Connect with us

SEO

10 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice For 2023 And Beyond

Published

on

10 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice For 2023 And Beyond

I’ve written about search engine optimization (SEO) for over 20 years.

So, I wasn’t shocked when the editors asked me to refresh an article I wrote on October 21, 2020, titled “3 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice for 2021.”

But looking back at what I’d written two-and-a-half years ago, I realized that my actionable insights now need to be thoroughly updated in this era of constant change.

The advent of OpenAI’s ChatGPT on Nov. 30, 2022, has triggered a “code red” at Google, which rushed out a new experimental conversational AI service called Bard in response to Microsoft’s AI-enhanced Bing.

UBS estimates that ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users in January, 2 months after its launch. According to the Swiss bank’s analysts, it would be the fastest-growing online application in history.

Advertisement

So, what strategic SEO insights and tactical advice could I share with you today that will still be relevant a year from now?

What critical data or search trends would encourage you to display a motivational poster on your wall that advises everyone to “Keep Calm and Carry On”?

By the way, that last piece of advice is not half bad.

Google was launched on Sept. 4, 1998, and didn’t pass AltaVista to become the leading search engine until the second half of 2002 – about 4 years later.

And even the Panda Update, which shocked the SEO industry and effectively ended the “content farm” business model, only impacted 12% of queries, according to the History of Google Algorithm Updates.

The Penguin Update, which downranked websites that engaged in aggressive webspam, only impacted 3.1% of English queries.

Advertisement

And it’s worth recalling that the first iteration of the Panda Update started on Feb. 23, 2011, but was followed by 27 more adjustments until the final update on July 17, 2015. And the Penguin Update, which began on April 24, 2012, didn’t end until Sept. 23, 2016.

It may take more than four years to know the full impact of Google’s Bard AI or the new AI-powered Bing search engine.

So, SEO professionals would be well advised to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

That means I can confidently share 10 strategic insights, bits of critical data, pieces of tactical advice, or search trends that will impact SEO in 2023 and beyond without losing too much sleep over the fact that 30% of them may not be relevant a year from now.

(After telling you why “the fundamental things apply as time goes by,” I’ll circle back to explain why a 70% success rate is the right benchmark.)

SEO remains an essential element of any digital marketing strategy.

Advertisement

And even though the search industry is constantly changing, Google is still the leading search engine.

According to Similarweb, Google.com got 3.2 billion unique visitors in January 2023, making it the most visited website globally. The search giant also got 88.3 billion visits in January 2023.

Screenshot from Similarweb, February 2023

So, don’t bet the farm on Google going away anytime soon.

And if you need to keep other people within your company, or at one of your clients, from rushing off to panic stations, then show them the chart below from Google Trends, which displays worldwide web search interest over the past 90 days for the search terms Google, ChatGPT, and Bing.

You can calmly explain that the dips in interest for Google occur on weekends.

10 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice For 2023 And BeyondScreenshot from Google Trends, February 2023

If Google remains the dominant search engine for the foreseeable future, then SEO pros don’t need to be retrained or replaced.

Why? Because they’re already familiar with Google Search Essentials (formerly Webmaster Guidelines).

And they’ve successfully navigated through the 22 Google Search ranking updates.

Advertisement

This is why I’m confident that more than 70% of SEO pros will continue successfully navigating the uncharted areas of keyword maps that bear the phrase: “Here be dragons.”

1. Focus On User Intent

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding user intent.

Google’s algorithms have become more sophisticated, and they’re now better able to understand the intent behind a query.

So, SEO pros should focus on creating content that satisfies user intent rather than just targeting specific keywords. This means creating content that is not only relevant to the user’s search query, but also provides helpful information or a satisfying experience.

Now, I realize this strategic insight isn’t breaking news.

But you still might benefit from re-reading my article, The Future of SEO Lies in the ‘Messy Middle’ of the Purchase Journey.

Advertisement

According to research by Google’s Market Insights team in the U.K., the “messy middle” is where people decide what to buy.

Among other things, this research found:

“People look for information about a category’s products and brands, and then weigh all the options. This equates to two different mental modes in the messy middle: exploration, an expansive activity, and evaluation, a reductive activity. Whatever a person is doing, across a huge array of online sources, such as search engines, social media, aggregators, and review websites, can be classified into one of these two mental modes.”

Let me translate this “big idea” into counter-intuitive tactical advice: SEO pros must create and optimize at least two pieces of content to address the user’s different intents in the “messy middle” of the purchase journey.

