Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Contributed by Member: Jennifer Levin

New markup from Schema.org including HowTo, QAPage, and FAQPage can be used to potentially show your content in Google in a brand new way. Google previewed this in Singapore a couple weeks ago.

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that it has been testing for the past several months a new form of search results snippets — the way the search results appear to searchers. These new search snippets are in the form of FAQs or frequently asked questions, Q&A or question & answers and How-Tos.

Akhil Agarwal notified us about this feature on Twitter, and Google has just sent us a statement explaining the test. Here is the screenshot presented at a recent Google event in Singapore:

A Google Spokesperson told us:

We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most relevant, useful results for our users. We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experiment with ways to surface similar previews for FAQ and How-to content.

These new snippet features give more insights into what the searcher can expect from that web page before deciding to click on the search result. Webmasters should be able to mark up their content with structured data and to have their search results be eligible to have the question and answer previews shown. Similar to how supporting metadata around the number of upvotes and the Top Answer feature works.

Google will soon open up an interest form to allow publishers and webmasters to participate in the FAQ and How-to formats shown in the screenshot above.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Contributed by Member: William A. Woods

The rate at which Google shows its “People Also Ask” search suggestions, aka “Related Questions”, jumped by 34% this week.

According to data from Moz, Google’s Related Questions are now shown 43% of the time.

Dr. Pete Meyers@dr_pete

Big increase (+34%) in Related Questions ("People Also Ask") on Google SERPs last night. They're on a whopping 43% of all SERPs in the MozCast 10K data set. This number rises and falls, of course, but I've hand-checked and confirmed the increase--

To put that in a different perspective — one out of every two or three searches will now display “People Also Ask” suggestions.

Putting it yet another way — Related Questions are now the fourth most commonly displayed Google search feature out of all the features tracked by Moz.

As you can see in the image above, Related Questions are now shown almost as frequently as AdWords.

Just so we’re all on the same page, this feature is not the same as the “People Also Search For” suggestion box. Although the wording is similar, they are two distinctly different features.

This data strictly applies to the “People Also Ask” suggestion box, as seen in the example below.

What makes this feature unique is that each suggestion has a drop-down button that can be clicked on to reveal a search snippet.

Therein lies the opportunity for SEOs and site owners. With this feature now appearing more regularly, it gives content creators the opportunity to drive traffic by targeting related terms.

For example — instead of going after a highly competitive query with a new piece of content, you might want to consider other ways that question might be typed into Google.

A related question could be less competitive, giving you the opportunity to gain exposure by possibly appearing in the “People also ask” suggestions.

Since this feature usually appears near the top of the first page, ranking for a related questions suggestion could be highly valuable.

Categorized in Search Engine

( November 27, 2016, Montreal, Sri Lanka Guardian) On 24 November I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon presentation entitled The Next 100 Years of Aviationconvened by The International Aviation Club of Montreal and McGill University.  It was an event well attended by the aviation intelligentsia of Montreal.  The presentation was well thought through and eloquently delivered.  One of the prognostications presented for the next century was that Mars would be colonized and we would be growing vegetables and other produce for our consumption on the planet.  This is not difficult to imagine since  at present the Mars One project has developed plans to send humans to Mars, although much has to be accomplished in the nature of making the planet habitable for human existence. It is said though, that “establishing a permanent settlement is very complex, but it is far less complex and requires much less infrastructure that is sent to Mars than on return missions”. Already, Mars One – a not-for-profit foundation that works at establishing permanent human life on Mars –  has commenced discussions with established aerospace companies with a view to developing the systems needed for sustaining human life and establishing human colonies. Although such systems require complex designing, construction, and testing, it is said that no scientific breakthroughs are required to sustain human life on Mars  as existing technology is sophisticated enough to ensure living conditions on the planet.  Perhaps the most encouraging statement issued by Mars One is that there will already be a habitable environment waiting for the first human crew to land on the Planet.

Doubtless, this news is music to the years of the next generation of aviation professionals who occupied two tables at the luncheon – youngsters from both the International Civil Aviation Organization and McGill University.  How exciting for them to be at the cusp of outer space travel, let alone be faced with the long term prospect of being able to have an extra terrestrial abode for their children and grand children!

