Tag

google search

Browsing

By Harish Jonnalagadda

fter what feels like an eternity, Google is bringing dark mode to Google Search for the desktop. The update is now rolling out globally, and like most server-side changes, you don’t have to do anything to receive it — you should automatically see the toggle to enable dark mode in the Search settings.

So if you’ve been waiting for a while to switch to dark mode in Google Search for desktop, here’s how you can do so right now.

How to enable dark mode in Google Search for desktop

  1. Go to Google Search and perform a query. I searched for Google.
  2. Navigate to the Settings icon (the gear icon on the right).

  1. You should see a toggle at the bottom of the settings to enable dark mode. Toggle Dark theme to enable dark mode in Google Search for desktop.

That’s all there is to it. If you want granular control or want Google Search to update its colour scheme based on your system theme, you can do so. Go to the Settings icon, select Search settings, and go to the Appearance tab that’s located on the left. In this section, you’ll see three options:

  • Device default: Matches the colour scheme of your device
  • Dark: Light text on a dark background
  • Light: Dark text on a light background

Select one of the options and hit Save to save these settings for your Google account. Doing so will save the preferences across devices.

With dark mode enabled, Google Search switches to a dark background with white text and blue accents for the links and buttons. There’s significantly less strain on your eyes, and it makes a huge difference in day-to-day use.

I’ve been using the Dark Reader extension in Chrome for a few years to get dark mode in Google Search for the desktop. Google rolled out dark mode a long time ago on the best Android phones, and while it took its time bringing the feature to desktop users, it is great to see that it is finally here.

Google says the feature will roll out over the coming weeks, so if you don’t see the option just yet, hang tight; it shouldn’t be too long before you can start using dark mode on Google Search for the desktop. With Google Search now getting the feature, it shouldn’t be too long before we see dark mode make its way to Drive, Maps, and other Google services on the desktop.

Feature Image Credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

By Harish Jonnalagadda

Sourced from androidcentral

 

By Abner Li

Google’s latest Search improvement is a “new system of generating titles for web pages” that better describes what a result is about.

One of the primary ways people determine which search results might be relevant to their query is by reviewing the titles of listed web pages. That’s why Google Search works hard to provide the best titles for documents in our results…

Google wants the main part of a search result — in between the domain/URL and summary — to be “more readable and accessible.” Introduced last week, the company says testing has shown that this new system is “preferred by searchers.”

The previous approach saw page titles possibly change based on the search query entered by users. This new system produces “titles that work better for documents overall.” As such, different page names will “generally” no longer occur.

Another aspect of this updated page title system sees Google place emphasis on text that “humans can visually see when they arrive at a web page.” Other page text and “text within links that point at pages” might also be factored.

We consider the main visual title or headline shown on a page, content that site owners often place within <H1> tags, within other header tags, or which is made large and prominent through the use of style treatments.

When Search encounters an “extremely long title,” Google will just use the “most relevant portion” and truncate the “more useful parts.” The company might also show site names alongside page titles when helpful.

For website owners, Google will soon release updated guidance:

However, our main advice on that page to site owners remains the same. Focus on creating great HTML title tags. Of all the ways we generate titles, content from HTML title tags is still by far the most likely used, more than 80% of the time.

By Abner Li

Sourced from 9 TO 5 Google

Sourced from wpbeginner

Do you want to get a Google featured snippet with your WordPress site?

Featured snippets are the highlighted results for a Google search. Users are more likely to click on a featured snippet than a plain search result.

In this article, we will show you how to get a Google featured snippet with your WordPress site without any technical knowledge.

Here is a quick overview of things we’ll cover in this article:

What are Google Featured Snippets?

Google featured snippets are highlighted results that’s shown at the top of the page above position one that’s why they’re also known as position 0.

In the featured snippet, Google may display a search result in the Answer box or highlight it using microdata from your website.

For example, if Google thinks that your website will answers user’s question adequately, then it will appear on top with relevant text displayed as the description.

Answer box

Similarly, Google also uses Schema.org metadata to fetch important information from websites and display them in search results at the top. For example, if you search for a local business, then their relevant business information will be at the top.