And, if your company or client is targeting half a dozen different segments, then you need to create and optimize at least a dozen pieces of content.

Creating and optimizing one page for each target segment is so 2019.

2. Create High-Quality Content

Content is still king, but if SEO managers want to become prime ministers (or presidents) someday, then they need to create more original, helpful content written by people, for people.

Advertisement

How can you ensure you’re creating high-quality content? By following Google’s long-standing advice and guidance for core updates to create content for people, not for search engines.

So, let me suggest you re-read my article, What Is A Content Marketing Matrix & Do We Need One?

It shows you how to use a content marketing planning tool to generate ideas for enchanting content that changes hearts, minds, and actions. That’s how you become the VP of SEO.

3. Prioritize E-E-A-T

On Dec. 15, 2022, Google updated its search rater guidelines – adding an extra E for Experience to the concept of E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Although these guidelines don’t directly influence ranking, they are useful for anyone who works in SEO because they give us an idea of where Google wants its algorithms to go. 

To improve your content’s E-E-A-T, someone with first-hand life experience on the topic should produce it.

Advertisement

If you can’t convince someone with experience to produce this content in-house, you need to find a freelance writer – or content creator – who has used your product or service, visited a place, or influenced brand purchases.

Unfortunately, many SEO pros still don’t think this is their job – even though the first mention of E-A-T occurred in 2014 when Google added the concept to its Search Quality Guidelines.

Even Google said:

“These are not fundamentally new ideas. And we’re by no means abandoning the fundamental principle that Search seeks to surface reliable information, especially on topics where information quality is critically important.”

If you’d like some practical advice, read How To Find Talented Writers To Fuel Top Quality Content Creation, which includes my interviews with a couple of thought leaders in this field.

4. Optimize YouTube Content

According to the Video & Visual Storytelling Survey by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) published on Oct. 27, 2022, 73% of marketers said videos have become more important to their business in the last year; 27% said they are about the same in importance; and, no one said videos have decreased in importance.

Why should SEO pros lose sleep over this critical data?

Advertisement

Because the content marketing department, not the SEO department, is jumping on this trend.

And that means many of the videos cranked out in 2023 and beyond won’t be optimized for search – let alone integrated into an overall SEO strategy.

So, here’s some tactical advice: first, read Sam Hollingsworth’s guide, YouTube SEO: How To Optimize Videos & Rank Higher.

Next, invite the content marketing department to a brown bag lunch to discuss ways to create great content together.

5. Earn High-Quality Links

Links continue to be one of Google’s most important ranking factors. And at least 70% of SEO pros have already read articles like:

Unfortunately, the lion’s share of chief communications officers (CCOs) and public relations officers (PROs) haven’t read articles like these.

Advertisement

So, only a handful of organizations use one of the most effective techniques to earn links to help your website rank higher on search engines.

Ironically, the biggest barrier is not journalists. Pogo once observed,We have met the enemy and (they are) us.”

This means you might need to invite your CCO or PRO to a swanky restaurant to discuss link building instead of hosting another brown bag lunch.

But this is a better use of your time and money than trying to figure out a clever way around Google’s December 2022 link spam update, which can now detect both sites buying links and those used to pass outgoing links.

6. Optimize For Local Search

Brick-and-mortar businesses serving specific towns, cities, regions, and states know local search is important.

When done correctly, local SEO enables people to find information about their business, putting them one step closer to making the cash register ring.

Advertisement

And SEO pros specializing in local search know a consistent Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP), local links, local reviews, and star ratings, as well as optimized Google Business Profiles, are important parts of Google’s local search and Local Pack algorithms.

But, to learn the latest trends and tips to help your local business grow using local search optimization, local marketing, and local advertising, read Search Engine Journal’s A Guide to Local SEO, which tackles what you need to know about optimizing for local search.

7. Keep An Eye On Multisearch

In April 2022, Google introduced an entirely new way to search using text and images simultaneously.

With multisearch in Lens, users can go beyond the search box and ask questions about an object or refine their search by color, brand, or visual attribute.

To learn more about this, read Matt G. Southern’s article, Google Multisearch: A New Way To Search With Text & Images.

Then, read Roger Montti’s article, How Does Google Multisearch Affect SEO?

Advertisement

So, keep an eye on multisearch in 2023 and beyond.

