Get an overview of Google’s attribution, what led us to consider testing a different attribution, what changes you can expect, our results, and advice for future tests.
Read more at PPCHero.com
Fictional portrayals of virtual worlds such as “Ready Player One” and “The Matrix” typically portray the physical and virtual worlds as distinct realms siloed from each other. Characters escape a dystopian, impoverished physical realm and enter a separate, utopian virtual realm in which they are wealthy and important.
Our non-fictional future won’t have that dichotomy. One main reason is money. Any virtual world has a virtual economy, and when that virtual economy gets really big, it integrates with our real-world economy. That is in equal parts due to market forces and government intervention.
This is part six of a seven-part series about “multiverse” virtual worlds. We will explore the dynamics of games’ virtual economies, the exchange of virtual assets for real money, challenges with money laundering and underage gambling, the compliance infrastructure needed for virtual economies, and the challenges in balancing a virtual economy’s monetary supply.
What separates virtual from “real” is the ability to make money
To many people, the idea of spending time in virtual worlds amassing in-game currency and trading goods still sounds like the geeky science fiction hobby of someone who needs to “get a real job.”
Our society gauges the worthiness of pursuits based on their social and economic productivity, and most people don’t view virtual worlds as productive places. As more people find enjoyment in virtual worlds and respect people with accomplishments in them, however, vying for accomplishment with those worlds will increasingly be viewed as socially productive. As more people start earning an income through work in virtual worlds, perception of economic productivity will quickly change, too.
Virtual worlds will be viewed as digital extensions of “the real world” and working a full-time job in a multiverse virtual world will become as normal as someone working in a social media marketing role today.
We’ve been dropping into the Australian startup scene increasingly over the years as the ecosystem has been building at an increasingly faster pace, most notably at our own TechCrunch Battlefield Australia in 2017. Further evidence that the scene is growing has come recently in the shape of the Pause Fest conference in Melbourne. This event has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is fast becoming a must-attend for Aussie startups aiming for both national international attention.
I was able to drop in ‘virtually’ to interview a number of those showcased in the Startup Pitch Competition, so here’s a run-down of some of the stand-out companies.
Medinet Australia is a health tech startup aiming to make healthcare more convenient and accessible to Australians by allowing doctors to do consultations with patients via an app. Somewhat similar to apps like Babylon Health, Medinet’s telehealth app allows patients to obtain clinical advice from a GP remotely; access prescriptions and have medications delivered; access pathology results; directly email their medical certificate to their employer; and access specialist referrals along with upfront information about specialists such as their fees, waitlist, and patient experience. They’ve raised $ 3M in Angel financing and are looking for institutional funding in due course. Given Australia’s vast distances, Medinet is well-placed to capitalize on the shift of the population towards much more convenient telehealth apps. (1st Place Winner)
Everty allows companies to easily manage, monitor and monetize Electric Vehicle charging stations. But this isn’t about infrastructure. Instead, they link up workplaces and accounting systems to the EV charging network, thus making it more like a “Salesforce for EV charging”. It’s available for both commercial and home charging tracking. It’s also raised an Angel round and is poised to raise further funding. (2nd Place Winner)
AI On Spectrum
It’s a sad fact that people with Autism statistically tend to die younger, and unfortunately, the suicide rate is much higher for Autistic people. “Ai on Spectrum” takes an accessible approach in helping autistic kids and their families find supportive environments and feel empowered. The game encourages Autism sufferers to explore their emotional side and arms them with coping strategies when times get tough, applying AI and machine learning in the process to assist the user. (3rd Place Winner)
Professional bee-keepers need a fast, reliable, easy-to-use record keeper for their bees and this startup does just that. But it’s also developing a software+sensor technology to give beekeepers more accurate analytics, allowing them to get an early-warning about issues and problems. Their technology could even, in the future, be used to alert for coming bushfires by sensing the changed behavior of the bees. (Hacker Exchange Additional Winner)
Rechargeable batteries for things like cars can be re-used again, but the key to employing them is being able to extend their lives. Relectrify says its battery control software can unlock the full performance from every cell, increasing battery cycle life. It will also reduce storage costs by providing AC output without needing a battery inverter for both new and 2nd-life batteries. Its advanced battery management system combines power and electric monitoring to rapidly the check which are stronger cells and which are weaker making it possible to get as much as 30% more battery life, as well as deploying “2nd life storage”. So far, they have a project with Nissan and American Electric Power and have raised a Series A of $ 4.5M. (SingularityU Additional Winner)
Sadly, seniors and patients can contract bedsores if left too long. People can even die from bedsores. Furthermore, hospitals can end up in litigation over the issue. What’s needed is a technology that can prevent this, as well as predicting where on a patient’s body might be worst affected. That’s what Gabriel has come up with: using multi-modal technology to prevent and detect both falls and bedsores. Its passive monitoring technology is for the home or use in hospitals and consists of a resistive sheet with sensors connecting to a system which can understand the pressure on a bed. It has FDA approval, is patent-pending and is already working in some Hawaiin hospitals. It’s so far raised $ 2m in Angel and is now raising money.
