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Our communities have been discussing the story, along with a few stories about links, AdSense, HTTPS, and more this week. The standard practice is to make them blue and underline them, but if you’ve been surfing the web lately you might have noticed that not everyone does that anymore.
As Google grew and became more sophisticated, there were some webmasters who wondered if links would fall by the wayside. Eric Ward recently reported for Search Engine Land that links are actually more important than most people think. Attending regular industry conferences and trade shows involves some sacrifices – money and time, specifically.
So if you’ve got a website that takes a user’s location to display relevant ads or content, that function could be totally broken for Chrome browsers as of April, 2016! A user from WebmasterWorld has fallen victim to a very stubborn and malicious content scraper. The post Links and Usability, Verizon Buys Yahoo, And More: Weekly Forum Update appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.
Since the inception of the term in 1948, brainstorming has been the most powerful tool for creative problem solving for designers and marketers. The goal of a brainstorm is to generate creative ideas and solutions through group discussion and interaction. For true creative brainstorming, we don’t want our commandos to prepare with research or preconceived solutions.
However, before we go through a good brainstorm warm-up, we need to know that we’re warming up the right things. To understand how to warm up properly for a brainstorm, we must identify the muscles needed.
Although group thought is sparked by individual ones, whoever is sharing an idea absolutely needs to have everyone else’s full attention.
Everyone stands in a circle except for the moderator, who in this game acts as the sheriff. Each person adjacent to the croucher must turn to the other and shoot at them with their hands. The way the game works is that you can pick a topic (I like to pick something themed for the brainstorm at hand) and then participants try to make a joke using that format.
If I asked you to explain what a hat was and why it was valuable, you’d probably easily be able to do it.
In this game, you get the group to shout out two nouns that are to be combined into a new product. Another GREAT version of this is the Reversed Brainstorm exercise from Bastiaan van de Werk. I imagine most people have done some version of this game at camp, in a drama class, or on a car trip with the family. The game can end after a few revolutions around the room or the story seems to find a natural ending. This is a simple game in which your group is going to a picnic and each has to bring something they think is useful.
As it is, this game is particularly taxing on the creative, but the point is to show how negative reactions to ideas seem to make the picnic planning process tedious and clunky. As a moderator, it’s really hard to get everyone comfortable with the creative brainstorming mentality in the first few minutes. The post How To Run A Great Marketing Brainstorm: The Creative Warm-Up appeared first on Portent. When it comes to an SEO interview, questions can range from anything from the tools you use to the latest algorithm updates. If you’re looking to hire an in-house SEO analyst, we want to help you find the right one.
Hiring an in-house SEO analyst is not a replacement for the breadth and depth of industry knowledge that an SEO agency brings.
DoFollow links give SEO link juice, boosting up the authority of the website that receives them. There are millions of websites on the internet, and it’s a seemingly impossible task to check their quality.
Not only is Google’s algorithm getting better, Google is beefing up their human touch too.
Lesson: Secure high-quality content for your site by developing it in-house or by hiring a freelance writer. Additionally, the downside of article syndication is having your website pushed down in the SERP. Whether you’re thinking about starting a company, revamping your current business, adding a new product line, or just making sure your current SEO approach is on the right track, keyword research is a fundamental part of the process. The reason keyword research is so indispensable is that it’s one of the easiest ways to get insight into what your target audience cares about and what language they use to talk about it. The purpose of this post is to take some of the ambiguity and mystery away from what keyword research is (and isn’t) about.
Deciding which keywords to target for a page can be tricky since there are so many different factors to consider.
Of course, being in first place helps quite a bit, but CTR can still be useful as an indicator of how well your content matches up with that term and the user’s question. After I’ve downloaded my list of keywords from Search Console, I like to combine it with data from another keyword research tool called SEM Rush.
Once you have this list, you can use AdWords keyword planner to flesh it out with related terms that you might not be ranking for (yet). So now you have a huge list of key phrases you rank for, and another set that you’d like to work toward. To start, group these keywords by topic and then choose a few head terms that you want to prioritize for each topic.
