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Google has started rolling out a new core search algorithm update that it calls the May 2020 Core Update. The new update comes months after the search giant released the last core algorithm update back in January. The goal behind updates like these are to try and improve the quality of results that users get when they enter a search query into the site. While this is good for an end user, many sites might see their performance fluctuate as a result of the core update. To avoid its results being manipulated, Google doesn't give out the details of its routine updates, merely advising content creators to focus on quality content.

A tweet posted by Google earlier today announced that the May 2020 Core Update has started rolling out for all users. The update would, however, take about one to two weeks to fully roll out.

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Broader update to enhance Google search experience
The new update is a broad core algorithm update that would bring a list of changes to Google's search algorithms and systems. This is unlike the regular changes that the company releases incrementally to improve search results.
“Several times a year, we make significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems. We refer to these as ‘core updates.' They're designed to ensure that overall, we're delivering on our mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers,” Google noted in a blog post defining the core algorithm updates.

Apart from other changes, core updates are likely to affect Google Discover. Some sites are also expected to note drops or gains during such updates.

“We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don't try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all,” the search giant said.

Having said that, webmasters and search engine optimisation (SEO) teams are advised to stay focussed on bringing quality content through their sites. The content should provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis along with a comprehensive description of the topic. It is also recommended to have a descriptive but not exaggerating or sensationalist headline. Furthermore, there are a list of content, quality, expertise, and comparative questions that webmasters and SEO folks should ask themselves about their content.

Drops, gains from search algorithm updates are common
It is natural that since Google makes certain changes at the algorithm level, some websites face drops, while the other ones get some gains in their traffic. There isn't any hard and fast rule to fix such impacts post an update starts rolling out. Nevertheless, it's better to consider analytics to understand ranking changes of your website.

The last core algorithm update that Google brought to its search engine took place in January. The company had also introduced a new design for desktop searches around the same time that faced some backlash from users initially.

[Source: This article was published in gadgets.ndtv.com By Jagmeet Singh - Uploaded by the Association Member: Deborah Tannen]

Categorized in Search Engine

Despite their seemingly simple goals, search engines like Google are actually very complex beasts, and the results they deliver up to users on a silver platter are the result of very complex algorithms. In very basic terms, when you type a keyword into a search engine like Bing or Google, its sole goal is to find you the best possible result for your needs. The problem in this case is what these search engines consider the best result when you consider there are hundreds of thousands of pages that may contain some kind of relevance to your search term on the internet. In this article, we take a look at how Google brings users such accurate results (most of the time, anyway).

What goes into bringing you the right results

Every SEO agency in Melbourne knows that there are a few things that Google will rely on to deliver you what you need. The first of these is search intent. This is basically to say that Google wants to leave you satisfied with the result you’re given, so to basically satisfy your intent and search goals. This is actually a very difficult ask, as the search terms a user may put in could be very open to interpretation. For example, a question could be related to a need to find very basic information, very detailed information, methods (such as recipes), or to buy a product. What Google delivers when you search for something is usually what most users want to see when they type in that search term. For this reason, this is something quite important to keep in mind if you’re planning on implementing keywords into your own website. Next up we have relevancy: although you’ll be linked to a page that Google finds relevant, the search engine also takes into consideration the relevance of the entire website. Consistency is something that Google values very highly, so if the rest of the website provides information that isn’t all over the place, it will rank it higher. This is because if the content isn’t consistent, Google can’t determine what it’s actually about, so it can hardly recommend it!

Other things Google factors into your search results

It’s not just relevancy to your core enquiry that Google is interested in. It wants the results it brings to you to be of a high quality, which is why content quality is factored into the search results as well. Although what determines quality can be highly subjective, there are a few things that Google keeps in mind when it delivers you those juicy results. The first thing it keeps in mind is the length of the content – large pieces can often be determined as being detailed, which is exactly what many people want when searching for information. Detailed shouldn’t mean that the piece isn’t easy to read, so breaking up the content with small paragraphs, relevant headings and images are also very valuable, as these elements are generally very useful for people looking for informative content. Finally, Google will take into consideration the authority of the website. For Google, authority translates as trustworthiness – if Google has knowledge that the website is reliable, it will be much happier sharing the content. The primary way that Google processes trustworthiness is through backlinks, which involves sites linking to other sites in order to vouch for their quality. When Google sees this linking, it attaches authority to the linked site.

Figuring Google out

Although we have a basic understanding of how the Google algorithms work, a lot goes into what pops up into your search. For this reason, if you’re searching for something – or even trying to elevate your site through the rankings – keeping the above information in mind will give you a pretty hefty head start!

