Boosting SEO in practical ways

Podcasts have had a major resurgence over the past few years. Over half the U.S. population has listened to a podcast at some point, and it seems that technology is continuing to further the medium.  Here are some ways to stay current with Podcast SEO practices.  

Podcasts can help businesses prosper by giving listeners insight into a company’s industry or their organization. Podcasts provide an easy format for people who are on the go, providing more opportunities for listening. Optimizing your podcast creates a higher view of your podcast from an audience standpoint, which in turn could help to promote the content.  

Title… TBD

Hello and welcome back to… What goes in that space needs to be something that is easily identifiable.  Not only for the audience but also for the algorithms that run the audio streaming platforms. It’s important for the title to be like a good punchline, something you don’t have to explain. Though it’s important to not lean into a keyword-heavy title.  

Create breaks throughout the podcast

Whether it’s to break up the content into bite-sized pieces, or to add in ad placements, giving listeners a chance to ingest the content can keep the audience from getting overwhelmed. One of the benefits of a podcast is the ability to pick up where you left off. This is made even easier if the podcast has breaks to separate aspects of the conversations.

Be clear

As podcasts have gained popularity, the tech behind the new-age talk shows has improved.  Apple really created Podcasting in 2004, but companies like Google are working to further the medium. For Instance, Google’s Natural Languages machines take the audio from podcasts, and analyze it “to reveal the structure and meaning of the text.” Google then takes this data and pulls out keywords from the audio.  This is harder for the AI to do when the audio isn’t crisp or the speaker isn’t speaking clearly.

What did they say?

You might think, wait why do I need to write down what they said if I recorded it? How can transcribing a podcast help with SEO? explains that transcribing solves alternative problems that you might not think of initially. When mediums cover their bases and optimize their platform to make for a better user experience search engines will push that platform forward.  When searching for an episode in your favorite podcast have you ever searched for a quote from the episode to no avail? Additionally creating searchable transcriptions per episode provides Google bots with another opportunity to pull keywords, boosting searchability.   

Stay informed with trends 

Utilizing topics that are receiving a lot of buzz will help to boost the searchability of your podcast. This not only helps to dictate the content that is being created but creating content on newsworthy information sets your source as the expert. Additionally, it’s important to link your podcast back to the material you’re referencing.    

Being present on Youtube

Youtube is one of the most heavily trafficked sites. Google owns YouTube, the video-sharing platform is typically one of the first options when making a Google search. Not only does sharing the podcast on Youtube provides a different method of listening for users, but it also gives Google another piece of content to analyze to provide users with better results.

Local Guide recommendations available in ‘For You” tab

It was released in July that Google was working to be more competitive in promoting local business by upgrading local ads. To further stake their claim as the expert for recommendations Google is testing a feature that positions Local Guides as the local expert. During the testing of this feature guide’s recommendations will appear in a ‘For You’ tab within select cities.  

As it stands the verdict is still out on what review platform that is best for users and business owners. On one hand, Yelp holds the number 1 spot for checking reviews.  While on the other hand, positive reviews on Google help boost SEO as well as improve calls, clicks, and ranking.    

To help widen the gap between the two services Google wants to further utilize its Local Guides and set itself as the local expert. Currently, Google boasts 120 million Local Guides across 24,000 cities. Google recently invited 200 of their most active guides to provide information to Google’s team. Based on this feedback, Google decided to create this p2p recommendation system.     

While Local Guide recommendations haven’t reached the local level just yet here are the cites the feature will be tested in – 

  • Bangkok 
  • Delhi 
  • London
  • Mexico City 
  • New York 
  • Osaka 
  • San Francisco 
  • São Paulo 
  • Tokyo

Local Guides will appear in the ‘For You’ tab and users will be able to follow Guides’ recommendations. Following the guide, feeds provides new experience seekers with a feed of options from local experts. If users are traveling they can find all the favorite local restaurants based on recommendations, and if they’re local, they can get the inside scoop on new sites.  

Making sure that your business is optimized within Google’s platform can help to improve users’ interactions with your brand’s image. If this new feature is rolled out on a larger scale it will add to the importance of an active presence on Google’s platform.

An estimate of over 3.8 million queries are typed into Google every minute, says WSJ. 

Billions of people around the world gather, store, and locate information in Google Search. The search engine is also being used by big businesses, and Google has been accused of manipulating data in favor of big businesses.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Google manipulates Google Search results in favor of big businesses. The report was based on over 100 interviews and the findings just encouraged the critics who have long believed that Google is leaning into political bias to influence its search results. In response, Google has denied such accusations. 

