SEO Articles

Facebook testing new sidebar, channels for groups

Facebook is testing a new sidebar that helps users find groups quicker and easier. The sidebar lists your groups and their latest activity like posts or chats. You can also pin your favorite groups so you can access them quicker, and even create your own.

The case for groups. Facebook groups aren’t new. Groups are used to get users with similar interests, and hobbies together, in a place where they can collaborate, communicate, sell, or meet in person. This reorganization doesn’t change the functionality of groups or how they work, but reorganizes them within the Facebook platform and offers a few new features.

How groups are organized. In the new sidebar, you’ll be able to easily see a menu that takes you to links for events, shops, chats, or other channels within the group. 

Within their groups, admins can create individual channels to allow smaller, more casual interactions. This is meant to drive deeper discussions and organize the group around sub-topics of interests and demographics. 

New group features

Community chat. Message and collaborate with other group members in private, smaller channels based on a sub-topic or interest.

Community audio. This allows admins and members to hold audio conversations in real-time.

Community feed. Just like with a normal Facebook feed, the community feeds allow you to browse activity within your selected channel. 

Launch date TBD. There isn’t any information on when these new features will be launched to the public fully. But you can read the announcement here.

Why we care. Businesses with a large Facebook presence can take advantage of these new features and create groups around their product or service. There’s no guarantee they’ll result in any measurable success, but creating a community around their brand may be a way to keep people engaged.  

The post Facebook testing new sidebar, channels for groups appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Webinar: Grow revenue streams through web accessibility and compliance

Webinar: Grow revenue streams through web accessibility and compliance

1 out of 4 people in the U.S. lives with some type of disability. Because consumers are online now more than in previous years, your clients’ websites must be accessible to everyone.

It’s not merely a matter of being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It’s also good business—because web accessibility can deliver better results and enhance search engine optimization.

Join a panel of agency, compliance and disability leaders to hear more about how web accessibility can work for your agency and your clients.

Register today for “Agencies: Grow Revenue Streams Through Web Accessibility & Compliance,” presented by accessiBe.

The post Webinar: Grow revenue streams through web accessibility and compliance appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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SimilarWeb & Rank Ranger talk acquisition, SEO challenges, opportunities

Web analytics company SimilarWeb acquired rank tracking and monitoring tool Rank Ranger last month. Terms of the deal, announced on May 16, were not revealed. 

I recently had a chance to conduct a Q&A with SimilarWeb VP, GM Digital Marketing Solutions Baruch Toledano, as well as Rank Ranger CEO and founder Shay Harel. 

Toledano and Harel discussed what the acquisition means for both companies and their customers. They also discuss some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in SEO right now. Here are the highlights. 

SimilarWeb

The company, founded in 2007, has more than 1,000 employees. It also has more than 2,500 customers around the world, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, including Adidas, Adobe, Booking.com, DHL, Google, MGM and Pepsico.

According to Toledano, SimilarWeb’s mission is to:

“Empower digital growth by providing decision-makers at all levels with 360° visibility into the digital world. We provide granular insights for any website, mobile app, industry and market globally.”

Why did SimilarWeb acquire RankRanger? Toledano said:

“Rank Ranger provides SEO managers with search term tracking and monitoring. The fidelity of their data and ability to identify ongoing SERP changes has been instrumental to many organic search marketers. We believe that by combining SimilarWeb traffic analysis features and our datasets with ongoing rank performance, SEO managers will have a complete set of insights to design, measure, report and improve their marketing campaigns.  From planning to on-going monitoring to actionable insights to improving rank positioning.”

This acquisition provides many SimilarWeb customers with a comprehensive view into their business decisions, Toledano said.

“For marketers, this means tying campaign strategy research activities with ongoing performance and improvements.  It means expanded topic ideation and tracking of content visibility on search. For other roles leveraging our solution, it provides additional reporting granularity, allowing for close monitoring of companies, products, investments, compliance and competitive insights. For example, consideration for potential and ongoing investments and their digital competitors’ presence; Brand and their affiliates’ compliance and monitoring for marketing the brand’s products; close inspection of trends as they emerge in search or other channels and many other use cases.”

What is Toledano’s favorite thing about Rank Ranger?

“By far, the ranking granularity and all associated reports. Also, I like the fidelity they have for some of the unique engines like Google For Jobs that allows marketers to optimize across specialty search sites.”

This was the second acquisition for SimilarWeb within six months. In November, SimilarWeb acquired Embee Mobile, a mobile insights provider. That acquisition was meant to strengthen its mobile app intelligence offering.

Rank Ranger

The company, founded in 2009, has “hundreds” of customers (the company declined to be more specific), including H&M, Reckitt and Motley Fool.

All of Rank Ranger’s employees (more than a dozen developers and SEO specialists) now work out of SimilarWeb’s Tel Aviv office. All that has really changed is that Rank Ranger is now a SimilarWeb-owned company.

Harel views SimilarWeb as a complementary software to Rank Ranger, which allows for new opportunities to develop new SEO tools and analytics (e.g., traffic analysis, competitor intelligence, advanced reporting).

