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It seems like the digital marketing community started to rave about “dwell time”. There is a lot of controversy on forums, blogs and social media of whether it is or not one of the search engines’ ranking signals. Should you care about it? We have to admit that nowadays it is becoming increasingly important to understand your users. This is what makes Search Engine Optimization so interesting. You have to adapt, you have to continually change. But “dwell time” seems to cause a bit of confusion even amongst SEO specialists. There seem to be divided opinions about whether it is, indeed, important for ranking. Some say it is critical and it shouldn’t be overlooked, but not everybody shares this belief. If it is a ranking factor, it means that everybody should rush to optimize it for getting the most out of it. Let’s see what it really is and what the search engines’ representatives have to say about it as well.
There is a lot of turbulence around the exact dwell time meaning. What we tried to do is bring some light into the subject and clarify once and for all everything you need to know about the dwell time data and its impact on your business.
- What is Dwell Time?
- Can You Measure Dwell Time in Google Analytics ?
- Is Dwell Time a Google Ranking Factor?
- Is Dwell Time a Bing Ranking Factor?
- Is Dwell Time a Yahoo Ranking Factor?
- Should You Measure Dwell Time?
- Steps to Improve Dwell Time
What Is Dwell Time?
Putting it simply, dwell time is the amount of time that elapses between a user clicks on a search result and returns back to the SERPs.
More generally talking, dwell time is the time spent in the same position, area, or stage of a process. However, if we are looking for a dwell time definition in the English dictionary, we are immediately redirected to the marketing industry.
What we are interested in is trying to define dwell time in the context of the digital marketing niche. Therefore, what is dwell time in the context of SEO?
Dwell time is a user-based metric that combines the user’s engagement, session duration, and SERP click through rate.
Although we might tend to say that dwell time is similar with session duration, bounce rate or pogo sticking, it seems that dwell time is slightly different. Is more of an amalgam of bounce rate and time-on-site metrics as Dr. Peter J. Meyers claims . As dwell time is a data point that is not publicly available (but might still affecting a site’s rankings), we can only speculate around the concept or on its impact on the rankings. However, what we do know for sure is that dwell time does impact one’s website.
A simple search on Google about dwell time might lead you to some sophisticated concepts, such as dwell time radar, dwell time ignition or dwell time mass spectrometry. However, even if, due to the complexity of the concept we cannot offer you the exact definition of dwell time, what you need to know is that dwell time combines but is not equal to time on your site, session duration, SERP, CTR, bounce rate, exit click.
Can You Measure Dwell Time in Google Analytics ?
Dwell time has stirred the waters among the SEO community and has been in the headlines of industry news and lots of blog posts. As it is still a concept which much confusion around it, we cannot say for sure what the ideal dwell time is. No big data research has been written on this matter yet, not even a beginner’s guide that would tell you what the average dwell time that would influence one site’s rankings is. On the Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools) there is no specific data available for dwell time (yet).
What we can do is to track the user’s engagement with Google Analytics.
In order to fully understand the concept, you first have to know that the user experience which starts from clicking on one link on SERP might involve more than a single page. This is especially true for online stores, for example. A customer usually goes from a landing page to other inner pages before making a decision or returning to SERP. There are a few concepts that we have to comprehend first, such as Time on Page, Exit Rate, and Bounce Rate. According to Google, to understand the difference between Exit Rate and Bounce Rate for a particular page, keep the following points in mind:
- For all pageviews to the page, Exit Rate is the percentage that were the last in the session.
- For all sessions that start with the page, Bounce Rate is the percentage that were the only one of the session.
- Bounce Rate for a page is based only on sessions that start with that page.
As mentioned before, dwell time is not the same as time on site or bounce rate, as link building is not the same with link earning. However measuring these metrics in Analytics can give you an idea of your users’ engagement.
Time on Site
The Time on page or session duration is the average amount of time all visitors spend on a particular page. It essentially shows you whether visitors actually spend time reading and/or interacting with your content. As Neil Patel mentioned, dwell time is a metric that calculates user engagement, time on page, and Click-through rate (CTR) on the search engine results page (SERP). Therefore, being aware of the sessions’ duration on your site might be of a big help.
Another source of confusion is “bounce rate”, which is a different number, too. Dwell time could combine these two — time duration and bounce rate. Other people consider pogo sticking to be the same with dwell time. Let’s put it like this: according to Internet Marketing Ninjas, a bounce can be good or bad. If a visitor clicks on a search result and then quickly returns to Google, that’s a very bad bounce. That’s what we call pogo-sticking. Others consider that CTR does not influence it and we can impact “Dwell Time” only by increasing “Page on Time” and decreasing “Exit Rate”. Long story short, knowing your bounce rates can only help you in your quest of figuring out more about dwell time.
Is Dwell Time a Google Ranking Factor?
What is mandatory to know out of all this is that Google wants searchers to be satisfied with the first search result they click on (ideally, the No. 1 result). The best search experience is one that immediately lands the searcher on a page that has all the information they are looking for, so that they don’t hit the back button to return to the SERP and look for other alternatives. During a live stream Q and A on the 23rd of March 2016, Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, revealed that the No. 1 and 2 Ranking factors were links and content. But let’s take a look back at what Matt Cutts said when he was working for Google:
As we get better at understanding who wrote something and what the real meaning of that content is, inevitably over time, there will be little less emphasis on links.
That is right. It seems that as Google’s search engine will comprehend the natural language better, links will play a less and less important role.
But what is the future of SEO, if it is not links? It will be the users’ engagement.
And how can we measure user experience? By measuring dwell time, of course. We are not saying that links are not of paramount importance. They trully are. Yet, without any doubt, user experience plays a major role amongst Google’s ranking factors, as their represantives mentioned themselves.
To better understand if Google takes into consideration dwell time or not when ranking factors, let’s take an example detailed by Brian Dean, regarding an article from his blog . The article was meant to rank as good as possible for the keyword “high quality backlinks.” And it did, straight to Google’s first position. Nothing weird so far.
However, the mentioned article ranked not only for “high quality backlinks” but also for the keyword “how to get high.” As interesting and as comic the situation was, we believe that the author didn’t intend to compete for this keyword; yet, there it was ranking amongst strange recommendation of getting high, with or without drugs.
What happened next? Is that page still ranking for the keyword “how to get high”? The answer is no, and the key in this question might be dwell time. As you can see in the screenshot below the average session duration for the article, we are talking about is very low compared to other similar pages. And why is that? Because we are pretty sure that people searching for methods to get high were not that interested in quality backlinks. This led to a high bounce rate and a very low time spent on the page. What did Google do? It dramatically de-ranked this page for the “high to get high” keyword. Did dwell time had something to do here? We believe that yes.
When asked if it is true that Google considers the pogo stick effect as well as CTR when ranking results, Gary Illyes, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst said:
Clicks in general are a very noisy signal. I worked on trying to make observations from click data. It’s like a Gordian knot. Because there are tons of people who are scraping the results and trying to fetch ranking data, and for whatever reason, they also decide to click on things automatically. Links. It’s just a huge mess. When we have controlled experiments, then obviously we have to look at click data. Before we launch a ranking change, typically what we do is to isolate 1% of the users and give them modified search results, modified by the new ranking algorithm or a piece of the algorithm and see how they like the new results. And in these instances, we do look for long clicks, short clicks, and so on. But in general, as I said, it’s a huge mess. When it comes to personalisation, we like to use click data because it’s clearer.
Because we wanted to find out more about dwell time, we had to take a look at some of Google’s patents. We easily discovered that there is some effort put into using the duration of user visits as a ranking factor. Some patents are about ranking certain pages for certain search queries and also patents that take into account the click length when the engine determines a domain score. This means that dwell time is capable of influencing the ranking of a website or of specific pages as well. There is a patent that we have found particularly interesting, Scoring site quality, that describes the process of obtaining duration of user visits and we can presume that it refers to the dwell time.
A measurement of the duration of time that elapsed between the time that the user clicked on the search result and the time that the user navigated back to the search results web page.
Is Dwell Time a Bing Ranking Factor?
Duane Forrester, who was a Senior Project Manager for Bing, is responsible for first mentioning “Dwell time” in a 2011 post on the Bing webmaster blog:
[Dwell time is] the time between when a user clicks on our search result and when they come back from your website tells a potential story. […] A minute or two is good as it can easily indicate the visitor consumed your content. Less than a couple of seconds can be viewed as a poor result.
Building quality content is more important than only building content. He further adds that there are two main measures for good content: first is the user and second is the search engines themselves. The users have to feel the content made by you as being of high quality. You have to make sure that they engage with the content and be certain that you are not missing telltale signs of the quality being not quite what you think. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, quality is in the eye of the visitor. If your visitors are staying on your website for only a few seconds and you have short page dwell time, it can indicate the content fails to capture their interest.
Regarding the search engines, the crawlers will, in most cases, consume all the content they can find. The engines can be used to give hints to the quality of your content.
Have you done everything you can to get pages indexed and still the engines won’t take them?
That’s an indication the quality of the pages may be low, as Duane Forrester adds. You can have a page where everything looks great and offers all kinds of interactivity, but the content itself isn’t good enough. Think of highly dynamic websites that use content from other sources, such as online stores that use common product descriptions. The lack of unique content signals low quality. When you are designing your website or posting content think of it like this:
Your goal should be that when a visitor lands on your page, the content answers all of their needs, encouraging their next action to remain with you. If your content does not encourage them to remain with you, they will leave.
Is Dwell Time a Yahoo Ranking Factor?
This is a really good question. It seems like Yahoo believes as well that clicks can be a flawed metric for user engagement and interest. There is actually a full research made by Yahoo scientists about dwell time and it can be accessed here. They seem to believe that this is a better indicator of what people enjoy online. According to Marketing Land, the clicks on a page don’t mean as much as the time spent there. This is because people can be tricked by click-bait headlines or because they can randomly click to a page before immediately taking off. The research that Yahoo made claimed that dwell time is “a proxy to user satisfaction for recommended content, and complements or even replaces click-based signals.”
More discoveries that Yahoo scientists Xing Yi, Liangjie Hong, Erheng Zhong, Nathan Nan Liu and Suju Rajan made include:
- Users have less dwell time per article on mobile or tablet devices than on desktops.
- Users spend less time on slideshows than on articles.
- Users dwell more on longer articles, up to 1,000 words. Beyond that limit, there is very little correlation to article length.
- Users dwell the most on articles in the topics of politics or science and the least on articles on food or entertainment.
Even more, when the experts tailored Yahoo recommendation algorithms to optimize for dwell time rather than clicks, they saw improvements in performance, for dwell time and CTR as well. The research made by the Personalization Science team at Yahoo Labs demonstrates that content recommendation models perform better when using dwell based metrics. Whether these metrics, in turn, drive long-term user engagement such as the number of days a user returns to our site, is another interesting research question.
One plausible reason is that when optimizing towards dwell-based signals rather than high CTR, users may like the content recommended better, come back to the site and click some more.
Should You Measure Dwell Time ?
The distance between a click and an exit; the length of time people spend on a website; a bounce rate surrogate, entrance click. Call it as you want, the question remains: should you measure dwell time even if you don’t have a direct statistic to help you do this? We don’t want to say a straight yes or no, yet, we are going to give you some reasons why dwell time should be a part of your website audit.
1. Possibly Replace Bounce Rate
Yes, there is the possibility for dwell time to replace the actual bounce rate. We are not the only ones who believe this. It all comes down to the fact that bounce rate does not offer a true insight of your visitor’s experience on your website. Visitors can bounce for a lot of different reasons and it is hard to tell whether they had a good or a bad experience from this metric alone. Google Analytics does not make any difference between a good and a bad bounce. According to Blue Corona, a bad bounce happens when a user lands on your page and suddenly decides that it was not what they were looking for and returns to the search engine results page. A good bounce happens when a user reaches your page, decides to stay a while to consume your content, finds what they were looking for, and then leaves.
2. Good Indicator of Relevance and User Intent
The dwell time metric is really good because it allows you to better understand the relevance of your content and your users’ intent, as well. It can give you insight and tell you if your visitors perceive your website’s content as being high-quality or not. Let’s see a clearer picture by looking at a few examples that Joshua Hardwick from Ahrefs gives and see what we can get out of them:
- 2 second “dwell time”: The user probably didn’t find what they wanted/expected from your site (more on this later) and went back to the SERPs pretty sharpish looking for better content.
- 2 minute “dwell time”: The user found your content pretty useful and stuck around a couple of minutes to read it.
- 15 minute “dwell time”: The user found your content super-useful and was heavily invested in what you had to say.
3. It Doesn’t Work Well for Simple Question Queries
As Ahrefs also claim, dwell time might not work that well for simple question queries. Let’s say we’ve seen all the NBC’s Hannibal seasons and we want to look for the release date of the next season. We take a simple search query like “when will Hannibal season 4 air?” and see what Google search result we get.
Unlike the lucky Game of Thrones fans, this will not bring up a knowledge graph result. This forces us to go through multiple results in order to find an answer. If we click on the first result, we might read the first sentence and find out what we were looking for. Thanks to this we might already want to return to the SERP page in an instant and this fact might lead to a low dwell time. This will have nothing to do with a bad user experience because we already found out what we were looking for. Even though, in this case, dwell time was pretty low and that can become a problem, we definitely found out what we wanted from the first link on SERP. Eric Enge, Founder of Stone Temple Consulting, says that:
There are many scenarios where SHORTER dwell time is an indication of quality. For example, anytime someone is looking for a quick piece of reference information, such as a zip code or phone number for a business. For informational searches like these, you want to design your pages so users find what they want pretty much immediately.
4. It Doesn’t Work Well When You’re Searching for a Specific Page
Ahrefs mention as well that dwell time might not work fine when searching for a specific page. Let’s say that I have read a really nice interview with the late Gary Moore a few months ago and I now want to find it again. I look for it and I do not seem to remember which one it was and I do not find the right page on the first try because I can’t recall whether it was a video or a written interview.
I click the first result and I start to recall that it was, in fact, a written interview and I go through a couple more pages. After a few minutes, I reach the page I was looking for. What happens? Well, the first few pages get a really low dwell time and this could have a bad effect on the pages that I went through. The first results might have been of excellent quality, but they were not what I wanted. Maybe other users simply want to listen or read a Gary Moore interview and their rankings might be affected in vain.
Steps to Improve Dwell Time
We believe that it is good to be proactive and make sure that your website has a good dwell time, whether the metric is already used by search engines or not. The next steps that we will mention help your site have a good session duration, a small bounce rate, and a better dwell time. That will help you be up to date and have your website good enough for this metric. A nice dwell time can indicate highly interested users. Because of this, you might also have more returning visitors.
1. Add High-Quality Content
Content creation is very important, as you already know. The key here is to always add high-quality content on your website. This will improve dwell time by keeping your visitors engaged. There will be nobody going through your links if everything is garbage. As Wordstream also mentions, you want your content to be:
- useful, actionable and even educational.
- entertaining, whether it is something hilarious, unusual or surprising
- accessible, well-designed and not too hard to comprehend.
Google also has quality guidelines and they can be accessed here. Some basic principles that the big G wants you to keep in mind are:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
If you are in doubt whether to use long or short form content or want to know more about content amplification techniques, we’ve talked about it before. All that will surely help you to create amazing content and further boost your ranks and also to increase dwell time by making visitors spend more time on your pages and reducing bounce rate.
2. Target the Right Keywords
As both Ahrefs and Search Engine Land have ranted about, you must use the right keywords for the right topics. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to understand your target and put the right keywords in title tags, meta descriptions and so on. This will help you, because it will add to the chances of visitors getting to the content that they were looking for. If you have targeted the right keywords, you might get a good dwell time.
Kissmetrics consider that effective keyword research is a critical skill for any digital marketer out there. Keyword research can also be used to discover new topics to write about and key phrases to help people find you easier. The point is that you must learn how to use keywords effectively. The basic things that you need to know for your keyword research is:
- Create a seed list of starting terms
- Expand your list using keyword research tools
- Refine your list with competitive research
3. Improve Page Load Time
Nowadays, it has become increasingly important to have really fast websites. More and more consumers start using their mobile phones for browsing and for purchases. That is why they expect the websites to be really fast. We recommend using a tool to make sure that you have a really good speed by using an online tool such as Pingdom.
If your website is taking more than 3 seconds to load, then you might be in danger.
Slow loading pages are usually abandoned by visitors. The patience that visitors have for the mobile websites is even shorter than the one they have for the desktop versions. A study made by Radware informs us that every one-second delay impacts bounce rate, conversion rate, cart size and page views. It seems like a one-second delay can make a difference.
4. Use Internal Linking
So, we’ve learned that dwell time might be a combination of the time between the moment a user reaches a page and returns to SERP.
By adding more actions that help to keep your visitors busy when they’ve consumed the content that you provide on one page, you will improve the session duration.
Both Ahrefs and Wordstream believe that internal linking will help you to create an easy to access structure and will guide your users through more of your pages. This can also increase the chances to add certain hooks or links to pages that people will further relate to. That, in turn, will create a better user experience and we should know that the final result is to have happy visitors. Internal linking is also fundamental for improving SEO. A well made internal linking strategy will help your site to rank better because it will help crawlers to better index your whole site.
5. Have a Good Website Design
Have you ever felt like you do not know what to do when you’ve reached a website? Have you ever felt overwhelmed because the website seemed to have too much information or the design felt crowded? You have to make sure that you have a good website design. This is mandatory because a simple layout will help your content feel easy to go through. If the critical elements are in the right places, your users will benefit just as much as you will.
Do not forget that your visitors can leave your website whenever they want. They can find other websites that maybe are easier to read or more attractive than yours.
As Neil Patel wrote in a Search Engine Journal article, one must use the right colors, fonts, large headlines, organized content, and plenty of white spaces. This will help by improving usability.
A good approach you can use in order to increase dwell time can be to introduce a pageless scrolling design, as Wordstream also mentions. Be careful if you choose to do this, because even if they can be of tremendous help regarding the user experience, they can hurt your SEO. This is why they have to be implemented really well. Crawlers are unable to replicate some user behavior like clicking or scrolling. You can still break your page into paginated sections. This will help crawlers to better index your content. Make sure that every section has a similar <title> tag, with rel=”next” and rel=”prev” values declared in the <head> tag.
6. Remove Some of Your Ads
From the beginning of 2017, Google started to penalize mobile sites that contain intrusive pop-up ads. Pages that have intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages that have instantly accessible content. It is even more than this. Let’s admit it, ads are sometimes annoying. This is why dwell time can benefit from removing some of them. Google does not want to direct people to more informative results. This is not enough. The key is in directing people to results that work better for them. As Bharati Ahuja, founder of WebPro Technologies India said:
Content is king but the user is the emperor.
Dwell time might already be on the top of your mind now, as a quality signal (or at least on some SEO word lists you check from time to time). It’s true that it might not be a concept that pops up on your social media weekly newsletter or among your local marketing strategy tips. You have the option to block all the data we offered you on this concept, or you have the possibility of having a closer look at the points debated above.
Whether dwell time is already a ranking signal or not, increasing the user’s engagement on your site can only be a good thing.
What Google wants is to provide the best experience for its users. This means that the engine must show the most effective results for every search. It is up to us to be proactive and make sure that we give our customers the attention and the content that they need. As Neil Patel claims on Search Engine Journal, dwell time is less of a science and more of an art.
Over on Facebook, I saw a post that shared a note that had been sent home to parents of kindergarten kids in the U.S.
The note referred to the reading program in place to learn district sight words. This is a program where kids can learn common words that they will then recognize instantly.
Words like and, of, is, to, and there, for example.
Our kids have a similar program here in Ontario, Canada, and it can help them learn new words and sentence structures.
However, what our kids don’t have is the kind of pressure attached to the note that went home to the parents.
As you can see, it’s a note from the teachers regarding the “results” of the test on how many sight words the kids had learned throughout the year.
Some things that stand out:
- There are 69 sight words. To get a “pass”, kids had to get at least 65 words right.
- For kids that got the minimum, they were “rewarded” with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.
- The kids that “failed” will stay back at school and work on their apparently inadequate results.
Errr… stop the fucking train. These are five-year-old kids!!!
That note? That reward? That admonishment? That’s bullshit through and through.
This “these kids are awesome and you aren’t” approach is everything that’s wrong with our education system today.
The Pressure of Failure
Imagine you’re a five-year-old kid. If you currently have one that age (our daughter is five), imagine him or her in this situation.
You work your butt off all year to learn new things. Words. Places. Sounds. The little part of the world that you inhabit.
All of this learning is meant to be fun. Help you learn new skills. All while making new friends and finding out for the first time there’s a big new world outside your home, or the daycare where you’ve spent the first years of your life.
Now. Imagine if, despite all of this, you’re told it wasn’t good enough. That you failed, no matter how hard you tried to learn.
Because every kid is different, and learns differently, and reacts to teaching differently.
But that doesn’t matter – you had 69 words to learn, with 65 being the standard to reach, and you didn’t hit that number and you only learned 64.
Doesn’t matter if you learned 64 or 46 (or 33, as in the picture of the note sent home to the parents of this kindergarten class).
Not only that, but your best friend in the class passed, because he or she learn a little bit faster than you do. It’s not that they’re necessarily smarter – they just take things in differently.
What lessons does that teach the five-year-old kid? Here’s a tip – it teaches them that your effort isn’t valued. That you trying, even when something is hard for you, isn’t valued.
And are we forgetting that the kid came to the class with no concept of sight words, so any number is an actual improvement?
Now they’ll feel there’s no reason to work hard, try hard – because if your best isn’t good enough based on some shitty metric of X out of Y, then what’s the point in even giving your all?
Our Kids Deserve Better
The conversation on Facebook around this note is all angry parents disgusted at the pressure being put on kids at such a young age – and they’re right.
This is meant to be a time of wonderment, of discovery, of learning about yourself, and how you see the world around you and your place in it.
It’s not meant to be a labour camp for scholarly excellence. It’s not meant to be about feeling useless, or inadequate, or a lesser person than your friends.
And we, as adults, need to do better too.
How many times have you seen a parent grab the face of their child to make them eat food they’ve already balked at?
Imagine if you, as a grown person, were suddenly gripped by someone twice your size, and your mouth held open, to force food down you? You’d be claiming for assault.
Or how many times have you seen a kid ask a question born of genuine inquisitiveness, and they’ve been closed down with a “Shut up, I’m talking”?
If you were in your workplace trying to make a point, and your colleague, or boss, or someone from your client team turned to you and said, “Shut up, your opinion isn’t wanted” – how would you feel?
And yet we do that, and more, to kids all the time, because that’s just what parents and kids do.
Except, it shouldn’t be. It can’t be – not if we want to push back on the kind of bullshit pressure seen in that kindergarten note.
Because every time we make our children feel worthless, or like failures, by our words and actions, we’re doing the exact same damage to them the kindergarten class approach to success is doing.
Our kids deserve better. Otherwise, we’re ruining lives before they even have a chance to begin. And that benefits no-one.
Our kids deserve better.
You might have done a lot of spring cleaning by now but it’s time to do the same with your website as well. Periodically you should find out how to correctly assess backlink quality for your website. You can have backlinks from numerous sources, and it’s only right to analyze them from time to time because some of them might not be as natural as they were a few years ago. If your domain age is old, you’ve inevitably gathered links that are not quite qualitative. As Matt Cutts, the former head of the web spam team at Google said, “link building is sweat and creativity” and you need to make it as naturally as possible. The process of assessing your backlinks needs to be fully planned, so you won’t risk missing their value and quality. And this is mandatory.
As you might not believe me yet, let me give you a real example. A few days ago, a friend of mine imported a list of links in cognitiveSEO tool to do a backlink checker. The sad part was that many of those links had no anchor text. That happened because most of his links were behind images without alt description or blank spaces. The big problem was that most of them were placed on old websites, pages with 404 error messages, websites that no longer exist and other bad examples. At a closer look, we could see how most of those links lowered the quality of its link profile. Because of those spammy looking links, his website was under a Google penalty risk. And nobody wants that for his own website. If that doesn’t make a person assess his backlink quality, I don’t know what else would.
How To Do a Backlink Quality Assessment?
By now, you might be asking yourself how to create quality backlinks for my website? The truth is that there is no easy way of doing this although some great tips for link building might come in handy. Yet, the purpose of this article is trying to give you some tips on how to do a backlink quality assessment. You might already know what is a backlink profile and some of you might be even using one of the best backlink checkers out there. But what we are going to extend in the next lines are some great tips on how to do a backlink quality assessment:
- Identify as Many Referring Domains as Possible Using Various Backlinks Data Sources
- Check Domain Authority for Your Linking Root Domains
- Verify If You Have Optimized Anchor Texts
- Analyze the Naturalness of the Linking Page Through an In-Depth Backlink Analysis
- Detect the Social Share Magnitude of Your Backlinks
When To Do a Backlink Quality Assessment?
There’s no right time to do a backlink quality assessment but rather a necessity. It’s not a one-time thing, it’s a long process, and it’s up to you how you plan it.
The important thing is that you have to check the quality of the links after a period of time you did some changes or in real time. If you have a small website, is it easier to manually review the SEO data, but if you have a bigger site, it is harder to verify it. That’s why we’re saving you some time by showing the next 5 tips on how to correctly assess the backlink quality for your website.
1. Identify as Many Referring Domains as Possible Using Various Backlinks Data Sources
Having a large site means having numerous backlinks (in theory, at least). Let’s be positive and say that happens in reality, also. Identifying as many linking roots domains is a must, a tip you can’t avoid. Earning a few links from different referring domains will boost your ranking in search results more than earning many links from the same domain. Not to mention, the higher the number of backlinks (from more linking root domains), the higher the chance to improve your rankings.
You can use various backlink tools to get a more comprehensive link audit. Combining different search engine optimization tools can be the best choice if you have had a site for a long time and it has received a large number of backlinks over the time.
If you’re faithful to a single SEO backlink checker tool, make sure it provides you all the data you need, and that you can import all the data you already have from other sources.
For example, if you use the cognitiveSEO tool, you can see your analysis for your entire profile or only a specific number of backlinks.
