Tag Archives: Google

Continuous scrolling on Google may improve the click-through rate

Google is rolling out continuous scrolling on mobile search

Google is rolling out continuous scrolling on mobile search.

Google is introducing continuous scrolling on mobile search. What does that mean?

When you search something on Google, look at the first page where it lists around 10 links with descriptions. After that people need to click or tap on the next page.

But the SEO track record of the second page is not very good. Search results appearing on the Google’s second page get less than 1% CTR. A major chunk of clicks are consumed by the links appearing on the first page.

In fact, appearing among the top results is so important that the first link that appears in the search results gets 25% clicks (source).

Consequently, whoever wants to improve his or her search engine rankings, wants to appear on the first page because not many people go to the second page.

Nonetheless, Google has discovered that when people are searching on the mobile phone, the check out up to 4 pages.

Besides, it doesn’t make any sense to make people click the next page when they can simply scroll through all the listings. Let them scroll as much as they want, I would say, even on the desktop. There is no UI logic of dividing the search results among different pages.

There may have been a psychological reason a few years ago when people were mostly using the search engine on their desktops, but on mobile phones, people don’t mind scrolling.

The continuous scrolling feature will definitely improve the CTR of many web pages and blog posts.

If people are abandoning the current search because they wouldn’t go to the second page, even on desktop, they may keep on scrolling until they find something click-worthy.


Factor in machine learning when content writing

Content writing for machine learning and AI

Content writing for machine learning and AI.

The search engines are increasingly being powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, according to this interview of Fabrice Canal, Principal Program Manager at Bing, Microsoft.

So, keywords are not important?

For a few years, keywords are going to be important because to be able to ignore the keywords completely and just focus on what your message intends to deliver, the AI will need to be much smarter.

Nonetheless, even at this nascent stage, your SEO depends more on factoring in machine learning and searcher intent and less on the keywords and the search terms.

When you genuinely want to improve your search engine rankings – mostly customers come to your website and not random searchers – you need to know the intent of your average visitor.

I will give you my own example: I publish content for two reasons:

  1. Attract people who will pay me for my content writing services.
  2. Attract people who would like to link to my content, share it on their social media profiles, and in general, help me spread my content as far as possible.

I keep it 60:40 – 60% of my content is for spreading information and 40% is to tell people what I can do with my content writing services.

How important is searcher intent for content writing effectiveness?

The term “searcher intent” was introduced in the wake of the BERT update from Google. It stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”. It is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It not only helps the machines to understand what the words in a sentence stand for, but also the context and the nuance.

Neil Patel on his blog gives very good “Before” and “After” examples of how the BERT update affects the search results.

The point is, the search intent of the search engine user is carefully analysed by the background AI to show appropriate results.

After all, people should be able to find information they are looking for instead of what search engines like Google and Bing think people are trying to find.

Therefore, Fabrice Canal says that the ranking algorithms at the search engines are constantly evolving and the machines learn on their own what people are searching and what search results they need.

What is search intent?

I have explained it multiple times on my website, but I will quickly recap.

Knowing the searcher intent means knowing exactly what your target audience is looking for. The search terms need to be interpreted according to their need and not according to just the words being used.

Thanks to BERT when you search for “the benefits of apple” the search engine completely ignores the Apple company which, previously, it did not. All the top results are about the benefits of eating apples.

On the other hand, if you search for “I have an apple” Google gets confused and starts showing results from various “Apple” products and reviews. It is not taking an inference from my previous search and then sticking to the fruit instead of the tech company.

Anyway, knowing the searcher intent during content writing keeps you focused and helps you write content your target customers and clients are looking for.

You may like to read: Why searcher intent is most important when writing content for your website.

Again, I will come back to my own example.

Suppose someone searches for “need a content writer”.

This becomes confusing for the search engine. Is the search about the qualities that are needed in a content writer? Does it mean “I need a content writer”? Does it mean “do you need a content writer?”

Big difference. When someone looks for “I need a content writer” it is a person who needs a content writer.

When someone looks for “do you need a content writer?” question is being asked whether someone needs a content writer.

These are very subtle things, but they can have a big impact on your search engine rankings. Even if the rankings of your core content pieces don’t fluctuate much, the sort of traffic that you get may not generate you much business.

