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What five news-SEO experts make of Google’s new, “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search results

March 24, 2021 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Google recently rolled out the “Full Coverage” feature for mobile SERPs
  • Will this impact SEO traffic for news sites, SEO best practices, and content strategies?
  • Here’s what in-house SEOs from The LA Times, New York Times, Conde Nast, Wall Street Journal, and prominent agency-side SEOs foresee

Google’s “Full Coverage” update rolled out earlier this month – but what does it really mean for news-SEOs? In-house SEOs from The LA Times, New York Times, Conde Nast, Wall Street Journal, and prominent agency-side SEOs weigh in.

As a news-SEO person myself, I was eager to get my peers’ opinions on: 

  • If this feature will result in greater SEO traffic for news sites?
  • If editorial SEO best practices and content strategies will evolve because of it?
  • If it will result in closer working relationships between SEO and editorial teams?
  • Or, will everything remain “business as usual”?

ICYMI: Google’s new, “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search

Google added the “full coverage”  feature to its mobile search functionality earlier this month – with the aim of making it easier for users to explore content related to developing news stories from a diverse set of publishers, perspectives, and media slants.  

Just below the “Top Stories” carousel, users will now begin seeing the option to tap into “Full Coverage”/“More news on…” for developing news stories. The news stories on this page will be organized in a variety of sub-news topics (versus one running list of stories like we’re used to seeing), such as:

  • Top news
  • Local news
  • Beyond the headlines, and more

Take a look at  in-action, here:

Google's "Full Coverage" feature

Source: Google

While the concept of Google “Full Coverage” was developed back in 2018,  it pertained strictly to the Google News site and app. The technology, temporal co-locality, works by mapping the relationships between entities – and understanding the people, places, and things in a story right as it evolves. And then, organizes it around storylines all in real-time to provide “full coverage” on the topic searched for.

The launch of Google’s new “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search, specifically, is exciting because it takes its technology a step further; able to detect long-running news stories that span many days, like the Super Bowl, to many weeks or months like the pandemic to serve to users.  The feature is currently available to English speakers in the U.S. and will be rolled out to additional languages and locations over the next few months. 

What five news-SEO experts think about “Full Coverage” in mobile search

Lily Ray, Senior Director, SEO & Head of Organic Research at Path Interactive on Google's "Full Coverage" feature
Source: Linkedin

1. Lily Ray, Senior Director, SEO & Head of Organic Research at Path Interactive

Lily Ray is a Senior SEO Director at Path Interactive in New York. She’s a prominent voice within the SEO community (with +15K followers on Twitter), and has been nominated for multiple search marketing awards throughout her career. She is well known for her E-A-T expertise.  Here’s what she had to say:

 

“Full Coverage appears to be another new tool in Google’s arsenal for displaying a diversity of perspectives and viewpoints on recent news and events. It’s a good thing for publisher sites because it represents another opportunity to have news content surfaced organically. It may also serve as a way for niche or local publishers to gain more visibility in organic search, since Google is specifically aiming to show a broader range of viewpoints that may not always come across with the major publications.

Hopefully, Google will allow us to be able to monitor the performance of Full Coverage via either Search Console or Google Analytics, so we can segment out how our articles do in this area compared to in other areas of search.”

Louisa Frahm, SEO Editor at The LA Times on Google's "Full Coverage" feature
Source: LinkedIn

2. Louisa Frahm, SEO Editor at The LA Times

Louisa Frahm currently serves as the SEO Editor at the Los Angeles Times and is also pursuing a master’s degree in communication management at the University of Southern California. Prior to the LA Times, Frahm was an SEO strategist at other high-profile digital publications including Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, TMZ, Yahoo!, and E! Online. Here’s her take:

“I’ve always liked that element of Google News. It taps into readers (like me!) who are consistently hungry for more information. 

Working in the journalism field, I’m always in favor of readers utilizing a diverse array of news sources. I’m glad that this new update will tap into that. I’m interested to see which stories will fall into the “develop over a period of time” criteria. I could see it working well for extended themes like COVID-19, but big breakout themes like Harry and Meghan could also potentially fit that bill. 

A wide variety of story topics have resulted from that Oprah interview, and fresh angles keep flowing in! As we’re in the thick of 2021 awards season, I could also see the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Oscars playing into this with their respective news cycles before, during, and after the events. 

The long-term aspect of this update inspires me to request more updates from writers on recurring themes, so we can connect with the types of topics this particular feature likes. Though pure breaking news stories with short traffic life cycles will always be important for news SEO, this feature reinforces the additional importance of more evergreen long-term content within a publisher’s content strategy. 

I could see this update providing a traffic boost, since it provides one more way for stories to get in front of readers. We always want as many eyeballs as possible on our content. Happy to add one more element to my news SEO tool kit. Google always keeps us on our toes!”