[Source: This article was published in hometownstation.com By KHTS - Uploaded by the Association Member: Clara Johnson] 

Categorized in Search Engine

By building contact-tracing into their operating systems, the companies could make a difference in the global pandemic response

Last week, Apple and Google surprised us with an announcement that the companies are spinning up a system to enable widespread contact tracing in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort is barely two and a half weeks old, the companies said, and so there are many open questions about how it will work. On Monday afternoon, the companies invited us to call in and ask some questions, and I joined the group and did.

The basic idea is that as jurisdictions flatten the curve of infection and begin to consider re-opening parts of society, they need to implement a comprehensive “test and trace” scheme. You want to test people widely and thoroughly for the disease, as this article by Umair Irfan from Monday explains. And then, as you discover new cases, you want to see who those people may have come in contact with during the time that they were infectious.

Historically, this has been a manual process. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, some countries have turned to technological means in an effort to enable public health authorities to find more people who may have been exposed and do so more efficiently. So far, it’s not clear that tech-enabled contact tracing has been all that effective. The system relies on voluntary participation, which has generally been weak. And the Bluetooth technology on which the system depends carries with it a high potential for false positives: it’s just not powerful enough to distinguish between cases where people were in very close proximity from ones in which they were 15 or more feet away.

My primary interest in this story — beyond the highly unusual nature of the collaboration between Apple and Google — is how effective it could be. But there are lots of other questions about how it will work that strike me as just as interesting. Let’s take a look at what people are saying, and what we learned today.

The biggest concern most people have expressed about the collaboration is that it will lead to damaging privacy violations. Democratic senators have led the charge here, sending an open letter to the companies expressing their fears. I’m less worried. For one thing, Apple and Google’s system is cleverly designed to maximize individual privacy; it avoids capturing location data and instead records only the proximity of your smartphone to someone else’s. And for another, I value my own privacy less during a public health emergency. I trust Apple and Google to prevent my personal health information from being identified as mine and shared with others, but given the design of the system, I fail to see how a breach would be catastrophic even if it did somehow materialize.

Still, if you’re the sort of person who likes to think through worst-case scenarios, my colleague Russell Brandom walks through some ideas about how data collected as part of this scheme could theoretically be de-identified. The schemes are generally so elaborate that it’s hard for me to imagine even a nation-state undertaking them, though it’s something to keep an eye on.

The second set of concerns has to do with how the system will work in practice. Apple and Google answered a lot of questions about that subject today; here are what I took to be the most consequential.

First, the companies said that by phase two of their effort, when contact tracing is enabled at the level of the operating system, they will notify people who have opted in to their potential exposure to COVID-19 even if they have not downloaded the relevant app from their public health authority. My understanding is that the operating system itself will alert people that they may have been exposed and direct them to download the relevant public health app. This is significant because it can be hard to get people to install software; Singapore saw only 12 percent adoption of its national contact-tracing app. Putting notifications at the system level represents a major step forward for this effort, even if still requires people to opt in.

Second, Google said it would distribute the operating system update through Google Play services, a part of Android controlled by the company that allows it to reach the majority of active devices. (Google says it will be available to everyone running Android 6.0, also known as Marshmallow, and higher on devices that have the Google Play store.) This is highly preferable than relying on carriers, which have historically been slow to distribute updates. It remains to be seen exactly which devices will be eligible for the update, on Android as well as on iOS. But it seems likely that the companies will be able to reach most active devices in the world — a significant feat. (Related: someone asked the companies what percentage of the population we need to use the system to get it to work. No one knows.)

Third, the companies said they would prevent abuse of the system by routing alerts through public health agencies. (They are also helping those agencies, such as Britain’s National Health Service, build apps to do just that.) While the details are still being worked out, and may vary from agency to agency, Apple and Google said they recognized the importance of not allowing people to trigger alerts based on unverified claims of a COVID-19 infection. Instead, they said, people who are diagnosed will be given a one-time code by the public health agency, which the newly diagnosed will have to enter to trigger the alert.

Fourth, the companies promised to use the system only for contact tracing, and to dismantle the network when it becomes appropriate. Some readers have asked me whether the system might be put to other uses, such as targeted advertising, or whether non-governmental organizations might be given access to it. Today Apple and Google explicitly said no.

Fifth, I’ve heard conflicting claims about the ability of Bluetooth-based tracking to measure distances. Last week I told you that Bluetooth could not distinguish between phones that were within six feet of one another, in contradiction of advice from public health agencies, and those that might be 20 or even 30 feet away. One reader pointed me to a part of the Bluetooth standard known as received signal strength indication, or RSSI, that is meant to offer fine-grained location detail.

Apple told me that the effectiveness of RSSI is blunted by various confounding factors: the orientation of the devices relative to one another, whether a phone is in a backpack or otherwise shielded from the signal, and so on. Taken together, those factors undermine the confidence of the system in how close two phones might be to one another. But it continues to be a subject of exploration.

