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4 Future Enterprise SEO Considerations

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4 Future Enterprise SEO Considerations

As the web grows, more and more enterprises are now looking to SEO to help provide insights into how users interact with search engines and how they (and other sites) communicate autonomously.

This article highlights four trends and ways for Enterprise SEO marketers to stay ahead of change and the evolution of the web.

In a survey of CMOs in the United States, conducted in August 2021, 43% of respondents pointed to marketing technology, data, and analytics as their top priority for the upcoming 12 months.

The number of worldwide web users has risen to 4.5 billion, with over 2 billion websites now on the internet.

At the same time, the size of enterprise websites is growing as both marketers and machines, daily and hourly, add more pages of content, assets, and information

Ensuring your brand is discoverable by the right audience is becoming more competitive and complex.

On top of these challenges, concerns and opportunities are converging around:

  • Web 3.0: The need to understand what decentralization of the web means as users begin to own their data and personalization rises in importance.
  • Googles Page Experience and Core Web Vitals: The rise and importance of technical SEO and website infrastructure, content and speed
  • The proliferation of search entry points: New search entry points from wearable, voice-activated devices, and mobile phones mean the next-generation market is expected to reach $55.7 billion by 2025.
  • Data Privacy and Compliance: As initiatives grow around privacy, such as GDPR and the use of third-party data sources, marketers have to look to new ways to ensure data is high fidelity and secure.

According to Google’s John Muller:

“The best way to sum what is being pushed as the web3, in my opinion: it’s a way to store, access, and transfer some types of information, by using “public databases.”

SEO, as you know, is about making some information (like content or product listings) more accessible and easier to find online.

The web as you know it won’t change. You’ll still have search engines, marketplaces, social networks, e-commerce, etc. As long as there are search engines, there’ll be a need for SEO.”

Over recent years a crucial part of SEO was (and still should be) focused on how users interact with search engines.

However, as the web evolves, there is a need to understand how machines communicate with each other and how sites like Google and Facebook interact with websites.

Optimizing search experiences means understanding how humans and machines generate and process data.

Below are a few key areas to focus on to prepare for next-generation SEO.

Build Trustworthy Informational Infrastructures

The formidable growth of data means marketers now need to ensure their data sources are trustworthy and accurate.

Compliance around GDPR, CCPA, and privacy is becoming a major concern for organizations dealing with sensitive information, as referenced by CIO.com’s top eight priorities for 2022.

Security is a vital component of Enterprise-Grade SEO, ensuring your technologies are compliant now and in the future.

This protects you and your clients and users.

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Focus On Semantics

In 2001, Tim Berners-Lee (the founder of the internet) described the semantic web as a component of Web 3.0.

“The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.”

Innovations in search technology centered around understanding the knowledge graph. Semantics are helping marketers better understand the relationships and meaning behind search queries.

Google uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help the search engine better understand and process queries – just as humans would.

In enterprise SEO, it is also helping enterprise SEO experts better understand the meaning behind searches and consumer wants and needs.

As machine-to-machine communication increases, it will also be essential to understand how they do this, what data it produces, and how to process it.

Leverage trustworthy technology and structured data sources and focus on key concepts like E-A-T to ensure your content matches intent and answers context between phrases and questions.

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Advance Your Understanding of Machine Learning And AI

As of 2021, in the state of Big Data And AI Executive Summary, among surveyed U.S. organizations, there was an overall focus toward driving innovation with data. Almost a third indicated active transformational business outcomes within their companies.

The application of NLP technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of SEO.

Embracing it is essential from data and information retrieval to website error detection and automation.

The human brain can only process so much data.

With the amount of data online to reach 175,000 zeta-bytes, processing becomes impossible.

Content writers and digital marketing experts are now tasked with a number one priority – understanding website-website communications – so they can update and make the necessary modifications to their website, search, and content marketing strategies.

Advanced technologies are self-learning and, in some cases, self-driving to help enterprise SEO professionals understand and process complex data.

They are assisting marketers to save valuable resources on mundane tasks, automate reporting, and fix critical errors on their website with zero-touch.

The intelligent use of marketing technology provides vital business intelligence and helps automate its execution.

Smart SEOs utilize this to improve business results and evolve their careers by elevating their role and learning new skills.

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Apply Data Insights Across Your Search And Martech Stack

Traditionally, SEO has relied on assumption-based best practices.

And it still does.

However, the application of Data science in search is becoming mission-critical.

This is especially true as website functionality and SEO needs become more advanced.

