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6 steps to help you prioritize tasks when everything is a priority

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 6 steps to help you prioritize tasks when everything is a priority

6 steps to help you prioritize tasks when everything is a priority

Urgent requests make it hard to prioritize the most strategic jobs. But when you standardize and centralize the entire process, you can make data-driven resource decisions and ensure the most strategic work gets done first.

In this webinar, join Adobe Workfront as they share six proven methods to handle the onslaught of marketing requests, prioritize the most important work, and increase your value to make 2022 your best year yet.

Register today for “Your New Year’s Marketing Resolution: Master the Art of Saying No With These 6 Steps,” presented by Integrate.

The post 6 steps to help you prioritize tasks when everything is a priority appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Demographic audiences deliver twice the reach of narrow interest audiences, according to Facebook

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Demographic audiences deliver twice the reach of narrow interest audiences, according to Facebook

Demographic audiences deliver twice the reach of narrow interest audiences, according to Facebook

Demographic audiences delivered nearly twice the reach (+99%) of interest audiences in campaigns with the same budget when the selected interest audiences were too narrow, according to a study of consumer packaged goods (CPG) campaigns published by Facebook. However, both types of targeting performed comparably when interest audiences were broad enough.

The analysis included 50 CPG campaigns in the EMEA region, measured using Facebook Brand Lift.

Why we care. The big takeaway from Facebook’s analysis is that some interest audiences are too small to generate scale when compared with demographic audiences. Advertisers should assess their interest audiences and decide whether the higher impact is worth potentially diminished reached and higher CPM.

If interest audiences are broad enough, they can perform comparably with demographic audiences. In that case, advertisers should select the strategy that best matches their campaign goals.

While these findings make sense, they’re also convenient for Facebook, since Apple’s App Tracking Transparency doesn’t affect demographic targeting.

Demographic outperforms interest audiences that are too narrow. Interest-based targeting is inherently more limited than demographic-based targeting. To overcome that difference, the campaign with the lower reach needs to compensate with greater efficiency. Interest targeting does deliver greater efficiency, but it’s unlikely to make up the difference.

Image: Facebook.

“Among the campaigns with significantly reduced reach due to interest targeting, the effectiveness was slightly higher compared to the demographic audiences (+22%),” Facebook said, “However, this increase was slightly below the required threshold and was unlikely to sufficiently compensate for the lower reach. As a result, demographic strategy was 1.6 times more likely to be the winning strategy and drove more cost-efficient brand outcomes compared to the interest strategy in these campaigns.” When interest audiences were too narrow, demographic audiences also delivered 99% more reach than interest audiences on the same budget.

Both demographic- and interest-based targeting can deliver reach. The two strategies achieved comparable reach with the same budget when interest audiences were broad enough to provide sufficient reach. When both could deliver comparable reach — within 20% of the other — for the same budget, Facebook’s analysis showed that they were equally likely to be the winning, cost-effective strategy.

Image: Facebook.

“This finding implies that some broader interest audiences can generate scale of reach comparable to demographic audiences and marketers can select either of the strategies while maximizing the alignment to the category buyers,” Facebook said.

Your objectives should dictate your strategy. Demographic targeting was the winning strategy 1.6x more often at the top of the funnel, while interest targeting was the winning strategy 2x more often at the bottom of the funnel, according to the analysis.

Image: Facebook.

This means that interest audiences may be better for lower-funnel objectives, like driving purchase intent and consideration, while demographic audiences might be more likely to drive upper-funnel objectives, such as brand awareness. Advertisers should select the strategy that best matches their campaign’s specific goals. Using both strategies appropriately can enable brands to drive both upper and lower funnel outcomes.

The post Demographic audiences deliver twice the reach of narrow interest audiences, according to Facebook appeared first on Search Engine Land.

3 SEO metrics to help secure executive-level buy-in

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 3 SEO metrics to help secure executive-level buy-in

3 SEO metrics to help secure executive-level buy-in

“When I talk about the metrics that will help you get and secure and keep buy-in, I come to you with a perspective of operations,” said Jessica Bowman, CEO of SEOinhouse.com, in her presentation at SMX Next. “How do we get other people involved in SEO as well?

