June… usually we think – well, at least that’s me – that June is lovely month: vacations are getting closer, Spring is leaving space to the Summer, days are longer and you can spend the nights out having a drink with friends. Conference season also is at its height and tons of interesting presentations flow all over the web, and posts, many posts. But then comes Google and decides that all this peace is too much, and starts messing up the SERPs, again! And not with a single simple understandable update, but with more, apparently connected between them, and one rolling along ten days so that it is impossible saying if it is already ended or if we must wait for some other news in the next couple of days. We all agree, and it has been said so many times already, that SEO has changed. But how real people – let’s say that employee in your bank or the butcher of the store close to your house – think about Google, Search & SEO? The answer is in the infographic I present here below, based on the survey that Danny Richman has realized with CINT. These information are a very needed reminder of the reality of things:
Embedded from SEOTrainingLondon.org
64% of people don’t know their searches are personalized! Now I understand why many clients still insist with ranking reports…
But are we sure that only the consumers suffer from misunderstandings about Search? Probably not. We too have false assumptions, especially in relation with Google. For instance, raise your hand if you have never had a conspiranoic moment thinking about Google? I confess I did, many times. But maybe the reality of facts is simpler than we think:
Ok, Matt Cutts, you are probably right, but that doesn’t mean that I will put my tinfoil hat abandoned in the closet, because it helps me inferring things and understanding better what happens around me, especially in relation with Google. It is a mental attitude, socratic somehow: I know that I don’t know… and for that reason too I read a lot.
So, without any further hesitation, here the list of the best posts, slides, videos et al I’ve read and saved in my personal collection of favorites.
Improving UX with Customer Journey Maps by Jacek Samsel on Sixrevision.
This post talks about the interesting concept of “touchpoints” in Service Design, which seems to me the CRO side of the concept of Nudge.
The post show us a way – the customer journey map – to identify the critical touchpoints in our website, those that help creating positive feelings in our customers and, ultimately, helps the site converting better (and us marketers having potential new brand ambassadors).
Outdated Content Finder by GreenlaneSEO. This tool, still in beta, is simply fantastic and such an helper in finding and incepting new content ideas for campaigns in every niche. And it is somehow odd that something similar was not invented before! The Internet is here since so long time now, that there are tons of great content, which earned links… now pointing to outdated information. This is something even better than the classic broken link finder tactic.
Twitter’s New Lead Generation Cards: Build Your Email List, by Kaitlyn Macri on Impactbnd.com.
How many of you know that on May the 22nd Twitter delivered the Lead Generation Cards? They substantially are “landing page” in Twitter Card form. That means that you can earn contacts for your email list directly from your Twitter account. This post is a good introduction to the use of this new tool by Twitter.
Google+ Dashboards. Yes, I linked to a status update on Google+, but announcing tools updates on G+ seems something Google has started doing more since June itself.
Pay attention to the Google+ Dashboards, because soon they are going to be the “Plus” equivalent of Google Webmaster Tools… and if it is true that Google Plus is Google and Google is Google Plus…
Another Matt Cutts video (and this is not the last one in this post), this time about the infamous Disavow Tool. Matt explains in 4 minutes the most common mistake the Search Spam Team (ops… Knowledge Team) sees in the files they receive from the (desperate) webmasters and SEOs.
Useful video indeed, and that I feel it is worth watching having experienced some of those mistakes in the job done by people who asked me help directly or in the Moz Q&A:
The best Gmail IFTTT Recipes, by Thorin Klosowski on Lifehacker.
Time is precious in our profession, and because of that I will be always grateful to the guy of IFTTT. Here Thorin (I mean: Thorin!! The Tolkien fan in me got crazy seeing his name) presents a nice list of useful recipes, which can make our life a little bit easier.
How To: Improve the WordPress Search – 7 Completely Free Tools & Plugins, by Nathan B. Weller on WPLift.
WordPress probably is the most used (and loved) CMS system we SEOs use and suggest. In this post Nathan presents and describes in detail some plugins and tools, which can help making more effective the internal search function in WordPress; functionality that – by default – is not one of the best thing WP offers.
50 Tools to Jumpstart Your Content Marketing Effort, by Brian Honigam on Kissmetrics.
Ready for a toolgasm? 50 tools ranging from Content Discovery to Content Distribution, from Organization Tools to Writing and more.
Some already known, while other – at least for me – were a pleasant discovery as, for instance, UberFlip, a tool that allow us optimizing our PDF files to add social widgets, audio and video elements.
