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It’s Time For Marketers To Attend To The Branding Benefits Of Search

chart Google recently released a study that concluded, "Search Ads Lift Brand Awareness." The study tested brand recall for searchers who had seen the target brand in paid search ads against a control group who had not been exposed to the brand. The study concluded that brand-exposed searchers had a 6.6% increase (80% lift) over the control group. In Search Engine Land's writeup, editor Ginny Marvin pointed out that the study only tested the top brand position; it did not determine the degree to which the lift carried through to other, less prominent search ad positions. And, any study that exami [...]


Some Of The Weird Issues When Google’s Quick Answers Come From Random Sources

google-hummingbird3-featured As Google's Hummingbird algorithm continues to shape the answers within Google's search results, webmasters, SEOs and searchers ask themselves, why is Google showing this knowledge graph or that quick answer. Often webmasters find themselves at a loss because Google takes their content and puts it at the top of the search results. While searchers ask, why is this the proper source for the answer - why not license content versus scrape content from webmasters? I participated in a Google+ Hangout with Google's John Mueller, who was presented some interesting cases of "branded" quick answers [...]


It’s Not Just Links: Why Nothing Is Safe In Online Marketing

chess-board-featured Links have been under fire for years. And while I'm someone who provides link development services, I've never thought that links are all you need. In fact, if all of my clients would let me become more involved in other aspects of their marketing, I'd be absolutely gleeful. Links, while important, aren't the alpha and the omega of SEO. I think that they serve a crucial role in online marketing, and my job is to get the best links I can. In most of the link posts that I read, there's at least one commenter who bemoans links as a ranking factor. Look at the following comments from various [...]


Assessing Hummingbird’s Impact On Search — 10 Months Later

google-hummingbird3-featured On September 26, 2013, Google let slip that it had updated its overall search platform, which they referred to as "Hummingbird." In this post, I am going to take a look back at the past year to see what impact Hummingbird may have had. One of my goals with this post is to help dispel the myth that Hummingbird is an algorithm, and to provide some clarity on the nature of the impact it may have. Hummingbird was revealed during Google's 15th birthday party, but no mention of it was included in their own post about the event. However, Search Engine Land Founding Editor Danny Sullivan was in [...]


Life With Cortana, Microsoft’s Predictive Search Challenger To Google Now & Siri

cortana-600px Microsoft's new predictive search agent Cortana is finally becoming available to the general public. How does it compare to longstanding champion Google Now? After months of using them both, it's no contest. Google Now easily wins, in my daily life. But Cortana does gives Microsoft an important foundation in the predictive search space and puts it well ahead of Apple's own Siri. Welcome, Cortana Microsoft announced that Cortana would be part of Windows Phone 8.1 earlier this year. Developers and others who chose to install the Windows 8.1 preview on their phones have had access to Cortan [...]


3 Mindset Shifts: Get More SEO Out Of Your Content Marketing

shutterstock_126540911-content Google is constantly working to provide users with a better experience, and marketers are constantly trying to adapt to these changes. Content-based SEO creates a compelling blend of authentic content and search engine eye-candy, but it also necessitates mastering both worlds (content marketing and SEO) instead of trying to rely on just one. And Google is continuing to push the SEO community in that direction. Content marketing has been gaining acceptance as an SEO practice ever since Panda was rolled out -- and with the release of Hummingbird, some content marketers have now become better [...]


Do Your Own 5-Minute SEO Audit

Image from Shutterstock, used under license If you've gone to SEO events, you may have attended one or more sessions where experts conduct live site reviews and make recommendations. For agencies and consultants, quickly assessing any website is a great skill to hone. Here is how you can do your own 5-minute SEO audits. Don't worry if this takes you 10 or 15 minutes. This is one of those "the more you do, the faster you get" things. The important piece is having a practical framework to delve through. If you want to do a full audit, here are three great guides to read: Lindsay Wassell (Moz) Sam McRobert's Template on [...]


Google Launches A New Google Alerts Interface

google-alerts Google has completely revamped the user interface and design for Google Alerts. Google Alerts allows searchers to subscribe to be notified of new content Google discovers on a specific keyword via email or RSS feed. Google Alerts is useful and important for managing your online reputation, following companies and topics you are interested and the like. The new interface makes it much easier for a normal searcher to understand and use. The previous interface was more designed for an advanced user but this new interface really makes it easier to process and use. The new Google Alerts sta [...]


Google Penalty Hits eBay’s Bottom Line, May Cost Up To $200 Million In Revenue

ebay-600 Earlier this year, eBay was hit with a search penalty by Google. The loss of traffic resulting from that has been noticeable enough that eBay acknowledged it in a financial call this week, suggesting it may have cost up to $200 million in revenue. eBay also said it plans to improve its efforts in paid search, something that was underway even before it hit a penalty -- and a seeming rejection of an eBay research report that said paid search doesn't work well. eBay's Google Problem On the earnings call yesterday, eBay's chief financial officer Bob Swan said that Google wasn’t drivin [...]


SPONSOR MESSAGE:Content Marketing & Link Building Together

Join us Tuesday, August 5th at 1:00EDT (10:00PDT) to hear Jon Ball, Page One Power’s co-founder and CEO, discuss content marketing and it’s impact on link building. Attendees will learn why links are still relevant and how link building and content marketing work together. You’ll also learn how to approach any link building project and create realistic link building strategies. Register now » [...]