SEOs are constantly searching for new ways to prove their work’s value to higher-ups. And, many prefer to let the results speak for themselves. But, as Bowman argues, it’s often more effective presenting executives with actionable metrics that get them involved in operations.

Here are three metrics Bowman recommends SEOs hone in on to secure that coveted buy-in so that they can continue to improve the visibility of their brands.

Metrics that can change the conversation

“SEO operations . . . is focusing on how you go about getting the SEO strategies and tactics done,” Bowman said. “Dp that well and you start setting yourself apart from the competition because most companies don’t address SEO operations.”

“Now we can take this framework and kind of shrink it down and make it [into] a strategy scorecard,” she added.

The SEO strategy scorecard framework gives executives and other departments a clear look into your tactics and what they’re designed to achieve. In her version, Bowman links these strategies to one of two categories: those that grow SEO traffic and those that accelerate SEO through operations.

Image: Jessica Bowman

Bowman says you can add more insight by featuring metrics such as estimated revenue. Highlighting these numbers can be pivotal in getting executives talking about SEO’s value.

Metrics that can get executives to recognize SEO’s value

“What I find is that SEO teams spend a lot of time fixing SEO problems that other teams introduced,” said Bowman. “And when you’re working on this stuff, it is time not spent on growing SEO revenue.”

Bowman recommends SEOs start reporting on time spent fixing SEO problems stemming from other departments. The goal should be to get executives to realize that prioritizing SEO training and department accountability will prevent these issues.

The point isn’t to create animosity between departments, but rather to identify roadblocks in SEO operations and show why they’re valuable.

Image: Jessica Bowman

Here are specific issues Bowman suggests SEOs identify:

Changes in core web vitals metrics;Changes in page speed metrics;4xx URLs in tags;3xx URLs in tags; andSchema errors.

Metrics that can forecast SEO success

Executives and other higher-ups want to know your SEO projects are on track to meet specific goals. That’s why Bowman suggests marketers report on the most pertinent metrics — these are the campaign’s critical drivers.

“It is not uncommon for project managers and executives to talk about critical drivers,” Bowman said. “What is uncommon is to report on critical drivers.”

“These are metrics that tell you, and executives, if you even have a chance of reaching the SEO goals,” she added.

Image: Jessica Bowman

As Bowman says, critical drivers are well-known to the leaders of any organization. But when SEOs lay these out in their reporting, it gives decision-makers a clear roadmap and proves their worth that much more.

“The important thing to think about these critical drivers is that they are reports on the activities that must happen to achieve the revenue goals,” she said.

“When you communicate it in this method, this will get executives focusing on the right teams to do what needs to happen to grow SEO,” she added.

Watch the full SMX Next presentation here (registration required).

The post 3 SEO metrics to help secure executive-level buy-in appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google December 2021 product reviews update rolling out

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google December 2021 product reviews update rolling out

Google is now rolling out a new search algorithm update named the December 2021 products reviews update. This is the second time Google is pushing out a products reviews update this year, doing one back in April 2021.

This update is “designed to better reward” product reviews that “share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products,” a spokesperson told Search Engine Land in April. Reviews that are written in a way that has “insightful analysis and original research” will be rewarded, especially “content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well,” Google said.

What is changing. Google said that if you made changes between now and the last update, you may see improvements to your rankings since the last update. Google wrote “if you have made positive changes to your content, you may see that improvement reflected as part of this latest release.”

Google also said the search company has “received more feedback from users on what type of review content is deemed trustworthy and useful, motivating us to provide additional product review guidance. Users have told us that they trust reviews with evidence of products actually being tested, and prefer to have more options to purchase the product.”

More advice. Google provided two new best practices around this update, one saying to provide more multimedia around your product reviews and the second is to provide links to multiple sellers, not just one. Google posted these two items:

Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.Include links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

Rolling out now. Google said the update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete.