So, to wrap up: do we feel more or less optimistic today about tech-enabled contact tracing than we did before? This post from security researcher Ross Anderson from over the weekend lays out a lot of the concerns I first shared here last week, plus some extra ones. “ I suspect the tracing apps are really just do-something-itis,” Anderson writes. “Most countries now seem past the point where contact tracing is a high priority; even Singapore has had to go into lockdown.”

On the flip side, argues Ben Thompson, there could be value in laying the technological groundwork now for expanded efforts later. He writes:

“They are creating optionality. When and if society decides that this sort of surveillance is acceptable (and, critically, builds up the other components — like testing — of an effective response) the technology will be ready; it is only a flip of a switch for Apple and Google to centralize this data (or, perhaps as a middle ground, enable mobile device management software used by enterprises, centralize this capability). This is no small thing considering that software is not built in a day.”

I still think that digital contact tracing is unlikely to be one of the two or three most important aspects of a country’s coronavirus response plan. Experts have told me that social distancing, wide-scale testing, and isolating sick individuals are significantly more important. And when it comes to contact tracing, we know that human beings often do a better job than smartphones — and some have argued that we need to hire hundreds of thousands of them to do the job.

At the same time, it’s possible to see how digital contact tracing could at least complement other, related efforts, including manual contact tracing. Compared to what, say Hong Kong is doing to test and trace, distributing digital tracking bracelets to everyone getting off the plane at the airport, what Apple and Google have proposed can only be described as a half measure. But in the United States at least, it may be the case that a series of half measures are all we will have to rely on.

THE RATIO

Today in news that could affect public perception of the big tech platforms.

⬆️Trending up: Oncologists say they are getting some of their best information lately on Twitter, and some are even crowdsourcing answers to difficult questions from other doctors.

⬇️ Trending down: Quarantined Amazon workers say they have not yet been paid, despite the company’s new policy about quarantine sick leave. The company says the workers will eventually get paid.

PANDEMIC

⭐ Amazon is hiring 75,000 additional workers after it filled more than 100,000 positions in the last month. The hiring spree is meant to help the company meet a surge in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Annie Palmer at CNBC:

As it continues to hire more workers, Amazon has also raised employees’ hourly pay and doubled overtime pay for warehouse workers. Through the end of April, warehouse and delivery workers can earn an additional $2 per hour in the U.S., 2 pounds per hour in the U.K., and approximately 2 euros per hour in many EU countries. Amazon currently pays $15 per hour or more in some areas of the U.S. for warehouse and delivery jobs.

Amazon has announced several benefits changes on top of the pay increases. The company has allowed workers to take unlimited unpaid time off and provides two weeks of paid leave for workers who tested positive for the virus or are in quarantine.

Amazon is going to start waitlisting new grocery delivery customers and curtail shopping hours at some Whole Foods stores. The move is meant to prioritize orders from existing customers buying food online during the coronavirus outbreak. (Meanwhile, people have resorted to using scripts downloaded from Github to scrounge for available delivery slots.) (Krystal Hu / Reuters)

After the Staten Island walkout, Amazon finally started checking workers’ temperatures at the warehouse entrance, enforcing social distancing rules, and piloting fog disinfectant. But some people say the roll out of the new safety measures has been uneven. Often, changes are made only after workers exert pressure. (Josh Dzieza / The Verge)

Here’s what nine Amazon workers have to say about working during the pandemic. “I feel like this job is essential because people need deliveries, but it’s also essential for me because I need the money to feed my family,” one said. (Louise Matsakis / Wired)

Amazon was already powerful. But with 250,000 US stores closed due to the pandemic, the company is poised to become even more dominant whenever the economy returns to normal. (Jason Del Rey / Recode)

Coronavirus is driving new surveillance systems in at least 28 countries around the world. OneZero is tracking the expansion of these programs, some of which undermine personal privacy. (And some of which are fairly ho-hum projects that aggregate anonymized data.) (Dave Gershgorn / OneZero)

The Supreme Court will start conducting oral arguments over teleconference, a major change spurred by the novel coronavirus pandemic. It will also stream a live audio feed — another first for the court. (Adi Robertson / The Verge)

The US economy isn’t going back to normal anytime soon, according to public policy think tanks and research centers. The groups have been putting together plans on how to reopen the US economy, and all say that without a vaccine, ending social distancing will be incredibly difficult. (Ezra Klein / Vox)

President Donald Trump has been promoting the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for the novel coronavirus. So far, there’s not enough evidence to say if they actually work. (And a study into their effectiveness was halted on Monday over the risk of fatal heart complications.) Trump’s comments, which have been covered by the mainstream press, show misinformation isn’t just a problem for social media. (Adi Robertson / The Verge)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has played a principal role in spreading false information about the origins of the novel coronavirus. The move is part of his wider effort to discredit the West and destroy his enemies from within. (William J. Broad / The New York Times)

In China, state media and influential diplomats are also pushing misinformation about the origins of COVID-19. In doing so, they’re legitimizing rumors from the recesses of the internet — and ensuring mass awareness of those ideas. (Renée DiResta / The Atlantic)

The Senate sergeant at arms warned offices that Zoom poses a high risk to privacy and could leave their data and systems exposed. The law enforcement chief urged lawmakers and their staff to use Skype instead. (Cristiano M.Lima / Politico)

Google is making changes to search results to make it easier for people to find virtual health care options. Virtual health care providers have seen a surge in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jay Peters / The Verge)

Google launched a website dedicated to coronavirus updates in India. The company also tweaked its search engine and YouTube to prominently display trustworthy information about the pandemic. (Manish Singh / TechCrunch)

Google created an application portal to help the state of New York deal with a historic surge in unemployment filings. The company said it could potentially bring a similar service to other states as well. This is cool! (Jennifer Elias / CNBC)

The coronavirus pandemic has allowed Google to pull far ahead of its competitors in getting its tech into classrooms. Google Classroom, a free service teachers use to send out assignments and communicate with students, has doubled active users to more than 100 million since the beginning of March. (Gerrit De Vynck and Mark Bergen / Bloomberg)

Apple Maps will soon display COVID-19 testing locations as part of the company’s broader efforts to fight the novel coronavirus. (Benjamin Mayo / 9To5Mac)

WhatsApp rolled out its change to message forwarding to stop misinformation from spreading. Now, viral messages can only be forwarded to one person at a time. (Rita El Khoury / Android Police)

YouTube traffic is skyrocketing, but creators are still struggling. That’s because advertising rates have dropped significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. (Chris Stokel-Walker / OneZero)

Related: The audience for esports is soaring, but coronavirus has slowed down the ad market and made capitalizing on those viewers very difficult. (Seb Joseph / Digiday)

Coronavirus has ravaged the American job market, but big tech companies, including Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, are still hiring. Facebook is planning to fill more than 10,000 product and engineering roles to help keep up with surging traffic. (Chip Cutter and Patrick Thomas / The Wall Street Journal)

More people are watching streamed sexual performances online due to the coronavirus quarantine. But models still aren’t earning more They say new viewers aren’t tipping as well, and there’s a lot of competition. (Gabrielle Drolet / The New York Times)

People are getting dumped over Zoom. And yes, we’re apparently calling the trend “Zumping.” (The Guardian)

[Source: This article was published in theverge.com By Casey Newton - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

GOOGLE CHROME users have been put on alert after thousands of people were tricked into download a dangerous download posing as a browser update.

Google Chrome fans are being warned about a fake download which has already tricked thousands users of the market leading browser. Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world by a country mile, and it's not in danger of losing that illustrious crown anytime soon. Latest stats from NetMarketShare put Google Chrome as holding onto a 68.50 per cent share of the internet browser marketplace.

That's over two thirds of the market, and is far ahead of its nearest challengers Microsoft Edge and Mozzila Firefox.

These rival internet browsers hold 7.59 per cent and 7.19 per cent of the marketplace respectively.

And the huge Google Chrome user base have been put on alert about a fake download that has already tricked thousands of people.

Doctor Web in a post online revealed the existence of the dangerous Google Chrome download which poses as an update to the browser.

In total more than 2,000 people have downloaded the fake Google Chrome update.

Doctor Web said hackers had specifically been targeting Chrome users in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Israel and Turkey.

The security experts said: "According to the Doctor Web virus laboratory, the hacker group behind this attack was previously involved in spreading a fake installer of the popular VSDC video editor through its official website and the CNET software platform.

"This time the cybercrooks managed to gain administrative access to several websites that began to be used in the infection chain.

"They embedded a malicious JavaScript code inside the compromised pages that redirects users to a phishing site, which is presented as legitimate Google service.

"Target selection is based on geolocation and browser detection. The target audience are users from the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Israel and Turkey, using the Google Chrome browser.

"It is worth noting that the downloaded file has a valid digital signature identical to the signature of the fake NordVPN installer distributed by the same criminal group."

As always a good anti-virus programme can help you detect any such threats and remove malicious software that does end up on your machines.

While you should always be wary if you randomly get redirected to a website asking you to download anything or input sensitive information.

This is not how companies alert users to important software updates, with Chrome in particular offering an auto-download feature for patches.

The news comes as in the past few days Google has released the latest version of Chrome, update 81.

However the search engine giant has opted to skip the planned-for version 82 of Chrome due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Chrome development team revealed the news on Twitter saying: "Due to adjusted work schedules, we’re pausing upcoming Chrome & Chrome OS releases.

"Our goal is to ensure they continue to be stable, secure, and reliable for anyone who depends on them.

