About Me

Digital Marketing Consultant and WordPress Designer.

Me Rahul Pal I am passionate digital marketer with a data driven ROI-centric approach, which includes in depth market research, consumer analysis and market trend . I am obsessed with understanding online consumer behavior to deliver the most effective results. I have strong foundation in marketing blended with hands on experience in setting up and managing end to end digital marketing campaigns. I would love to design and execute clutter breaking digital marketing promotions for you. Help you effectively reach out to your target audience, maximize traffic, leads and consumer engagement with your website/APP

Brithday 08-06-1997
Call +918750080273
Email info@digitalclick.in
Website www.digitalclick.in
Download CV Hire Me

My Skill

I have strong foundation in marketing blended with hands on experience in setting up and managing end to end digital marketing campaigns. I would love to design and execute clutter breaking digital marketing promotions for you. Help you effectively reach out to your target audience, maximize traffic, leads and consumer engagement with your website/APP

Branding
Web Development & CSS
Digital Marketing
Web Designing

My Services

What i offer

Search Engine Optimization

We can skyrocket rankings of your website in Google with our innovative SEO techniques. We will find best keywords for your website to get you tons of organic traffic.

Ads management

With our team of Google Adwords Certified Professionals, we can manage all type of PPC campaigns, like, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Dynamic Remarketing Ads, etc.

Social Media Management

We are very good at Social Media Marketing. We can create viral content for your followers that will be shared and liked to get you more targeted and engaged social media users.

Website Development

We makes sure your website has a responsive, trendy design, crafted with customers placed in the centre to give a fitting representation to your business brand.

Brand Management

Our branding services help companies last a lifetime. Building a brand is about creating an unforgettable first impression and leaving a lasting impression.

Graphic Designing

Our graphic design services team are experts in developing innovative solutions for clients in a vast variety of industries and verticals.

1001

Happy Clients

250

Projects Done

150

Awards Won

1500

Cups Tea

My Experience

My Recent Experiences
Sep-2020 - Present
Digital Marketing Expert

Collaborate with creative and development teams on the execution of ideas in behalf of convertions.

Oct 2019 - sep 2020
SEO Expert

Collaborate with creative and development teams on the execution of ideas in behalf of rankings.

Apr 2018 - Oct 2019
Digital Marketing Executive

Started my career, learn and Collaborate with creative and development teams on the execution of ideas.

My Blog

Latest blog

According to a study by Moz, backlinks are essential for local packs and localized organic ranking factors, in summary, it’s the backbone of any successful SEO campaign.

Unlike general link-building tactics, location has more impact on local link-building. Therefore, you need to get links from local sites which have locational relevance to your website.

In this post, I’ll be showing you 6 ways to find solid local link prospects that will help you rank higher on Google.

How to build local links

Since the goal is to drive more local traffic to your site, here’s how you can improve your ranking with local links.

1. Join your niche-relevant business association

One of the best ways to build local links is through niche backlinks. Niche backlinks are like targeted advertising. They help you reach your target audience and convert them in no time. You can get these kinds of links by joining your niche-relevant business association.

Conduct a targeted search for legitimate business association sites in your city on Google or any other search engine. This is because they have authority and the right local relevance.

Let’s consider the previous example of a pastry chef. To find relevant associations in your niche, type California chef association on Google. With an SEO tool, you’ll see the SEO metrics for each domain and page within the SERP. If you visit the page of any of the listed associations, you’ll realize that they do have URLs with outbound links to their members’ sites.

In the USA, there are trade associations that negotiate with the government, and unions to provide members benefits. These associations have insane link values because they have links to government sites. Becoming a member of one of these associations through an application or subscription can help you get the needed backlinks.

2. Valuable, meaningful guest posts on local websites

One of the best off-page SEO tactics to win high-quality backlinks is guest posting.

What you need to do is to source for local sites in your niche that you can pitch to.

Let’s say you’re a pastry chef, you can use an SEO tool to search through several pages of content. Then you filter prospects by their SEO metrics.

Target those local websites with food and pastries blog posts as they’re likely to accept a guest post pitch.

Afterward, set a word count filter to show pages with at least 500 words along with a domain rating filter. This process will reveal the sites that have reasonable website authority.

With the few blogs left, you can start pitching for a guest writing opportunity. Consider pitching blogs by sending a direct email to the editor.

3. Generate backlinks from social media

Social media is not only to showcase your product but also enhance your website’s visibility. The truth is, with social media, you can generate as many local backlinks as possible by using your profile.

This process involves adding links to your social media profiles, pages, and groups.

Let’s consider Twitter as an example. Statista reported that Twitter had 7.1 billion website visits worldwide this year. The United States currently has the most Twitter users of 77.75 million users. And states like California and Florida are in the top ten of active Twitter users. Then let’s say you’re in California, you’ll be lucky to get enough clicks.

With the statistics above, it’s clear that you can get a good number of backlinks on this microblogging platform by setting up a decent profile.

One of the most suitable places to get backlinks on Twitter is your bio and website field.

Do you know that your profile has an actual field for your website? It does and with its over 100-character bio space, you can share your link in both places. The benefit of having your site link on your bio is not only to appear straight to your profile visitors but also to show up in Twitter search results.

Sites like Klout help to elevate your Twitter bio information but unlike Twitter, it’ll only hyperlink website links with http://.

Other places to include your site link is your photo and video tweets.

4. Local resource page link building

This is one of the most popular link-building tactics that have been around for a while.

Resource page link building is the practice of getting your site featured on web pages that link out to useful industry resources.

Here are some examples of resource pages.

These are good resource pages because they link out to other related web pages.

To build links with this tactic, you must create a resource that will be of huge value to your local community (shopping guide, travel guide), then you find relevant resource pages. Search for websites with decent domain-level authority. Then visit the pages to check for external links to other websites. After you’ve reviewed the sites based on SEO metrics, scan the remaining prospects and reach out to suggest your resource. For example, Amit Raj got a link for a seafood business from a local university with a resource page.

5. Consider your top organic competitors’ backlinks

The idea behind this is to find backlinks that help your competitors rank well on Google. You’ll need to find common links between your competitors and reach out to those sites. Search for competitors in your niche that are within your city. Then gather a list of those websites domains using SemRush or Map Pack.

Ensure you’re dealing with your real business competitors’ sites and not directories.

Use a tool like Ahref backlinks tool or SEO spyglass to see websites that are linking to your competitors but not you. Look through the lists of sites and you’ll be able to find enough link-building opportunities.

6. Create content that caters to your local audience

This is another great local link-building opportunity. It involves creating relevant local content for a local audience.

Here, the first thing you should target is getting local keywords. For example, if you’re a pastry chef in California, you may search for the most popular cookie recipe in California.

Use keyword planning and research tools like Google keyword planner or SemRush to get the most popular local search queries.

Then your blog posts should be about local events and activities on a local scale.

It would be best if you also connected to local influencers and bloggers to get mentions from them either on their websites or social media. With this strategy, you can be sure to get local backlinks and clicks within your area. For instance, after reaching out to a local influencer, you can be listed among the top 10 pastry chefs in California, increasing your reach.

Final thought

Now, it’s over to you to put these strategies in place for your local link-building system. Even if the process seems challenging, take it a step at a time. You can’t predict the algorithm but at least you can try to be as creative as possible in building your brand’s SEO.

By using the tactics discussed in this post, start your journey to gaining local relevance and authority in your niche.


Guy Sheetrit is the CEO of Over The Top SEO, an award-winning marketing agency that provides customized SEO marketing solutions for ecommerce, local, and Fortune 500 companies. He can be found on Twitter @guysheetrit.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Six local link-building tactics for small businesses appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


How to use PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth

30-second summary:

  • With the right strategy, digital PR can help drive both brand awareness and organic performance
  • During an economic downturn, brand visibility is essential to maintain brand advocacy in the long-term
  • Brands that will come out on top are those that take a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, using data from other channels to inform their approach

Despite being tempted to pull back on spending during a recession, I believe that it is critical that brands stay visible to maintain brand advocacy — and Digital PR is a great, low-cost way to do so.

Future front-runner brands will be those that adopt a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, utilizing data from other channels to inform their approach and ensure it resonates with target audiences.

With the current economic climate, brands and businesses are understandably scrutinizing every cent, and will likely make cuts to marketing budgets across the globe. 

Businesses need to be realistic about their growth trajectory over the next few months and ensure every marketing dollar they invest is accounted for. While this may naturally lead to greater investment in performance channels, such as paid media, this will result in increased cost per click (CPCs). A way to still stay measurable but reduce costs is to get creative and focus energy on earning attention rather than continuing to pay for every click and impression.

As a result, I would argue that digital PR is one of the most important tools in your marketing toolkit, as, with the right strategy, it can drive both brand awareness and organic performance.

You’re missing a trick if you’re just using Digital PR to drive links

Digital PR is used to build high authority, and relevant links to key category pages to drive search performance through organic growth. A targeted strategy that aligns closely with SEO objectives will enable you to track ROI if you have the right measurement tools in place. This activity feeds into lower funnel marketing activity as it helps to harvest demand, as increased rankings capture better traffic and conversions. 

However, if you’re only using it for this purpose, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity further up the marketing funnel. 

Through securing brand-led, high-impact coverage on authoritative and influential publications, digital PR can also be used to drive search demand and upper-funnel brand awareness. This third-party validation is the perfect way to build salience, credibility, customer advocacy, and trust while simultaneously driving organic performance through high-quality links.

In order to achieve both brand and performance though, you need to be creating relevant and engaging content that your target audience wants to read and share. You shouldn’t be creating content ‘just for a link’ but taking into consideration wider business goals – and making sure you’re actually targeting press that your audience is reading.

In summary, digital PR shouldn’t just be an ‘intent-led’ marketing discipline to increase rankings. It’s a discipline that can both drive demand and awareness, whilst helping to capture intent-led traffic. 

Why brand visibility is even more important during a recession

Recessions are difficult and uncertain times, which is why it’s even more important to continue to build visibility and salience – as with tighter budgets, consumers are likely to become more selective and want to buy from brands that they trust that stay relevant to them.

We have seen in previous economic uncertainty brands that maintain their brand awareness and relevance, retain more market share, and are able to bounce back quicker. Mark Ritson’s marketing recession playbook provides further information and sources on this subject. 

In order to use digital PR to deliver true brand performance, you need to ensure you’re creating it based on as much cross-channel insight as possible.

Sharing cross-channel insight to deliver better ROI

While many marketers say they work ‘cross-channel,’ the reality is that many teams are still working in silos – especially across brand and performance teams.

To drive the best results, it is essential to break down silos and take data insights from each channel to develop one overarching strategy.

For example, to drive organic growth, while it’s critical to start with key SEO insight, search volumes, brand traffic, non-brand traffic, relevance, and the number of backlinks, you should be considering other channels to maximize performance. 

Another example would be that your PPC and paid search teams will have a lot of useful data that you can use to inform your organic strategy. Which are the keywords that are costing the most? You can tailor your efforts to improve organic rankings for these keywords, effectively allowing you to spend less on those terms. 

Your programmatic team will also have access to display placement reports which will provide insight into the publications and websites your in-market audience is visiting. This should then inform your target outreach list. From a paid social perspective, this team will have lots of useful information on what content performs the best providing valuable insight for your PR brainstorms.

Amplifying your Digital PR coverage further

You shouldn’t just be working with other channel teams to define your strategy, you need to work with them throughout the whole process, to amplify results. 

For instance, if you generate a truly fantastic piece of linking digital PR coverage, on a very credible publication. Whilst this will drive SEO performance and some brand awareness, in order to maximize the opportunity, and the valuable third-party validation, make it work even harder by amplifying through paid social.

Mini case study: Maryland cookies use PR to reach 5+ million people

Maryland came to us because they needed to align PR, programmatic, and paid social to drive mass awareness of their new Sugar-Free cookie and deliver an immediate surge in new customer sales. Through an integrated approach of PR, paid social, and programmatic, we reached 5.3 million people across all channels. View the case study here.

We have seen in past campaigns that by utilizing PR content as part of your social ads, not only can they actually perform better than the ad creative, but they can also help to prevent ad fatigue and provide you with additional assets (that you don’t need to pay anything extra for!). 

Immediate steps to help your 2023 marketing plan

In order to be successful, it’s important to create a framework that helps to pull all channels together. 

At Journey Further we use the ‘4Ds’ – Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. 

Discover

This phase involves asking all the channels to provide insight and data based on their recent campaigns and learnings to date. It is recommended to assign a client lead who can be tasked with pulling together a list of questions and a briefing document to ensure the discovery phase is as useful as possible. This will help identify where the biggest opportunities are across channels. 

Define

Agree on the best objective and goals based on the insight provided by all channels. Create an overarching strategy that will deliver against them and drive maximum ROI. 

Develop

Set a clear roadmap, with roles and responsibilities outlined across each channel. Whilst in the case of an organic growth strategy, SEO and PR will take the leading role, it’s important other channels are clear on the ways they can amplify the activity at each stage, and what learnings they can also gather from the activity to improve their own results in-channel. 

Deliver

Marketing activity is activated. If this is a digital PR campaign then influencer marketing and paid social tactics may be used for example, alongside outreach, to bolster the campaign and drive more buzz and engagement. 

Reporting on the right metrics

Another benefit of working cross-channel is that you will be able to report on many more metrics, giving a more holistic and accurate view of ROI. 

Creating a live, 24/7 reporting dashboard utilizing tools such as Data Studio will allow you and your team members to check in and monitor progress at all times. This will provide you with a continuous cycle of insight to allow you to continuously improve your marketing efforts and deliver one overarching strategy that enables you to remain visible while also driving performance.


Beth Nunnington is the VP of Digital PR and Content Marketing at Journey Further, leading Digital PR strategy for the world’s leading brands. Her work has been featured in The Drum, PR Moment, and Prolific North. Find Beth on Twitter @BethNunnington.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Are these SEO rookie mistakes costing your search rankings

30-second summary:

  • SEO has increasingly become a key area of practice for businesses to gain visibility, however, if done wrong can stagnate or even sabotage your online visibility
  • From optimizing your website for the wrong keywords to putting too many keywords in the meta keywords tag or creating lots of similar doorway pages
  • We have listed the most common SEO mistakes to avoid and be future-ready

Through SEO, marketers can improve their websites’ rankings in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and thus reach top results.

While doing SEO, however, there are some common SEO mistakes to keep away from. In case of committing any of these mistakes, marketers might end up harming their search ranking and reputation.

Below are seven of the common mistakes that you must avoid.

SEO Mistake #1: Optimizing your site for the wrong keywords

The first step in any search engine optimization campaign is to choose the right keywords for which you should optimize your site. If you initially choose the wrong keywords, all the time and effort that you devote to trying to get your site a high ranking will go down the drain. What good will the top rankings do if you choose keywords which no one searches for, or if you choose keywords which won’t bring in targeted traffic to your site?

