.”

Actions May Accompany Queries that Seek Entities

Google was granted a patent on answering entity seeking queries.

The process in the patent may perform particular actions for queries seeking one or more entities.

Those actions may include:

  • Identifying one or more entities a query is seeking
  • Determining whether the query seeks one specific entity or more than one

For example, the patent may decide a query “What is the hotel that looks like a sail” is looking for a single entity that is a hotel.

In another example, a query “What restaurants nearby serve omelets” looks for many entities that are restaurants.

Alternatively, the system may perform may find a most relevant entity or entities, and present what is identified to a searcher if it is sufficiently relevant to the query. For example, it may identify that the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is a hotel and is relevant to the term “looks like a sail,” and, in response, audibly output synthesized speech of “Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.”

Additional Dialog about a Query to Concatenate an Entity Seeking Query

Yet another addition or alternative action may include initiating a dialog with the user for more details about the entities that are sought.

For example, the system may determine that a query is seeking a restaurant and there may be two entities that are restaurants are very relevant to the terms in the query and, in response, ask the searcher “Can you give me more details” and concatenate additional input from the user to the original query and re-execute the concatenated query.

Identifying SubQueries of Entity Seeking Queries

Another additional or alternative action may include identifying subqueries of a query which are entity-seeking, and using the above actions to answer the subquery, and then replacing the subqueries by their answers in the original query to obtain a partially resolved query which can be executed.

For example, the system may receive a query of “Call the hotel that looks like a sail,” determine that “the hotel that looks like a sail” is a subquery that seeks an entity, determine an answer to the subquery is “Burj Al Arab Jumeirah,” in response replace “the hotel that looks like a sail” in the query with “The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah” to obtain a partially resolved query of “Call the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah,” and then executes the partially resolved query.

Looking at Previous Queries

Another additional or alternative action may include identifying that a user is seeking entities and adapting how the system resolve queries accordingly.

For example, the system may determine that sixty percent of the previous five queries that a user searched for in the past two minutes sought entities and, in response, determine that a next query that a user provides is more likely an entity seeking query, and process the query accordingly.

An Advantage From Following this Process

An advantage may be more quickly resolving queries in a manner that satisfies a searcher.

For example, the system may be able to immediately provide an actual answer of “The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah” for the query “What hotel looks like a sail” where another system may instead provide a response of “no results found” or provide a response that is a search result listing for the query.

Entity Seeking Queries and Semantic Dependency Trees

Entity Seeking Queries
Another advantage may be that the process may be able to more efficiently identify an entity sought by a query. For example, it may determine an entity seeking query is looking for an entity of the type “hotel” and, in response, limit a search to only entities that are hotels instead of searching across multiple entities including entities that are not hotels.

Entities in Semantic Dependency Trees

Semantic Dependency Tree

This is an interesting approach to an entity seeking queries. Determining an entity type that may correspond to an entity sought by a query based on a term represented by a root of a dependency tree includes:

Determining the term represented by the root of the dependency tree represents a type of entity.

Determining an entity type that corresponds to an entity sought by the query based on a term represented by a root of the dependency tree includes:

Identifying a node in the tree that represents a term that represents a type of entity
Includes a direct child that represents a term that indicates an action to perform.
In response to determining that the root represents a term that represents and type of entity and includes a direct child that represents a term that indicates an action, identifying the root.

In some implementations, identifying a particular entity based on both the entity type and relevance of the entity to the terms in the query includes:

  • Determining a relevance threshold based on the entity type
  • Determining a relevance score of the particular entity based on the query satisfies the relevance threshold
  • In response to determining the relevance score of the particular entity based on the query satisfies the relevance threshold, identifying the particular entity

This patent on Entity Seeking Queries can be found at:

Answering Entity-Seeking Queries
Inventors: Mugurel Ionut Andreica, Tatsiana Sakhar, Behshad Behzadi, Marcin M. Nowak-Przygodzki, and Adrian-Marius Dumitran
US Patent Application: 20190370326
Published: December 5, 2019
Filed: May 29, 2018

Abstract

In some implementations, a query that includes a sequence of terms is obtained, the query is mapped, based on the sequence of the terms, to a dependency tree that represents dependencies among the terms in the query, an entity type that corresponds to an entity sought by the query is determined based on a term represented by a root of the dependency tree, a particular entity is identified based on both the entity type and relevance of the entity to the terms in the query, and a response to the query is provided based on the particular entity that is identified.

Mapping a Query to a Semantic Dependency Tree

A process that handles entity seeking queries

This process includes:

  • A query mapper that maps a query including a sequence of terms to a semantic dependency tree
  • An entity type identifier that may determine an entity type based on the semantic dependency tree
  • An entity identifier that may receive the query
  • The entity type that is determined
  • Data from various data stores and identify an entity
  • Subquery resolver that may partially resolve the query based on the entity that is identified
  • Query responder that may provide a response to the query

An Example Semantic Dependency Tree

This is how a Semantic Dependency Tree may be constructed:

  1. A semantic dependency tree for a query may be a graph that includes nodes
  2. Each node represents one or more terms in a query
  3. Directed edges originating from a first node and ending at a second node may indicate that the one or more terms represented by the first node are modified by the one or more terms represented by the second node
  4. A node at which an edge ends may be considered a child of a node from which the edge originates
  5. A root of a semantic dependency tree may be a node representing one or more terms that do not modify other terms in a query and are modified by other terms in the query
  6. A semantic dependency tree may only include a single root

An Entity Type Identifier

An entity type identifier may determine an entity type that corresponds to an entity sought by the query based on a term represented by a root of the semantic dependency tree.

For example, the entity type identifier may determine an entity type of “Chinese restaurant” that corresponds to an sought by the query “Call the Chinese restaurant on Piccadilly Street 15” based on the term “Chinese restaurant” represented by the root of the semantic dependency tree.

In another example, the entity type identifier may determine an entity type of “song” for the query “play the theme song from the Titanic” based on the term “play” represented by the root of the semantic dependency tree for the query not representing an entity type and determining that the root has a child that represents the terms “the theme song” which does represent an entity type of “song.”

Entities from a Location History of a Searcher

The entity identifier may extract all the entities from a mobile location history of a searcher which have a type identified by the entity type identifier, such as hotels, restaurants, universities, etc. along with extracting features associated to each such entity such as the time intervals when the user visited the entity or was near the entity, or how often each entity was visited or the user was near the entity.

Entities from a Past Interaction History of a Searcher

In addition to that location history, the entity identifier may extract all the entities that the user was interested in their past interactions that have a type identified by the entity type identifier, such as:

  • Movies that the user watched
  • Songs that the user listened to
  • Restaurants that the user looked up and showed interest in or booked
  • Hotels that the user booked
  • Etc.

Confidence in Relevance for Entity Seeing Queries

The patent also tells us that the entity identify may obtain a relevance score for each entity that reflects a confidence that the entity is sought to be the query.

The relevance score may be determined based on one or more of the features extracted from the data stores that led to the set of entities being identified, the additional features extracted for each entity in the set of entities, and the features extracted from the query.


Copyright © 2020 SEO by the Sea ⚓. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact SEO by the Sea, so we can take appropriate action immediately.
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