Connect with us

SEO

Avoid These 6 Common Google News Optimization Mistakes

Published

on

Google News has been around for two decades.

And now more than ever, the internet is many people’s primary news source.

Gone are the days of buying a newspaper in your local shop to get the day’s news. Now, we have multiple news sources at our fingertips.

With multiple perspectives on current affairs.

There hasn’t been a better time for publishers to feature on a news aggregator than today.

Although there are other online news aggregators, such as flipboard.com, upday.com, and even Apple News, Google News is still the leader, according to Parse.ly’s top 10 external publisher referrers.

Many publishers recognize this and are optimizing their news content for Google News.

And, since any site is eligible to appear in Google News, yours may even be indexed and ranking in Google News.

But before you get too carried away about the traffic honeypot potential of Google News, there are several pitfalls to avoid if you truly want to optimize your site for the aggregator.

We’ll explore these mistakes and provide tips on how to get the most out of Google News.

But first, let’s get the basics out of the way.

Google News Optimization Basics

What Is Google News?

Google News is a news aggregator developed by Google.

It was launched in 2002 to help users discover the day’s news from multiple news outlets in their region and beyond.

The aggregator compiles news from various sources on the internet and issues them in both mobile and desktop searches.

Why Is Google News Important For Publishers?

Much of the incoming traffic of digital publishers comes from external sources.

These include search platforms, links from other sites, social media, social shares, etc.

And since Google News is one of the biggest news aggregators, it’s a huge potential source of traffic for many publishers.

Today, Google News accounts for about 4% of publishers’ traffic sources.

Think of it as this massive referrer with incredible reach.

It helps publishers reach new audiences and attract more readers to their news sites.

Thus, sources trying to get as much traffic as possible want to be listed as snippets in Google News.

How Does Google News Work?

Google News collects articles from more than 20,000 publishers worldwide.

On the user’s side, the goal is to provide as much diverse, relevant news content as possible.

Google’s algorithm determines what shows up in whose feed.

And then personalizes it based on the user’s Google News settings and past Google activity.

It’s only in a few specialized cases where Google News teams choose the stories.

As for the publishers, it’s all about the traffic.

The aggregator has various features that let users learn about and engage with a news site.

For example, a publisher can submit a URL or feed through Google’s publisher center.

However, doing that doesn’t guarantee the news site surfacing or ranking in Google News.

The aggregator will also feature publishers it finds through Google’s standard web crawl.

This is why optimizing news platforms for Google News is crucial for many people.

Do Not Make These Google News Optimization Mistakes

1. Thinking You Need AMP For Google News

Accelerate Mobile Pages, better known as AMP, is an open-source project launched by Google in 2015.

It was Google’s brainchild to boost the slow performance of publishers on mobile devices.

At the time, this initially sounded enticing for publishers since mobile traffic was well on its rise, and traditional news publishers were struggling with the re-development requirements of the mobile web.

But Google didn’t exactly take the diplomatic path with the framework.

Between 2015 and 2021, publishers had to adopt AMP to appear in Google’s Top Stories on mobile.

Those who didn’t comply simply lost out.

Those who did got the traffic.

However, they also had to deal with the restrictions of adopting valid AMP.

Fortunately, a July 2021 update removed the AMP requirement for mobile Top Stories.

Now, as proven, you don’t need AMP to get featured in Google News.

And with Google News sending users directly to publishers’ websites, it’s time to ditch the framework and focus the time and resources on other aspects of your SEO.

2. Thinking That Google News Is Just For News Publishers

Before December 2019, a publisher needed to tweak their website to match specific requirements and fill the relevant online forms before letting Google review it.

Then, if all went well and Google believed them to be an actual publisher, their application would be approved, and the site would appear in Google News and Top Stories.

When the new Publisher Center rolled in, things changed.

Google removed the manual approval forms and introduced a new Google News inclusion process.

Now, Google decides automatically which websites show up in Google News.

The “official” word is that Google considers sites with high-quality content that comply with Google News content policies.

This inclusion process means a website doesn’t necessarily need to be a news publisher to get into Google News.

As long as they tick all the right boxes, they can appear in Google News and Top Stories.

But getting into Google News is a lot harder than the explanation in the official guidelines.

3. Thinking Google News Is The Same As Top Stories

If you look up a current topic on Google Search, the top news results will be listed prominently as part of the “Top Stories” box in the organic search results.

Many people think that this box is the same as Google News.