Google product reviews update. The Google product reviews update aims to promote review content that is above and beyond much of the templated information you see on the web. Google said it will promote these types of product reviews in its search results rankings.

Google is not directly punishing lower quality product reviews that have “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.” However, if you provide such content and find your rankings demoted because other content is promoted above yours, it will definitely feel like a penalty. Technically, according to Google, this is not a penalty against your content, Google is just rewarding sites with more insightful review content with rankings above yours.

Technically, this update should only impact product review content and not other types of content.

Previous advice on the product reviews update. The “focus overall is on providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research, content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well,” Google said about this update. That is similar advice to the core update recommendations mentioned above, but here is a list of “additional useful questions to consider in terms of product reviews.” Google recommends your product reviews cover these areas and answer these questions. Do your product reviews…

Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?

Google also linked to its blog post from earlier this year named providing better product information for shoppers.

Why we care. If your website offers product review content, you will want to check your rankings to see if you were impacted. Did your Google organic traffic improve, decline or stay the same?

Long term, you are going to want to ensure that going forward, that you put a lot more detail and effort into your product review content so that it is unique and stands out from the competition on the web.

More on Google updates

Other Google updates this year. This year we had a number of confirmed updates from Google and many that were not confirmed . In the most recent order, we had: The July 2021 core updateGoogle MUM rolled out in June for COVID names and was lightly expanded for some features in September (but MUM is unrelated to core updates). Then, the June 28 spam update, the June 23rd spam update, the Google page experience update, the Google predator algorithm update, the June 2021 core update, the July 2021 core update, the July link spam update, and the November spam update rounded ou the confirmed updates.

Previous core updates. The most recent previous core update was the November 2021 core update which rolled out hard and fast, then the July 2021 core update which was quick to roll out (kind of like this one) followed by the June 2021 core update and that update was slow to roll out but a big one. Then we had the December 2020 core update and the December update was very big, bigger than the May 2020 core update, and that update was also big and broad and took a couple of weeks to fully roll out. Before that was the January 2020 core update, we had some analysis on that update over here. The one prior to that was the September 2019 core update. That update felt weaker to many SEOs and webmasters, as many said it didn’t have as big of an impact as previous core updates. Google also released an update in November, but that one was specific to local rankings. You can read more about past Google updates over here.

The post Google December 2021 product reviews update rolling out appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Enriching Adobe Campaign Standard Delivery Logs with Custom Data for Reporting

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Enriching Adobe Campaign Standard Delivery Logs with Custom Data for Reporting

With an increasing amount of customer data available, custom and detailed reporting are essential. Learn how to tailor your data reporting in Adobe Campaign Standard to successfully analyze your marketing campaigns.

How to Optimize Websites for Search Engines?

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Optimize Websites for Search Engines?

How to Optimize Websites for Search Engines?

Author | Ravi Sharma – Founder and CEO of Webomaze Pty Ltd

Bio | Ravi is a digital entrepreneur who has a vision of helping businesses to increase their online presence through websites, mobile applications, and SEO. He is the Founder & CEO of Webomaze Pty Ltd, a one-stop digital agency based in Melbourne.

An optimized website attracts targeted traffic from potential buyers, resulting in increased leads and sales. However, optimizing your content entails much more than merely choosing the proper keywords. So let us discuss in detail what website optimization is, its importance, and essential website optimization strategies for search engines to see results.

Website Optimization

The process of systematically increasing the performance of your website to achieve your business objectives is known as website optimization (or Conversion Rate Optimization). Whether your goal is to generate more leads, sell more products, or reduce customer support calls, website optimization can help you achieve your objectives.

What is the importance of website Optimization?

Website optimization is vital since it aids your visitors in making the most of their time on your site. Every visitor comes to your site wanting to get an answer to a question, solve a problem, or accomplish some sort of activity. When a website is optimized, it is pretty simple for users to complete those tasks. If you have an eCommerce website that sells products, for example, you may optimize your site to boost the number of purchases made by visitors. Conversion rate optimization, which focuses on methodically A/B testing different portions of your website to boost conversion rates, is one way to do this.