The good news is that there are some warning signs that say you’re maybe optimizing for the wrong keywords. Amongst these, we find the following:

According to Neil Patel, an SEO expert, and co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar:

If you go about optimizing site content for every keyword you can think of, chances are, you won’t rank highly in search engine results pages.

Worse, you’ll experience a high bounce rate, because search engine users who eventually find your web site will leave without doing anything that you want them to do.

….In fact, not optimizing site content for the right keywords will cripple your search engine rankings.

SEO Mistake #2: Putting too many keywords in the meta keywords tag

We often see sites that have hundreds of keywords listed in the meta keywords tag, in the hope that will get a high ranking for those keywords.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to popular opinion, the meta keywords tag has almost completely lost its importance as far as search engine positioning is concerned. Google does not use keyword meta tags directly in its rankings.

Hence, just by listing keywords in the meta keywords tag, you will never be able to get a high ranking. Since there is no correlation between the keywords you stuff into a Meta tag and your search engine rank. To get a high ranking for those keywords, you need to naturally add the keywords to the actual body content on page.

SEO Mistake #3: Repeating the same keyword too many times

Another common mistake that people make is to endlessly repeat their target keywords in the body of their pages and in their meta keywords tags.

Because so many people have used this tactic in the past (and continue to use it), the search engines keep a sharp lookout for this and may penalize a site that repeats keywords in this fashion.

Sure, you do need to repeat the keywords a number of times. But, the way you place the keywords in your pages needs to make grammatical sense. Simply repeating the keywords endlessly no longer works. Furthermore, a particular keyword should not ideally be present more than thrice in your Meta Keywords tag.

SEO Mistake #4: Creating lots of similar doorway pages

Another myth prevalent among people is that since the algorithm of each search engine is different, they need to create different pages for different search engines. While this is great in theory, it is counter-productive in practice.

If you use this tactic, you will soon end up with hundreds of pages, which can quickly become an administrative nightmare. Also, just imagine the amount of time you will need to spend constantly updating the pages in response to the changes that the search engines make to their algorithms.

Furthermore, although the pages are meant for different engines, they will actually end up being pretty similar to each other. Search engines are often able to detect when a site has created similar pages and may penalize or even ban this site from their index.

According to Google,

“…they (Doorway Pages) can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.”

Hence, instead of creating different pages for different search engines, create one page which is optimized for one keyword for all the search engines.

SEO Mistake #5: Using hidden text

Hidden text is text with the same color as the background color of your page. For example, if the background color of your page is white and you have added some white text to that page. That is considered a black-hat SEO practice.

Many webmasters, in order to get high rankings in the search engines, try to make their pages as keyword rich as possible. However, there is a limit to the number of keywords you can repeat on a page without making it sound odd to your human visitors.

Thus, in order to ensure that the human visitors to a page don’t perceive the text to be odd, but that the page is still keyword-rich, many webmasters add text (containing the keywords) with the same color as the background color. This ensures that while the search engines can see the keywords, human visitors cannot.

Search engines have long since caught up with this technique, and ignore or penalize pages that contain such text. They may also penalize the entire site if even one of the pages on that site contains such hidden text.

However, the problem with this is that search engines may often end up penalizing sites that did not intend to use hidden text.

For instance, suppose you have a page with a white background and a table on that page with a black background. Further, suppose that you have added some white text in that table. This text will, in fact, be visible to your human visitors, that is, this shouldn’t be called hidden text. However, search engines can interpret this to be hidden text because they may often ignore the fact that the background of the table is black.

In official guidance from Google, they state:

“Hiding text or links in your content to manipulate Google’s search rankings can be seen as deceptive and is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

Hence, in order to ensure that your site is not penalized because of this, you should go through all the pages in your site and see whether you have inadvertently made any such mistake.

SEO Mistake #6: Using page cloaking

Cloaking, which is against Google’s webmaster guidelines, is defined by Google as follows:

“Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to users and search engines. Serving up different results based on user agents may cause your site to be perceived as deceptive and removed from the Google index”

People generally use page cloaking for two reasons:

  1. To hide the source code of their search engine-optimized pages from their competitors
  2. To prevent human visitors from having to see a page that looks good to the search engines but does not necessarily look good to humans

The problem with this is that when a site uses cloaking, it prevents the search engines from being able to spider the same page that their users are going to see. And if the search engines can’t do this, they can no longer be confident of providing relevant results to their users. Thus, if a search engine discovers that a site has used cloaking, it will probably ban the site forever from their index.

Hence, our advice is that you should not even think about using cloaking in your site and if you are already doing any cloaking and getting away with it, I guess you may have to be on the lookout.

SEO Mistake #7: Devoting too much time to search engine positioning

Yes – we lied. There’s another common mistake that people make when it comes to search engine optimization – they spend too much time on it.

Sure, search engine placement is the most cost-effective way of driving traffic to your site and you do need to spend some time every day learning how the search engines work and optimizing your site for the search engines.

However, you must remember that search engine optimization is a means to an end for you – it’s not the end in itself. The end is to increase the sales of your products and services. Hence, apart from trying to improve your site’s position in the search engines, you also need to spend time on all the other factors which determine the success or the failure of your website – the quality of the products and services that you are offering, the quality of your content, and so on.

You may have excellent rankings in the search engines, but if the quality of your products and services is poor, or you’re not producing high-quality SEO content, those high rankings aren’t going to do much good.


Jacob McMillen is a copywriter, marketing blogger, and inbound marketing consultant.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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The post Are these SEO rookie mistakes costing your search rankings? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


The demise of the cookie as we know it may have been given yet another stay of execution by Google, but let there be no doubt: its end is coming. Yet, people are still underprepared: one recent study of 500 CMOs in the UK and US suggests that nearly 50 percent are not well prepared for the days when cookies become a thing of the past.

They are not alone. Repeated delays and a lack of concrete roadmaps for credible scalable long-term alternatives for identification, targeting, reporting and evolving marketing strategies are muddying the waters. However, there are steps which can and should be taken by businesses of all kinds to prepare for the day the cookie is finally removed from the jar. Parking the issue and sleeping on the job could prove more problematic in the long run, as the cookie has been one of the more foundational aspects of performance marketing and digital infrastructure as a whole. Preparing for its absence is a marathon, not a sprint.

It may not be sexy, but a full data compliance, first-party data and activation strategy needs to be a crucial first step. The problem with cookies is their ubiquity. We’ve all become very used to dealing with them; still, they are far from the be all and end all of recognising customers online and especially in these increasingly privacy-conscious days, they have significant limitations. Google’s own VP and GM of ads, Gerry Dischler, put it best: “Cookies and other third party identifiers which some are advocating for within the industry do not meet rising expectations that consumers have when it comes to privacy. They will not stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions. They simply cannot be trusted in the long term.”

Luckily, businesses have been gifted more breathing space to prepare for this coming paradigm shift both organisationally and technically in how brands and platforms garner consent, remain relevant and foster full-funnel, and long-term, relationships. Make no bones about it, the impact of cookie depreciation will be wide ranging. It will restrict the potential for remarketing, long a staple of online acquisition in an attempt to recapture the attention of those who may have looked at a product or site and slipped through the net. It will also limit resolution with walled gardens, which have become so influential. Brands often cannot envisage a future without liaison with Facebook or LinkedIn platforms to broaden the perspective on customers. Apple are already ahead having taken a product first stance on ad privacy opt-ins – given this path is now beaten, it looks set to be a well-trodden one. This may also trigger a complete overhaul of consent and re-evaluation of remarketing as a strategy, and many should be acting now to overhaul their first party data consent if they re-imagine their propositions in a new, cookie-free future.