Barry Adams, Founder of Polemic Digital on Google's "Full Coverage" feature
Source: Linkedin

3. Barry Adams, Founder of Polemic Digital

Barry Adams is the founder of SEO consultancy, Polemic Digital. He has earned numerous search marketing awards throughout his career and has also spoken at several industry conferences. His company has helped news and publishing companies such as – The Guardian, The Sun, FOX News, and Tech Radar to name a few. This is his opinion:

“The introduction of Full Coverage directly into search results will theoretically mean there’s one less click for users to make when trying to find the full breadth of reporting on a news topic. 

Whether this actually results in significantly more traffic for publishers is doubtful. The users who are interested in reading a broad range of sources on a news story will already have adopted such click behaviour via the news tab or directly through Google News. 

This removal of one layer of friction between the SERP and a larger number of news stories seems more intended as a way for Google to emphasize its commitment to showing news from all kinds of publishers – the fact remains that the initial Top Stories box is where the vast majority of clicks happen. This Full Coverage option won’t change that.”

John Shehata, Global VP of Audience Development Strategy at Conde Nast on Google's "Full Coverage" feature
Source: Linkedin

4. John Shehata, Global VP of Audience Development Strategy at Conde Nast, Founder of NewzDash News SEO

John Shehata is the Global VP of Audience Development Strategy at Conde Nast, the media company known for brands such as – Architectural Digest, Allure, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. He’s also the founder of NewzDash News SEO – a News & Editorial SEO tool that helps publishers and news sites boost their visibility and traffic in Google Search. This is his opinion:

“Google has been surfacing more news stories on their SERPs over the past few years, first Top Stories were two-three links then it became a 10-link carousel. Google then started grouping related stories together expanding Top Stories carousel from one to three featuring up 30 news stories. They also introduced local news carousels for some local queries, [and now, this new feature]. It is obvious that Google keeps testing with different formats when it comes to news. One of our top news trends and prediction for 2021 is Google will continue to introduce multiple and different formats in the SERPs beyond Top Stories article formats.

As of the impact on traffic back to publishers, it is a bit early to predict but I do not expect much boost in traffic. Do not get more wrong, this feature provides more chances for more publishers to be seen, the question is how many search users will click. And if users click, Google surfaces over 50 news links plus tweets which makes it even more competitive for publishers to get clicks back to their stories.

I did some quick analysis back in July of last year When Google Search Console started providing News tab data. I found that News Impressions are less than five percent of total web impressions. Not quite sure how is the new “Full Coverage” feature CTR will be and how many users will click! The “full coverage” link placement is better than the tabs, so we might see higher CTR.”

Claudio Cabrera, Deputy Audience Director, News SEO at The New York Times on Google's "Full Coverage" feature
Source: LinkedIn

5. Claudio Cabrera, Deputy Audience Director, News SEO at The New York Times

Claudio Cabrera serves as the Deputy Audience Director of News SEO at the New York Times. He is an award-winning audience development expert, journalist, and educator. Prior to working at The New York Times, he was Director of Social and Search strategy at CBS Local. Here are his thoughts:

“It can be looked at in so many ways. Some brands will look at it as an opportunity to gain more visibility while some will feel their strong foothold may be lost. I think it just encourages better journalism and even better SEO because it forces us to think outside of our playbooks and adjust on some level to what we’re seeing Google provide users. 

From a site traffic perspective, I can’t really comment on whether this has affected us or not but I do know there are so many other areas where sites have done serious research and testing into like Discover where audiences can grow and be picked up if you do see a drop-off. I don’t think the best practices of SEO change too much but I think the relationship between search experts and editors deepens and becomes even closer due to the changes in the algo.”

Conclusion

Google’s new “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search rolled out earlier this month and is an extension of the full coverage function developed for Google News back in 2018. The aim of this new feature is to help users gain a holistic understanding of complex news stories as they develop – by organizing editorial content in such a way that it goes beyond the top headlines and media outlets. In essence, giving users the “full coverage” of the event. 

News-SEO experts seem to be in agreement that this new feature will make it simpler for users to explore – and gain a holistic understanding of – trending news stories. As far as what this new feature means for SEO traffic and strategy, experts can only speculate until more developing news stories emerge and we can analyze impact. 

Elizabeth Lefelstein is an SEO consultant based in Los Angeles, California. She’s worked with a variety of high-profile brands throughout her career and is passionate about technical SEO, editorial SEO, and blogging. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter @lefelstein.

The post What five news-SEO experts make of Google’s new, “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search results appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Seven tips for full funnel SEO in 2020

June 2, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Improving their organic search presence is the top inbound marketing priority for 61% of marketers.
  • It’s imperative that today’s marketers leverage paid search at every stage to create more sophisticated strategies because greater sophistication means less wasted budget and higher quality conversions. 
  • Erica Magnotto gives a crisp breakdown and categorization of how to make your sales and marketing funnel work through SEO.