Here’s how Harel summed up what Rank Ranger does:

“Rank Ranger is an all-in-one SEO and digital marketing tool designed to give businesses a strategic advantage through advanced reporting and analytics.”

For many startups, the goal is to get acquired. But that was never the goal for Rank Ranger, Harel said: 

“We have worked closely with SimilarWeb over the past few years, and the synergies were a fit, and at some point, we saw a great opportunity.”

I asked Harel what he remembered most about the early days of the company. At the time, SEO was still in its early stages and there was a growing demand from marketers for tools that helped them perform daily and monthly tasks: 

“It was very exciting to work with digital marketing agencies, understand their needs and build tools for our early clients that could help them with automation of their daily workflows. The SEO space has been evolving so quickly every year and we had to adapt and constantly innovate with new metrics and insights to keep up with the rapid pace of change.”

Harel also shared a couple of highlights from his time at Rank Ranger: 

“On the technical side, our Insight Graph innovation has become a best-in-class reporting tool, having a blend of sources all-in-one marketing report. As for the business, the most exciting moment in the early days was when we closed Booking.com as a customer in a short timeframe. It was a challenging case of a custom solution where we excelled in our efforts to come up with a solution, which led to a new offering concept and many new businesses resulting from that use case.”

So what is Harel’s favorite thing about SimilarWeb?

“Without a doubt, the keyword freshness and database is amazing and very different from “our” SEO world. Normal SEO tools are building keyword datasets based on Keyword Planner, Google Suggest/Related, Search Console, etc. These tools, by nature, have so much noise, it’s like an ocean that you need to invest so much time on research to get value. With SimilarWeb’s clickstream data, you get a clean dataset that is also up to date, that can be segmented from a very different angle. I believe that in the coming years, it will become the best common practice used by SEOs.”

The biggest SEO challenges and opportunities right now

According to Toldedano:

“Aligning and telling this story in the design of every marketing campaign is their biggest challenge but also presents the biggest opportunity.  In addition, bringing other corporate roles outside of marketing to benefit from SEO insights, can drive better business decisions and promote its prominence in the organization.”

He added that challenges are opportunities where SEO can become a pivotal role within the marketing team:

“SEOs can help align cross-channel marketing activities to deliver the most impact with other marketing roles combining paid and organic activities.  SEOs can empower CMOs with relevant insights when crafting mixed marketing strategies, particularly for the mid and long-term traffic and brand awareness goals.

Because SEO sits at the junction between creative, analytical and technical disciplines of marketing, it provides the best representation of the voice of customers and what it means to each of these disciplines, Toldedano said.  

“To drive stronger alignment of marketing campaigns activities, the customer needs and expressions on organic search are the most genuine and long-lasting form of marketing that typically deliver the most impactful result.”  

Keeping up with Google is the biggest challenge, according to Harel. More specifically, changes to SERP features and the display of organic results.

“These changes are creating new opportunities and invite more competition on keywords and obviously demotes monopolies on certain keyword spaces. For example, in 2015 there were 10 organic results and one Featured Snippet = a total of 11 domains competing. Today you have 10 organic results, a block of related questions, a featured snippet and new boxes that can take the number of domains to 20 and more! That’s a lot of competition on a single keyword.”

The post SimilarWeb & Rank Ranger talk acquisition, SEO challenges, opportunities appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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The COMPLETE On-Page SEO Checklist for 2022

Some people think on-page SEO is just throwing your keywords …

Keep Learning >The COMPLETE On-Page SEO Checklist for 2022

The post The COMPLETE On-Page SEO Checklist for 2022 first appeared on Gotch SEO.

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SEO for Florists: The Definitive Guide for 2022

How do you do SEO for florists? As you know: …

Keep Learning >SEO for Florists: The Definitive Guide for 2022

The post SEO for Florists: The Definitive Guide for 2022 first appeared on Gotch SEO.

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Yoast SEO 19.2: IndexNow, crawl settings, and WordProof

Yoast SEO 19.2: IndexNow, crawl settings, and WordProof

Today is a good day. The next batch of Yoast SEO releases comes with a ton of new stuff that helps your site get noticed by search engines. We’re launching an IndexNow integration, expanded our crawl settings with advanced features, and added a WordProof integration to help timestamp privacy pages on the blockchain. Read up on Yoast SEO 19.2 and Yoast SEO Premium 18.8!

Improve crawling with Yoast SEO Premium, one feature at a time

The last two releases introduced new crawl settings in Yoast SEO Premium. With these settings, we’re optimizing your WordPress site to output less overhead that search engines like Google are eager to crawl but which don’t add any value. We’re on a mission to reduce the crawl load on websites — making it a more straightforward process for crawlers. As a result, we’re reducing the strain on your website and the environment.

In Yoast SEO Premium 18.8, we’re expanding the crawl settings with several advanced options. In addition, we’re adopting the IndexNow protocol supported by Microsoft Bing, Seznam, and Yandex. Google doesn’t support it yet and might never.