It isn’t.

Rather, Top Stories is a feature of Google Search, the engine, not Google News, the aggregator.

4. Not Following Google News Content Policies

Google News has policies that it expects its publishing partners to adhere to. For instance, the content shouldn’t violate Google’s guidelines of dangerous, deceptive, hateful, harassing, medical, terrorist, and sexually explicit content.

There are also policies on manipulated media, violence and gore, and vulgar language and profanity.

There are also feature-specific policies on ads and sponsored content and transparency.

For example, advertising and paid promotional material on publishers’ pagers shouldn’t exceed their content.

And in the spirit of transparency, news sites should provide precise dates and bylines, contact information, and information about the authors, publication, and publisher.

These are just a fraction of what Google News expects from you.

As you optimize your page, ensure that you’ve read and understood the aggregator’s policies. If you fail to do so, the algorithm will kick you out.

5. Ignoring Google’s Publisher Center

Google did away with the manual inclusion process in favor of an automatic one.

In the same update, they launched the new Publisher Center.

And although you can appear on Google News without being a Publisher Center-approved site, you shouldn’t ignore it.

The Publisher Center offers many features and benefits crucial to your search engine rankings.

One such feature is the ability to manage multiple news publications under one organization.

Google Publisher Center is also the key to making your content more visible on Google News.

6. Making Live Changes On Google News Publisher Center

Significant changes to your publication, like ad implementations, CSS overrides, manager-only sections, and unpublished publications can interfere with the user experience.

Therefore, you don’t want to be making such changes live without first testing them.

To avoid this, use Google’s Designer Mode to test changes to your publication.

Optimization Tips To Get The Most Out of Google News

Submit Your Site To Google News Using Google’s Publisher Center

Google can automatically add publishers who meet their content criteria to Google News.

But just because you’ve done everything right doesn’t mean you will be selected.

This is why manually submitting to Google News still has some utility; it increases your chances of appearing in Google News.

To set up your organization:

  • Log into your Google account and navigate to the Publisher Center’s homepage.
  • In the left-hand navigation menu, click on + Add publication.
Image from publishercenter.google.com, May 2022add site to publisher center

You’ll need to provide some basic information on your publication, including the name, website property, and location.

A new main screen will appear once you’ve created your publication.

To verify your content and URL, click on Publication Settings on the main interface and fill in all the available options under the General tab.

publisher center general tabImage from publishercenter.google.com, May 2022publisher center general tab

Then, click on the Visual Styles tab to add your publication’s logos. Save your information.

Return to the main interface and click on the Google News box.

Here, you can design, brand, and customize your publication for Google News.

Next, click on edit and fill in relevant information under the General and Content settings tabs.

Review and publish the details.

Back on the main interface, you can also add content labels to help Google understand your content better. This is in the Content labels box.

Don’t overlook this part.

You’ll also need to verify that the site is yours via Google Search Console.

If you’re using the same Google account on both, just add your website’s URL and click verify in Search Console.

Handle Sponsored Content Correctly With Google News

Yes, sponsored content is allowed on Google News.

But there are limitations.

For instance, Google says that having sponsored content is acceptable as long as:

  • It doesn’t exceed your primary content.
  • It is not misleading as editorial content.

But unlike in 2013, when it was recommended to block sponsored content from Google News, there is no reference that you still need to do that in their policies.

You do, however, need to nofollow external links on sponsored content.

But you can still let Google News index commercial content.

google news accepts sponsored contentScreenshot from Twitter, May 2022google news accepts sponsored content

This was confirmed by Google in this tweet, as well as on Twitter with Danny Sullivan, Google’s public Search Liaison.

Follow On Page SEO Best Practices

Once you’re on Google News, there are several best practices you need to succeed.

Headlines And Dates

Google News uses crawlers to scan pages and determine the correct headlines for your articles.

So, they need the right signals to display accurate titles from your content.

Check out Google’s best practices and their guide on providing the correct published date.

Tip: Don’t forget to constantly remind your writer/colleague/journalist friends to include the keyword in the headline!

Anchor Text

Match the anchor text pointing to your article in the section pages to your article/page’s title.

Match your article page’s title (in the HTML <title> tag) to your article’s title.

Publishing Date

As for the times and dates, Google News wants you to be accurate and precise so they can get it right.

You should show one clear date and time stamp. The best place for this is usually between the headline and the article text.

Use structured data, i.e., datePublished and dateModified schema with the correct time zone.

