Sign Up To Receive This Content Via Email:  


How To Conduct A Winning Local Search Audit

shutterstock_141227494-winning-audit Every week, our support team at BrightLocal fields numerous questions from our customers about how best to conduct a local search audit. The questions range from the type and quantity of data to include, to what processes and tools can be used to speed up the audit. This topic is well covered on many blogs, but I want to share my thoughts on the why, how and what of conducting a winning audit. Why Do You Want To Do An Audit? SEO is a journey, and any seasoned traveler knows that all successful journeys start with detailed planning. Conducting a search audit tells you where you are tod [...]


Google’s Pigeon Update Solves Yelp Problem, Boosts Local Directories

google-yelp-maps-600 As the analysis continues on yesterday's Google local search algorithm changes -- that we're calling the Pigeon update -- one thing appears to be clear: Local directory sites are getting better visibility in Google's search results. More specifically, it looks like Google has fixed its "Yelp problem" and is now showing Yelp pages at the top of search results when queries specifically include the word "Yelp." You might recall Yelp's recent accusations that Google was manipulating its search results to show Google's own local listings and content ahead of Yelp pages even when users spe [...]


Pigeon: Search Engine Land’s Name For The New Google Local Search Update

maps-pigeon-600 Last night, Google released a pretty significant local search algorithm update. Google told us there was no internal name for the update, but now that we see that it was fairly significant, we decided to give it a name: Pigeon. Pigeon is the name we decided on because this is a local search update and pigeons tend to fly back home. When the Google Panda update launched, there was no official name from Google, so we named it the "Farmer" update. A few days later, Google told us they internally named it the Panda update. So we switched names from Farmer to Panda to avoid that confusi [...]


Google Quick Answers Adds Images

google-hummingbird3-featured Google's quick answer results have recently added images to some of the answers. Alex Chitu spotted this and I was able to replicate it for many queries. Such as for [how old is barack obama] to [how many children does michael jordan have?] Here are both desktop views and mobile views of the images in the quick answers on Google. The images do not come up for all searches, such as [how much does the iphone 5s weigh?] and []how many megapixels for iphone 5s] but it does work for iphone 5s focal length]. [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: Link Building Is Sweat Plus Creativity

link building sweat and creativity Back in June, Google head of webspam Matt Cutts participated in the annual You&A at SMX Advanced in Seattle, an hour-long event in which he was interviewed by SEL founding editor Danny Sullivan live in front of a large audience. A variety topics were covered, including important Google news, changes, and updates. The video itself is now on SMX’s YouTube Channel, and definitely worth an hour of your time: As always, Sullivan asked outstanding questions, doing his best to ascertain definitive answers with minimal wiggle room. Cutts was as frank as he ever is, although representing a [...]


Since May 91,000 Right-To-Be-Forgotten Takedown Requests

Right To Be Forgotten The Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) content removal requests in Europe keep coming in. It's difficult right now to know whether they're leveling off or continuing to increase. On the first day of availability Google's RTBF online form, it received 12,000 submissions. Sources familiar with the status of Google's program told us that there had been 91,000 takedown requests across Europe, involving nearly 330,000 URLs since the court decision that formalized RTBF earlier this year. These figures would suggest that RTBF requests had slowed but it might also be explained by pent-up from "early [...]


Google “Pigeon” Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal

maps-pigeon-600 Google has released a new algorithm to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. The changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results. Note: We've named this update the Pigeon update. The core changes are behind the scenes, but it does impact local search results rankings and some local businesses may notice an increase or decrease in web site referrals, leads and business from the change. Google told us that the new local search algorithm ties d [...]


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 [...]


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide