“Google is aware of sites hosted on another’s subdomain - Search Engine Land” plus 3 more
- Google is aware of sites hosted on another’s subdomain - Search Engine Land
- Google Trends - Planeta.com
- Google News Optimization: How to Boost Your Site’s Visibility & Traffic - Search Engine Journal
- Over 50% of Google searches result in no clicks, data shows - The Next Web
Posted: 14 Aug 2019 01:52 PM PDT
Google has stated that hosting content in a subdomain or subfolder of another entity's site is not against its guidelines, but that it is improving its systems to recognize that content and treat it accordingly. The statement was delivered via the Google Webmasters Twitter account on August 14.
The tweet. "We've been asked if third-parties can host content in subdomains or subfolders of another's domain. It's not against our guidelines. But as the practice has grown, our systems are being improved to better know when such content is independent of the main site & treat accordingly. Overall, we'd recommend against letting others use subdomains or subfolders with content presented as if it is part of the main site, without close supervision or the involvement of the primary site. Our guidance is if you want the best success with Search, provide value-added content from your own efforts that reflect your own brand." Google stated in a three-part tweet.
Why would anyone do that? Third parties are interested in renting out another brand's subdomain to get a leg up on the competition in terms of search rankings, which may help them get more traffic and conversions.
Google's figuring out how to handle it. Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller touched on this subject during a Google Webmaster Central office hours session on June 28. During the session, Mueller said, "I know the search leads at Google have been talking about this exact topic for a while now to try to find ways to handle these appropriately. By 'handling them appropriately,' I don't mean we should treat them as spam and just delete all of these subdomains, because they're not really spam. They're just kind of sales pages, affiliate pages that are hosted within another website. Maybe the right approach is to find a way to figure out what is the primary topic of this website and focus more on that, and then kind of leave these other things on the side."
Mueller then went on to say, "When it comes to quality, we try to look at the quality of a website overall. So, if there are particular parts of a website that are really low quality …. then overall, that could be degrading the quality of that site a little bit."
Why we should care. For brands that are considering using another entity's subdomain to host their content, Google is aware of such tactics. Although this strategy does not currently violate its guidelines, the company might as well have said "proceed at your own risk."
Posted: 13 Aug 2019 03:00 AM PDT
Google Trends – trends.google.com – is a website by Google that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time. – Wikipedia
Posted: 14 Aug 2019 05:37 AM PDT
Google News has changed dramatically since the "beta" version was launched back in September 2002. And many of the best practices for optimizing your news content have changed significantly, too.
But, some of the fundamentals of Google News optimization haven't changed at all over the past 17 years.
The key to optimizing your news content for visibility and traffic is figuring out what has changed and what hasn't.
For example, Google News is still a news search engine despite the fact that Google announced "the all-new Google News" on May 8.
In the announcement on Google new official blog, The Keyword, Trystan Upstill, a Distinguished Engineer and the Google News Engineering and Product Lead, wrote:
In other words, computer algorithms may have been updated, but they still determine which stories, images, and videos appear in Google News results, and in what order.
So, if you conduct a news search, you'll still see "relevant" news, magazine, and video stories as well as press releases in the results.
Ironically, the information about ranking in the Google News Publisher Help Center doesn't mention "relevance." It says:
Does this mean that you don't have to think about the words users would type to find your news content and no longer need to make sure that your news, magazine, and video story or press release actually includes those words within it?
Although the revamped Google News app uses machine learning to adapt to a user's habits and routines over time, enabling it to recommend personalized content in the "For you" section, that doesn't mean it now shows users irrelevant results when they conduct a news search.
In fact, if you conduct a news search for "machine learning," you won't see content about "influencer marketing" – even if that's a topic that you've also used Google News to search for recently.
So, how do you optimize your news content for visibility and traffic today?
1. Conduct Keyword Research to Find News Search Terms People Are Likely to Use
Well, the first step in Google News optimization is conducting keyword research to find 85% of the news search terms that people are likely to use. How do you do that?
If you have the time to plan a feature article or press release on "back to school", then use the Explore tool in Google Trends.