From our research we know this is a term that currently drives traffic to this page (or we would like it to). Now that you have the topics you want to cover, you need to figure out which of the pages on your site are best suited to address those topics.
Maybe you find that there are a few pages that could potentially work well for a specific term. For the second bullet, different types of queries work best with different types of content.
With that in mind, ask honestly: what is the current purpose of the page I’m planning to use? Posted by Dr-PeteIt's been over two years since Google launched Featured Snippets, and yet many search marketers still see them as little more than a novelty. Why should you care?We're all busy, and Google has made so many changes in the past couple of years that it can be hard to sort out what's really important to your customer or employer. Featured Snippets have more than doubled in prevalence in the past year, and they've increased by a factor of roughly 5X since launch. In August of 2015, Search Engine Land published a case study by Glenn Gabe that tracked the loss of a Featured Snippet for a client on a competitive keyword. Where do they come from?Featured Snippets were born out of a problem that dates back to the early days of search.
When Google launched the Knowledge Graph, it was based entirely on human-curated data, such as Freebase and Wikidata. While Google does a decent job of matching many forms of a question to answers in the Knowledge Graph, they can't escape the limits of human curation. Google's solution was obvious, if incredibly difficult — take the trillions of pages in their index and use them to generate answers in real-time. It's not as simple as just scraping off the first paragraph with a spatula and flipping it onto the SERP, though.
How do you get one?So, let's get to the tactical question — how can you score a Featured Snippet? If you're not convinced yet, here's another argument for the "Why should you care?" column. The double-edged sword of Featured Snippets (for Google) is that, since the content comes from our websites, we ultimately control it. A while back, I did a search for "What is Page Authority?" Page Authority is a metric created by us here at Moz, and so naturally we have a vested interest in who's ranking for that term.
What should you target?Featured Snippets can require a slightly different and broader approach to keyword research, especially since many of us don't routinely track questions. To keep things simple, ask yourself this: is the answer a matter of simple fact (or a "factoid")?
Google has essentially decided that this fairly ambiguous query deserves an answer to "What is PPC?" In other words, they've implied the "What." This is fairly common now for industry terms and phrases that might be unfamiliar to the average searcher, and is a good starting point for your keyword research.
These dictionary cards are driven by human-curated data sources and are not organic, in the typical sense of the word. One benefit of "Why," "How," and "How to" questions is that the Featured Snippet summary often just serves as a teaser to a longer answer. Moz ranks on page one for that search, but it still begs two questions: (1) is the ranking page the best answer to the question (in Google's eyes), and (2) what content on the page do they see as best matching the question.

Now, we know that, within just our own site, Google is seeing The Beginner's Guide as the best match to the question, and we have an idea of how they're parsing that page for an answer. Although Related Questions have a less dominant position in search results than Featured Snippets (they're not generally at the top), they're more prevalent, occurring on almost 17% of the searches in our tracking data set. At this point, that expanded content should look familiar — it's being generated from the index, has an organic link, and looks almost exactly like a Featured Snippet. Discover the Pitfalls & Traps in Network Marketing that You Can Avoid – Saving You TONS of Time, Money & Mistakes!
Would new ways of identifying a website’s importance and relevance to a search query develop? Some of us are less surprised to learn this than others – you can get some great links for reading over on Threadwatch!
But at that point, isn’t it worth giving back to the community with what you’ve learned? The definition of good traffic is a little different for everyone – get some ideas from this thread! A significant amount of their content has been stolen and re-purposed to make a quick buck with AdSense.
For many of us who have been around to watch the old search engines come and go, putting AOL and Yahoo in the same bucket says a lot about Yahoo’s potential future.
The brainstorming process has been adjusted and reworked by many, but the core principles have remained intact. For example, if you’re about to start the Tour de France, you better stretch your legs out before you hop on a bike. An atmosphere that appreciates and encourages free thought devoid of criticism that allows participants to shoot ideas from the hip as long as they’re on topic. It’s much easier to break down barriers when people feel the freedom to give words of encouragement with ideas they like.