For a natural profile with qualitative backlinks make sure you have unique backlinks from each referring domain. Keep a clean profile by removing (and getting the most out of) referring domains that send you a status code 404 (Not Found) or domains that don’t have indexed pages. You can also use this technique to verify your external links so you won’t associate your site with bad domains. Especially, if you did link exchanges and other similar spammy tactics. It is also a good practice to detect negative SEO attacks or other black hat SEO techniques against your website.
If you look for a free tool, use Site Explorer. It is easy to use and it can offer a few results using the free subscription. Below you can see a screenshot with a list of backlinks from the tool:
You can click on each to analyze it individually and see if it’s a quality backlink and/or a quality website.
If your business is registered with Google Search Console (Google Webmaster), you can use it to do a backlink audit. The sad part is you can’t see all the spicy details and information that cognitiveSEO tool gives to you. Below you can see a screenshot from the Webmaster panel where you can find the links to your website.
Another tool for checking backlinks you could use is Bing Webmaster tool. You can see your backlinks through a longer procedure. Log into your account and go to the Reports and Data tab and then to the Inbound Links. Below you can see a screenshot from the tool:
Click on the number of links, and then a new window with the backlinks will pop-up.
2. Check Domain Authority for Your Linking Root Domains
Doing a domain authority check is a must for a qualitative backlink profile.
The higher the domain authority (DA), the better it is because you are linked with such types of domains. If you have a large website, it is important to have a natural distribution of domains with high influence and no influence. That means it is OK to have a smaller number of domains that are highly authoritative than domains that have no influence because it is similar to what domains are on the internet: there are more domains with no influence than with a high influence. The situation can vary if you have a smaller website with a smaller number of backlinks. On the long run, both PA and DA are important; the page authority (PA) where the link is placed.
If you’re already a cognitiveSEO user, you can have a full picture of your domains authority by checking the Domain Influence chart. You can see an example below:
Besides that, you can also have a look at the Link Influence, which gives you an overall idea about the authority of a linking page. Although page authority is something you should check, the domain authority has a higher importance.
A light example is cognitiveSEO Site Explorer where you can run a short SEO analysis to check the influence of your backlinks. It is an easy to use and accurate backlinks quality checker.
3. Verify If You Have Optimized Anchor Texts
Another tip on how to correctly assess backlink quality for your website is to verify your anchor texts.
You should focus on two types of anchor text: commercial and brand.
For a better understanding of these anchors, let me give you an example: Nike (brand anchor text), running shoes (commercial anchor text).
The Site Explorer gives you the opportunity to check your anchor texts. For example, if you take a look at the screenshot below you can see that the brand names are “sweet cupcakes”, “www.sweetcupcakes.com”, “sweetcupcakes.com” and other similar variations. An example of commercial anchor text is “sweet bakery”. There are also some miscellaneous ones that don’t fall in one of the previous categories. For example, in the next picture “website”, “source”, “click here”, “credits” and so on are all miscellaneous.
Those that appear as N/A means they have no anchor text. For them, you need to make a further investigation for assessing the quality of those links and see how they appear on the page. A good way to start is using the cognitiveSEO tools that offers you the possibility to analyze each anchor text and mark each and every one of them as commercial, brand or miscellaneous.
This is an example of anchor texts that were classified:
There is another type of anchor text: the ones you shouldn’t have. To get a sense of what I’m talking about, take a look at the next example:
All the text from the dark square is a single anchor text. This is an example of bad anchor text “best plumber professionals over 50 years of plumbing services gives us the understanding and skills to get every job completed on time. free quotes. contact us today for a free quote on any plumbing project. we are here 24/7 for all of your needs. knowledgeable staff over the phone will help you understand your plumbing problem before we head over to fix it.”
If you follow the previous simple steps you are closer to having a better link profile with high-quality backlinks. To make this assessment process easier, you should focus your content marketing strategy into creating good, quality content. This way you could improve the method of obtaining anchor texts naturally. Regarding the internal links on your own website you can make improvements, so take in mind the idea of optimizing those links, too. The anchor text of an internal link is also important.
4. Analyze the Naturalness of the Linking Page Through an In-Depth Backlink Analysis
Another important aspect in the link quality assessment is to make an on-page analysis for each backlink. You need to review each page that is linking to your website using the next guidelines/metrics:
- how natural does that link appear on the page: OK, Suspect or Unnatural link;
- where is the position of a link: above the fold, body or footer;
- whether it is a text, image or redirect link;
- link status: live or lost;
- what type of page is it on: blog post, blog comment, blogroll, forum thread, author signature, video widget, forum signature, banner, article, copyright paragraph, short paragraph of text, group of links;
- link positioned in: content or group of links;
- whether it is a deep or a homepage link;
- the HTTPs status of the page;
It would be good to know that cognitiveSEO tool offers you information about all the metrics and guidelines I’ve mentioned above.
A bad backlink means it is placed on a list of links, the page is full of “viagra ads” or something similar and many other dizzy and popping messages/ads. These types of links have a high spam score and can harm your site’s rankings. If these type of bad links damaged your website you would see a ranking drop. Let’s hope that didn’t happen. That is why you need to check your backlinks and use the disavow tool to avoid harming your website.
For example, does the links that appear in the next picture seem natural to you?
Bear in mind that the each link is placed under the Internet Explorer icon. That’s a bit shady in my opinion. Nothing natural there. That type of links could harm your site’s ranking.
cognitiveSEO has a unique Unnatural link Detection feature you can use to make an in-depth analysis for each backlink you have and verify if you have quality websites linking back to you. After you have made a backlinks audit, you can see all the unnatural links and find out the reasons, either if it has low influence, thin content, suspect anchor text or other unnatural link issues. You could also export your SEO data into reports and use it however you want.
A link can lose its link juice if it is placed in a list. The more links on a page, the smaller the chance a link gets clicked. A list of outbound links can lower the power of each individual link from that page.
Another thing you should check is the HTTP status code. If you have backlinks on broken pages, that can also diminish the link juice. cognitiveSEO Inbound Link Analysis tool can save you in this situation, too.
5. Detect the Social Share Magnitude of Your Backlinks
The social component can’t miss from the guideline on how to correctly assess backlink quality for your website.
Analyze the quality of your backlinks by following the path of social sharing backward. That is check if the page where you have backlinks has shares in social media, engagement and an overall image in the public area. Social share and the engagement rate are two of the most important social metrics. The users who appreciate and share that page could become viewers of your site and they represent valuable prospects. Those links are worth keeping.
Social shares mean driving traffic to your website. Social shares to pages where you have links represent qualitative traffic to your website and can increase the conversion rate.
According to Shareaholic, social media drives 31% of all referral traffic. This makes it the number 1 driver of all website referral traffic. If you take a look at the next graph, you can see that social has increased:
For a comprehensive backlink analysis i recommend you considering the SEO tips mentioned above: starting by identifying as many linking domains as possible using various backlinks data sources, checking domain authority, optimize your anchor texts, verify each page where you have backlinks to look natural, and follow the social share traces. You could also see how many dofollow links you have in the total amount of backlinks. It is good to have a bigger percentage of nofollow links than dofollow links because that is how a natural links profile looks like. Make sure to include this in your online marketing strategy.
Go big or go home. Never go for shortcuts using link schemes, or other shady link building techniques that will do more harm than good (even if there are a lot of link building tools that will offer you unremitting link building opportunities). Your link building strategy shouldn’t stop after your links go live, so you won’t risk getting your link removed and having lost links.
You’re not alone in this, you could use the SEO tools I mentioned: the cognitiveSEO, Site explorer, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools to correctly assess the quality of your backlink profile and to receive useful information for further investigations. You can use these backlink analysis tools to assess your backlinks, but also to build backlinks by searching for opportunities in your competitors’ backlinks list. You can even access each competitor’s link profile and boost your own by using a Competitive Link Analysis.
The post 5 Tips on How to Correctly Assess Backlink Quality appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.
Social media marketing has, without any doubts, a huge potential to increase sales. What social media sites offer is increased brand recognition, improved brand loyalty, more opportunities to convert, higher conversion rates and better ranks in SERP. Keeping this in mind, one question pops out: what can Facebook SEO do for my business? With 51% of Facebook users being more likely to buy from brands they follow and 80% of US social networks connect to brands through Facebook, like it or not, you need to start optimizing your business’s Facebook.
Using social media in your SEO strategies helps you win higher page rankings? We believe that yes and this is why we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you get higher page ranks and improve your overall online marketing strategy.
- Get the Best Facebook Page Name
- Claim Your Vanity URL to Boost Facebook SEO
- Place Keywords in Strategic Locations
- Optimize Facebook Page Status Updates for SEO
- Include Address to Boost Your Local SEO
- Link to Your Facebook Business Page
- SEO for Facebook Notes
- Post Direct Links to Your Website on Your Facebook Page
- Reputation Management
- Create Engagement to Outrank Negative Reviews
According to some studies, 47 % of Americans believe that Facebook has a greater impact on their purchasing behavior than other social networks and 78% of a brand’s Facebook fans are current users of the company’s products and services. Will Facebook SEO help you with your overall ranks? To start with, links on social media are often considered higher-quality links because social sites have a high web authority. Even if your Facebook page is new, it’s likely to rank high thanks to Facebook’s overall high authority.
SEO Visor claims that Google indexed as much as 1.87 billion posts. Interestingly enough, this doesn’t seem to cover the entire breadth of Facebook posts! Remember: not all profiles are set to public. According to a study made by Searchmetrics, the correlation between social signals and ranking position is extremely high, and this is also true for the number of social signals per landing page. Facebook remains the social network with the highest level of user interactions. When we compare it with other social networks, it shows relatively high signals across the first search results page. We’ve detailed this matter in a previous study on social signals influence on rankings. To continue, we will go on a journey to see how you can optimize your social profiles. Are you tired of Google Analytics? Take a break. We will offer some SEO tips that do not imply using Facebook Ads but will help you with the rankings.
1. Get the Best Facebook Page Name
It will sound obvious, but your Facebook name is the first step for your online marketing strategies. Choosing a good name for your Facebook page is the first and (maybe) the most significant step. This depends, of course, on your company’s name and how much it can help you for search engine optimization as well. According to Rahul Dass, Business Development Executive at Creation Infoways, optimizing Facebook pages for search engines should be as simple as adding few key phrases that represent your business. We should use an example to better understand.
What happens if we have a site called TripReviews.com and we use a Facebook page name such as “Trip Reviews George Smith”? It is easy to understand that we want to brand ourselves as a travel blogger and people will expect us to give free travel tips. If we use a lot of keywords we might hurt our viral growth.
But what if some extra keywords might help people reach our page?
Having a long title such as “George’s Trip Reviews, Booking Tips, and Exciting Destinations” will not be appealing or memorable by any means. Some visitors might even believe that we are a bit spammy because we are desperate for attention. The articles or whatever we choose to provide must be high quality and they should satisfy people’s needs. This can bring followers that will really appreciate our work and fruitful engagement. Keep in mind that the first word of your Facebook page title is the most important one for Google, as Rahul Dass claims. It is also critical to avoid generic words and to choose the best keywords to represent your brand or personality.
John’s Travel Agency: London, Hawaii, Japan – Hotels, Flights, Car Rental & More – not a good name choice
Once you have chosen a page title, if it’s not absolutely necessary, do not change it. Think of it as a long-term choice, because you want to use your Facebook page for search engine optimization. People will reach it by looking for certain keywords and it can be pure suicide to change it when you have a lot of followers and visitors that got used to it. What you want to do is occupy a place in your consumers’ mind. Once you have gained it, all you have to do is strive to keep it. Not changing it will prove useful for your Facebook fan page SEO.
2. Claim Your Vanity URL to Boost Facebook SEO
As a search marketer or Facebook user you might already know that you have the freedom of choosing a vanity URL (“username”) for Facebook pages. This represents, of course, one of the greatest opportunities that this social media platform offers. After designating the username, the URL of your page will change into something like this “www.facebook.com/username”. To choose your username, access this page.
Choosing a Facebook username allows businesses to incorporate generic keywords for SEO purposes.
There is a blacklist of generic usernames that users are not able to register, but we are sure that there is enough freedom given to use generic usernames, or to mix up actual names with other generic keywords. We recommend you to be careful when you choose your username because it is intended to better represent your brand’s identity and personality. AdWeek believes that, in the future, Facebook might punish pages that use generic usernames by revoking status publishing rights.
If you want to stay clear of such risks and be proactive, it is smart to embrace what is original or specific for your brand. For example, if you have a luxury watch brand and want something unique, a more intimate approach to show your followers how you make watches, you can choose a vanity URL like www.facebook/insidevanitywatches.com. Research shows that people can remember meaningful words easier, so do not forget to do this to turn your web address into the link your fans will keep in mind.
Be aware that in order to be able to choose it, your page has to reach 25 “Likes”. Facebook offers a couple of guidelines that will help you create a custom username:
- You can only have one username for your Page or profile and you can’t claim a username someone else is already using.
- Usernames can only contain alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9) or a period (“.”).
- Periods (“.”) and capitalization don’t count as part of a username. For example, johnsmith55, John.Smith55 and john.smith.55 are all considered the same username.
- Usernames must be at least 5 characters long and can’t contain generic terms or extensions (ex: .com, .net).
- You must be an admin to create or change the username for a Page.
- Your username must adhere to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
- Keep in mind that new Pages may not immediately be able to create a username and that your Page’s username may be removed because of inactivity.
3. Place Keywords in Strategic Locations
We’ve written a previous blog post on some useful tips for Facebook SEO 2.0. By now, we might already know that it is of utmost importance to optimize your Facebook page by doing a keyword research if you want to use it as a marketing tool. This will help you have a good on-site SEO, as Rahul Dass claims. Facebook limits where Page owners can write large amounts of text and this is why it will be helpful to use those keywords in the “About” section to have a great company overview.
Google will choose what will appear on the SERP in the form of a meta description, immediately after the number of likes that you have collected, as you can see in the image bellow:
Also, whenever you choose to share the link to your web page, the short description that you provide will be there along with the avatar, the page name, and the vanity URL.
Now that you know this, try to think of it like this: optimizing your Facebook page starts like any other SEO process. You can look at the title of the Facebook page as the Meta Title Tag and you can consider the number of likes and the short description as being the Meta Description. Now that you know this, you should acknowledge that your description should be around 135 characters in order to show on Google SERP. Do not forget, wisely completing your “about” section is mandatory.
4. Optimize Facebook Page Status Updates for SEO
If you make a Facebook Page for your brand, some of the tasks that you will have to do include sharing captivating content. Every time you post an image, a video or you create events on your wall do not forget to take advantage of the descriptive fields to add keywords because even if it takes only one minute to fill in everything, it can make a difference in your ranking. Keep in mind that this text will become the SEO title of your Facebook post.
Without any doubt, by doing a keyword research and adding certain words in photo descriptions, status updates and while engaging with followers, you will further expand your SEO power. Take into account that Facebook makes the content on Facebook Fan Pages indexable by search engines. In this case, Google also places a higher value on the first word of the post, so be sure that it is relevant. Furthermore, the first 18 characters of a post can become a meta description for search engines. This is a post that we have recently used to send people to our SEO blog:
As you can see in the Google searches, the engine itself chooses what to use as meta data. Digital marketers will easily notice that our article’s meta description was used for the Facebook page as well when it was indexed by Google. This makes us believe that basic SEO is still a powerful tool.
5. Include Address to Boost Your Local SEO
We are all aware of the growth rate that local SEO has. This is important because using SEO on a national level is becoming more competitive each day. Local business owners might find it absurd to compete on such a scale, so they might think local for online marketing. Consumers are depending more on their smartphones and tablets to accomplish their searches. This is especially true for local searches. In order to get the online visibility, you have to make sure that you adopt the right strategy for your social channels. This is why an increasing number of businesses have adopted local strategies to enrich their SEO efforts, according to Audience Bloom. Social media presence is one of the most important factors for increasing visibility and domain authority on a local level.
Facebook will help you as soon as you start to create your page. This is the reason why it is very important to complete everything on your “info” tab, including the phone number and address. But why does it matter? Well, according to Ad Week, the address, city, country and zip code will help index your brand for local SEO. All the details that you add will make you feel trustworthy in the eyes of Facebook and your followers as well. It will also give you the chance of including more keywords as well and, as we all know, Google really cares for all the social media pages that offer specific information. This will help by driving relevant traffic to your site.
6. Link to Your Facebook Business Page
Did you already start to optimize for Facebook? Here is another good tip:
Backlinks are not useful only for your website, but for your Facebook profile as well.
Search Engine Land claims that we have to perceive links as recommendations. If we have a good friend that recommends eating at a specific restaurant, we take that into account. If several friends do this, we will be even more tempted to go for a fancy dinner there. Same thing when we talk about Facebook SEO and Google
The more important the pages that link to your page are, the more it will trust your page. If your website is highly popular, creating links from there to your page will bring you a nice advantage. This will add to the credibility and your page will have a good opportunity to climb easier in the search ranking. What you have to do is pretty easy, according to Hootsuite. Do not miss the opportunity of linking to your business or brand page. Use your website and the articles from your blog, if you have one, to include links. If other good ranking domains do the same and mention it, you will boost your ranking in no time. This will also help to tell people that you are active in the social channels and will further help to use your Facebook page for SEO.
7. SEO for Facebook Notes
You usually post Notes to inform or even create engagement with your fans. They are an easy way of informing fans of important news about your business or even updating customers on a current crisis. Even if you are aware of this or not, Google seems to search and index the Notes that come from Facebook fan pages.
This is true only for business pages and it does not apply to personal profiles. The Notes give you the chance to add keywords rich text and this can be used to increase your fan page’s ranking for Google or Bing. It is very wise to place keywords in the title and all over the Note as well. You can also add photos, which gives you further chances to add keywords in the caption.
If you choose to write a Note about a Google Penguin update, you might want to make sure that you include words such as “Google”, “Penguin”, “Google Update” and “SEO” in the title, body and in the photo captions. When adding them, simply think of what your customers will look for. If followers start to comment on your note, this will add value and it will have even more chances to rank well. If the comments also contain several keywords, it will add further weight. You can increase the visibility of the Note by tagging other Facebook friends. If you post content that creates engagement, your followers will more likely tag others in their comments. Here is an example of a Facebook note indexed on Google :
As you can see, the Facebook Note is indexed and it appears in the fifth position. If we further inspect the Note we can see that it uses the brand name as the first keyword in the title, which is a good idea in this scenario.
8. Post Direct Links to Your Website on Your Facebook Page
If you want to further boost the SEO of your website you shouldn’t ignore the power of social media. Facebook can help you get high-quality backlinks and increase the authority that your domain has. This can help you be on Google’s first page for certain keywords and you can benefit from more traffic. As we have talked about Notes before, think a bit of how much this can help your blog. If you write an article on your blog, you can create a Facebook Note and add a few quotes from your blog post that are keyword rich. Before posting it, make sure that you also suggest followers to visit your website in order to read the whole article: “for more about the Google Penguin update, check this article”. If you include a hyperlink here, you will already have a strong backlink to your domain. This will add to your website’s authority and will probably drive more traffic as well. You can see a quick example by looking at the ending of the Rackspace’s Note that we have mentioned before.
According to IT Business, other places that you can check for backlinks are:
- The “about” tab: a lot of users are as curious as cats and will most likely visit your profile to your website. This gives you a great chance to lead users to the great content that you have on your domain.
- It does not matter whether they come as images, videos or something else, the posts on your wall represent great opportunities for backlinks
- The profile and cover picture: without any doubt, these can be the most clicked on spaces of your page, especially if they stand out. You can use them to send users to your site and create more chances to drive traffic
- Group description: besides being a great option for conversation, the “about” section is a great place to insert a link to your website.
9. Reputation Management
We can look at Reputation Management as being both art and science at the same time. There are a couple of ways of bumping down highly ranked negative reviews or posts, but how can we use it for this purpose? From a Reputation Management point of view, the advantages of social media sites are that if you have a high ranking profile page you will appear higher in a search engine’s results page than other incorrect or negative information. There might be moments when you see information that you might want to be removed, but you are unable to do so. Some may refer to a negative business review posted on a blog, public law enforcement data or even a criminal database of minor offenses that does refer to you, but is no longer relevant or needs to be pushed down as far as possible in order to secure employment.
Facebook users have the ability to “Like” pages and send personal messages as well. In the About section of your business page, you can also find information about the brand, its corporate headquarters, retail locations, and so on. It is very important to include as much information as possible in your social media profile because you will use it to outrank other pages that refer to you or your company. If you do a Google search of “Starbucks” you will notice that its Facebook, Twitter and other social media site pages are ranked highly. This is the advantage of using social media for Reputation Management, according to Reputable and paying attention to it will help you in the long term.
If it is impossible to remove an undesirable post, what you can do is to use social media profile pages to outrank those pages that write negative reviews about you or are trying to flame you. A simple search for Pringles will make you realize how much their website and social media helps them out. The first results page is filled with results that come from their website, Wikipedia, Twitter and as much as three Facebook results. Whoever searches for this brand has to go through a couple of pages to find some negative reviews about it and this is a great advantage for the SEO world.
It is very important to have a good amount of followers, fans, friends and likes and to use the proper keywords to be able to outrank other pages in the search engine. Keep in mind that you will also receive reviews on your Facebook page as well, but here you will be able to respond to it. Think of the negative articles or reviews that high profile companies can receive. What really matters is to know how to successfully outrank them.
10. Create Engagement to Outrank Negative Reviews
Marketing consultants tell us all the time to engage with our clients and now you are also aware of how much social presence matters. If you want your Facebook page to help you win higher page rankings you should as well think of the best ways of creating engagement. If you have a large number of likes and followers, it will be easier for you to get returning visitors as well. A high number of likes and comments on your posts will let both Facebook and Google know that there is something good going on there. Remember that having quality content is elementary and along with the engagement it will also help you in Facebook’s internal searches. As it can also be found on Post Planner and Kissmetrics, we recommend you to take this into account to discover content marketer tips:
1. Do not be afraid to show your personality and use the weight of your brand name. Everything you post should portray your brand’s personality. Make your fans return to the page because they like your company’s voice and tone and you might have a viral growth rate. Express yourself through your posts, through your cover photos and make the other Facebook marketers jealous.
2. Ask questions and get to know your fans’ preferences. This is one easy but efficient way of driving engagement. It will get your fans talking in no time.
3. Take advantage of images. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is an English idiom, but what you have to know is that images are able to tell stories quickly and they have great exposure in the news feed. Take advantage of your brand’s visual identity because specific visual elements will let everybody know in an instant that the picture is coming from you. Customize your cover photos, your profile picture, and everything you can.
4. Let fans take an inside look at your company. Other than maintaining a certain transparency, this is a great marketing tool that lets you promote your brand. Post photos of happy employees, satisfied customers and so on. Transparency can be a powerful tool, so give your fans a quick company overview.
5. Use content provided by your fans. This will help by building relationships and by providing unique news to the followers.
6. Use call to actions and tell people to like, share and so on. What is great about them is that they instill psychological nudges that help marketers drive their audience to respond the way that they want to. It seems like audiences tend to respond better when they are given specifics as to what to respond to. Every time you post something ask yourself this: What do you want people to do? Do you want them to comment? Click the like button? Share something with their friends? A post like this in the news feed will catch their attention and will help your Facebook profile.
The Fast Food Franchise Subway got over 53,000 likes and 404 shares by posting a picture with the call to action text “Like this if you wish you could spend your Sunday by the beach”.
Getting your followers to comment and like content in your stream will help by strengthening intra-Facebook reciprocal linking. Consider that the users also have the option of sharing your posts and tagging friends as well. Another way of creating hype is using the Facebook Live videos feature. Beware, you shouldn’t use this feature if you do not understand it yet. The Live feature has great potential, but you have to think of how you can use it within your niche first. You have to learn how to advertise your upcoming posts in order to have the best impact.
Broadcasts must be promoted up to several weeks before they go live because in this case, you want to generate both awareness and excitement, as Best SEO Companies claims. Upload images or even short video teasers in order to let your followers know what to expect. You can talk about this event on your blog or other platforms in order to inform people about what is coming. Make sure you add a link to your Facebook page to let interested people know where this is going to take place. Once everything is done, make your presentation unique and do not forget to engage by responding to comments. When the live presentation is done, Facebook will archive it for future views and you will be able to check it in order to respond to comments that are posted after the event. You can use this as an opportunity to drive traffic to your website by posting relevant links in the Facebook Live Comments. This can be a great way of improving your organic link-building efforts.
You’ve certainly got an idea of how Facebook impacts SEO so far. You found out how to optimize your social profiles, and how to surprise your fans with engaging news stories to get direct traffic. Even though Google’s Matt Cutts said that Facebook and Twitter signals do not influence the search algorithm, the Facebook and Twitter pages do appear in the search results and this will continue to have a great influence. More about the social media ranking factor or social shares can be found here.
Matt Cutts also claimed that he does see Google crawling, indexing and understanding more about identities on the web in the long run.
Have you ever looked around you – really looked around you – and saw your place in the world?
It could be your place in your own particular world or your place in the bigger picture.
It doesn’t really matter – all that matters is you take that look around you and recognize your place in it.
We live in a society that changes quickly and moves even quicker. It’s easy to get lost, swept away or side-tracked. Things we meant to do yesterday we don’t have a chance to do tomorrow.
We live in a world where our families are second to our jobs because industries are so frail they could be gone by the time you finish reading this. We go where the work is, and not always together.
While some things can’t change, others can. So let’s try.
Heroes Can Be Dangerous
In times of need, we often look for heroes to guide us through, or to make sense of what we’re doing. Yet heroes come in many shapes and guises.
False heroes offer little except hope that isn’t there. We know deep inside that these heroes are false, and yet we still follow them in the vain hope that maybe it’s us that’s wrong.
It isn’t. And you don’t need false heroes to guide you – true heroes are all around you.
- They’re there in the eyes of the children you bear as they make their way from innocence to adulthood.
- They’re in the parents that raised you to be who you are today.
- They’re in the mirror, looking back at you every day.
That job you hold down to feed your family? These luxuries you give up to keep a roof over the heads of your loved ones? The sacrifices you make to put a smile on the faces of those you cherish?
You’re being a hero every day of your life. Realize that, and forget the false heroes – no-one makes a difference like you do.
Pay It Forward
The world is changing. The greedy are being found out for who and what they are and the society changers are coming to the fore. Be part of this.
Encourage people to greatness and show them they, and everyone else, have the ability to change the way we live – all of us.
The Pay It Forward Foundation started as a simple book idea – yet the simplest ideas offer the greatest scope for change.
Read the book; visit the website; digest the information. Encourage greatness in others and see the greatness in yourself.
Be a Showoff
Our world is connected like never before. Our parents could only dream of how we can reach others with the click of a button.
Our children will be the forebearers of the true social networks. Let’s use our connectivity now to set the standards for tomorrow.
- If you like someone’s train of thought, recommend them to your community.
- If you read a blog that inspires or makes you ask questions, share it with friends and colleagues and join the discussion.
- If you have something to say yourself that makes you think, say it – we’re all listening and we want to hear.
We have the opportunity to help the good and the great rise to the challenges ahead.
Our leaders can’t do everything themselves – we need to be leaders as well.
Show off the words and the work of those who inspire you, and in turn, you’ll inspire others to learn from you.
Ours is a small world in a vast landscape. It’s up to us – to you – how well it sits in that landscape.
As social networks continue to try to outdo each other with new features, one of the most popular additions has been that of live video.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are increasingly putting the focus on video content, with reports that Facebook could be video-only by 2020.
It’s understandable that video could become the de-facto method of content consumption due to the simple buy-in for the audience.
A video is visual, quick, snappy. Words require more thought and more investment by the reader (which is why I’m eternally grateful to the readers of this blog and your choice of consumption method).
The success of Facebook Live is a testament to how social network users are adopting video, not just as consumers but as users too.
Yet, as the last 12 months have shown, the instant production and gratification that video offers could also be its downfall.
Facebook Live and the Dangers of Unfiltered
Over the Easter period, Cleveland Police began a manhunt after a video of a murder was uploaded to Facebook.
Steve Stevens shot Robert Godwin, 74, and shared the video of the killing to his Facebook profile (initial reports suggested the murder was streamed via Facebook Live, but this was later corrected).
The video remained on Facebook for at least two hours.
After almost 48 hours on the run, Stevens killed himself when his car was cornered by law enforcement.
Just a few days ago new broke of a Thai father who hanged his 11-month-old baby on Facebook Live before killing himself.
The video was shared on his profile, and according to reports remained online for 24 hours (Facebook has yet to confirm the details of the time).
In March of this year, the rape of a teenage girl by six assailants was filmed and streamed live on Facebook. In January of this year, a special needs man was beaten and tortured by four assailants, and his assault was also streamed on Facebook Live.
Also in January, the gang rape of a woman in Sweden was also streamed via Facebook Live.
These are just some examples amid the growing number of crimes and assaults streamed on Facebook Live and its peers like Periscope and others.
There seems to be little way to combat it, either. As the examples with Steve Stevens and the Thai father show, disturbing content can remain on the site for as much as 24 hours.
While its content team does monitor the site for inappropriate content (and live streams can be pulled immediately), Facebook essentially relies on the public to report such content for its team to review.
Unfortunately, while the review is pending, the videos are live on the site in full view of victims of a crime, or surviving family members of a murder.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has himself admitted it’s a huge problem and one that’s almost impossible to manage given the amount of content uploaded to Facebook every day.
Given the difficulty of managing the medium, and the damage that can be caused because of that difficulty, is it time to consider how Facebook Live and others like it is approved?
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Facebook Live?
The biggest problem with trying to manage live streaming videos is that they’re used in so many ways that are good, and educational, and – in some cases – can provide vital evidence to a court of law.
Consider the killing of African American Philando Castile by a police officer in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the summer of last year.
Despite calmly obeying the officer’s instructions, and advising that he was in legal possession of a concealed weapon, Castile was killed when the officer opened fire.
Inside the car were Castile’s girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter. As Castile lay dying in the driver’s seat, his girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath, and that helped convict the office in question on manslaughter. That trial is still undergoing today.
Indeed, Facebook Live has been used to broadcast demonstrations against police brutality, government dictatorships, and even examples of corporations treating their customers with disdain.
Then you have the fun aspects of Facebook Live, with vacation moments captured in time. Heck, we even use it for The Friendship Bench launch events.
But do the “normal uses” outweigh the depraved and harmful ones? Do we need to look at how users can access Facebook Live, and should there be some form of delayed broadcast for checks to be made?
I posted a quick poll on Twitter, asking if it was maybe time to only allow news organizations and accredited sources access to Facebook Live, and the opinion was split down the middle.
With Facebook Live recently showing live murders, and a man who hanged his baby and then himself, should it be restricted to news orgs?
— Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) April 25, 2017
Andrea Meyer shared her thoughts of the medium itself not being the “culprit”, so to speak.
The tool is not the issue. Needs a mechanism to stop quickly. Agencies & companies can share events in real time. Opt in function?
Over on Facebook, I asked some friends what could be done to try and minimize the use of Facebook Live for harmful purposes, given the difficulty of monitoring at such scale.
Suggestions ranged from limiting it to news organizations and delayed feeds, to simply limiting access and making video pre-recorded (although that could still be circumnavigated by uploaders).
It’s clear that video is here to stay, both live streaming and personal content creation. But as social networks start to experience the difficulties news organizations have faced in the past when it comes to censorship and what’s allowed on-screen, the growing pains are beginning to show.
I’m not a tech guy or developer, so I’m unsure of what could be done (apart from the unenviable approach of restricting access). I do feel something needs to be done, though.
How about you?
How would you solve the current use of Facebook Live and stop the kind of videos from the start of this post from being published (or staying published too long)?
How great would it be if we could gather all the awesome SEO experts in just one room to talk about search engines ranks with a focus on the best SEO tips available out there? It would be glorious! Since we don’t have a room big enough to gather all the best experts in one place, we took advantage of the online “meetings” and gathered all the up to date SEO tips into an awesome expert roundup post. That is how we got the idea of interviewing 22 renowned SEO experts and how we found out 22 awesome and unique search engine optimization tips … the best of them.
We’ve got answers from some of the brightest minds about the most actionable tips from the digital marketing world. We’ve found interesting news, insights and really helpful tips and guidelines about mobile optimization, metrics, qualitative content marketing, testing, technical SEO and customer centric websites. These 22 tips are some of the best for small businesses or large enterprises. Make sure you get the best of them.
Grab a coffee, sit comfortably and start reading the next list with 22 unique SEO tips backed by 22 renowned SEO experts that will make your search traffic bloom.
- Understand That SEO Is Not Just About Rankings by Phil Frost
- Optimize Your Content for You Customers and Not for the Search Engines by Omi Sido
- Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics by Danny Denhard
- Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO by Paul Shapiro
- Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable by Sujan Patel
- Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO by Dixon Jones
- Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research by Trond Lyngbø
- Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO by Julie Joyce
- Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic by Andy Crestodina
- When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust by Tim Grice
- Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy by Caleb McElveen
- If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity by Greg Jarboe
- Invest More in Content by Eric Enge
- Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories by Carl Hendy
- Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis by Marcus Miller
- Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For by Bill Slawski
- Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way by Bill Sebald
- Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly by Andy Drinkwater
- Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free by Mark Porter
- Focus on Content Quality by Rishi Lakhani
- Find a Way to Create Attention by Patrick Hathaway
- Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible by Dan Leibson
We need to mention that all our cool experts had to answer just one-question interview:
If you were to recommend just one SEO tip, what would that be?
1. Understand That SEO Is Not Just About Rankings
|If I could only recommend one tip, then it would be to make sure you understand how SEO fits into the bigger picture of your marketing strategy.|
|Founder & COO of Main Street ROI|
I’ve talked with many business owners that think ranking high in Google is all you need to be successful. The reality is that SEO is just one of many tactics to drive prospective customers to your website. Sure, ranking high in Google is great, but it’s also worthless if you don’t have a website that is set up properly to convert that traffic into leads and sales. Plus, you won’t rank high for long unless you have proper tracking in place and a process to monitor and analyze your SEO efforts. As you can see, SEO is not just about rankings; it’s also about website conversion rate optimization and website analytics and tracking. That’s important to understand before you start to invest in SEO.
2. Optimize Your Content for You Customers and Not for the Search Engines
Producing content that’s irrelevant and insignificant to your audience’s wants and needs leads to only one thing – people stop taking you seriously. People click on your links in the SERPs but they do not interact with your website and leave quickly – wasted opportunity to turn visitors into customers.
|Optimize your content for you customers and not for the search engines. What do I mean by that? It’s so easy to find some high volume keywords around your product and turn them into blog posts. I get it – everybody needs more visits.|
|SEO Manager of Daily Mail|
So how do I find what my buyer persona (not to be confused with ‘buyer profile’) is looking for?
Glad you’ve asked, so let me give you some actionable tips. Finding questions that people are asking about your products or services.
A very good place to start is Quora. I just went there and typed something very uninspiring like “carrots” (Writing content for a boring industry? No Problem).
Some of the questions I get:
- Why are carrots good for your eyes? Does eating carrots improve your eyesight? How?
- How many carrots should I eat a day?
- What else besides carrots can help your vision?
Another favorite place to go would be Answer The Public.
Last but not least, take data from your internal Site Search. All you have to do now is to align a question with a keyword that would bring traffic to your website. To do that just drop a question in the Google keyword planner and you will be presented with an opportunity.
Note: Stay focused and only choose the keywords that answer your original buyer’s persona question.
I am sure you already know where I am going. You’ve got the question and you’ve got the targeted keyword. All you have to do now is give an answer in the form of a blog article or video.
We’ve started with the customer in mind and ended up with a content that’s relevant to YOUR audience and, at the same time, well optimized for the search engines.
3. Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics
|My one tip would be always be auditing. Auditing is essential for SEO success. Understand how your site is actually performing away from vanity metrics.|
|Founder of Denhard Media|
If you track for the right KPIs, auditing will supply you with ongoing changes and help you focus on making the highest priority changes for you to hit KPIs and plan for the future.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO
People often neglect testing in SEO, mostly because it’s not easy, but optimizing CTR is a way to get some huge wins. Check out how Etsy is doing it or this recent look at approaches from Wayfair and their learnings.
|Director of Strategy & Innovation of CatalystSEM|
I’m talking about coming up with novel ideas and analyses that help move the needle but are less about copywriting and more about technical proficiency. A couple examples: digging deep into semantic keyword research and data mining or dynamically populating title tags using the Google Search Analytics API.
5. Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable
|My one main SEO tip would be to make sure that amongst all the specific, actionable content you’re creating, you have a few pieces of content deliberately written to be highly linkable.|
|Co-founder of WebProfits|
Highly linkable content is content written on a broad enough topic that you can work it into guest posts and other link opportunities naturally, without the article having to be directly related to the content you’re linking to.
For example, I wrote a big piece on customer delight – a thorough guide on how to make your customers happy at every point in your relationship. I’ve been able to link to this piece within articles on topics ranging from marketing and sales to operations and employee management. Having a few of these kinds of pieces means you’ll never miss an opportunity to link to your content.
6. Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO
Do not underestimate how important “branding” is to SEO.
|There’s no point being number 1 for “Taxi” if your customer types in “Uber”.|
|Marketing Director at Majestic|
7. Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research
|I’d recommend that you build your website’s information architecture, URL structure and plan the way content is organized on the domain, on a solid foundation of keyword research and detailed analysis of your search data.|
|Founder at Search Planet|
Your goal should be to build a customer-centric destination that works 24/7 at attracting fresh business.
My company, Search Planet, specializes in E-commerce SEO. I often see even large e-commerce Web shops leak revenue and profit because they’ll mirror their own needs and organizational structure online, instead of focusing on their customers’ needs. So the best prospects don’t find them in search results. Or when they do, they won’t buy from them – but go to their competitors instead.
By transforming your online presence to be entirely customer-focused, you’ll cut through the clutter, dominate search engines, draw a flood of targeted traffic to your website, and make more sales.
8. Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO
|My one SEO tip would be to actually spend the time and money to have your site analyzed in terms of its existing SEO. So many times people aren’t willing to spend the money to have a professional dig in and figure out a good plan of action.|
|Owner of Link Fish Media|
You could have all kinds of issues that you aren’t aware of and rather than just trying to throw links at the site or find someone to write better content for your home page, put some focus on doing a thorough SEO audit.
9. Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic
|The best tip is the hardest to follow: make the best page on the internet for your topic. Google famously has 2000+ Mathematics PhDs on staff. I assume they are smarter than me. And I want them on my team.|
|Co-Founder / Strategic Director of Orbit Media|
So here’s how I think about SEO:
- If you made the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to HELP you;
- If you didn’t make the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to STOP you.
Of course, it’s not enough just to make a great page. But it’s step one. Combine this effort with a clear understanding of off-site SEO, links and basic understanding of how to increase your domain authority and everything is going to work out well for you.
