Tag Archive | "going"

FCC Chairman to Robocallers: This Is Not Going To Stand!

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai blasted robocallers today in an interview on Fox Business. He said that the FCC has taken aggressive regulatory action and has told the Justice Department that robocalling in one of the FCC’s top consumer protection priorities: “We need you to make this an issue to send a signal to all of the robocallers out there, even the ones who are beyond our shores, that this is not going to stand for America consumers.”

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, discusses how the FCC is aggressively fighting the annoying and time wasting robocall industry in an interview on Fox Business:

FCC To Robocallers: This is Not Going To Stand

There are two different parts of our plan (to combat robocalls). First, is taking aggressive regulatory action. We have told the industry that we expect them to adopt what is called call authentication. That is essentially a digital fingerprint for every phone call this year. If they don’t, the FCC will take action to make sure that they do.

Secondly, in terms of enforcement, we have imposed fines (totalling $ 205 million since 2015) and we have referred those cases to the Department of Justice which is in charge of collecting those fines. We have emphasized to the Department of Justice that this is one of our top consumer protection priorities. We need you to make this an issue to send a signal to all of the robocallers out there, even the ones who are beyond our shores, that this is not going to stand for America consumers.

FCC Chairman to Robocallers: This Is Not Going To Stand!

The post FCC Chairman to Robocallers: This Is Not Going To Stand! appeared first on WebProNews.


Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

5G Reality is Going to Match the Hype, Says Cisco CEO

“We have done a study and we believe that by 2022 there will be over 400 million 5G connections,” says Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. “This is one of those great examples where the reality is going to match the hype building up to this.” Robbins adds: “If you think about what this is going to create, we believe in 2022 the amount of new traffic created in that year will actually exceed all of the traffic that has been created since the inception of the internet.”

Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, discusses how technology is now defining enterprise strategy and how 5G is going to impact connectivity in an interview on Fox Business:

Technology is at the Heart of the Strategy

This technology is at the heart of the strategy of our customers. It is no longer enabling their strategy. They’re taking the technology and then they are defining their strategy based on what it makes possible. A lot of the focus over the last decade has been around consumer tech. If it’s on your phone you know what it does. If you use a social media app then you know what it does. What we do isn’t that clear to the everyday investor.

The technology that we are building are really enabling our enterprise customers and public sector customers to digitize and really take advantage of new methods of revenue stream. In the case of the public sector, new ways of delivering citizen services. Putting video connectivity out into rural areas and delivering citizen services virtually. There are all these things that are happening that are leading to continued demand.

5G Reality is Going to Match the Hype

We’ve been talking about 5G for many years. The trials are beginning this year. This is one of those great examples where the reality is going to match the hype building up to this. The fundamental difference that this technology is going to bring is (massive). In 2022 you’re going to see speeds that average 4-5 times more than we get today. If you think about what it enables, not only higher speeds and lower latency for mobile devices, but we are going to get connectivity into rural areas that we haven’t been able to because the cost of digging trenches and laying fiber has just been prohibitive. Now we can do this with 5G.

We are going to be able to connect people who have not been connected before. We have done a study and we believe that by 2022 there will be over 400 million 5G connections. What happens is when you get to a place where you have all of this high bandwidth capacity out at the edge of the network then the core infrastructure has to be updated to actually accommodate that. That’s one of the big roles that we are going to play is delivering innovation that actually allows our customers to deal with all this traffic.

5G is going to provide everything from the ability to connect IoT devices to things in your home and vehicles, all the way to connecting enterprise branch locations. The whole notion of lower latency is really what’s required to do real-time video applications. If you think about what this is going to create, we believe in 2022 the amount of new traffic created in that year will actually exceed all of the traffic that has been created since the inception of the internet.

The post 5G Reality is Going to Match the Hype, Says Cisco CEO appeared first on WebProNews.


Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

We Are Not Going Back to Old Retail

With the future of retail we have crossed over the demarcation line, says Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods. “We’re not going back to the old retail,” said Robb. “It’s just not going to happen. That’s the combination of digital and physical. We’re in what I would call new retail, which is the integration.”

Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods, discusses the retail revolution currently underway in an interview on CNBC:

Traditional Retail Models Are Under Pressure

From where I sit the customer is doing pretty well. They’re spending. They’re pretty strong. There was a lot of pessimism at the back half of last year that was reflected in some of the stock prices, but I think that was overblown. We’re going to see a customer that’s doing pretty well this year in 2019 and might surprise a little bit to the upside. That being said, traditional retail models are under pressure. The customer is spending their dollars in so many different ways and places than they could before. You used to just open up four walls and open a store and now the customer has so many more options.

We do know that in the United States we’re about 24 square feet of retail space per capita and that’s two and a half times more than any other industrialized country. We have too much space so there’s going to be a winnowing out that’s going to happen here. There’s going to be winners and losers and we’re already seeing that. In 2019, I think that continues, but I do think that we’re in the second half of that. What we’re actually seeing that the mall is beginning to switch over and putting in exciting new uses and we’re seeing retail stores start to open again.

We Are Not Going Back to Old Retail

With the future of retail, we have crossed over the demarcation line. We’re not going back to the old retail. It’s just not going to happen. That’s the combination of digital and physical. You’re seeing the digital retailers, the Allbirds, the Warby Parker’s, come out and say, alright we’re going to open physical stores because we realize our customers want to experience our brand and be with us in that way. They’re bringing new ideas to that presentation of retail, which is pretty exciting.

At the same time, you’re seeing physical retailers adapt to digital ways. Take a look at Target and how they’ve employed all the new tools that they have for the customers, in-store apps and those sorts of things. You’re seeing a combination of these two. In some cases it’s adolescent and in some case it’s more mature, but we are not going back to just the simple form retailer. We’re in what I would call new retail, which is the integration.

The edge of which is actually in China with a supermarket called Hema from Alibaba, which is which is simply fantastic. It’s integrated on the back end and on the front end. I think you’re seeing retailers say, we’ve adapted to the age of Amazon and we understand this is how customers want to shop. We’re seeing a whole new generation of businesses and entrepreneurs say, I’m going to bring the customer this fusion of digital and physical in a way that’s really exciting and really compelling. We’re not going back. I opened my first store in 1978 but that’s just not as easy to do anymore because you have to have that the tools to really understand your customer personally. I think it’s pretty exciting to see what’s happening.

Physical and Digital Retailers Need Each Other

The business model on the last mile is very challenging unless you’re connected into a physical store. If you just out there floating without a connection to physical retail those have not proven to be sustainable. I think it’s clear to me that the customer wants that choice. I think the data is very clear that they want both. They’re not going to give up physical stores and that’s why you’re seeing these digital and physical retailers. They need each other and they need both parts of that to make the thing actually compelling for the customer.

I think there’ll be a shakeout. You seem some consolidation already, but the most interesting combinations are where the physical retailer buys the digital, where Target buys Shipt and where Walmart buys Flipkart or whatever you see around the world, realizing the combination is the most powerful. That will be the most sustainable from a business model perspective.

We Are Not Going Back to Old Retail, Says Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods

Also Read:

Nothing Short of a Revolution Happening in the Food Marketplace

The post We Are Not Going Back to Old Retail appeared first on WebProNews.


Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

SAP Massively Going for Expansion Into Multi-Cloud World, Says CTO

“We’re massively going for the expansion into this multi-cloud world,” says Björn Goerke, SAP CTO & President of the SAP Cloud Platform. “We strongly believe that the world will remain hybrid for a number of years and we’re going in that same direction with the SAP Cloud Platform.”

Björn Goerke, SAP CTO & President SAP Cloud Platform, recently discussed the future of the SAP Cloud Platform in an interview with Ray Wang, the Founder & Chairman of Constellation Research:

Massively Going for Expansion Into Multi-Cloud World

We’re massively going for the expansion into this multi-cloud world. We strongly believe that hybrid clouds will play a major role in the coming years. If you also follow what the hyper scalars are doing, Amazon was the last one to announce an on-premises hybrid support model. We strongly believe that the world will remain hybrid for a number of years and we’re going in that same direction with the SAP Cloud Platform.

