There were a lot of important changes and updates that had an impact on the industry in 2017. We're both honored and humbled to be a part of reporting and analyzing the big stories that affect the industry. With another year behind us, let's have a look back at some of the weightier findings we brought to the forefront in 2017.
Our mission was to make 2017 unique, so we set off on an adventure to create new tools and reports that would give you additional insight and enlightenment. Along the way we threw in a serious set of new integrations so that you could create a fresh set of custom comparisons. Of all the years we've been bringing you the best in SEO and digital marketing reporting, 2017 was by far the most fun!
November was one wild month on the Google SERP. Google's update to its ccTLD policy sent SERP feature trends into an international whirlwind. On top of that Featured Snippets saw a mobile loss while Knowledge Panels jumped off the charts. If that weren't enough, Google revamped product search on the SERP with what was nothing less than a strategic SERP feature strike force aimed at its retail rivals. This, and a deluge of SERP feature data changes and upgrades!
What would Google do just to siphon some product search volume away from its retail rival? How far would it go? What tactics would it resort to? With Amazon under no real threat of having its kingdom toppled, Google has taken dramatic action to make sure it expands its piece of the retail pie. What might surprise you is how Google's going about doing cutting itself a larger slice of the retail pie, right under your nose.
Month in and month out, industry news sources report on what seems to be a constant stream of rank fluctuation events. In such an environment, it's easy to become fixated on a website's single visibility spike (or hit) and attribute the site's fluctuations to a single algorithmic act and declare insight victory. But that's not how Google's algorithm updates really work.
In this case study, I'll highlight why analyzing a site's fluctuations in relation to one specific update often creates an incomplete picture that discounts Google's overall algorithmic relationship to the site (i.e. get ready for some myth busting action).
Accessing country-specific Google search results has been turned a bit on its head recently. When Google announced that you could not use a specific ccTLD to access a country's search results, international SEO underwent a dramatic change. Though, in typical Google fashion, accessing international search results was not the only thing to change. With the domain change, Google changed the data trends of some of the most important features on the SERP across the globe. Beyond the inherent interest in tracking such changes, these alterations present both new SERP feature trends as well as insight into the very domain-level change Google made in late October.
Email marketing is not dead. Far from it, email marketing is an integral part of any marketing plan. If done right, pushing your brand, service, or product via an email campaign can score big payoffs ranging from increased sales to increased brand awareness and authority. That said, email campaign effectiveness hinges on learning what went right, as well as what went wrong, during an email campaign. To give you the ability to track your email effectiveness we were set on integrating a series of automated email marketing platforms into Rank Ranger. We looked at a whole heap of platforms and narrowed our integration partners down to Constant Contact, AWeber, and MailChimp.
At the end of October Google made a huge change that had an enormous ripple effect on international SEO. No longer can you enter a specific Google ccTLD in order to see how search results appear in different countries. Meaning, you can no longer enter a country-specific Google search engine URL into the browser with the hope of seeing the SERP for that country. Google is now showing you results for your location, no matter what. Thus, you would need a VPN in order to see Google SERPs from various countries... or do you? Here's how you can easily view Google search results internationally without using a VPN.
It's hard to believe another month has gone by. With a new month comes a new set of SERP news to sort through. The October SERP saw one of the year's biggest SEO story-lines move onto the next chapter while Google's recent revenue narrative continues to evolve. These newsworthy SERP scoops, plus a slew of SERP feature tests and changes, made October's Google SERP quite the provocative place!
Where does a news publisher rank within Google's mobile Top Stories news carousel? Is the outlet's article the first card Google shows or the 15th? Tracking rank within Google's mobile News Box is not easy, but it is well worth it. If you're an SEO who is working with a news publisher, tracking rank within Google's mobile Top Stories carousel can really set you apart. Allow me then to show you how to best track mobile Top Stories rankings.
If you're running AdWords ads, then you probably know that tracking your paid search competition is not only vital, but exhausting. Tracking who your top PPC competitors are on the Google SERP is not a one stop, one metric ordeal. It requires thorough research and monitoring for multiple vantage points. Knowing this, and to help you simplify analyzing the competition, we wanted to add on to your AdWords arsenal by following up our recent release of the AdWords Monitor with the all-new AdWords Daily Explorer. Now, besides for in-depth competitor discovery on a per keyword basis, you can track every single AdWords ad your competition is running on a daily basis across all of your keywords. Here's how.
Google's very own SERP features provide it with a subtly powerful way to supplement its traditional form of income, i.e. ads. In fact, there are some unique advantages to garnering income via SERP features that ads can't provide Google with. Such advantages could be why Google has bolstered those features that do currently, and may in the future, provide it with additional sources of revenue. In fact, I would be so bold as to say that in-feature revenue is the future of Google's monetization strategy. Here's why.