It’s that time of the year again: reflecting on the year that’s past as we prepare for 2019 lurking around the corner. In this article, we have a roundup of some of our fan favorite pieces from 2018 on news and trends from the search industry.
From alternative search engines to future trends, best online courses to algorithm updates, these were some of our highlights from the past year.
We also have a roundup of our top articles on SEO tips and tricks here.
While many of us use “googling” synonymously with “searching,” there are indeed a number of viable alternatives out there. In this article, we try to give some love to 12 alternative search engines.
Most of us can name the next few: Bing, Yandex, Baidu, DuckDuckGo.
But some on the list may surprise you — how about Ecosia, a Co2-neutral search engine? With every search made, the social business uses the revenue generated to plant trees. On average, 45 searches gets one more tree for our little planet.
2019 might be a year for a little more time spent with some G alternatives.
Human beings process visuals faster than they do text. So it makes sense that in the last decade, the number of images on the internet has ballooned.
In this post, we compare the best search engines for conducting three categories of image search on the web.
First, general / traditional image search, looking at Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Then, reverse image search, looking at TinEye, Google, and Pinterest.
Third, free-to-use image search, looking at EveryPixel, Librestock, and the Creative Commons.
As all good SEOs know, this is a never-ending process. The SEO world seems to be constantly evolving, and nearly everyone in the field has learned their snuff largely through online material.
For anyone who’s new to the scene, this can be an encouraging thought. We all started mostly just poking around on the interwebs to see what to do next. And happily, a lot of the best SEO material is freely available for all.
In this article, we look at the best online, free SEO training courses. From Google to Moz to QuickSprout and more, these are fundamentals that anyone can start with.
We also highlight a number of individuals and businesses to follow in the industry.
One third of all time spent online is accounted for by watching video. And, it’s predicted that 80% of all internet traffic will come from video in 2019.
This year was further proof that videos engage growing numbers of users and consequently have an impact on the SERPs. In fact, video has been seen to boost traffic from organic listings by as much as 157%.
In this article, we explore how the ways in which we search for video are changing. From YouTube to Google Search, Facebook to Vimeo, video — and how we interact with video content online — has seen some interesting changes.
Sneak peak: this one starts out with, “What a useless article! Anyone worth their salt in the SEO industry knows that a blinkered focus on keywords in 2018 is a recipe for disaster.”
We go on to explore why focusing on just keywords is outdated, how various algorithm updates have changed the game, and what we should do now instead.
Ps: the snarky take sticks throughout the read, along with the quality overview.
This was an interesting piece following an algorithm update from back in March. There were suspicions, Google SearchLiason tweeted a confirmation, and everyone had to reassess.
Via a simple query, “What’s the best toothpaste?” and the results Google outputted over the course of half a dozen weeks, we can trace certain changes.
What pages benefitted, what can those insights tell us about the update, and how do we handle when our content visibility nosedives?
Who couldn’t use one of these hanging around?
Google makes changes to its ranking algorithm almost every day. Sometimes (most times) we don’t know about them, sometimes they turn the SERPs upside down.
This cheat sheet gives the most important algorithm updates of the recent years, along with some handy tips for how to optimize for each of the updates.
Well, that’s it for SEW in 2018. See you next year!
All the latest trends are part of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report every year and we couldn’t ignore the changes digital in media usage, mobile consumption, voice search and all the innovations that change our lives.
Here’s an overview of the stats that caught our attention.
Increasing digital media usage
There has been a growth of 4% in the digital media usage, reaching 5.9 hours per day. Mobile digital media usage as reached 3.3 hours, while the desktop usage has slightly decreased in 2.1 hours per day. Despite the growth of mobile media consumption, we still see a stable use of other devices, while desktop usage is still present.
This stat can be useful for brands and publishers who try to understand their audience and how the rising mobile consumption can affect their next campaigns.
How innovation drives product improvements
Innovation takes place in many forms and trends and the most interesting stats have to do with the rise of messaging, voice search and video.
According to Mary Meeker’s Report, messaging is expanding and we’ve already noticed the increased number of monthly active users among all the popular platforms. Messaging platforms become more useful every day for users and brands are already exploring the best ways to include them in their digital strategies.
Mobile adoption keeps increasing for video usage and there is no prediction that this growth will end soon. As mobile consumption increases, more users are watching video content through their phones. This makes more companies evaluate their existing marketing strategies and how their publishing habits can adjust to this trend.
Voice services have seen an impressive growth with Amazon Echo reaching an impressive adoption rate. Except for the usage, there has also been an improvement in the service and the skills, which justifies the rise in sales. As voice technology matures, more consumers are ready to try it out. Its improved accuracy makes it more appealing and the growth from one year to another proves this trend that becomes mainstream.
Product discovery and search
Search has become an important part of the process of discovering a new product. Amazon seems to be the first option when it comes to product discovery, but search engines seem to come second at a percentage of 36%. This serves as a great reminder of the power of SEO for e-commerce businesses and how search can lead to consideration and sales.
Amazon may be the primary choice for product finding, but we cannot ignore how SEO can play a critical role in affecting consumers’ decisions for their next purchases.
An interesting journey is presented in the slide below, showing how the process of product finding takes place through search. An organic search can help a user move into a paid search to find the right product. This can move to Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads and the journey is complete with a shopping action.
This is a great visual representation which reminds us of the role SEO and PPC can hold in a digital strategy that seeks for increased sales.
Social media contributing to product discovery
Another interesting observation has to do with the role of social media in product discovery. Facebook, Instagram and also Pinterest can play a key role in the stage of awareness and consideration. Brands can involve social media in their funnel to help move users in their next stages that lead to a sale.
What’s important to understand is that a conversion cannot be achieved without the crucial previous stages, starting from the awareness and, moving to consideration before the actual purchase. Thus, every channel, including social media, can play a key role in a multi-channel world.
The rise of Internet advertising spend
There has been a growth of 21% in the Internet advertising spend in the US with a growing allocation of the budget going to mobile ads.
As mobile usage increases, advertisers adjust their strategies to reach their audience. We are expecting an even bigger budget on mobile advertising within the next years, although it’s still important to create ads for different devices.
The rise of e-commerce related advertising revenue
A closer focus at the advertising spend shows a growth of the advertising revenue for Google, Amazon and Facebook. This growth is related to the rise of e-commerce and how it is combined with ads to increase the sales.
Google saw a 3x increase of engagement with its focus on mobile product listings, while Amazon noted a 42% YoY increase in its advertising revenue.
Although the advertising spend is split between the big players in the industry there is still an indication that more advertisers are willing to invest in e-commerce growth to maintain a viable business.
One of the most important changes in search the last few years has to do with the increase of personalization. The more data search engines access, the higher the chances of successful personalization. The key to success, in this case, is the effective combination of data and UX to provide the best search results.
People seek relevant and fast answers to all their questions, while proximity is also an important matter for them. Thus, there has been a query growth of 900% from 2015 to 2017 to the results that include ‘near me’ as more users search for local results. This also means that local marketing and local businesses can benefit from this trend, which highlights another big trend in marketing. There’s no need anymore to create generalized content as personalization and local marketing can lead to more successful results.
As innovation brings more exciting opportunities, marketers and advertisers are facing the challenge of keeping up with the trends. The stats above indicate:
- A growing mobile usage
- The rise of voice services
- The domination of video content
- The stable trend of messaging
- The use of search for product discovery
- The explosive growth of personalized search queries.
All these observations can be really helpful, especially when your team is ready to look ahead to plan the strategy and the upcoming campaigns. Any of these trends can bring a business closer to its customers, provided that it embraces its potential in the most relevant way.
This is a must-read for understanding the tech industry. We’ve distilled famous investor Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report down from its massive 294 slides of stats and charts to just the most important insights. Click or scroll through to learn what’s up with internet growth, screen addiction, e-commerce, Amazon versus Alibaba, tech investment and artificial intelligence.
In this new webinar panel, Larry Kim, Rand Fishkin and Cassie Oumedian will discuss where they see the industry heading in 2018, and what the future holds for social, display, search, content marketing and more!
Read more at PPCHero.com
Projecting an account’s trajectory is a vital skill for every account team. You can’t escape it. It comes up when performance is great and it comes up when performance is poor. Despite the demand for these skills and insights, it can be one of the scarier tasks. The uncertainty of accounting for everything makes […]
Read more at PPCHero.com
Hello Friday followers, it’s time for another round-up of stories that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a post. I’m going to begin with some potentially annoying news from my favorite social media network, Twitter.
AdWeek says Twitter is getting ready to launch an unusual version of autoplay for Twitter video ads. Like Facebook, the video will begin playing without sound but instead of playing the actual video, Twitter is going to play a 6 second preview. This could be the first 6 seconds of the full ad but it doesn’t have to be. And if you think you can’t grab people’s attention in six seconds, just watch this Vine.
If you’re thinking about buying a Promoted Video slot, Twitter just put up a blog post with suggestions on how to get the best return on your investment.
For those who like to ride the trending bandwagons, here are a couple of links to check out.
Think Google just published an infographic called Witness the Fitness. Here we learn that Bostonians are in to running but Californians are the most fitness-obsessed.
Facebook Insights posted a chart with the most-talked about topics divided by gender and age. Here’s a sample:
Finally, we have the “blow your mind” stat for the week:
Really. Bet most of you didn’t even know MySpace was still a thing. Well, it is and it’s slowly transformed into a hub for young people who love music and entertainment.
Tim Vanderhook told The Wall Street Journal that the site also gets quite a bit of traffic from old users who are looking for photos to share on Facebook for Throwback Thursday.
Mr. Vanderhook says MySpace still has access to over a billion registered users globally, and over 465 million email addresses in the U.S. Sure, some of those folks haven’t been active on MySpace in years, a fact Mr. Vanderhook acknowledged. But he believes MySpace’s pool of registered data can serve as the centerpiece of a major new cross-channel marketing initiative–something Viant is referring to as The Advertising Cloud.
Keep that in mind if you haven’t deleted your account at MySpace.
Finally, we say goodbye to Google Glass as we know it. Google is pulling the plug on the Explorer program and will stop selling the device shortly so hurry and get yours before they’re all gone. Maybe, in 50 years, you’ll be able to resell it on eBay as old tech and get four times what you paid for it.
That’s it for me. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday.
With new social networking platforms appearing from behind every corner, it can be hard to know exactly where to commit your time and resources. And as we move into the latter-half of 2013, it’s important to look ahead to where social networking is going, and how we can get on board.Read More
While at NAIAS with the Ford Blogger Experience, I had the opportunity to catch Sheryl Connelly’s presentation on the forecasted trends for 2014. Sheryl Connelly is Ford’s “Futurist”, which means it is her job to predict new trends – 3 years in advance! Sheryl had some pretty interesting ideas about what the future might hold.
Many of the trends Sheryl mentioned in the 2014 report (which can be downloaded as a PDF here) are directly applicable to internet marketing and how people use technology today. Below are notes on some of the trends Sheryl has forecasted for 2014.
Vying For Validation
According to the report:
We are living in a world of hyper self-expression, complete with “selfies,” chronic public-journaling and other forms of digital self-expression. As authors, we have the opportunity to craft our own identity and tell the stories that are unique to us. What looks like—and perhaps started as—vanity showmanship is now a deep desire for validation…But as we smooth out the rough edges of our public self, do we gloss over our real character?
For consumers, this trend is about sharing your lifestyle and how you percieve yourself. Although Sheryl’s report says it could have positive effect and change social norms by increasing positivity, the fact remains that many people aren’t honest about themselves online.
- 74% of Americans paint a better pic of themselves than reality
- 62% feel better about themselves when people react positively to what they post online
The report states:
Across the globe, there are huge differences between how “old money” and “new money” narrate their place in society— and with it, marked shifts in the ways in which we express our wealth, status, and influence…In developed markets, displays of wealth were once regarded with admiration and aspiration. Today, post-recession, conspicuous displays of wealth are frowned upon— and there is a growing contingent of educated youth who see material ownership as an unnecessary burden when it comes to enjoying life. Access is a powerful, if also subtle, manifestation of status—so too is the luxury of time in an increasingly demanding world: How we choose to spend our time can be even more important than how we spend our money.
How people show their own status, as well as react to others’ has a big impact on the social media conversations that take place. However, there has been a change in how people show their wealth. For instance, 86% of those surveyed say amount of money isn’t important, it’s what you do with the money you have. In addition, 56% of those surveyed in the United States say displays of wealth are tasteless, versus 90% in Japan.
Other highlights from the presentation included:
- Consumers like purchasing from the manufacturer directly
- We are experiencing the counter-trend of FOMO (fear of missing out). Now it is JOMO – the joy of missing out
- Micro Moments: where we actively do small tasks so we have more free time later, like texting ourselves a grocery list in between meetings
- Myth of multitasking: only 2% are effective, for the rest, it does more harm than good. A study said you lose 10 points in your IQ when multitasking.
- Voicemail is now being translated into text to sort easily: this trend and dependence toward voice services will continue in the future
Ford is attempting to capitalize on the voice trend with Ford Sync and AppLink, which allows the driver to read texts or play playlists on their phone through voice command.
Overall, the trends report and presentation was very informative about the state of digital and social trends in the coming year. One question Sheryl brought up at the end of the presentation has stuck with me: “In the future, will it be that only the affluent are able to leave their phone at home? The Average Joe now uses their phone at all times to stay competitive.” Quite a change from years past when owning a cell phone was a status symbol!
The search marketing landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days of a walled garden between a company’s organic and paid search programs and the rest of its online marketing strategy. Now, there is a recognition by marketers that search, like any form of marketing, must be engaged in a holistic and interconnected manner. It must create measurable results that tie into the whole of a company’s marketing campaign, rather than being off in its own universe.
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