Local search results preview

Featured snippets can enhance product pages for your online store, better showcase your recipes, highlight your real estate listings, and more.

Product results with ratings and reviews

The enhanced search display of featured snippets improves your organic click-through rate and brings more free traffic to your website.

This is why all smart business owners optimize their website, so they can have maximum chances of appearing as featured snippets in Google search.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to get Google featured snippets for your WordPress posts and pages.

Getting Google Featured Snippet using All in One SEO

Google uses Schema.org metadata and their knowledge graph API to display different types of featured snippets.

Schema markup is a special vocabulary that you can use in your content’s HTML code to give search engines more context about your website and individual pages.

In the early days, this used to be hard for small businesses because it involved a lot of coding.

But that’s not the case anymore, thanks to plugins like All in One SEO for WordPress.

It is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market that’s used by over 2 million websites. They help you easily optimize your website for higher search engine rankings.

AIOSEO automatically adds Schema.org support which helps you provide information for Google Knowledge Graph. It has full WooCommerce SEO support, local SEO, images, news, video optimization, and more.

First, you need to install and activate the All in One SEO for WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you’ll be asked to run the setup wizard. It is the easiest way to quickly select the best SEO settings for your website.

All in One SEO set up wizard

Need help with the setup? See our complete guide on how to install and set up All in One SEO for WordPress.

Now, if you have followed the setup wizard, the basic settings for your website to appear in featured snippets are already set.

But we’ll show you what they do and how to change them if you need to.

Setting up Knowledge Graph Information in WordPress

First, you need to visit All in One SEO » Search Appearance page and scroll down to the Knowledge Graph section.

Knowledge graph information

From here, you can tell the search engines who your website represents (i.e. An organization or an individual). After that, you can provide your business phone number, logo, and contact type information.

Don’t forget to click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.

Knowledge Graph information is used by search engines to display knowledge panels. These panels appear when someone searches for an organization or individual person.

Knowledge panels in Google Search

Adding Local Business Information to Featured Snippets

More than 40% of all searches on the internet have a local intent. Majority of these searches lead to sales as users are looking for directions and things to buy near them.

Many businesses and organizations have retail locations and offices that customers can visit.

You can add this information using All in One SEO and let search engines automatically display it in featured snippets.

Local search results preview

First, go to the All in One SEO » Local SEO page and activate the Local SEO feature.

Choose single or multiple locations

Upon activation, you can choose if your organization or business has multiple locations. If you do, then you can go ahead and start adding those locations otherwise you can scroll down to add your business information.

Business information

After that, switch to the Opening Hours tab to add your business hours.

Opening hours for your business

For more details, check out our article on how to add business hours in WordPress.

Finally, you need to connect and verify your business using Google My Business website. This gives you more control over your business’s appearance in Google search results and improves your chances appearing more often in featured snippets.

Add SEO Schema Markup in WordPress Posts / Pages

All in One SEO automatically adds the correct Schema markup for your content. However, you can review these settings and change them if needed.

Simply go to All in One SEO » Search Appeaerance page and switch to the content types tab. From here, you’ll see all your post types listed (posts, pages, products).

You need to click on the ‘Schema’ for a post type to change its default settings.

Default schema settings

What if you didn’t want to change schema type for all posts? Well, AIOSEO let’s you change Schema markup for individual posts, pages, and other post types as well.

Simply edit the post or page you want to change and scroll down to the AIOSEO settings box below the post editor.

Default schema settings

This feature is particularly useful for businesses that use Pages to sell products with or without using an Ecommerce plugins. You can then simply edit your product landing page and change its schema type to Product.

Changing any page schema to a product in WordPress

Another way to turn your search listing into a more enhanced featured snippet is by using Breadcrumb navigation.

Breadcrumb navigation tells users where they are on a website relative to the homepage. It is then displayed as a trail of links and would also appear in search results.

Breadcrumb navigation in search results

You can also display the breadcrumb navigation trail on your website. This allows users to go up and down, browse categories, and discover more products and content.

Breadcrumbs on a WooCommerce store product page

For search engines, All in One SEO automatically adds the required markup to your website’s HTML code. However, if you want to display breadcrumbs on your site too, then you can go to All in One SEO » General Settings page and switch to the Breadcrumbs tab.

Enable breadcrumbs display in All in One SEO

From here, you need to Enable Breadcrumbs and then use one of the available methods to display the links. For more details, check out our article on how to add breadcrumb navigation links in WordPress.

Get Site Links for WordPress in Google Search

Site Links are the additional links that Google may show below a particular search term. They usually appear for brand and website names, but they may appear for other types of searches as well.

Site Links

To get site links, you need to add your website to Google Search Console and submit your XML sitemap.

Add sitemap to Google Search Console

You can increase your chances of getting site links by creating a proper website structure. This includes adding all the important pages for your website and use categories to properly organize your website structure.

Appear in The Answer Box for Google Search

What’s better than ranking #1 for a keyword?

Ranking #0 in the answer box.

Answer boxes are the search results that appear on the top and Google considers them to be answering user’s search intent.

Answer box

Answer boxes have an average click-through rate of 32% which makes them highly lucrative. Particularly for keywords with a purchase intent Answer boxes can lead to sales and boost conversions.

The only way to appear in the answer boxes is to improve the quality of your content. Make sure it is comprehensive and answers users’ questions from different angles.

See our detailed tutorial on how to appear in the Google Answer boxes with your WordPress posts and pages.

We hope this tutorial helped you get featured snippets with your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to get more traffic to your website with proven tips, and our comparison of the best email marketing services.

Sourced from wpbeginner

By

Google will now highlight what you have been seeking

People use search engines in a variety of ways, and if you’re just looking for general information about a subject, it’s a simple matter of clicking search results. But if you’re looking for references to a particular snippet of text, finding where it has been mentioned on a page can be problematic.

Google has always been able to surface pages which contain the text you search for, but now an important change is being made that will make it easier to locate the text. It means you’ll no longer have to press Ctrl and F to perform a secondary search for a phrase once you have visited a page.

When you experience the change, you will wonder why on Earth Google didn’t do this earlier. So what’s the change? It’s actually something that the company has been doing with AMP pages (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for around a year and a half. When you click on a snippet of text in search results, you’ll be transported to that exact piece of text on a page.

More than this, Google will also highlight the text in question helping to dramatically speed things up. It’s great if you’re looking to find the full text of what was said next in a speech, but don’t want to have to read through a lengthy transcript to track it down – Google does the hard work for you, and take you straight there. While this is great for searchers, it might not be so great for websites as it means that visitors could jump past ads straight to content.

Seek and ye shall find

The great news about the feature from the point of view of anyone with a website is that no action needs to be taken by the site owner. There are no changes to code needed, as Google takes care of the whole process entirely automatically. Just as it has done with AMP pages, it is now doing with HTML pages too.

It is possible, however, for site administrators to opt out of the “featured snippets” feature, as Google explains in a support document. The company explained on Twitter how the feature makes use of the Scroll to text function to take searchers directly to text snippets:

While, in theory, the feature should work in all browsers, there may be issues from time to time. Chrome is likely to yield the best results but, as ever, it’s worth ensuring you have all of the latest updates installed for your browser of choice.

Feature Image Credit: Future

By

Sourced from techradar 

Sourced from Seeking Alpha

Summary

Google’s grip on the search market is near complete. However, from far outfield there’s surprising competition emerging.

Ecosia is a search alternative running mostly on Microsoft’s Bing. But it’s not competing by offering better search.

Ecosia is taking on Google not by offering better search, but by offering enhanced privacy and social investing.

Recent circumstances have brought these benefits to a much wider audience and growth of Ecosia has taken off as a result.

While Goole’s (GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) search engine has a seemingly iron grip on the search market and ad income from search constitutes more than 86% of Google’s revenue, competition is emerging from a surprising corner of the market.

Google search business could suffer from the rising popularity of an alternative search engine called Ecosia, a browser mostly powered by Microsoft’s (MSFT) bing engine. The popularity of Ecosia has gotten a very big boost recently, and we’ll discuss why.

Ad dominance

Googleand to a lesser extent Facebook (FB) are dominating the digital ad market, and this is easy to show in one graph, from Investopedia:

Here are US figures, from eMarketeer:

The dominance of Google and Facebook in the digital ad market is waning just a little bit lately, as companies like Amazon (AMZN) Twitter (TWTR), Snap (SNAP) and Pinterest (PINS) are growing fast. There shouldn’t be any doubt about Google’s continued dominance. It will take a long time for these relative newcomers to catch up.

Search dominance

Google’s dominance in search is even bigger compared to digital ads. Once again from Visualcapitalist:

It’s so dominant that to google has become a verb and synonymous with search. One would never imagine Google being unseated in the search market, as big competitors like Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo and others weren’t able to make a dent.

What’s more, search runs on algorithms, which need big data, which creates a situation that the largest companies are at an advantage.

Google derives most of its revenue from search (in the order of 86%). Any inroads here will have very serious implications for its finances. From the Q2 10-Q:

Ecosia

Ecosia is a Berlin, Germany,-based company that launched 10 years ago, founded by Christian Kroll. It’s taking on Google, but not because it’s a better search engine, instead it provides two unique angles in the competitive battle:

  • Privacy
  • Social benefits

On the first, from Wikipedia:

Searches are encrypted, not stored permanently, and data is not sold to third-party advertisers. The company states in their privacy policy that they do not create personal profiles based on search history, nor do they use external tracking tools like Google Analytics.

Management recently clashed with Google, accusing it of anti-competitive behavior (EU-startups):

Ecosia today confirms that it has declined to take part in Google’s recently-announced auction for the right to be a “default” search engine on Android. Ecosia calls upon Google to abandon this unethical practice and allow users to freely choose which search engine they use, rather than auctioning off access to the highest bidder. Ecosia is the first search engine decided to reject Google’s “invitation” to this anti-competitive auction and calls other search engines to join.

On the second, the company spends 80% of its search ad profits to planting trees. Here are some data on that:

  • Every search request removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • It takes roughly 45 searches to plant one tree as Ecosia earns about 0.5 eurocents per search and it cost 22 eurocents to plant a tree.
  • While Ecosia is a for-profit business (albeit a social one), the founder cannot sell and profits cannot be taken out of the company.
  • By February this year, the company had planted 50M trees.

The search engine is actually powered by Microsoft’s bing (enhanced with their own algorithms running on servers powered by alternative energy). It earns money on search ads. It also earns money on some merchandise and the profits on these also go mostly to planting trees. So if it sells a t-shirt, that’s 20 trees planted (according to their FAQs).

The social aspect has important competitive benefits, from Browsermedia (our emphasis):

Nielsen carried out an online study and asked 30,000 digital consumers what they thought about the products they buy, and what they’re prepared to pay for a sustainable product. Sixty-six percent of people asked said they were prepared to pay more for a product sold by a company who is environmentally aware and committed to sustainability.

In fact, by using Ecosia, you don’t even have pay more (search is free). Quite the contrary, you get much better privacy protection in the process so you don’t “pay” by surrendering private data either.

Growth

One might infer that the use of the browser is likely to get a boost from the recent fires in the Amazon as it’s an easy way for people who are concerned and feel helpless to do something.

One can add to this recent insight that tree planting is by far the most viable and cheapest way to combat climate change. Does this expectation pan out?

In 2017, it was still tiny (Browsermedia):

Ecosia boasts over 5.5 million active users, and receives on average 56 queries per second. Google, in contrast, has over 1.17 billion users, and receives over 40,000 queries every second.

As it turns out, there’s indeed a recent big boost, from Bigthink (our emphasis):

But last week did yield some good news for the Brazilian Amazon: Ecosia, a search engine that donates some of its profits to tree-planting projects, saw a 1150% increase in downloads on Thursday as more people become aware of the fires, becoming the top-ranked iOS app in Brazil.

And here is Businessinsider with more details:

CEO Christian Kroll told Business Insider that the non-profit usually sees 20,000 daily downloads on average, but that shot up 1150% to 250,000 on 22 August, as media coverage around the Amazon fires intensified.

A quarter of a million downloads in a single day, that adds up. Not to put a pun on it, but this could spread like wildfire (Bigthink, our emphasis):

Users voicing their concern on social media is partly responsible for the uptick in Ecosia’s downloads. Business Insider found Instagram users encouraging their friends to download the app in response to the rainforest fires, and the app is prominently mentioned by users on Twitter alongside the #PrayforAmazonia hashtag.

So this is clearly spreading socially with the passion generated by the fires and what many see as an inadequate reaction spurring people to downloading Ecosia.

Wider implications

We also think there’s a competitive lesson that has potentially much wider implications. There’s a substantial market for products and services that, as long as they are “good enough” on their basic function (like Bing in search) might be able to take on much more capitalized competitors by embracing social goals.

In fact, they could even charge premium prices for doing so, as we showed research above that suggested that a substantial part of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for companies to embrace social goals.

It won’t work in every market, but this search example shows that not even the most dominant, entrenched companies are entirely immune from these forces.

In fact, as search is free so any competitor competing on social goals like Ecosia doesn’t have to charge premium prices, Google might be one of the more vulnerable companies to this competitive threat.

Conclusion

Google’s dominance in search seems near absolute, but Ecosia using an innovative business model that addresses important privacy claims and devotes 80% of its search ad profits to planting trees might be well positioned to make serious inroads.

It’s dangerous for Google simply because of the unique cocktail of low switching costs, high passions (produced by the Amazon fires and the Brazilian President’s reaction) and the impotence of alternative meaningful actions for those worried about the Amazon.

Add to that recent reports that identified tree planting as by far the cheapest way to combat climate change, and you could very well have a winning formula with Ecosia.

Since Ecosia is largely running on Microsoft’s bing, the latter too will get a significant boost from Ecosia’s growth, which might be something for investors to consider, although search is only a very small part of Microsoft’s revenue.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Sourced from Seeking Alpha

By Richard James

There is no denying the power of Google. The search engine has become so popular that the term “Googling” has become synonymous with the very idea of looking something up. The only problem is that while people look to Google for answers, they do not look very hard.

Most people never look past the first page of results. This means that falling to the second page is almost as bad as being on the tenth page. Given that the vast majority of people begin online by using a search engine, this is not something any successful website can afford.

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is the key to landing a prime position on the front page. However, competing with big businesses who have monopolised all the most popular words and phrases can be more than a little intimidating. That is not even mentioning all the other businesses and blogs out there who are fighting for the same position.

Not to worry though! There are several relatively simple tips and tricks that can give anyone the edge they need. The reason why everyone is not taking advantage of these techniques is that they are not the most intuitive since it involves working with the inherent disadvantages rather than trying to get rid of them.

The Disadvantages

In order to turn these so-called weaknesses into strengths, the first step is to understand what they are. To begin with, no-one is going to be able to compete with big industry names when it comes to popular phrases from the start.

Websites have a domain authority score rated out of 100. This score is heavily influenced by how many external links there are to that particular site. The big-name popular sites will have tens of thousands of links meaning that their domain score is often 70+.

So competing directly is very hard. Achieving that kind of domain score would require years of work and a huge monetary investment. Fortunately, there are other ways to make it on to Google’s front page. All that is required is a little creative thinking.

Long-Tail Keywords

Since no-one can fight the big names for popular phrases, the next best thing will have to be used instead. Long-tail keywords are longer and more precise phrases used to search for items.

Take this guide for example. The popular “head” keyword would be “ First Page of Google “. A long-tail search might look something like “ How do I get my Website on the First Page of Google Search “. The thing is, that the majority of Internet users search with phrases that are long-tail keywords. People want answers to their specific problems. So, if these searches can be predicted then there is no need to fight over head keywords. It is like casting ten smaller but more accurate nets instead of one larger one.

The great thing about this strategy is that when a relevant website appears when someone has searched for a long-tail keyword, people are more likely to stick around. This is because they asked for something specific and got a result so they believe the thing they are looking for must be somewhere within the site.