We announced partnerships with IBM and ANSYS already and there will be more coming. We’re totally committed to the multi-cloud strategy driving the kind of choice for customers that they demand. But then what we’re more and more focusing on is business services and business capabilities. It’s about micro services as well. It’s really about business functionality that customers expect from SAP. We are an enterprise solutions company.

It’s Really About No Code and Low Code Environments

With our broad spectrum of 25 industries we support all the lines of business within a corporation from core finance to HR to procurement, you name it. We are focused on a high level of functionality that we can expose via APIs and micro services on a cloud platform to allow customers to quickly reassemble and orchestrate customer specific differentiating solutions.

There is no other company out there in the market that has the opportunity to really deliver that on a broad scale worldwide to our corporate customers.

That’s where we’re heading and that’s where we’re investing. We’re working on simplifying the consumption of all of this. It’s really about no code and low code environments. You need to be able to plug and play and not always force people to really go down into the trenches and start heavy coding.

SAP Embedding Machine Learning Into Applications

Beyond that machine learning is all over and on everybody’s mind. What we’re doing is making sure that we can embed machine learning capabilities deep into the application solutions. It can’t be that every customer needs to hire dozens and even hundreds of data scientists to figure these things out.

The very unique opportunity that SAP has is to take our knowledge in business processes, take the large data sets we have with our customers, and bring machine learning right into the application for customers to consume out of the box.

RPA is a big topic as well of course. We believe that 50 percent of ERP processes you can potentially automate to the largest part within the next few years. We are heavily investing in those areas as well.

Focused on Security, Data Protection, and Privacy

Especially if you think about the level of connectivity and companies opening up their corporate environments more and more, clouds being on everybody’s mind, and the whole idea to make access to information processes available to everybody in the company and in the larger ecosystem at any point in time from anywhere, of course, that raises the bar that security has to deliver. So it’s a top of mind topic for everybody.

There are a lot of new challenges also from an architectural perspective with how these things are built and how you communicate, We have a long-standing history as an enterprise solution provider to know exactly what’s going on there. There’s security, there are data protection and privacy that companies have to comply with these days. I think we’re well positioned to serve our customers needs there.

The post SAP Massively Going for Expansion Into Multi-Cloud World, Says CTO appeared first on WebProNews.


Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Salesforce co-CEO: Who’s Not Going Through a Customer Transformation?

Salesforce is booming and the reason is that virtually every company in the world is going through a huge digital transformation, according to Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff. “The reason why is every company that we’re dealing with is going through a huge digital transformation and every digital transformation begins and ends with the customer,” says Benioff.

Marc Benioff, co-Founder, Chairman, and co-CEO of Salesforce, recently discussed the companies latest financial results and explained how the digital transformation is powering their continued massive growth in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC:

Fastest Growing Enterprise Software Company of All Time

We see hitting our big goal which is $ 22 to $ 23 billion in revenue within two fiscal years. By fiscal year 2022. Now here we are we’re giving fiscal year 2020 guidance for the first time at $ 16 billion. Salesforce remains the fastest growing enterprise software company of all time and that’s incredible. I don’t think the company has ever been stronger or been in a better position.

These revenue numbers are incredible and way beyond our expectations for the quarter It’s awesome. We had a great quarter, the third quarter was phenomenal. We’re giving phenomenal guidance for the fourth quarter and certainly, we’re all praying and hoping to improve on that by the way and now we can see a strong fiscal year ahead in fiscal year 2020 as well.

Every Digital Transformation Begins and Ends with the Customer

I don’t think the company has ever been stronger or been in a better position. The reason why is every company that we’re dealing with is going through a huge digital transformation and every digital transformation begins and ends with the customer.

Just look at one of the largest deals we did this quarter, it’s a nine-figure deal with one of the largest banks in the world and they’re just rebuilding how they deal with their customers. That’s an amazing story for us just to see everybody go through this transformation. It’s everything that is customer facing for one of the top five financial institutions in the world.