And although "Web Search" is the default setting, use the "News Search" option to discover that news search interest in "back to school" spikes in late July and early August in the U.S.
But, if you need to conduct keyword research on the fly, then use the Autocomplete feature in Google News.
Type in "back to school" and Autocomplete will make some predictions. These predictions are possible news search terms related to what you're looking for and what other people have already searched for.
As I was writing this, Autocomplete showed me that other people had already searched for:
Raise your hand if you've already guessed that these terms are listed in order of their relative popularity.
What about the other 15% of the news search terms that people are likely to use?
Well, in April 2017, Ben Gomes, Google's VP of Engineering, wrote in The Keyword:
So, if you've got a truly newsworthy story or you're launching an exceptional new product, then you can coin your own news search term and discover if you get lucky.
2. Write a Clear, Concise Headline
Despite getting revamped, Google News continues to rely heavily on page titles to determine ranking.
Your news, magazine, and video story or press release's headline is its page title.
For proper indexing by Google News, your headline should be between 2 and 22 words.
And avoid puns or plays on words.
They can confuse humans as well as news search engine algorithms.
3. Use Subheads & Text Formatting for Emphasis
What about subheads? Well, they're a good place to incorporate additional keywords that aren't in your headline.
They also provide early supplemental guidance to readers as they decide whether to continue reading longer news content.
In addition, bold, italic, underlined, and bulleted text help:
So, use them – judiciously.
4. Question the Conventional Wisdom That Says: Keep It Short
Now, I'm often asked, "How long should optimized news content be?"
But, there is no simple formula for calculating how long your article or release should be in order to be optimized for Google News.
But, it's time to question the conventional wisdom that says: Keep it short.
Unfortunately, short content provides the wrong answers to some of the questions that Google engineers use to assess the "quality" of an article, according to a post in Google's Webmaster Central Blog by Amit Singhal, who was a Google Fellow back in May 2011:
To confirm that this advice still holds true, I conducted a news search on July 21 for "machine learning" and "What Is Machine Learning?" ranked higher than more recent articles.
Written by Ben Dickson of PCMag.com, this article is 1,528 words long.
I also conducted a news search for "back to school", and "Missed Amazon Prime Day? You can still find the best back-to-school deals" ranked higher than more recent news stories.
Written by AJ Horch of CNBC, this story is 715 words long.
Finally, I conducted a news search for "GEICO", and "Road Trip: GEICO Says Make It Memorable and Make It Safe" was ranked #1.
This press release was distributed by Business Wire and appeared on Yahoo! Finance. It included an infographic and was 507 words long.
So, conduct your own news searches for a couple of your target search terms and find out just how long your optimized news content should be.
It may vary, but I'd be shocked, shocked to find it was "short."
5. Include Photos & Videos
Although rich textual content is important, so are photos and videos.
Google News displays images associated with articles included in its index, although it sometimes pairs relevant images with articles from different sources.
Here are some tips to increase the likelihood that your images are included in Google News:
Google News also recognizes the importance of video content.
If you have a news site, then Google News can crawl your YouTube channel and MP4 videos embedded within articles on your site.
Google News has a number of guidelines for video content to provide the best user experience as well as to maintain fairness and consistency when determining what content is included.
Before submitting your YouTube channel to their team for consideration, you should review these guidelines from Google:
6. Add Meaningful Links
It's okay to use links in your story or release to direct your audiences to relevant additional content.
By placing relevant, context-appropriate links, you'll drive measurable traffic to this related content and improve the user's experience.
Editorial placed links, which Google calls "natural links", can provide you with an earned media SEO benefit.
But, links that aren't editorially placed, also known as "unnatural links", can be considered a violation of Google's guidelines.
That's why links in press releases in Google News employ "no follow" tags. While these links may not enhance your SEO, they can still drive traffic to your website – and that isn't chopped liver.
7. Measure the Impact of Google News
If you're a publisher, there are two ways to track how your content is performing according to Google News.