Improving their organic search presence is the top inbound marketing priority for 61% of marketers. But many are unaware their tried-and-true search engine optimization tactics have lost their potency thanks to today’s more fluid marketing funnel.

Every marketer knows the marketing funnel: The famous upside-down triangle used to visualize the customer journey from “awareness” at the top to “action” at the bottom. Paid search is typically considered a lower-funnel tactic used to nudge customers toward a conversion. But in today’s digitally-dominated landscape, paid search plays a more integrated role. 

It’s imperative that today’s marketers leverage paid search at every stage to create more sophisticated strategies because greater sophistication means less wasted budget and higher quality conversions. Here are seven tips to plug in paid search throughout your customer relationships in 2020.

Phase one: Awareness

If you’re currently investing in awareness channels, you’re likely using a combination of programmatic display, video, social and influencers to connect with your audiencesBut don’t overlook paid search, which is also effective at driving new users to the website through competitor and educational campaigns.  

1. Competitor campaigns 

If a customer is looking for your direct competitor, it’s likely they’re in need of your services as well, so bidding on competitor terms is a great way to capture your competitor’s customers. Keep in mind though these keywords are usually expensive and receive lower quality scoresthey can help inform customers of their options within your industry. 

2. Brand education 

Customers looking to educate themselves on a particular product or service are likely to go to Google firstUse this knee-jerk reaction to send web traffic in your direction by adding specific content on your website that answer their questions. Blogs, white papers, FAQ pages, and industry updates are valuable forms of customer education that can develop brand awareness and promote trust with your audience. Even better, you can combine branding and lead generation by gating some of this content to collect user information that can later be repurposed for email marketing, retargeting, lookalike audiences and more. 

Phase two: Interest

After a user visits the website and gains familiarity with your brand keep your brand top of mind through retargeting list search ads and audience bidding.  

3. Retargeting List Search Ads (RLSAs)

RLSAs can help drive repeat visits to your website by directly targeting and bidding on those previous website visitors. These campaigns typically use tailored messaging, such as a discount, countdown or reminder to complete an action on your website, to create urgency. RLSAs can also be used with the brand and non-branded terms to entice user action in the decision phase of the funnel. 

4. Audience bidding

Marketers should consider applying in-market audiences to campaigns on observation mode to develop a clearer image of how each audience segment performs. Segments that perform or convert at a high level indicate interest from that grouping of potential customers and, therefore, are worth a higher investment through the use of bid modifiers. Bid up on these audiences to garner a stronger return. 

Phase Three: Decision

Invest in your brand terms to protect yourself from competitor interference once potential customers have made the conscious decision to engage with your brand. You can also implement extensions to impart more influence during the decision stage and garner increased user engagement. 

5. Bid on brand terms 

Brand terms serve two purposes in SEO: visibility and defence. First, it’s important to remain relevant to the SERPs by being represented in organic and paid results. Second, while you have the flexibility to bid on competitor terms, the competition can bid on your terms as wellBy creating a dedicated brand strategy for search, you can help cut down on competitors showing up in place of you.

6. Use extensions 

Extensions such as site links, callouts and structured snippets place more ads on SERPs, giving your ads more opportunity to influence in the decision of customersMarketers should use as many relevant extensions as possible to improve click-through-rates (CTRs) and higher quality scores. 

Phase four: Action

Search engines can optimize toward conversion action through automated bidding after users take action on your website through a paid ad. 

7. Automated bidding

Conversion or action data that are stored in Google or Microsoft Ads is repurposed to support automated bidding like Target Cost Per Action (CPA), Maximize Conversions or Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). These features support a variety of conversion goals through Google’s AI automation. Creating accurate conversions in your account is essential during the final step of the funnel.

Paid search is a foundational channel for driving lead generation initiatives, as it has vast capabilities. Search plays an integral role in every stage of the marketing funnel – not just at the top. Consider connecting with your in-house team or agency partners to revamp your paid search strategy for 2020 to ensure you are leveraging search across the funnel, and, ultimately, boosting the channels’ benefit to your bottom line.  

Erica Magnotto is Senior Search Engine Marketing Manager at R2i. 

The post Seven tips for full funnel SEO in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


We’ve come full rectangle: Polaroid is reborn out of The Impossible Project

March 31, 2020 No Comments

More than a decade after announcing that it would keep Polaroid’s abandoned instant film alive, The Impossible Project has done the… improbable: It has officially become the brand it set out to save. And to commemorate the occasion, there’s a new camera, the Polaroid Now.

The convergence of the two brands has been in the works for years, and in fact Impossible Project products were already Polaroid-branded. But this marks a final and satisfying shift in one of the stranger relationships in startups or photography.

