SEO Articles

Conductor raises $150M in funding

Conductor raises $150M in funding

Conductor has raised $150M in a funding round led by growth equity firm Bregal Sagemount.

This news will allow Conductor to help companies increase traffic, conversions, and ROI from organic search. This funding will support efforts in prioritizing customers’ and Conductor’s people’s needs.

Conductor has seen a huge growth in its customer roster and works with industry leaders like Slack, Citibank, and AT&T. Some of Conductor’s latest highlights include Content Guidance, providing marketers with on-demand access to AI-driven recommendations for creating winning content. The company also built a free hyper-advanced Chrome Extension to make all things SEO and content marketing smarter, better and faster directly from your browser.

Receiving one of the largest rounds of funding ever raised in the SEO and organic marketing category is not only a significant moment for Conductor but also for the organic marketing industry as a whole. It stands as a vital sign that enterprise brands are prioritizing organic marketing over paid channels. This funding signals the continued rapid growth in the SEO and content marketing space and reinforces how critical unpaid channels are for brands.

Nearly 75% of enterprise executive teams are actively investing in SEO and are expecting to scale their organic investments in 2022, according to Conductor’s own survey research. Translation: The organic marketing revolution is here, and that number will only grow, as changes in consumer behavior from COVID-19 have drastically increased demand for digital marketing and search. A company’s online presence is more important than ever, and organic marketing is foundational to building that digital connection with consumers.

The funding will enable Conductor to invest more in product innovation and deliver industry-leading support to clients ranging from healthcare to retail and finance.

Conductor will use this funding to accelerate the progress to expand its SEO platform technology and enable the company to pursue M&A initiatives, expand globally in its enterprise segment, and continue to lead innovation in organic marketing technology.

The organization remains committed to delivering the leading SEO technology to enterprise brands while reinforcing our commitment to a strong people-first culture. The funding will help increase investments and grow initiatives like comprehensive workforce training for employees, charitable efforts by the Conductor Foundation, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion community.

This funding is not only a major milestone for the industry but also for all Conductors. It’s a confirmation of the organization’s people-first mission.

If you’re looking to connect with customers in an authentic, value-first way and increase traffic in 2022, schedule a demo with one of the Conductor pros today.

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20211118 SEL Brief

The post 20211118 SEL Brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO

30-second summary:

Holiday season shopping is on and your ecommerce store whether a local shop or an international ecommerce brand needs visibility for sales
How do you jump right in front of your potential customers and drive sales in a highly competitive space?
SEO pioneer, former Pepperjam founder, and serial entrepreneur, Kris Jones shares a practical ecommerce SEO guide

There is perhaps no type of business that is more primed for SEO than ecommerce companies. Think about it: where a local law firm can put up a billboard or buy ad space in a regional newspaper in addition to doing SEO, ecommerce businesses essentially have one resource available to them, the internet.

That’s where they do 100 percent of their business, and it’s where they’re going to reach the customers they want. So, ecommerce companies should spend a lot of time getting their SEO just right. One crucial way of doing that is to optimize your site to appear in Google’s various SERP features.

There are so many ways you can tell users about your business just from the SERP even before they get onto your website. And the information you present could mean all the difference between capturing your ideal traffic and losing it to competition.

Therefore, to market yourself in the best light to all potential customers searching for your products, you have to optimize your website specifically for the SERP features that drive conversions.

How do you do it? Here are four of the most vital Google SERP features for which you should be optimizing your ecommerce business’ SEO.

1. Rich cards

Back in 2016, Google introduced a new mobile SERP feature called rich cards. By using structured data, SEOs could make a business’s results “richer,” that is, more visually appealing, clickable, and therefore more likely to generate an organic click.

If you search for a certain type of product, results marked up with the proper language tell Google to show the product along with an image that can help users know if they want to explore more. Users simply swipe to see more items.

Now, why am I recommending a SERP feature from 2016?

It’s because in the first quarter of 2021, mobile traffic accounted for almost 55 percent of online traffic worldwide, and that number is only going to increase. Basically, mobile search results are even more relevant today than they were in 2016.

With that in mind, how can you optimize your ecommerce products for rich cards?