While it is true that head keywords are searched more often than any long-tailed keyword the difference does not matter that much. Long-tailed keywords have a much higher conversion rate which is the truly desirable result. It is better to have 20,000 users with an 80% conversion rate than it is to have 60,000 users with 20% conversions.

Write More Posts

The problem with utilising a strategy focused on long-tail keywords is that it requires a lot of content to back it up. A good blog post will feature a couple of keywords at the most. To capitalise on all the different keywords that will bring a website to the front page require a lot of different posts to catch a lot of different search terms.

So how many posts is enough? The industry standard is to write at least 16 posts per month, probably a little more. This means that the competition is averaging a new post slightly more often than every second day.

These are not low-quality, short-form posts either. Most posts that turn up on Google’s front page are over 2,000 words in length. Write guides with lots of useful details to help people fix their specific problems. Again, being specific is better since it allows for more long-tail keywords to be spread out across multiple posts. It is also harder to run out of things to talk about if the topic is not exhausted quickly.

Still, a brand new 2,000-word article every 2 days in 3 is a lot of content. At that point, it may be worth finding a dedicated content creator. Fortunately, content marketing is the cheapest form marketing available right now and it generates the most leads.

As well as being informative, the content needs to generate the highest CTR possible. This means optimising both the headline and the meta description. Then, as CTR increases the search engine ranking also increases.

One common trick is to figure out a headline that is the opposite of common wisdom. For example, if someone is searching “How to do X” and they see a headline saying “Learning How to do X is a Bad Idea!” they are going to stop and read a little more. Subverting expectations is a great way to stand out from the competition.

Become Featured Elsewhere

Generating all that content is a lot of work so it’s time to supplement it with something that requires far less effort. As mentioned before, all of the competition, including the big names, rely on content generation. This can be turned into an advantage.

A lot of these sites write content round-ups and features about other sites and blogs. All that is required is to be featured in their work. It is like advertising, except without the fees attached. Both sides win since one needs content to feature and the other needs to be featured. The result is essentially free advertising.

The thing about sites dedicated to ranking other sites and services is that people trust them. Customers believe that their work has been done for them and so they are free to choose the site from the ranking that suits them the best. For anyone who makes it on to these lists, it means competing with 4 to 9 other websites instead of hundreds.

This method requires very little time or effort. All that is needed is to reach out to the site ranking hosts with a pitch. It does not cost anything at all and there are huge returns for every successful attempt.

The key factors to ranking in Google are;

Quality and depth of your content

You need to cover your subject in an in-depth way and provide users with quality content and answers to their search queries.

Quality and number of inbound links

You need to get other quality website to link to your website, which can be done by content distribution to other high-quality website from within your niche. Always focus on quality and not quantity.

Fast Loading

Make sure your website load quickly for users, as nobody likes to wait for slow loading websites. You can test your website speed with Google. Click here

Mobile friendly

With the majority of users now using mobile devices it is imperative that your website is optimised for mobile use, and they can find the content they require quickly.

Domain Authority

You need to build the authority of your website using both content you publish on your website and by having external links to your website from high authority and related websites.

Security

You should ensure your website is free from any viruses or malware, and make sure it is hosted on a secure server and is accessible from https and make use of a SSL certificate.

Paid Advertisements

Paying for AdWords is probably not the first thing that comes to mind for anyone thinking about trying to reach Google’s front page. There is a strategy here and as always, it is about building an advantage from an unusual angle.

Results from AdWords are typically irrelevant to most searches. This is because the people who pay for it are not interested in being part of the organic search. Conversely, most people who want to be part of the organic search are not thinking about the ads that everyone has to scroll past to reach their search results.

Take a search for “best car insurance” for example. Someone entering this term is likely looking for a list comparing different insurance providers so that they can make an informed decision. There is no way any insurance provider is going to appear in these search results. Still, the insurance providers want a chance to capture some customers who are searching for this term and so they pay for AdWords.

