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Disctopia And Semrush Launch Podcast Hosting App To Optimize Podcasts

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Disctopia And Semrush Launch Podcast Hosting App To Optimize Podcasts

Disctopia, a podcast hosting platform for independent creators, announced a partnership with Semrush to optimize podcast episodes with its Podcast Hosting App.

This new SEO feature enables keyword extraction from audio transcriptions directly from the Semrush platform.

This allows indie creators and their SEO pros to align their podcast keywords directly to keyword campaigns in Semrush, enabling this content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

According to a recent Jacobs Media survey, 33% of respondents listened to podcasts at least once a week in 2023 – up from 21% in 2019, which is a growth of 12% over the past 4 years.

This makes podcasting a growing part of many marketing strategies.

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According to a BrightEdge study, 53% of website traffic comes from organic searches. This makes SEO an essential part of any marketing strategy, including audio content.

As podcasts continue to be an effective marketing tool, this alliance bringing SEO into the mix will help take the audio format to the next level for content creators and marketers.

Disctopia’s TruePlay AI automated audio transcription services allow podcasters to edit their text for accuracy to improve their episodes’ accessibility.

The platform’s new Semrush SEO feature can analyze podcast transcriptions and extract keywords from the text, so creators can implement them in their SEO campaigns directly in Semrush.

Image from Semrush, August 2023

This should help to make their audio content more useful and satisfying.

The tool also identifies relevant keywords from the transcript, such as recurring themes or topics that are frequently mentioned in the episode.

This helps creators gain insights into the episode’s content and better understand their audience’s interests. Ultimately, this new feature increases a podcast’s online discoverability and attracts more listeners.

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The Podcast App will be a part of Semrush’s App Center, which showcases some of the best marketing tools for the SEO platform’s thousands of users.

Users get direct access to all the podcast hosting features within the App Center without leaving the Semrush interface for a more seamless experience.

Disctopia and Semrush hope that this integration will allow both experienced and new podcast hosts to make their content more visible, broaden their audience, and increase their chances of success.

Patrick Hill, Founder and CEO of Disctopia, said,

“By incorporating Semrush’s robust tool into our podcast transcription feature, we are able to simplify the process of optimizing SEO. This integration allows for all the essential tools needed for successful optimization to be conveniently located in one central location.”

Hill added,

“This integration aligns with our mission to provide independent podcasters with the necessary tools to grow their listenership. The Podcast Hosting app, developed by Disctopia, is a valuable addition to Semrush’s platform.”

Hill concluded,

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“If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution to take your podcast to the next level, look no further than Semrush. This powerful tool offers everything you need to host your podcast, transcribe your episodes, and optimize your content for maximum impact.

With its advanced SEO features, you can be sure your podcast will reach the right audience and help you achieve your marketing goals with ease.

Whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or just starting out, Semrush is the ideal solution for anyone looking to take their content marketing game to the next level.”

I asked Hill a couple of follow-up questions.

Here’s what I (GJ) asked, and he (PH) said:

Greg Jarboe: I realize that it’s still early days, but have you seen any improvement in your organic search rankings in Google?

Patrick Hill: “This partnership was set up to help podcasters increase their online searchability to align their podcast keywords directly to the keyword campaigns in Semrush. By putting keywords from your podcast and matching them with your website, it increases your podcast and website visibility, along with engagement on your podcast as it appears when people search.”

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GJ: “Are there any tips or best practices that you can share with other SEOs and marketers?”

PH: “As far as podcasting is concerned, the key tips are to definitely do keywords and transcriptions and match keywords to articles already on your website, this will achieve maximum results.”

I also asked Matt Bailey of SiteLogic Marketing, who has been providing SEO services for over 20 years and hosts the Endless Coffee Cup podcast, for his reaction to the Disctopia and Semrush announcement.

Bailey said,

“It’s helpful to get more tools in one place. As AI disrupts workflows, it adds multiple tools to develop increasing amounts and types of content. Having a central resource will enable better efficiency and opportunities.”

Bailey added,

“Accessibility has always been a critical component of SEO, so generating a transcript is a great start. Even better, utilize mark-up to give the page a content hierarchy. Then, use these amazing AI tools to help you repurpose your podcasts into valuable articles that answers searcher’s questions.”

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Google Unplugs “Notes on Search” Experiment

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Google unplugs Notes On Search Experiment

Google is shutting down it’s Google Notes Search Labs experiment that allowed users to see and leave notes on Google’s search results and many in the search community aren’t too surprised.

Google Search Notes

Availability of the feature was limited to Android and Apple devices and there was never a clearly defined practical purpose or usefulness of the Notes experiment. Search marketers reaction throughout has consistently been that would become a spam-magnet.

The Search Labs page for the experiment touts it as mode of self-expression, to help other users and as a way for users to collect their own notes within their Google profiles.

The official Notes page in Search Labs has a simple notice:

Notes on Search Ends May 2024

That’s it.

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Screenshot Of Notice

Reaction From Search Community

Kevin Indig tweeted his thoughts that anything Google makes with a user generated content aspect was doomed to attract spam.

He tweeted:

“I’m gonna assume Google retires notes because of spam.

It’s crazy how spammy the web has become. Google can’t launch anything UGC without being bombarded.”

Cindy Krum (@Suzzicks) tweeted that it was author Purna Virji (LinkedIn profile) who predicted that it would be shut down once Google received enough data.

She shared:

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“It was actually @purnavirji who predicted it when we were at @BarbadosSeo – while I was talking. Everyone agreed that it would be spammed, but she said it would just be a test to collect a certain type of information until they got what they needed, and then it would be retired.”

Purna herself responded with a tweet:

“My personal (non-employer) opinion is that everyone wants all the UGC to train the AI models. Eg Reddit deal also could potentially help with that.”

Google’s Notes for Search seemed destined to never take off, it was met with skepticism and a shrug when it came out and nobody’s really mourning that it’s on the way out, either.

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