The reappraisal of data doesn’t stop there – to fill perceived gaps in knowledge we are looking at a rise again in use of second party data sources and partnerships, and profiling to build a more complete view of the customer. As ad networks’ audiences diminish, the size, scale and accuracy of cross-device tracking will make it harder and less valuable to sequence creative. CRM approaches will become much more valuable as a result, evolving into Experience Relationship Management (ERM) and providing a much richer view of customer behaviour. This will fold CRM-to-ERM strategies much more closely back into digital planning, but also drive yet further focus on consent. This in turn will raise the bar for value exchanges with consumers – basic offerings will no longer suffice, and bolder service exchanges will be needed to match the needs of audiences who are well aware of the value of their time, attention and data. When you need to reaffirm consent frequently, you open regular doors to people jumping ship. The value to stay needs to be significant.

The relationship between brand and publisher will also change – no longer as simple as starting with ‘dropping a cookie’, the onus will be on brands to pass express and clear first party consent on to any intended publisher for enrichment. Data clean rooms and an owned-ID graph will become much more widespread to manage this process alongside dynamically maintained consent practice. We also expect to see further IP masking develop, again following the path beaten by Apple with Mail’s ability to mask tracking pixels, and to mask IP addresses from email senders. All of this combines to make brand trust in data handling and stewardship a fundamental given within the post-cookie world.

All of this may seem like a lot – effectively some of the longstanding fabric of digital marketing practice and internet infrastructure is being unpicked, without clarity on what will replace it. But brands and marketers can take action to prepare for what comes next. Embrace changes of adtech partners, who are also better prepared for the newly cookieless landscape. Rethink consent and the reciprocal value exchanges to consumers. Amplify current data collection, and find an ID resolution partner who suits your purposes. Start to build second party data partnerships, and ultimately, recognise that tough conversations are coming and necessary. The cookie-free future might seem uncertain, scary and unfamiliar, but it is worth remembering it’s roots and the often missed potential. Cookies have always been given credibility without question which for technologists has always been a frustration. The cookieless future should remove the limits they have long set on the market, and instead open up a new, broader and richer future for well-rounded and valuable digital experiences with audiences as a whole.

There are some key actions that we’ve been taking with our savvy clients over the past 12-24 months which turn what can seem like a daunting negative into a consumer focused positive:

  1. Assess your vendor list to see which partners you already have, and may not be utilising their data clean room functionality e.g. Microsoft, AppsFlyer, Snowflake, AWS and GCP. Don’t be scared off by putting your eggs into one basket – the whole purpose of the clean room is to be a safe platform agnostic home for all your 1st part data to broker its integration between your external marketing ecosystem partners

realtime monitoring of the marketing ecosystem

  1. Get your technology, product marketing, data and experience design teams talking seriously about evolving your data-value exchanges. Start evolving now, and accelerate if you’ve already started. Move beyond newsletter sign-ups, voucher-codes and re-engagement well after purchase. Build true unique reasons to sign-up and keep connected with your brand e.g. exclusive bundles, loyalty only you can do, sustainability and community programmes that amplify reasons to share data beyond the core products. This can include recycling schemes, pop-up experiences, and partner events.
  2. Don’t forget that the 3rd party cookie-sunset doesn’t shut the door on partner data sharing. Use your clean room (AKA. CDP, DMP 2.0) to broker meaningful and transparent relationships with trusted partners whose proposition is complimentary or can extend new value-adds to your customer base.
  3. .. don’t forget addressing the measurement challenges that the cookie-sunset is already causing. Rethink or reconsider Multi-touch Attribution. It has fallen short of delivering on its promises. Multi-touch Attribution is developing a reputation for failure. It’s NOT about deploying an off the shelf CDP/DMP or attribution modeling solution and hey-presto!

It’s ABOUT combining all available data to interpret and contextualise performance drivers, to demystify contributors and influence confident optimisation – we call this Full-funnel Attribution outputs of which include:

  • Marketing spend with attributed view lens (e.g. Attributed vs Last Click)
  • Channel contribution to drive trusted budget reallocation
  • Explore conversion paths to easily act on conversion blockers
  • Act on segment impact to optimise linear spend and invest in specific cohorts
  • Content effectiveness attributes value to pages and contribution to conversion
  • Project and campaign incrementality drill-downs to map performance attributed to specific initiatives run across teams
  • Unify measurement of search (Paid + Organic) to align strategies and begin to eliminate cannibalisation – starting to confidently prove incrementality

 

funnel attribution modelling without the cookie


Anthony Magee is the Director of data and experience technology at SYZYGY.

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Content has become a traditional marketing channel for many SaaS companies. According to ProfitWell, content companies are likely to see 30 percent higher growth rates and 5 percent better retention rates than those not using content marketing.

The content marketing game is constantly changing – what used to work for SaaS companies years ago doesn’t make the cut today. Having spent a good five years in the SaaS content marketing space I’m always interested in tips, hacks, and low-hanging fruit that let you take a shortcut and speed up product growth.

I’ve interviewed 10 SaaS marketers and founders who’ve been creating SaaS content on a daily basis for years and asked them to share their insights – what’s not working in SaaS content marketing anymore? Let’s dive in and see what they have to share.       

#1 Chasing big fat keywords

Everybody wants to rank for these fancy keywords with large amounts of search volume. But the truth is, large search volumes usually come with a crazy high competition and keyword difficulty. If your SaaS is in the social media space and you are just unfolding your content marketing, going after stuff like “social media management” is literally wasting your time and money.    

“Being the bootstrapped startup that we are, we aim for actions that yield results. Our focus is on high-intent content marketing strategy. We pick keywords for blog posts not according to their search volume but according to their purchase intent. This helped us drive not only traffic but also sign ups with our blog being the only marketing channel today ” says Dennis Vu, co-founder and CEO at RingBlaze

I couldn’t agree more. The reason why our agency has been up and running for 2+ years is because we deliver not only traffic but also sign ups to SaaS clients. And the only way to do so with content marketing is to focus on high-intent keywords – think “alternatives”, “competitors” or “vs” keywords. It works every single time so that’s where I recommend starting your content marketing efforts.   

#2 Going outside of your niche

We’ve written hundreds of articles for the Expandi blog over the course of two years. Today, Google recognizes Expandi as an authority when it comes to all things LinkedIn –LinkedIn cold outreach, LinkedIn recruitment, LinkedIn automation – no matter which LinkedIn-related article we’d cover, it instantly ranks well on Google.

Recently, Expandi introduced new features, only this time they weren’t about LinkedIn but about email outreach. Once we started writing email-related articles, we realized that they were not ranking well. Unfortunately, we haven’t built the email marketing topical authority (yet) so Google didn’t consider us experts in the niche.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enter a new space and write about a new subject. Building the topical authority needed for recognizing you as a niche expert will require time and effort. If you decide to start a new category on a blog, you should keep this in mind. At the same time, if you aren’t changing your product, keep in line with the topic you’ve chosen. 

“If the article is written about CRM, but this is not your niche, it is challenging to get to the top of Google search,” says Andrew Chornyy, CEO at Plerdy where they write 30 blog articles per month. 

#3 Posting articles lacking expertise

Have you ever read one of those articles where it looks good on the surface but once you’ve read it you felt like there was absolutely nothing you’ve learned from it? Pretty much all the content marketing experts I’ve talked to agree on this – vague, watery content for the sake of content is a no-go. 

“Most companies use copywriters to write their content. This doesn’t work anymore. As they are usually not an expert in the topic they write about, they will read our copywriters’ articles to research the topic. This results in an endless loop of already fluffy content being the input for even fluffier content,” says Jeroen Corthout, co-founder and CEO at Salesflare.  

