From its algorithm updates to its overall approach to the SERP, Google has been latently encouraging us to take on new content constructs and patterns. In fact, Google has been covertly pushing for the creation of more refined and targeted content. However, that nudge towards more targeted content leaves content creators and SEOs in a bit of a tough spot as Google has yet to adopt an ecosystem that truly supports the kind of content they're pushing for.
Here's a look at the content environment Google has been creating on the SERP, the problems with it, and what the search engine might do going forward
What is brand identity? Where does it come from? How do you build it?
There's a lot that has been said about building brand identity. Unfortunately, a lot of it is just plain wrong.
Here's my personal take on where real brand identity comes from and how the average company can build it in a lasting way.
There's been an abundance of content production on how the Coronavirus changes marketing, content, and SEO practices. Unfortunately, I've found that a lot of it is simply fluff meant to capitalize on fear in the hope of driving clicks. I personally think a topic like this should be addressed in a careful and considerate manner.
To this, I've reached out to some of the industry's top marketing and SEO professionals.
I've asked them to share nonsense-free, fluff-free, agenda-free ideas on how COVID-19 is changing the digital marketing industry, both now and moving forward.
These are their thoughts.
Every once in a while, 'rank tracking' will enter the SEO conversation in a serious way. It can be some sort of study that relates to rank position or one of Google's many changes but whatever the catalyst, rank tracking is one of those SEO topics that rears its head with some regularity. The problem with rank tracking is that we tend to relate to it as an entirely automated process. So, leave it to the guy who works for an automated rank tracking tool to show why and how tracking rank properly means looking beyond automation per se.
It's obvious, Google is no longer a search engine. Rather, Google is all about offering answers and guiding users on their search journey. That's why Google has evolved into an "answer" or "discovery" engine, right?
I used to think the same thing. Until I realized Google isn't an answer engine, it's not a discovery engine... or any other catchphrase that focuses on Google offering content directly to the user and discouraging clicks.
For Google, it's all about "authority."
Here's why Google is, in reality, an authority engine & why getting this right actually matters!
How does Google differentiate between good and bad content?
Google is not merely adding up all the backlinks a site has and deeming it quality content once a certain quantity of links has been accumulated. Rather, all things considered, Google is doing a very good job profiling content. That is, Google is quite adept and knowing what good content looks and sounds like and what bad content looks and sounds like within a specific vertical.
Here's how they do it!
By now you've probably heard the news... over 50% of all Google searches do not result in a click! You've also probably heard things like this is the end of organic traffic and that Google is killing 'the website'. You may have even heard a few tips on how to handle this new age of the zero-click search. But between freaking out, blaming Google, and looking for the next organic SEO hack... we've missed the boat entirely.
It would be a bit braggadocious for me to say that I'm going to show you how to really handle zero-click searches and why most of the things you're hearing are a bit misguided....
That said, here's the real truth on how to handle zero-click searches and why a lot of what you're hearing doesn't pass muster.
No matter how many times Google denies it, we keep coming back to the idea that the search engine's broad core algorithm updates are targeting Your Money Your Life (YMYL) sites with a vengeance. It's a conversation that just won't die. With each new broad core algorithm update, we're left to wonder... is Google targeting YMYL sites? Is it not targeting YMYL sites? And if Google isn't targeting YMYL sites then why does it seem like it is?
And the reason for all of this is....
Technical content and the how-to queries that bring this content to the SERP is the bread and butter of SERP features such as Featured Snippets, Related Questions, and Video Carousels. As a result, technical content creators should be very concerned about search, and in particular SERP features.
More than being concerned, they should know what SERP features to focus on and how to hone in on them!
Let's have at it then!
On May 22nd, 2019, Google's mobile SERP officially welcomed favicons. Many are touting the brand-building power of having favicons appear within your organic result. But is a picture really worth a thousand words? Who is helped most by the insertion of favicons onto the mobile SERP? Are there any losers? Does having a favicon make up for your site's name having less prominence? Simply, are the new favicons on the mobile SERP good or bad for your page's organic result?
How do we relate to search?
It's really a simple question: What preconceived and latent notions do we hold in regards to search? Of course, how we answer this question will also determine how we view the searcher and what we conceive they are doing when they search for something on Google. Now you can see why this little, perhaps out of place question, has far-reaching consequences.
And away we go.
Rank tracking is one of the most basic elements of SEO performance monitoring and reporting. Yet, as much as we've talked about how the world of SEO has evolved into what it is today, we still think of rank tracking as well... rank tracking. However, if SEO has moved past a linear look at "the keyword" then why do we still undertake a monolithic approach to rank tracking?
That's why I'm going to show how the situation on
the Google SERP has changed and why it means a new approach to rank tracking is needed!