If you’re reading this, congratulations. It means you survived the week and made it to Friday. Your well-earned reward? Another edition of the Content Marketing Weekly.
This week we have news about Google (surprise, surprise), a new type of SEO and a whole lot of bad ads.
Let’s begin (P.S.: Happy belated Pi Day).
Another day, another algorithm update for the world’s largest search engine – no exaggeration. Google literally updates its core algorithm every single day.
But every once in a while, it will make broader changes to its core algorithm. It has given these changes the unimaginative name of “Broad Core Algorithm Update.”
The specifics of the most recent batch of updates have not been made public, but what we do know is that the rankings for some websites have been affected.
So what does this mean for you? Google gave this piece of advice on Twitter:
There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018
It may not sound terribly helpful, but there’s an SEO lesson to be learned here: Do what you can to create high-quality content based on research, but remember, you are dealing with what is probably one of the world’s most complex algorithms. Sometimes your pages will shift in ranking for variables that are impossible to pinpoint.
Learn more about Google’s core algo updates at Search Engine Journal.
The title really gets to the point, but there’s a bit more to it according to recent research.
The average response to voice-based queries (made to Alexa, Siri, Google Home, etx.) is 29 words – bearing in mind that Google Home was used for this particular study by Backlinko. Also, the average writing level of those responses is at a ninth-grade reading level, and the average length of the post these are pulled from is 2,312 (possibly to in an attempt to reference pages that are ostensibly more “authoritative”).
Of course, 2,312 doesn’t scream “short and to the point.” The trick is to break up copy into digestible, easy-to-understand chunks.
Also, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share this chart about where voice search is being used. It seems to indicate that movie theatre etiquette is going down the tubes (see bottom right).
Plenty more interesting tidbits on voice search and SEO, here.
Gaming the world’s biggest search engine isn’t easy, but it sure was nice of Google to make some tools available to help in this endeavor.
For example, did you know that you can estimate how many visitors you might lose due to poor site loading time with TestMySite? Bad things happen when your users get tired of waiting for pages to load.
Some of these might be more obvious than others (e.g., Google Trends, Safe Browsing Test), but this is a short read, and you might get a few good ideas from it.
Sometimes you just need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of your web content.
In a recent post, Moz shared its list of content mistakes that are as easy to fix as they are to overlook. This includes:
- Lack of clear action steps for visitors on each page.
- Not using testimonials on related service pages.
- Neglecting to talk about pricing.
- Stuffing your content with too much technical jargon.
Our advice? Beat the content audit to the punch. Start by addressing all eight of these oversights.
We cap off the week with what we see as more of a fun fact than news.
Last year, Google removed about 3.2 billion bad ads, which equates to roughly 100 per second. These include banners that link to malware-infected sites, “trick-to-click” ads and ads that attempt to get users to install unwanted software.
Google’s crusade against misleading ads has been in full swing for years. In 2017, the search engine company adopted 28 new advertising policies, and we can expect many more in the year ahead (Bitcoin related ads have already been crossed off the docket for 2018).
Click here to read more about banning bad ads.
And that’s a wrap. We’ll be back next week with more. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend, and stay away from shady ads.