Welcome to the latest edition of the Search Marketing Roundup, which contains all of the best bits from the digital marketing industry throughout the month of May 2017.
Google offers a reminder about links in large-scale article campaigns
Google has provided another reminder that articles referred to as contributor posts, partner posts, syndicated posts and guest posts which contain ‘spammy’ links violate their guidelines on link schemes. Google claims that there has been an increase in ‘spammy’ link campaigns recently, and moved to reinforce what practices violate their guidelines:
- Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles
- Having an article published across many different sites, or have a large number of articles on a few large, different sites
- Using writers who aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they are writing on
- Using the same content across these articles, or duplicating an article which is already on your site in full.
If Google detects ‘spammy’ links, this could change Google’s perception of a site’s quality, and therefore affect it’s ranking. Once again, Google has reiterated that by SEOs should focus on improving the quality of their content, and the links will follow. This is the approach we employ here at Semetrical, and we’d suggest that you spend time building personal relationships with relevant influencers to help with your link acquisition. Always think about link acquisition as relationship building.
How Google measures the authority of web pages
Danny Sullivan has provided an overview on the question – how does Google know what is authoritative? Of course, as Danny points out, there is no one single ‘authority’ metric, instead Google analyses a range of undisclosed metrics which will vary from query to query.
As we all know, Google began by using the quality metric, PageRank, which aimed to gauge a website’s quality based on the number of links it had, and the importance of those links. A webpage with a few ‘important’ links could outperform a webpage with hundreds of thousands of low quality links. PageRank was only ever one of many metrics, as factors such as keyword anchor text were also important, a long with numerous other ranking factors.
As we speak, links and content are still the most important ranking signals, but there is a new player in town. Google’s artificial intelligence system – RankBrain. This system uses machine learning in order to determine which of the 200 major ranking signals provides the best indication of a webpage’s quality in relation to a specific search query. Google is also employing quality raters, who have recently been provided with updated guidelines on how to flag low-quality webpages.
Google evaluates authority on a per-page basis, and actively avoids mentioning the notion of sitewide or domain authority because that could lead to false assumptions about individual pages. Content published on the web will quickly acquire it’s own unique page specific signs which outweigh domain signals.
It is important to note that exact signals will can vary depending on the query being answered.
Jim Yu reveals 5 SEO and content shifts you need to master
Jim Yu recently outlined 5 key SEO and content shifts which digital marketing professionals should master in relation to current trends and their implications.
- From SEO to ‘SEO and content convergence’ – Data is empowering marketers to better understand consumer intent to create intelligent content which aligns with different stages of the customer journey. Marketers can master this shift by:
- Ensuring that content creation is based on data.
- Fostering search, social and content synergy.
- Maximising your search engine results page footprint.
- From mobile to mobile-first – Optimising for mobile search, devices and usability is essential in today’s digital marketing landscape. Google is also planning for a mobile-first index. Marketers can master this shift by:
- Recognising that this is a mobile-first world.
- Making mobile SEO fast and furious.
- Considering contextual mobile content.
- From local to hyperlocal – Hyperlocal lets marketers to capitalise on “near me” and “i want to go” micro-moments by targeting people based on their location. Marketers can master this shift by:
- Owning local search.
- Hyperlocal optimisation = hyperimportant.
- Understanding the intersection of local and mobile.
- From text to voice – Voice search has continued to rise due to personal assistants such as Alexa and Siri. These voice searches now account for between 20 – 25% of all mobile queries. Marketers can master this shift by:
- More voice searches, more answers.
- Identify and provide content in a format that meets the needs of these types of voice searches.
- Get smart about intelligent agents.
- From data to machine learning – Google relied on RankBrain machine learning to make sense of big data. Marketers must to master machine learning to better understand intent, interests and behaviour of their audiences. Marketers can master this shift by:
- View data as a source of truth.
- Utilise AI & machine learning.
- Define metrics and measurement.
Google advertisers can now see historical Quality Score data in AdWords
Google has now allowed advertisers to see historical Quality Score data within AdWords, whilst also adding a further seven new Quality Score reporting columns. The four new columns are:
- Qual. Score (hist.)
- Landing page exper. (hist.)
- Ad relevance (hist.)
- Exp. CTR (hist.)
- Expected click-through-rate
- Ad relevance
- Landing page experience
Advertisers can change the date range to analyse how the Quality Scores changed over time.