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SearchLove London 2016 | Marcus Tober | Why User-Focused Content is the Death of Ranking Factors

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With the evolution of machine-learning approaches, like RankBrain, coupled with the importance of content relevance, old-fashioned SEO tactics have died a sudden death – and traditional ranking factors are following suit. Today’s challenge for every digital marketer is to uncover specific user intent. In this session, you will learn how to meet the needs of your online audience by using data-driven technologies, and create the perfect content for every stage of the customer funnel.

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SearchLove London 2016 | Marcus Tober | Why User-Focused Content is the Death of Ranking Factors

  1. 1. Marcus Tober London, England 17th October, 2016 WHY USER-FOCUSED CONTENT IS THE DEATH OF RANKING FACTORS
  2. 2. • Founder and CTO of Searchmetrics Marcus Tober • In love with SEO and SEARCH since 2001 • Study of computer science in Berlin
  3. 3. 3 THE FUTURE IS DATA (SCIENCE) DRIVEN
  4. 4. 4 INTWENTYYEARS,THEREWILL BE NO VEHICLES DRIVEN BY HUMANS ANYMORE.
  5. 5. STATIC FLEXIBLE ADAPTABLE? THE EVOLUTION OF RANKING FACTORS In the past In the present In the future
  6. 6. Be Formless. Shapeless. Like water. When you put water into a… Cup, It becomes the cup Bottle, It becomes the bottle Teapot, It becomes the teapot
  7. 7. Water can flow. Or it can crash.
  8. 8. Be water, my friend.
  9. 9. Updates/Algorithm Changes Machine Learning/Rankbrain Rankings Search is flexible now Ranking Factors Relevance Evaluation ALGORITHM Users integratedintegrated Real-time Evaluation Real-time Evaluation
  10. 10. The Ranking Factors are not rigid anymore, they adapt to the SEARCH INTENTION. Just like water that changes it shape when you put it into a cup, bottle or teapot; Ranking Factors can and must be shaped into a specific industry/ user intention.
  11. 11. However: There are still factors that every industry should follow in order to have success. H2O The Ranking Factors are not rigid anymore, they are formless, shapeless and they adapt to the object.
  12. 12. Geoffrey Hinton a.k.a. “The Godfather of Deep Learning” Leading Researcher, Google
  13. 13. Legend in Neural Network Research. World renowned A.I. researcher. Invented some of the core algorithms of Deep Learning back in the 80s Working with Google since 2011 New novel concept: Thought Vectors Geoffrey Hinton Capturing thoughts…
  14. 14. IMAGINE EMPTY SPACE
  15. 15. Every word gets a position in space Cologne Hamburg Berlin Munich Visualizing RankBrain
  16. 16. Query sentences get a position in space. What’s the weather going to be like in Bavaria? Weather Forecast Bavaria Visualizing RankBrain
  17. 17. Queries and results get a position in space Q Result Scoring R R Visualizing RankBrain
  18. 18. Machine Learning (ML) ≠ AI
  19. 19. AlgorithmDesire • Answer to questions • Best User Experience • Smooth User Journey • Crawlability • Technical requirements • Evaluation of Relevance Online-Content Relevance for Human AND Machine
  20. 20. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do!” Bruce Lee
  21. 21. 1. You are aware you need to create good content, but being aware is not enough. You have to take action. 2. And even if you really want to be successful but you don’t apply the most effort you can, you won’t be successful. 3. Without a clear knowledge of what to do, action is based on guesswork. Use the best information/source you can get.
  22. 22. 1. ACTION 2. EFFORT 3. DATA
  23. 23. BE CREATIVE AND ADDWHAT IS SPECIFICALLYYOUR OWN.
  24. 24. But I still haven‘t found what I‘m looking for!
  25. 25. Health E- Commerce Finance Travel Media Different Industries, Different Ranking Factors
  26. 26. WHY?
  27. 27. Because each Industry has to deal with different Search Intentions.
  28. 28. Spender Backpacker Intellectual User Intention
  29. 29. With the evolution of machine-learning approaches, like RankBrain, coupled with the importance of content relevance, old-fashioned SEO tactics have died a sudden death – and traditional ranking factors are following suit. Today´s challenge for every digital marketer it is to uncover specific user intent.