A well-positioned advert that is actually relevant to the searcher’s intent is going to generate traffic. Also, because the adverts appear before the organic search results it is a little like skipping the line to be top of the list. So long as the advert is built to look like one of the results the user is actually looking for it is going to work. The more focused your ads is and the landing page you send them to the better results you will get. For example if you users was searching for “bmw 5 series car insurance, and your ads says “Best price BMW 5 Series car insurance” the users is much more likely to click on the ad and if the landing page is about BMW 5 series car insurance the user is much more likely to convert into a customer or enquiry.

Summary

No-one is going to make it on to Google’s first page of results immediately. A lot of the best keywords have long since been eaten up by the biggest names. These companies have long reputations that make competing directly extremely difficult.

There are ways to get around the limitations and still make it with enough time and hard work. First, use long-tail keywords. Finding the right ones takes some research but it is well worth the effort since they boast a much higher conversion rate than shorter phrases anyway.

Next is content. Content provides the platform for the keywords to come into play. Make sure to produce constantly and make sure that the posts are detailed with a narrow focus. Once enough has been produced it can be submitted to review sites. Making it onto a top 5 or a top 10 list is always going to generate a lot of attention.

Finally, it is always possible to utilise ads. AdWords results that look enough like organic search results will generate extra traffic. It is simply a matter of being creative and doing the proper research beforehand to make sure the advert has the correct look and feel.

These tips are not conclusive but they are a good place to start. The thing they have all have in common is creative thinking and with enough imagination, it is possible to go much further. Any site can sit right beside the biggest names with the right approach.

By Richard James

Has worked for many Internet marketing companies over the years, and has contributed to many online publications. If there is a story, he will find it.

Sourced from The Tribune World

By 

Google has the ability to understand a search query and return billions of web pages in a fraction of a second, but how does it really work?

Google makes light work of returning more web pages than you can shake a stick at in the blink of an eye. The search engine uses a series of algorithms – the exact ins and outs of which remain a close-guarded mystery, with Google only ever revealing minor details and cryptic tips – to sort through the billions of pages in its index. These algorithms have been known to be updated up to 600 times per year. In short, they analyse user queries in order to give you the most fitting web pages.

Crawling the web

Before you even think about searching for something, Google is already at work, collecting data from the internet using web crawler software, also known as spiders. The spiders follow links across the web to discover pages and bank information in Google’s enormous and constantly updating index. Sources at Google claim that its index holds hundreds of billions of web pages and is more than 100,000,000gb in size, so there’s plenty to read through.

The bigger and more popular a site is, the more often the spiders will visit to capture new information. Webmasters – those in charge of a website – can ask Google’s spiders to leave their pages out of the index, and also request to be crawled more frequently, but ultimately this is Google’s decision and no amount of money will sway its stance on crawl frequency. Google has said: “We provide the same tools to all websites to ensure the best possible results for our users”.

If you ever encounter a website owner who requests Google doesn’t crawl their pages, keep in mind that a Google search is actually a search of its index – not a search of the entire web – so the only way to be discovered would be via an alternative search engine.

Google has an index size of more than 100,000,000gb Credit: Getty

Understanding your needs

When you type your query, Google will identify and analyse the words used to work out what your search means. Using advanced tools that help understand natural language – including its synonym system, which tackles words with multiple meanings – as well as correcting spelling errors, Google categorises your search by looking for triggers such as “review”, “opening hours”, “yesterday” and more. It then searches its index to offer up the best pages.

Refining your search for you

Spelling corrections are part of what makes Google an awesome tool and further highlight its desire for high-quality results. In the past, a misspelt query would return a series of misspelt results, with an option to click on the “Did you mean…” text to re-run the search using the correct spelling. More recently, Google has decided the best thing for the user is to implement an interface that it calls Full Page Replacement, which adjusts your spelling for what it believes is correct and shows a correctly spelt series of results. On the off chance that Google is wrong, there’s always the “Search instead for…” text for you to click.

Due to the number of pages that are uploaded to the web every second of every day, you might spot changes in your search results within a short amount of time. That’s because Google doesn’t sleep – it’s constantly looking to add new content to its index by recrawling. Live events and breaking news stories will see results pages change fairly rapidly, whereas long-standing information, such as that about historical figures (who aren’t often collecting online attention) will be far more stable.