You need to use the JSON-LD method of marking up your products. You can then test your work with the various free rich results tools on offer from Google.

2. Google Images results

Somewhat related to rich cards is the need for ecommerce businesses to optimize their content for Google Images results. Relevant images will appear at the top of a SERP, before any organic results.

A good product description does indeed go a long way, but don’t forget to think simply, as well: if customers can see clear, high-quality images of your products, that will help your credibility along, and hence drive conversions.

How do optimize for Google Images results? Well, Google doesn’t read images like it reads text, so it’s all going to come down to how you prepare your images on the back end.

First of all, ensure your images are originally yours. You don’t stand much of a chance trying to rank for stock photos.

Next, give your photos descriptive file names that tie into the pages where they will be placed. In the case of ecommerce, since you’ll probably have a series of photos for each product, give the image files titles that reflect the product, with words separated by hyphens.

Here’s an example: unisex-sneakers-blue-brandname-yoursitename

And don’t forget to provide descriptive alt text to each image in case it can’t load and be seen.

Finally, be sure you’re not uploading huge image files that will weigh down a website. Compress them down as small as you can to give your site enough breathing room while still ensuring the images show what you need them to show. Check out this comprehensive guide on image optimization.

3. Rich snippets

Wait a minute, you might say, why are you talking about both rich cards and rich snippets?

With ecommerce products, rich cards will stop you at the images. You can choose to go a step further for appropriate products by optimizing for rich snippets.

Rich snippets add in extra details about your products. These get placed inside your search results, under the meta title, and above the meta description.

To get rich snippets on your product results, you’ll use structured data just like you did for rich cards. You can choose which information to enter based on what specifically can grab your potential customer’s attention and satisfy their search query.

For ecommerce companies, it makes the most sense to optimize your rich-snippet products for prices, in-stock status, sales, different brands, customer reviews, and star ratings.

Think about each of these features. Doesn’t it make sense that a customer searching for this type of product would want to see this information from your online store?

Rich snippets are one great way of reaching users with extra information without the need for the users actually to click on your result. You’re taking the most concentrated bits of data about your product offerings and jumping right out onto the SERPs at the user.

Sure, you can choose not to do this for your products. But if your competitors are, who do you think stands the better chance of getting a click and making a sale?

Rich snippets are just good ecommerce SEO, plain and simple.

4. Sitelinks

Finally, you should attempt to optimize your site for SERP sitelinks.

I say “attempt” to optimize because this isn’t a SERP feature you can just click on and off, like alt text or structured data.

So we’re all on the same page here, sitelinks are the clickable buttons below your result’s metadata on a SERP. They typically offer opportunities for users to navigate directly to sections of your website.

In the case of ecommerce, the most logical sitelinks you would want to get listed in your result would be for your most popular product categories.

But again, I’m saying “would want” because sitelinks are chosen by Google’s algorithm. That doesn’t mean you can’t influence which sitelinks Google places there. Which pages Google links in your results is based primarily on your site’s navigation.

As SEOs, we always recommend having a direct and easy-to-navigate website structure. It helps the user experience, supports navigation, and prompts Google to crawl your pages.

Other things that help Google crawl your site include keyword-optimized content, smart internal linking, and simple, intuitive menus.

It is through these elements that you stand your best chance of defining what your SERP sitelinks will be. When you tell Google which pages are most important to you and your customers, the search engine will respond in kind by generating helpful sitelinks.

This is yet another example of having your SEO jump right to the SERP at users without them having to do anything.

And when you’re in the competitive ecommerce space, that really matters.

Go forth and optimize

Businesses always have it tough when going up against the competition. Whether you’re a local shop or an international ecommerce brand, there’s always someone else trying to beat you at your own game.

While SEO can never make anyone do anything, we put ourselves on the best possible footing when we take the above steps to optimize our websites for the SERP features.

If you’re not doing these things already, you’ll want to get started as soon as you can! And then sit back and watch what happens.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

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The post Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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10 Tips & Techniques For SEO Content Writing

10 Tips & Techniques For SEO Content Writing

Every year, SEO trends change. The majority of the recommendations that were valid five years ago are now significantly out of date. What was once effective for audience interaction is now not only inefficient but can even bring your content under search engine filters, resulting in significantly lower positions. What trends will be relevant for creating SEO content in the future?

