Could Chrome’s targetText functionality have uses beyond Featured Snippets on desktop?

Could Chrome’s targetText functionality have uses beyond Featured Snippets on desktop?

I’ve been running a few mini experiments at the moment with Featured Snippets when exposed to targetText results within Search. One of my experiments involved seeing if targetText would work with hidden content. It surprisingly did, but there was more to that story than what meets the eye. Since I’ve written a couple of articles on this topic, one question keeps emerging: How can I use targetText for SEO? Well, you can’t. Not for ranking purposes anyway. When I say you can’t, I’m referring specifically to the ability to rank a web page on Google. This post will explain why, but also put forward a couple of ideas for alternative […]

Soapbox: Why I’m so glad Google ended our relationship with Average Position

Soapbox: Why I’m so glad Google ended our relationship with Average Position

It happened – Average Position is gone. Caput. Outta here. It was, at its best, a vanity metric and not a reliable indicator of how well your ads were positioned. On a small scale, you could have seventy ads in position one and thirty ads in position five for an Average Position of 2.2. An Average Position of 2.2 would have many believe their ads were at the top more than 70% of the time. Now I understand positioning is very important. Google understands, too, otherwise it wouldn’t have provided us with Top Impression Share and Absolute Top Impression Share as an improvement over Average Position. Still, these new metrics […]

FAQ: All about the BERT algorithm in Google search

FAQ: All about the BERT algorithm in Google search

Google has said that its most recent major search update, the inclusion of the BERT algorithm, will help it better understand the intent behind users’ search queries, which should mean more relevant results. BERT will impact 10% of searches, the company said, meaning it’s likely to have some impact on your brand’s organic visibility and traffic — you just might not notice. This is our high-level look at what we know so far about what Google is touting as “one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.” When you’re ready to go deeper, check out our companion piece: A deep dive into BERT: How BERT launched a […]

A deep dive into BERT: How BERT launched a rocket into natural language understanding

A deep dive into BERT: How BERT launched a rocket into natural language understanding

Editor’s Note: This deep dive companion to our high-level FAQ piece is a 30-minute read so get comfortable! You’ll learn the backstory and nuances of BERT’s evolution, how the algorithm works to improve human language understanding for machines and what it means for SEO and the work we do every day. If you have been keeping an eye on Twitter SEO over the past week you’ll have likely noticed an uptick in the number of gifs and images featuring the character Bert (and sometimes Ernie) from Sesame Street. This is because, last week Google announced an imminent algorithmic update would be rolling out, impacting 10% of queries in search results, […]

5 tips and trends from Google Webmaster Conference

5 tips and trends from Google Webmaster Conference

Google held its Google Webmaster Conference event for the first time at its Mountain View, California headquarters on Monday. Here are five tips and trends we took away from the event. Structured data. Over the years, Google has continued to roll out new support for additional structured data markups and continues to expand support for additional rich results in search. What was apparent from the numerous talks at the conference was that Google will expand support for structured data to inform new experiences in the search results as well as the Assistant. This includes adding new rich result types, above the numerous options already officially supported. It also includes Google […]

Google extends Shopping ads to more YouTube inventory

Google extends Shopping ads to more YouTube inventory

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Google is expanding the visibility of Shopping campaigns on YouTube. Showcase Shopping ads are also going more places and opening up to more categories. Finally, sitelinks are coming to TrueView for action ads, the company announced Tuesday. New Shopping ad inventory on YouTube. Shopping ads can now show on the YouTube home feed and YouTube search results. On mobile, users will be able to scroll through a carousel of “Suggested Products” that will appear between videos on the home page or at the top of the search results. Shopping ad carousels may appear on the YouTube home feed or at the top […]

Why the University of Arizona changed its abbreviation for SEO

Why the University of Arizona changed its abbreviation for SEO

To bolster its SEO, the University of Arizona has changed its abbreviation from “UA” to “UArizona,” AP News reported last week. The southern Arizona university appears below Under Armour, United Airlines as well as another educational institution, the University of Alabama, for the query “UA.” The case for “UArizona.” Ranking first for your business’ name is quintessential for most brands and, as shown below, the University of Arizona does just that. However, the university is also commonly referred to as “UA,” as seen in the knowledge panel above. The acronym’s simplicity is also what makes it more ambiguous, leading to more competition for that term on the search results. “If […]

Bing introduces penalty for ‘inorganic site structure’ violations

Bing introduces penalty for ‘inorganic site structure’ violations

Bing is introducing a spam penalty against “inorganic site structure” violations, the search engine announced on Monday. The new penalty seeks to address tactics such as subdomain leasing, doorway content and sites that participate in private blog networks. Where your website ends. To provide context for its new penalty, Bing provided two examples of typical website boundaries. The first, and most common, boundary is defined by the domain, in which each page, subfolder and subdomain are all considered part of the same site. In the second example, as seen below, each subdomain is considered its own website. Source: Bing. Defining website boundaries is particularly important because algorithms assign a different […]

Tell your brand’s story through video ad sequencing

Tell your brand’s story through video ad sequencing

Creating a progression of short videos with a carefully targeted campaign on YouTube can set up your brand’s success on the platform. Every brand has a story to tell. But with the average attention span of adults being eight seconds (according to a study by Microsoft), how do you capture that user in the right moment with the right message? Effective content marketing has become crucial because of this staggering statistic. As digital advances, content marketing tactics now encapsulate display and video strategies in order to keep a user engaged. What is YouTube ad sequencing? YouTube ad sequencing campaigns made its debut in the second half of 2018. However, I […]

Google News app lets users access content in two languages

Google News app lets users access content in two languages

The Google News app now lets users see content in two languages, Google announced on Monday. Why we should care Some publishers may experience increased traffic from users who speak and read in multiple languages. Those users will now be able to find and consume news in two languages in their Google News app. This is particularly relevant for publishers in multilingual regions, such as Canada, India and Switzerland. How to set up multiple language preferences within the Google News app. Source: Google. More on the announcement This feature is available across 141 countries and 41 languages on the Android and iOS versions of the Google News app. It is […]