Your website becomes more effective for your business when you optimize it. A more successful website can improve revenue for your company by generating new leads while also lowering costs by improving conversion rates on existing SEO campaigns spent by providing more credible information and clarity to visitors who have issues.

Essential Website Optimization Strategies For Search Engines
Mobile-first approach

Since 2018, Google has begun ranking web pages using its mobile-first index. Here’s what you need to do if you haven’t already optimized your site for lower screen sizes:

Make use of a responsive design, in which images and other elements adjust to the size of the screen.

Make your meta titles shorter, so they are simpler to see on smaller displays.

Long-form information should be avoided.

Pop-ups that restrict visitors from seeing your content should be avoided.

If you want to cloak, don’t utilize the mobile version. Make sure that the material that users and search engines see is the same.

The idea is to make your site responsive to all types of devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

High Page Loads Speed

“No internet is better than slow internet,” as the saying goes. All advertisers should be concerned that individuals would rather give up surfing than surf from a slow connection. Slow page speeds are also frowned upon by Google. They place a high value on page speed and penalize pages that take too long to load. Your load time might also influence how much you pay per click in paid search.

File sizes should be reduced and optimized.

Use a suitable hosting service.

Use as few full-sized films or hero photos as possible.

HTTP calls should be minimized.

Browser caching should be enabled.

Use minimum plugins and redirects to avoid overburdening your site with extra stuff.

Great User Experience

For starters, research reveals that following a bad user experience, 88% of users are less inclined to return to your website. More crucially, for every $1 spent on improving the customer experience, you will receive $100 back, equating to a 9,900 percent return on investment.

The first step is to examine your website for user experience issues. Examine user flow, exit pages, heatmaps, and session recordings, for example. To provide the best user experience, make sure your website is:

It’s simple to use and navigate.

The content is original and meets the needs of the user.

Attractive and creates a strong emotional bond

For a more intuitive experience, the design and navigation are integrated.

It appears to be trustworthy and credible.

Adds value to the visitor’s experience

Optimize Technical SEO

When it comes to SEO, writing amazing content that is based on a good keyword strategy isn’t the only aspect to consider. You must consider and optimize the technical features of your site and how they affect your ranking and user experience. Things you should do specifically:

Google Search Console is where you should submit your XML sitemap.

Google Search Console may be used to check the indexing of your website.

Check to determine if your site is mobile-friendly.

If you detect any status code issues, fix them.

Any broken links should be fixed.

Create a backlink strategy.

Remove any content that isn’t doing well on your website.

Use title and meta tags, but don’t use the same ones twice.

Core Web Vitals

Google plans to rank websites using a combination of Core Web Vitals and its new Page Experience algorithm. This is a Google algorithm that assesses the health of a website, and it was launched in 2020. The ultimate goal is to assess the site’s ability to provide a good user experience. “Loading experience, interactivity, and visual stability of page content” are all factors the algorithm will consider. The good news is that tools like PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and Search Console are available to assist you in evaluating your site’s fundamental web vitals.

Reduce Overall Bounce Rate

The percentage of users who departed your website without visiting more than one page is known as your bounce rate. A bounce occurs when someone reads your blog without reading another. It’s also a bounce if someone looked at your homepage but didn’t look at your services. Your bounce rate should be as minimal as possible. The fact that an optimized website has a low bounce rate is self-evident. How do you go about accomplishing this?

Reduce the number of advertisements on your website.

Blog posts should be linked together.

Keep your content up to date and useful by using anchor links throughout your site’s content.

Increase the speed of your website.

Add links to related articles or case studies at the bottom of articles or case studies.

In your navigation, experiment with an alternative text.

Final Thoughts

It is not sufficient to simply have a website for your company. You must design and optimize it for search engines, your ideal customers, and other things in mind. To speed up the process, make sure you use the correct tactics. Even if you only achieve in one area, it can significantly influence your bottom line. You can hire a professional SEO company to leverage SEO, CRO, and UX improvements to alter your business if you want to experiment and test over time continuously. 