"We’ll prioritise updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80. Stay tuned."

[Source: This article was published in express.co.uk By DION DASSANAYAKE - Uploaded by the Association Member: Patrick Moore]

Categorized in Search Engine

Internet marketing and advertising is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive, especially for small to mid-level businesses. Veteran SEO expert Tony Rockliff urges business owners to utilize the power of YouTube as a promising alternative to the otherwise slow, painful and expensive build of a Google SEO campaign.

CLEARWATER, Fla.Feb. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- In 2020, according to the World Advertising and Research Center, spending on internet advertising will reach more than 50% of total global ad spend, an all-time record.(1) "A subset of internet advertising—search engine optimization (SEO) is now the major battleground in marketing today. SEO expert Tony Rockliff, founder and CEO of Tony Rockliff Productions, states as SEO "gets bigger, it gets tougher." For an increasing number of companies, especially SMBs, the smart move is to consider YouTube as an additional SEO powerhouse instead of the conventional reliance on Google. By using YouTube, business owners can combat the stiff competition for consumer attention and variating Google search algorithms.

Text Versus Video Content

According to a research study from Common Sense Media, more than twice as many young people watch videos every day as did four years ago, while the average time spent watching videos—primarily on YouTube—has roughly doubled, to an hour a day.(3) Video's popularity has exploded, while text takes a back seat. It is increasingly obvious in the industry that text-based content is saturated, and that if a company isn't willing to give it at least one year and invest considerable amounts, they shouldn't spend much time on traditional Google based SEO. (2)

The combination of the video-centricity of today's consumers coupled with the increasing expense and difficulty of attracting attention via text-based Google listings, Rockliff suggests, is what identifies YouTube an increasingly robust platform for video-savvy marketers.

How Businesses Can Adapt to YouTube

To capitalize on this opportunity, Rockliff urges marketers to research YouTube to qualify exactly what video content is needed, and which of this content will get the most responses from its viewers, or potential clients. He organizes the four major stages of YouTube optimization:

  • 1. Find out what is being searched for on YouTube in your area or niche that you can compete for.
  • 2. Create video content that answers what is being searched for, and also provides what YouTube is searching for, i.e. views per video, average time spent watching, engagement per video, and number of subscribers gained per video.
  • 3. Publish your videos properly and in an optimized manner.
  • 4. Promote your videos according to how and when YouTube wants to see them promoted.

Rockliff has been in search engine optimization since 1998 and online marketing since 1995. His online community membership site has grown to 1.3 million members and was receiving 1.5 billion hits per year before he sold it in 2002. Over the years, Rockliff has seen profound changes in both opportunity and approach of YouTube as a marketing strategy, and right now, YouTube represents a great prospect to get noticed and build a brand loyal following. This is especially useful for organizations that do not have an extensive marketing budget. "The key is to understand what you're selling and optimize all four major stages," Rockliff states.

Tony Rockliff will be speaking at the Podfest 2020 Multimedia Expo, March 6th-8th, at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. For more information, please see http://podfestexpo.com/speakers/

About Tony Rockliff Productions:

Tony Rockliff Productions was founded in 1995 by digital pioneer and trailblazer, Tony Rockliff. His video marketing company is based out of Clearwater, Florida, and brings over fifty years of audio/video marketing experience to the business. Remaining to be a top disruptor of the video marketing and media industry throughout his career, his world-renowned success is a product of his passion for storytelling through the art of video. Tony Rockliff Productions specializes in video and audio creation, producing music and videos, YouTube optimization, and building out-of-the-ordinary websites. Currently, Tony Rockliff Productions focuses on organic YouTube video marketing, a profitable niche of the industry that is host to 1.9 billion logged-in users per month. You can visit him here https://tonyrockliff.com/

  • 1. Handley, Lucy, "Global ad spend has slowed but 2020 looks set to be a bumper year," CNBC, October 24, 2019, cnbc.com/2019/10/24/global-ad-spend-has-slowed-but-2020-looks-set-to-be-a-bumper-year.html.
  • 2. Patel, Neil, "Everything I Taught You About SEO Was Wrong," neilpatel.com/blog.
  • 3. Siegel, Rachel, "Tweens, teens, and screens: The average time kids spend watching online videos has doubled in 4 years," Washington Post, October 29, 2019, washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/10/29/survey-average-time-young-people-spend-watching-videos-mostly-youtube-has-doubled-since/.

[Source: This article was published in finance.yahoo.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Categorized in Search Engine

Google’s new BERT algorithm means search engine marketers will need to change their approach to keyword research in 2020 and focus more on intent research. Adam Bunn, the Director of SEO, Content & Digital PR at Greenlight Digital, looks at what companies should expect from keyword searches in 2020.