Google says that it handles “trillions of searches each year” and that 15 per cent of all queries are new. That’s a heck of a lot of information to process, which is why the search engine has to think up different ways of showcasing data and satisfying users. One of the biggest implementations came in 2012 with the introduction of the Knowledge Graph (the information box you’ll see on the right-hand side following a relevant desktop Google search, such as “What is the Statue of Liberty?”) .

The need to evolve

The Knowledge Graph is a huge database of people, places and things that aims to satisfy queries and encourage users to discover more through suggested connections and related areas.

In 2015, Google thought of another way to help users when it introduced its People Also Ask boxes, which were made dynamic two years later. Ask a relevant question – such as “Can you eat cheese when pregnant?” – and you’ll see a neat little collection of additional questions that may well prove relevant. The addition of the dynamic feature means that you can lose yourself in a bit of a Google rabbit hole, watching the People Also Ask questions change and become more relevant the more you click on them.

With more web activity moving to mobile and the adoption of intelligent personal assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, the biggest search engine in the world is sure to continue its evolution and advancing intelligence for years to come.

Feature Image: Ask Google a question and get an answer in fractions of a second Credit: Getty

By 

Sourced from The Telegraph

By  Ayaz Nanji

Direct website traffic is the factor that most influences how well pages rank on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs), according to recent research from SEM Rush.

The annual report was based on an analysis of 600,000 keywords with a range of search volumes. The researchers examined the top 100 SERP results for each term to determine which factors influence page rank on Google.

Pages that are hosted on websites with a high number of direct visits (sites which people often go straight to) tend to consistently rank well in Google search, the analysis found.

Other factors that have a strong influence on how well pages rank include time on site, pages per session, and bounce rate.

Overall, factors that signal website quality and relevance to Google are much more influential on page rank than traditional SEO factors such as keyword density.

Some additional key findings from the report :

The top three ranking pages for a keyword tend to have content that is 45% longer, on average, compared with the page in the 20th position.

People visit between 3 and 3.5 pages, on average, after arriving to a site via search.

Some 65% of pages that rank for high-volume keywords use HTTPS.

A page is more likely to rank well in search if it is hosted on a website that receives a high number of backlinks and has a high number of referring domains, the analysis found.

The link between page rank and the number of backlinks/referring domains is especially strong with high-volume keywords.

About the research: The annual report was based on an analysis of 600,000 keywords with a range of different search volumes. The researchers examined the top 100 SERP results for each term to determine which factors influence page rank on Google.

By Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

Sourced from MarketingProfs

By Ayaz Nanji.

Ranking among the top Google search results is increasingly driven by dynamic factors, such as content relevance and user intent, rather than static factors, such as the number of keywords and links on a webpage, according to recent research from Searchmetrics.

The annual Searchmetrics ranking factors report was based on an analysis conducted in 2016 of Google search results for 10,000 keywords. The researchers examined which webpages were presented in the top 10 mobile and desktop results for each keyword and then determined which factors correlated to high rankings.

The presence of a few technical requirements, such as H1 tags and HTTPS encryption, help pages rank well across almost all keywords, the analysis found.

However, many of the other factors that influence high search rank, such as time spent on site and click-through rate (CTR), are dependent on individual searchers and pieces of content.

The fact that top search results for keywords are now driven less and less by universal factors led Searchmetrics to conclude that marketers should increasingly focus on topic-specific SEO/content tactics rather than broad approaches.

As the researchers put it in the report: “Except for important technical standards, there are no longer any specific factors or benchmark values that are universally valid for all online marketers and SEOs. Instead, there are different ranking factors for every single industry, or even every single search query. And these now change continuously.”

About the research: The annual Searchmetrics ranking factors report was based on an analysis conducted in 2016 of Google search results for 10,000 keywords. The researchers examined which webpages were presented in the top 10 mobile and desktop results for each keyword and then determined which factors correlated to high rankings.

By Ayaz Nanji

Sourced from MarketingProfs