Tip: Google will tell you not to artificially freshen stories. Artificial freshening refers to giving an article a fresh date and time without adding significant information.

However, savvy News SEO experts such as Christine Liang from the New York Times will teach you the benefits of keeping the timestamp fresh.

Take advantage of the Google News “freshness” ranking factor.

Duplicate Content

Google recommends that publishers block scraped and rewritten content from Google News.

And also recommends using the rel=”canonical” tag for syndicated content.

However, as you will learn when working in News SEO, syndicated content from news wires rank just fine, and most publishers allow their syndicated content to be indexed.

The issue only really arises when you have internal syndication across sister sites. For that, the rel=”canonical” tag can be very effective.

Shelby Blackley of Mashable explains this in her guide on how to handle wire stories for SEO.

Transparency

Google News also rewards transparency.

Being transparent about your publication, authors, and content, following E-A-T best practices, and encouraging journalists to have good author bios can go a long way.

You should also make sure that the website is secure with HTTPS.

Google discourages publishers from participating in link schemes. Instead, read Google’s guide on how to qualify outbound links.

But for the most part, when working with a news publisher, it’s not the editorial team you need to worry about. Make sure the commercial team is adhering to these guidelines.

Track “Google News” Traffic

It’s also crucial to track your performance on Google News.

Fortunately, that is relatively easy, thanks to the dedicated performance report within Search Console for Google News publishers.

The performance report will show your total impressions and total clicks.

It will also show how each article performs on Google News and how user behavior varies by country.

More resources:


Featured Image: Twin Design/Shutterstock

!function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s)
{if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod?
n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};
if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′;
n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0;
t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,document,’script’,
‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’);

if( typeof sopp !== “undefined” && sopp === ‘yes’ ){
fbq(‘dataProcessingOptions’, [‘LDU’], 1, 1000);
}else{
fbq(‘dataProcessingOptions’, []);
}

fbq(‘init’, ‘1321385257908563’);

fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);

fbq(‘trackSingle’, ‘1321385257908563’, ‘ViewContent’, {
content_name: ‘google-news-optimization-mistakes’,
content_category: ‘enterprise seo’
});

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

SEO

What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

Published

on

By

What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

Schema.org is a collection of vocabulary (or schemas) used to apply structured data markup to web pages and content. Correctly applying schema can improve SEO outcomes through rich snippets.

Structured data markup is translated by platforms such as Google and Microsoft to provide enhanced rich results (or rich snippets) in search engine results pages or emails. For example, you can markup your ecommerce product pages with variants schema to help Google understand product variations.

Schema.org is an independent project that has helped establish structured data consistency across the internet. It began collaborating with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex back in 2011.

The Schema vocabulary can be applied to pages through encodings such as RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD. JSON-LD schema is preferred by Google as it is the easiest to apply and maintain.

Schema is not a ranking factor.

However, your webpage becomes eligible for rich snippets in SERPs only when you use schema markup. This can enhance your search visibility and increase CTR on your webpage from search results.

Schema can also be used to build a knowledge graph of entities and topics. Using semantic markup in this way aligns your website with how AI algorithms categorize entities, assisting search engines in understanding your website and content.

This means that search engines should have additional information to help them figure out what the webpage is about.

You can even link your entities directly to sites like Wikipedia or Google’s knowledge graph to build explicit connections. Using Schema this way can have positive SEO results, according to Martha van Berkel, CEO of Schema App:

By helping search engines understand content, you are assisting them in saving resources (especially important when you have a large website with millions of pages) and increasing the chances for your content to be interpreted properly and ranked well. While this may not be a ranking factor directly, Schema helps your SEO efforts by giving search engines the best chance of interpreting your content correctly, giving users the best chance of discovering it.

Listed above are some of the most popular uses of schema, which are supported by Google and other search engines.

You may have an object type that has a schema.org definition but is not supported by search engines.

In such cases, it is advised to implement them, as search engines may start supporting them in the future, and you may benefit from them as you already have that implementation.

Google recommends JSON-LD as the preferred format for structured data. Microdata is still supported, but JSON-LD schema is recommended.

In certain circumstances, it isn’t possible to implement JSON-LD schema due to website technical infrastructure limitations such as old content management systems). In these cases, the only option is to markup HTML via Microdata or RDFa.

You can now mix JSON-LD and Microdata formats by matching the @id attribute of JSON-LD schema with the itemid attribute of Microdata schema. This approach helps reduce the HTML size of your pages.