  30. 30. Backlinks In times of self-evolving Machine Learning/Deep Learning algorithms, backlinks just become one out of many many other factors
  31. 31. Spender Wants best product. A spender is not worried about money. His user intention is to find the best product no matter what the price is. luxury rolex watch
  32. 32. Wants cheapest offer. A backpacker needs to save every penny, but at the same time he wants to visit the coolest possible locations. Backpacker cheapest bus ticket
  33. 33. Wants valid information. An intellectual person is hoping to find the most relevant and valid information on the web. Intellectual Plato´s allegory of the cave
  34. 34. Search Query & Expectations Example: „costume ideas“ ???
  35. 35. http://www.today.com/style/61-awesome- halloween-costume-ideas-its-not-too-late- steal-t2741 Rank #1 60+ part image gallery Short description Links to relevant pages High Social Engagement User Intention = Inspiration! ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Search Query & Expectations Example: „costume ideas“
  36. 36. https://www.savers.com/halloween/costumes/all Rank #16 14 costume suggestions No product texts General footer text User Intention ≠ Shopping! ✗ ✗ ✗ Search Query & Expectations Example: „costume ideas“
  37. 37. Introducing NEW RANKING FACTORS 2016 – SEARCHMETRICS coming in November… Google.com
  38. 38. *NEW RANKING FACTORS 2016 10x more complex Industry Topic/ Search Intention Topic A Topic B Topic C Topic D Topic E Health Finance eCommerce Media Etc. You?
  39. 39. Generally, well ranking pages have longer texts. So there is a correlation… BUT For some searches, results with shorter text are the best result for the user experiece. What does that mean for Ranking Factors? Content need to be different depending on User Intention
  40. 40. 500 1.000 1.500 2.000 2.500 3.000 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Desktop 2015 Ø Top10 2016: 1,633 2015 : 1,285 𝜌2015 = 0.07 𝜌2016 = 0.05 +21% Word Count Google.com
  41. 41. If someone searches for: best short hairstyles What they probably want to see is less text are more images or image galleries
  42. 42. If someone searches for: Plato´s allegory of the cave What they probably want to see is valid and structured info and more text
  43. 43. If someone searches for: x-box unboxing What they probably want to see is a video and no text
  44. 44. Different Industries Different Ranking Factors Google.com Health E- Commerce Finance
  45. 45. 1.000 1.500 2.000 2.500 3.000 3.500 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Finance Word Count Google.com T10 Ø: 1575 Correlation: 0.09
  46. 46. 1.000 1.500 2.000 2.500 3.000 3.500 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 eCommerce Health Finance Word Count Google.com T10 Ø: 3069 2826 1575 Correlation: 0.13 0.15 0.09
  47. 47. 1.000 1.500 2.000 2.500 3.000 3.500 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 eCommerce Health Finance Desktop 2016 Word Count Google.com T10 Ø: 3069 2826 1575 1633 Correlation: 0.13 0.15 0.09 0.05 Ø
  48. 48. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 eCommerce Health Keyword in Title Google.com T10 Ø: 33% 35% Correlation: -0.04 -0.05
  49. 49. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 eCommerce Health Finance Keyword in Title Google.com T10 Ø: 33% 35% 10% Correlation: -0.04 -0.05 0.04
  50. 50. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 eCommerce Health Finance Desktop 2016 Keyword in Title Google.com T10 Ø: 33% 35% 10% 54% Correlation: -0.04 -0.05 0.04 -0.04 Ø
  51. 51. 0 50.000 100.000 150.000 200.000 250.000 300.000 350.000 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 eCommerce Referring Domains Google.com T10 Ø: 272736 Correlation: 0.20
  52. 52. 0 50.000 100.000 150.000 200.000 250.000 300.000 350.000 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 eCommerce Health Referring Domains Google.com T10 Ø: 272736 99526 Correlation: 0.20 0.02
  53. 53. 0 50.000 100.000 150.000 200.000 250.000 300.000 350.000 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 eCommerce Health Finance Referring Domains Google.com T10 Ø: 272736 99526 38728 Correlation: 0.20 0.21 -0.02
  54. 54. SO…
  55. 55. SEO tactics have died and Traditional Ranking Factors are fading away However… Traditional Ranking Factors
  56. 56. Why SEO is not dead Startpoint of Purchases Source: Forrester/ Internet Retailer B2B Buying And Selling Online Survey 2014 92% of Business Purchases start with Search 81% of Shoppers Research Online before buying Source: Adweek/ +GE Capital Retail Bank’s Major Purchase Shopper Study 2015 B2B B2C
  57. 57. Good site architecture Relevant link structure Basic tag usage and structure Page Load Time Basic technics features are still important
  58. 58. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Mobile 2016 Ø Top10 Desktop: 126 Ø Top10 Mobile : 71 Interal Link Count Google.com
  59. 59. 6 7 8 9 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Mobile 2016 Ø Top10 Desktop: 7.84 sec Ø Top10 Mobile : 6.98 sec Page load time Seconds Google.com
  60. 60. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Mobile 2016 Ø Top10 Desktop: 85% Ø Top10 Mobile : 75% Page has H1 Google.com
  61. 61. HOW TO STAY RELEVANT?