Here’s a taste of Pause Fest:
Google hasn’t been merely a search engine for some time. These days it has grown into a massive space on the web where businesses and potential customers can meet. In this article, we’ll touch on the aspects of using Google for branding.
Here’s a list of Google’s underused services, and suggested ways you can use them to your advantage.
Analytical tools which help you understand your website and app audience
Google Marketing Platform is a kind of umbrella brand that Google has developed to make its products work together more effectively. It is essentially a merger of Google Analytics 360 and DoubleClick Digital Marketing.
Source: Google support
Google Analytics is a part of the Google Marketing Platform which tracks website traffic and reports information about who is searching for what and where. There are many analytics services available, but Google’s is the most widely used in the world. It can track visitors to your website, and tell you quite a lot about them and how they interact with your site.
When someone visits your site, Google Analytics can keep track of the duration of the visit, the number of pages they viewed, how they got there, and even the bounce rate. It does all this anonymously, of course, you can distinguish between unique users, but you will not have any idea who any particular user is.
Analytics for Mobile Apps is like Google Analytics, the only difference is, it tracks and gathers data for users of any iOS or Android apps you may have. It was designed to give app developers better data on how people use their apps, what people want from them, and how the apps could be making you more money.
Analytics for Mobile apps allows you to keep records of
- What actions your users take
- Track their in-app spending (and your revenue for that customer)
- Check the navigation path they take
- Use that data in conjunction with Google Analytics data to really understand the way your customers (or potential customers) approach your brand
Services that you can use to improve brand visibility in searches
Google My Business is a service that lets business owners verify the data Google holds about them. Google generates its own internal business listings for areas literally all over the world, getting its data from a range of online and offline sources. As the process is mostly automated and done without the human verification, errors sometimes occur.
Google My Business allows business owners to ensure that Google has accurate information about them, after claiming the existing listing business can make all the necessary corrections. Besides, if the company is for some reason still off Google’s radar, by creating a Google listing they can let Google know about them.
Thanks to Google My Business, companies can be certain that their customers will find up-to-date information about their business, and their chances of getting featured in the local pack increase as well.
Google Maps is more than just a navigation tool, as well. Google suggests businesses and events in the areas where people are searching for directions and encourages people to search for services (“Show me restaurants near 35th and Maple”) relevant to the way people use Maps.
Some businesses now try to outsmart Google Maps by adding fake business listings to Google Maps, and so, such fake results sometimes crowd out the real ones. Not let this happen Google is now putting effort into verifying the results it displays in Maps and elsewhere – more on that below.
Cloud-solutions for creating and customizing domains as well as store server
G Suite is a set of software products developed by Google Cloud. It was initially called Google Apps for Your Domain. The current lineup of tools and services includes collaboration tools like Sites, Forms, Slides, Sheets and Docs, cloud storage solutions like Drive, and communication tools like Currents, Calendar, Hangouts, and Gmail. Premium versions of the service often include Jamboard (an interactive whiteboard app) as well as Vault and an Admin Panel to help you manage both users and features.