10. When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust
The landscape has changed so much, we’re seeing a lot more weight shifting towards user experience, and link building has become a game of trust.
|My main tip would be around links, specifically link metrics. When it comes to link acquisition you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review.|
|CEO of Branded3|
SEOs need to forget about them; there isn’t a metric out there that gives a true reflection of the value of a link, we have come across so many links with good domain authority or domain trust that we would class as toxic websites. When it comes to link acquisition, you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review; is this website the kind of website Google would trust and want to pass value through, is it a trusted source of information? You should then focus on how your links appear on that site, links that look like ads, in the footer or sidebars are going to be less likely to pass value in the long term.
We’re seeing a huge increase in the influence site speed has on rankings. We have run a few tests now with clients and are seeing a direct and almost immediate correlation with speed improvements and an uplift in rankings. Make it a priority, work with the development team and ensure your website is as fast as possible.
11. Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy
|Link building is not dead, it just as a new name – link earning. Invest the time and effort into developing and executing a link earning strategy for your business.|
|Director of SEO of Reservations|
Do not take any shortcuts to buy or build low-quality links. While links are still a ranking factor, that is no longer their sole purpose. An effective link will provide the opportunity to improve three things; your traffic, your brand, and build trust. These are the links that should be your focal point. These types of links are found in building relationships with relevant websites and companies, creating valuable (not just quality) content, and a consistently having a giving mentality. Though it takes times, the reward will be worth it.
12. If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity
If you just want one SEO tip, then let me share the insight that led me to co-found SEO-PR back in 2003. Hundreds of SEOs optimize web pages hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google search results. And many of them do a great job. But only a small handful optimize news stories, blog posts, or press releases hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google News search results.
|The links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information – if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales.|
|President & co-founder of SEO-PR|
Now, the Google News algorithm is similar but different than the Google algorithm. Why? Because inbound links aren’t as strong a signal of the importance of a story. This puts a premium on relevance. But, the big mistake that many SEOs make is assuming that the popularity of keywords used on Google is the same on Google News. They often aren’t. You can see this for yourself by using the Google Trends Explore tool. The default result for any keyword will be web search interest. But you can use the drop down menu to see news search interest. And the trends are often different.
In addition, Google says that 16% of searches that it sees every day are new. Well, ask yourself: “Where do baby search terms come from?” And you’ll discover that the stork doesn’t bring them. They are generated by the “news.” So, these are search terms that your competitors haven’t been optimizing their web pages to get high rankings for 15 years. So, you have a better shot of getting your news stories or blog posts (if you’re a news source) and even your press releases to get high rankings for than you would for yet another web page.
Now, admittedly, your ranking in Google News may only last a day or two. But, for near term news and events, this is the opportunity to drive traffic to a relevant landing page on your website. Now, the links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information — if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales. And when the CFO asked how we knew that they came from the press releases, we showed him that the tracking parameters on the links weren’t used by any other element of the company’s marketing. And when he suggested that we were merely harvesting interest that had been generated by the company’s excellent TV advertising, we showed him that the releases were for new service to cities where Southwest Airlines had never run an ad. He asked what else we knew. Well, we’d analyzed the database of people who had purchased tickets and found that two-thirds had never flown Southwest Airlines before and that they were generally purchasing round-trip tickets for two people.
Now, here’s the punch line: Part of why we got such strong response was the use of the term “low airfare” in the headline and lead paragraph of the press release. But the other part was the actual price of a one-way ticket in the headline — which actually was a “low airfare.” So, it isn’t just about putting a keyword in the headline and lead paragraph.
13. Invest More in Content
|Invest more in content. This is without a doubt the thing that people underinvest in the most, yet, doing so almost always brings great yields, both in terms of conversion and SEO.|
|CEO of Stone Temple|
Here at Stone Temple, we have built up numerous case studies of work we’ve done where we have more than doubled traffic to the pages we work on, simply by making improvements to the content on those pages.
14. Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories
|Don’t believe everything you read and watch on the internet about SEO. Most of the best SEO’s I know don’t even have a Twitter account. Run your own SEO tests across different search categories.|
|Ecommerce Consultant of carlhendy.com|
15. Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis
It is always tough to provide a generic yet actionable SEO tip that folks have not seen a million times before. What is right for a local business is not right for a national business. What works for a B2B company won’t work for a B2C eCommerce store.
|My best SEO tip is to do an SEO SWOT analysis. What are your SEO Strengths? What are your SEO Weaknesses? What are your SEO Opportunities? What are your SEO Threats?|
|Manager director of Bowler Hat|
If you create a basic SWOT grid and start to detail your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can start to get a better idea what kind of SEO you need. This is exactly how we work at Bowler Hat and even our SEO service page details how you need to identify what kind of SEO is right for you.
As an example. If a weakness was domain authority, then you can focus on that area. Often businesses will have competence in one area or another. They may be great on page SEO but lack keyword research skills. You may have all the content you need but lack authority. It is very easy to focus on your strengths – this approach forces you to confront your weaknesses.
So my tip – identify your current situation and focus on your weaknesses.
16. Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For
A lesson I learned from one of the highest level corporate law judges in Delaware was to “be responsive” – Make it as easy as possible for people to answer you and to say yes to something that you are asking. This lesson translates well into SEO also.
|Make sure you understand what your targeted audience might be looking for when they might search for a site that you are optimizing.|
|President and founder of SEO by the Sea|
What words they might use when they search for it, how they might construct their query and what words they will expect to see on your pages. Also what questions they might have about the goods or services offered on that website; and the answers to those questions, so that you can provide answers, and begin the journey towards having them become customers of your site.
Being responsive means building a website for your audience that makes it easy for them to learn about what you are offering, and easy for them to purchase from you. Being successful at SEO means building websites for your client’s audience.
17. Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way
If I were pressed to give just one SEO tip, it’s to not expect a quick return today (generally speaking).
|Is it possible that a single implementation could make a big difference? Yes. Is it likely? Not really. If you’re investing in SEO, you’re accepting a long game.|
|Owner of Greenlane Search Marketing|
Try testing longer strategies over tactics, and measure each step of the way.
Google has made huge changes that altered the way SEOs do their work. Many of the historic, quick-hitting tactics we wrote into our playbooks have either been devalued by Google or have little weight today. SEO isn’t for the weak-hearted – expect that it could take a while to move into a position that starts to hit your goals. It takes diligence, trial and error, and patience.
Google wants to rank the sites that earn their users’ satisfaction. Google isn’t as easily influenced, thanks to new search models and AI that are designed to truly understand the value of a page the way a user would.
18. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
|There are many things you can do to your website to improve SEO, but I would say right now that you should focus on making sure your site is mobile-friendly.|
|SEO Consultant of IQ SEO|
Google is testing a new algorithm called Mobile First and as long as tests go well, expect this to be rolled out. The reason it is so important is that it will change how Google ranks websites.
At the moment, Google uses your desktop site to rank you on desktop searches – Mobile First turns this on its head because it will base your desktop rankings on your mobile site.
So if your mobile site is very poor, or even if you don’t have one, expect mobile first to cause you problems.
19. Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free
|The one SEO tip I would offer, that applies to both those who are new or more experienced, would be to start your own websites as soon as possible.|
|Senior SEO Manager of Screaming Frog|
When I started out in the industry I was obsessed with consuming every SEO article that was published, but ultimately things really took off when I started launching websites. None of them are particularly successful, but they allowed me to try things risk-free without jeopardizing a client’s campaign. I was able to freely dive into onsite SEO, and I also dabbled in the ‘dark arts’ of link building which of course led to one of my sites being penalized..all fun and games!
In order to truly understand how a website works I think it’s important to have some hands on experience, and getting that is easier than you might think. WordPress websites are simple to set up, and building up a bit of traffic can also allow you to experiment with advertising, log file analysis and more!
20. Focus on Content Quality
|The single biggest tip I can give SEOs for 2017 is focusing on content quality. Over the last year, I have extensively been running experiments on how much the swing of search results has moved to the quality of the content.|
|SEO Consultant of Fast Fwd Multimedia|
It seems that the Google also is getting better and better at pulling out content and really starting to understand how that content answers a query.
Traditionally we used to talk about “content” and used to hammer in content in areas where really there was no structure, for example on product category landing pages in eCommerce websites. That used to be good enough to dominate the short, mid and long tail of queries as long as you had a decent volume of links.
My experiments have shown that although you may be able to dominate these queries by link volume alone, you can actually rank better with fewer links if your content quality is decent. And quality means ease of reading, supplying specific answers, breaking it down into digestible pieces, and even semantically layering it. Some of my small affiliate sites are dominating spaces where traditionally massive e-commerce sites used to occupy.
21. Find a Way to Create Attention
|Attention creates awareness, which in turn creates (brand) traffic and links, which will improve your SEO. You need to find a way to create attention (to your product/service/brand/company/website).|
|Director for URL Profiler|
22. Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible
|If I had to give one SEO tip it would be to hone your technical SEO skills as much as possible.|
|VP Local & Product at Local SEO Guide|
While SEO is a relatively broad discipline, the technical aspects of it are relatively opaque to many, and there is no shortcut for. On top of that, it is a skill that will likely always be in demand.
On the long run, search engine optimization will always work, it is just metamorphosed into different forms and approaches. The SEO experts involved in this article said that every business owner should focus on the customer, valuable (not just quality or unique ) content, testing, in-depth analysis, link earning, mobile responsiveness, creative technical SEO while keeping an eye on the ranking signals and the quality backlinks. There are a lot of Youtube videos or “ultimate guides” to improve your SEO. The truth is that some grass-root pieces of advice directly from the professionals in the field are always the SEO tactics you can learn from.
The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results. Because nobody might go to the second page in SERP when they look for something. That’s why, from time to time, you need take into account these kind of actionable SEO tips (directly from SEO experts) and rank higher in Google. Lots of people want to receive organic traffic, write relevant fresh content, have fast loading speed, earn quality links, have authority sites and no Google penalties. Having an SEO strategy, get registered with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and other digital marketing tools might help you outrank your competitors and become number one. But it depends on you to do the things right; if you follow these SEO techniques backed up by experts you might have bigger chances of success.
Make sure you pay attention to these more advanced SEO tactics but don’t forget about the basic SEO tips for your website, such as an internal link strategy, increasing social shares for brand awareness, building relevant links for your website optimizing anchor text, crawling your site to fix broken links, get keyword ideas, create valuable and relevant content on your site, easy to read blogs with popular content, onpage SEO optimization for long tail keywords, image alt text, compelling meta descriptions and unique titles and descriptions. Also bear in mind to integrate social media into the whole SEO strategy, because it is an important piece of the pie. This blog post is a collection of actionable SEO tips for beginners but also for professionals and we hope you will take full advantage of them.
The post 22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.
SEO still keeps a lot of secrets for a lot of beginners out there, but even advanced users need to be constantly up to date with what happens in the online marketing world. We’ve put a together a list of ten SEO facts you’ve probably never heard of before; however, even if you have, this is a friendly reminder.
There are a lot of SEO facts and stats out there, with more or less known matters. What we’ve tried to do is to put together a list of surprising SEO facts that make you look at the search engine market from a new perspective. This is not a collection of SEO statistics; this is a list of SEO facts that will help you improve your SEO and your overall online marketing strategy.
That is why we have prepared for you a series of ten shocking facts that we believe you never knew about, until today.
- Duplicate Content Won’t Get You Penalized
- Not All Search Engines Use Links as a Ranking Factor
- Google+ Is the Highest Correlated Social Factor for Rankings
- Rich Snippets Have No Direct Impact on Your Rankings
- Only 2 of the Top 10 Most Popular Sites Are Content Sites
- Object Detection in Images is a Strong Ranking Signal
- Google Has Search Evaluators to Determine the Quality of Results
- A Video on Your Homepage Will Double the Chances to Show up on Page 1 of Google
- Travel Time Is a Metric for Google’s Ranking
- Google Ranks Events Based upon Popularity
1. Duplicate Content Won’t Get You Penalized
Will you be penalized for duplicate content? No. Is duplicate content hurting your site? Well, it depends. Allow us to elaborate more on this matter.
To start with, we will cite the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines from March 2017 :
The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC (main content) on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.
Did you see duplicate content mentioned anywhere? No. It’s all about copied content. And Google has a different treatment for copied content than for duplicate content. Duplicate content won’t get you penalized, while copied content will. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the video below where Andrey Lipattsev from Google claimed that:
There is no Google duplicate content penalty.
Duplicate content is not always hurting SEO as most of the people think. Of course, duplicate content is not an optimal set-up for pages. Nevertheless, most of the time duplicate content is not manipulative. If you use canonical tags to let search engines know the preferred content, you should be safe. What we want to stress on is that there are many users who have never gazed over what Google says about the duplicate content.
It is not called a penalty if Google notices that your content is not unique.
As Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland describes in the video mentioned above, you can notice that:
- Google does not have a duplicate penalty
- What it does is to reward unique content and correlate it with added value
- The duplicate content is filtered
- Google wants to find new content and duplicates slows the search engine down
- If you want Google to quickly discover your new content, you should send XML sitemaps
- What the big G wants us to do is to concentrate signals in canonical documents, and optimize those canonical pages so they are better for users.