The World’s Quickest (Authentic) SEO & Marketing Audit In 12+1 Steps

seo-600 I am, according to those who know me, a very structured person. In order to function, I have to live by spreadsheets, task lists and processes. Without them, I'm lost. It's just life. Isn't everyone like that? But despite my obsession with structure and process, I don't like giving clients a one-size-fits-all web marketing campaign. It just doesn't make sense. Every website is different and has different needs; therefore, the online marketing plan will have to be different as well. The problem is, you really can't know what any particular site's needs are until after you've gone through [...]


Bing Adds School Ratings To Search Results

Bing logo large Microsoft Bing has announced they've added a new feature to the school snapshot boxes on the right hand panel -- the school's rating. They've added school ratings, rankings and academic indicators directly in Bing Snapshot. Microsoft says this works for searching for schools from elementary to high school to higher education. Bing displays how they rank nationally, within the state and their STEM rating. They also show nearby schools in the area and how they rank compared. Here is a screen shot: [...]


Bing Opens Its Right To Be Forgotten Form

bing-600 Over six weeks after Google launched their form for Europeans who want to make their Right To Be Forgotten request, Microsoft Bing has launched theirs over here. The form does differ from Google's but both Google and Bing, as well as other search engines, have the obligation to follow the mandate and review each request submitted to them. The form gives Microsoft enough details to make a decision on if they will remove content from their search listings or leave it, based on the EU mandate established about two months ago. The form starts off with this message: If you are a European res [...]


Blogger Fined By French Court Because Negative Restaurant Review Was Too Prominent In Google

blog-featured A French court has ordered a blogger to pay a substantial fine and change the title of a restaurant review because the review was too prominent in search results and harmed business at the restaurant. The post has since been removed but can be viewed here (via TechDirt). The restaurant, Il Giardino, complained to the court that the critical review had hurt its business. The blogger, Caroline Doudet, had something of a following (3,000) for her blog called "Cultur'elle." This is what enabled the review to rank. According to the BBC, citing court documents, "the review appeared fourth in the [...]


How Press Requests Can Be A Link Building Gold Mine

Press Request Link Building Building genuinely powerful and authoritative links isn't easy. Sure, there are tons of ways to build links, but how many of these techniques actually enable you to gain real editorial mentions from top tier websites? The answer: not many. Getting a link from a leading publication within your industry can't even be compared to something like a link from a directory, even if that directory is DMOZ. That's because editorial links from industry-relevant publications hold so much more value than just the link equity. Such benefits include social media exposure, brand awareness, targeted [...]


Three SEO Personas – Are You One Of Them?

lady_man_computer_office Organic search used to just be for the technophiles, the Excel-lovers, the self-proclaimed geeks, etc. Now, SEO is all grown up and has welcomed all types of people, each of whom have a hand in the channel's success. Let's go over three primary personas involved in organic search today, and then you can tell me -- which one are you? The Content Marketer Content marketers often come from a more traditional marketing background. They are strategists first, and understand each and every type of content asset inside and out -- be it white papers, eBooks, Web copy and more. They know how to cr [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Updates Robots.txt Testing Tool

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google announced they have updated their robots.txt testing tool in Webmaster Tools. The update brings you a few more features including: (1) Highlights which line in your robots.txt file is blocking a specific page. (2) Make test changes to the robots.txt tool and test it before you make the file live. (3) Google will also show you older versions of your robots.txt file to see past issues. Here is a screen shot showing off the highlighting feature: [...]


Link Building Study: SEOs Spending Less On Link Building?

53c3ea1e705420.94374006 Skyrocket SEO has published their link building results for 2014, surveying over 300 SEOs on questions around link building. The big question is how are SEOs and agencies changing their link building efforts and spend over this and next year. You'd think with all the penalties, both through algorithms such as Penguin and the manual actions, that SEOs would cut a lot of their link budgets and focus on other areas. The 2013 survey showed 10% of SEOs were spending $50,000 or more on their link building efforts. But in 2014, the survey showed 0% were spending that amount. However, in 2013 on [...]


Right To Be Forgotten: Do Users Even Care?

Right To Be Forgotten In the last few weeks, two monumental events related to Internet privacy caused the biggest uproar in discussions about personal privacy since Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA. In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that Google must respect the "right to be forgotten" and at the request of private individuals remove "irrelevant" and "outdated" information. To comply with the ECJ's ruling, Google set up a form online for individuals to have their information removed from the web, and they have been deluged with requests. Last month, during its Worldwide Developer Conference [...]


Bing Admits They Need To Do Better With Webmaster Communication

bing-2013-logo-featured In a blog post today on the Bing Webmaster Blog, Bing's Igor Rondel, Principal Development Manager of the Index Quality team, said you can expect Bing to do more proactive communication on the Bing Webmaster Blog in the future. Igor said Bing needs "to do a better job of proactively communicating updates" and they realize that now. So going forward, you can expect the Bing Index Quality team to post on the webmaster blog every few weeks. Specifically, they said they would do regular updates on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. They also promised to (1) actively monitor and respond to your qu [...]


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