The way people search online is changing. The introduction of Google’s ‘BERT’ algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is evidence of this and highlights the complexity with which people have begun to utilise search engines. BERT utilises Natural Language Processing (NLP) which helps analyse natural human language beyond just basic keywords and gather more information about how all the words in a query relate to each other.

In this way, BERT can look at the search query as a whole, rather than focusing on independent keywords in an attempt to reveal, and then prioritise, the intent of the search. This ensures the search results are the most relevant not only when it comes to the specific topic the user is researching, but also to the user’s intention behind the search.

As a result of this change in the way search engine queries are being performed, marketers must adapt to the way they tackle Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Fréderic Dubut, Senior Programme Manager Lead at Bing, recently said that search engine marketers must change their approach to keyword research in the following year and focus more on intent research. But does this mean keywords are going to become redundant?

Voice search changing SEO terms

BERT is one of Google’s biggest updates to web search in recent years. It uses NLP to better understand the context of search queries by taking into account things such as linking words (and, the, from) or interrogative markers (how, what, which). While some users have learned to query Google using unconnected and grammatical keywords such as ‘best digital strategy SEO’, the popularisation of voice search demands that search engines understand the way people naturally speak and look beyond just keywords.

Voice search produces queries that use conversational language such as “what is the best digital strategy for SEOs” which means they require NLP in order to render the best results. BERT can also take into account previous recent searches to some extent in a similar way to how a regular conversation works. Asking “How long does driving there take?” after inquiring about the location of nearest supermarket will provide relevant results without the user having to specify the supermarket again.

In today’s fast-paced information age, users are no longer willing to spend time going through countless search results to find the page that delivers the information they are looking for. Many people don’t even go beyond the first page of Google’s search results nowadays. As such, search engines are looking to provide results which are relevant not only to the keywords a user puts into the search engine, but also to the ‘why’ behind a search query: the search intent. In other words, search engine page results (SERPs) are optimised to understand what direct action a user wants to undertake through their search result (learn, purchase, find a specific website etc.) and prioritise the specific websites that match that intent.

Shifting from keywords to intent

As search engines become more advanced, incorporating more intent-based models and practices into research should be a key focus for digital marketers in 2020. However, intent research models can be quite subjective from a classification perspective as they rely on one person’s perspective to decide the user intentions behind a list of keywords. Moreover, the main types of search intent – informational, navigational, transactional and commercial – are very broad and, realistically, not very actionable.

For intent researches to be most effective, marketers need to have reliable data metrics, such as click-through rates and conversion rates to support the agreed intention behind a keyword. This allows them to create relevant lists of purchase and research intention keywords whilst ensuring the keywords they use for a specific search intent are the most relevant to their users. Checking SERPs statistics for keyword reliability over time also provides insight on which keywords are best to target for the specific type of intent.

There is still room for keywords

Understanding search intent, and taking it into account when delivering the most relevant answer is ultimately Google’s priority. While keywords are still a big part of search queries, digital marketers must understand that relying solely on keywords is not enough for SEO anymore. Backlinks and other traditional Google rankings are still important, but if the page doesn’t meet the user’s search intent, it’s not going to rank highly on SERPs.

However, that doesn’t mean that keywords are going to become obsolete. John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trend Analyst at Google, agreed that keywords are always going to be helpful, even if they are not the main focus. Showing specific words to users makes it easier for them to understand what the page is about which, in turn, provides a better user experience.

Ultimately, optimising for user experience should be key in 2020 and shifting an SEO strategy to prioritise search intent is part of that. Focusing more on intent research and enforcing more intent-based practices off the back of keyword research is definitely something we’ll see more of in 2020.

By Adam Bunn
Director of SEO, Content & Digital PR
Greenlight Digital

[Source: This article was published in netimperative.com By Robin - Uploaded by the Association Member: Clara Johnson]

Categorized in Search Engine

An unlikely competitor enters the search engine market as Verizon Media launches its privacy-focused OneSearch.

OneSearch promises not to track, store, or share personal or search data with advertisers, which puts it in direct competition with DuckDuckGo. It’s available now on desktop and mobile at OneSearch.com.

What differentiates Verizon Media’s OneSearch from DuckDuckGo, a more established privacy-focused search engine, is the ability for businesses to integrate it with their existing privacy and security products.

In an announcement, the company states:

“OneSearch doesn’t track, store, or share personal or search data with advertisers, giving users greater control of their personal information in a search context. Businesses with an interest in security can partner with Verizon Media to integrate OneSearch into their privacy and security products, giving their customers another measure of control.”

Another unique offering from OneSearch is its advanced privacy mode. When enabled, OneSearch’s encrypted search results link will expire within an hour.

OneSearch’s advanced privacy mode is designed for situations where multiple people are using the same device, or if a search results link is being shared with a friend.