Creating blog posts that are appealing to both search engines and readers is an art. Writing effective content will necessitate not only time and effort, but also basic optimization knowledge, good writing skills, and profound proofreading.

Visit one of the essay review websites, such as Best Writers Online, for writing assistance. So, do you know how to write articles about SEO content that will rank highly in Google searches?

What Is SEO Content?

There is a significant difference between writing regular content and writing SEO-oriented content. To understand what is meant by “SEO content,” it is helpful to break the phrase down into components:

The term“SEO” refers to the process of optimizing a website for search engines such as Google;By“content,” one means any information that exists on the network and can be accessed via the network.

As a result, by combining these two concepts, one gets the following definition: SEO content is any content created to attract traffic from search engines.

Writing articles for SEO entails creating content that is well optimized for both search engines and your target audience, whereas regular content writing is written only for people.

You can get help with written content by visiting an essay writing service website such as Writing Judge.

What Is SEO Content Used For?

SEO content is used to:

The output of the site to the top based on the specified list of search queries;

Bring more people to a resource;Converting new users into buyers, subscribers, etc.

What Are Different Types Of SEO Content?

The SEO content may include any of the following:

Product Pages

A good product page can serve as both SEO content and the target PPC
page.

Blog Posts

A blog is one of the simplest ways to generate a steady stream of SEO content. In general, blog posts are more appealing and frequently attract incoming links than product pages.

So, they can be a great way to boost your site’s authority. Blogs are very adaptable, and you can use them to include any of the following types of content on this list.

Articles

Consider a news article, an interview, or a topic article. It is the most common type of content on most newspaper or magazine websites.

Lists

The list may also be an article, formatted in a specific way (for example, “10 ways to renovate a house”) makes scanning easier. When this topic appears in search results or on social media, it appears more clickable.

Guides

A guide is a longer piece of content that explains in detail how to do something. You can publish the entire guide on your website, a resume or excerpt, requiring visitors to fill out a registration form to read the entire guide.

It may be a good way to generate leads, but keep in mind that putting up a registration wall will likely reduce the amount of SEO traffic you can direct to this guide.

Videos

In 2020, 96% of content consumers said they had increased their consumption of online video content. And statistics proved that!

As a result, over 99% of video marketers said they would continue to use video in the future to promote their content. Why?

Because there are fewer videos on the Internet than text pages, it may be easier to rank a competitive keyword on the first page by creating a video instead of an article.

Depending on the type of site or business, video can be a great way to attract an audience. Consider creating video tutorials on how to use your products. Alternatively, illustrate the process associated with your business.

For example, a plumber can create a video showing how to release a sink. Note on SEO: You should consider including a text transcription of your video.

Infographics

Infographics, or large-format images that contain a lot of data (often in the form of graphs or charts) on a single topic, can generate a lot of page views and links.

However, because the majority of the content is embedded in the image and thus cannot be read by search engines like text, it is critical to carefully optimize the rest of the page.

What Is The Best Way To Write SEO Content?

The work on SEO content preparation and writing is now done differently than before. It is critical that your content contains all of the required components while also being competitive.

Three-quarters of your time is better spent on finding a potentially free niche that can be occupied and becoming a leader in it. Here are some pointers to help you get there.

#1 Determine Your Target Audience And Learn Its Needs

Take some time to get to know your target audience before you start writing for them.

Learn about your target audience’s demographics based on age, location, gender, and education. Why do you need to know these parameters?

You can choose the approach to content that best suits your target audience by better understanding it. To collect the necessary data, use tools such as SurveyMonkey.

Also, ask your readers direct questions about topics that may be of interest to them. Google Analytics can also be used to gather comprehensive location and popular search data. This information will help you enhance your SEO strategy further.

Aside from that, you can seek inspiration for new topics on Quora. It is beneficial for a variety of reasons:

For promoting your website;It is a source of the traffic to increase your site’s attendance;It is a platform for honing writing abilities;It is a blog idea generation platform.

