Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Appear Seemingly Everywhere…

I often argue that SEO services are actually "web presence" services. The point of any good search campaign is too establish an authoritative presence that Google/Bing/Yahoo simply can't ignore. Most businesses focus on one thing - their company website. In today's web, that can be a critical mistake as there is a tremendous opportunity to appear seemingly everywhere, just like Varys from Game of Thrones. varys is everywhere Yes, the main asset is critical and important. You own it. It should be the center of everything you do, and ultimately all effort should flow back to the castle.

Are you building MULTIPLE assets online?

Every business owner should consider building multiple assets online to complement their website or blog. In some cases it takes little additional effort to do so if you are already creating a substantial amount of content. For example, depending on your niche or service, a YouTube channel can be a great way to attract additional customers. YouTube is immensely popular and no one can argue otherwise. In fact, it is the second largest search engine. Don't you want to have a presence on the second largest search engine? Many people think that creating a YouTube channel is hard work. I would argue that maintaining a YouTube presence is hard work, but setting it up is easy. Anyone can do it. Others will say that it is too difficult to create videos, as they lack the proper equipment and editing software. That may be true in some respects, but in today's world of smart phones, many people have a high quality camera in their own pocket. There is a ton of content online that is created with nothing more than "point-and-shoot" smart phone style. That's it. The quality is good enough and in reality many people will overlook any flaws if your content is helpful, authoritative, or entertaining. Have you considered creating a multi-language website? You might be able to attract additional customers by taking the time to have your site translated.

The Goal? Consistently Create Content

The real task is to create content and keep doing it for months and even years. It can be a daunting task if you find yourself in the daily grind. At first you might have to dedicate some extra time to the effort - extra work hours or weekends. Whatever it takes to get some content flowing. Over time however, you should learn to delegate the work to someone on your team. Blog posts, videos, and social media management can be assigned to various members of the team. If they have down time, consider getting them to write up something, anything about the business. This could be a service offering, a customer success story, or comments about something that happened in the news. Transcribe existing video assets or leverage anything that you already have in a different way. You never know when something might convert extremely well in video format versus a blog post or web page. Almost every company should consider a YouTube channel of some sort as it can be a great way to create a portfolio, but also because of the amount of viewers. YouTube is now estimated to get far more viewers than TV. The idea that a video streaming website could crush television seemed extremely unlikely just a few years ago. Much of this is due to the popularity of mobile devices and the ease with which people can watch a video at just about any time. In my opinion you have to make an attempt to get in on this ocean of potential viewers, some of which can turn into customers, followers, and traffic that you can monetize or use to spread the word.

Tie it All Together...for the Bots

So people recognize your fancy logo. That's great. Bots and search engine crawlers might have a difficult time making this connection however. While they are getting better at image identification, it's not the best way to connect everything and bring it all under one fortress. As artificial intelligence is becoming more and more evolved, new ways to "speak to the machines" have been developed that allow you to specifically identify your other web properties. You can add code to your website that indicates certain URLs as a reference point for your presence elsewhere. You can literally announce yourself and declare your presence, which can help clear it up for the search engine crawlers. This can be done with the correct application of markup, a service that is becoming more and more important as the web evolves. One day this might be the most critical element to establishing your identity in the "semantic web." Google has already begun to establish technology focused on machine learning, and they will eventually understand exactly "what you are talking about" on any particular page.     As you build up your assets and secure your brand, all flows. Your web presence will become tremendous and you will start to become the go-to for information on any particular topic. Also, a YouTube channel can add some humanity to your brand. Most people just write a blog post here and there but never let their audience get to know their personality, manner of speaking, and attitude. Putting a face to a name can do wonders for your likeabilty and share-ability. Let's be honest. If people like you, they will buy stuff from you. You might have to give a lot of information away for free and offer a lot of value at first. But over time your presence will be undeniable and when combined with the power of semantic SEO, the search engines will start to love you for the simple fact that you have identified yourself with authority content and the proper markup. If you are looking for new and innovative ways to reach more customers, then shoot me a message using the contact form. Creating an expansive web presence is actually not that hard, and with the right coaching and consulting you will be well on your way. Most of the time people just need to be made aware of their options. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. It's very difficult to stay in the know on all things. But if you are in the know and master of your own craft, you'd better get out there and raise your flag.
See Full Article Here: Appear Seemingly Everywhere…

Friday, June 24, 2016

Back in the fall it was revealed that Google developed a new ranking tool/algorithm component called "Rank Brain" that would enhance the machine learning factor when it comes to determining where a website should rank. In February of 2016 it was announced that Amit Singhal would be stepping down as head of search at Google, replaced by John Giannandrea who is their go-to guy for artificial intelligence. And as we head into the spring of 2016, it is becoming more and more clear that this appears to be a definitive direction that Google will be taking for the foreseeable future. A recent patent filing reveals that there is clear intent to improve machine learning and entity identification in the search algorithm: entity identification model training This week there have been additional hints about the way Google engineers think. It seems clear from this that quality and authority are of utmost importance, but often times the task is oriented toward identifying known entities while determining what the user query intent might be (not an easy task). The knowledge graph seems to be expanding as well, as I have discovered some interesting and informative graphs over the last few weeks. For example, if you Google "sciatica" you get this interesting looking colored knowledge graph that cites a few authority sources and also creates a downloadable pdf, which appears to be created by Google:   sciatica medical knowledge graph   Also notices that there is a continued emphasis on the appearance of answers directly in the search engine, in this case with a menu of possible questions that people may ask. As many people have speculated, it seems that Google is looking to become an "answer" engine rather than a search engine. This means that they essentially could skip the step of sending you to a website and simply answer your question directly. For example, if you type "president of the united states" Google will simply tell you the answer, along with a few lists of past presidents from authority sites such as Wikipedia. a google search query There really is no need to send someone to a page to find out that the current president is Barack Obama. All of this however assumes that Google is able to easily identify the entity in question. Someone as famous as the U. S. president would be an easy task, but with billions of possible entities out there it becomes a Herculean effort when trying to match them all to certain queries.

The importance of

In order to help Google with this procedure, we can use semantic markup as outlined by This allows us to give Google, Bing, or Yahoo that extra bit of information that helps them understand the content on the page and allows us, the site owner, to attempt to classify the entities ourselves. You can basically say, "hey Google, here is a list of entities that are described on this page" rather than just simply listing HTML text which is archaic and does not provide quite enough to work with. This can be very useful for any business that offers a service or an eCommerce store that has a number of products to identify. If you can properly give Google this extra bit of information, then you are eligible for rich snippets and a larger amount of real estate and dynamic listings on the results page.

Google Trends - The Topics are Really "Entities"

I'll finish with one interesting point of note that I recently discovered. If you visit Google Trends and add a search query (you could also pick one of their predefined "entities" which I will clarify in a moment...) you can see the list of topics that are popular during the given time period. For example, if I add "captain america" as the search query and set the results to 2016, here are the results: If you look at the embed code for this small chart, it clearly shows that this data is reflective of "TOP ENTITIES." Note: "Captain America" is an entity - a fictional superhero. However "Captain America: Civil War" is a film entity, a movie coming out in 2016. There is an important distinction there, and more importantly realize that Google is learning to distinguish the difference!

The post, Entities & the Future of Search originally appeared on WitBlade.

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