The full array of privacy-focused features offered by OneSearch include:

  • No cookie tracking, retargeting, or personal profiling
  • No sharing of personal data with advertisers
  • No storing of user search history
  • Unbiased, unfiltered search results
  • Encrypted search terms

Although it doesn’t sell data to advertisers, OneSearch does rely on advertising to keep its service free. Rather than using cookies and browsing history to target ads, OneSearche’s contextual ads are based on things like the current keyword being searched for.

OneSearch is only available in North America on desktop and mobile web browsers, though it will be available in other countries soon. A mobile app for Android and iOS will be available later this month.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jay Harris]

Categorized in Search Engine

As a business, you want to continuously be reaching out to new customers to expand your customer base. While getting found online is ideal, it is becoming increasingly difficult as search engines process over 3.5 billion searches every day. The good news is that if you are having trouble finding new customers through search engines, there are several other ways to gain new customers online.

Get Listed

One of the easiest ways to grow your online presence is to take advantage of the reputable online directories that exist online. Most directories and listings will remain for some time and all you have to do is submit your information once. The best part about directories and lists is that your business is listed where customers are looking.

Claim Existing Listings

Many sites, including Google, already have listings for your business. Make sure that you claim these listings. This means making sure all information included in the profile is accurate and up-to-date. This way when customers come across your profile they are getting the information they need to contact you.

Look For New Opportunities

Another option is to look for new opportunities. Actively seek out directories or listings that are in your niche. For instance, you may find a directory for wedding photographers in Boston and request to be added to the directory.

Another option is to keep an eye out for any writers looking for products or businesses to include in lists. Working with a site like HelpAReporter.com can help you connect with journalists and get your product featured in publications, reaching potential customers.

Online Advertising

Online advertising is another way to reach new customers. You want to get your advertisements in front of prospective customers and convert views into leads and sales. This means working with major advertising companies including Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Using these online advertising platforms can help you build brand awareness and provide reminders to curious buyers.

YouTube Ads

While YouTube is owned by Google, its ads hold a place of their own. There are some creative practices for YouTube video ads— TrueView in-stream ads (can be skipped), discovery ads (come up in search results), and bumper ads (cannot be skipped). With these ads, you have a captive audience that you want to engage in the first few seconds of video. If you can do this successfully you can quickly build brand awareness, as well as leads and sales.

Google Ads

With Google Ads, you can opt for either display ads (with a picture) or search network ads (top sponsored search results). Surprisingly, if implemented correctly, search network ads can yield high conversion rates.

This means users that click on these links are often ready to spend. By choosing search network ads, you can secure some of the top positions for keywords related to your products and services. In turn, your company can realize significant ROI.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are slightly different in that they are on a social platform, often when consumers are not actively looking to buy. More often than not, Facebook Ads are designed like other stories in the newsfeed, all to drive clicks. This means that your landing page is as important as your ad is in converting to leads and sales. However, sidebar display ads and carousel ads are available (and effective) on Facebook too.

Meet Customers Where They Are

While digital advertising costs money, there are other ways to find new customers online that only cost time. This often entails meeting customers where they already are online. This can be as simple as going to the sites that your customers already use and engaging with them as your brand or company.

However, it is important to note that to do this successfully, you actually have to post engaging content. Simply dropping your link or only promoting your product will not yield positive results.

Common places where you can do this is on Quora, forums like Reddit, and industry and related niche blogs. By posting content that is relatable and engaging you establish yourself as an expert in the field. This means customers will take you more seriously when you recommend a product or service that you offer if it is directly related to the topic at hand and could be beneficial for the user you are responding to. Again, it’s important to not simply drop links if you want to be seen as an expert in your industry.

Your Own Content

Creating your own content for prospective customers is another great way to get found online. You want the content to be engaging and helpful for customers. This could mean answering common questions in your industry, discussing popular topics in your niche, etc. There are several ways that you can create content that adds value to prospective customers.

Write a Blog

Writing a blog on your company website can help new customers find you, especially if you search engine optimization techniques when writing each article. This will help your brand get found for a wide variety of keywords. It also helps establish you as an authority in the field and develops trust with your reader.

In addition to writing your own blog, you can also opt to write guest blogs for other sites to further establish yourself as an expert in the field and to help get your name in front of a larger audience.

Email Newsletters

Start collecting emails from both existing and potential customers. This allows you to reach out to them directly. Create newsletters that provide them valuable information that can help them with problems they may be facing.

For example, if you are a lawn care agency you could focus your email newsletters on tips for raking leaves, reminders to clean their gutters, etc. Again, don’t always focus on pushing products, but instead, focus on providing potential customers with value.

Social Media Presence

There are approximately 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, spanning across several generations. Moreover, users spend an average of 3 hours on social media every day. Therefore, chances are that by maintaining a social media presence you’ll be able to reach your target market.