8. Keep Your Ear To The Ground For Voice Search

According to Roger Montti’s article, Google: Voice Search Is Not The Future, Google’s Martin Splitt shared his opinion that voice search is not the future and that there will be no need to optimize for it.

Even though I’ve written about Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader twice in the past year, I haven’t paid much attention to voice search until I was prompted to read a couple of recent articles on this topic, including:

And while writing this article, I re-read Kristopher Jones’ How Can Voice Search Benefit Your SEO? He wrote:

  • 40.2% of Americans use voice search.
  • 71% of people prefer using voice search to physically typing out a search online.
  • 27% of the online population worldwide uses voice search on mobile.
  • 58% of people have used voice search to find information about local businesses.

In other words, four out of five people with a veritable ton of E-E-A-T think that voice search represents a phenomenal SEO opportunity.

So, keep your ear to the ground for new voice search developments in 2023 and beyond.

9. Migrate To Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

I’ll bet Google sent you an email with the subject line: “We’ll soon configure Google Analytics 4 for you.”

Advertisement

It said:

“For any customer who does not set up a GA4 property with basic settings, starting in March, we will configure one with a few basic settings consistent with the existing Universal Analytics property; this includes certain conversion events, Google Ads links, and existing website tags.”

This means the chaos expected on July 1, 2023, when standard Universal Analytics properties will stop working, has arrived ahead of schedule.

And, as Sun Tzu once observed, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”

In my article, Google Analytics 4 Should Trigger Reorganizations & Agency Reviews, I said the advent of GA4 would cause the marketing department to start “freaking out” if the web analytics team – which still sits in the IT department in far too many organizations – doesn’t respond to urgent requests for “help” within a week, a day, or even an hour.

So, this is the perfect time for you to make the business case for moving the analytics team out of the IT department and into the SEO department.

If there’s any pushback, remind decision-makers that 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search, according to BrightEdge Research.

Advertisement

10. Build A War Room

If you’re a chief marketing officer (CMO) or vice president of Marketing and you move the analytics team into the SEO department, your team may ask to build a dashboard. Build a war room instead.

Why? Because “most dashboards tend to stink when it comes to helping the Executive make any decisions,” according to Avinash Kaushik, the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google.

This is because the interpretation of the “easy-to-understand visuals” in most dashboards is left to the executive.

But most war rooms feature not only maps of the global market and charts of the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs), but also an analytics and insights manager with the experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to interpret the trends and add context.

This “Analysis Ninja” can explain to executives why some key trends are up or down (in plain English).

And over time, executives will begin to ask their analytics and insights manager to recommend which actions or steps should be taken to move the dial.

Advertisement

And an Analysis Ninja can answer the question, “As a result of this trend (up or down) what was the impact on the company and its customers?”

Why Should SEO Pros Adopt The 70% Solution?

Now that I’ve shared 10 strategic SEO insights and some counter-intuitive tactical advice for 2023 and beyond, I’ll circle back to explain why a 70% success rate is the right benchmark.

Ty Kiisel’s article, 70% Solution: The Marine Corps Framework for Making Battlefield Decisions, should be required reading for every SEO manager who wants to become the VP of SEO someday.

The Marines teach their young officers what they call the 70% solution.

And it could be a good strategy to adopt for making decisions in situations where you don’t have all the information or resources you’d like.

In a perfect world, you’d have all the critical data you need to make informed decisions. But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Advertisement

Nevertheless, if you have 70% of the information you’d like to have, then you can still make good decisions – provided you accept the notion that you may need to adjust and compensate for the critical data you lack as you move forward.

And like battlefield commanders, most SEO managers never have all the resources they need to meet their objectives.

But it can sometimes be enough if you have good people and 70% of what you need. And finding creative solutions to challenges is a hallmark of successful SEO professionals.

Finally, are you 70% confident that your plan will succeed?

In other words, do you feel good about your plan’s success with the information and resources you have?

The Marines believe a well-conceived plan, along with taking the initiative, is more likely to succeed than doing nothing.

Advertisement

This is why I can confidently share 10 strategic insights, bits of critical data, pieces of tactical advice, or search trends that will impact SEO in 2023 and beyond without losing too much sleep over the fact that 30% of them may not be relevant a year from now.

The Marines have given us a framework for making decisions in less-than-ideal circumstances.

That is why you should “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

More Resources:


Featured Image: Monster Ztudio/Shutterstock



Source link

Advertisement
Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

Published

on

By

10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

Whether you are new to paid media or reevaluating your efforts, it’s critical to review your performance and best practices for your overall PPC marketing program, accounts, and campaigns.