What do I do to solve this problem?

I solve this problem by writing highly targeted pages. For example, instead of trying to target something like “need a content writer” or “I need a content writer” I try to write about “content writer needed for a web design agency” or, “looking for content writer for the real estate company”.

This brings us to the discussion of using longtail keywords. These keywords or search terms may appear long, and you may think that very few people may use them, but at least these people will be clearheaded and precise.

For example, when someone searches for “looking for a content writer for email marketing” and then comes to my website, I know that the person is actually looking for someone who can write email marketing campaigns.

You will get higher conversion rate.

The topic of this post was content writing for machine learning.

Search engine engineers at Google and Bing suggest that don’t worry much about keywords. With every new update, keywords begin to matter less. What matters more is the essence of your message.

Hence, focus on quality. Focus on relevance. Focus on searcher intent.

With no keywords [100% (Not Provided)], is SEO content history?

Keyword data not provided

First of all, let me make it clear, there is no such thing as “SEO content”. You should always write content that is useful to your visitors, that provides the right information to your prospective customers and clients, and that is easily accessible. Stick to these guidelines and you have got “SEO content” on your website. Nonetheless, when you create content, you keep your primary keywords in mind while preparing the text. This is for obvious reasons. Up till now, the convention has been that if people are using certain words to find you, shouldn’t you be using those words? Suppose people are looking for content writing services, shouldn’t I use these three words as often as possible, while not overdoing it?

Recently Google has started encrypting every search – it means the various analytics programs that told you what keywords people are using in order to come to your website will no longer be able to do that. Here is an interesting take on this latest development:

Why does Google hide this valuable information in this awesome free tool called Google Analytics that they recommend you sign up for? Why do you think? My guess is it’s to encourage paid search engine marketing possibly through their Google AdWords product. I mean why else would you hide this useful information?

Whatever reasons Google has got, it is not going to show you the keywords for which you get traffic, and that’s that. It’s a big company, lots of businesses depend on it, and it can really take decisions that can wipe off smaller businesses just like that. Deal with it.

How do you deal with it? Most of my clients provide me a list of keywords when they want me to prepare content for them. Although more than keywords, what’s important is the message that is delivered through the content, but keywords are a big factor. You can use common sense to prepare content according to your main keywords. But how do you know that you are getting enough traffic for those keywords? If you are trying to optimize your website for multiple keywords, how do you know which keywords are already optimized for and which ones you still need some effort? In the absence of this insight, what sort of content do you create?

Google deciding not to show you keywords doesn’t mean that keywords no longer matter. After all it’s the keywords that people use in order to find the information they need. Although Google is shifting its focus on context rather than the words that you use – you may like to read my previous blog post titled Preparing your website content for Google’s Hummingbird algorithm. Despite that, keywords are going to matter and this is why…

The entire AdWords business depends on keywords because people bid on them. The advertisements on Google’s advertising network appear on the basis of the keywords people use to carry out searches. So do you want to know what keywords drive the most traffic to your website? Sign up for AdWords. Even if you are not interested in PPC advertising, you can use its PPC ad-creation tool to do research on keywords and find out the most relevant and the most widely used keywords in your industry. By spending some money you can also find out for which keywords people click your links the most.

The best thing to do is, stop worrying about keywords and start publishing content people find useful. In fact this can be a blessing in disguise. Almost since the beginning of the Internet businesses all over the world have depended on search engines for traffic. I’m not saying you completely start ignoring the search engines because millions of people use them to find products and services they need, but people are also using other sources like social networking websites, blogs, review websites and informative articles to make up their minds. In fact, trying to find good information on search engines can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. On the other hand if you ask your peers, friends and followers (whether face-to-face or through your social connections on the Internet) you can find exactly the sort of information and advice you need. Start networking with people. Build your clout and authority. Improve your author rank instead of solely focusing on page rank and keyword density. Let people send traffic your way rather than search engines.

If you are not publishing a newsletter, then perhaps this is the right time to start one. Have a signup box somewhere on your website and encourage people to drop in their email ids so that you can keep in touch with them. In fact, the conversion rate from your emails is much higher compared to the traffic that you get from search engines.

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