  62. 62. The user needs to feel happy with the result. User Experience But businesses often fail in providing the right content for the respective user intention ?
  63. 63. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Click-Through Rate Google.com 𝜌 = 0.46
  64. 64. 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Time on Site Seconds 𝜌 = 0.11
  65. 65. Structured Content. • Paragraphs • Numbered Lists • Bullet Points • Readable • Consumeable
  66. 66. 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Desktop 2015 Ø Top10 2016: 50% 2015 : 43% +7% Page has Bullet Point List Google.com
  67. 67. Feel safe, use HTTPS. Whether you're booking tickets, buying clothes or purchasing items from an auction site, shop safely and securely online using HTTPS.
  68. 68. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Desktop 2015 Ø Top10 2016: 45% 2015 : 14%+31% HTTPS Google.com 𝜌 = 0.19
  69. 69. There are still factors that every industry should follow in order to have success. And these are specific for each industry. But today that is not enough. Thanks to new algorithms, combined with machine learning and its capacity to analyze websites, content became a key for success. The quality, relevance and uniqueness of your content is understood and judged by Google, who in case of finding it relevant will benefit you with better results.
  70. 70. Content Structure Content-Relevance can be analyzed by structure AND It actually has the highest impact on rankings
  71. 71. Landing Page XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XKEYWORDXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXKEYWORDX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Image Image XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XKEYWORDXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXKEYWORDX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XKEYWORDXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXKEYWORDXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX search query Relevance of content without keywords to search query Remove keywords from text search query = keyword Content Relevance NEW Factor 2016 Google.com
  72. 72. 0,10 0,11 0,12 0,13 0,14 0,15 0,16 0,17 0,18 0,19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 Desktop 2016 Content Relevance NEW Factor 2016 Google.com 𝜌 𝐷𝑒𝑠𝑘𝑡𝑜𝑝 = 0.04
  73. 73. security camera systems 10 out of top 10 e-commerce websites for this keyword have an „add to cart“ function above the fold Keyword: “security camera systems” E-COMM Introducing Relevance
  74. 74. security systemssecurity camera systems 10x ShoppingCart Keyword: “security camera systems” E-COMM 3x ShoppingCart + Google Shopping Integration 4x Vendor 3x Information (Blog, Reviews etc.) + Google News Integration Transactional Informational Introducing Relevance
  75. 75. Topic ExplorerTOPIC: „security system“
  76. 76. Topic Explorer „security system“ YELLOW „[…]camera system“ BLUE TOPIC: „security system“ Search Intention
  77. 77. Related QuestionsTOPIC: „security system“
  78. 78. Relevant Terms and PhrasesTOPIC: „security system“
  79. 79. Content Live EditorTOPIC: „security system“
  80. 80. Searchmetrics Content Experience Suite 1. 2. 3.
  81. 81. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specific your own” Bruce Lee Quality, Relevance and Uniqueness of Content
  82. 82. Be water, my friend.

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