For example, in a FAQ section with extensive text, you can use Microdata for the content and JSON-LD for the structured data without duplicating the text, thus avoiding an increase in page size. We will dive deeper into this below in the article when discussing each type in detail.

JSON-LD encodes data using JSON, making it easy to integrate structured data into web pages. JSON-LD allows connecting different schema types using a graph with @ids, improving data integration and reducing redundancy.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you own a store that sells high-quality routers. If you were to look at the source code of your homepage, you would likely see something like this:

Once you dive into the code, you’ll want to find the portion of your webpage that discusses what your business offers. In this example, that data can be found between the two

tags.

The following JSON-LD formatted text will markup the information within that HTML fragment on your webpage, which you may want to include in your webpage’s

section.



This snippet of code defines your business as a store via the attribute"@type": "Store".

Then, it details its location, contact information, hours of operation from Monday to Saturday, and different operational hours for Sunday.

By structuring your webpage data this way, you provide critical information directly to search engines, which can improve how they index and display your site in search results. Just like adding tags in the initial HTML, inserting this JSON-LD script tells search engines specific aspects of your business.

Let’s review another example of WebPage schema connected with Organization and Author schemas via @id. JSON-LD is the format Google recommends and other search engines because it’s extremely flexible, and this is a great example.



In the example:

  • Website links to the organization as the publisher with @id.
  • The organization is described with detailed properties.
  • WebPage links to the WebSite with isPartOf.
  • NewsArticle links to the WebPage with isPartOf, and back to the WebPage with mainEntityOfPage, and includes the author property via @id.

You can see how graph nodes are linked to each other using the"@id"attribute. This way, we inform Google that it is a webpage published by the publisher described in the schema.

The use of hashes (#) for IDs is optional. You should only ensure that different schema types don’t have the same ID by accident. Adding custom hashes (#) can be helpful, as it provides an extra layer of insurance that they will not be repeated.

You may wonder why we use"@id"to connect graph nodes. Can’t we just drop organization, author, and webpage schemas separately on the same page, and it is intuitive that those are connected?

The issue is that Google and other search engines cannot reliably interpret these connections unless explicitly linked using @id.

Adding to the graph additional schema types is as easy as constructing Lego bricks. Say we want to add an image to the schema:

{
   "@type": "ImageObject",
   "@id": "https://www.example.com/#post-image",
   "url": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "width": 2160,
   "height": 1215,
   "thumbnail": [
     {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1620,
        "height": 1215
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/16x9/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1440,
        "height": 810
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1000,
        "height": 1000
      }
    ]
}

As you already know from the NewsArticle schema, you need to add it to the above schema graph as a parent node and link via @id.

As you do that, it will have this structure:



Quite easy, isn’t it? Now that you understand the main principle, you can build your own schema based on the content you have on your website.

And since we live in the age of AI, you may also want to use ChatGPT or other chatbots to help you build any schema you want.

2. Microdata Schema Format

Microdata is a set of tags that aims to make annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier.

However, the one downside to using Microdata is that you have to mark every individual item within the body of your webpage. As you can imagine, this can quickly get messy.

Take a look at this sample HTML code, which corresponds to the above JSON schema with NewsArticle:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: "Innovation at its best".

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for customer service.

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe. Connect with John on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If we convert the above JSON-LD schema into Microdata format, it will look like this:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author:

Example image

This example shows how complicated it becomes compared to JSON-LD since the markup is spread over HTML. Let’s understand what is in the markup.

You can see

tags like:


By adding this tag, we’re stating that the HTML code contained between the

blocks identifies a specific item.

Next, we have to identify what that item is by using the ‘itemtype’ attribute to identify the type of item (Person).


An item type comes in the form of a URL (such as https://schema.org/Person). Let’s say, for example, you have a product you may use http://schema.org/Product.

To make things easier, you can browse a list of item types here and view extensions to identify the specific entity you’re looking for. Keep in mind that this list is not all-encompassing but only includes ones that are supported by Google, so there is a possibility that you won’t find the item type for your specific niche.

It may look complicated, but Schema.org provides examples of how to use the different item types so you can see what the code is supposed to do.

Don’t worry; you won’t be left out in the cold trying to figure this out on your own!

If you’re still feeling a little intimidated by the code, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it super easy to tag your webpages.

To use this amazing tool, just select your item type, paste in the URL of the target page or the content you want to target, and then highlight the different elements so that you can tag them.