Search algorithms and autocomplete manipulation

The Wall Street Journal investigations have found that Google manipulated controversial subjects and search algorithms. Their service guided users to more prominent businesses and gave less priority to smaller businesses and brands. Amazon seemed to have benefited from the alleged data manipulation, and because of these changes, Amazon’s store search results received a bump.

Google denies accusations

“The changes we make to search are aimed at benefiting users, not commercial relationships,” said Google.

Google insists that Google Search is built on algorithms and data gathered from use. The search algorithms look at many factors in order to give users the most useful results. These factors include words from the user’s query, relevance, the functionality of pages, the clout of sources, and location settings. In order to meet high standards of relevance and quality, they also have rigorous processes including live tests and trained external search quality raters from around the world, making the manipulation of results even more difficult.

Google further added, “Our goal is to provide people with the information they are searching for, and we’re always working to improve our algorithms to help them find the most useful content.” Google refused to share specific details on how its search algorithm operates which it attributes to operations of logistics.

But Google Spokesperson Lara Levin said that they have been very public and transparent around the topic. Levin further added that the article published by WSJ holds old, incomplete anecdotes, and inaccurate impressions on how they approach building and improving the Search. Nevertheless, they take a responsible and principled approach in applying the feedback from users to improve the search engine.

Google’s version 1.0 for Site plugin for WordPress is out of beta after six months. 

Google officially launched its Site Kit plugin for WordPress where website owners can see their site’s insights including how visitors use their sites. Data available for site users include Search Console, Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, Tag Manager, Optimize, and AdSense. All of these can be seen directly in the WordPress console once the Site Kit plugin is installed. Site owners need not go through the ordeal of source code editing to see their site analytics

Previews are available per data and individual report pages are available so that site owners can see the performance of specific contents. Google said that it simplified the Site kit for more efficient user flow and for owners to monetize their content a lot easier. 

Who can install the Site Kit plugin?

According to Google’s post, Site Kit is for WordPress site owners who want to see how their site is performing. The Site Kit allows users to access important stats directly from their WP dashboard the moment they sign in. 

Developers now will have access to Google’s insights rather than copying data from multiple servicers when making reports for clients. The Site Kit will also allow other individuals who have access to the data to see the relevant information and stats. 

The main features of the Site Kit are the following: 

  • The main dashboard – the dashboard presents the stats in a glance such as the traffic sources, your most popular content, what people are looking for in your site. 
  • Individual page stats – Every aspect from your site has individual reports. You can type out the URL of the content you want to check out in the search bar of the main dashboard to be directed to the specific report. 
  • Admin bar stats – This allows users to see their stat even when browsing other pages. 
  • Milestone notification – Users will be notified of any milestones in your site. 

What does this mean for you? 

Site owners can see their stat in one neat report. They can check their site’s performance, down to every piece of content they have on in the site. The plugin will make it easier for owners to see what content is doing great and which ones need improvement. By looking at the report, users will see what users are searching for and with this information, admins can craft content to better suit the users.

Using these news tools admins will be able to improve their digital content and potentially increase their site’s marketability. 

There’s a series of tools for small business owners to have a more digital presence. 

Constant Contact announced its new online marketing tools to help small businesses manage their online marketing in one platform. Business owners who use Facebook and Instagram advertising, Google My Business, Google Ads, SEO tools, and landing pages will be able to use these tools to improve their online presence. 

New tools for SMBs

Small business owners can connect with their customers using the following: 

  • Landing pages – small businesses can create landing pages to promote single call-to-action to its visitors. 
  • SEO features – can be used to analyze your business site and will provide business owners with a recommendation dashboard. SMBs are given tips on how to make changes to optimize their pages more and get higher search rankings. 
  • Google My Business – businesses can manage their Google business profiles and monitor analytics via the GMB listings. 
  • AI-powered Google Ads – Constant Contact tools are useful to automate their keyword and planning. 
  • Social posts – Businesses can use one platform to create, publish, schedule posts and engage with their followers. It’s now more efficient to respond to comments and queries of customers using just one platform. It saves time and energy. 
  • Social ads – Businesses can make and manage their ad campaigns on Instagram and Facebook. The tools will simplify the process of post creation and monitoring of their campaigns. Brands will be able to generate awareness, drive traffic to their site, and generate leads to their businesses. 

CEO of Endurance International Group said that an online presence is important for businesses small and large. Building an online presence is the first step in finding potential clients and converting them into paying customers. It is also a great way to compete in the online world where 87% of shoppers do their product searches on digital channels. 