Post et al about our industry
SEO is changing but not dying at all. At least, if we look at the Annual Report by Forrester, we can see how the people who matters (aka: the users) still prefer by far the Organic Search. That’s a reality confirmed also by Conductor, as well explained in this post by Nathan Safran. June, then, is usually that time of the year when people start watching back to what the Internet Marketing trends have been and updates the previews they did in December/January. Here two interesting posts:
- Weird, Useful, Significant: Internet Marketing in 2013 (Update), by Ian Lurie on Portent;
- 10 SEO Industry Trends: A Look at What’s Ahead for SEO in 2013 & 2014, by Jayson DeMers on Search Engine Journal.
In the long term, though, the future for the Digital Agencies seems not so flourishing, as the study “Next Generation of Marcoms” declares. Because of that it is maybe the time to seriously studying what the future of Marketing, not only Digital Marketing, can possibly be. A none better than Mark Suster could portray it:
What about our beloved SEO? Here those posts and decks I consider the most interesting ones shared in June, apart, obviously, ALL the State of Search posts, like these ones by our new SOS writer, Cindy Krum, who wrote also this other superb post on Search Engine Land.
When it comes to SEO, Google need a sub-chapter of its own, especially this June, when it was frenzied in every field of search. Tell it to Local Search marketers, who are now dealing with a new layout for local searches, which can be quite tricky if your business is listed in the Local Carousel. And what about the Penguin 2.0? The second release of Penguin still has few things in how it works that are not so clear. Chris Liversidge tried to explain them and how to prevent or react to it. But, maybe, it is harder to really understand what a Google update is all about right now for the simple fact that Google is launching updates almost every ten days, being the most important ones this June:
- The Google Payday Loan Algorithm;
- The June 25 Algo Update (that I’m promoting to call Balrog Update, seeing to the consequences it is having in the SERPs).
Also, Matt Cutts explained few thing about the Top Heavy Update, suggesting to follow the example of Google itself (and I though: “Ok, in my next site I put all the Ads up and right”). Ok! Before Matt asks SOS to correct this phrase, I have to confess that my thought was not exactly what Cutts was meaning to say, as very well explained in this Storified Twitter conversation about this topic. So, without any other excuse, here the video of SMX Advanced You&A With Matt Cutts session, from where the 90% of the posts about Google this month found inspiration:
Authorship surely was an hot topic in Search during June. I wrote about it here on State of Search in my last post and marketers better than me at SMX Advanced or in their blogs. I’d like to suggest you to recover especially three posts about Authorship above all those that have been published during the last month. The first I suggest you is a post by Justin Briggs, which tries to answer to a very simple question: how does Google Authorship impact CTR? The answers Justing offer are über interesting and the methodology followed by him is simply remarkable. The second is a the very actionable post by Greg Fynn, which presents 14 tips to get authorship working. The third, finally, is this presentation by Mark Traphaghen, which not only explains Authorship, but also introduces an interesting theory, according to which those ranking effects people tend to attribute to the phantomatic AuthorRank, should be attributed to our old friend PageRank:
Here below a list of great content shared about SEO and the most various topics:
- SEO Metrics that Matters. Following the link you can see the recorded version of the RavenTools hangout, where people like AJ Kohn, Annie Cushing, Demian Farnworth et all discusses all about Google and SEO metrics.
- How Google May Rank Web Sites Based on Quality Ratings, by Bill Slawski, whose interest goes far from the description itself of a recent patent by Google.
- Are SEO microsites still a legitimate link building strategy?, by James Agate. Following the methodology James presents in his post, the answer seems to be “yes”. On a practical side, this technique is nothing but broken link finder on steroids.
- Your Site Need Proprietary Keywords: Introducing Propwords, by Dan Shure. As Dan says, a propword is a unique, non-commercial keyword that strongly associated with your brand or website. Just think to words like “Whiteboard Friday” or “Searchlove”, which actually have such a volume to be even proposed by Google Suggest.
- This post presents very well a new concept of keywords and, also, of anchor text that works well in this Era of the Penguins.
- The Right Keyword Data for the Right Job, by Russ Virante on Moz, an amazingly detailed example of how to conduct a keyword search using different tools in order to take advantage of their specific values.
- The End
To conclude this long curated post I offer you finding inspiration from these quotes below so wonderfully presented by Ogilvy at Cannes Lions:
See you next month for more amazing content.