- If we think about SEI, it is not duplicate content that is hurting our ranking, but the lack of unique content.
Remember that if there is a website duplicating your content and you do not have any agreement, you can fill in a request to have it removed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Another thing that you can easily do is to use canonical tags. This is a simple way of telling the search engine that this is where the official version first appeared. You should keep count of the duplicate content issues, anytime you start shaping your content marketing strategies or you want to analyze your SEO rankings.
2. Not All Search Engines Use Links as a Ranking Factor
Is it possible to rank without links? The answer is yes.
Yandex, the biggest search engine in Russia is no longer taking into consideration links as a ranking factor. Before saying that what happens in Russia, stays in Russia, you need to know that Google might be heading in the same direction. The Russian commercial SERPs in Yandex and Google are some of the most spammed keywords, where black hat SEO techniques are used to quickly rank shady sites. Given the situation, Yandex said that their algorithm will be a “link-free” one. Will the other search engines follow?
Will Google remove links from their algorithm? It seems like Google wishes to rank websites based on facts instead of links. They even discussed on the idea of excluding backlinks from the Google algorithm.
We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally […] we’ve played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance and, at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure that we return the best, most relevant, most topical search results. – Matt Cutts, former Google representative
It seems like Google wishes to rank websites based on facts instead of links. This means that the trustworthiness of a domain might help it rise up rankings if Google measures quality by facts, instead of links, according to New Scientist.
3. Google+ Is the Highest Correlated Social Factor for Rankings
There is a lot of mystery and buzz regarding the influence of shares, comments, likes, etc. on SEO in general. A question keeps popping out:
Are social signals a ranking factor?
The answer is not as simple as a “yes” or “no”. What we can tell you for sure as a result of an in-depth study published in a previous blog post on this matter is this:
The average Google + shares for the first rank are significantly higher.
There were some other correlations we’ve made between Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn and ranks; yet, the strongest correlation was between a high number of Google+ shares and better ranks.
Before overlooking Google+ within your social media marketing strategy, take a look at the screenshot above. It’s true that correlation doesn’t mean causality but such a high correlation cannot be easily ignored.
It seems that Google+ interactions affect Google search rankings. Therefore, Google+ provides engagement with your audience, but it also affects measurable outcomes beyond engagement, including higher search results ranking. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to know that organic listing doesn’t come up easily, regardless of the SEO tactics or social media strategy you’ve used. Yet, any little help that will improve your search traffic definitely helps.
4. Rich Snippets Have No Direct Impact on Your Rankings
Rich snippets have been a sneak preview on the SERP page since they first appeared in 2009. The question is: Do they have a direct impact on your ranks? Well, not really.
Rich snippets have the role of adding extra information to a search listing but, according to Google, they do not influence rankings. Google has stated several times that rich snippets have no direct impact on site rankings at the moment. You can even find answers on the Web Master Help Forum:
Q: Does using rich snippets affect my site’s ranking?
So Google said it all. Apparently, rich snippets do not affect our rankings in a direct way. This does not mean that it cannot generate indirect SEO benefits though, like helping a page to be easily indexable or showing useful data for the reader. Rich snippets will help you in an indirect way to get more people to visit your website, and that in turn might further help you with your rankings; yet rich snippets have no direct impact on your ranks.
5. Only 2 of the Top 10 Most Popular Sites on the Web Are Content Sites
In order to completely understand this let’s take a look at the 10 most popular sites according to Ebizma. It seems that the top most popular sites in March 2017 are: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo!, Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Bing, eBay and MSN. No suprise here, I know. Yet, if we think of them for a moment we notice that only Wikipedia and YouTube are truly content-oriented websites. The other are “content gates” if we can say that but they are not offering direct content in a way a usual website does.
This leads to an important question:
Does usefulness matter more than content?
Eight of those sites give the core users something to do, not only to consume. As Carter Bowles from Northcutt claims, they do not stop at passive reading or video watching, but they give people tools and places that they can use to do something. These websites are popular because the action required from the core user does not stop at consuming content.
Google is a tool that gives users the chance of quickly searching the whole web in order to find something that they want. They are not popular due to content or fantastic link bait, but as a result of interaction. So, we might ask ourselves:
Is content still king?
We are not implying that content marketing is not working. Quality content is great because it provides an amazing way to grow. What we are stressing on is the fact that interaction seems to be working wonders. If we try to understand why these websites are popular, we will notice that up to a point, content marketing is also part of their strategy. But what facts prove to us is that the most outstanding sites out there place communities, tools and interactive platforms before content. Even more, those two content sites that are at the top of popularity, YouTube and Wikipedia, are still making use of interactive platforms.
6. Object Detection in Images Is a Strong Ranking Signal
You may know that Google is smart enough to recognize objects in images but what you might not know is that object recognition is now a ranking signal that can affect any business out there.
Not long ago we wrote an article about the way Google will read & rank images in the near future. Well, it seems like the future is now. It’s true that there have been lots of studies with complex equations and algorithms about image recognition since the ‘90s, so we can say that the subject has appealed to researchers ever since search engines appeared. What should be appealing for users is the idea of image optimization, and not in the classic way of adding title tags and alternate text.
Since the moment the big G made the Cloud Vision API public, a lot of people started raving about the technology. Without any doubt, Cloud Vision API can be used to analyze and determine what is inside an image. This quickly classifies images into thousands of categories (e.g., “sailboat”, “lion”, “Eiffel Tower”), detects individual objects and faces within images, and finds and reads printed words contained within images. You can build metadata on your image catalog, moderate offensive content, or enable new marketing scenarios through image sentiment analysis.
This feature allows search engines to detect what content is inside the images that you post on your websites and rank it accordingly.
Object Detection in Images adds an extra layer of ranking signals that cannot be easily altered.
However, this is really big for the SEO industry as the object recognition:
- Will help by helping Google to show a lower number of false positives when searching for a particular keyword.
- Can strengthen the ranking of a page
7. Google Has Search Evaluators to Determine the Quality of Results
You might know by now that a lot of algorithms are used by Google in order to rank websites. You might be surprised to find out that to evaluate the quality of search results Google hired people who make around 40,000 precision evaluations. These search evaluators have to establish the quality of results for various searches. The guidelines that they use to rate the results are explained in a rather dense document that can be found here.
Although the document seems to address more those who wish to become evaluators, a gaze through the guidelines can help developers and marketers as well, because they help you understand how quality is perceived by Google.
Google uses search evaluators from different countries and with different languages. This means that Google is trying to understand content written in more languages.
Following this, we might think that the engine will be able to apply penalties to content coming in not so common languages as well. For the moment, by Google’s estimates, the Penguin algorithm affects approximately 3.1% of search queries in English, about 3% of queries in languages like German, Chinese, and Arabic. These trained experts might be able to catch spam in more languages and therefore affect the overall ranks.
8. A Video on Your Homepage Will Double the Chances to Show up on Page 1 of Google
All that YouTube has achieved in the last years made it the world’s second largest search engine and also the go-to choice for online video marketing and advertising. Let’s think of it for a moment. Everybody likes videos, right? They are instantly more attractive than text for lots of people and it seems that the big G holds a special place for Youtube in its heart. We should also take into account that, after all, it is owned by Google.
According to a study conducted by Tubular Insights, videos have a 41% higher CTR than text.
According to a study made by Aimclear, it seems that the platform we choose to upload our videos impacts the ability to rank. What platform is preferred? You guessed. YouTube dominates Google’s SERP, but there are other platforms that have some influence as well, as you can see in the image bellow:
But what about having videos on homepages? Will they help us rank better? The same study from Aimclear mentioned above says that nearly 100% of the videos returned in universal SERPs also ranked on the first page on their native platform. It’s true that a high ranking on YouTube results doesn’t guarantees a universal search placement; yet it seems to be a prerequisite. Also, direct or indirect, videos will boost your rankings. Aside from keeping your visitors engaged, it will give them something they can easily share.
A video can help by keeping your visitors more on your website and this will be seen as a ranking factor by the search engines. We should also consider the possibility of visitors sharing the page containing the video on social media and this will increase the possibility of receiving inbound links from users that notice it. This will certainly add value to your SEO.
9. Travel Time Is a Metric for Google’s Ranking
No, we are not talking about time traveling and time machines, but about the physical time it takes for someone to get from a location to an event/place/business he/she is interested in, and as a consequence, about local search and local optimization.
The amount of travel time someone goes through in order to reach a place is a ranking factor.
Travel time is a recently granted patent from Google that seems to be connected with the local SEO and is defined as the “time investment a person may be willing to make to visit a specific location.” Therefore, proximity comes first not just in our day to day lives but in SERPs as well. Sites that are not as optimized as yours will rank ahead of you if they are closer to the user. Therefore, if you have a local business you should be highly interested of this search market feature if you are interested in a high close rate as well.
Just look at the image below. The “plumbers” search listed a few businesses relevant for this search. Yet, why are these websites listed first?
Do they have quality content? Well, some of them don’t even have a website, as we found out from a research conducted by Darren Shaw. Not to mention that some of them have 0 links and 0 reviews. Therefore, why are they ranking in top 3? You’ve guessed it: proximity.
It seems like Google also wants to know if a person visits a place after seeing it in Google Maps, either by following a recommendation or after seeing it in the search results. As Bill Slawski mentioned, the term ”time investment” used in this Google patent refers to the actual time that it takes to visit a place that was seen in the search results.
10. Google Ranks Events Based upon Popularity
According to another patent granted for Google, it seems that the search engine will soon rank events depending on popularity instead of considering the number of inbound links pointed at the event’s pages. The idea behind this patent is that because many events can happen in the same region or around the same time, people that are interested in them might consider it difficult to choose the event to attend.
This will help users choose the most interesting event when multiple events take place at the same time.
The big G will be receiving data about the events that take place during a certain time period along with the computing signal scores for those events.
Other signals for ranking events according to the patent might be:
- generating an initial ranking of events based on the popularity scores;
- computing a modified popularity score for each of the events based on the initial ranking;
- generating the ranking of events occurring in the physical location by ranking the events according to the modified popularity scores.
Above we’ve exposed some of the facts from the search engine optimization market we believe will help you out with your organic search and your overall digital marketing strategy. The search engine market is an ever transforming platform where effective SEO still pays the bills and keeps on driving traffic. Even if you invest in paid search or in link building, what we want at the end of the day is to have all of the internet users, if possible, generating organic clicks on our site. Increasing sales is what we all aim to. And as 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, being aware of the Google SEO statistics that can influence your website’s performance (regardless if they are SEO facts 2017 or older SEO statistics from 2016 )it’s of paramount importance.
There is no single most effective SEO statistic, tip or fact, a lead generation formula that will drive to guaranteed marketing success. Yet, the SEO facts we’ve debated along this article might help you with your onpage SEO, your integrated marketing or content strategies. Conversion rates don’t come easily and some SEO tips, paid ads or marketing stats won’t bring million users all of the sudden. But being aware of the SEO stats and facts and shaping your online marketing according to it, will definitely improve your global web presence. Stay up to date to the marketing trends, be concerned of content creation, check out where your users click on, invest in inbound marketing and the organic results will eventually follow.
We look forward to seeing how Google’s search engine will evolve with all the new technology and we also look forward to hearing from you.
The post 10 Shocking SEO Facts You Never Knew About appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.
The amount of information that Google holds is, beyond any doubt, amazing and this is maybe one of the reasons we are so connected with this search engine. All the functions and functionalities keep evolving, and even though you might know and admire the really creative Google Doodles and you might have already amused yourself with some of the big G’s April Fools Day jokes, some of you might not be aware of the different secrets that it holds: the Google Easter Eggs.
Blame it on the season, blame it on our curiosity but we’ve prepared for you the most comprehensive list of Google Easter Eggs that I am sure it will intrigue you just as much it intrigued us. We might mention that we are not offering you the decorated or chocolate eggs that are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter or springtime celebration. We’re offering you something just as “delicious” from a recreational point of view: the hidden messages, intentional inside jokes, or secret features, in other words the complete list of Google Easter Eggs.
We’ve tried to gather all the Easter Eggs that are available at the moment. Keep in mind that if you want all of them to work, it will be useful to have the latest version of Google Chrome browser. With no further introduction, we declare the traditional (Google) Easter egg hunt opened.
- The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
- Baker’s Dozen
- Bletchley Park
- Conway’s Game of Life
- Play Atari Breakout in Google Images
- Flip a Coin
- Fun Facts
- Feeling Curious
- Roll a Die
- Play Solitaire
- Server Status 418. I’m a Teapot
- Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli
- Play Dreidel
- Once in a Blue Moon
- The Number of Horns on a Unicorn
- Loneliest Number
- Search For “Anagram” Or “Define Anagram”
- Blink HTML
- Marquee HTML
- Do a Barrel Roll
- Google in 1998
- Is Google Down?
- Zerg Rush
- Search for Recursion
- Sonic Easter Egg
- Super Mario Bros
- 3D Easter Egg
- Bacon Number
- Valentine’s Day Easter Egg
- Bubble Level
- Pirate Language
- Loch Ness Monster
- Google Mars
- Google Moon
- Dinosaur Game
- What Sound Does a Dog make?
- Nutrition Info
- The Funniest Joke in the World
- Lego Lovers Build with Chrome
- Spelling Numbers
- Explore Space with Google Sky
- Find Webpage Fonts
- Google Gravity
- Let Me Google That for You
- But Where is Chuck Norris?
- Google Space
- Google Sphere
1. The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
This is a really one of the coolest Google Search Easter Eggs, especially for those who read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. In his book he wrote that “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.” A lot of fans tried to decipher what was the secret meaning of the number, but Douglas Adams himself said: “The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base 13, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat on my desk, stared in to the garden and thought 42 will do. I typed it out. End of story.” Even though the author said the number was made up, millions of Hitchhiker’s fans still think of multiple secret motivations.
2. Baker’s Dozen
If you go to the search bar and look for “baker’s dozen”, you will see the number 13 on the calculator. A baker’s dozen, a long dozen or a devil’s dozen is 13 and this comes from the practice of medieval English bakers giving an extra loaf when selling a dozen. This represented an insurance against the items being lower than the statutory weight, or of lower than usual quality, which could cause the baker to be fined. The thirteen loaves where never called by the number and were described as a “baker’s dozen” because of the “unlucky 13”.
3. Bletchley Park
Look for “Bletchley Park” and on the search results page you will notice that Google’s Knowledge Panel will decode the name of Bletchley Park and will show it beneath the location on Google Maps. In the World War II, Bletchley Park was the central site for British codebreakers and it housed the Government Code and Cypher School. According to Wikipedia, it regularly unveiled the secret communications of the Axis Powers, the most important German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers.
4. Conway’s Game of Life
This is also among the nice Google Search Easter Eggs. Simply Google for “Conway’s Game of Life”, and you will see a few small blue boxes that move through different patterns and spread over the page. According to Wikipedia, The Game of Life is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway, in 1970. The “game” is a zero-player game, meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves or, for advanced “players”, by creating patterns with particular properties.
5. Play Atari Breakout in Google Images
Do you want to kill boredom? Well, you’ve finally reached the right place. Go to Google and do an image search for ”Atari Breakout” and start playing. This will be a breeze for anybody who loves the “oldies but goldies” type of video games and it will certainly bring back some memories. You will be able to navigate the paddle by using your mouse or arrow keys on your keyboard in order to destroy all images.
Search for ”askew” and the search engine will tilt the screen for you. This is one of the display Easter eggs that Google has. Everything else still works as it should and if you look for anything else the search results page will go back to normal.
7. Flip a Coin
We have all flipped a coin in order to decide something with another person. The folks at Google seem to do this so much that they had to include a card with an animated coin flip. This time at least, you will know that it is a fair deal.
8. Fun Facts
Do you know when ears and nose stop growing? If you feel like you want to learn something new, go to the Google search bar and write down “fun facts” and be amazed.
9. Feeling Curious
This one is pretty similar to fun facts. If you like trivia questions or you get bored, this is really useful. Google “I’m feeling curious” and the search engine will show you a random question and an answer that will teach you something new every single day. If you click on Ask Another Question, this will never stop. Did you know that the olympic flag was first flown at the Antwerp games in 1920?
10. Roll a Die
This is one that Google made for all the gamblers out there. All you have to do is search ”roll a die” and the big G will roll a die for you, one out of six.
11. Play Solitaire
The history of the card game named Solitaire dates back to the mid-18th century. Solitaire gained different names along the time, but what really matters is that now you can simply Google ”solitaire” and you will be able to play the card classics Solitaire in any desktop browser in an instant.
12. Server Status 418. I’m a Teapot
You can easily access the page by clicking here. This is an easter egg which was designed for server and SEO geeks. The teapot page is a 418 response code, which was initially an April Fools Joke from 1998 that was not intended for implementation, even though Google did it anyway.
13. Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli
It does not matter if you call it Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli, as the ancient Romans used to call it, simply Google “tic tac toe” or even “terni lapilli” and discover a game you can play with the computer or with a friend. For a challenge we recommend the impossible difficulty.
You can go to the Google hompage and search for the word “spinner” and you will see an interactive spinning wheel appearing. You will also be able to choose numbers from 2 to 20.
15. Play Dreidel
Talking about games and easter eggs, you can type “play dreidel” in the search bar and enjoy. For those who do not know, dreidel is a Jewish variant of the teetotum, a gambling toy found in many European cultures. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (He), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for “נס גדול היה שם” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”). It is great that it is now one of the Google games.
16. Once in a Blue Moon
This is one of the amazing Google easter eggs. If you search “once in a Blue Moon”, Google will guide you to the mathematical equation for the occurrence of a blue moon. The calculator will show the result of “once in a blue moon = 1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz”. Once in a blue moon is something that happens rarely.
17. The Number of Horns on a Unicorn
Similar to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy joke, look for “the number of horns on a unicorn” and the search engine will show you the calculator with the answer “1”.
18. Loneliest Number
Look for the “loneliest number” in the search box and the Google calculator will show you the answer “1”.
19. Search For “Anagram” Or “Define Anagram”
This is a must in the definitive list of easter eggs. Write “anagram” in the search box, Google will ask you “did you mean: nag a ram?”. For more fun you can type in “define anagram” and it will ask you again “did you mean: nerd fame again?”
20. Blink HTML
The easter egg hidden here is quite interesting. Type “blink html” or “<blink>” in the search box in order to activate it. You will notice that the words “blink” and “html” will actually blink on the SERP. You can see an animated GIF with this action:
21. Marquee HTML
Another interesting secret hidden withing your Google page can be seen when looking for “marquee html”. You will notice that the results count will slowly move from right to left on the page. Check it yourself and see.
22. Google Barrel Roll
Look for “do a barrel roll” and the SERP page will quickly execute a roll. The barrel roll is known as an airplane maneuver in which the pilot performs a 360 degree roll while flying forward at a consistent altitude. It seems like Google wanted to help people understand what this maneuver is by simply showing it.
It seems that Seinfeld fans will get a nice treat by typing “Festivus”: an undecorated aluminum Festivus pole. Festivus represents a parody and also a secular holiday that is celebrated on December 23. It represents an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.
24. Google in 1998
For those who want to roll the years back and have a short reminder of how Google looked at the beginnings of time itself, search for “google in 1998” and you will get one of those classy SERP pages.
25. Is Google Down?
Quickly look for “is google down” and you will get the answer in an instant…or not?
26. Zerg Rush
Search “zerg rush” and fight to protect the results on the SERP! If you have ever played a Starcraft game you will know that a “zerg rush” is a tactic which implies gathering a low-level or poorly equipped group against an opposing group in the hope that big numbers will crush the adversary. The search will activate a simplified example of a zerg rush using an army of O’s. When you finish the game, the O’s will gather up in the form of “GG”, which all of the gamers out there will know that it means “good game”.
27. Search for Recursion
The recursion Google joke seems to be a classic. Look up for the word “recursion”, which means a repeated application of a recursive procedure, and the engine will ask you “did you mean: recursion?”. No matter how many times you click it, you will end up on the same page.
28. Sonic Easter Egg
This is a nice Easter egg for all the Sonic fans out there. Search “sonic the hedgehog” and you will see an animated .gif with Sonic waiting in the info card located on the right side of the SERP page.
29. Super Mario Bros
Write “Super Mario Bros” in the search bar and you will notice an animated .gif question mark box on the knowledge panel which is located on the right side of the screen.
Search “kerning” on Google and every time you will see the word “kerning” on the SERP page, you will notice that it has the spacing between the letters applied.
Ready for more of the Google Easter eggs games? Search “pac-man” and use the arrow keys to play the video game.
32. 3D Easter Egg
This is one of the amazing Google easter eggs. Click here and along with a mind blowing calculus you will see a spinning egg in 3D.
33. Bacon Number
This is another fun Google secret. Type “bacon number” followed by any actor’s name and you will get the bacon number. This represents the number of degrees of separation they have from actor Kevin Bacon, as defined by the game known as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The numbers go from 1 to 6 because there is the theory of six degrees of separation which says that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.
34.Valentine’s Day Easter Egg
Do you feel the need of giving your heart to someone? Google made it easier than ever. You can click here and see an Easter egg that might work good for valentine’s day. And if it doesn’t work good for Valentine, at least you will impress the other with a complicated mathematical calculus.
During the Gay Pride Parades, users that search for keywords like “gay pride,” “marriage equality” and other LGBT rights terms will see a rainbow themed SERP. The colourful results will differ and sometimes even the Google logo will change, as a sign of support for the LGBT community.
36. Bubble Level
Simply search for “bubble level” on your smartphone and you will instantly have an interactive leveler on your mobile phone.
37. Pirate Language
If you want to check out Google’s pirate interface go to the language setting and you will be feeling lucky sailing the web with Google’s pirate language in no time. Good luck with your searrrrrch!
38. Loch Ness Monster
It is time for a Google Maps Easter Egg. After intensive searches and a lot of really hard work, our team here at cognitiveSEO has finally found the Loch Ness Monster. All you have to do is to search for “Loch Ness” and you will see the Google Maps Pegman button change in the bottom right corner.
39. Google Mars
If you got tired of Google Earth and you want to take a short trip to Mars, it is now easier than ever and you can even take a Google street view. The folks from Google declared not long before April Fools Day:
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is committed to meeting our customers needs—no matter where they are. Amidst our growing list of new regions, today we’re pleased to announce our expansion to Mars. In addition to supporting some of the most demanding disaster recovery and data sovereignty needs of our Earth-based customers, we’re looking to the future cloud infrastructure needed for the exploration and ultimate colonization of the Red Planet. Our first interplanetary data center—affectionately nicknamed “Ziggy Stardust”—will open in 2018. Our Mars exploration started as a 20% project with the Google Planets team, which mapped Mars and other bodies in space and found a suitable location in Gale Crater, near the landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover.
40. Google Moon
Are you curious about the Apollo missions? Do you want to have a closer look at the moon? You can now easily do this with the aid of Google by following this link.
41. Dinosaur Game
Some of you Google Chrome users might already know about the dinosaur game. Every time your internet connection falls down you will be able to press the space bar and the arrow keys to play it.
42. What Sound Does a Dog make?
It does not apply only to dogs, but all you have to do is search for “what sound does a dog make” and you will be able to hear it and even choose multiple animals.
This is a really useful secret feature for musicians. Anytime you want your instrument just look for “metronome” and you will have one in a heartbeat.
44. Nutrition Info
You can quickly do a google search of “nutrition…” and add any food and find out all the details you need to take care of health.
Whether you want to quickly convert Euro to USD or kilograms to pounds, you can quickly search it and find out the result.
46. The Funniest Joke in the World
This is a small Google hacker result. Look for “Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput! to English” and see what Google Translate has to say. If you are curious about the german phrase, you need to know that it’s often referred to as “The Funniest Joke in the World” .This is the title most frequently used for written references to a Monty Python’s Flying Circus comedy sketch.
Let’s say that you easily want to keep track of time and you want a handy tool in your web browser. There is a hidden timer directly in Google’s Search.
48. Lego Lovers Build with Chrome
This is something that Lego lovers will certainly spend lots of time with. You get a Google Earth view with this website and you get to build what you want where you want. Go to the website and enjoy it!
49. Spelling Numbers
If you ever have trouble with spelling or reading a big number in english, you can ask the big G to help you out. All you have to do it look for “number=english”
50. Explore Space with Google Sky
Did you get bored of the Google Earth flight simulator? Go to this page and enjoy your space voyage.
51. Find Webpage Fonts
If you are in need of finding a really nice font for something you can go to Google.com/fonts and see what fits you. What is the cool thing is that you can compare fonts based on the exact phrase that interest you.
Third-Party Easter Eggs
52. Google Gravity
This lets you feel the power of gravity while searching for a Google result. Check it yourself by clicking here.
53. Let Me Google That for You
A really cool trick, you can see what it does by clicking here. It basically shows you how to search for something on the web and it can be really useful for those friends of ours who ask a lot of questions. But what we really found interesting and fun is that Google also had some fun regarding the subject. Search for “let me google that for you” and see what the knowledge box says. We have surely amused ourselves by reading the Q&As.
54. But Where is Chuck Norris?
For those who love Chuck Norris jokes, you can click here.
55. Google Space
This website shows you how Google would look like if it were in the zero gravity mode. You can check it out yourself.
56. Google Sphere
Another Mr. Doob experiment, this shows you Google in the form of a sphere.
It can be difficult to notice the difference between regular Easter eggs, a very well hidden in-joke and other special features that work on particular events such as Easter or Christmas holidays. From in-browser games, to hidden jokes and features, inspired by the season, we have decided to start a hunt and post the most complete Google Easter Eggs list that you can find out there. Google is highly dynamic and it’s hard to create a definitive list of Google Easter Eggs. Features hidden within your Google browser will keep on popping out as the big G’s engineers try to maintain a sense of humor through surprises like these.
Considering all the in-jokes, in-browser video games and the hidden features that we have found, we believe that our quest ended here and we believe that this is the list with most of the interesting eggs out there. Have you found any other Google Easter egg? Let us know!