Another one that I can give you the actual name for that is doing something just as exciting is Citibank. Michael Corbat has done a fantastic job as CEO of Citibank. We’ve been working on the retail transformation there and this quarter they opened the door for us and now we’re doing the wealth transformation as well. We couldn’t be more excited about everything that Citibank is doing.

Every Company is Transforming Their Customer Relationship

Every company is transforming their relationship with their customer. We’re going from a world where if you don’t have a digital one-on-one relationship with your customer you’re just not going to be that successful. You can look at some of the huge successes that we’ve had in the quarter. One of the stories that I love is Uber. Uber has a tremendous need to have a relationship not only with you the consumer but also with the driver and their own internal operations. As we’ve been able to improve our relationship with Dara Khosrowshahi and other executives in the company, we’ve seen them really transform their relationships with their customers.

Apple has been a great opportunity for us, we’ve worked on that for so long. Of course, we all use our Apple products all the time at Salesforce. Now we have a strategic alliance with Apple and we’re encouraging our customers to do what we do which is take their information on the road. All of our products work natively now on iOS. We have the ability to automate every enterprise around that incredible platform and we see customers doing that.

ServiceMaster Building a 360-Degree View of the Customer

Another great story during the quarter was ServiceMaster. This is a company that has a lot of brands such as Terminix and many others. This is a huge field service operation but it’s also the integration of their call center, their contact center. They’re trying to build a 360-degree view of the customer, so of course, you’re working with their technicians in the field and they need to have a strong institutional memory of you back in headquarters. That’s a digital transformation that is so exciting for so many companies where they protect their homes.

Who’s Not Going Through a Customer Transformation?

We’re the largest and most important CRM company in the world. We’re number one in CRM by market share and revenue and by revenue growth. It’s a big industry and all the players are doing well because every company is going through this customer transformation. Who’s not going through a customer transformation? Everywhere I go in the world this is happening and it’s been going on and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.

It’s about sales, it’s about service, it’s about marketing, it’s about commerce, it’s about analytics, it’s about applications, it’s about good building community, or in the case of one of the great customers that we have, DuPont, it’s about integration. We had this fantastic acquisition this year, MuleSoft, the ability to integrate everything together. This is so important for us and so many of our customers.

The post Salesforce co-CEO: Who’s Not Going Through a Customer Transformation? appeared first on WebProNews.


More Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Ask the #SMXperts: Going All-In On AMP

If you are new to AMP or are looking to get more from your existing efforts, SMXperts Benu Aggarwal, Eric Enge and Paul Shapiro answer questions and share insights on the latest AMP developments.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Finally going mobile-friendly, but on a collision course with Google’s mobile-first index [Case Study]

Google’s index has been shifting toward ‘mobile-first,’ making mobile pages the default pages for ranking purposes. Columnist Glenn Gabe uses a case study to illustrate some of the issues this might pose for site owners.

The post Finally going mobile-friendly, but on a collision course with…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

The SEO Myth of Going Viral

Posted by EarnedMarketing

If you’ve been to any SEO conferences over the past few years, you’ve likely heard something along the lines of this:

“Links are still really important for organic search rankings. But the way we go about getting those links has changed… it’s now all about content marketing.”

The general premise is that great, “rank-worthy” content gets links, which in turn builds up your site’s authority, which subsequently gives a boost to the search rankings of both that specific content piece and the domain as a whole. And following the same logic, content that does spectacularly well in earning links ought to have spectacular and lasting SEO results.

Sounds great on paper, and it even makes sense when you think about it logically. You build better content that readers enjoy, so the quality of your site goes up, and Google rewards your ever-improving site with better rankings.

Except that’s not what I’m seeing. Not by a long way.

Today I’m going to put across the hypothesis that viral content, at least in certain scenarios, has little to no benefit for domain-wide search engine rankings. Specifically, we’ll be taking a look at some websites that have absolutely smashed it with viral content, including:

  • Amplifon
  • Simply Business
  • Concert Hotels
  • JustPark

Amplifon: What do links from 222 websites do for SEO?

Our first case study is from a hearing aid manufacturer called Amplifon. Back in August 2014, working with the renowned digital marketing agency Epiphany, they created an interactive piece called Sounds of Streetview. Originally hosted on the amplifon.co.uk domain (which has since been redirected over to amplifon.com), this rather nifty piece of content marketing was meant to bring an explorative 3D sound experience to Google Streetview — and the Internet loved it.

According to Majestic, this piece secured 685 backlinks from 222 referring domains. And the results for their organic search rankings? Let’s take a look…

At first glance, there does indeed seem to be a sharp jump in Amplifon’s overall search visibility after the release of the “Sounds of Streetview” on both SearchMetrics and SEMRush. However, upon deeper inspection of SearchMetrics’ keyword-level data (available here), we can see that almost all of this jump has come from new keywords directly related to the “Sounds of Streetview” content piece. Ranking increases and extra traffic from keywords like “street view” and “make your own google” are hardly the kinds of outcomes that businesses yearn for when signing off on large content marketing projects.

Looking at “Money Making” keywords alone, we only see around a 10% jump in SearchMetrics’ Traffic Index for Amplifon SERPs. Moreover, all of that jump comes from a single, very popular keyword (“hearing aids”) which moved up by one position. The Traffic Index for all of Amplifon’s other “Money Making” keywords has actually gone down by -76 between July 31 2014 and August 28 2014.

SearchMetrics Organic Visibility Graph for Amplifon.co.uk

SearchMetrics Traffic Index by keyword type for Amplifon.co.uk

SEMRush Organic Traffic Graph for Amplifon.co.uk

SEMRush Number of Ranking Keywords Graph for Amplifon.co.uk.*

*SEMRush expanded their tracked keyword set for UK in February 2016, but this jump in keywords does not relate to improved real-life traffic for the website.

Simply Business: The perennial content marketing case study

Let’s take a look at the second case study examining Simply Business, a large business insurance broker here in the UK. They’ve been included in almost every conference speech and blog post covering content marketing in the last year. So much so, in fact, that a search on Google for “Simply Business” + “link building” returns 168,000 results.

Released in February 2014, their viral content success came in the shape of Hungry Tech Giants, an interactive guide on how the “big five” tech giants have acquired smaller companies over the past 15 years. According to Majestic, this piece obtained 588 links from 167 linking root domains.

Simply Business has also produced a very successful (in link acquisition terms) suite of business tech guides. Out of a grand total of 20 guides, the two stand-out performers were WordPress for Small Businesses — released in August 2012, which attracted 1,897 links from 169 linking root domains — and The Small Business Guide to Google Analytics, published in January 2013 and which garnered 3,463 links from 243 sites.

That’s a lot of links!

SearchMetrics Organic Visibility Graph for SimplyBusiness.co.uk

SearchMetrics hasn’t picked up any spikes in boosts in Simply Business’ visibility within a reasonable timeframe after the launch of these three pieces.

SEMRush Organic Traffic Graph for SimplyBusiness.co.uk

SEMRush Number of Ranking Keywords Graph for SimplyBusiness.co.uk.*

SEMRush has observed a rankings increase of 10% to 15% around January 2013, but no associated change to the organic traffic. Other than that, no clear signs of growth are coming from the content marketing successes.

There haven’t been any new guides added to Simply Business’ guides section since August 2015.

Concert Hotels: But what if you “make it” really big, thrice?

Our final case study is Concert Hotels, a hotel booking website. Back in November 2013 they released the first of their mega-successful content pieces: 100 Years of Rock. This piece brought in a hugely impressive 8,358 links from 521 linking root domains (Majestic).

In May 2014 they released the second big hitter: Vocal Ranges of the World’s Greatest Singers. According to Majestic, this piece managed to procure 2,839 backlinks from a whopping 590 linking root domains. Not bad going!

The company followed this up with a piece called Got Rhythm in June 2015. Although not as successful as its predecessors, it still managed to accumulate 899 backlinks from 236 linking root domains (source: Majestic). Still not half bad.

So in total that’s over 12,096 backlinks from over 1,347 linking root domains. And the impact on organic search traffic?

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

SearchMetrics Organic Visibility Graph for ConcertHotels.com

SEMRush Organic Traffic Graph for ConcertHotels.com

SEMRush Number of Ranking Keywords Graph for ConcertHotels.com.*

JustPark: 5 million visits aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Disclaimer: I was in charge of JustPark’s digital marketing when we kicked off our content marketing effects, and hopefully I can give you some insider insight on what we saw (or, more accurately, didn’t see) on the back of our activities.

Back in spring 2015 we identified domain authority as a clear SEO priority for JustPark, the UK’s largest parking marketplace. Domain-level linking root domains of the top competitors were 3 to 6 times higher than ours and correlated very well with their organic visibility.

Seeing the big authority building challenge ahead of us and knowing that we don’t want to engage in any risky, shady activities, we decided to invest in content marketing-led link building. Deep inside we all harbored the hope of striking content marketing gold and having one of our pieces going viral.

We selected Distilled as our partner for producing 5 “big content” pieces, and alongside this we also planned out multiple smaller interactive projects to be developed in-house.

After releasing 5 content marketing projects with average success over September and October, we kicked off on the piece that was going beat all of our expectations: Emergency Stop Game.


After a quiet launch and a few small spikes of traffic, we decided to seed the content on Reddit in early November. All of a sudden its popularity started snowballing, with traffic (and referrals!) going up by the hour. Coverage started coming in from top-tier news publications around the world, and when the piece appeared on IFLScience (and took our servers down) we knew we were on to a big one.

By the time all of this madness had died down, the piece had accumulated 400k+ Facebook shares and 5 million+ visits. But what was all that worth?

SEO impact

As domain authority was our overall goal, we watched the build-up of linking root domains — many of them of very high quality — with great excitement. In total, Emergency Stop Game attracted links from more than 600 sites (by now 1,141 links from 389 linking root domains are left in Majestic’s fresh index), which doubled the total link profile of the whole JustPark website. Suffice to say, we expected to see a big change in our SEO performance.

The big surprise came when, week after week, we were looking at the SEO traffic to the core product side of the website (excluding the viral piece itself) and there was no boost to be seen.

SearchMetrics Organic Visibility Graph for JustPark.com

SEMRush Organic Traffic Graph for JustPark.com

SEMRush Number of Ranking Keywords Graph for JustPark.com.*

Here are the graphs from SEMRush and SearchMetrics. They do report improvements in Traffic and Visibility that dissipate over time, but the improvements that they’ve picked up likely have more to do with the gained visibility in (surprisingly popular) “reaction time testing” searches, rather than money-making keywords that drive traffic to the core website.


It’s easy to see how an underwhelming boost to the SEO bottom line by otherwise successful marketing projects might be kept under wraps. Nobody wants to be the one to rain on the parade, especially when those projects have earned visibility and kudos from the community at large. I invite anyone with contradicting (or reaffirming) case studies to openly share their learnings and help inform our industry.

In the meantime, I will take the liberty of making some generalizations as to what these case studies might imply.

Large amounts of links to a single page (with the possible exclusion of the homepage) might not pass that much SEO value to the rest of the website, especially if:

  • …the single page is not particularly on-topic
  • …many of the links have appeared within a short period of time
  • …most of the links are from news websites, as opposed to sites focused on your product / service / industry
  • …many links are from international sources whilst the website is nationally focused
  • …the single page uses different page structure (headers, footer, menus, etc.) from the rest of the site
  • …the single page is not well-interlinked with the rest of the site

My main aim in writing this article was to spark a conversation and critical evaluation of the current industry-wide assumptions on content marketing. If you agree with the above, great. If you disagree — even better! Come forth with your observations and let’s see what learnings we can extract from them.

A special thanks to Ben Johnson — a former colleague and now a freelance SEO and PPC consultant — for his help with this article.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Moz Blog

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Google’s ban on payday & high-interest loan ads going into effect now

After a week’s delay, the ban on predatory lending ads for AdWords advertisers is beginning to roll out.

The post Google’s ban on payday & high-interest loan ads going into effect now appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

​Keyword Research in 2016: Going Beyond Guesswork

Posted by Dr-Pete

When we do keyword research, we tend to focus on discovery. We take a short list of keywords we think matter, brainstorm wildly, paste the resulting list into a dozen tools, paste the results back into Excel, and measure our success by how often our spreadsheet crashes. Then, we throw it all away when our tax attorney client tells us he only cares about ranking #1 for “taylor swift downloads,” because he heard that gets a lot of traffic.

Maybe I’m exaggerating. Keyword discovery is a critical process, but what we’re left with at the end is a long and often rambling list to prioritize, and typically we prioritize either by our own gut feelings or by the black box of AdWords global volume. What if there were a better way?

When we were building Keyword Explorer, we wanted to solve the deeper problem — how do we pick the best keywords to start with, given the complexity of Google SERPs and our competition in modern SEO? Which keywords really balance potential traffic with ROI?

Over the course of many months, we created four metrics:

  1. Keyword Difficulty (V2)
  2. Keyword Opportunity
  3. Importance (user-defined)
  4. Keyword Potential

Today, I want to explain the philosophy of these metrics, some of the math behind them, and how you can use these ideas to reinvent your approach to keyword research. Stepping outside of our product, I’m going to try and translate these metrics into questions that are relevant to anyone, regardless of which tools you use.

1. How difficult is the keyword to rank for?

All else being equal, we’d rather rank #1 on a keyword that gets a ton of traffic. In the real world, though, all else is rarely equal. High-volume keywords are often highly competitive, which translates directly into more ranking difficulty. More difficulty means more time and/or more money.

A few years ago, we developed a Keyword Difficulty metric based on our authority metrics (Domain Authority and Page Authority). Page Authority (PA) is a constantly evolving metric that is designed to correlate with a page’s ability to rank on Google, based in large part on the page’s link profile. Keyword Difficulty (V1) used Page Authority in the middle-top of SERPs (the median PA, more or less) for a given keyword to approximate how hard that keyword would be to rank on.

Our updated Keyword Difficulty (V2) score uses a more complex, click-through rate (CTR) weighted model of Page Authority across the first page of a SERP, reflecting more of the competitive landscape, and adapts to today’s irregular organic result counts. V2 also does a better job of filling in gaps when PA metrics are missing for one or more results. Finally, V2 scales scores to fill more of the 0–100 range and provide better granularity.

If you want to cheat and build your own proxy for Keyword Difficulty, I’m going to risk a few sales and let you in on a secret. Install the MozBar SEO toolbar (it’s free), run your Google search, and grab the PA from result #4:

Why #4? That’s a rough approximation of the median difficulty of the page, slightly adjusted for the prevalence of SERPs with less than 10 results. You can pull similar data (although in a couple more steps) from Open Site Explorer (also free). Again, it’s a rough approximation, and Keyword Difficulty V2 adds quite a bit, but it’s a start. You’ve got one more column in your spreadsheet.

2. How much organic opportunity is there?

The days of 10 blue links are gone, and today’s SERPs are a complicated mix of paid results, organic results, vertical results, and Knowledge Graph features. Traditional keyword research assumes a mythical page of nothing but blue links and 100% click-through potential.

Let’s look at a modern SERP, a result for the brand “Forever 21″ in Portland, Oregon:

While there are many potential opportunities on this page, the only traditional SEO opportunities that a company other than Forever 21 can realistically compete on are the three in green. The first position is naturally dominated by the brand, the two rows of site-links beneath it each occupy one row of organic results, there are two verticals (Twitter and News), a local pack, and the three results at the bottom are a pack of In-depth Articles and not subject to the same algorithm as core organic results. Plus, there’s a Knowledge Panel on the right that has the potential to draw away clicks.

From a traditional SEO standpoint, there is very little organic opportunity available on this page. Our Keyword Opportunity metric attempts to measure this phenomenon. It starts with the assumption of 100% CTR (that’s idealized, of course, but it makes the scale go from 0–100), and then begins subtracting clicks based on non-organic features, including ads. Ads and Knowledge Graph features take away clicks and re-shift the CTR curve. Verticals occupy an organic position and remove the CTR of that position, etc. If the #1 position has site-links, we assume that position has “dominant intent” (to use Google’s vernacular) and probably isn’t in play.

The Keyword Opportunity model gets complicated and it necessarily makes many assumptions, but the goal is to subtract out all of the non-organic elements and try to figure out what’s left. We hope to enhance and evolve this model as time goes by and we gather more data about how features impact CTR.

You don’t have to use Keyword Explorer or build your own, equally complicated model, but I think it’s very important to look at SERPs in a browser as a real searcher and understand the available opportunity. Even if you do keyword research by hand, give that opportunity a score (1–5 is a good start). Some of the most attractive, highest-volume keywords also have the least available opportunity.

3. How important is the keyword to you?

We’ve all got stories about clueless clients, but their experience does matter and some keywords have more business relevance than others. The trick is not to let it become too subjective. Put a number against it. Make your client, boss, or team prioritize. Everything can’t be a 10, so create a column and force them to pick a value. Quantify your intuition and put it to work.

In Keyword Explorer, we wanted to allow customers to adjust keywords up and down to reflect insights and intuitions our models may not have. Importance is essentially a multiplier, and it ranges from 1–10. We default Importance to a value of 3. That may seem like an unusual choice, but it allows you to easily shift a keyword by roughly a factor of 3 in either direction (1 = 1/3X, 9 = 3X). It also gives you a bit more granularity for upward adjustments than downward. Our assumption is that most people will tend to focus importance adjustments on critical keywords that are essential to their business.

4. Which keywords have the most potential?

So now you’ve got a mountain of data, which is great in theory but a bit overwhelming for many of us in reality. We thought it was important that people have the raw metrics — many of you are advanced SEOs and want to slice-and-dice the data into your own models. However, we also thought it was important to provide guidance and help make sense of it all. Perhaps the toughest question at the end of the keyword research process is “Where do I start?”

Counting keyword Volume, we have the following metrics (or variables):

  • Volume (V)
  • Keyword Difficulty (KD)
  • Keyword Opportunity (KO)
  • Importance (I)

Keyword Potential (KP) combines all of these metrics, creating a weighted score (also 0–100). Volume is a real number that carries meaning by itself. You can think of both Keyword Difficulty and Keyword Opportunity as multipliers. Higher Difficulty reduces Potential, while higher Opportunity increases Potential. Likewise, Importance is a direct multiplier. Our formula for Keyword Potential looks something like this:

KP = sqrt(V) * (1 – KD / 100) * (KO / 100) * I

We use the square root of Volume so that high-volume keywords don’t automatically overwhelm all of the other metrics, but very high-volume keywords still naturally carry a lot of potential. The resulting value is re-scaled in Keyword Explorer to a 0–100 score, but that math gets a bit tricky and is somewhat unique to our own internal metrics and the ranges of data we historically encounter.

Even if you do keyword research by hand or in a semi-automated fashion, there are many ways to adapt this basic concept and create a useful meta-metric. Obviously, one metric can never convey all of the complexity of rich data, but it’s important to remember that this is not an either/or situation. You can use a meta-metric for sorting and prioritization, while still keeping all of its original components for deeper insights.

Richer metrics for a richer world

No metrics are perfect, but the Google landscape is richer and more complex than ever, and it’s important that our metrics and tactics evolve as SERPs evolve. Whether or not you use Keyword Explorer, keyword research is still a fundamental building block of a strong SEO campaign, and that research has to reflect modern SEO realities. Understanding the interplay of volume, difficulty, opportunity, and your own intuition of importance is an important next step, and those concepts extend far beyond any single product. If you end up adapting any of these ideas, I’d love to hear about it. Extra credit for Excel spreadsheets, especially ones that crash my computer.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Moz Blog

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off