#2 Create A Consumer Profile

A user profile is a fictitious image created from data gathered during an audience study. You can create a typical buyer image if you know their age and location. Once you have defined an image, you can tailor your ideas to this fictitious person.

For example, if the character is a teenager who enjoys sports, the content should be centered on sporting events.

#3 Keyword Research

First and foremost, search engines such as Google require information about the subject matter of your content. You will not get any search traffic if you create content without targeting any specific keywords.

You cannot write SEO-friendly content without researching keywords. The key to increasing search traffic is to find and use keywords with high search intent but low competitiveness.

When looking for the right keywords, it is important to consider both short-tail and long-tail keywords. Both types of keywords are important for increasing traffic.

When compared to short-tail keywords, however, long-tail keywords not only rank better but also have a higher conversion rate. To find the above and conduct proper keyword research, you can check out this blog post on keyword discovery to find out what tools you can use.

Keyword research is one component, and proper search engine optimization of your content is another. If you want to improve your search ranking, insert your main keywords in the appropriate places:

The title of your blog post;Blog post headings and subheadings (H1, H2, H3, etc.);In the first paragraph of your blog post;Last paragraph of your blog post;Meta-descriptions for your blog posts;Image captions in your blog posts;URL of your blog article.

Here are some key reasons for locating the best keywords:

By using the right keywords in your content, you will attract “target visitors from search engines”;Keywords help to boost your website’s conversion rate;Keyword research provides you with many potential blog post ideas that will increase your sales and search traffic;You can learn which keywords perform well for your competitors. This will make it easier for your content to rank higher.

#4 Select Catchy Headlines

No matter how mind-blowing and informative your content is, a bad headline will turn people off from publishing it. Make your headlines interesting and informative as possible to attract more attention.

You can also include keywords in the headline to improve your SEO content.

#5 Structure Your SEO Content

The content of your publication may be extensive enough. However, due to the disorganization in the structure, users may simply not want to read your content.

Instead, they will go to your competitors, whose content may be many times worse but easier to read. Divide your content into smaller paragraphs and use subtitles to avoid this. Use various lists to make reading the material easy and enjoyable.

Search engines rely on the backend organization too. To maintain a well-structured article, it is critical to use the correct tag hierarchy when tagging headers (H1, H2, H3).

#6 Make Use Of Graphics

Modern writing tips encourage the use of multimedia in addition to written content. This hybrid strategy integrates visual elements and makes your content more accessible.

Here are some of the most common graphics examples that may be useful for your content:

Infographics;Images in
GIF format;Images;Tables;Video.

Furthermore, media content is beneficial to SEO. It allows you to optimize metadata such as alternative text and image descriptions.

Use target keys to spell out alt-text and give graphics unique names. Search robots are not always capable of recognizing what is in the image. Algorithms now use alt-text as a priority description.

Make sure that your content is SEO-friendly as well by using SEO content editing tools like BiQ’sContent Intelligence.

#7 Improve Organic Traffic By Attracting Links From Other Websites

Whether you know it or not, Google prioritizes the search result in the search results, based on the quality of its available links.

This means that if you want to rank first for a potential keyword or topic, you can get this rating by attracting as many quality links from other sites as possible. Google prioritizes web pages with a large number of links.

As a result, if you truly want to increase organic traffic with your content, you should not overlook the importance of attracting links from other sites.

#8 Link Building

Internal textual references are critical for SEO. They send strong signals to search engines about the importance of another page on your website.

Maintain balance when linking to content that your audience might be interested in. Put links where they are truly needed and provide the user with valuable additional information.

Make strong anchors.

Wanda Lafond is a professional content writer, copywriter, content strategist, and communications consultant. She started young with her writing career from being a high school writer to a university editor, and now she is a writer in professional writing platforms— her years of expertise have honed her skills to create compelling and results-driven content every single time.