Google Cloud Platform is a suite of software services offering cloud-based access to the same global data infrastructure that it uses to deliver Google Search and YouTube. It essentially combines all of Google’s “infrastructure as a service”, “serverless computing”, and “platform as a service”. Google Cloud Platform offers cloud-based processing, data storage, analytics, and even some pretty advanced machine learning applications, all under a single set of management tools.
Advertisement platforms to pull in additional traffic from popular web channels
Google Ads, which was until very recently known as Google AdWords, is where Google really makes its money. It is still at its core a pay-per-click advertising service, but it operates across all the Google’s ever more sprawling service landscape. Businesses of all kinds can pay to get highly targeted users from showing them ads, relevant product listings, videos with sales or branding content, or offering users an opportunity to download the business’ app.
Some of the services under Google Ads include AdWords Express, Keyword Planner, Reach Planner, Google Ads Manager Accounts, Google Ads Editor, Google Partners, and IP Address Exclusion tool.
Google for Retail is a service designed to make it easier for retailers to connect with existing customers as well as finding new ones. It gives you tools that you can use to better engage with existing customers and potential customers over Maps, Google Assistant, YouTube, and Search.
Source: Google for Retail
Google for Retail includes individualized solutions for offering inventory to local customers, developing shopping campaigns with partner organizations, and combining Google Ads with Smart Shopping Campaigns.
YouTube Ads is, as you might have guessed, the primary way to get your ads served up on YouTube. YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the planet, only Google processes more searches than YouTube. It is the infrastructure that connects nearly 2 billion active users to more than 50 million content creators, and 10% of US businesses already have a YouTube Business Account.
Ad types include TrueView Ads – demos, testimonials and adverts that users often search for directly, Non-Skippable YouTube Ads – ads which last up to 20 seconds that play either before or in the middle of a video, and Bumper Ads which last up to six seconds at the end of a video.
Universal App Campaigns are a way to advertise your app throughout Google Ads, Google Play, YouTube and the rest of Google’s advertising empire. It is heavily automated and relies on Google’s machine learning expertise to determine which of your ads work best with particular types of audiences (the ones which cause more users to install your app) and then ensures that the right users see the right ads.
The big benefit here is that you are relieved of the burden of manually split testing and tracking ad performance.
The secret key: NAP
NAP in Google terms stands for Name, address, and phone number. Most experts believe that Google relies heavily on your business’ listed NAP to target search results to individual clients. That is why using NAP in SEO is incredibly important. If you aren’t using it consistently and accurately, you could be losing out on a huge number of highly targeted, site visitors every day – those who Google believes are in your area and actively looking for the goods or services you provide.
How do you use it correctly? It’s not difficult. List your business’ name, address and phone number accurately on your website, and on as many other sites as you can manage. Start with the obvious – your GMB listing, the Internet Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and any local or national business directories which cater to your industry or niche. Most importantly, though, list it consistently. Always use the exact same name, address and phone number, and make sure that all are real.
Why does Google care so much about NAP? It isn’t merely about geo-targeting search results. It is about eliminating false and spam sites from those search results. There are a great many businesses that depend on showing up in as many searches as possible, even those that are not particularly useful to the searcher. Great for them, but it makes Google’s results seem less reliable and relevant to the user, and Google can’t let it happen. It looks for widespread, consistent NAP data for a business or a website to gauge how legitimate your business is. Few false sites have real addresses or phone numbers, and even fewer use them consistently across multiple sites and platforms. Using Name, Address and Phone Number data accurately and consistently help your company look legitimate, as well as bring in geo-targeted searches.
Google has become a vast landscape of user-centric services that are almost completely funded by advertising. It has become incredibly canny about how to get advertising messages out to its users in a way that does not annoy users and brings them something they actually need. They make sure that your sales message reaches people who actually need your service, which truly is a game-changer.
Google now has so many individual services that it can be difficult for non-experts to really get the most from its features. However, failing to gain a certain level of expertise in Google advertising can be disastrous for even a small business these days.
Diana Ford is a digital marketing specialist with writing expertise that spans across online marketing, SEO, social media, and blogging.
The post Google for branding: Getting more from search engine services appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
One can easily translate sign reputation management to income management. Your public image directly affects sales, career and financial well-being in any field – whether searching for an investor, overcoming the negativity spread by your rivals, a change of field, or creation of a new public persona.
But what should you do if there are already lots of negative things written about you on the Internet? In this post, we’ll use one of our actual cases as an example to show how we changed a client’s reputation from 48% negative to neutral.
This article has been created by BDCenter Digital. We sign an NDA with all our customers. Therefore, all the data that could infringe on the client’s confidentiality have been changed. This doesn’t affect the mechanism of reputation management in any way.
Our assignment was to make sure that searching for our client’s name on Google in the US would yield zero negative content on the first two search engine results pages (SERPs).
At the time when the client asked us to help improve their reputation, 48% of the top 20 results were negative:
A total of seven BDCenter Digital team members worked on this reputation improving project, including:
Two SEO specialists + an assistant: Their job was to monitor and analyze search results, work out a strategy to eliminate negativity, and publish content on appropriate resources.
PR specialist: Who identified news-worthy content, contacted the media, as well as prepared and published articles.
SMM specialist: Who created social media accounts for the client and filled them with info.
Project Manager: Who allocated tasks, tracked progress, kept in touch with the client and the team, and evaluated the results.
Designer: Who prepared templates for social media and news resources.
Four months and 560 hours of work later, there was NO negativity left in the top two result pages on Google. Reputation improved!
Read on to find out how we did it.
|Igor Erenkov||Artem Shcherbakov||Olga Vodchyts|
1. Identifying resources containing negative content and monitoring changes
Our first step was to study the SERPs (with our client’s name as the search query) and find the sites that published negative content about him. This helped us understand the scope of the job and see which sites we would have to work with to push all negativity out of the top 20 results.
Every week, we would fine-tune our strategy – since Google often changes its ranking algorithm, we would get slightly differing results every day. For instance, a resource that was ranked as no.1 yesterday might not even be on the first page tomorrow.
For this reason, we checked on the situation once a week and recorded the results in a spreadsheet:
The color indicates the tonality of each resource relative to the individual in question. The names of sites were removed for the purposes of confidentiality.
One of the factors impacting how results are placed on a SERP is the age of the content. A new relevant piece of content can easily get a resource in the top 10, but just a week or two later, it can lose around 30 to 50 positions.
2. Posting mentions of the person on various websites
Undesirable information about the client was posted on large resources, one of them with 20 million monthly visitors. One of the obvious solutions was to overcome this negativity by posting positive content on even larger websites.
However, we couldn’t rely on this tool alone for two reasons:
A. High costs: The client would have to pay $ 4000 to $ 5000 per publication, and the actual budget was much lower.
B. Risk of repetitiveness: Google tries to vary its results, filling its SERPs with sites in different formats. Therefore, we decided to post content about our client on the following types of sites:
- News websites
- Blogging platforms
- Profiling sites
- Video hostings
- Podcast sites
- Social networks
- Interview-centered sites
- Client’s corporate pages
- Dropped domains
- Presentation hostings
3. Optimizing the client’s corporate site
Google prioritizes those sites that are most relevant to the search query. What do you see at the top of the list when googling the name of someone? Depending on the popularity, it can be a Wikipedia article, a corporate website, or a social media account.
In our case, the client’s corporate website was among the top results already, but we wanted to strengthen its position. To do this, we optimized the Team page and created an additional page with the client’s bio.
As a result, these two pages ended up in Google’s top three in the US, pushing all the negativity down the list.
4. Using dropped domains
When time is limited and you need a quick result, you can benefit from dropped domains.
A drop is a domain that its owner decided not to pay for any longer and is now for sale. Some of these dropped domains are still indexed by Google, and you can get good results by publishing backlinks there.
After confirming this step with the client, we created a site based on a good dropped domain and published new content on that site. In just a month, the site was ranked among the top five on Google.
5. Pushing negativity out of Google Image Search
The image search also yielded some negative results, so we had to work not only on pushing individual websites out of the top 20 but specific images, too.
Since Google likes unique content, we made sure to use only unique images of the client in our publications and his social media accounts.
If you don’t have any fresh pictures available, you can edit some of the old ones, changing the background, size, or color profile. This will make Google see them as unique, showing them first.