For example, in the last brainstorm I ran, we were ideating digital campaign ideas for a guitar manufacturer. Occasionally the jokes are clever winners, but more often than not, the jokes are groaners.
If I asked you to explain what a ball was and how it was valuable, you’d probably be able to easily do that too. To first understand how a ball-hat would be useful to anyone, you must first consider what needs are met just with a ball. These games are great ways to push people a bit out of their comfort zones in order to prevent self-censorship. So maybe you never really have enough pages--since every extra page is a lottery ticket in the search sweepstakes. In order to help you best prepare for an upcoming SEO interview, I compiled the following 25 SEO interview questions that CEO Bruce Clay and SEO Manager Mindy Weinstein ask prospective analysts.
He or she follows through on our recommendations and fulfills the plans we’ve jointly made.
Find the right analyst by asking questions that will allow candidates to not only talk about their SEO experience, but also reveal their digital marketing knowledge and strategy. Together, however, an in-house SEO and an SEO agency bring your business the best of both worlds.
When Google introduced the Panda update in 2011, EZA lost a whopping 93% of their search visibility.
Google hires scores of real people to work remotely as Search Engine Evaluators to improve the SERP’s. Still, a Google employee named John Mu points out that EZA contributed to this manual penalty.
The idea is that a webmaster will publish your article on their site, leaving you an author bio at the end. There is no one formula here, and you will need to apply your own critical thinking to make decisions as to how this might fit into your longer-term strategy. There are some useful articles on there, but on the whole it’s not a quality publication. Skipping this step means you risk wasting time writing and optimizing for things that are totally irrelevant to your audience. After you’ve read this article you should be able to get started doing keyword research for your site and approach the process as a way to create an alignment between the way you talk about your business and the way your customers talk about it. The first step is figuring out what language your target audience is using to talk about your product. In our unique case, Portent has made some really cool tools that are getting us a lot of clicks, but again, usually the top few queries will be your brand name or variations of it.
This is a paid tool that will set you back about $70 a month, but it’s well worth it.
Choose one or two high volume, competitive terms that you already rank well for and would like to see improve. Remember that can still mean you target multiple keywords per page that fall under one topic.
For instance, blog posts and category pages are great for answering those broad questions and providing information for users who are gathering information about your industry, type of product, etc.
Include both competitive and less competitive terms in your strategy knowing that the more competitive a term is, the more work you’re going to have to do to earn a spot on page one. Your goal should always be to create content that’s interesting and helpful to your target audience.
If you're not convinced by now that Featured Snippets offer a significant organic opportunity, then today is my attempt to change your mind. At minimum, Featured Snippets contain an extracted answer (more on that later), a display title, and a URL. While extracting answers from sites was certainly uncharted territory for Google, and we can debate their use of our content in this form, there's a growing body of evidence to suggest that Featured Snippets not only haven't harmed CTR, but they actually boost it in some cases. Google does seem to be parsing content fairly deeply for relevance, and they've been improving their capabilities constantly since the launch of Featured Snippets. As with the table, not only has Google determined that a list is a relevant format for the answer, but they've created this list. There are opportunties across all of page one, in theory, but searches where you rank in the top five are going to be your best targets. I showed in a previous post how we fixed a Featured Snippet with updated data, but let's get to what you really want to hear — can we take a Featured Snippet from a competitor?
For example, a question like "How old is Beyoncé?" or "When is Labor Day?" is going to be pulled from the Knowledge Graph. This is especially effective for industry terms and other specialized knowledge that can't be easily reduced to a dictionary definition. Google has expanded dictionary results in the past year, so you'll need to focus on less common terms and phrases. The summary can add credibility to your listing while still attracting clicks to in-depth content. Fortunately, you can use the "site:" operator along with your search term to help answer both questions. If we were willing to rewrite the page just to answer this question (and that certainly involves trade-offs), we'd have a much better sense of where to start.What about Related Questions?Featured Snippets have a close cousin that launched more recently, known to Google as Related Questions and sometimes called the "People Also Ask" box. When we change how our links look, are we making it more difficult for users to parse our websites?