3. RDFa Schema Format

RDFa is an acronym for Resource Description Framework in Attributes. Essentially, RDFa is an extension to HTML5 designed to aid users in marking up structured data.

RDFa isn’t much different from Microdata. RDFa tags incorporate the preexisting HTML code in the body of your webpage. For familiarity, we’ll look at the same code above.

The HTML for the same JSON-LD news article will look like:

vocab="https://schema.org/" typeof="WebSite" resource="https://www.example.com/#website">

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

https://www.example.com Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

https://www.example.com/about

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe Profile Twitter LinkedIn

Example image

Unlike Microdata, which uses a URL to identify types, RDFa uses one or more words to classify types.

vocab=”http://schema.org/” typeof=”WebPage”>

If you wish to identify a property further, use the ‘typeof’ attribute.

Let’s compare JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa side by side. The @type attribute of JSON-LD is equivalent to the itemtype attribute of Microdata format and the typeof attribute in RDFa. Furthermore, the propertyName of JSON-LD attribute would be the equivalent of the itemprop and property attributes.

Attribute Name JSON-LD Microdata RDFa
Type @type itemtype typeof
ID @id itemid resource
Property propertyName itemprop property
Name name itemprop=”name” property=”name”
Description description itemprop=”description” property=”description”

For further explanation, you can visit Schema.org to check lists and view examples. You can find which kinds of elements are defined as properties and which are defined as types.

To help, every page on Schema.org provides examples of how to apply tags properly. Of course, you can also fall back on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

4. Mixing Different Formats Of Structured Data With JSON-LD

If you use JSON-LD schema but certain parts of pages aren’t compatible with it, you can mix schema formats by linking them via @id.

For example, if you have live blogging on the website and a JSON-LD schema, including all live blogging items in the JSON schema would mean having the same content twice on the page, which may increase HTML size and affect First Contentful Paint and Largest Contentful Paint page speed metrics.

You can solve this either by generating JSON-LD dynamically with JavaScript when the page loads or by marking up HTML tags of live blogging via the Microdata format, then linking to your JSON-LD schema in the head section via “@id“.

Here is an example of how to do it.

Say we have this HTML with Microdata markup with itemid="https://www.example.com/live-blog-page/#live-blog"

Explore the biggest announcements from DevDay

1:45 PM ET Nov 6, 2023

OpenAI is taking the first step in gradual deployment of GPTs – tailored ChatGPT for a specific purpose – for safety purposes.

1:44 PM ET Nov 6, 2023

ChatGPT now uses GPT-4 turbo with current knowledge.

It also knows which tool to choose for a task with GPT-4 All Tools.

1:43 PM ET Nov 6, 2023

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Altman to announce deeper partnership with OpenAI to help developers bring more AI advancements.

We can link to it from the sample JSON-LD example we had like this:



If you copy and paste HTML and JSON examples underneath in the schema validator tool, you will see that they are validating properly.

The schema validator does validate the above example.The schema validator does validate the above example.

The SEO Impact Of Structured Data

This article explored the different schema encoding types and all the nuances regarding structured data implementation.

Schema is much easier to apply than it seems, and it’s a best practice you must incorporate into your webpages. While you won’t receive a direct boost in your SEO rankings for implementing Schema, it can:

  • Make your pages eligible to appear in rich results.
  • Ensure your pages get seen by the right users more often.
  • Avoid confusion and ambiguity.

The work may seem tedious. However, given time and effort, properly implementing Schema markup is good for your website and can lead to better user journeys through the accuracy of information you’re supplying to search engines.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
Screenshot taken by author

 

Read more:

VIP CONTRIBUTOR
Chuck Price

Founder at Measurable SEO

Looking for a Content Marketing Solution to Increase Traffic and Revenue? I’m the founder of Measurable SEO and former COO ...

Advanced Technical SEO: A Complete Guide



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

Gen Z Ditches Google, Turns To Reddit For Product Searches

Published

on

By

In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

A new report from Reddit, in collaboration with GWI and AmbassCo, sheds light on the evolving search behaviors of Generation Z consumers.

The study surveyed over 3,000 internet users across the UK, US, and Germany, highlighting significant changes in how young people discover and research products online.

Here’s an overview of key findings and the implications for marketers.

Decline In Traditional Search

The study found that Gen Z uses search engines to find new brands and products less often.

That’s because they shop online differently. They’re less interested in looking for expert reviews or spending much time searching for products.

