Leverage Major Search Trends to Improve the Online Visibility of Your Brand

The Imaginuity SEO team recently attended the 2019 State of Search Conference in Dallas. This major conference brings together speakers from different digital marketing organizations and specialties who are industry leading thought experts. Each session was centered around significant and upcoming updates that will have a significant influence on how Brands approach SEO. Among the topics was the recent updates to the Google Search Algorithm, with the most recent update, BERT being called by Pandu Nayak, Google Vice President, Search, “the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.”

With all these recent changes and updates to the Search Algorithm, the search landscape is becoming increasingly more complex and intertwined. Below, we lay out an overview of major factors and updates that influence your visibility on the web.

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Google Search Landscape: Important Ranking Factors, Updates and How They are Related. Click bubbles to explore Google My Business Service Areas Knowledge Graph Ratings & Reviews Structured Data Impressions Rich Snippets: FAQ, How-To, QA Voice Search Clicks Local SEO Local Links Prominence Proximity Relevance BERT Update User Search Intent User Satisfaction Natural Language Processing Machine Learning The BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It helps the search engine understand what words in a sentence mean, with the nuance of context. Provide information that will satisfy the user’s search and intent: Content Relevance - Is the result on topic? Quality & Credibility - Can users trust the site? Context – Is the result timely and relevant to the user’s location? Did the search return what a user was expecting? The BERT update helps better determine user intent utilizing Natural Language Processing. NLP is a type of AI that works to better understand natural language used by humans. Local SEO focuses on the local aspect of the Google Search Algorithm. The key factors that are emphasized when determining ranking for local SEO are: Relevance, Proximity and Prominence. Prominence is described as how well-known a business is. To help establish prominence on the web we recommend focusing on a number of things, including local backlinks and reviews. Links are the original way “votes” were cast for websites and play a huge factor in how Google determines site prominence. Local link building should be an integral part of any local SEO strategy because it provides relevance as well. Proximity is a key factor in the local search algorithm. According to a Google My Business help document, “If a user doesn't specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about the user’s location.” Voice Search allows users to search Google through virtual assistants like Google Home or using talk to text services. It is estimated that by 2020, 50% of all searches could be done by voice suggesting that Brands need to quickly understand how to optimize their site for voice search. One big area of opportunity for optimization, is understanding how to mark up your website with structured data to allow Google to better understand the content on your site. By choosing the right structured data, you can start optimizing for search & voice search by focusing on generating rich results. Ratings & Reviews on Google plays a significant role in local rankings. The Knowledge Graph is an intelligent model that taps into Google’s huge repository of entity and fact-based information and seeks to understand the real-world connections between them. In other words, instead of interpreting every keyword and query literally, Google now infers what people are looking for. If your business serves customers within a specific service area such as a locksmith, rather than having a typical brick and mortar destination, you can list your service area on your Google My Business listing. FAQ, How-to, and Question & Answer page markup can help Google better understand the different types of content on your website and may help your site be displayed as a Rich Snippet. Impressions is the number of times a link to your website appears on the search results page. A click is defined as how many times a user clicks on your link in the search results. Relevance refers to how well a listing matches what the user is searching for. The machine learning in Google’s algorithm helps Google understand what users find useful and enables the search engine to rank websites more effectively. Google My Business is a free tool that helps you manage your local business listing on Google. a. The rating & reviews received via Google My Business now play an increased role when it comes to local search ranking. b. Nearly 70% of impressions are being derived from Google Maps instead of search results. c. Phone calls & directions have shown to generate more click actions from the Local Map Pack than website clicks.


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