Smaller niche-specific conferences are almost always valuable for the networking, Cre8asiteforums users agree.
Everyone deals with content scrapers eventually – but this one is so prolific that it makes for a very interesting read. So, this preparation comes simply by getting each participant into the right creative mindset where anything and everything is a possibility. Making sure your fingers are limbered up might help, but definitely isn’t as important.
We’re used to programmed thinking in which criticism and logical processes lead to results.
The foundation of improv is to accept a contribution from another person with an open mind and expand on that line of thinking. But what if I asked you to explain what a ball-hat was and why it was valuable; could you do that? This game warms up listening skills and considers the previous contributions before opening your mouth.
Expect these warm-ups to take a bit of time with a new group, but each successive time it will go more quickly and your team will be rocketing out of the gate.
And a good in-house SEO analyst or manager makes the client-consultant relationship a real partnership — so the client wins. The consulting agency is able to advise and guide the client’s in-house SEO team to achieve results better and faster. Most sites offer No Follow links when in doubt, because Google punishes sites that post contrived DoFollow links. As you can imagine, there was a mad scramble to remove backlinks from EZA as fast as possible.

I’m going to cover a lot of the basics of keyword research in this article, but if you want a really detailed, in depth refresher on the fundamentals, this article from Moz does a really good job of breaking down keyword research into its most basic components. With some tweaking, these queries could be an opportunity to improve rankings and visibility since you’re answering the question better than sites in positions ahead of you. From the list you’ve compiled there are usually a few distinct topics and subtopics that emerge. For example, if you have only one page to target a particular topic, then five terms is likely more than enough. Combine these ideal head terms with some less competitive terms you can easily optimize for. Not only is it important to choose the right topics to hit, it’s also important to choose the right pages to cover those topics.
And then of course people searching for a specific product name may be looking to buy, or at least compare reviews and prices. We’ll save the more promotional answers for evergreen educational pages, product comparison pages, and product pages themselves.
Getting combined traffic from several less competitive terms can add up to the same amount of traffic and conversions or even more. In February of 2016, HubSpot did a larger study of high-volume keywords showing that ranking #0 produced a 114% CTR boost, even when they already held the #1 organic position. As content creation exploded, humans could no longer keep up, especially in anything close to real-time, and search engines turned to algorithmic approaches and machine curation. Ranking #1 certainly doesn't hurt, but we've found examples of Featured Snippet URLs from across all of page one.
The team at STAT produced an in-depth white paper on Featured Snippets across a very large data set that showed a similar pattern, with about 30% of Featured Snippet URLs ranking in the #1 organic position.
If you're ranking #2–#5 it may be easier to compete for position #0 than it is for position #1.
It's helpful to keep in mind the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where, Why) + How, but many of these questions will generate answers from the Knowledge Graph directly. While human curation can't keep up with the pace of the web, WikiData and other sources are still impressive and cover a massive amount of territory.
Did you know that the idea for the trackball in the first apple mouse came from roll-on antiperspirant? We need deliberate warm-up exercises that are not only fun, but really help your team to open their minds and set themselves up for the right type of creative thinking. The slower of the two is eliminated and becomes part of the judging panel for any close contests. As soon as the first odd number is called, it is their signal to turn and fire yelling out the other’s name. As soon as the first obvious jokes are exhausted, you really need to scrape your brain for anything that could possibly work. When those two are considered separately, only then can you visualize a unique combination of needs that this ball-hat would solve.
From there, you go around the room in a circle and each person adds the next sentence to the story. Hiring an SEO in-house is something that our president, Bruce Clay, always recommends if you have the resources to do so.
That’s why marketers would upload low quality articles on EZA they would never put on their own site. However, it was a double-edged sword, because they weren’t able to procure high quality content.
The best solution is for the publisher to implement a rel=canonical tag, which tells Google they aren’t the original authors. Keyword research is a way to learn about your audience, what they care about, and how they think, so you can align it with the content on your site.