However, there seem to be a couple of snags here:  At the presentation, it was forecast that by 2116, there could be at least one flight a day from Earth to Mars presumably carrying tourists and settlers.  But before then, well, way before then, humans would have landed on Mars and in fact settled there permanently.  Sarah Knapton, Science Editor for The Telegraph in her article entitled   Nasa planning ‘Earth Independent’ Mars colony by 2030s   quotes NASA as having claimed that humans will be living and working on Mars in colonies entirely independent of Earth by the 2030s. In fact, NASA is purported to have released a plan for establishing permanent settlements on Mars on the basis of creating ‘deep-space habitation facilities’ which will act as stepping stones to Mars.

If humans were to settle on Mars in just 15 to 20 years’ time, how is this conceivable when we still do not have a global understanding or agreement on at what altitude air space ends and at what point outer space begins?  What are the laws that would govern travel from airspace to outer space?  Air law and space law are closely inter-related in some areas and  both these disciplines have to be viewed in the 21stCentury within the changing face of international law and politics.  Both air law and space law are disciplines that are grounded on principles of public international law, which is increasingly becoming different from what it was a few decades ago.  We no longer think of this area of the law as a set of fixed rules, even if such rules have always been a snapshot of the law as it stands at a given period of time. The issue of air space and outer space is looming over the aerospace community, particularly with the prospect of space travel on a commercial basis which is already a reality.  Currently, the aerospace community is considering such issues as sub-orbital flights and space tourism, both of which could further blur the boundaries between air space and outer space, while raising issues of topical interest.  So far, there has not been a universally accepted definition distinguishing air space and outer space.  Some years ago, when the legalities of an aerospace plane, which is a hypersonic single stage to orbit reusable vehicle that horizontally takes off and lands on a conventional runway were considered, it was thought that the transit through near space which is involved is incidental to the main transit which takes place within the airspace.  Generally, the aerospace plane, which will be constructed with the use of aeronautical and space technologies and would be capable, and, indeed, required to fly both in airspace and outer space, would bring to bear the need to consider the applicability of and appropriateness of  laws relating to the space plane’s activities.  It will be subject to the sovereignty of the State whose airspace it is in. This is an incontrovertible fact which need not be stated since any object within the airspace of a territorial State would indeed be subject to that State’s sovereignty.

Recently, the official launch of space tourism, where paying customers travelled beyond Earth’s atmosphere, gave rise to an entirely different dimension, where the different issue of sub-orbital flights has emerged as requiring some consideration, particularly on the question as to whether such flights travel to outer space or whether they are deemed to be considered as not leaving the Earth’s atmosphere.  Unlike the aerospace plane which would leave the territory of one State as an aircraft, enter outer space and travel in outer space until it descends to a destination State, sub-orbital flights would not usually travel between two States but would ascend to an altitude sufficient for the persons on board to view the Earth as a whole globe, a phenomenon not available to aircraft passengers.  The vehicle would descent to the State from which it took off.  This activity is called “sub-orbital flying” and is gaining increasing popularity in the realm of space tourism. One of the issues that sub orbital flights raise is whether, at the height the flights are conducted, the vehicle is deemed to be in air space or outer space.  Therefore, sub orbital flights inevitably call for a determination as to what might be air space, as against outer space This question is particularly relevant when one considers liability arising from death or injury to passengers  while travelling in outer space. Although there are established treaty provisions regarding air travel under the Montreal Convention of 1999 there is no such treaty governing travel in a spacecraft in outer space.

Once the travel issue is settled, the other question that would emerge would be what laws would govern human conduct in outer space.  Who would be the governing authority?     Article 1 of the Outer Space Treaty provides that the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.   It goes on to say that outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.

Finally, Article 1 provides that there shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.

The more challenging provision in the Treaty is Article 2 which prescribes that outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means. This precludes a State from appropriating a celestial body inter alia by use.

Garold Larson, Alternate Representative to the First Committee of the 64th Session of the United Nations Assembly held on 19 October 2009, succinctly outlined the policy of the United States on space exploration.  The foremost principle outlined by Larson was that the United States will continue to uphold the principles of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which the United States recognized as providing fundamental guidelines required for the free access to and use of outer space by all nations for peaceful purposes.  He went on to say that the United States will continue to take an active role in identifying and implementing cooperative efforts with established and emerging members of the international spacefaring community to ensure the safety of the space assets of all nations and also expand cooperation with other like-minded spacefaring nations and with the private sector to identify and protect against intentional and unintentional threats to its space capabilities.