At the same time, search engines are getting more sophisticated in evaluating websites.

The result is a need to obtain, analyze, and extract insights from large datasets.

Particularly in an enterprise environment, SEOs draw heavily on data science methods and tools to process search data in a way to drive insights: Whether through statistical analysis, full API access to datasets, data processing algorithms designed for Big Data, or the freedom to experiment through how search data is collected.

However, with massive amounts of data, it makes no sense why marketers won’t use technology to streamline their SEO efforts.

Image from Natata/Shutterstock, February 2022

When it comes to data science, SEO experts have a dilemma in choosing the right approach.

For example, they often ask themselves:

Should I use excel for my day-to-day work in processing data, or is it worth the pain to learn Python?

Would I produce better work by building my own interactive dashboards with R or Python, or should you just go with Google Data Studio?

Integrating Data Science modules into your technology stack can help enterprise SEOs, especially digital marketers, benefit from data science without having to become a data scientist – and without using resources to tackle the dilemmas outlined above.

Enterprise SEO platforms of tomorrow require the capabilities of data science infrastructure at the core of their martech stack to give marketers flexibility of options.

Read More On SEJ

3 Data Skill Sets You Need to Succeed in Data SEO

3 Types of Data Science SEO Teams and How They Work

Conclusion

As the web – and the breadth and depth of human connection inside of it – evolves, the value of search data as a proxy for the real-time voice of the customer will continue to grow.

For Enterprise SEO, unlocking that potential requires an increasing focus on technology, but it cannot be at the expense of the thoughtful, creative thinking that drives exceptional customer experiences.

That balance between data science, creativity, and the humanization of AI-generated touchpoints is an essential component of any marketing strategy built to withstand this next era of the growth of the web.

More resources:


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Google Hints At Improving Site Rankings In Next Update

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Google Hints At Improving Site Rankings In Next Update

Google’s John Mueller says the Search team is “explicitly evaluating” how to reward sites that produce helpful, high-quality content when the next core update rolls out.

The comments came in response to a discussion on X about the impact of March’s core update and September’s helpful content update.

In a series of tweets, Mueller acknowledged the concerns, stating:

“I imagine for most sites strongly affected, the effects will be site-wide for the time being, and it will take until the next update to see similar strong effects (assuming the new state of the site is significantly better than before).”

He added:

“I can’t make any promises, but the team working on this is explicitly evaluating how sites can / will improve in Search for the next update. It would be great to show more users the content that folks have worked hard on, and where sites have taken helpfulness to heart.”

What Does This Mean For SEO Professionals & Site Owners?

Mueller’s comments confirm Google is aware of critiques about the March core update and is refining its ability to identify high-quality sites and reward them appropriately in the next core update.

For websites, clearly demonstrating an authentic commitment to producing helpful and high-quality content remains the best strategy for improving search performance under Google’s evolving systems.

The Aftermath Of Google’s Core Updates

Google’s algorithm updates, including the September “Helpful Content Update” and the March 2024 update, have far-reaching impacts on rankings across industries.

While some sites experienced surges in traffic, others faced substantial declines, with some reporting visibility losses of up to 90%.

As website owners implement changes to align with Google’s guidelines, many question whether their efforts will be rewarded.

There’s genuine concern about the potential for long-term or permanent demotions for affected sites.

Recovery Pathway Outlined, But Challenges Remain

In a previous statement, Mueller acknowledged the complexity of the recovery process, stating that:

“some things take much longer to be reassessed (sometimes months, at the moment), and some bigger effects require another update cycle.”

Mueller clarified that not all changes would require a new update cycle but cautioned that “stronger effects will require another update.”

While affirming that permanent changes are “not very useful in a dynamic world,” Mueller adds that “recovery” implies a return to previous levels, which may be unrealistic given evolving user expectations.

“It’s never ‘just-as-before’,” Mueller stated.

Improved Rankings On The Horizon?

Despite the challenges, Mueller has offered glimmers of hope for impacted sites, stating:

“Yes, sites can grow again after being affected by the ‘HCU’ (well, core update now). This isn’t permanent. It can take a lot of work, time, and perhaps update cycles, and/but a different – updated – site will be different in search too.”

He says the process may require “deep analysis to understand how to make a website relevant in a modern world, and significant work to implement those changes — assuming that it’s something that aligns with what the website even wants.”

Looking Ahead

Google’s search team is actively working on improving site rankings and addressing concerns with the next core update.

However, recovery requires patience, thorough analysis, and persistent effort.