Revisiting your paid media plan is an opportunity to ensure your strategy aligns with your current goals.

Reviewing best practices for pay-per-click is also a great way to keep up with trends and improve performance with newly released ad technologies.

As you review, you’ll find new strategies and features to incorporate into your paid search program, too.

Here are 10 PPC best practices to help you adjust and plan for the months ahead.

Advertisement

1. Goals

When planning, it is best practice to define goals for the overall marketing program, ad platforms, and at the campaign level.

Defining primary and secondary goals guides the entire PPC program. For example, your primary conversion may be to generate leads from your ads.

You’ll also want to look at secondary goals, such as brand awareness that is higher in the sales funnel and can drive interest to ultimately get the sales lead-in.

2. Budget Review & Optimization

Some advertisers get stuck in a rut and forget to review and reevaluate the distribution of their paid media budgets.

To best utilize budgets, consider the following:

  • Reconcile your planned vs. spend for each account or campaign on a regular basis. Depending on the budget size, monthly, quarterly, or semiannually will work as long as you can hit budget numbers.
  • Determine if there are any campaigns that should be eliminated at this time to free up the budget for other campaigns.
  • Is there additional traffic available to capture and grow results for successful campaigns? The ad platforms often include a tool that will provide an estimated daily budget with clicks and costs. This is just an estimate to show more click potential if you are interested.
  • If other paid media channels perform mediocrely, does it make sense to shift those budgets to another?
  • For the overall paid search and paid social budget, can your company invest more in the positive campaign results?

3. Consider New Ad Platforms

If you can shift or increase your budgets, why not test out a new ad platform? Knowing your audience and where they spend time online will help inform your decision when choosing ad platforms.

Go beyond your comfort zone in Google, Microsoft, and Meta Ads.

Advertisement

Here are a few other advertising platforms to consider testing:

  • LinkedIn: Most appropriate for professional and business targeting. LinkedIn audiences can also be reached through Microsoft Ads.
  • TikTok: Younger Gen Z audience (16 to 24), video.
  • Pinterest: Products, services, and consumer goods with a female-focused target.
  • Snapchat: Younger demographic (13 to 35), video ads, app installs, filters, lenses.

Need more detailed information and even more ideas? Read more about the 5 Best Google Ads Alternatives.

4. Top Topics in Google Ads & Microsoft Ads

Recently, trends in search and social ad platforms have presented opportunities to connect with prospects more precisely, creatively, and effectively.

Don’t overlook newer targeting and campaign types you may not have tried yet.

  • Video: Incorporating video into your PPC accounts takes some planning for the goals, ad creative, targeting, and ad types. There is a lot of opportunity here as you can simply include video in responsive display ads or get in-depth in YouTube targeting.
  • Performance Max: This automated campaign type serves across all of Google’s ad inventory. Microsoft Ads recently released PMAX so you can plan for consistency in campaign types across platforms. Do you want to allocate budget to PMax campaigns? Learn more about how PMax compares to search.
  • Automation: While AI can’t replace human strategy and creativity, it can help manage your campaigns more easily. During planning, identify which elements you want to automate, such as automatically created assets and/or how to successfully guide the AI in the Performance Max campaigns.

While exploring new features, check out some hidden PPC features you probably don’t know about.

5. Revisit Keywords

The role of keywords has evolved over the past several years with match types being less precise and loosening up to consider searcher intent.

For example, [exact match] keywords previously would literally match with the exact keyword search query. Now, ads can be triggered by search queries with the same meaning or intent.

A great planning exercise is to lay out keyword groups and evaluate if they are still accurately representing your brand and product/service.

Advertisement

Review search term queries triggering ads to discover trends and behavior you may not have considered. It’s possible this has impacted performance and conversions over time.

Critical to your strategy:

  • Review the current keyword rules and determine if this may impact your account in terms of close variants or shifts in traffic volume.
  • Brush up on how keywords work in each platform because the differences really matter!
  • Review search term reports more frequently for irrelevant keywords that may pop up from match type changes. Incorporate these into match type changes or negative keywords lists as appropriate.

6. Revisit Your Audiences

Review the audiences you selected in the past, especially given so many campaign types that are intent-driven.

Automated features that expand your audience could be helpful, but keep an eye out for performance metrics and behavior on-site post-click.

Remember, an audience is simply a list of users who are grouped together by interests or behavior online.