If Google News crawls the content on your site, then you can look for HTTP referrer values to separate traffic from Google News from the rest of your traffic.
Incoming readers with referrers of "news.google.com" or "news.url.google.com" are from Google News.
You can use your Google Analytics to conduct further analysis of both your standard HTML and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) articles.
If you provide licensed content via RSS feeds or AMP via Google News Producer, then you can track direct traffic to your site using the news.google.com and news.url.google.com referrers.
In addition, you can set up tracking in Google News Producer that provides more detail and track content that is rendered natively within the Google News Android and iOS apps.
If you're optimizing a press release, then you can use Google's free Campaign URL Builder tool, which enables you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics.
I did this recently for a public research university that launched a new online program.
We used Google Analytics to get a picture of our users' Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) cycle:
I was able to report that the release had driven 301 users to their site, who visited a total of 558 sessions.
These users looked at an average of 4 pages per session, which had an average duration of 3-and-a-half minutes. And 100 users converted into soft leads (clicked on an Apply Now link), while 30 converted into hard leads (filled out a form).
To Sum Up
In closing, I should remind you that Google News is constantly changing.
So, I should probably add a "Best if used by (or before)" date to some of the tips in this article.
But, I should also note that other advice hasn't changed in years.
This means the trick to Google News optimization is continuing to figure out what's really new under the sun and what's old as dirt.
Posted: 13 Aug 2019 11:58 PM PDT
Google is hungry for your clicks. But it turns out that more than half of all Google Search queries now result in no clicks.
As of June 2019, 50.3 percent of Google searches received zero clicks. By contrast, searches with organic clicks to non-Google websites now make up only 45 percent of all traffic.
That is according to data from marketing analytics firm Jumpshot based on 40 million browser-based searches on desktop and mobile in the US. The data was crunched by Rand Fishkin, founder of audience intelligence search engine SparkToro.
Even worse, it seems this trend towards zero-click searches has seen steady growth since 2016. In the meantime, organic reach for third-party websites has continued to shrink.
To be fair, it's not all that surprising that a large number of searches result in no clicks – especially when we factor in that Google has been shifting its attention to summing up results in snippets at the top of Search. While those might be easier to scan for users, they do eat into third-party websites' traffic.
We've reached out to Google for comment, but have yet to hear back. We'll update this post accordingly, if we do.
However, as Fishkin points out, a US congressional panel recently asked Google if it was true that less than 50 percent of searches lead to non-Google websites. It was a simple Yes-No question, but the Big G eschewed giving a direct response. Instead, it took a dig at the authenticity of the data cited – without denying it.
"The author of the report cited in our letter did not make his specific methodology clear, but it's inaccurate to portray featured snippets as simply answering a question and never resulting in a click," the company wrote in a statement. "Many sites strive to have their content highlighted as a snippet, which can drive meaningful traffic."
Interestingly, Fishkin further notes that Google's search dominance has reached a 94-percent market share (the data is based solely on browser-based searches).
For the record, this isn't an entirely new development. Back in June, Search Engine Land cited earlier research from Fishkin that suggested the number of zero-click searches in the first quarter of 2019 had reached nearly 49 percent of all queries.
Still though, the outlet noted that the Fishkin's methodology wasn't exactly bulletproof.
"The figures are based on over one billion web browser searches on ten million domestic desktop and Android devices in the US," Search Engine Land wrote. "It does not include searches conducted on iOS devices, the Google Search app, voice-only devices or searches that ended in a click to a mobile app."
The finding reignites discussions on Google's anti-competitive conduct, which many have criticized in the past.
Indeed, reports from yesterday suggest that 23 European job search firms are working on filing an antitrust complaint against Google with the European Union. The companies allege the Big G placed its own job search results above those of competitors.
What makes matters even more pressing is that it's hardly the first time the search engine giant has drawn criticism for its anti-competitive practices.
In the past, the company was fined €1.49 ($1.67) billion for killing ad competition, €2.4 ($2.69) billion for unfairly boosting its own shopping service, and €4.34 ($4.87) billion for illegally restricting the use of Android.
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