Google Local Panel Tests Questions & Answers Box

Sergey Alakov spotted yet another test, this one is where Google is testing showing a questions and answers box in the local panel.

So you can ask a question in the local panel and hopefully get an answer. It is unclear what happens after you ask a question. If it goes to the business to answer or lists it as an open question to be answered by any searcher. Sergey said “I was not able to go past the question box, as it prompted me to log in first, and after I logged in the box wasn’t there for me.”

Here is a screen shot:

I am personally not able to replicate this myself but if you can and you can submit a question, please share screen shots of what they look like.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google: Logos In People Also Search For Feature

Google has been messing around lately with the people also search for feature in the search results. Here is a new one, I believe, first spotted by Tauqeer Aziz on Twitter of Google displaying logos in the people also search for box.

Here is a screen shot I was able to generate on mobile:

Here is Tauqeer’s screen capture:

Google has tested tons of variations around this feature, from most recently rounded corners to dynamic loading, to a carousel slider, in the news, back button variation, fade away actions and more.

Here is more one variation to add to the bucket.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 24, 2017

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Source: SEroundTable

Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet board

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is joining the Alphabet board of directors, effective last week. Pichai has been at Google since 2004 and CEO since 2015, when the formation of Alphabet was announced.

In addition to Pichai, the Alphabet board includes:

  • Larry Page
  • Sergey Brin
  • Eric E. Schmidt
  • L. John Doerr
  • Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.
  • Diane B. Greene
  • John L. Hennessy
  • Ann Mather
  • Alan R. Mulally
  • Paul S. Otellini
  • K. Ram Shriram
  • Shirley M. Tilghman

Since the time that Pichai was appointed CEO, Google’s stock has increased in value from roughly $650 to $995. Google remains the most important business unit in the Alphabet portfolio and delivers the vast majority of its revenue.

Later this afternoon Google will report quarterly earnings.

The post Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet board appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Got amazing content but no leads? 5 ways to rethink your paid strategy

In the digital marketing world, there is an overabundance of content about content marketing. If you’re marketing a business, the promise of consistent, top-of-funnel organic traffic growth from content marketing is extremely promising!

So you digest content about creating content, open your blog subdomain and check the proverbial check boxes for SEO optimization, keyword targeting, and a strategic call-to-action to generate leads. Maybe you even outsource the design to take it to the next level.

What happens when you press publish? It’s like a ceremonial ribbon-cutting: People might show up, but they’re really just friends of the person holding the big scissors or passive onlookers who were walking by when they saw someone with large scissors.

That’s what creating good content can feel like. You put in a bunch of upfront work that feels worthy of a great launch party, only to realize you didn’t invest nearly enough in the next step: distribution.

More often, the next step turns into complaining that “content marketing is nothing but a buzzword!”

Let’s face it: Content marketing isn’t easy.

Every minute, 400 hours of content are published to YouTube. In the first half of 2017, content creators published an average of 2.7 million WordPress posts per day. It’s impossible for content consumers — i.e. your target audience — to sift through the noise and find you without a highly targeted paid distribution strategy.

Since you’re here and have read the headline, I’m assuming you’ve already invested lots of time and energy in producing great content — a blog, an e-book, an independent case study, a high-converting webinar — but aren’t seeing the returns you need to justify content creation. Today, we’re going to cover a few paid strategies that will help you out.

But first, you need to ask yourself….

Is your content actually great?

Content goes beyond the typical blog post. Ebooks, downloadable templates, case studies, demos, guides, white papers, and podcasts all serve their own purpose. The more valuable, trustworthy, and important these resources are for your audience, the more likely they are to convert.

Great content is timely, consistent, experience-focused, and relevant to a specific audience (hat tip to Robert Rose). Start off by taking a moment to ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you documented your content strategy and performed adequate keyword research?
  • Are you creating highly visual and engaging content?
  • If you have a catalog of video content, have you tried creating YouTube ads to drive more traffic?
  • Are you providing enough value in your downloadable content, trials, courses, and ebooks to capture qualified email leads?

