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10 FAQs on the Google BERT Update image

50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, and Google’s taken notice with update BERT. Devices are being treated like companions, giving rise to conversational search queries and, with that, content that is written to match the new conversational nature of search engines. Content formats like FAQs will benefit from this update as the questions asked throughout a piece will match the same questions users will ask Alexa. It only seemed obvious us to then use this very format to describe Google’s newest update. Here are the top 10 FAQs surrounding BERT. What is BERT? According to Google, BERT “represent the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history ...

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Google+ Cancellation – Implications for Social Media and SEO image

Google Cancelling Google Plus

Millions of businesses are signed up to Google+: it has become an important part of both social media and SEO initiatives. Did you know that Google+ engagement is comparatively better than most social networks? According to SEP, “Google+ active users spend quality time on the site -- an average of 3:46 per visit.”  And Google+ bounce rate is excellent at 53.6%. See chart below. So what happens when Google decides to shut down the platform? You didn't see that coming but it's actually going to happen over the next 10 months. To the uninitiated, this may not seem like a problem. But to you that every once in a while uses Google+, why wouldn't Google just consider you! The fact is that ...

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How to Land a Google Featured Snippet image

Google Featured Snippet

Featured snippets improve the search experience for users, especially in a world where users are increasingly using mobile and voice for their search. Instead of clicking through countless links, the answer will be provided at the top of the search results page. One issue, however, if you thought it was hard enough ranking on the first page, it’s even harder to earn a snippet. But put in some hard work, and you’ll earn position 0 in no time. SEM Rush analyzed 1.3 million snippets; here’s a summary of it’s findings.  PS: Need a refresher on what a featured snippet is? Read our blog here. What do top performers have in common? From SEM Rush’s research, they learned some common factors found among ...

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Time to Follow the New Google Better Ads Standards image

Google Ads

Have you noticed any less annoying ads while you’ve been surfing the web lately? In February, Google started blocking ads that violate the Coalition for Better Ads standards on mobile and desktop websites that are accessed through its Chrome browser. The Coalition for Better Advertising, which is comprised of advertising companies, tech companies (including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft), and publishers, surveyed 25,000 consumer internet users in North American and Europe to figure out what ads they considered are the most annoying. They used the results to develop a set of guidelines called the Better Ads Standards. Only ads that violate the standards will be blocked. “Advertising is a critical component of the web, keeping content open and free for everyone. However, ...

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Google Algorithms Timeline image

Google Algorithm Timeline

Google has long been the leader of search engines and its influence is far-reaching. Ranking on Google means being visible on the Internet; conversely, not ranking makes you invisible. Over the years, Google has perfected its search algorithms to provide better searches for its users. On multiple occasions, its major updates have required marketers to completely shake up their strategies. Below is a timeline of major changes from 2011 to 2017, followed by a description of these updates. Google Algorithm Timeline Major Updates Penguin Initially launched in 2012, Penguin was created to catch sites spamming its search results, particularly by buying links or obtaining links from networks created primarily to boost Google rankings. Launched: April 2012 Most recent: October 2016 4.0: Phase 2, Phase 1 3.0: Everflux, ...

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Google’s Fighting Mobile Pop Up Ads, Effective January image

pop up ads

After fishing through the search results page for an article you thought would provide answers, you click a promising-looking link and are ready to delve into the content, but then a large box or tab pops up immediately in front of that sentence you were reading. It can act as a minor annoyance in some instances- you pause your reading and find the ‘X’ to press. In other instances, these pop-ups are truly spammy, either difficult to close or in a new tab entirely. On a mobile device, navigating away from these pop-ups can be a time-consuming task. Google is all for making the search experience better for the user, and is less concerned about the SEO-adjustments marketers will be ...