 The European Union, in 2008, published a draft Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, which it later revised in September 2010. The fundamental postulate of this code is that member states should establish policies and procedures to minimize the possibility of accidents … or any form of harmful interference with other States’ right to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space. The Code applies three basic principles in pursuance of its overall objective:  freedom of access to space for peaceful purposes; preservation of the security and integrity of space objects in orbit; and due consideration for the legitimate defence interests of states. The code is not a legislative instrument and therefore has no legally binding effect on member States. It remains a voluntary agreement among states with no formal enforcement mechanisms.  On 4 April 2011 the European Commission published a space strategy for Europe whereby the European Union seeks to identify and support the development of essential technologies for exploration, in particular in the fields of energy, health and recycling (support for life in isolated environments). These matters are not necessarily dealt with in the space sector itself and cross-fertilisation should be promoted with other sectors in order to benefit the citizens directly.

Answers can always be found but the key principle is that technology and space exploration must go on for the benefit of humanity.  In the ultimate analysis, a joint space programme between key players of North America, Europe and Asia could greatly stabilize international space exploration. Growing spinach on Mars is one thing, but getting the laws in place within the next 15 years is an entirely different prospect.

Author:  Dr. Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Source:  http://www.slguardian.org/

Categorized in Science & Tech

It’s time for the first meeting with the customer. You may be a seasoned search marketer, but you’re still a little nervous. How do you achieve that perfect balance of getting the information you need while still exuding an aura of consummate professionalism, knowledge, and generally make yourself seem like the search Dalai Lama?

First, realize that the real Dalai Lama feels no need to prove himself, he just *is*. Project an aura of confidence, and realize the most elusive concept in our industry. It is not about you, it is about the customer.

Sidebar: Even if you’re an in-house marketer, you can still use these techniques. Pretend your VP of Product Development or someone similarly entrenched in the product/service is your “customer”.

Similarly, that first meeting should be all about the customer. This is your best chance to get an outsider’s perspective of how your customer views their products and what language they use to describe them.

After this first meeting, you’ll be an insider, and asking some of these questions will make it seem like you don’t know what you’re doing. So let your customer do most of the talking.

As you listen to the answers, jot down key phrases, jargon, and abbreviations they use to inform your keyword research later. Don’t forget to ask them to clarify anything you don’t understand.

Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list of questions you should be asking; merely a sample of questions for keyword research purposes.

Question 1: I’ve reviewed your website, and have learned about your business. However it always helps to hear you explain it in your own words. So, Mr. Customer, how would you describe what you do?

The answer to this is likely to be the same words you read on their website or see in a brochure. Point out any jargon that you don’t understand, as this will set the stage for later, when you tell them they need to change the way they describe their product.

Question 2: In your opinion, what is it that makes your product/service special? What differentiates you from your competitors?

These are their value propositions; the key elements that need to come across on their pages to compel a conversion. If one of them is that they offer the lowest cost, then you know to research keyword modifiers like [cheap], [low cost], [price]. Alternatively, if they’re not low cost, you know to avoid these keyword modifiers. More on this in my next article.

Question 3: What do you think are similar services/products that you do not consider competitors?

The keywords that come out in this answer will help you refine the research. Often, keywords that are very similar may have a completely different meaning in a particular clients’ industry.

For example, “phone lines” and “phone trunks” are very different and each appeal to a distinct target market. You’ll only want to explore the right one in your research.

Question 4: Which products/services are most profitable for you? Are there other reasons (inventory, seasonality, location) that you would want to push one product/service over another?

Again, the answer to this question will help focus your research. Spend the most time expanding and refining the products that the client indicates are most important. This can sometimes save you from exploring an entire product line, if the customer says something like, “Product A is a necessary evil. We have to carry it, but we also have to price it below cost.”

Obviously, that’s not an area you want to focus on. You’ll include some keywords to be thorough, but you’ll spend more of your time on the “money” keywords.

Question 5: What do you think are your top ten most important keywords?

Ask for ten keywords. The reason for this is that some customers think they need to rank for their entire keyword universe of 1000 × 10100 keywords.

On the flip side, there are clients that think they only need to rank for one keyword and it will solve all their problems. Chances are that’s a virtually unattainable keyword like “tablet”. This question will help you determine which type your customer is, as well as let you know what keywords absolutely must be included in your final research.

Asking these five questions will complete a formidable amount of your keyword research before you even sit down at your computer. It will also help you focus priorities and set realistic expectations with the very first client meeting.


Categorized in Online Research

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