20211201 SEL Brief

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20211201 SEL Brief

The post 20211201 SEL Brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google Performance Planner adds support for ineligible campaigns, secondary metrics, “Suggested changes” and specific time ranges

Posted by on Nov 30, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Performance Planner adds support for ineligible campaigns, secondary metrics, “Suggested changes” and specific time ranges

Google Performance Planner adds support for ineligible campaigns, secondary metrics, “Suggested changes” and specific time ranges

Google has added four new features to its Performance Planner forecasting tool, including options for previously ineligible campaigns, “suggested changes,” and more, the company announced Tuesday.

Previously ineligible campaigns can be forecasted using past performance. Image: Google.

Performance Planner’s new features. The updates include:

The ability to add previously ineligible campaigns by using past performance or adding manual forecasts to plan across your entire account.The “Suggested changes” column, which displays budget and bid recommendations for a specific campaign.The ability to add secondary metrics to a performance plan, which may help advertisers understand impacts on performance beyond their most important metrics. “For example, if you create a plan to maximize conversions, you can now also add a column that shows the changes to clicks as well,” Dean Chen, product manager at Google Ads, wrote.The ability to select a specific time range for historical conversion rate. This enables advertisers to use a historical conversion rate that may be closer to what they’re expecting for their plan’s date range.

Why we care. These new features expand Performance Planner’s flexibility, making it potentially more useful for advertisers in more situations.

Now, advertisers can add campaigns that may have been previously ineligible, enabling them to generate forecasts for those campaigns. Suggested changes may help improve campaign efficiency and secondary metrics can help you anticipate the impact of changes on metrics that are important but aren’t your key metrics. And, being able to select a specific time range for historical conversion rate may help advertisers get more accurate predictions, which may be especially useful since the pandemic has shifted consumer behavior and introduced supply chain challenges.

The post Google Performance Planner adds support for ineligible campaigns, secondary metrics, “Suggested changes” and specific time ranges appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google Merchant Center now shows relative visibility, page overlap rate and higher position rate metrics

Posted by on Nov 30, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Merchant Center now shows relative visibility, page overlap rate and higher position rate metrics

Competitive visibility reports in Google Merchant Center are now available in open beta, Google has confirmed to Search Engine Land. The metrics within the reports include relative visibility, page overlap rate and higher position rate.

Tip of the hat to Gianpaolo Lorusso for bringing this to our attention.

A screenshot of the relative visibility report. Image: Gabriele Benedetti & Giusi Lombardi.

Why we care. Competitive visibility metrics can help merchants understand how often their competitors’ offers are shown compared to their offers, how frequently competitors’ offers are shown together with their offer on the same page and how often a competitor’s offer was placed in a higher position than their offer.

This data can help merchants get a more detailed view of their reach across Shopping ads and free listings (specifically or combined), who their competitors are and how visible their offers are compared to their competitors, which may help to identify aspects of their campaigns that they can improve for greater relative visibility.

The metrics. The competitive visibility report covers three metrics — relative visibility, page overlap rate and higher position rate. Here is how Google defined each of those metrics.

Relative visibility: Relative visibility shows how often your competitors’ offers are shown compared to your offers. In other words, this is the number of displayed impressions of a competitor retailer divided by the number of your displayed impressions during a selected time range for a selected product category and country.Page overlap rate: Page overlap rate describes how frequently competing retailers’ offers are shown together with your offers on the same page. In other words, this shows the number of times in which you and a competing merchant received an impression for at least one displayed offer divided by the number of times in which you received an impression for at least one offer.Higher position rate: Higher position rate shows how often a competitor’s offer got placed in a higher position on the page than your offer. In other words, the number of times in which the competing merchant received an impression for at least one product in a higher position on the page than you, divided by the number of times in which you and a merchant appeared together on the same page.

How to access the competitive visibility report. The report is currently limited to offers that are eligible to generate traffic in the United States. After signing into their Merchant Center account, merchants can click Performance within the page menu. Next, select Competitive visibility.