Use your social media to tell the story of your brand and how your brand can be the solution to the problem they are facing. Gain a following by posting content that is relatable and memorable. This will help you build brand awareness and will also help you start to develop a relationship with your potential customers.

Creativity is Key

Most of the world is online. While search engines are wildly popular for finding things, there are many different ways to reach your target market online. The key is, however, that you create content that provides value to your potential customers so that they begin to trust you enough to convert into sales.

 [Source: This article was published in customerthink.com By Margarita Hakobyan - Uploaded by the Association Member: Grace Irwin]

Categorized in Search Engine

While there doesn’t seem to be an end yet to the US-Huawei story, the latter has gone full force in preparing for a life without Google. They have been working on something called AppGallery, the alternative to Google Play Store and Huawei Mobile Services, their replacement for Google Play Services. One important thing that seems to be missing is the all-important search, but Huawei hasn’t forgotten it. They are now testing out the Huawei Search app, which can be both good news and bad news for the rest of the world.

XDA Developers says that the testing is currently going on in the UAE but they were able to load it on the Huawei Mate 30 Pro to see what the deal is. It seems to be just a basic search app where you put in a query and it will give you search results. You get webpages, videos, news, or images. The app also gives you shortcuts to weather, sports, unit conversion, and calculator. You are also able to see your search history, give feedback, change app settings, and even supports the dark theme of EMUI 10 (their version of Android 10).

Huawei Search is operated by Aspiegel Limited, their subsidiary that is based out of Ireland. But as to what search engine powers this app, that is less certain. It doesn’t seem to match results from Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Yandex, Ask, or AOL. They may not be using a third-party search engine, and so that’s where the bad news may lie. China has been known to control the information that comes out of their Internet, and despite disassociating themselves from the supposed close ties with the government, Huawei is still a Chinese company subject to Chinese laws.

Forbes reports that this is a “potential filter” that will still be serving content to hundreds of millions of users worldwide from a company that is based “in the most highly censored country on the planet”. This is a potential concern as the Search app is a big part of the whole Huawei operating ecosystem that will be serving both Chinese and non-Chinese customers. This is one of the unintended consequences of the U.S. blacklisting the Chinese company – the potential for Huawei to “carve itself a dominant position” in this new alternative to the currently still-dominant Android/Google eco-system.

In any case, it’s still early days for the Huawei Search app and the whole Huawei Mobile Services. We might even see the U.S. backtracking on their blacklist. The question would be if Huawei would go back to Google’s loving arms or if they will continue to pursue their own platform, which will eventually result in the issues mentioned above.

[Source: This article was published in androidcommunity.com By Ida Torres - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

Categorized in Search Engine

Google published a new Search Console training video all about how to use the index coverage report.

Google’s Daniel Waisberg explains how to use Search Console to learn which pages have been crawled and indexed by Google, and how to deal with any problems found during that process.

First, the video gives an overview of the different components of the index coverage report and how to read the data included in them.

What’s Contained in the Index Coverage Report?

Search Console’s index coverage report provides a detailed look at all pages of a website that Google has either indexed or tried to index. The report also logs all errors Googlebot encountered when crawling a page.

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The index coverage report is made up of the following components:

  • Errors: These are critical issues that prevent pages from being indexed. Errors could include pages with the ‘noindex’ directive, pages with a server error, or pages with a 404 error.
  • Valid with warnings: This section includes pages that may or may not be shown in search results depending on the issue. An example is an indexed page that’s blocked by robots.txt.
  • Valid: These are indexed pages that are eligible to be served in search results.
  • Excluded: These are pages that are intentionally not indexed and won’t be included in search results.

On the summary page of the index coverage report you will also see a checkbox you can click to show impressions for indexed pages in Google search.

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How Should I Use The Index Coverage Report?

It’s recommended that site owners start by checking the chart on the summary page to learn if the valid pages trend is somewhat steady. Some amount of fluctuation is normal here. If you’re aware of content being published or removed you will see that reflected in the report.

Next, move onto reviewing the various error sections. You can quickly identity the most pressing issues because they’re sorted by severity. Start at the top of the list and work your way down.

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Once you know what needs to be fixed you can either fix the issues yourself, if you feel comfortable doing so, or share the details with your developer who can make code changes to your website.

After an issue has been fixed you can click on “Validate Fix” and Google will validate the changes.

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How Often Should I Check the Index Coverage Report?

It’s not necessary to check the index coverage report every day, Google says, because emails will be sent out whenever Search Console detects a new indexing error.

However, if an existing error gets worse, Google will not send out an email notification. So it’s necessary to check on the report at least once in a while to make sure nothing is going from bad to worse.

Those are the basics of the Search Console index coverage report. See the full video below:

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Uploaded by the Association Member: Robert Hensonw]

Categorized in Search Engine

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