Today, keywords still play a significant role in search habits, and in how Google and other search engines deliver search results. The trend, however, is moving further and further away from this, especially on Google’s side. Google wants to become less dependent on keywords, and gradually doing so.
Do you see this trend as a problem or a potential problem to your online marketing efforts? Tell us what you think.
When Google launched the Knowledge Graph, it was clear how proud the company’s engineers and executives are of what they have put together.
Google’s Matt Cutts proclaimed, “It’s another step away from raw keywords (without knowing what those words really mean) toward understanding things in the real-world and how they relate to each other. The knowledge graph improves our ability to understand the intent of a query so we can give better answers and search results.”
SInce then, Google has made numerous enhancements to the Knowledge Graph, and has tweaked its algorithm in other ways that would seem to indicate a decreased dependence on keywords. In fact, there have probably been a number of changes related to this that we don’t even know about because Google stopped publishing their monthly lists of algorithm updates for some reason.
Then there’s search-by-voice and conversational search.
Google put out a pretty interesting Webmaster Help video this week in which Cutts discusses voice search’s impact on searcher behavior. In response to the question, “How has query syntax changed since voice search has become more popular?” Cutts talks about the trends that Google is seeing.
“It’s definitely the case that if you have something coming in via voice, people are more likely to use natural language,” says Cutts. “They’re less likely to use like search operators and keywords and that sort of thing. And that’s a general trend that we see. Google wants to do better at conversational search, and just giving your answers directly if you’re asking in some sort of a conversational mode.”
While search-by-voice is certainly a growing trend on mobile, Google, as you may know, recently launched its conversational search feature for the desktop, and improvements to that shouldn’t be far off.
Cutts continues, “At some point, we probably have to change our mental viewpoint a little bit, because normally if you add words onto your query, you’re doing an ‘and’ between each of those words, and so as you do more and more words, you get fewer and fewer results, because fewer and fewer documents match those words. What you would probably want if you have spoken word queries is the more that you talk, the more results you get because we know more about it, and so you definitely have to change your viewpoint from ‘it’s an and of every single word’ to trying to extract the gist – you know, just summarize what they’re looking for, and that matching that overall idea.”
Good luck trying to optimize for gist.
“If you take it to a limit, you can imagine trying to do a query to Google using an entire document or you know, a thousand words or something like that,” Cutts adds. “And rather than match only the documents that had all thousand of those words, ideally, you’d say, ‘Okay, what is the person looking for? Maybe they’re telling you an awful lot about this topic, but try to distill down what the important parts are, and search for that.’ And so it’s definitely the case that query syntax has changed. I think it will continue to change. You know, we allow people to query by images. You can search for related images by dragging and dropping a picture on Google Image Search. So people want to be able to search in all kinds of ways. They don’t want to think about keywords if they can avoid it, and I think over time, we’ll get better and better at understanding that user’s intent whenever we’re trying to match that up and find the best set of information or answers or documents – whatever it is the user’s looking for.”
These days, Google is pretty hit and miss on the relevancy front when it comes to voice search, but I have no doubt that it will continue to improve rapidly. It’s already gotten significantly better than it was in earlier days.
Can you optimize for gist? How will you adjust your SEO strategy as Google moves further and further away from keywords? Let us know in the comments.
By Chris Crum · July 14, 2013
Google+ has over 100 million users, with slightly less of those users based in the United States. If you’re trying to sell your products to consumers, consider websites beyond Facebook. Google‘s group of small-but-dedicated users might just become your most-loyal customers.
Promoting Your eCommerce Site on Google+
Not only does Google want to promote its own products, but sites such as Facebook and Twitter don’t allow Google to crawl content. If you ignore the fact that Google+ is a social network, it’s one more location for Google to index when the search engine sends its spiders to crawl the Internet.
Google also gives prime real estate to content posted to its social network. When people perform searches when they’re logged in, they’ll see photos, links and posts at the very top of the search results. That content could be yours if you utilize Google+. When you’re promoting your latest sale or special, for example, there’s no better place to appear than the top of the page. Posting links to specific pages on your website to your Google+ profile can give those pages a boost.
