STAFF Matt Southern 1.4K READS A recent study from Stone Temple shows that people are becoming increasingly more comfortable with conducting voice searches in public. Moreover, the use of voice search commands while at home appears to be going down. Stone Temple’s second annual study of mobile voice usage trends examines how people use voice commands, when they’re used, and why. According to the company, results of the study are an indication that using our voice to interact with devices will soon be as common as using touch input. Compared to last year’s study, greater percentages of people surveyed reported to use voice search in nearly every environment except for two. Can you spot them? If you look closely you’ll see that, compared to last year, fewer people reported to use voice search at home alone and at home with friends. Those may have been the two situations in which you would have assumed more people would be most comfortable uttering commands to their phones. While those are still in the lead, the amount of people using voice search in a public setting is catching up. Growing numbers of people report to be using voice search in public environments such as the office, public transportation, restaurants, parties, the gym, and even theaters. This is especially interesting when you consider, in the same survey, people report to be annoyed when hearing others giving commands to their phones. A whopping 45% of people either “agree” or “strongly agree” that they feel annoyed when hearing someone else use voice commands. Over 60% of respondents say they like voice search because it’s fast and requires no typing, and over 66% agree that voice commands make using a smartphone easier. Perhaps that’s why so many people have no qualms about using voice search in public…
Ryan Jones 2.2K READS Editor’s note: This is a chapter from Search Engine Journal’s new e-book, SEO 101: Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization. Want to read the full guide? Download your copy of SEO 101 now! In 2009, Bill Gates gave a speech at a private dinner where he famously said “the future of search is verbs.” Gates wasn’t talking about the words people type into search boxes, he was instead talking about why people search. Before we can understand why search is important, we need to take a step back and understand why people search. Why People Search In the early days, people searched to find a list of documents that contained the words they typed in. That’s no longer the case. Today’s searchers search to solve problems, to accomplish tasks, and to “do” something. They might be searching to book a flight, buy something, learn the latest Taylor Swift lyrics, or browse cat photos – but these are all actions. Or, as Gates referred to them, verbs. When a user starts a search, they’re really starting a journey. Marketers love to talk about something called “the consumer journey.” It’s just a fancy way of referencing a user’s path from the inception of their task to the completion – and most of these journeys start with a search. The consumer journey has been gradually playing a larger role in search over the last decade. Originally depicted as a funnel wherein users move from awareness to consideration to purchase, this old consumer journey has become outdated (although we still use this model for illustrative purposes and to make persona research easier). The Evolution of Search & the Consumer Journey The modern consumer journey no longer represents a funnel, but looks more like a crazy straw – with various…
STAFF Danny Goodwin 4.2K READS Editor’s note: This is a chapter from Search Engine Journal’s new e-book, SEO 101: Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization. Want to read the full guide? Download your copy of SEO 101 now! Search engine optimization (SEO), according to our definition, is: The process of optimizing a website – as well as all the content on that website – so it will appear in prominent positions in the organic results of search engines. SEO requires an understanding of how search engines work, what people search for, and why and how people search. Successful SEO makes a site appealing to users and search engines. It is a combination of technical and marketing. But there is no single definition of SEO. That’s why I reached out to more than 60 SEO experts and asked them how they would define what search engine optimization is now. All of their answers and perspectives are unique – and not one of these definitions of SEO is wrong. Here’s how these SEO professionals say we should answer the question, “what is SEO?” in 2018. Benj Arriola / SEO Director, Myers Media Group Google continuously develops and improves upon their algorithm to create a sophisticated machine that learns as it grows; the more it learns, the less humans can comprehend. Over the years, SEO strategies have evolved in attempts to keep pace with Google’s algorithm changes and updates with the use of machine learning and data science, and this is SEO in 2018. Yet some things never change, one factor remains constant: Google has always focused on quality, beneficial content that users love to read, watch, listen to, and share. With quality content that benefits the user as a focal point in Google’s ranking algorithm, it is imperative to also make that the priority of…
In one corner stands backlink quality. Marketers everywhere are arguing that all you need to worry about to improve your rankings is the quality of the backlinks you’re generating. There’s no need to worry about the number of backlinks so long as the ones you generate are from high domain authority websites. But are they right? In the other corner stands those who argue for the quantity of backlinks. They say that the amount of backlinks you generate is far more important than the quality of those backlinks. In fact, they would argue that the quality of the backlinks matters very little if at all. But are they right? Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss. And my goal is to finish this debate once and for all. Or at least to settle it until Google comes out with a new algorithm update. But before I get too ahead of myself, what are backlinks? Backlinks are links that travel from another website to your website. They can come from social media sites and directories, but they most often come from blog posts and the content of other websites. Ideally, those links come from other relevant websites within your niche and industry. Marketers like yourself are scrambling to build these beauties because they massively impact your rankings on Google. If you have a lot of high-quality backlinks, then your stats might end up looking something like this. And that’s what we all want, right? We all want our backlinks to raise our website through the rankings and generate passive traffic and leads consistently every month. That’s the dream of every marketing strategy. But should you focus on quantity or quality of backlinks? While the two sides are fighting, let’s take a moment to discuss the ins and outs of each, and then…
STAFF Anna Crowe 9.3K READS Editor’s note: This post is part of an ongoing series looking back at the history of Google algorithm updates. Enjoy! There are plenty of rabbit holes to fall into when it comes to Google algorithm updates. One of my favorites (after the unsolved mystery of Fred) involves the 2012 Google algorithm update on page layout and the above-the-fold movement. Like the JCPenney link building scandal, there are still plenty of people who talk about this Google algorithm update — you just have to know who to ask. But you don’t have to go digging into the archives, we’ve got you covered here. This post will tell you everything you need to know about Google’s page layout algorithm, how it has evolved over the years, and what it means to you now. What Was the Google Page Layout Algorithm? The arrival of a high-quality user experience and more sophisticated on-page SEO might have felt premature in the wake of 2011 Panda updates, but Google made it official on January 19, 2012: the page layout algorithm was here. The page layout algorithm update targeted websites with too many static advertisements above the fold. These ads would force users to scroll down the page to see content. Google said this algorithm would affect less than 1 percent of websites. But, the 1 percent of those sites affected were forced to design a better user experience. This update didn’t include pop-ups or overlay ads. Page Layout/Above the Fold Google Algorithm Update Timeline Here’s a quick snapshot of how the algorithm has changed over time: 1. January 19, 2012: Page Layout Algorithm Launched Google introduced the first-page layout algorithm update, also known as “Top Heavy” or the above the fold algorithm update, impacting sites that showed too many ads above the fold….