If you’ve checked all these boxes, great! Now take out the guesswork and use data to validate your hypothesis. You can A/B test by sending traffic to different pieces of content and looking at conversions to see which content is great and which isn’t.

Use paid media to enhance organic performance

Your content strategy shouldn’t be 100% paid and 0% organic, or vice versa. These two work hand-in-hand. Think Harlem Heat. Think Batman and Alfred Pennyworth. Think Sam and Frodo.

Effective paid strategies are the yin to the yang of organic strategies. Engaging with your audience, doing plenty of email outreach, and building partnerships are all best practices that cannot be ignored, but let’s talk about paid strategies that can scale.

Strategy 1: Double listing

Playing the long-tail SEO game is particularly powerful when you can double the amount of owned real estate on a search term. If your piece of content ranks highly already, create an ad for the same term so that you dominate the search engine results page (SERP).

Remember, search volume and audience size are not as valuable as targeting highly qualified leads. If you know a keyword converts well for you in organic search, target it with paid, even if the search volume is low.

The more focused your content, the better able you’ll be to alleviate your audience’s pain point(s) and convert them into customers.

Strategy 2: Build an audience with Gmail Ads

Gmail boasts over 1 billion active monthly users.

With that stat in mind, it makes sense to take full advantage of their advertising opportunities — especially considering it only takes a few minutes to set up a Gmail ad.

One way you can build a highly qualified audience on Gmail is by providing free and valuable content to people receiving emails from your competitors. They’ve already gone out of their way to find content similar to yours, so snatch them right up and show them how you can do things better.

There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Go broad and target keywords that are associated with your competitor. Gmail will target anyone using those keywords within the body of an email, so anyone who is talking about or sharing your brand. (Note that this method will no longer be available by the end of the year.)
  2. Get granular by simply adding the URL domains of your competitors. A note of caution: If you add keywords on top of domains, AdWords will treat your targeted domain as a keyword.

Strategy 3: Remarket through custom messaging

Remarketing provides a second chance to reach interested users, which can turn bounces into leads. According to paid search expert Larry Kim, a user is about 15% more likely to engage with a remarketing ad than they would a new display ad, even if they’ve seen the same ad 6 times before.

When remarketing, use different pieces of content based on the stage they are at in the funnel.

For example, if a user bounces on the landing page, send them a remarketing ad with different messaging and a different value proposition.

If a user hits the sign up page but doesn’t fill out the form, use a remarketing ad to remind them to fill out the form because they will get XYZ benefits from your service.

If a user gets to the final confirmation of a form but does not convert again, offer them a discount through remarketing.

What is your best strategy?

The same rules apply to any paid ad campaign. Look beyond your vanity metrics, review your copy, rewrite your callouts, improve your extensions, and experiment with expanded text ads.

Feel free to reach out with any and all questions or success stories @ToddSaunders — I read all my tweets!

The post Got amazing content but no leads? 5 ways to rethink your paid strategy appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Here’s what performance advertisers are saying about Quora’s new ad platform

When question-and-answer network Quora announced earlier this year that its ad platform was coming out of beta, some 300 advertisers were already on the platform.

We spoke with several of Quora’s current advertisers about what drew them to the ad platform, their experiences with getting started and what kind of results they are seeing so far.

What stood out is how consistent the feedback was from both B2B and B2C advertisers across a variety of industries. Here’s what they shared.

Quora’s initial attraction

Over and over, advertisers told us Quora was an easy bet to make. “We’re always looking for new avenues to reach people and lower CPC sources” than Facebook and Google, said Sid Bharath, VP of growth for custom online course platform Thinkific, by phone.