There are also frustrations with mobile-friendliness and complex interfaces on traditional search platforms.

Because of this, traditional SEO strategies might not work well for reaching younger customers.

Takeaway

Companies trying to reach Gen Z might need to try new methods instead of just focusing on being visible on Google and other search engines.

Rise Of Social Media Discovery

Screenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Gen Z is increasingly using social media to find new brands and products.

The study shows that Gen Z has used social media for product discovery 36% more frequently since 2018.

This change is affecting how young people shop online. Instead of searching for products, they expect brands to appear in their social media feeds.

1719123963 547 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Because of this, companies trying to reach young customers need to pay more attention to how they present themselves on social media.

Takeaway

To succeed at marketing to Gen Z, businesses will likely need to focus on two main things:

  1. Ensure that your content appears more often in social media feeds.
  2. Create posts people want to share and interact with.

Trust Issues With Influencer Marketing

Even though more people are finding products through social media, the report shows that Gen Z is less likely to trust what social media influencers recommend.

These young shoppers often don’t believe in posts that influencers are paid to make or products they promote.

Instead, they prefer to get information from sources that feel more real and are driven by regular people in online communities.

Takeaway

Because of this lack of trust, companies must focus on being genuine and building trust when they try to get their websites to appear in search results or create ads.

Some good ways to connect with these young consumers might be to use content created by regular users, encourage honest product reviews, and create authentic conversations within online communities.

Challenges With Current Search Experiences

The research shows that many people are unhappy with how search engines work right now.

More than 60% of those surveyed want search results to be more trustworthy. Almost half of users don’t like looking through many search result pages.

Gen Z is particularly bothered by inaccurate information and unreliable reviews.

1719123963 785 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Takeaway

Given the frustration with search quality, marketers should prioritize creating accurate, trustworthy content.

This can help build brand credibility, leading to more direct visits.

Reddit: A Trusted Alternative

The report suggests that Gen Z trusts Reddit when looking up products—it’s their third most trusted source, after friends and family and review websites.

1719123963 403 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Young users like Reddit because it’s community-based and provides specific answers to users’ questions, making it feel more real.

It’s worth noting that this report comes from Reddit itself, which probably influenced why it’s suggesting its own platform.

Takeaway

Companies should focus more on being part of smaller, specific online groups frequented by Gen Z.

That could include Reddit or any other forum.

Why SEJ Cares

As young people change how they look for information online, this study gives businesses important clues about connecting with future customers.

Here’s what to remember:

  • Traditional search engine use is declining among Gen Z.
  • Social media is increasingly vital for product discovery.
  • There’s growing skepticism towards influencer marketing.
  • Current search experiences often fail to meet user expectations.
  • Community-based platforms like Reddit are gaining trust.

Featured Image: rafapress/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 Clarifies Organization Merchant Returns Structured Data

Published

on

By

Google updates organization structured data for merchant returns

Google quietly updated their organization structured data documentation in order to clarify two points about merchant returns in response to feedback about an ambiguity in the previous version.

Organization Structured Data and Merchant Returns

Google recently expanded their Organization structured data so that it could now accommodate a merchant return policy. The change added support for adding a sitewide merchant return policy.

The original reason for adding this support:

“Adding support for Organization-level return policies

What: Added documentation on how to specify a general return policy for an Organization as a whole.

Why: This makes it easier to define and maintain general return policies for an entire site.”

However that change left unanswered about what will happen if a site has a sitewide return policy but also has a different policy for individual products.

The clarification applies for the specific scenario of when a site uses both a sitewide return policy in their structured data and another one for specific products.

What Takes Precedence?

What happens if a merchant uses both a sitewide and product return structured data? Google’s new documentation states that Google will ignore the sitewide product return policy in favor of a more granular product-level policy in the structured data.

The clarification states:

“If you choose to provide both organization-level and product-level return policy markup, Google defaults to the product-level return policy markup.”

Change Reflected Elsewhere

Google also updated the documentation to reflect the scenario of the use of two levels of merchant return policies in another section that discusses whether structured data or merchant feed data takes precedence. There is no change to the policy, merchant center data still takes precedence.

This is the old documentation:

“If you choose to use both markup and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

This is the same section but updated with additional wording:

“If you choose to use both markup (whether at the organization-level or product-level, or both) and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

Read the newly updated Organization structured data documentation:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

Featured Image by Shutterstock/sutlafk

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