By the way, changing just the size doesn’t work. Google views such pictures as identical, showing only the one with the best resolution.
PR and content
1. Identifying newsworthy materials
The client didn’t have any important news to share, so we had to create it ourselves. In particular, we watched the industry news closely – and as soon as we found something valuable, we confronted the event with our client’s expertise. Thanks to his status and extensive experience, he could provide commentary on the latest research and news for the media.
2. Publishing content
The technique described above provided us with publications on news websites – however, they would allow free coverage only for really important events. Working with niche websites was much easier: we used them to publish expert articles and interviews.
We only chose sites that fit the following three criteria:
- Relevance to the subject – wealth management, finance, and investment.
- The site had to contain a negative article about our client. Publishing fresh content on the same site would get the old article to rank lower.
- Importance – the site’s «weight», or authority, had to be higher or equal to that of the sites that contained negativity, helping to overcome it.
By weight we mean the level of Google’s trust in the resource. This trust is based on the number of visitors, the site’s age and level of optimization.
If you need quick results, you can get a lot of coverage fast by publishing your content on PR Newswire. Read our recent post on how to do this.
Our client’s name had to be mentioned in the title: -this helped articles rank much better for our search query.
However, our title headline didn’t always fit the editing guidelines of individual resources: some preferred to list the author at the very bottom of the piece. Such articles weren’t useful to us since they didn’t rank the way we would’ve liked.
We tested this headline theory many times. Even a publication on the gigantic Yahoo! Finance with one mention in the body of the text works worse than an article on a small website, but with the client’s name mentioned in the title, lead-in, and text body.
1. Creating and filling social media accounts
We created accounts for the client on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and other platforms. We didn’t use those social networks that weren’t relevant to the client’s business — such as Pinterest, for example.
Linkedin yielded the best result: Our client’s profile on this platform still ranks as no. 1 in the search results, pushing out the old negative content. Xing, Tumblr, and Instagram didn’t produce any result at all: none of them got into the top 20.
We made sure to fill new social media pages with expert content – mostly pieces for the articles we wrote for the media. Naturally, we always adapted the text for social media. The posts were accompanied by photos of the client: we arranged special photoshoots for that purpose.
2. Posting podcasts and videos
Google prefers content to be varied. So it prioritizes not only fresh articles but also video and podcasts.
We started accounts on YouTube and Vimeo for our client and added several videos: some we created specifically to fit recent news, others were chosen among existing content.
We posted those videos not only on the client’s own accounts but also in other users’ profiles. By the way, it was a video posted on the page of another user that ended up in the top 10 of Google.
As for podcasts, they can work well, too – as long as you post them on popular platforms, such as iTunes or audioboom.com, which has over two million monthly users.
Project Manager’s comments
SERM, or search engine reputation management, combines such tools as SEO, PR, and SMM. In order to leverage this combination with maximum benefit, we utilize the following principles:
- Regular strategy updates – since both SERPs and relevant content change all the time, we have to monitor all changes and reassess our action plans when required.
- Analysis of the results – we constantly check what works and what doesn’t. This helps us work faster, better, and without wasting our resources.
- Daily contact with the client – this way we can quickly make strategic decisions and create fresh content.
- Generating relevant content – even though SERM is more about pushing negativity as far down as possible in the SERPs, we are also very serious about what we post – and so are our clients, of course. Content should also be relevant to the objective. In the case, we’ve described that meant niche articles, podcasts, and videos that accentuated the client’s expertise.
By using all these tools, we managed to radically transform the first two Google result pages. 90% of the top 20 were now positive, with the remaining 10% neutral.
Based on our experience with reputation management – and we’ve already worked with a Nobel laureate, several politicians, and CEO’s of financial institutions – your public image can have a tremendous impact on your business and career. By maintaining a good public image on a constant basis is much easier and cheaper than launching major reputation rehaul campaigns once every few years.
To maintain your reputation, make sure to monitor the search results for your name or brand. Select your key search queries and set up alerts: this way you’ll know what Google users see when they look for information about you and will be ready to react to any negativity.