The best way to spend your time until the next update is to remain consistent and produce the most exceptional content in your niche.


FAQ

How long does it generally take for a website to recover from the impact of a core update?

Recovery timelines can vary and depend on the extent and type of updates made to align with Google’s guidelines.

Google’s John Mueller noted that some changes might be reassessed quickly, while more substantial effects could take months and require additional update cycles.

Google acknowledges the complexity of the recovery process, indicating that significant improvements aligned with Google’s quality signals might be necessary for a more pronounced recovery.

What impact did the March and September updates have on websites, and what steps should site owners take?

The March and September updates had widespread effects on website rankings, with some sites experiencing traffic surges while others faced up to 90% visibility losses.

Publishing genuinely useful, high-quality content is key for website owners who want to bounce back from a ranking drop or maintain strong rankings. Stick to Google’s recommendations and adapt as they keep updating their systems.

To minimize future disruptions from algorithm changes, it’s a good idea to review your whole site thoroughly and build a content plan centered on what your users want and need.

Is it possible for sites affected by core updates to regain their previous ranking positions?

Sites can recover from the impact of core updates, but it requires significant effort and time.

Mueller suggested that recovery might happen over multiple update cycles and involves a deep analysis to align the site with current user expectations and modern search criteria.

While a return to previous levels isn’t guaranteed, sites can improve and grow by continually enhancing the quality and relevance of their content.


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Google Reveals Two New Web Crawlers

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Google Reveals Two New Web Crawlers

Google revealed details of two new crawlers that are optimized for scraping image and video content for “research and development” purposes. Although the documentation doesn’t explicitly say so, it’s presumed that there is no impact in ranking should publishers decide to block the new crawlers.

It should be noted that the data scraped by these crawlers are not explicitly for AI training data, that’s what the Google-Extended crawler is for.

GoogleOther Crawlers

The two new crawlers are versions of Google’s GoogleOther crawler that was launched in April 2023. The original GoogleOther crawler was also designated for use by Google product teams for research and development in what is described as one-off crawls, the description of which offers clues about what the new GoogleOther variants will be used for.

The purpose of the original GoogleOther crawler is officially described as:

“GoogleOther is the generic crawler that may be used by various product teams for fetching publicly accessible content from sites. For example, it may be used for one-off crawls for internal research and development.”

Two GoogleOther Variants

There are two new GoogleOther crawlers:

  • GoogleOther-Image
  • GoogleOther-Video

The new variants are for crawling binary data, which is data that’s not text. HTML data is generally referred to as text files, ASCII or Unicode files. If it can be viewed in a text file then it’s a text file/ASCII/Unicode file. Binary files are files that can’t be open in a text viewer app, files like image, audio, and video.

The new GoogleOther variants are for image and video content. Google lists user agent tokens for both of the new crawlers which can be used in a robots.txt for blocking the new crawlers.

1. GoogleOther-Image

User agent tokens:

  • GoogleOther-Image
  • GoogleOther

Full user agent string:

GoogleOther-Image/1.0

2. GoogleOther-Video

User agent tokens:

  • GoogleOther-Video
  • GoogleOther

Full user agent string:

GoogleOther-Video/1.0

Newly Updated GoogleOther User Agent Strings

Google also updated the GoogleOther user agent strings for the regular GoogleOther crawler. For blocking purposes you can continue using the same user agent token as before (GoogleOther). The new Users Agent Strings are just the data sent to servers to identify the full description of the crawlers, in particular the technology used. In this case the technology used is Chrome, with the model number periodically updated to reflect which version is used (W.X.Y.Z is a Chrome version number placeholder in the example listed below)

The full list of GoogleOther user agent strings:

  • Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; GoogleOther)
  • Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; GoogleOther) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Safari/537.36

GoogleOther Family Of Bots

These new bots may from time to time show up in your server logs and this information will help in identifying them as genuine Google crawlers and will help publishers who may want to opt out of having their images and videos scraped for research and development purposes.

Read the updated Google crawler documentation

GoogleOther-Image

GoogleOther-Video

Featured Image by Shutterstock/ColorMaker

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ChatGPT To Surface Reddit Content Via Partnership With OpenAI

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ChatGPT artificial intelligence chatbot app on smartphone screen with large shadow giving the feeling of floating on top of the background. White background.

Reddit partners with OpenAI to integrate content into ChatGPT.

  • Reddit and OpenAI announce a partnership.
  • Reddit content will be used in ChatGPT.
  • Concerns about accuracy of Reddit user-generated content.

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