When you’re ready for some heavier reading, check out this article from Portent alum Marianne Sweeney about the history of advanced keyword research. Combining this with click through rate from search console tells you exactly which pages are performing well for which terms.
If you have one category page and several subcategory pages to work with, broadening your focus to 10-15 terms would be just fine.
If you do have a page on your site that’s dedicated to several topics, consider breaking it down into a few subpages, and using the current page as the hub or category page.
While these results are anecdotal and may not apply to everyone, evidence continues to suggest that Featured Snippets can boost organic search traffic in many cases. Google has not only parsed the table but determined that tabular data is a sensible format in response to the question. After eating a few, I feigned a dizzy spell and proclaimed that the blackberries were turning me into a bear. It is where we get to come up with crazy ideas that may be totally unfeasible as they are, but can spark something magnificent.
I’d offer that the activity that best exercises lateral thinking and a truly creative mind is improvisational theater.
There are obviously some amount of pages that seem OK and other amounts that are probably Bad, like, zero would be bad.
Alongside the history lesson, every point has a key takeaway you can apply to your digital marketing strategy. Take a look at this email between an internet marketer from the Warrior Forum and a Google employee. Many content marketers didn’t try too hard, because they were only there for backlinks.
It’s the shared terminology that your audience uses, rather than the marketing speak around products that we all have to guard against for SEM. As you create content on your site specifically designed to provide valuable information to your audience on the broader topic, rankings and traffic for related and specific long-tail keywords will come naturally. On top of that, building authority around terms closely related to a hyper-competitive term will help improve position for that term itself.
Whether you’re a creative director or a mailroom clerk, your ideas are equally valid.
How do you determine how many pages you have in the search index, and if your number is enough?First off, you need to understand that there is no single search index-each search engine has its own search index. Once EZA couldn’t provide DoFollow Links, many marketers left, taking their content with them. Choosing a few specific terms just means we’re intentional about including them in on-page elements, titles, headings, and in the body copy.
So, we rewrote the page, starting with a clear definition and question-targeted header:This wasn't the only change, but I think it's important to structure your answers for brevity, or at least summarize them somewhere on the page.
In this case, the first organic is pushed down even more, below a set of Related Questions (the "People also ask" box). A general format of a quick summary at the top, followed by a deeper dive seems to be effective. So, the "#1" organic position is really third in this example.In addition, notice that the "#0" (that's the last time I'll put it in quotes) position is the same URL as the #1 organic position. Unfortunately, we learn to quiet our creative minds down as we get older because we fear being made fun of or getting rejected. The Featured Snippet doesn't always come from the #1 organic result (we'll get to that in a minute), but if you score #0, you are always listed twice on page one of results.(2) They're surprisingly prevalentIn our 10,000-keyword tracking data set, Featured Snippets rolled out at approximately 2% of the queries we track. Although you can no longer see which pages on the site are ranking for which terms, you can still get a general idea of which ones are performing the best.
This is a better page for people in a hurry and leads to a better search snippet than before. Don't think of this as optimizing for Featured Snippets, or you're going to over-optimize and be haunted by the Ghost of SEO Past. Both Google and Bing will tell your Webmaster exactly how many pages are in the index and will even let you know which pages they are having trouble grabbing. It's possible that the IBM Webmaster is aware that there actually is a big discrepancy between Google and Bing, which might be just fine or might be something they are working on.I've spoken to a few experts and they have varying theories. One told me that Bing stops crawling when more than 1% of the pages get errors-the Bing Webmaster site will clue you in on this. Another speculated that Bing is only returning counts of pages that get search visits, not every page in their index. No one I spoke with knew for sure why this is happening, but it shows you the importance of checking your numbers.Likewise, big swings in indexed pages (1,000 pages indexed in Google today vs. And, in general, an inclusion ratio (pages indexed divided by actual pages) below 70% is something that should give you pause, although with these Bing errors who knows what a good inclusion ration is for Bing right now.Regardless.

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