I first wrote about The Impossible Project in early 2009 (and apparently thought it was a good idea to Photoshop a Bionic Commando screenshot as the lead image), when the company announced its acquisition of some Polaroid instant film manufacturing assets.

Polaroid at the time was little more than a shell. Having declined since the ’80s and more or less shuttered in 2001, the company was relaunched as a digital brand and film sales were phased out. This was unsuccessful, and in 2008 Polaroid was filing for bankruptcy again.

This time, however, it was getting rid of its film production factories, and a handful of Dutch entrepreneurs and Polaroid experts took over the lease as The Impossible Project. But although the machinery was there, the patents and other IP for the famed Polaroid instant film were not. So they basically had to reinvent the process from scratch — and the early results were pretty rough.

But they persevered, aided by a passionate community of Polaroid owners, continuously augmented by the film-curious who want something more than a Fujifilm Instax but less than a 35mm SLR. In time the process matured and Impossible developed new films and distribution partners, growing more successful even as Polaroid continued applying its brand to random, never particularly good photography-adjacent products. They even hired Lady Gaga as “Creative Director,” but the devices she hyped at CES never really materialized.

Gaga was extremely late to the announcement, but seeing the GL30 prototype was worth it

In 2017, the student became the master as Impossible’s CEO purchased the Polaroid brand name and IP. They relaunched Impossible as “Polaroid Originals” and released the OneStep 2 camera using a new “i-Type” film process that more closely resembled old Polaroids (while avoiding the expensive cartridge battery).

Polaroid continued releasing new products in the meantime — presumably projects that were under contract or in development under the brand before its acquisition. While the quality has increased from the early days of rebranded point-and-shoots, none of the products has ever really caught on, and digital instant printing (Polaroid’s last redoubt) has been eclipsed by a wave of nostalgia for real film, Instax Mini in particular.

But at last the merger dance is complete and Polaroid, Polaroid Originals and The Impossible Project are finally one and the same. All devices and film will be released under the Polaroid name, though there may be new sub-brands like i-Type and the new Polaroid Now camera.

Speaking of which, the Now is not a complete reinvention of the camera by far — it’s a “friendlier” redesign that takes after the popular OneStep but adds improved autofocus, a flash-adjusting light sensor, better battery and a few other nips and tucks. At $ 100 it’s not too hard on the wallet, but remember that film is going to run you about $ 2 per shot. That’s how they get you.

It’s been a long, strange trip to watch, but ultimately a satisfying one: Impossible made a bet on the fundamental value of instant film photography, while a series of owners bet on the Polaroid brand name to sell anything they put it on. The riskier long-term play won out in the end (though many got rich running Polaroid into the ground over and over), and now with a little luck the brand that started it all will continue its success.

Gadgets – TechCrunch


The Full Star Wars: Episode VIII Title Has Finally Been Revealed

January 23, 2017 No Comments
The Full Star Wars: Episode VIII Title Has Finally Been Revealed

And it’s a title that’s sure to cause quite a bit of speculation about its meaning. The post The Full Star Wars: Episode VIII Title Has Finally Been Revealed appeared first on WIRED.
WIRED


paul-frampton

The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble

June 1, 2013 No Comments

In November 2011, Paul Frampton, a theoretical particle physicist, met Denise Milani, a Czech bikini model, on the online dating site Mate1.com. She was gorgeous — dark-haired and dark-eyed, with a supposedly natural DDD breast size. In some photos, she looked tauntingly steamy; in others, she offered a warm smile. Soon, Frampton and Milani were chatting online nearly every day. Frampton would return home from campus — he’d been a professor in the physics and astronomy department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 30 years — and his computer would buzz. “Are you there, honey?” They’d chat on Yahoo Messenger for a while, and then he’d go into the other room to take care of something. A half-hour later, there was the familiar buzz. It was always Milani. “What are you doing now?”

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Engaged CRO: A 5-Step Plan for Full Client Support

October 13, 2012 No Comments

I’m of the opinion that it is not hard to convince your client of anything, if it’s forwarded with: “this will get you more leads/make you more revenue.” However, as soon as the word “test” gets thrown in the mix, even when goals are on target, things have been known to screech to a halt. So if the client is happy with performance and you’re hitting goals, how do you convince them it’s for the better future of the account to start targeting some conversion rate optimization testing techniques? To start our August series, here’s a 5-step plan to help get your client onboard with tricky, but beneficial, CRO and testing!

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Open? Yeah, Sure. Sorry Oracle, You’re Still Full Of It

August 10, 2012 No Comments

Bob Evans has a colorful past. He works at Oracle these days as what I would call a king’s blogger except that he isn’t doing very well even with the apparent influence of the king himself.

Bob used to write for SAP where he penned his own gems about Oracle. The watchmen at Oracle thought Bob did such a good job that they decided to hire him. Now Bob turns on his blog flame against Oracle’s critics.

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