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The Semantic Revolution in SEO & SEM Strategy

Author | Zach Wales 
Bio | Zach Wales is a senior strategist in search marketing who has been honing complimentary SEO & SEM strategies for over a decade. He architected the digital marketing department of a full-service agency, HZDG, where his clients included NVR, Inc.; Hilton Hotels; Organic Valley, and more.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) have complemented one another as marketing channels since the dawn of Google AdWords (Google Ads’ pre-2018 name) in October 2000. 

As their names suggest, SEO and SEM are two sides of the same coin. Troves of blog posts, podcasts, and other media have attempted to explain how this is so. Indeed, the SEO/SEM discussion has evolved over the years in stride with search engines themselves, which have evolved to deliver more user-tailored experiences.

This article will address some of the present-day differences between SEO and SEM, and show you how you can leverage them in your all-encompassing search strategy.

We stand at an important crossroads in the SEO/SEM relationship narrative. In recent years, Google, the all-powerful influencer of search marketing trends, has gotten better at detecting keyword semantics and their respective contexts.

The implications on SEO and SEM are profound. The winners in this new era are marketers with a full-funnel perspective on search, and a willingness to share insights between SEO and SEM.

Special note: For simplicity, this article will refer to the practitioners of SEO/SEM as “an SEO/SEM” (singular) or “SEOs/SEMs” (plural). The gender-neutral pronouns “they/their” will be used in place of the gender-specific singulars “he/she.” 

What’s the difference between SEO & SEM?

As marketing channels, SEO and SEM share the same “What”: Their basic objective is to promote website content in search engines. They also share the core strategy of targeting the intent behind people’s search terms or keywords. 

The main difference between SEO and SEM resides in the “How” and “Where.” Both channels value keywords for their respective search volumes and the likelihood of conversion. But each utilizes keywords in slightly different ways. 

For the purposes of this article, we will define SEO and SEM as follows:

SEO Defined 

SEO is the ongoing creation, enhancement, promotion, and technical maintenance of website content that appears in the organic (or non-paid) real estate of search engine results pages (SERPs). 

More than a channel, SEO is an earned marketing effort. Keyword rankings are earned through on-page (e.g. website content optimization) and off-page (e.g., content marketing) efforts. 

SEO leverages keywords like a builder leverages cement. They are building blocks in planning, creating, and optimizing website pages that appear on desirable SERP property for those keywords. 

SEO is a long game. Organic keyword rankings can take months—and no small amount of effort—to come to fruition. Once a top ranking is earned, the effort doesn’t necessarily decrease. That depends on how desirable one’s keywords are, and what one’s competitors are doing to earn their place in the SERPs.

SEM Defined

SEM is the strategic placement of ads within a search engine’s advertising real estate. It happens to go by other names like “PPC” (pay-per-click) or “AdWords,” just as it comes naturally to say “Kleenex” for any brand of facial tissue. 

SEM is a paid marketing channel, but like SEO, on-page optimizations (e.g., landing page UX) come into play.  

In SEM, keywords are bid upon in real-time online auctions for the time, intent, and actions of potential website visitors. Generally speaking, ads appear in desirable locations when you outbid your competitors in that micro-moment, AND when the webpages your ads target meet the search engine’s (really Google’s) criteria for quality and keyword relevance (known in Google Ads as Quality Score, the counterpart to Core Vitals in SEO).  

Compared to SEO, SEM is a short game. Brands with deep pockets may run Google Ads continuously throughout the year, but SEM tactics have near-term results. As with SEO, keywords serve as building materials for strong and relevant landing pages. But like all things PPC, they can be surgically applied (or bid upon) and switched off on demand.

The “How” and the “Where” of SEO and SEM are ever-evolving. The present-day visual landscape of Google SERPs—complete with image carousels, knowledge cards and more—is a far cry from the ten, all-text results of the pre-2007 era.

Understanding that landscape provides insight on how to situate SEO and SEM in your broader marketing strategy. 

The Role of Google in SEO & SEM

Google has always dominated the global market of online search and its intent. It has also maintained a technical edge in that space. It has the most sophisticated algorithm and has always been a contributor to, if not the source of, new SEO/SEM trends. Most updates you hear about in non-Google search engines are their attempts to catch up with Google’s innovations.  