Plus, you can add your author tag to content that you post on the Internet. When you write about what’s going on your industry, you build your reputation as an authority. Even if consumers aren’t ready to open their wallets yet, establishing your company as an authority can bring in shoppers in the future.
Unlike other social networks, Google+ makes it easy to edit content that you’ve posted. This option doesn’t exist at all with Twitter. If you make a typo or if information changes, you must delete your old tweet and add a new one. Facebook allows limited editing, but Google+ has more options for every post than other social networks by far.
Google+ also lets you choose title text with your posts, which is an important aspect for ranking highly. Quality content helps you go viral, while incorporating keywords into titles can boost your search engine ranking. My experience in creating Google+ campaign for www.paramold.com , eCommerce website from New York, was great. Website has improved rankings big time and attract a lot of new visitors, coming directly from Google+ .
Videos also get more prominent exposure, and they’re a great way to introduce visitors to your company or CEO. You can provide tutorials, display new products or unbox the newest gaming console just in time for the holidays. Videos also work well for Q&A sessions, which have the added benefit of showing customers that you’re listening to their questions.
Google Keeps You Connected
With Google+, you can connect with other users in more ways than Twitter and Facebook combined. Forget simply mentioning someone in your posts, there are a plenty other ways that you can interact with Google+ users, including:
-Sharing content to them directly or to circles that people belong to
-Commenting on a post that a person has created or commented on
-Tagging someone in a photo
-Comment on a photo someone has tagged or posted or is tagged in
-Invite them to events, send event updates or comment on someone’s event
Hangouts, which Google has just upgraded to replace GTalk, are the final way to connect with visitors, allowing you to do so in real time. You could even use Hangouts for your Q&A sessions because Google+ enables you to really connect with other users and not just advertise to them.
We’re bringing back our Ask an Expert feature, this time in blog form. You have questions and we have experts to give you answers. We’ll give our two cents on social media, digital PR, content creation, SEO and more.
This week Mitch Briggs, Senior Inbound Consultant, offers his advice on building authority for your website. Do you know where you should be placing your content? Read below for Mitch’s advice.
Q: “We’re looking at building a variety of content pages about a specific topic. From an SEO perspective, would it be more beneficial to make these new pages sub pages of our current site or give them their own micro site, completely separate from our main domain?”
A: The key issue here is what we often refer to as “authority”. A site dedicated to carving pumpkins, say, pumpkincarving.com, with 100 pages of content all about carving pumpkins, has a greater chance to rank well for “pumpkin carving” than does a cooking blog that has one post about pumpkin carving (all other things being equal). Pumpkingcarving.com has more authority than the cooking blog in the eyes of the search algorithms (and users) because they can “see” all the related content that resides on that domain and conclude that this is a better option to serve to its users searching for pumpkin carving information.
So, from an SEO perspective, it would be best to load these new content pages onto your current site like additional webpages. Having this content on your existing site will contribute to the overall authority and credibility of your domain and the topics and related topics you’re producing content for.
Make sure also to avoid placing this content on a subdomain (for example: content.yoursite.com). Subdomains are seen and treated as “separate” sites by search algorithms, so having good content live there won’t allow you to leverage the authority of content throughout your main site, and also won’t contribute more authority. Instead, place them in their own folder structure like any other page on your site (www.yoursite.com/info/page1.aspx ; http://www.yoursite.com/info/page2.aspx, etc.)
Let’s look at a full example—maybe this time something more seasonally relevant, like bikes!
Say you’re a bike shop and you know everything about bikes. It’s time to prove to Google that YOU are a real bike authority! Problem is, your website has two pages and all it does is sell bikes…so how is a bot supposed to know? Feed it (and your customers) some of your knowledge!
Here are the five awesome webpage articles you’ve written, all related to bikes and bike equipment:
- Finding the Perfect Sized Bike
- Bike Helmet Safety Tips
- Guide to Bike Tires
- Comfortable Bike Seats
- Specialty Bike Shoes
Step 1: Place them on your site just like a normal page – preferably with a nice short and clean URL like: www.mybikes.com/comfortable-bike-seats.aspx.
Step 2: Give your content a home. If you have a main bikes page, make sure these helpful articles are being linked to from that page or the home page, or even incorporate them into your navigation. This will help them to become seen and indexed by search engines and gives them page rank with good interlinking.