Be careful when you hire copywriters with no subject matter expertise – you might be risking your brand image. Ask about their previous writing examples covering a similar topic or niche. For example, when we chat with a wanna-be client from a niche we don’t have experience with, we let them know about it straight away. Losing a potential client is way better than losing a reputation.   

If your topics are technical and your tech experts don’t have time to write blog articles (which is usually the case) have your writers connect with experts on a quick call to get as many ‘meaty’ details as possible. Also, make sure to get those experts to proofread the post when it’s ready. 

#4 Prioritizing article length over quality

When Brian Dean introduced us to the skyscraper technique back in the day, everyone and his dog started creating content that’s longer than those competing results ranking in Google top. However, long content doesn’t necessarily mean comprehensive. What we see these days is blogs populated with 20-min reads that are vague, watery, and, let’s be honest, don’t bring much value to the table.

Ioana Sima, marketing manager at TextMagic said,

“Long-form written content as 90% of companies do it. The web is incredibly saturated with long-form articles that are written for the sake of being written. SaaS companies should not rely purely on long-form.

I would recommend experimenting with different formats and transforming articles that perform well into long-form content, while also including video summaries, templates, or rich media that can be distributed on other channels and quickly digested. Oh, and ALWAYS check SERPs to see the formats of top-performing pages.”

It can be hard to pack your article with value when SurferSEO asks you to write a 5K words piece. Remember that longer doesn’t always mean better. After all, this is what content marketing is about – writing for people, and bringing value while also catering to search engines. 

#5 Publishing articles under a wrong name

Ranktracker is publishing 50 blog articles per month, translated into 12 languages. Felix Rose-Collins, the CMO, shares that articles they’ve published under the name of unknown authors tend to have poor performance on Google.

“We noticed that they don’t appear for our target keywords, we have now stopped posting for unknown authors. Once we’ve started using well-known names (like CEO), we see them rank within two minutes after publishing in the top 3 results. Even for extremely competitive keywords,” says Felix. 

clicks and sessions over timeRankTracker clicks and impressions over time

In fact, this might be one of the reasons why you don’t see the results from the guest posts published on your blog. Next time, when you accept a guest post, make sure to look up the author on Google. If there are no online publications, chances are it probably won’t do your blog any good.

On the other note, when you pitch a guest post to an editor, include your previous publications on major platforms. For example, that’s how I got to write this post for Search Engine Watch – I shared my previous articles I wrote for Entrepreneur, HubSpot, Zapier, Foundr, and many more.  

#6 Focusing on new content rather past articles

About five years ago I wasn’t thinking much about updating old content. We were on a hamster wheel of creating more content, faster for Chanty, a company where I headed a content team. Then I ran into this article by HubSpot and realized I was missing out big time. So we went back to the older posts to update and optimize them. I can’t share numbers as it was a long time ago but the results were huge. Since then we do this for our clients – if the article isn’t performing well, it gets an update. 

“You’ll find that most of your sign ups come from a handful of articles. Updating our lead-generating content is an ongoing work that never stops. After all, the supply of keywords relevant to your business isn’t endless. While you are producing new content, older articles are going down. If you neglect updating older content you’d be stuck with a traffic plateau and a business that doesn’t grow,” says Andrey Makhovskyi, founder and CEO at Effy.ai

SaaS content marketing - One of Effy.ai updated article performance over time

One of Effy.ai updated article performance over time

#7 Contributing via Help a reporter out (HARO)

This might bring a lot of resentment but we had to discontinue HARO for our clients in 2022. If you are not familiar, HARO is a service that connects journalists/ authors with experts in the field. 

Authors would request a quote from experts and experts would share their advice. Authors then would decide which quote to include in their article and credit experts by putting a link to the expert’s website (similar to what I’m doing in this article). This used to be a win-win case – authors would get meaty insights for their publications while experts would get attribution and links to their websites.

It worked great until it turned into a red ocean zone and space got overcrowded. What used to be a great link building technique became a waste of time and effort.

“About two years ago we used to get 25 backlinks out of 65 pitches for our clients. With time it went into a downward spiral. Today, nobody links to you just because you shared your advice. They also want a link back in return. We realized it no longer delivers the value it used to to our clients. We had to give up this service and focus on backlink building techniques that do work today, ” says Iryna Kutnyak, director of operations at Quoleady

#8 Distributing content across communities

Emilia Korczynska is a head of content at UserPilot and the hardest working marketer I’ve ever met. Getting published a whopping 60 articles per month, she’s tried distributing blog content on Quora, Reddit and social media. She says you have to be very cautious about how you spend time distributing blog posts.  

“Resharing content in social media groups that are mostly dead or Slack channels requires a lot of effort, and with the miniscule organic reach and a high chance of getting banned by the admins just don’t justify it. Similarly with Quora/Reddit and other Q&A sites,” says Emilia.

I couldn’t agree more – we stopped all of our Quora activities a long time ago because the results just weren’t worth it. What we realized is that people often come to Quora from Google search after typing your target keyword – the one you are optimizing an article for. It makes much more sense to get that blog article rank in the Google top (higher than the Quora result) rather than trying to compete with hundreds of Quora answers bugging your friends/colleagues to upvote and comment.

When it comes to sharing in social media groups – self promotion is usually against the group rules anyway. Unless you are an admin or have been constantly adding value to the group, your blatant distribution attempt will be quickly eliminated. At the same time, there are groups that allow this sort of promotion. I call them “distribution cemeteries”. Nobody reads the avalanche of irrelevant content that’s being posted there. 

#9 Prioritizing link building over content quality

Whenever I speak with a potential client on Zoom, I emphasize that content quality comes first. You can’t have a piece of content that’s thin and invaluable and expect it to rank well by building backlinks to it. It’s like putting a fresh coat of paint on a car with no wheels and hoping it will ride. 

I’ve interviewed Mohamed Sehwail, CEO at FullSession and here’s his input on this,

“We haven’t been building backlinks to our blog content for a while, yet we were able to maintain steady growth of traffic and sign ups. Article updates do its magic, boosting our positions and bringing our pages to the Google top.” 

SaaS - FullSession traffic growth over time

FullSession traffic growth over time

Building backlinks will only help rank content better once your content is polished – it’s valuable, well-structured, to the point, answers the search intent, etc. When that’s in place and you are still not ranking well, it’s time to add backlinks.

#10 Overdosing with gated content

“Give us your email and get access to an ebook, whitepaper, guide, checklist, etc.” The classic inbound approach introduced by HubSpot back in the days might not work for everyone as of now. The amount of content online these days is insane. Why would they give you their email if they can get the same contact (if not better) openly elsewhere?

Instead of closing off certain content, we’ve found it’s more beneficial to create ‘additional resources’ as a complement allowing readers the option to download and creating a win-win scenario,” says  Elizabeth Pokorny, head of content at Weglot

When you are putting together three already published articles on a topic and calling it a guide, it doesn’t sound right. If it works for you – great. However, gated content does its best when it’s unique, something you can’t find easily online.

It might help to review your gated content policy and experiment with the assets you share with your readers. Opening more of your content might bring extra organic traffic and result in more sign ups at the end of the day. On the other hand, if your content pieces are of great value and your website is the only place to get them, I’d recommend keeping them gated. 

Bottom line

I’ve interviewed dozens of content marketers and only top insights made it to this article. One thing that’s clear as day – great content is here to stay. It’s not about the amount of backlinks or length. Helpful, actionable, experience-based content written by an expert in the field is what you should be after when planning content pieces for your website. 