He further added that their tools will make it possible for small businesses to stay connected with their customers easier and more efficiently. 

What does this mean for you?

More and more people are moving into digital shopping and searching for products online. There is an increasing need for small business owners to better their digital presence to compete in their industry. It can be difficult to manage separate social media platforms but with Constant Contact’s new series of tools, SMBs can manage their online marketing efficiently. 

Google updates its search consoles to help creators’ videos appear in Google search and Discover. 

Video is one of the fastest ways for people to consume information. With that in mind, Google wants to give creators more tools to optimize their content’s performance.

Users search for videos on Google in three different ways: through the main Search page, the videos Search tab, and in Discover for mobile. 

Video appearances in Performance Report

Performance reports have been available in the Search Console but this time, but due to the recent updates the report is now more extensive. Google pointed out that “performance report already includes an option to see the performance of your video tab search results (type=video)…you can now also see the performance of your videos in the main Search results tab (type=web) and in Discover using the new “Videos” appearance.

This new tool allows creators to see how their videos are performing on the search engine. It will also enable them to identify issues in their videos and fix them. 

Video Enhancement report details

The other video report is video enhancement. This tool is especially important for sites that use structured data in annotating their videos. The enhancement reports include errors and warnings, as well as the ability to re-crawl sites after addressing. 

Structured data makes it easier for Google to see when videos appear on the page. In turn, the performance is shown including the video length, upload date, and other metadata.

What does this mean for you?

Videos are one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and widen out audience reach. Many brands also invest in video creation to put their content into the Google search engine and Google Discover for mobile. 

How-to videos, tutorials, and the like do well in terms of traffic. Brands capitalize on putting videos on topics that resonate with their audience. Using these new tools, sites can easily see how their videos are performing and affecting their traffic. Seeing the videos that perform well on their site give them the opportunity to lean more into making similar content. This, in turn, helps in increasing not only traffic but also conversion. 

Google will be using machine learning in managing ad frequency when third-party cookies went missing. 

Google first made an update in August based on its goal to improve its user privacy and preserve access to ad-supported sites. This week, Google is making progress on their goal. 

The changes will be felt in the coming weeks in both Display & Video 360, and will soon carry over to Google’s ad platform. This change came about in order to further improve user privacy but at the same time, enable marketers and advertisers to serve ads effectively. 

When third-party ads are restricted or blocked by users, the advertisers no longer have control over how many times their ads show. Users might end up seeing the same repeatedly without the advertisers knowing about it. This compromises their ads’ marketability and affects users’ experience. 

Machine learning feature 

The new feature will use machine learning to see and analyze traffic patterns when third-party cookies are used. It then builds models to predict the pattern when the third-party cookies are restricted or blocked. Google’s product manager for ad privacy, Rahul Srinivasan said that the feature will allow them to estimate how likely users visit different publishers who are showing the same ads through Google Ad manager. Even without the third-party cookie, they will be able to optimize how the ads are shown to their users. 

Google raises the bar 

Google is always a front runner when it comes to setting standards in delivering products and at the same respecting users’ privacy. Using AI to manage ad frequency is another step closer to the search engine’s goal of helping advertisers and publishers maintain their access to the content on the internet. 

What should you care?

Cookies have been crumbling down according to reports. This new feature is a response to Apple when it continued to push against cookies and ad tracking to improves Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention. The ITP blocks advertisers and ad networks’ abilities to use cookies. Along with privacy concerns from both GDPR and CCPA, advertisers have been battling against the system. 

Google now relies upon the models to inform advertisers how their ads are delivered when the advertisers don’t have the access to that data. Advertisers can turn to Google to see how their ads are doing and how they can improve it despite the lack of third-party cookies.

Google moved the ‘Change of Address’ tool to the Search Console Interface and SEO experts are happy about it. 

Sites using SEO depends on this tool as it’s a way for them to notify Google when their website is moved from one domain to another. Notifying Google helps the site’s ranking positions in search results. 

New ‘Change of Address’ tool

According to Google, the tool is useful with moving a website from one domain or subdomain to another. Google prepared detailed instructions on when to use and not to use the new tool. This Change of Address tool was also available in the old Seach Console but when Google shut down the old interface, they decided to just transfer it to the new one. 

As mentioned earlier, this tool is helpful because it’s a way for site owners to communicate with Google whenever a new site has been moved. The tool tells Google of the domain change and Google will direct search results from your old domain to the new one. This means that no matter how many times you change your domain, as long as Google is notified about it, your search ranking position remains to be safe. 

