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!
The conception of a pay to play Google My Business (GMB) recently hit DEFCON 1. While many in the industry have considered the notion of Google asking small businesses to open up their wallets to be inevitable for some time now, recent developments have blown the conversation wide open. As an uncovered Google survey clearly implies, monetization of Google's local business listings could very well be on its way!
Take a look back at how a heck of a lot of Google's updates to local features over the past year (or so) all point towards GMB monetization!
I'm on the hunt for user intent insights in 2019. I've resolved to make this year about going deep into intent and how Google handles it. Instead of getting into the finer points of user intent and Google's proficiency in meeting it on multiple levels, I'm going to showcase where it doesn't work. Meaning, while I generally think Google's increased ability to parse user intent and pick it apart is a fantastic step forward, it does not work universally. As Google offers users results that would satisfy any number of intents the search engine is going to increasingly be faced with the issue of not meeting any of them adequately.
Allow me to demonstrate.
Google's job listing search engine, Google for Jobs, has been around for a nice while at this point. Though, despite having spread to markets such as India and Japan, not much is known about how vast of a resource Google's job compilation database is. For job sites such as CareerBuilder, how big a traffic determent is Google's job SERP feature? For job seekers, how deep does this canyon of job listings go? Is the job depository growing or is it stagnant? Simply, what is the state of Google for Jobs?
Care to find out?
When Danny Sullivan recently tried to explain the difference between neural matching and RankBrain I was initially left scratching my head. I thought, why does this have to be so complicated? Couldn't the difference between neural matching and RankBrain be explained in a tangibly concrete well structured and "scaffolded" manner?
Oh no! Here comes another post boding how to do [insert SEO tactic] in 2019! I bet they just took 2018's post and revamped it for 2019. But you know better than that by now! In fact, this is the first "how to do whatever in [insert year]" that I've written. Which means, there's a good reason. A lot has changed in SEO, particularly towards the end of 2018. These changes have been so subtly dramatic that I believe it has created a new mold for executing some solid keyword research.
To what extent do URLs share a Featured Snippet? What happens when Google uses more than one URL inside a Featured Snippet? Is there one URL that dominates the zero position box? What happens when Google oscillates between more than two URLs - how much visibility does each URL get?
Based on the results of our last Featured Snippet study, which analyzed how often Google changes a URL inside of Featured Snippets, we wanted to know what the market share of a Featured Snippet URL looks like.
Here's what we found.
Whether you score or compete with SERP features, it behooves us to know how stable they are. How consistent is Google with its SERP feature showings? Which features tend to display at consistent levels from one month to the next? Which features are subject to heavy amounts of display fluctuations?
This is your comprehensive look at SERP feature stability, volatility, and consistency. This is your look at SERP feature fluctuations in 2018!
Scoring Featured Snippets is just one of those SEO topics that has become almost mythological. Getting your URL into a zero position box is the win of all wins. But while we're all talking about winning, Google is shifting URLs in and out of Featured Snippets much the way a disc jockey switches music tracks during a radio broadcast. This, of course, begs the question... how often does Google change URLs within its Featured Snippets?
What is the intent of a user when they enter a search term? Rather, what are the multiple layers of intent that Google sees in that query? What has Google determined to be important when showing results for a given keyword? Google has gotten far better at parsing search terms according to the multiple intents embedded within them.
But how are you supposed to determine how Google understands intent for a search term? How do you know what content Google thinks is relevant to users? How can you determine how Google understands intent?
Here's a simple method that's worked for me.
What a year in the world of SEO. Sure, I say that every year, but 2018 certainly had its share of game-changing developments. Predisposed to a high volume of SEO themes, be it mobile-first or Google's new "journey" outlook on search, 2018 has a flavor all unto itself.
Now then, there are just way too many stories for me to cover in one post to catch everything that we saw hit the floor in SEO during 2018. What's to come is my best crack at grabbing all of the major stories, the biggest changes, and the most interesting advancements that came out of the world of search in 2018.
Here we go!