When you develop your content marketing strategy, focus on high-intent keywords that will bring a highly-targeted flow of people who are ready to sign up. When you have a pool of articles that generate leads for you, make sure to cherish this content and update it regularly to give it a well-deserved Google boost.

Topical authority is a thing and gradually building authority around the topic that’s most relevant to your business will help you rank your future articles faster and easier. 

When sharing content online, avoid the spray-and-pray approach (don’t bury your content on the spooky ‘distribution cemeteries’), always check the results of your activities and double down only on those channels that are worth the effort.

Hopefully, this article and advice from the content marketing experts who’ve learned their lesson through trial and error will help you save time and focus on things that work.


Olga Mykhoparkina is a founder at Quoleady, a SaaS content marketing agency on a mission to help great software products get quality leads through top-notch evergreen content.

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How long does SEO take to show results

30-second summary:

  • The only way to determine any time frames is to determine your client’s goals and flesh out a lot of “it depends” before a commitment
  • There are a lot of “it depends” you will need to clear out with your client before giving any time estimate
  • Factors that can influence how long SEO may take include the site’s age, its previous history with SEO and Google, its size, CMS, and any business specifics that may slow you down
  • The minimum amount of time required for SEO work to show obvious results is 6 months (but a 12-month period is more realistic)
  • There are certain credible strategies that can yield quicker results (if done right)

There’s no way to guarantee SEO results within a definitive timeframe, simply because we can never guarantee what we cannot control, and Google is not under our powers.

There can be rough estimates that should be clearly explained to the client as they are, that is, expectations that are not guaranteed.

Your client should understand that there are no magic bullets and you don’t know any secrets. All you can do is follow the best practices to ensure gradual growth. This is key to managing clients’ expectations properly.

But let’s get back to the question: How long does SEO take to show results?

What is it we are trying to achieve?

First of all, it is important to understand and adjust your client’s goals. What is it they are looking for when investing in an SEO strategy?

Most clients would insist on improving rankings for the keywords they already know they target. In many cases, these are unrealistic keywords that may take years to achieve.

This is where “adjusting” the goals comes into play.

By expanding those keywords to make them longer and less competitive, you can be more confident in achieving SEO goals within a realistic timeframe. Make sure the client is made aware that:

  • Long-tail keywords can actually bring organic traffic that converts much better: The more specific a search query is, the closer that searcher is to complete their buying journey.
  • Keyword gap analysis helps identify business gaps that can help a business stand out and find its unique audience.
  • Discovering new keywords and expanding existing keywords help diversify organic traffic sources which, in turn, helps maintain a more consistent organic visibility. If you lose one or two positions for a short-tail search query with a huge search volume, you risk losing 20 to 30 percent of your traffic. If you lose a few long-tail rankings here and there, your site will still be driving pretty much the same amount of organic traffic. Google’s SERPs are very dynamic and versatile: Losing rankings is inevitable, so diversification is key to stability.

Overall, the best way to set the client’s expectations right is to set a goal of gradual organic traffic (and conversion) growth. This way you focus on positive results that come from a big number of pages instead of stressing over rank monitoring for a few key pages that may be moving up extremely slowly.

What actually are the metrics “it all depends on?”

And yet, the inevitable “it depends” will still come up.

Every site is different: Some sites will benefit from active SEO work quicker than others, even if you focus on gradual traffic growth, rather than a few rankings.

The SEO time frame primarily depends on:

  • The size of the site: It is easier to achieve accumulative growth when the site is large and already has quite a few possibilities
  • The site’s history: If the site has been seeing a slow but steady decline in rankings and organic visibility for a few years, it may be difficult to flatten that curve and ultimately turn it around. Plus, if a site was affected by certain updates (like Product Review Update) requires Google to re-run that update for all the previous work to reflect (or not) on rankings. No SEO professional can ever be sure when the next refresh happens, so that will impact your SEO results to become obvious. And let’s not even talk about a pretty unpopular fact that none of the recent Google updates has any obvious remedy: You need to work on everything under the sun in hopes it will help and sometimes it doesn’t.
  • Current backlinks profile (and possible actions): Things like backlink clean-up may take quite some time for Google to recognize and react to the changes
  • The age of the site: New sites take longer for Google to finally accept the fact that they can be trusted.

There are more factors, of course. Whether a site is already an entity is another factor that can impact how fast the results will come. The current structure of the site is another big thing that can be challenging: Restructuring a site can cause Google to figure it out for quite some time, even if you do everything right.

Obviously, the client’s turnaround is another factor to discuss: Some businesses require a long process of approving any change that is needed to make their sites SEO-friendlier. New and optimized content may take weeks or months of the legal reviewing process. 

Other businesses simply have no development teams to help them with on-site work, so they rely on freelancers. This is another level of back-and-forth process slowing them down, especially when ongoing technical tasks are required. Additionally, some CMSs are easier to manage (these are Wix, WordPress, and a few others), while others require technical skills.

SEOs are seldom lucky enough to get the keys from clients’ sites allowing them to push all the required changes live within days.

So how long does SEO take?

With all of the above in mind, the minimum amount of time required for SEO to start delivering tangible results (i.e. relevant traffic that converts) is six months.

In most cases, you will need about 12 months to proudly report on the results you were able to achieve.

There are quick wins possible…

Of course, there are tricks to start delivering some results within a shorter period of time to keep your clients happy.

For example, optimizing for branded search is something that can quickly help your clients see more traffic that converts like magic (because people searching for a brand name are very likely to convert once they manage to land on that site).

Internal linking can quickly boost the performance of existing pages, especially if those are optimized for search queries with lower competition.

Exploring rich snippet opportunities and using structured markup (where it makes sense) will likely improve click-through without having to wait for the rankings to grow (which will be slower to happen).

Updating old articles that currently rank within the top two pages of search results may also deliver quick wins, if you do it right.

Those are the first steps to take when starting active SEO work.

It is actually an endless process

This is another thing to make clear when clients ask that inevitable question: How long will it take? 

SEO actually never ends. You cannot just optimize a site and watch your organic traffic come and convert. Google’s algorithm is evolving, current content becomes stale (so it needs to be monitored, updated, and re-optimized), and competitors keep getting backlinks, and other key boosts.

You need to always stay on top of your SEO efforts, develop new content and new link-generating assets and lead magnets, explore new searching patterns… the list goes on and on.

An effective SEO service will also always include exploring new tactics, detailed competitor monitoring (and learning from them), and ongoing investigation of new SEO opportunities (like new keywords, new rich snippet opportunities, and new media).


Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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With algorithm updates being rolled out on a more regular basis, staying at the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) has never been harder.

Gone are the days of signing up to directories, exact match domains, and keyword stuffing; SEO practitioners must do whatever they can to outrank their competitors.

Sure, you can put out more grind work through aggressive link-building outreach, hire a PR agency or a bunch of content writers, but could these simple alternative strategies below give you the edge?

Tip #1 – Post content when no one else is

The notion that ‘content is king’ is certainly true – you need good quality content and regular content uploaded to show you are proactive and not a dormant site.

Content cannot be thin, with thousands and thousands of words, because it needs to be relevant and answer questions in your industry, presented by # tags, useful links, images, and videos where possible.

“A competitive edge over your rivals is posting content when no one else is,” explains Rosie Marie, CEO of Rosca Technologies, a data optimisation solution.

“You have to understand that Google is an algorithm and a machine and not just a bunch of suits who look at websites one-by-one.”

Google recrawls every day or at least every few days, Marie explains, stressing it is hard to know precisely when this is. “If you can post content at alternative times of the day or year and Google decides to index your site, who knows, this could give you a competitive advantage,” she says.

