Deliver content for multiple search engines. Google now answers simple queries – users don’t need to click If your site is the top resource to answer a simple question, Google is taking your information and sharing it directly on the search page (featured snippet). In contrast, some sites have lost by some estimates up to 50% of their traffic – half of their search volume is now satisfied by the featured snippets, visual carousel results, and Google Maps pages that show up in results before organic links. Focus on structuring your content to be a featured snippet in search engines. As Rand shares, those keyword volume search numbers don’t mean what you think they do. Use these research extensions (1) search, (2) people also search, (3) similar page ranks, (4) semantically connected, (5) topically related, (6) questions concerning these. And more than one in 20 searches include results from Twitter. However, it isn’t as easy as adding more video to your site. For example, it interprets a search for “highest quality mobile phones” by returning results with phrases such as “best smart phones,” “best mobile devices,“ “best phones.” Google also evaluates users, usage, and engagement rates. If a site ranks high for a topic but gets only a few clicks – or lots of clicks but quick returns to the search results page, Google will push the site down in the rankings, and move up content that better satisfies searchers.
Advances in search engines make it seem like they can read your mind. But as a marketer, how can you read the minds of search engines – to know what they like, what they don’t, and how they’re working?
Well, you can’t read the mind of Google, but you can read seven insights from the Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin, which he shared in his presentation, The Absolute Most Up-to-Date Presentation on What the Heck is Going on With Search Engines, at Content Marketing World 2016.
Rand likes to count down so I’ll honor his approach in this post.
7. Google is still growing but others are too
Sure, Google has become ubiquitous – and even a verb. It consistently receives over 85% of all search engine traffic in North America, according to Gs.StatCounter.
While it remains king, it isn’t the only site where people search. Though still used by less than 1% of searchers, DuckDuckGo is the fastest-growing search engine, mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t track searches or users.
But don’t think of search simply in the framework of search-engine platforms. YouTube, actually, is the No. 2 search engine. Facebook, for example, is eager to keep visitors on its site and has become a growing resource used by searchers.
And don’t forget one of, if not the, largest commercial search “engine” of all – Amazon.com.
HOW YOU CAN REACT:
- Don’t ignore a search channel because it’s not Google.
- See where your competitors get their search traffic (SimilarWeb PRO is a resource for this).
- Apply different tactics in your content to reach audiences on different sites. (For example, this article shares Amazon’s ranking factors.)
- Deliver content for multiple search engines. (For example, Moz uploads a video to its own website because it wants to rank for it on Google. Three months later, it publishes the same video to YouTube to gain traction there.)
6. Google now answers simple queries – users don’t need to click
If your site is the top resource to answer a simple question, Google is taking your information and sharing it directly on the search page (featured snippet). You don’t even get a click.
Now a site with the premium No. 1 position on the results page appears twice (in the published answer from Google [Rand refers to this as the “0” position] and in the No. 1 position).
Moz thought it would lose traffic as Google revealed the answers, but traffic grew. In contrast, some sites have lost by some estimates up to 50% of their traffic – half of their search volume is now satisfied by the featured snippets, visual carousel results, and Google Maps pages that show up in results before organic links.
HOW YOU CAN REACT:
- Research your keywords to pick ones with higher click-through rates. (You can estimate CTRs in Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner or use Moz’s Keyword Explorer for specific numbers.)
- Focus on structuring your content to be a featured snippet in search engines. (Learn more about structuring for snippets in this article.)
5. Keyword data is more obfuscated, less reliable, and less accessible
When you peruse your keywords in AdWords’ Keyword Planner, do you wonder how the same number of searches occurs for several phrases? What are the chances two keywords will be searched for the same number of times? Well, the number in the Keyword Planner is only an estimate and…