Tag Archive | "Content"

Amplify Your Content Production … and Have Fun While You’re At It

Publishing a good volume of excellent content can be a tough game. And if you don’t keep it fun, you’re…

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Smart Choices that Lead to Impressive Content and Copywriting Results

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K. Rowling That…

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38 Ways to Boost Your Content Confidence … Every Time You Publish

The life of a content marketer is always intense. The deadlines, the flow of ideas, the juggling of writing, promotion,…

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For Courageous Content Creators Who Want to Do Epic Work

When I started blogging, a little over 10 years ago, one of my then-colleagues mentioned that she “didn’t have the…

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Why You’re Missing Out if You Save Your Best Content Ideas

Imagine this, if you will. An old woman, near the end of her life. Shivering in a fleabag apartment without…

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E-A-T and SEO: How to Create Content That Google Wants

Posted by Ian-Booth

Over the past few months, you’ve probably seen the buzzword (or acronym, rather) “E-A-T” floating around. While this term has been in the lexicon of many SEO’s for quite a while now, since the major Google algorithm update in August 2018 (AKA “the medic update”), a big bright spotlight has been shone on Google’s “E-A-T” — and it’s been frequently on the lips and fingertips of most SEO’s ever since.

So why am I talking about it now? Because the days are long gone when you could pop up on Google overnight. To rank well on Google, you need to nurture your brand by building its expertise, authority, and trustworthiness — which is exactly what E-A-T stands for! 

In this post, I’ll cover the three pillars of E-A-T and share tips on how to incorporate each into your content strategy so that you can rank for the best search terms in your industry. 

But first…

Initially, this “medic” update seemed to have hit loads of websites offering health and medical advice, more than any other vertical. Therefore, acclaimed search engine marketing journalist, Barry Schwartz, declared it “the medic update”.

Yet, while this update certainly did hit many medical websites, it also hit many other websites that could be categorized under what Google calls “YMYL sites” — yep, another flippin’ acronym (and no it’s not a confused person singing a certain Village People hit).

Digital marketers are notorious for using jargon and having tons of acronyms, but this time, it was Google themselves who added these YMYL and E-A-T to the ever-growing pile of potentially-confusing insider lingo. 

YMYL is a quality rating for content that stands for “Your Money or Your Life“. Google doesn’t just care about delivering the most relevant information — they also want to deliver the correct information. With certain types of searches, there is a huge potential to negatively impact users’ “happiness, health, or wealth”— in other words, were these pages low quality, they have the potential to impact a user’s well-being.

So, when it comes to health, financial issues, and safety, Google doesn’t want to serve up links to pages that share uneducated advice, opinions, or potentially fraudulent websites. Google wants to be as certain as possible that they are recommending sites that display a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness — which is what E-A-T stands for! It’s Google’s way of protecting searchers from low-quality content that has the potential to be detrimental to a searcher.

If your business falls under the umbrella label of happiness, health, or wealth then E-A-T might be vital for you to understand, so keep reading!

Google's E-A-T and Y.M.Y.L

Google search quality evaluator guidelines

E-A-T and YMYL came from a very important Google document known as “the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines”.

Back in 2015, Google officially released its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and this gave us an idea of what is deemed to be a high (or low) quality website, from Google’s perspective.

Check out this article from 2015 on the Moz blog — 30+ Important Takeaways from Google’s Search Quality Rater’s Guideline for an insight into their importance and why us SEOs need to take these guidelines seriously.

The document was written for their human rating team, who are performing important searches all day long and evaluating websites which top the Google results for those searches. Apparently, there are about 10,000 people employed by Google to carry out these spot-checks, a process which is designed to check up on the ranking algorithms effectiveness in recognizing web page quality.

The learnings from the quality rating team inform Google’s engineers on how to improve the ranking algorithm. As the folks at Google often remind us, their ranking algorithm is a continuously improving process, with updates made very regularly.

Check out Marie Haynes talk at Brighton SEO 2018, where she breaks down the ‘Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines’ for us, in plain English with some of her own insights.

The 2018 update to the guidelines

A week after the July 2018 update to the guidelines, Google made some additions that carried some significant impact: The quality evaluators would now be asked to review not only a website’s E-A-T but also the content creators E-A-T too. This is huge news.

So, from now on Google wants to see who the author of a page’s main content is and what their credentials are with regards to the subject matter, particularly if it’s a YMYL subject.

This means that we should now be building up author E-A-T as well as website E-A-T. Some ways you might achieve this is by having author boxes, with links to author profiles elsewhere online and using author schema markup, i.e. structured data that tells Google all about the author, making it easier to connect the author with any other authority signals (such a author profiles on authority sites, social media profiles, etc.).

Above is an example of a good author profile [KB1] given to Google quality evaluators in the guidelines. It declares who has written this content and shares some credentials. It’s very easy for an algorithm to connect the dots and find this author on other websites (something we assume Google does).

One key takeaway (or concept) from this document is E-A-T.

As Marie Haynes’ tweet points out, the term E-A-T is used 186 times in the guide. There’s no question that this is an important criterion for how a page’s quality is perceived by Google.

So, let’s be sure we understand what Google E-A-T is, exactly.

Expertise

To be an expert is defined by the Oxford dictionary as being “very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area”. However, possessing this knowledge alone is not going to get traffic flooding to your website from Google.

You need to understand how to communicate this knowledge in a way that engages people. It comes down to not only having the information but also knowing what your audience wants and how best to deliver the information to them.

Whenever a Googler is asking the question “How can my site improve its rankings?” the stock answer most often seems to be something like: “Create great content that your audience loves.” While this may seem like an overly-simplistic answer (and it is), it’s an answer which pretty much sums up what I’m writing about in this post, to be honest.

How do we create expert content? Well, here are a few tips to answer that question:

  1. Find out what your audience is searching for, then meet and exceed their needs. This begins with keyword research.
  2. Try to understand the searchers intent behind the terms you discover during that keyword research.

You should understand what stage these searchers are at in their journey as a consumer or as somebody getting involved in your industry. There are a plethora of situations here, depending on your exact case, but if you’re targeting, for example, a search term that clearly is for somebody who is new to the subject matter, then try not to use too much jargon and or gloss-over points that a novice is unlikely to understand.

  1. Find the balance between being comprehensive while keeping it simple. This comes down to formatting your text so it’s digestible, using visual aids or rich media like video or audio. A perfect example of this is Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series. We want the consumer of the content to truly understand the subject by the end, without making it too laborious.
  2. Think about the next queries a searcher might have and have content ready to answer that, too. Suitable supplementary content should be internally linked and easy to access. It’s all about becoming the go-to source of information in your field.

Authority

Being an expert is great, but it’s only the beginning. When other experts or influencers in your vertical are citing you as a source of information or when your name (or your brand) becomes synonymous with the relevant topics, then you are not just an expert — you’re the authority.

Here are some of the KPI’s when it comes to judging your authoritativeness:

  • Links from relevant and authoritative websites are of course a huge factor when it comes to ranking websites and we certainly can’t discuss any framework for SEO success without emphasizing this.

    Note: When we talk links, it’s all about building your domain’s authority. This means we want relevant websites who have gained authority in the space already to recommend us and there is no better endorsement that a website can get from another website owner, than a link.

  • While links are ideal, simply being mentioned in the news or on authoritative websites in your space will still boost your authoritativeness, in Google’s eyes. So, mentions are also something to strive for.
  • We can use the Moz Domain Authority score to help us understand the authority of a website. It can be used for a quick look at our own website or for the websites linking to us and gives us an idea of the current level of authority.

  • Another reliable gauge of authority and trustworthiness is the Majestic ‘trust ratio’ score. If you can get a score close to 1.0 you know things are going well.
  • If your content is widely shared, genuinely and consistently across social media, this is also a sign of growing authority.
  • Building a brand is a good idea for many reasons, not least for SEO authority. Branded search volume is a good measure of how your brand authority is doing. If more and more people are searching for your brand name, this is amazing news. If they’re searching for your brand name with a relevant keyword attached, that’s even better.
  • Having a Wikipedia page for your brand and/or the people in your company is a big signal that you’re an authority. Keep in mind, getting a Wikipedia page is not easy unless you’re a recognized person/brand. However, this does come up within the Google raters’ guidelines, so it is something to strive for.

Trustworthiness

Proven trustworthiness is really important. While expertise and authority are factors that boost your rankings, trustworthiness or rather a lack thereof is what can easily tank your rankings on Google.

If you don’t reign-in any negative sentiment around your business, you will suffer on Google. Fundamentally, you need to be delighting your customers and if you have any complaints, you should address them before you end up with too much negativity attached to your brand. Google is very clear about this in their guidelines, too many bad reviews is a sign of low quality.

Positive reviews on places like Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, Facebook, Google My Business, and so on are going to really help. If you’re operating in the US, Canada, or Mexico, then you should be encouraging good reviews on bbb.org specifically. The Better Business Bureau is the go-to source for customer sentiment for Google, as referenced several times in their search evaluators guidelines.

Some ways that we can promote trustworthiness on our website are:

  • Having a clear way to make contact with the website owners.
  • Associating the website with a physical location, i.e. your office or store address.
  • Having a term of business or T&Cs page, which is easily accessible to users (usually from the footer).
  • Making sure your website’s domain is secure. Correctly implementing HTTPS is very important to Google and helps to ensure any data your users’ input won’t be intercepted by a nefarious 3rd party entity.
  • Having a privacy policy which is clearly accessible (usually from the footer).
  • If you’re accepting transactions, you should have clear refunds and returns policies.
  • If you’re selling products, try to include comprehensive specifications of the product and include any safety advice that might be relevant.
  • If you’re sharing knowledge, in general, it’s a good idea to have an author biography included and to cite external sources where relevant. Linking out to authority sites is a good thing.

The Wolfgang essential takeaways

If you’re sharing information on a subject, particularly medical, health and financial related matters, you need to have proven expertise, authority, and trustworthiness for Google to recommend your content.

When Google recommends a page to a searcher, they don’t want them to read false information (fake news!) especially when it could impact their health, finances or happiness. Bad advice is never good, but when it comes to these topics it’s the worst.

Following E-A-T as a framework when working on your business’s digital marketing means you’re taking a holistic approach to SEO and content marketing. Covering these three pillars is a smart thing to do, particularly if you want to rank pages on Google for the best search terms in your industry.

It may come as bad news for those in the game for a quick win, but expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness take time to build and nurture, with no real shortcuts; this is important to remember. Long gone are the days where you can pop-up overnight and take over Google’s results pages. The E-A-T criteria, by definition, means incrementally growing a brand and a positive online presence in a natural way.

The good news, however, is that if you do this right and achieve a high E-A-T, it will hard to get knocked down from the top spots of Google.

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Content goals: Links, keywords and conversions

A good understanding of what types of content are linkable will guide your link development strategy. Here’s what you need to know.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Content Syndication: How to get wider distribution of your content marketing

Insights to help you bring more attention to your brand’s content and ultimately find the results you seek
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Google’s indexing bug is back – new content not being indexed

It’s back, Google isn’t able to index new fresh content right now.



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10 Basic SEO Tips to Index + Rank New Content Faster – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

In SEO, speed is a competitive advantage.

When you publish new content, you want users to find it ranking in search results as fast as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks in the SEO toolbox to help you accomplish this goal. Sit back, turn up your volume, and let Cyrus Shepard show you exactly how in this week’s Whiteboard Friday.

[Note: #3 isn't covered in the video, but we've included in the post below. Enjoy!]

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard, back in front of the whiteboard. So excited to be here today. We’re talking about ten tips to index and rank new content faster.

You publish some new content on your blog, on your website, and you sit around and you wait. You wait for it to be in Google’s index. You wait for it to rank. It’s a frustrating process that can take weeks or months to see those rankings increase. There are a few simple things we can do to help nudge Google along, to help them index it and rank it faster. Some very basic things and some more advanced things too. We’re going to dive right in.

Indexing

1. URL Inspection / Fetch & Render

So basically, indexing content is not that hard in Google. Google provides us with a number of tools. The simplest and fastest is probably the URL Inspection tool. It’s in the new Search Console, previously Fetch and Render. As of this filming, both tools still exist. They are depreciating Fetch and Render. The new URL Inspection tool allows you to submit a URL and tell Google to crawl it. When you do that, they put it in their priority crawl queue. That just simply means Google has a list of URLs to crawl. It goes into the priority, and it’s going to get crawled faster and indexed faster.

2. Sitemaps!

Another common technique is simply using sitemaps. If you’re not using sitemaps, it’s one of the easiest, quickest ways to get your URLs indexed. When you have them in your sitemap, you want to let Google know that they’re actually there. There’s a number of different techniques that can actually optimize this process a little bit more.

The first and the most basic one that everybody talks about is simply putting it in your robots.txt file. In your robots.txt, you have a list of directives, and at the end of your robots.txt, you simply say sitemap and you tell Google where your sitemaps are. You can do that for sitemap index files. You can list multiple sitemaps. It’s really easy.

Sitemap in robots.txt

You can also do it using the Search Console Sitemap Report, another report in the new Search Console. You can go in there and you can submit sitemaps. You can remove sitemaps, validate. You can also do this via the Search Console API.

But a really cool way of informing Google of your sitemaps, that a lot of people don’t use, is simply pinging Google. You can do this in your browser URL. You simply type in google.com/ping, and you put in the sitemap with the URL. You can try this out right now with your current sitemaps. Type it into the browser bar and Google will instantly queue that sitemap for crawling, and all the URLs in there should get indexed quickly if they meet Google’s quality standard.

Example: https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=https://example.com/sitemap.xml

3. Google Indexing API

(BONUS: This wasn’t in the video, but we wanted to include it because it’s pretty awesome)

Within the past few months, both Google and Bing have introduced new APIs to help speed up and automate the crawling and indexing of URLs.

Both of these solutions allow for the potential of massively speeding up indexing by submitting 100s or 1000s of URLs via an API.

While the Bing API is intended for any new/updated URL, Google states that their API is specifically for “either job posting or livestream structured data.” That said, many SEOs like David Sottimano have experimented with Google APIs and found it to work with a variety of content types.

If you want to use these indexing APIs yourself, you have a number of potential options:

Yoast announced they will soon support live indexing across both Google and Bing within their SEO WordPress plugin.

Indexing & ranking

That’s talking about indexing. Now there are some other ways that you can get your content indexed faster and help it to rank a little higher at the same time.

4. Links from important pages

When you publish new content, the basic, if you do nothing else, you want to make sure that you are linking from important pages. Important pages may be your homepage, adding links to the new content, your blog, your resources page. This is a basic step that you want to do. You don’t want to orphan those pages on your site with no incoming links. 

Adding the links tells Google two things. It says we need to crawl this link sometime in the future, and it gets put in the regular crawling queue. But it also makes the link more important. Google can say, “Well, we have important pages linking to this. We have some quality signals to help us determine how to rank it.” So linking from important pages.

5. Update old content 

But a step that people oftentimes forget is not only link from your important pages, but you want to go back to your older content and find relevant places to put those links. A lot of people use a link on their homepage or link to older articles, but they forget that step of going back to the older articles on your site and adding links to the new content.

Now what pages should you add from? One of my favorite techniques is to use this search operator here, where you type in the keywords that your content is about and then you do a site:example.com. This allows you to find relevant pages on your site that are about your target keywords, and those make really good targets to add those links to from your older content.

6. Share socially

Really obvious step, sharing socially. When you have new content, sharing socially, there’s a high correlation between social shares and content ranking. But especially when you share on content aggregators, like Reddit, those create actual links for Google to crawl. Google can see those signals, see that social activity, sites like Reddit and Hacker News where they add actual links, and that does the same thing as adding links from your own content, except it’s even a little better because it’s external links. It’s external signals.

7. Generate traffic to the URL

This is kind of an advanced technique, which is a little controversial in terms of its effectiveness, but we see it anecdotally working time and time again. That’s simply generating traffic to the new content. 

Now there is some debate whether traffic is a ranking signal. There are some old Google patents that talk about measuring traffic, and Google can certainly measure traffic using Chrome. They can see where those sites are coming from. But as an example, Facebook ads, you launch some new content and you drive a massive amount of traffic to it via Facebook ads. You’re paying for that traffic, but in theory Google can see that traffic because they’re measuring things using the Chrome browser. 

When they see all that traffic going to a page, they can say, “Hey, maybe this is a page that we need to have in our index and maybe we need to rank it appropriately.”

Ranking

Once we get our content indexed, talk about a few ideas for maybe ranking your content faster. 

8. Generate search clicks

Along with generating traffic to the URL, you can actually generate search clicks.

Now what do I mean by that? So imagine you share a URL on Twitter. Instead of sharing directly to the URL, you share to a Google search result. People click the link, and you take them to a Google search result that has the keywords you’re trying to rank for, and people will search and they click on your result.

You see television commercials do this, like in a Super Bowl commercial they’ll say, “Go to Google and search for Toyota cars 2019.” What this does is Google can see that searcher behavior. Instead of going directly to the page, they’re seeing people click on Google and choosing your result.

  1. Instead of this: https://moz.com/link-explorer
  2. Share this: https://www.google.com/search?q=link+tool+moz

This does a couple of things. It helps increase your click-through rate, which may or may not be a ranking signal. But it also helps you rank for auto-suggest queries. So when Google sees people search for “best cars 2019 Toyota,” that might appear in the suggest bar, which also helps you to rank if you’re ranking for those terms. So generating search clicks instead of linking directly to your URL is one of those advanced techniques that some SEOs use.

9. Target query deserves freshness

When you’re creating the new content, you can help it to rank sooner if you pick terms that Google thinks deserve freshness. It’s best maybe if I just use a couple of examples here.

Consider a user searching for the term “cafes open Christmas 2019.” That’s a result that Google wants to deliver a very fresh result for. You want the freshest news about cafes and restaurants that are going to be open Christmas 2019. Google is going to preference pages that are created more recently. So when you target those queries, you can maybe rank a little faster.

Compare that to a query like “history of the Bible.” If you Google that right now, you’ll probably find a lot of very old pages, Wikipedia pages. Those results don’t update much, and that’s going to be harder for you to crack into those SERPs with newer content.

The way to tell this is simply type in the queries that you’re trying to rank for and see how old the most recent results are. That will give you an indication of what Google thinks how much freshness this query deserves. Choose queries that deserve a little more freshness and you might be able to get in a little sooner.

10. Leverage URL structure

Finally, last tip, this is something a lot of sites do and a lot of sites don’t do because they’re simply not aware of it. Leverage URL structure. When Google sees a new URL, a new page to index, they don’t have all the signals yet to rank it. They have a lot of algorithms that try to guess where they should rank it. They’ve indicated in the past that they leverage the URL structure to determine some of that.

Consider The New York Times puts all its book reviews under the same URL, newyorktimes.com/book-reviews. They have a lot of established ranking signals for all of these URLs. When a new URL is published using the same structure, they can assign it some temporary signals to rank it appropriately.

If you have URLs that are high authority, maybe it’s your blog, maybe it’s your resources on your site, and you’re leveraging an existing URL structure, new content published using the same structure might have a little bit of a ranking advantage, at least in the short run, until Google can figure these things out.

These are only a few of the ways to get your content indexed and ranking quicker. It is by no means a comprehensive list. There are a lot of other ways. We’d love to hear some of your ideas and tips. Please let us know in the comments below. If you like this video, please share it for me. Thanks, everybody.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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