How good is Google at understanding entities?
It's an important question since so much depends on exactly that, especially since Google now profiles sites (i.e., treats them as entities). While Google has some hangups when it comes to understanding entities, it's also made some giant leaps.
Have a look at how Google is reaching deeper than ever into entities and why it might be on the verge of taking things to a whole new level.
Google has gotten really good at recognizing entities and how various entities relate to each other. There's no doubt about it. That said, how well can Google truly profile an entity? What happens when an entity has more than one profile? Is Google able to pick up on entity sub-profiles? What if someone is both an actor/actress and a director? What happens when a celebrity goes into politics? How does Google view the secondary profile of these entities?
Almost out of nowhere, Google unleashed one of the most volatile days in SEO history. July 18th, 2019, saw an unprecedented amount of rank fluctuations unlike the industry had seen for years. Yet, the unconfirmed algorithm update left as quickly as it came when rank fluctuations returned to normal levels on a dime.
It all begets the question: Who was impacted and what in the world just happened?
Here's a look at the data on Google's unconfirmed July 2019 algorithm update.
It's always nice when theory meets reality. Not too long before I undertook the research for this study I wrote an article about why I thought Featured Snippets would be getting shorter. When I noticed that Google was throwing content barely a few hours old into Featured Snippets it seemed the content within them was a bit on the thin side. Thus, I took to analyzing 150 Featured Snippets to see if my anecdotal observation was correct.
Long story short, Featured Snippets are shorter... sort of.
On June 4th, 2019, Google released its second official broad core algorithm of 2019 (which was appropriately dubbed the June 2019 Core Update). At the same time, and further complicating the ranking picture, Google made a significant change to the top of the SERP by increasing domain diversity. Combined, the two "changes" created quite the substantial "ranking event."
With that, let's have a look to see how the June 2019 Core Update impacted rankings and how to look for signs of top-of-the-SERP domain diversity within your rankings!
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.
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?
Each and every year we're humbled by the additions we're able to offer to the SEO industry's understanding of the "search environment." Whether it be a deep dive into a Google algorithm update or a case study on Google's use of SERP features, we feel honored to offer a bit of insight into how Google is treating the SERP and so forth. With the year coming to a close, here's a review of the original research Rank Ranger has brought to the forefront of SEO consciousness.
There's this sentiment that rank has become increasingly more volatile. To a large extent, we've chalked this up to machine learning, or RankBrain in specific. That said, what does the current ranking landscape actually look like? How does it differ than the allegedly more stable past? What new ranking dynamics has machine learning left us with? What can we do about them?