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Google Cares About What’s Being Posted on Google image

Google loves Google

Last year, Google rolled out the Snack Pack, slimming the local business results down from 7 to 3. Since then, marketers have adapted their strategy by putting a greater focus on Google Reviews. On Moz’s most recent top local search ranking factors blog, we see Google Reviews growing greater in importance, and Google My Business (GMB) factors repeatedly make the lists. Clearly, to rank on this giant’s search page, brands need to create a strong presence on Google itself. Google Reviews Since Google rolled out the Snack Pack, marketers placed greater emphasis on Google Reviews, specifically those with text. In Moz’s blog, marketers placed ‘Quantity of Native Google Reviews’ as their third greatest focus since the Snack Pack, and that’s not ...

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Google Launches New Version of it’s Mobile-Friendly Test image

Google mobile

These days, mobile web searches are significantly increasing so it’s extremely important to have a mobile website that functions efficiently on smartphones. It’s very important to create a mobile-friendly website that looks like the image below on the right. Information is more accessible and at the touch of a button rather than having to pinch and zoom in on a small screen to find what you are looking for. Google’s new mobile-friendly tool provides 3 different scores for your website: Overall mobile-friendliness score Mobile page speed score Desktop page speed score The overall mobile-friendliness score is now ranked on a scale from 0 to 100 instead of simply saying if your website is mobile-friendly or if it isn’t. Along with receiving this overall ...

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Google Removes Right Sidebar Ads and Experiments a Concierge Service image

Google Removes Right Sidebar Ads and Experiments a Concierge Service

Google has been experimenting with its search engine results page for a while now and naturally, Google enjoys making any changes that will benefit its AdWords business. While these tweaks to the SERP may be beneficial to advertisers, regular SEOs will be irritated when their organic search results are pushed further down the page. The SEM Post, reported the Google update with an image of what the search results look like for business cards. Google has been testing with the 4 ads at the top of the search results since December but it looks like AdWords reps are only informing advertisers about the change. What Does This Mean to Marketers While the ads that at the top of the search results will ...

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Google Replaces URL With Site Name and Breadcrumb Trail in Mobile Search Snippets image

Google Site Name and Breadcrumb Trail

If you had any doubt about the importance of structured data for your website, Google has made an announcement that they will be replacing the URL within the search result snippet with the site name and breadcrumb path. Currently, this will only be reflected in mobile search results, but it may roll out across devices over time. URL Replaced With Site Name and Breadcrumb Trail Check out this before (left) and after (right) picture of a mobile search results page to get a better idea of what this update entails: Via Google With this announcement, Google has introduced structured data schema to help website owners communicate their site name and website data. Site Name Schema Markup Google has introduced support for schema.org structured data so ...

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A Guide to Google AdWords Remarketing image

Remarketing Google AdWords

Google AdWords remarketing, which is conducted through the Google Display network, is a powerful paid search strategy that allows you to target and reach people who have previously visited your website by showing them ads across the web. In this blog we will share what standard remarketing is and its benefits, some segmentation strategies, some important tips, and more! AdWords Remarketing Basics In the graphic below, we share a basic explanation of remarketing: It is worth noting that there are four different types of ads available: static image, animated image, video, or text ads. The Benefits of Using AdWords Remarketing Consider that only 2% of website traffic converts on their first visit. Remarketing can help you win back the 98% that didn’t convert. One benefit of ...

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April 21: Google’s Mobile-Friendly Website Deadline image

April 21 Google Mobile Friendly

With mobile search predicted to surpass desktop in 2015, having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever. And starting April 21, 2015, Google will be "expanding" their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches. In other words, if you don't have a mobile or responsive website yet, you may find it more difficult to rank in mobile search results after April 21. Google also explained that the mobile algorithm is on a page-by-page basis and runs in real-time, which is good news for some webmasters. In other words, if 10 pages on your website are mobile-friendly and 10 are not, the 10 that are mobile-friendly will benefit in mobile searches, while the others will not. How big will the ...

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AdWords News: Upgraded URLs & Dynamic Structured Snippets image

AdWords Upgraded URLs and Dynamic Structured Snippets

Google AdWords has recently announced two great new features that you can start using immediately: upgraded URLs and dynamic structured snippets. AdWords Upgraded URLs Last week Google announced what they are calling "upgraded URLs" for advertisers. Unlike destination URLs, the landing page URL and the tracking parameters for the the destination URL will be treated separately. This is great news for advertisers who historically may have been hesitant to update their Destination URLs because it sent ads into editorial review, so they would stop running during this time and information tied to the old URL was lost. How to Use Upgraded URLs 1. Define your landing page in the new "Final URL" field. Note: Final URLs should match the domain of your display URL or your ...