The report includes two tabs. The first tab (“Your competitors”) displays the competitive visibility of pre-selected competitors, while the second tab (“Top merchants”) displays the aggregated competitive visibility of top-performing merchants. Both tabs can be filtered by product category, listing type and time range.

The post Google Merchant Center now shows relative visibility, page overlap rate and higher position rate metrics appeared first on Search Engine Land.

SEO news November 2021: A core update, new Google Maps features, and the future of SEO

Posted by on Nov 30, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on SEO news November 2021: A core update, new Google Maps features, and the future of SEO

SEO news November 2021: A core update, new Google Maps features, and the future of SEO

It’s November, Black Friday has been and gone, but forget the sales — the best things in life are free. Just like our monthly Yoast SEO news webinar! Ready for a recap? We’ve got loads of SEO updates and industry news to spoil you with, so get comfortable and dive in.

Sign up for our next SEO news webinar

Watching live is always more fun than reading a recap! If you haven’t joined our live webinar events before, you’re missing out. You can already register to join our upcoming December webinar. Save your spot now and tune in on December 21 for the last SEO news of 2021, and a look ahead at what 2022 might bring.

Don’t miss our December SEO news webinar — register now!

Google News

November 2021 Core Update

There are hundreds of continual tiny changes each year, so the idea of a Google update can feel a bit misleading. However, this update is one of those big, special ones: a core algorithm update. So in theory, this might have quite a big impact across the web.

A lot of these are about tackling spam and clearing out the nasty, lower levels of the web. So there’s nothing particularly special here. The one interesting thing was the timing: this is coming a week before the biggest shopping day of the year. And a lot of businesses will be panicking a little bit, because if your rankings tank the day before black Friday, it could have quite a big impact. So it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on your visibility. But really there’s nothing to change. If you’re doing the right kinds of things, you should be fine.

Interestingly, some of the early observations from the research is showing a lot of the winners are the kind of factual and editorial sites. Things like Wikipedia, Amazon, dictionary sites and resources. Whereas the losers are the kind of big, open user platforms like Pinterest. So most sites shouldn’t need to worry too much about it.

Page experience ranking is coming to desktop

Page experience ranking is a long way of saying ‘we make your site rank better if it’s faster’. Previously it was only rolled out on mobile and it’s now coming to desktop. We don’t expect that to change anything much. Most desktop sites are already a lot faster than mobile sites, or at least when browsed on a desktop (versus mobile), because chances are you have fancy wifi and more hardware.

Typically when you look at speed testing, it’s the mobile version that’s slower. But it’s definitely still worth double checking your desktop experience. Is it fast for everybody? Is it faster in all conditions? Does it behave properly? Go ahead and run the tests on your Core Web Vitals and PageSpeed Insights (which has also seen a small update this month). Just make sure your site is performing alright. This is landing in February, so you’ve got a bit of time to get ahead of that curve.

Updates to Google Business Profile and Local Shopping

Google My Business is now rebranding to Google Business Profile. As well as a new name, business profiles are now getting integrated properly into Google maps. No longer will it be a separate thing that you have to register for, remember to update and log in to separately. This will all just become part of managing your listing on Google maps.

So for example, in there you can say ‘I’m a pizzeria, we sell vegan pizza, here are our opening hours’, as well as manage your reviews, publish some posts, manage all the content and stuff like that. All of that in one place, which is great. If you are a business owner with a physical outlet or service area, you should be all over this. This is cool.

They’ve also added four more features to Google Maps to improve the Local Shopping experience:

Area busyness — this is basically telling you why the entire mall is busy, or whichever location you’re looking to visit.Directory tab — this tells you what is within a place, it’s a list of which businesses are in a particular area (we’re curious to see how this will work in major airports like Schiphol).Grocery shopping — for now, this feature is US-only, and limited to 30 retailers, but the idea is that you can check the status of your online order directly from the Google Maps listing.More info about restaurants — Google have added some nice extra details in restaurant overviews, including the price per person.

Google confirms bold text can help with SEO

Now this is our biggest news in the last decade, though it’s potentially slightly overstated. John Mueller, who is one of the points of contact at Google, confirmed that bolding text on a page can help Google to understand what that page is about and the relative importance of text, which makes a lot of sense.