Step 3: Create “content hubs” with these articles so that they all link together and to other related information on your site. This helps with indexation, shows relationship and provides visitors with more and more info they can digest.
Step 4: Profit.
Just remember the word “authority” and that building a credible domain with content can really help you with your search visibility, so don’t split it up by putting that great content you wrote on other domains or sub domains.
I look forward to getting and answering more questions—so stay tuned!
Got a question for our experts? Tell us in the comments, or email us at email@example.com.
Image credit: Wikimedia
Resource : relevance.com
With more than 225 million business individuals now on LinkedIn, there is a growing trend to ensure that a LinkedIn profile is not only created professionally, but can also be discovered by search engines such as Google. As a result of the public nature of the majority of users’ LinkedIn settings, an increasing number of individual profile pages are appearing in search engine results – particularly when searching for, validating or screening the information and expertise of potential candidates.
LinkedIn advise that in order to ensure your profile is displayed in search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo, your profile can be made visible by adjusting your settings, sending out at least one invitation to a business colleague or friend and adding as a minimum, one connection.
In order to ensure your profile is visible you will need to amend your settings. The process should only take a couple of minutes and can be found by going to your profile avatar (picture) in the top right corner and choosing ‘Privacy & Settings’ as an option. Here you can amend who can see your profile picture (‘Change your profile photo & visibility’ and ensure your settings are ‘Everyone’) and ‘Edit Your Public Profile’. Users have a tick list of profile content which you can opt for everyone to see.
LinkedIn recommend users to ensure their profile is updated regularly (at least every month if you are wanting to be top of results), as well as checking all additional sections have been correctly filled in. These sections include:
- Attaching a headshot as your profile photo – This should be a professional business photograph. Users should remember that all profile images are searchable on search engines, especially in Google Images. Therefore care should be taken on the choice of image used, perhaps choosing to reflect a corporate element for a business networking site – here are 7 pictures you should NEVER use.
- Completing your Headline – This is the wording which is shown next to your profile picture and name on LinkedIn. Some people like to customise this to fully reflect your role and act as an aide to stand out from your competitors – it’s shown as a summary in all search results. Here are 10 LinkedIn Headlines that stand out from the crowd.
- Writing a short description to include in the Summary box – This is similar to a summary of a CV and is meant to be a couple of paragraphs detailing you and your role – make sure you spruce it up!
- Adding industry specific key words under your job history – If you work within a business sector which has unique industry key words, recruiters will search on those requirements and therefore your profile will show in search results.
- Entering each of the skills & expertise you possess – This acts as an additional section to add industry specific skills. Care should be taken however to ensure that you only accept skills from individuals endorsing you which are relevant to your business area.
As LinkedIn are constantly changing and updating their offering, a number of optional areas have recently been introduced to complete such as:
The option to complete the project name, date, project URL, description and to add all team members relating to that project. This feature could be useful if you are a contractor and working regularly on project-based work. It could be an excellent way to demonstrate the structure, workflow and expertise required for the project.
You have the ability to enter any other languages spoken and the degree of fluency of said language. This could be beneficial if you are interested in moving to work overseas.
Individuals utilise this section to mention any publications or editorials written, including the title, publisher, publication URL, and ability to add any other authors. If you work within a niche business area and have written publications on your areas of specialism, this will give recruiters and hiring companies’ visibility of your knowledge and expertise within your industry.
If you belong to any industry organisations, there is the option to enter the organisation name, position held, occupation, time period and any additional notes. Again, for a recruiter this is very useful especially if you were to work within a niche industry or sector. It will help position your profile as a stronger match on any keyword searches being carried out by recruiting companies.
LinkedIn also gives you the option to add honours & awards, test scores, patents, certifications and any volunteering & causes you work on.
If you want to be discovered by recruiters on LinkedIn, you should ensure that you have completed the following checklist:
- Is your profile being kept up to date?
- Have you entered all the relevant information to your current job?
- Have you completed your skillset?
- Have you ensured that both your profile and picture are visible to ‘Everyone’?
And finally and perhaps most importantly, ensure the contact details in both the contact box and your profile are visible and up to date.
Resource : theundercoverrecruiter.com