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Google’s Mobile Friendly Label and Mobile-Friendly Test image

Yesterday, Google made a huge mobile announcement in an effort to further encourage webmasters to make their websites mobile-friendly. Here are some key updates outlined in their announcement: Google will add a "mobile-friendly" label on eligible websites in mobile search results Google is now offering a new tool, the Mobile-Friendly Test Updated information to help you create or improve your mobile website in their Webmasters Mobile Guide Mobile-Friendly Label in Google Search Results Over the next few weeks, Google will be rolling out their new "mobile-friendly" label on eligible websites for searches conducted on a mobile phone. This label is another step in Google's efforts to improve the mobile web experience and encourage webmasters to create or improve mobile-friendly websites. Here is an example of what the label ...

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MMU on LinkedIn: Newly Improved Group image

One of the most important aspects to any campaign is its ability to remain topical and competitive on social media.  In respect to this, we at Modern Marketing University would like to invite you to connect with us on our newly improved LinkedIn Group.  We post discussion topics and polls about changes in the marketing world, and provide our answers to any questions that you ask. In Addition to this, we also offer our insights on many other Social Media Profiles: Twitter (@ModMktgUniv) Google+ (Modern Marketing Partners) Facebook (Modern Marketing Partners) Feel free to comment and discuss using the tools ...

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Google Hummingbird: SEO Questions and Answers image

“Precise and fast” – the two words Google uses to describe Hummingbird. Hummingbird is Google’s new search ranking algorithm that reportedly impacts more than 90 percent of searches. Undoubtedly, you have been hearing A LOT about this Hummingbird update over the past couple of months. But, what does Hummingbird really mean for your company? Below we describe a brief overview of Google Hummingbird, who is affected, and the top 4 things you can do (or keep doing) to stay atop search engine results pages (SERPs) after Hummingbird. What is Google Hummingbird? The latest and most significant search algorithm update by Google, experts believe Hummingbird was implemented in September of 2013.  Bottom line, Hummingbird is focused on semantic search, helping users find the ...

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Paid Search vs. Organic Search image

Organic search results, also known as natural search results, are based on the relevance to the search terms of the user. High rankings are achieved through free search engine optimization techniques, as opposed to paid search, or PPC. As mentioned in our last blog post, Paid Search – PPC Basics, paid search or PPC refers to when advertisers pay for click-throughs to their website. But how do paid search and organic search compare? This post, part two in our Paid Search Series, will detail differences between paid and organic search results. Paid vs. Organic Search Results The location of each type of result varies. Paid results are typically shown at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and on the ...

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Paid Search – PPC Basics image

With over 100 billion global searches being conducted each month and 75% of search engine users never scrolling past the first page of search results, the search war is heating up (SEJ)! How can you leverage search to drive traffic to your website? In our three-part Paid Search Series, we will share a variety of tips for winning the search war, including details on both paid search, or PPC, and organic search. This post will detail basics including what paid search is along with the benefits, keywords and placements, and how your ad is ranked in search results. Part two will provide a comparison of paid and organic search, and part three will share some advanced paid search techniques. What is ...

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Google+ Local Pages: What You Need to Know image

“My Google Places is going away!” There’s no doubt you’ve heard this over the last week or so, as more and more people are discovering that Google+ Local Pages (which ties in with Google+ Pages) is replacing Google Places. Here we will try to calm you down a bit, and explain what these changes entail. First there was the Google Local Business Center, which was upgraded to Google Places. Google recently transformed Google Places into Google+ Local Pages in an effort to make Google+ more competitive with Facebook and Yelp, and to merge all business listings into one. In a blog post, Google states, “With the release of Google+ Local rolling out today, we are bringing the community of Google+ to ...

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