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!
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!
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?