When you think about it, the reason that you would — as a writer — bold a piece of text or a word, is because you want to emphasize it and draw attention to it. And then yes, of course, Google is smart enough to understand this. But that absolutely doesn’t mean that you should go and automatically make all of your target keywords bold, or the first sentence of every page. There is no magic wand here. The takeaway it’s important to remember is that bolding and title sizing, and even maybe underlining, are important tools when you’re crafting content. That can change how the content is read, it can change what the most important pieces are to a reader. And Google understands that in the same way. So use these tools the way that they’re meant to be used. But yeah, don’t go crazy.

Google on the future of SEO (and it’s not voice search)

So we’ve had seven prediction from Google about what’s next for SEO. This was on the Search Off the Record podcast; it’s a few of the Googlers talking a bit about how the system works and giving away some nuggets of information. I think, again, this is a bit overstated. I don’t think these were formal predictions from Google.

It was an interesting discussion between some people, there were some interesting nuggets. Like they were saying should people really have to learn and understand HTML? Or should they just rely on things like WordPress to take care of it for them? And you can make an argument either way. It’s one of the great things that Yoast SEO does as well. You don’t have to think about any of the technical stuff. Maybe, if you want a competitive edge, there is value in learning it and tweaking some of the settings based on your unique setup. But the podcast kind of oversimplified that, and we had the same kind of problem with all of these predictions. Do we think that one day we might not need URLs? Do we think that one day we might not need meta-tags? Is this all going to change? What is the world of content?

The really frustrating one was that they said maybe one day Google won’t need Schema.org markup and structured data. We’ve put a huge amount of work into the Yoast plugins to describe your content with structured data. We say here’s the author, here is the date it was published, here’s the stock availability of this product, here’s the logo of the organization that published the website. Maybe with a perfect AI Google could work all of that out. But would it work reliably enough? Probably not, when you look at every website and use-case. Structured data is an incredibly powerful tool for specifically describing your business and your site. And that’s not likely to change. It’s super important, it will continue to be important.

It was nice to see Google saying that voice search is not the future of search. This we agree on! Voice search is search. It’s not different. We’re not going to optimize differently for voice search. We just optimize for search, because in search too, people are searching with ever more words, and with more with sentence-like queries. So these are not separate things, don’t pretend that that are. End of story.

More SEO news in November 2021

We covered even more topics in the webinar, but we won’t go in-depth on these in this recap post. Take a look at the snippets below to see what you’re missing. Want to hear more? Watch the replay here!

Googling is trying out translated results for Indian searchGoogle has been discussing the potential for high quality content written by machines in the futureAhrefs have done some great work demystifying Google’s quality rater guidelinesSemrush have been researching what kind of content appears in Google Discover

WordPress news

In WordPress news, the release of WordPress 5.9 has been delayed. Meanwhile, progress is being made with plans for the new WordPress Performance team — a project combining the forces of our Yoast WordPress core team, along with WordPress and Google too.

Other tech news

In other tech industry updates, we’ve been talking about the news that Apple’s app tracking policy has led to big losses for social media platforms. Reports suggest around $10 billion in ‘lost revenue’ — but was that really an income source they should have been getting in the first place? And of course, we couldn’t miss the news that Facebook has now become Meta

Yoast SEO news

In Yoast SEO news, we’ve had lots of exciting stuff to announce! In Yoast 17.5 we released full Greek language support, which is a really big deal for our users in Greece. Meanwhile, in Yoast SEO 17.6 we mainly focused on bug fixes, but at the same time we released new-and-improved XML sitemaps for our News SEO plugin.

Aside from new features and plugin updates, we’ve got some nice events coming up soon. Jono, a leading Schema.org expert (among his many talents), will be leading a workshop about boosting your organic visibility using structured data on December 7. And last but not least, we’ll be holding our last SEO news webinar of the year on December 21, with the latest news as always, but we’ll also be taking a look ahead at what 2022 may bring. We hope to see you there!

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