Today Google accounts for 76 percent of all online searches, which amounts to over 3.5 billion daily searches (or 40,000 per second), and 1.2 trillion each year. Baidu takes a distant second 15 percent, while Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Ask, DuckDuckGo, Naver, AOL, and Dogpile make up the remaining 9%. 

As stated earlier, there have been numerous changes to Google’s SERP-scape since 2007 (the year after Google acquired the world’s leading video search engine, YouTube). Behind these changes is the commonly held objective of all search engines: To generate revenue by making their product as relevant and reliable as possible.

 What does this mean to SEO and SEM? Fairness, in a word. Google has made it increasingly impossible to merely buy your way to the top, or to clutter SERP real estate with flimsy, overly exaggerated, or misleading information. 

Sure, bid amounts matter in SEM, as with any auction. And bidding strategy is a key pillar to managing Google Ads. But their success hinges on Quality Score, Google Ads’ unique criteria that weights webpage quality and user experience as much as—sometimes more than—how you flex your bids.

Conversely, link building matters in SEO. How else can Google measure the authority of one website without seeing how other credible websites (e.g., ones with a top-level domain of .gov or .edu) link to it? 

But Google has gone to great lengths to identify and penalize SEOs who create superficial microsites for the sole purpose of link building. By doing this, Google is policing junk results from its product: relevant results.

The following rule of thumb helps illustrate the prominence of Google in SEO: If you ever doubt the career credentials of a new SEO vendor or staff candidate, just ask them to talk about Panda and Penguin. If they can speak to how these Google updates have helped level the SEO playing field over the past decade, they’re knowledgeable.  

If they do the same thing but with a visceral expression of agony, they are experienced. 

Is SEO or SEM Better?

This is a trick question. No one answer applies universally. As a paid advertising channel, SEM campaigns can return results within days of being launched. SEO typically takes months, or weeks depending on the strength of your domain. 

For that reason alone, one might favor SEM during times of urgency—when your CEO demands a 5 percent increase in sales between November and year’s end. 

But the case for SEM cannot be made on timelines alone. If your business lives in a saturated market dominated by large brands who are heavily invested in Google Ads, then SEM could be a money pit (unless you aim for very niche longtail keywords, which might convert well but not with the desired volume). 

Conversely, if you’re selling to a relatively exclusive audience with a new or unique offering, SEM could be your next marketing windfall.  

Timelines are one of many variables that weigh in on the SEO vs. SEM debate. The only constant in that debate is that everyone prefers the best of both worlds. Anyone with a sales funnel has a need to familiarize people with their products/services and then convert them. The best results occur when both options are available in the SERPs. 

Speaking to this, Brainlabs SEO Strategist Anthony DeSordi says: “Our tools and processes for keyword research are very good at identifying top and middle-of-funnel keyword opportunities. The data from PPC helps us with the higher-converting, lower-funnel keywords.” 

Joaquín Espliguero, who works with DeSordi as a Paid Search Strategist, adds, “We can then utilize the upper-funnel keywords from SEO to generate awareness campaigns. These insights also bleed into non-search paid tactics like social media campaigns. If done right, you can teach your audience which keywords to use to arrive at the products/services that you want to sell.”

BERT and the Relationship Between SEO and SEM

The updates to Google’s search algorithm and its Ads platform are numerous. Standalone resources like Moz’s Google Algorithm Update History and Screaming Frog’s Google Ads History provide comprehensive timelines detailing how these updates impact the SEO/SEM industry. 

Each of those updates reflects a sign of the times in SEO and SEM—together and separately. Knowledge of this relationship is the first step to capitalizing on it. 

The Google BERT Update

BERT, short for the easy-to-remember Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is a Google algorithm update that launched in October 2019. BERT improves the way Google understands the context and intent of search queries. 

Because BERT has implications on the way Google “perceives” keywords, it’s worth noting how it impacts SEO and SEM. And what you can do about it.

Google BERT & SEO

The BERT update essentially advanced Google from understanding the meaning to understanding meaning within meaning. It improved how Google distinguishes between phrases from sentences, and how to interpret “polysomic nuances”—words with two or more meanings. 