The post Case Study: How BDCenter transformed a reputation from 48% negative on Google to neutral appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
A few years ago, I hosted a podcast called ‘Ask Amanda About Marketing’. It ran for 30 episodes before going on a hiatus for over a year. Now, I’m relaunching it under a new name and with a more focused goal, and I’ve been reflecting on what I learned during the first go-around and the podcast tips I’ve acquired while getting ready to publish this next iteration.
Here are my biggest takeaways.
1. Have a narrow focus
I explained that ‘Ask Amanda About Marketing’ involved me (and sometimes guests) answering various questions people had about digital marketing.
The first thing he said? Narrow your focus.
There are hundreds of marketing podcasts out there, so in order to provide value that isn’t duplicative of what people can already access, you have to hone in your objective. Who exactly do you plan to help, and how exactly do you plan to help them?
He had a point. While I loved the first iteration of the show, it was topically scattered, and I knew we could benefit from honing in our purpose.
We landed on ‘Cashing in on content marketing’, a show all about proving content marketing ROI and getting buy-in.
Armed with a narrow focus, it was time to book guests.
2. Don’t hide behind the mic
It’s convenient to be able to podcast from home and have conversations with incredibly smart people all over the world through Zoom or Skype or some other platform.
But don’t forget to attend in-person events. While you can cold-pitch people (and we certainly have), you can build much better connections when you meet people in the real world.
Of the first 11 people I have booked to be guests on the show, seven of them are people I met in the last year at marketing events.
Because when you meet people in person, you’re forming a much stronger connection than people you sometimes interact with online. There’s still value in online interactions, of course, but nothing surpasses good ol’ fashioned IRL (in real life) meeting.
If you don’t have a lot of event budget, many conferences have free or cheap community passes, like Inbound. Also, check for local events; some companies host events and meetups in their cities, and these community connections can be just as important. For example, Orbit Media hosts affordable monthly events in Chicago.
3. Do your research
Once you book guests, it’s time to figure out what you’ll talk about.
My personal style is to keep it conversational, but you still need to set up a framework of questions so you make sure the chatting stays on-topic and that your guest feels guided through the conversation.
I generally have at least five questions that shape the direction of what I want to talk about. If the person has written blog posts, books, or conference presentations that are relevant, I read those and ask questions that refer to those materials.
Not sure if these materials exist? Ask them in advance.
Give them an idea of what you want to talk about, but allow them to switch up the angle based on what they’re passionate about and have expertise in.
For example, when talking to Mark Schaefer before having him on the show, I told him we could talk about his newest book “Marketing Rebellion,” but he suggested focusing on “The Content Code” since it might be more in line with the podcast’s goals.
When you touch base before the show, you’re able to establish directions that are better for your audience. And you can prepare accordingly. I brushed up on both books and asked questions about referencing material from them.
As a result, Mark said,
“Thank you so much for reading my books and being so well-prepared with your questions – it was a pleasure.”
Don’t underestimate how much prepping for the interview can set you up for success. You want your questions to be different from everyone else’s, otherwise, you’ll end up with a show that doesn’t stand out.
If you follow this advice – focus and differentiate your podcast’s mission, meet marketing professions IRL, and go above and beyond when preparing for interviews – you’ll be setting a solid foundation for your podcasting endeavor.
But most importantly – Keep your audience in mind. You’re not creating this for yourself, or your company, or your guests. You’re creating it to help, inspire, or inform your listeners. Don’t lose sight of that, and you’ll continue making the ideal decisions for your show.
Amanda Milligan is the Marketing Director at Fractl, a prominent growth marketing agency that’s worked with Fortune 500 companies and boutique businesses.
The post Three crucial podcast tips from Fractl’s Marketing Director appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
New York has cleared Times Square and 14th Street, while Oslo is banishing drivers from its city center.
Feed: All Latest
Between 2010-2015 the SEO industry went from being seen as a shady backroom box of tricks to a leading and essential marketing channel, driven by data, trends and user behavior statistics.