IndexNow: towards a future of fewer crawls

The IndexNow protocol is a new way of keeping search engines in the loop about your content by pinging the API as soon as you publish or update a page. IndexNow was introduced in October 2021 and has seen quite some adoption in just a couple of months.

By adopting the IndexNow protocol, we’re helping your content get indexed quicker. Besides, IndexNow also offers a glimpse of the future. We’re hoping that initiatives like this can make the process of crawling and indexing content less impactful for your website and the environment.

IndexNow is available in Yoast SEO Premium and activated by default. There’s a setting to switch the integration on or off, but other than that, there are no settings for you to concern yourself with. Also, we ping Bing with your XML sitemaps only when IndexNow is disabled to prevent unnecessary overheads.

Yoast SEO Premium automatically pings IndexNow for you

Advanced crawl features in Yoast SEO Premium

We introduced crawl settings in the previous two releases of Yoast SEO Premium 18.6 and 18.7. The first wave was mostly about removing unnecessary feeds in WordPress and cleaning up code from the head; in Yoast SEO Premium 18.8, we’re adding two advanced crawl settings: search clean up and URL parameter clean up.

Go Premium and get access to all our features!

Premium comes with lots of features and free access to our SEO courses!

Get Yoast SEO Premium »Only $99 USD / year (ex VAT) for 1 site

Search cleanup: battling search spam

Spammers sometimes target internal site search URLs on your site for their purposes. Those URLs might get crawled by Google and might be seen by users. That can harm your SEO — and your branding! This feature identifies some common spam patterns and stops them in their tracks, for instance, searches with emojis or extremely long sentences. We’ll tidy these up nicely for you.

URL parameter cleanup: getting rid of excessive URLs

The URL parameter cleanup is cool but it comes with a warning. It’s a feature for power users, for sure. URL parameters, used in marketing campaigns or to track links to your site, can be helpful to find out how your stuff is performing. These parameters, like ?source=email, or ?from=example.com, make for duplicate pages that Google and the like will crawl. Some of these are useful, but most can probably go without you noticing.

You can streamline your site and improve crawl efficiency by redirecting URLs with unknown query parameters to the page’s canonical URL. The URL permalink cleanup does precisely that. If you want to keep specific URL parameters, you can add these to have them excluded.

For utm tracking parameters (used by Google Analytics), we provide a way to change these to use # instead of ? in the URL, which can improve your site’s crawl efficiency without sacrificing functionality.

Keep in mind that this could harm your site. If you’re not sure, don’t touch it. If you plan to use it, please test it on a staging site before rolling it out to your live site.

Yoast SEO Free: timestamp content on the blockchain with WordProof

WordProof is a Dutch blockchain startup focusing on protecting your content by adding it to the blockchain. WordProof automatically adds a unique fingerprint to your content, making it verifiable. It helps fight against fake news and copyright issues while increasing the trust in the content you put out, with a very transparent solution.

WordProof has won numerous European awards for valuable blockchain solutions. For those wanting to know more, we talked to WordProof about what makes their solution useful.

WordProof already has a WordPress plugin that gives you much more control over your timestamps and usage, but with the integration in Yoast SEO 19.2, we make it easier to get started. It is limited, though, to ten timestamps a month and only on the privacy page of your site — and the terms and conditions page if you use WooCommerce SEO. This helps readers verify the trustworthiness of that critical page.

Activate the WordProof integration in the integrations settings, log in or set up an account and start time stamping your privacy and terms and conditions pages.

Open your privacy or terms and conditions page and timestamp it with WordProof

Other enhancements in Yoast SEO 19.2

Yoast SEO 19.2 is a chockfull release. We’ve mentioned the WordProof integration, but there’s more to be found.

Improvements to the SEO and readability analyses

Yoast SEO is famous for its SEO and readability analyses. Thanks to these tools, you can write content that stands out from the crowd — while making readers and search engines happy. We’re continually improving the analyses, and in Yoast SEO 19.2, we’re doing that with a long list of changes. In addition, we’ve also made the SEO and readability column sortable in the post overview.

The improvements mainly concern the way the text analysis handles various inputs. For instance, it will now exclude blockquote HTML elements and no longer split sentences on semicolon ;. We’ve improved the support for Elementor by not always splitting on ellipsis …, regardless of whether the following sentence has a valid beginning. Also, we now support sentence detection for declarative sentences in quotation marks.

Social sharing and structured data improvements

In Yoast SEO 19.2, you’ll find several improvements related to social media sharing and structured data:

We’ve added support for webp images for OpenGraph output.We’ve added a meta author tag to ensure that LinkedIn picks up the name of a post author properly.To get Pinterest to detect the author of an article, we’ve added this to the author section of the Article schema piece.

Update now to Yoast SEO 19.2 and Premium 18.8

Yoast SEO 19.2 and Yoast SEO Premium 18.8 bring you a boatload of goodies. We have an IndexNow integration, several new features to manage crawling on your site, and a WordProof integration to timestamp privacy pages on the blockchain.

This is one of the biggest releases we’ve done in recent months, and we’re proud of it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed building it!

The post Yoast SEO 19.2: IndexNow, crawl settings, and WordProof appeared first on Yoast.

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