Thinkific, like most others we spoke with, already sees good traffic volume and performance from organic traffic on Quora. “We were excited to join the beta because Quora organic is our highest quality traffic source,” said Patrick Holmes, paid marketing manager for landing page testing solution Instapage. The company started running ads on Quora in late January.

“We also liked the curious and inquisitive nature of users on Quora and thought they might align well” with the product, said Shane Smith, senior director of digital marketing at Home Chef, a weekly meal delivery service, via email.

That sentiment was echoed by Kristina Simonsen, senior marketing manager at sustainable jewelry company Brilliant Earth, who says their own customers “are doing lots of research and asking important questions about where their products come from.”

For more, including how Quora stacks up to other channels, check out the full article on Marketing Land.

The post Here’s what performance advertisers are saying about Quora’s new ad platform appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Is The SEO Industry Doomed With So Many Departures Recently?

In the past couple months or so, we had some significant departures of key personalities from the SEO industry. First with Danny Sullivan retiring, then with the news around Rand Fishkin leaving Moz and then Matt McGee leaving Search Engine Land. Before that, we had Maile Ohye leave Google, Matt Cutts officially leave Google, Amit Singhal leave Google and many others. We also had some big departures on the paid search side with Larry Kim leaving his company, WordStream.

Of course, this month, I received dozens of questions from around the industry asking me if I am leaving also. While there are some out there that would love to see me leave, I told them, I have no plans on going anywhere. In fact, I joked that I am going down with the ship.

I personally think there is a lot more in the SEO industry to give. I think it is still growing and even more confusion than ever. My goal is to help there as much as I can. I love the industry, I love the way it constantly evolves and how fast it moves. I don’t think this means we will have less thought leadership, I think more and more people will stand up and act as thought leaders in there place.

Rand said:

We have some seriously smart people in the industry still, some who have been here since day one. I do not want to start naming people, because then I am sure I will be missing out of names that should have been included. But we all know how many SEO personalities are still around, and they are in the hundreds. So we are safe – for now. 🙂

As long as people are searching for answers, there will be search engines. And as long as there are search engines – there will be an industry for SEOs. How people search may change but SEOs will adapt.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Adds A Search Box To Dictionary Results & Past Searches

Last week Google added a search box to the dictionary search results answer at the top of the page. The user interface for dictionary results seem similar to the one that launched in 2013 with the core exception of Google added a box in the dictionary answer for you to type another phrase you want defined.

Here is the new dictionary result, notice the search box:

click for full size

Another neat thing is if you search for [dictionary], Google will show you the past terms you searched for that brought up the Google Dictionary:

click for full size

You can use the carousel to go through the past number of search terms that brought up that dictionary.

Here is what it looked like 4 years ago:

click for full size

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Webmaster Lost Everything Over Google Ranking Spammy Content?

I just read a really sad message in the ongoing WebmasterWorld thread from a webmaster nicknamed browndog. This user shared that she has lost everything over Google ranking spammy, low quality content, above her own content. She said she had to tell her family that they lost their home and they face bankruptcy because her 15 year old site is not ranking as it should.

Here is the message from this webmaster:

I sit here right now having just told my child we are going to lose our house and we need to find homes for our pets.

I fought so hard to keep going, it’s a good site, the content is great, but now 120 word articles outrank mine.

My husband is yelling at me, my daughter has just run into her bedroom.

This is how it is. My site is 15 years old, I always put the user first, and we are now facing bankruptcy. My whole family hates me for the failure of my site.

We’ve lost it all sad

Horrible and so sad to hear.

We’ve seen situations where webmasters almost commit suicide when it gets really bad. We’ve seen advertisers threaten it as well. We’ve also seen cases of black hats lose everything to only thank Google later.

In this case, we do not know the user’s domain name – which just know the situation this webmaster is feeling she is in.

One fellow webmaster replied “so sorry to hear that. It may sound trite, but sometimes it is the darkest right before dawn.”

Stay strong and get better from this, you can come back!

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Source: SEroundTable