With ongoing changes Google kept SEO agencies, freelancers and internal teams on their toes by releasing update after update to hone and shape not only what they want search results to look like, but how they want us to act and work within them. This included the once-famed Penguin Update, aimed at webspam and link building practices, supposedly impacted around 0.1% of searches when originally launched, but went on to shape the importance of positive link building, utilization of tools and data and birthed job roles around SEO content strategy while strengthening the importance of content marketing.
Long term with the development of RankBrain and (perceived) closer to real-time algorithm changes, more core updates on a regular basis and the journey through ‘Content is King’ to UX – SEO has become theorized in some sense, with many of us having our own opinions and approaches to the same end result.
As we’ve reached 2020 we have in some parts see new developments from Google slow down, with the company’s focus seemingly on updating reporting suites and core updates that offer little more than ‘an improvement to search results’. We’re no longer beholden to the next big Penguin or Panda updates, but more to the inner workings of Google and sporadic updates to its Search Quality Guidelines – with this in mind, what exactly can we expect from SEO in 2020? Adhering to Google guidelines becomes harder, or easier?
We all know how SEO works and many of us will have specialisms or approaches to SEO we feel get results quicker, but with vague updates and unannounced tweaks to algorithms, is it becoming harder to adhere to Google’s guidelines?
Certainly, the unpredictability is a factor at times – with the recent updates to search guidelines on YMYL and E-A-T being announced, there’s a perception the goalposts are moving ever so slightly, every so often.
This means that if you’re scoring just inside the post on Monday, you might be wide of the mark by a fraction on Tuesday. For websites where the SEO team is at the mercy of web development or other factors outside of their control, this can prove a challenge.
Of course, any SEO agency or specialist worth their weight in gold will be able to outline and approach any issues with a solution in hand.
The flipside to this is, however, is that we all have a clear idea of what a good website looks like and what is going to rank page 1 for chosen keywords. With guideline updates, an industry that shares knowledge like no other and a focus on developing strategies that are future proof, there is no reason for every update to send SEO campaigns spiraling.
In 2020, we predict that the next wave of guidelines will be released, and our prediction is these again will be focusing on trust and authority – not a million miles away from where we’ve been for the last few years.
Actioning and adhering to search quality guidelines
Google Search Quality Guidelines regularly update – these guidelines reflect how Google wants you to work within a website and the process the search engine’s algorithm will take to evaluate the relevance of the website for keyword usage.
These guidelines take into account:
- E-A-T – The Expert, Authority, Trust of the website in relation to the target subject
- Page Quality – How the page is laid out, how it works and whether it has the user’s best interests at heart
- Needs Met – Factors around whether the page ANSWERS the needs of the query
The page quality is assessed to identify where the text is placed, the wording used, content used and the quality of the content.
Google’s most recent updates put E-A-T elements at the heart of the Page Quality section of its guidelines, based on industry and type of product.
The blanket approach, and the actions needed to adhere to (or in fact exceed) Google guidelines are that the page should be “more specific than the query, but would still be helpful for many or most users because” the company is reputable in the area.
Top nine factors content managers should audit for on-page SEO
|Element to Optimise||Definition|
|Landing Page URL||URL of the landing page (after the website name)|
|Meta Title||This is the blue link that shows in Google|
|Meta Description||The text that shows under the blue link in search results – to draw a user to click|
|Heading 1 Tag||A title that shows at the top of a page|
|Heading 2 / 3 Tags||Additional titles which are placed within the content of a page|
|Content||The physical content on the page needs to meet particular criteria|
|Keyword Density||The percentage of keywords to total text ratio on a page|
|Images||The size, name, and title of an image on the page|
|Internal Links||Links which point to other pages on the website|
Dependence on technical SEO reduced but is still important
Technical SEO has been on the rise for a number of years but the buzz behind it has somewhat plateaued in the last 12 months or so – although it is still essential to audit from a technical perspective regularly. Traditionally, technical SEO would include web structure, speed, hosting and so on – with JSON, mark up and structured tagging following on from this.
Across client bases we’ve seen the need for technical SEO regularly drop by just under 50%, with wider-ranging audits, working with web development on new site builds and regular crawls on health being the norm. Working in this way allows for time to be split effectively across multiple areas of SEO and better use of budget. Education on the technical aspects client-side also means SEO agencies and professionals can focus time elsewhere.