The BERT update dovetails with the similarly-purposed Panda (2011), Hummingbird (2013), and BrainRank (2015) updates. Each represents a milestone in Google’s ability to detect quality content and keyword semantics.

For marketers already heeding the SEO best practice of creating long-form, credible content,  BERT was like an act in good faith: It was (more) proof that Google was capable of rewarding their efforts. 

What that looks like in SEO is increased visits from long-tail keywords, and therefore greater potential for webpage content to rank for voice search queries, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Cards/Panels, Image Packs (for optimized image & media files), and the like. 

Google BERT & SEM

Although the direct implications of BERT are felt more in SEO than SEM, the update ushered game-changing trends in Google Ads. 

Google said it is now using BERT in Google Ads as part of its “improved understanding of search intent and more predictability in how keywords match.” This improved understanding resulted in the death of Google Ads’ Broad Match Modifiers. Google’s machine learning can now find the context and intent of broad match keywords without modifiers. 

Moreover, Google’s emphasis on Responsive Search Ads, along with its sunsetting of Expanded Text Ads, points to a new era of confidence in automation and artificial intelligence.

RSAs let you enter 15 headlines and four descriptions for each ad. Google chooses the most relevant combination of headlines and descriptions by analyzing various cues from the user—but also from your webpage content.

“The more headlines and descriptions you enter, the more opportunities Google Ads has to serve ads that more closely match your potential customers’ search queries,” says Google, adding that this “can improve your ad performance.”

Indeed, if your SEM campaigns do not include RSAs across the board, you’re missing a very important bus. But how does this relate to BERT? 

BERT, SEM and SEO Working Together 

If the AI that empowers Google Ads to choose the “best of” 15 headlines and four descriptions sounds like the AI that empowers Google to transpose webpage copy into a Featured Snippet in organic results, then you might know where this is going. 

What makes two of 15 headlines better than the rest? Relevance.

What makes them relevant? Let’s say, hypothetically, that the most compelling and converting headline in your RSA arsenal is “Buy Weatherproof Shoes.” If there is no corresponding landing page copy that elaborates on the benefits of weatherproof shoes, this winning headline won’t see the light of day. It becomes a conversion gap in your SEM strategy.

This might seem like an obvious and avoidable oversight, but not if your approach to SEM is siloed from SEO. After all, a well-formulated SEO plan would have uncovered the importance of “weatherproofing” in keyword research and avoided such apparent content gaps. 

But let’s say you don’t have that luxury: Your SEM campaigns were launched without giving SEO a thought. You work for the most siloed marketing department in your industry. 

The above factors may stack the cards against you. But if you understand the “how” behind Google’s AI, you are better positioned to anticipate things like semantic associations and content gaps. And that something can be done about them.

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Google adds documentation on translated search results and ad networks with Google Translate

Google added two new help documents to the Google Search developer area around translated search results and how to enable your ad network to work with Google Translated web pages.

Translated Google search results

The translated results help document explains how Google may automatically translate the search result snippets from the language it was written in, to the language of the Google Search results page. Google said “sometimes Google may translate the title link and snippet of a search result for results that aren’t in the language of the search query.”

Google said it does this because “a translated result is a Google Search feature that enables users to view results from other languages in their language, and can help publishers reach a larger audience.”

These translated results work for Indonesian, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu languages at the time we published this story. It should be only available on mobile devices with any browser that supports Google Search.

After the user clicks the translated search result link, Google said that “all further user interaction with the page is through Google Translate.” Google said you can opt out of this through a meta robots tag notranslate. Here are more details on opting in or out of translated results.

Ad networks with Google Translate

If Google will be automatically translating your web pages using Google Translate and you do not opt out of that behavior, you will want to make sure that if you have ads on those pages, that the ads load properly. This new help document discusses how to enable your ad network to work with translation-related Google Search features. It is a pretty technical document, so make sure to share it with your developers and engineers.

Why we care. If you prefer that Google does not translate your search result snippets, you can now opt out of it. You can even opt in, if you want Google to translate those results. Plus, if you want to ensure your ads load with Google Translate, Google now has clear documentation on how to make that work.

The post Google adds documentation on translated search results and ad networks with Google Translate appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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