Marie notes her business has tried posting content on weekends – easy to do if using a content management system – because others are unlikely to do so.

“In addition, we take advantage of things like UK bank holidays and that lazy week between Christmas and New Year’s because Google could very well pick up that we are being more proactive than our competitors. If this is the case, don’t we deserve to rank higher?”

Tip #2Get impartial users to critique your website

We regularly hear that time on site is a good SEO indicator, after all, if people hang on your site for a long time and click through to various pages, this shows that your information is useful, compared to a user who comes and leaves after 5 seconds, resulting in a low bounce rate.

“You could ask your partners and people in your industry to look through your site and offer their feedback,” says Gavin Cooper, founder of Claims Bible.

“Start by posting on LinkedIn and Facebook and say to your friends that you have just redesigned your site or have launched a new business and would truly welcome some feedback,” he says.

“Some of the feedback may not be nice to hear! But you will get a lot of dedicated users really looking through pages and scrolling through and this is great for SEO, certainly in the early days of a website launch.”

Cooper notes businesses must be careful to not forget that a higher click-through rate on Google’s search results also helps during the early buzz of a site launch.

“For instance, if you are ranked position 9 and more people click on you than position 3 or 4, this should also help your ranking,” he says.  “Similar ideas include sending out blast emails and SMS messages or making a big announcement on LinkedIn, but linking to your website. Don’t give LinkedIn the traffic, keep it for yourself!”

Tip #3 – Acquire links from simple sources

One of the most traditional link-building techniques is to create quality data-driven pieces and then email around and get links back to it as a resource e.g calculators, money that can be saved etc.

But not only is this very time-consuming but you have no guarantee over which links point back to you, and what anchor text is used.

“Our alternative technique involves finding websites that have already written articles or blog posts on your subject, whether you talk about health, finance, travel or anything that has expert opinion,” explains Luke Fitzpatrick, head of digital at Earned Media.

“Our approach involves reaching out to all those guides on page two to ten, contacting them and offering to give additional data to help ‘bulk up’ and refine their articles,” he says.

“Understandably, several publishers were thrilled to have more information in their articles and were pleased to give a follow link back as a reference. Link building achieved!”

Tip #4 – Using link bait that has already been successful

Content is king, but we know that links make the world go round. There are some things that work as excellent link bait for a brand, such as being nominated or winning awards, and being featured in press sections.

“But looking into competitors, there seem to be some lists that grab more attention than others,” says Richard Allan, co-founder of Capital Bean.

“Creating top lists such as best cities to do something, start a family or retire, tend to attract more interest than others, especially if they are filled with data.”

Allan also notes businesses should consider sponsoring large organisations in the health industry or non-profits since they often give a link and badge as part of it on their websites. “You get to help a great cause too,” he says.

“Another fascinating one is launching a scholarship or essay writing competition – which can attract links from universities and colleges if positioned well.”

 Tip #5 – Are you starting to fall? simple, refresh the content

Finally, if you ranked beautifully for some big keywords but find yourself starting to fall, you can just consider refreshing the content and replacing it with new and improved information, taking other points used by those who seem to be ranking better lately.

Google loves fresh content, and this helps your indexability, so it would not be strange to update your main landing pages every 6 months or so to give you that refresh.

The post Could these alternative SEO techniques be key to ranking successfully? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Is Google headed towards a continuous “real-time” algorithm

30-second summary:

  • The present reality is that Google presses the button and updates its algorithm, which in turn can update site rankings
  • What if we are entering a world where it is less of Google pressing a button and more of the algorithm automatically updating rankings in “real-time”?
  • Advisory Board member and Wix’s Head of SEO Branding, Mordy Oberstein shares his data observations and insights

If you’ve been doing SEO even for a short while, chances are you’re familiar with a Google algorithm update. Every so often, whether we like it or not, Google presses the button and updates its algorithm, which in turn can update our rankings. The key phrase here is “presses the button.” 

But, what if we are entering a world where it’s less of Google pressing a button and more of the algorithm automatically updating rankings in “real-time”? What would that world look like and who would it benefit? 

What do we mean by continuous real-time algorithm updates?

It is obvious that technology is constantly evolving but what needs to be made clear is that this applies to Google’s algorithm as well. As the technology available to Google improves, the search engine can do things like better understand the content and assess websites. However, this technology needs to be interjected into the algorithm. In other words, as new technology becomes available to Google or as the current technology improves (we might refer to this as machine learning “getting smarter”) Google, in order to utilize these advancements, needs to “make them a part” of its algorithms.

Take MUM for example. Google has started to use aspects of MUM in the algorithm. However, (at the time of writing) MUM is not fully implemented. As time goes on and based on Google’s previous announcements, MUM is almost certainly going to be applied to additional algorithmic tasks.  

Of course, once Google introduces new technology or has refined its current capabilities it will likely want to reassess rankings. If Google is better at understanding content or assessing site quality, wouldn’t it want to apply these capabilities to the rankings? When it does so, Google “presses the button” and releases an algorithm update. 

So, say one of Google’s current machine-learning properties has evolved. It’s taken the input over time and has been refined – it’s “smarter” for lack of a better word. Google may elect to “reintroduce” this refined machine learning property into the algorithm and reassess the pages being ranked accordingly.    

These updates are specific and purposeful. Google is “pushing the button.” This is most clearly seen when Google announces something like a core update or product review update or even a spam update. 

In fact, perhaps nothing better concretizes what I’ve been saying here than what Google said about its spam updates

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work…. From time to time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.” 

In other words, Google was able to develop an improvement to a current machine learning property and released an update so that this improvement could be applied to ranking pages. 

If this process is “manual” (to use a crude word), what then would continuous “real-time” updates be? Let’s take Google’s Product Review Updates. Initially released in April of 2021, Google’s Product Review Updates aim at weeding out product review pages that are thin, unhelpful, and (if we’re going to call a spade a spade) exists essentially to earn affiliate revenue.

To do this, Google is using machine learning in a specific way, looking at specific criteria. With each iteration of the update (such as there was in December 2021, March 2022, etc.) these machine learning apparatuses have the opportunity to recalibrate and refine. Meaning, they can be potentially more effective over time as the machine “learns” – which is kind of the point when it comes to machine learning. 

What I theorize, at this point, is that as these machine learning properties refine themselves, rank fluctuates accordingly. Meaning, Google allows machine learning properties to “recalibrate” and impact the rankings. Google then reviews and analyzes and sees if the changes are to its liking. 

We may know this process as unconfirmed algorithm updates (for the record I am 100% not saying that all unconfirmed updates are as such). It’s why I believe there is such a strong tendency towards rank reversals in between official algorithm updates. 

It’s quite common that the SERP will see a noticeable increase in rank fluctuations that can impact a page’s rankings only to see those rankings reverse back to their original position with the next wave of rank fluctuations (whether that be a few days later or weeks later). In fact, this process can repeat itself multiple times. The net effect is a given page seeing rank changes followed by reversals or a series of reversals.  

across the board fluctuations - Google moving towards a “real-time” algorithm

A series of rank reversals impacting almost all pages ranking between position 5 and 20 that align with across-the-board heightened rank fluctuations 

This trend, as I see it, is Google allowing its machine learning properties to evolve or recalibrate (or however you’d like to describe it) in real-time. Meaning, no one is pushing a button over at Google but rather the algorithm is adjusting to the continuous “real-time” recalibration of the machine learning properties.

It’s this dynamic that I am referring to when I question if we are heading toward “real-time” or “continuous” algorithmic rank adjustments.