This tool checks out the process and ensures that you’ve done all the required steps to transfer a domain. Additionally a walkthrough of the entire process is also provided making this easier for site owners. When the pre-work is done, Google will then be notified of the change of address. 

When you’re migrating your site 

Here are some of Google suggests when moving sites:

  • When combining multiple sites into one site, move the sites one at a time to avoid confusion and traffic loss. 
  • As much as possible, keep the same site architecture in the new location to pass signals more directly. A different site architecture may result in traffic loss since Google still has to relearn the new site and assess the pages. 

What does this mean?

SEOs and webmasters use a ‘change of address’ when they’re trying to transfer a site from one URL to another. Brands sometimes undergo changes in their websites and this may include a new domain to cater to the needs of their customers and to their digital expansion. In that event, brands need not worry whether their audiences may be directed to their old site or their new site. 

Whenever the new URL is typed or your products and services are searched, they will be led to your new page. 

YouTube confirmed the new abbreviated subs count with the aim of helping to alleviate creators’ concerns regarding their subscriber count. 

Creators will be seeing some changes in their subscriber counts starting this year particularly in regards to the channels with over a thousand subscribers. YouTube wants to create more consistency in the way they publicly display subscriber count in desktop and mobile apps.

Creators’ well-being

YouTube said that this change is for the well-being of their creators. YouTube is addressing creator concerns regarding the stress they have in tracking their public subscriber count in real-time. With this, YouTube is hoping that creators will now focus on their story, their experience, their content, and not on whether their numbers are going up or not.

This is similar to Instagram hiding their like counts to give creators more importance on the content rather than the number of likes to reduce the pressure of increasing their engagement with every post.

How does the new update work?

YouTube channels with less than a thousand won’t be affected by the change as their subscriber count will be displayed as-is. For example, a channel with 4, 338 subs will appear with a 4.3K subs count until the number reaches 4, 400. A channel with 133, 095 subscribers will appear as 133k until it reached 134, 000.

What does it mean for marketers?

Marketing Land has noted that this change can impact the public subscriber listings and may lead to loss of sponsorship opportunities. 

…even for the channels with hundreds of millions of followers, if they’re at 120,450,000, their 120M subscriber count will be short more than 400,000,” says YouTube.

Brands will not be able to see the accurate number of subscribers an influencer has and thus won’t be able to assess one’s popularity in the platform. Channels may lose sponsorship in favor of larger channels even when the disparity is only a hundred of subscribers. 

This change is closely related to the platform’s API usage as well. This means that apps using YouTube subscriber count will no longer have access to the detailed listing thus affecting the analytic tools that display subscriber count over time. 

Read more about the update on YouTube’s community board

Advertisers got some good news as Google began mobile-first indexing new domain by default. 

Organic search using mobile devices took most of the searches for the first quarter of 2019.  Nearly 50% of web traffic is because of mobile users. What does this mean and how it mobile-first indexing tied to it?

Mobile-first indexing explained

Google said that the algorithms will change and favor the use of mobile versions of sites’ content. This means that Google is giving more attention to our phones than your desktop. Indexing and ranking are two different things but they are related. Indexing is how your page is read by web crawlers and Google bots. While the ranking is how an indexed content of your site is evaluated. If your content isn’t indexed, then your ranking takes a hit. 

Indexing is an important aspect of technical SEO. The traditional SEO is concerned about the content and user experience while technical SEO is concerned about the web crawlers and how they evaluate and rank web pages. 

Mobile indexing is now becoming more and more important to drive traffic and rate. Thus, pages must be set up for mobile indexing because people are now using their devices to visit sites and their pages. 

Mobile takes the reign

SEO optimization is hugely important in this digital age and the pool of competition is making the battle even fiercer. As of this year, the following have been reported:

  • Social media and paid research have the most significant gain of traffic share
  • 33% of ad clicks were because they directly answered a search query
  • Almost 50% of businesses implement digital marketing platforms minus the strategy thus the futile exercise of increasing traffic

Why use mobile-first indexing?

Mobile indexing for advertisers is beneficial especially in reaching their audience faster. Advertisers allocate their resources and make sure that their ads are seen, and not blocked. If the latter happens, then the company is losing money. 

People nowadays are glued to their phones more than they use their desktops. The mobile phones are the door to the gold mine of ad generation. 

It’s time to get a mobile website so that the audience will have a better way of scrolling through your content. Google is now focusing on mobile page indexing preferences as compared to web page indexing. Without your mobile site, you could be missing out on 50% of positive interactions with users who are using their phones. 

As an advertiser, it’s your job to look for innovations and use them. So, start checking your presence and your technical SEO game now, not later.