STAFF Danny Goodwin 13K READS Want to up your SEO game and be more successful in 2018? Good! You’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find tips from some of the top SEO professionals. They will tell you just about everything you need to know to succeed in 2018. However, before we get to our main event, I must note that after our 2017 edition of SEO trends launched last year on Search Engine Journal, we heard a couple of complaints about how long it was. Well, you’ll be happy to know that this year’s SEO trends post is a mere 13,014 words, down from 13,839 last year. You’re welcome. 10+ SEO Trends That Will Dominate 2018 As an added bonus, this year we’ve added this helpful TL;DR section for those of you with extremely short-attention spans who care not about context or details but simply want to know what the most important SEO trends tricks will be in 2018. If this sounds like you, here you go: Mobile-first Voice search Schema Featured snippets Content Machine learning and AI Speed Technical SEO Links A whole lot more! (TIE) So go focus on all those things and I’m sure you’ll be just fine. For those of you who plan to read on, we’ve got some amazing insights in store for you about why all these things (and many others) will matter so much in 2018 – as well as what you need to do and how to do it. So what SEO trends should you focus on in 2018? Here’s what you need to know, according to 47 SEO experts. Dawn Anderson, Managing Director, Move It Marketing It feels that this year has very much been around “fast is the only speed,” given we know that mobile search is now so prominent…
So, you found out about the power of backlinks. Maybe a marketing friend told you how backlinks can benefit your SEO and drive traffic to your website. Or maybe you read an online article that briefly mentioned the word “backlink.” Whatever the case, you’re intrigued. And you’re not just intrigued. You’re interested in building a backlinking strategy. But you also recognize a serious problem: No one knows who you are. So why would they link to you or your website? After all, the number of backlinks you actually need to land on the first page of Google results is enough to make most marketers give up. Even the ninth and tenth positions have an average of over 30,000 backlinks. And the relationship between linking domains and rankings tells a similarly discouraging story. Won’t that take years to build? Well, the short answer is yes. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start right away with your unknown name and website. In fact, despite the opinions of other online articles you’ve read, you don’t actually need to be famous to build backlinks. There are lots of different ways to build backlinks, and many of them don’t require a celebrity’s status. But before we look at eight different ways that you can build backlinks when no one knows who you are, let’s first take a quick moment to discuss why high-quality backlinks rather than low-quality backlinks are so important. Why you should aim for high-quality backlinks It’s tempting to hire a black hat SEO agency to build backlinks for your website. But there’s a reason marketers call it “black hat.” It’s the dark side of SEO. By that, I mean that black hat SEO strategies are risky, largely unethical, and don’t necessarily help your rankings. Black hat SEO tactics link your website to a variety…
<div 10=”” 2017=”” _ngcontent-c23=”” innerhtml=” The way I see it, marketing and advertising strategies can be split into two main categories: long-term and short-term. Short-term strategies are ideal if you need to build traffic or sales quickly; for a set amount of money, you can place and ad or distribute a message that leads to an immediate, but finite influx of new interested customers. Long-term strategies, on the other hand, require more investment—both in time and in money. They don’t usually allow you to see results right away, but over time, their effectiveness grows, ultimately leading to a higher long-term ROI and a better capacity to sustain themselves. So what’s the best long-term online marketing strategy? SEO Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of my personal favorite strategies. It’s the process of optimizing your website (and off-site targets) to increase your rankings and visibility in search engines. This increase in rankings will result in more traffic and, hopefully, more revenue. It’s advantageous because of its: Flexibility. Your strategic direction in SEO is usually dictated by the types of keywords you want to target and the type of visibility you want to earn. Since pretty much everybody uses search engines as a conduit for their eventual online interactions, this makes SEO an enormously flexible strategy. You can use it for almost any business in any industry, and customize it to your needs. Targeting. SEO is also advantageous because of its precision. Though you’ll be in the dark about certain subjective metrics, like your exact domain authority, you can track your rankings and scrutinize meticulous details about your audience. Sustained authority. The authority you build in your SEO campaign is permanent. You’ll continue reaping results of your efforts even after you’ve ended your campaign. Content Marketing Content marketing serves as an excellent…