What would a continuous real-time google algorithm mean? 

So what? What if Google adopted a continuous real-time model? What would the practical implications be? 

In a nutshell, it would mean that rank volatility would be far more of a constant. Instead of waiting for Google to push the button on an algorithm update in order to rank to be significantly impacted as a construct, this would simply be the norm. The algorithm would be constantly evaluating pages/sites “on its own” and making adjustments to rank in more real-time. 

Another implication would be a lack of having to wait for the next update for restoration. While not a hard-fast rule, if you are significantly impacted by an official Google update, such as a core update, you generally won’t see rank restoration occur until the release of the next version of the update – whereupon your pages will be evaluated. In a real-time scenario, pages are constantly being evaluated, much the way links are with Penguin 4.0 which was released in 2016. To me, this would be a major change to the current “SERP ecosystem.” 

I would even argue that, to an extent, we already have a continuous “real-time” algorithm. In fact, that we at least partially have a real-time Google algorithm is simply fact. As mentioned, In 2016, Google released Penguin 4.0 which removed the need to wait for another version of the update as this specific algorithm evaluates pages on a constant basis. 

However, outside of Penguin, what do I mean when I say that, to an extent, we already have a continuous real-time algorithm? 

The case for real-time algorithm adjustments

The constant “real-time” rank adjustments that occur in the ecosystem are so significant that they refined the volatility landscape. 

Per Semrush data I pulled, there was a 58% increase in the number of days that reflected high-rank volatility in 2021 as compared to 2020. Similarly, there was a 59% increase in the number of days that reflected either high or very high levels of rank volatility: 

Data showing volatility - Google moving towards a “real-time” algorithm

Simply put, there is a significant increase in the number of instances that reflect elevated levels of rank volatility. After studying these trends and looking at the ranking patterns, I believe the aforementioned rank reversals are the cause. Meaning, a large portion of the increased instances in rank volatility are coming from what I believe to be machine learning continually recalibrating in “real-time,” thereby producing unprecedented levels of rank reversals. 

Supporting this is the fact (that along with the increased instances of rank volatility) we did not see increases in how drastic the rank movement is. Meaning, there are more instances of rank volatility but the degree of volatility did not increase. 

In fact, there was a decrease in how dramatic the average rank movement was in 2021 relative to 2020! 

Why? Again, I chalk this up to the recalibration of machine learning properties and their “real-time” impact on rankings. In other words, we’re starting to see more micro-movements that align with the natural evolution of Google’s machine-learning properties. 

When a machine learning property is refined as its intake/learning advances, you’re unlikely to see enormous swings in the rankings. Rather, you will see a refinement in the rankings that align with refinement in the machine learning itself. 

Hence, the rank movement we’re seeing, as a rule, is far more constant yet not as drastic. 

The final step towards continuous real-time algorithm updates

While much of the ranking movement that occurs is continuous in that it is not dependent on specific algorithmic refreshes, we’re not fully there yet. As I mentioned, much of the rank volatility is a series of reversing rank positions. Changes to these ranking patterns, again, are often not solidified until the rollout of an official Google update, most commonly, an official core algorithm update. 

Until the longer-lasting ranking patterns are set without the need to  “press the button” we don’t have a full-on continuous or “real-time” Google algorithm. 

However, I have to wonder if the trend is not heading toward that. For starters, Google’s Helpful Content Update (HCU) does function in real-time. 

Per Google

Our classifier for this update runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly-launched sites and existing ones. As it determines that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long-term, the classification will no longer apply.”

How is this so? The same as what we’ve been saying all along here – Google has allowed its machine learning to have the autonomy it would need to be “real-time” or as Google calls it, “continuous”: 

This classifier process is entirely automated, using a machine-learning model.” 

For the record, continuous does not mean ever-changing. In the case of the HCU, there’s a logical validation period before restoration. Should we ever see a “truly” continuous real-time algorithm, this may apply in various ways as well. I don’t want to let on that the second you make a change to a page, there will be a ranking response should we ever see a “real-time” algorithm.

At the same time, the “traditional” officially “button-pushed” algorithm update has become less impactful over time. In a study I conducted back in late 2021, I noticed that Semrush data indicated that since 2018’s Medic Update, the core updates being released were becoming significantly less impactful.

the relation between Google's updates and rank volatility - Google moving towards a “real-time” algorithm

Data indicates that Google’s core updates are presenting less rank volatility overall as time goes on

Subsequently, this trend has continued. Per my analysis of the September 2022 Core Update, there was a noticeable drop-off in the volatility seen relative to the May 2022 Core Update

lesser rank volatility seen during Google's core update in Sep 2022 - Google moving towards a “real-time” algorithm

Rank volatility change was far less dramatic during the September 2022 Core Update relative to the May 2022 Core Update 

It’s a dual convergence. Google’s core update releases seem to be less impactful overall (obviously, individual sites can get slammed just as hard) while at the same time its latest update (the HCU) is continuous. 

To me, it all points towards Google looking to abandon the traditional algorithm update release model in favor of a more continuous construct. (Further evidence could be in how the release of official updates has changed. If you look back at the various outlets covering these updates, the data will show you that the roll-out now tends to be slower with fewer days of increased volatility and, again, with less overall impact). 

The question is, why would Google want to go to a more continuous real-time model? 

Why a continuous real-time google algorithm is beneficial

A real-time continuous algorithm? Why would Google want that? It’s pretty simple, I think. Having an update that continuously refreshes rankings to reward the appropriate pages and sites is a win for Google (again, I don’t mean instant content revision or optimization resulting in instant rank change).

Which is more beneficial to Google’s users? A continuous-like updating of the best results or periodic updates that can take months to present change? 

The idea of Google continuously analyzing and updating in a more real-time scenario is simply better for users. How does it help a user looking for the best result to have rankings that reset periodically with each new iteration of an official algorithm update? 

Wouldn’t it be better for users if a site, upon seeing its rankings slip, made changes that resulted in some great content, and instead of waiting months to have it rank well, users could access it on the SERP far sooner? 

Continuous algorithmic implementation means that Google can get better content in front of users far faster. 

It’s also better for websites. Do you really enjoy implementing a change in response to ranking loss and then having to wait perhaps months for restoration? 

Also, the fact that Google would so heavily rely on machine learning and trust the adjustments it was making only happens if Google is confident in its ability to understand content, relevancy, authority, etc. SEOs and site owners should want this. It means that Google could rely less on secondary signals and more directly on the primary commodity, content and its relevance, trustworthiness, etc. 

Google being able to more directly assess content, pages, and domains overall is healthy for the web. It also opens the door for niche sites and sites that are not massive super-authorities (think the Amazons and WebMDs of the world). 

Google’s better understanding of content creates more parity. Google moving towards a more real-time model would be a manifestation of that better understanding.

A new way of thinking about google updates

A continuous real-time algorithm would intrinsically change the way we would have to think about Google updates. It would, to a greater or lesser extent, make tracking updates as we now know them essentially obsolete. It would change the way we look at SEO weather tools in that, instead of looking for specific moments of increased rank volatility, we’d pay more attention to overall trends over an extended period of time. 

Based on the ranking trends we already discussed, I’d argue that, to a certain extent, that time has already come. We’re already living in an environment where rankings fluctuate far more than they used to and to an extent has redefined what stable rankings mean in many situations. 

To both conclude and put things simply, edging closer to a continuous real-time algorithm is part and parcel of a new era in ranking organically on Google’s SERP.


Mordy Oberstein is Head of SEO Branding at Wix. Mordy can be found on Twitter @MordyOberstein.

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