SEO has changed with the greater semantic capabilities of the main search engines. Only optimizing on certain key words won’t cut it – must think about natural language queries and answer them, and provide context for the topic. Much more challenging.
Semantic Search Tips For The Future Of SEO, WebPresence (Dec 3)
If the whiz kids doing search engine optimization are being advised to think “semantic” and work towards meeting “user intent and interpretation”, searchers should reconsider their search styles.
Barbara Starr at Search Engine Land describes 5 Ways To Unlock The Benefits Of Semantic Search (Nov 7)
- “Google is using “form based” or “template” queries to answer questions at scale in real time” of which Google has many.
- Social search is more prevalent – who you connect with may influence results – all the more reason to pay attention to the company you keep.
- Google+ is important to business.
- More websites will be using “structured data markup, paying special attention to markup vocabulary from schema.org,”
Wall Street Journal had the surprising headlind – Google May Stop Using ‘Cookies’ to Track Web Users (Sept 20). Google might “create its own anonymous identifier for each individual”. What would this do to everybody else who uses those cookies for advertising? And what will this mean for privacy? Hard to know for either.
“Google’s proposal, which was reported earlier by USA Today, could give advertisers the ability to track people more widely. “The Internet gets a lot cleaner at that point,” Mr. Anderson said.”
“Jonathan Mayer, a Stanford University professor who studies online advertising and privacy, said it was unclear that so-called anonymous codes would actually protect privacy. “
Being a search engine marketer takes skill and knowledge as we can see from this article at PPC Hero on 25 Ways PPC Has Changed In The Past Year (June 17). Observations are grouped by Account Structure, Settings, Analysis, Bidding, Conversions and Technology. There is a lot to think about.
Video email – sounds like a non-sequitur – but it’s nearly upon us. Are You Ready For Video In Email? in Marketing Land (Jun 12) tells email marketers what to do to deliver video content. HTML5 is making this possible, but it still depends on whether your email client supports that. Mercifully, recommendations include “shorter is better”, and don’t use auto-play. Also – make the video “aspirational”!
The European Commission is forcing Google to play fair and not give preference to its own properties in search results. Google has prepared some proposals for labelling its own results more clearly. But this may not address the main complaints by vertical / specialized search services such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and many more.
EC details Google’s proposed search concessions, by Stephen Shankland, CNet (April 25)
Under Google’s proposal, the company would label its own services in specialized search results and mark them off as a separate region. And it would clearly show links to at least three rival services as well.
Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land provides a more detailed look at Google’s layout proposals — Google’s New European “Antitrust” Search Results: Here’s What They’ll Look Like
If you weren’t concerned about privacy on the Internet before, you will be after listening to – Hyper Targeting – How Brands Track You Online. This is an episode by Terry O’Reilly, in the excellent CBC radio program, Under the Influence. It’s very scary business on how much is known about us and there are very few controls. Read and listen – podcast is 27 minutes – I’m guessing it will be available for 2 or 3 weeks before it’s pulled and sold through ITunes.
Will brands will help Google+ grow? This article in Search Engine Land suggest yes — 3 Out Of 4 Top 100 Global Brands On Google+, YouTube Use At 85% (Mar 12)
Google+ has now established itself firmly in the mainstream of social networking. A majority of the top 100 brands (three quarters), have active profiles. As
more brands engage users, data suggest that those who have once held reservations may soon be looking toward establishing a strong Google+ presence.
I suppose that’s ok if you’re looking for brands. But can’t we find those in regular web search? Seems people go to the trouble of following brands because the brand engages them in some way. H&M has 2.49 million fans.
Companies are also using YouTube also to “engage customers”. How?
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of brands have an official YouTube channel, engaging fans and reaching millions of viewers. Collectively, the top 100 brands on YouTube have racked up an impressive 3.15B views.
Might be a good reason to stay away from Google+.
Another prediction about search and social coming together — How Search & Social Will Hit The Fast Forward Button In 2013 by Jim Yu, Search Engine Land (Feb 12)
This was written for SEO folks, but searchers can learn.
- Huge growth in social data arising from activities on mobile devices.
- Social signals are being used to rank results. Some stunning numbers: 1 billion Facebook users, 200 million LinkedIn and 200 million Twitter, 3.3 billion pieces of content shared in Facebook in a month – all that activity will be used for evaluating and ranking results.
- As social sharing increases, SEO marketers will have to exploit it more, and it will be boosted even more.
- Local is big – “20 percent of all Google searches have local intent and 40 percent of Google mobile searches have local intent.” So – marketers better optimize for the local market.
Yes – Google targets ads to GMail users based on the content of their emails. Most GMail users must realize that and have decided to accept it. But maybe Microsoft will lead the battle to change things.
Danny Sullivan describes the situation in Microsoft Attacks Gmail Over Privacy In Latest “Scroogled” Campaign (Feb 6).
Of course, Microsoft would like GMail users to become Outlook users – where users can pay $20 to turn off the ads. Microsoft at its Scroogled site is also running a petition against Google.
Google does offer ways to opt out of the ads – as Danny explains – but they aren’t easy.
All very negative – but GMail users might check into ways to turn off those ads.