Within semi-regular technical SEO audits, there are some core elements to check, all of which will help identify issues and improve the technical performance of a website, without impacting the day-to-day of search marketing.
Top eight factors you should audit for technical SEO
|Element to Optimise||Definition|
|Web structure and URL Structure||Essentially the folders in use website is built|
|HTTPS/SSL||Security for customers or users visiting the site|
|HTML Build||Code-behind core elements of a website|
|Schema / JSON||Code that allows websites to send additional information to search engines|
|Server Speed||The speed in which servers respond to requests from users|
|Sitemaps/Robots||Used by Google to crawl websites|
|Accessibility||Are all pages able to be found|
2020 and beyond
As always, Google is likely to throw a couple of curveballs – However, the SEO industry is coming of age again and it’s no longer an area of expertise that “anybody” can have a go at. There’s a need to understand the market of your clients, their customers, their collateral and the demands of Google to achieve success. Following clear structure, regular audits and systematic approaches will allow all of the above to be achieved.
Keith Hodges, Head of Search at POLARIS, is an SEO expert with over eight years’ experience in the industry.
The post Word of advice on exactly what to expect from SEO in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Kidtech startup SuperAwesome raises $17M, with strategic investment from Microsoft’s M12 venture fund
Kidtech startup SuperAwesome has raised an additional $ 17 million in funding, which includes a new strategic investment from Microsoft’s venture fund, M12. Others participating in the round include existing investors Mayfair Equity, Hoxton Ventures and Ibis, along with other angels.
To date, SuperAwesome has raised $ 37 million in outside investment.
SuperAwesome has been tapping into the need for more kid-friendly technology on the web that’s now used just as much by younger children as it is by adults.
“Historically the internet was designed to be used by adults, but now over 40% of new users are kids,” said SuperAwesome CEO Dylan Collins. “We’re in the middle of a structural shift in the composition of the internet that requires investment in privacy and kidtech to support children. This is as big a transition as mobile was for the desktop internet,” he noted.
The company’s platform includes products for kid-safe advertising, social engagement tools, authentication and parental controls. The breadth of this lineup has attracted big-name kids’ brands as customers, including Activision, Hasbro, Mattel, Lego, Cartoon Network, Spin Master, Nintendo, Bandai, WB, Shopkins maker Moose Toys, WPP, Omnicom, Dentsu, Niantic and Wildworks, among others.
Today, the company has more than 300 customers in total.
SuperAwesome’s technology has arrived at a critical time for many working in the kids’ app space, as governments are newly enacting and enforcing a range of kids’ privacy laws like COPPA (the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) and GDPR-K in the E.U., as well as other laws in major markets like China, Brazil and India. In the U.S., for example, the FTC has slapped apps like Musical.ly (now TikTok) and YouTube with record fines for violations of children’s privacy regulations.
These changes have been a boon to SuperAwesome, which is now fully profitable and powering more than 12 billion kids’ digital transactions per month. Last year, the company pulled in $ 55 million in revenue and is on track for $ 80 to $ 90 million in revenue in 2020, Collins told TechCrunch.
SuperAwesome and Microsoft aren’t yet talking in detail about how the two companies will be teaming up, following the strategic investment. One thing being discussed by the two, however, are the opportunities around family identity, we’re told. In addition, Microsoft today is focused on both privacy and kids across its products — for example, with its web browser as well as with its educational efforts involving Minecraft, among other things.
“After we spent time with the M12 team and folks in Microsoft, it was clear we shared the same vision of where the internet is going: more kids and more privacy,” Collins said.
“We are proud to welcome the SuperAwesome team to the M12 portfolio. Dylan has cultivated a mission-driven team dedicated to keeping the internet safer for kids—a critical priority for digital-first generations,” said Nagraj Kashyap, Microsoft corporate vice president and global head of M12, in a statement about the funding. “Given Microsoft’s footprint in the identity management space, we’re excited to explore opportunities for partnership with SuperAwesome as well,” Kashyap added.
Given the steady growth of the IoT market, what can ecommerce brands do to take advantage? Let’s take a closer look at the possibilities.
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