Therefore, there are unlimited ways to mix and match those audiences and target per the sales funnel.

Here are a few opportunities to explore and test:

Advertisement
  • LinkedIn user targeting: Besides LinkedIn, this can be found exclusively in Microsoft Ads.
  • Detailed Demographics: Marital status, parental status, home ownership, education, household income.
  • In-market and custom intent: Searches and online behavior signaling buying cues.
  • Remarketing: Advertisers website visitors, interactions with ads, and video/ YouTube.

Note: This varies per the campaign type and seems to be updated frequently, so make this a regular check-point in your campaign management for all platforms.

7. Organize Data Sources

You will likely be running campaigns on different platforms with combinations of search, display, video, etc.

Looking back at your goals, what is the important data, and which platforms will you use to review and report? Can you get the majority of data in one analytics platform to compare and share?

Millions of companies use Google Analytics, which is a good option for centralized viewing of advertising performance, website behavior, and conversions.

8. Reevaluate How You Report

Have you been using the same performance report for years?

It’s time to reevaluate your essential PPC key metrics and replace or add that data to your reports.

There are two great resources to kick off this exercise:

Advertisement

Your objectives in reevaluating the reporting are:

  • Are we still using this data? Is it still relevant?
  • Is the data we are viewing actionable?
  • What new metrics should we consider adding we haven’t thought about?
  • How often do we need to see this data?
  • Do the stakeholders receiving the report understand what they are looking at (aka data visualization)?

Adding new data should be purposeful, actionable, and helpful in making decisions for the marketing plan. It’s also helpful to decide what type of data is good to see as “deep dives” as needed.

9. Consider Using Scripts

The current ad platforms have plenty of AI recommendations and automated rules, and there is no shortage of third-party tools that can help with optimizations.

Scripts is another method for advertisers with large accounts or some scripting skills to automate report generation and repetitive tasks in their Google Ads accounts.

Navigating the world of scripts can seem overwhelming, but a good place to start is a post here on Search Engine Journal that provides use cases and resources to get started with scripts.

Luckily, you don’t need a Ph.D. in computer science — there are plenty of resources online with free or templated scripts.

10. Seek Collaboration

Another effective planning tactic is to seek out friendly resources and second opinions.

Advertisement

Much of the skill and science of PPC management is unique to the individual or agency, so there is no shortage of ideas to share between you.

You can visit the Paid Search Association, a resource for paid ad managers worldwide, to make new connections and find industry events.

Preparing For Paid Media Success

Strategies should be based on clear and measurable business goals. Then, you can evaluate the current status of your campaigns based on those new targets.

Your paid media strategy should also be built with an eye for both past performance and future opportunities. Look backward and reevaluate your existing assumptions and systems while investigating new platforms, topics, audiences, and technologies.

Also, stay current with trends and keep learning. Check out ebooks, social media experts, and industry publications for resources and motivational tips.

More resources: 

Advertisement

Featured Image: Vanatchanan/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

Google Limits News Links In California Over Proposed ‘Link Tax’ Law

Published

on

By

A brown cardboard price tag with a twine string and a black dollar sign symbol, influenced by the Link Tax Law, set against a dark gray background.

Google announced that it plans to reduce access to California news websites for a portion of users in the state.

The decision comes as Google prepares for the potential passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), a bill requiring online platforms like Google to pay news publishers for linking to their content.

What Is The California Journalism Preservation Act?

The CJPA, introduced in the California State Legislature, aims to support local journalism by creating what Google refers to as a “link tax.”

If passed, the Act would force companies like Google to pay media outlets when sending readers to news articles.

However, Google believes this approach needs to be revised and could harm rather than help the news industry.

Advertisement

Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s VP of Global News Partnerships, stated in a blog post:

“It would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bill—and could use funds from CJPA to continue to buy up local California newspapers, strip them of journalists, and create more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content.”

Google’s Response

To assess the potential impact of the CJPA on its services, Google is running a test with a percentage of California users.

During this test, Google will remove links to California news websites that the proposed legislation could cover.

Zaidi states:

“To prepare for possible CJPA implications, we are beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users. The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.”

Google Claims Only 2% of Search Queries Are News-Related

Zaidi highlighted peoples’ changing news consumption habits and its effect on Google search queries (emphasis mine):

“It’s well known that people are getting news from sources like short-form videos, topical newsletters, social media, and curated podcasts, and many are avoiding the news entirely. In line with those trends, just 2% of queries on Google Search are news-related.”

Despite the low percentage of news queries, Google wants to continue helping news publishers gain visibility on its platforms.

Advertisement

However, the “CJPA as currently constructed would end these investments,” Zaidi says.

A Call For A Different Approach

In its current form, Google maintains that the CJPA undermines news in California and could leave all parties worse off.

The company urges lawmakers to consider alternative approaches supporting the news industry without harming smaller local outlets.

Google argues that, over the past two decades, it’s done plenty to help news publishers innovate:

“We’ve rolled out Google News Showcase, which operates in 26 countries, including the U.S., and has more than 2,500 participating publications. Through the Google News Initiative we’ve partnered with more than 7,000 news publishers around the world, including 200 news organizations and 6,000 journalists in California alone.”

Zaidi suggested that a healthy news industry in California requires support from the state government and a broad base of private companies.

As the legislative process continues, Google is willing to cooperate with California publishers and lawmakers to explore alternative paths that would allow it to continue linking to news.

Advertisement

Featured Image:Ismael Juan/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

Published

on

The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

Every week, we share hot SEO news, interesting reads, and new posts in our newsletter, Ahrefs’ Digest.

If you’re not one of our 280,000 subscribers, you’ve missed out on some great reads!

Here’s a quick summary of my personal favorites from the last month:

Best of March 2024

How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

tl;dr

Glen’s research reveals that just 16 companies representing 588 brands get 3.5 billion (yes, billion!) monthly clicks from Google.

My takeaway

Glen pointed out some really actionable ideas in this report, such as the fact that many of the brands dominating search are adding mini-author bios.

Advertisement
Example of mini-author bios on The VergeExample of mini-author bios on The Verge

This idea makes so much sense in terms of both UX and E-E-A-T. I’ve already pitched it to the team and we’re going to implement it on our blog.

How Google is Killing Independent Sites Like Ours

Authors: Gisele Navarro, Danny Ashton

tl;dr

Big publications have gotten into the affiliate game, publishing “best of” lists about everything under the sun. And despite often not testing products thoroughly, they’re dominating Google rankings. The result, Gisele and Danny argue, is that genuine review sites suffer and Google is fast losing content diversity.

My takeaway

I have a lot of sympathy for independent sites. Some of them are trying their best, but unfortunately, they’re lumped in with thousands of others who are more than happy to spam.

Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updatesEstimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updates
Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele’s site fell off a cliff after Google’s March updates 🙁 

I know it’s hard to hear, but the truth is Google benefits more from having big sites in the SERPs than from having diversity. That’s because results from big brands are likely what users actually want. By and large, people would rather shop at Walmart or ALDI than at a local store or farmer’s market.

That said, I agree with most people that Forbes (with its dubious contributor model contributing to scams and poor journalism) should not be rewarded so handsomely.

The Discussion Forums Dominating 10,000 Product Review Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

Tl;dr

Glen analyzed 10,000 “product review” keywords and found that:

Advertisement

My takeaway

After Google’s heavy promotion of Reddit from last year’s Core Update, to no one’s surprise, unscrupulous SEOs and marketers have already started spamming Reddit. And as you may know, Reddit’s moderation is done by volunteers, and obviously, they can’t keep up.

I’m not sure how this second-order effect completely escaped the smart minds at Google, but from the outside, it feels like Google has capitulated to some extent.

John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...

I’m not one to make predictions and I have no idea what will happen next, but I agree with Glen: Google’s results are the worst I’ve seen them. We can only hope Google sorts itself out.

Who Sends Traffic on the Web and How Much? New Research from Datos & SparkToro

Author: Rand Fishkin

tl;dr

63.41% of all U.S. web traffic referrals from the top 170 sites are initiated on Google.com.

Data from SparktoroData from Sparktoro

My takeaway

Despite all of our complaints, Google is still the main platform to acquire traffic from. That’s why we all want Google to sort itself out and do well.

But it would also be a mistake to look at this post and think Google is the only channel you should drive traffic from. As Rand’s later blog post clarifies, “be careful not to ascribe attribution or credit to Google when other investments drove the real value.”

I think many affiliate marketers learned this lesson well from the past few Core Updates: Relying on one single channel to drive all of your traffic is not a good idea. You should be using other platforms to build brand awareness, interest, and demand.

Want more?

Each week, our team handpicks the best SEO and marketing content from around the web for our newsletter. Sign up to get them directly in your inbox.

Advertisement



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS