Consistent with everything online, SEO tactics and best practices are evolving quicker than Taylor Swift is moving on to her next boyfriend. SEO trends are similar to fashion; a popular, widely used tactic could lead to first page positioning one year, and be considered spammy the next, just as the craze of Crocs fizzled out faster than it arrived.
With the ever-transforming world of SEO, there’s one thing that every website owner should live by: if you’re developing content simply to have more pages on your site, you’re already behind the times. To kickoff the new year in style, make this must-do SEO resolution to yourself: remember that while content is key, newsworthy, sharable content is a must.
Without a doubt 2012 was a big year for digital marketing. There were several new advances to search alone, including the ability to get facts quicker with Google’s Knowledge Graph and the implementation of Google’s “Search Plus Your World,” which brought social into search results. Bing kept up by adding a social sidebar and their Snapshot feature, similar to the Knowledge Graph. The introduction of high-impact algorithms with cute animal names are also on a mission to improve the quality of Google’s search results.
While these items have had a significant impact on the evolution of search, one of the biggest changes to search in 2012 was the increased focus on local search. Local search will be a huge focus for every digital marketer in 2013. In order to get a head start on local search this year, here are some key things you need to know.
To build upon their “Bing Is For Doing” philosophy, America’s second largest search engine has decided that it will follow in Google’s footsteps and provide social integration. More information about the merger of social and search platforms across the web can be found in a previous 90blog post. Bing will attempt to do what Google has decided against and use Facebook (among other social networking sites) as its primary tool to get answers for its users. As Bing says, “Recent attempts at social search haven’t unlocked the full potential of tapping our social networks.” Through an integrated format called the Sidebar, users will be able to get the opinion of friends, family, and colleagues online, much as you would in person.
By Elyse Jarvis, Account Coordinator
Bing adds personalized search results to its search capabilities and, once again, attempts to catch up with Google.
Google has offered user-personalized search results since 2009, and Bing is now jumping on the bandwagon. Still in the testing phases in the U.S., Bing’s more personalized features will rank listings based on physical location and past search behavior.
In ways similar to Google, Bing’s personalized results will be based on information gleaned from stored cookies, IP address and the information personally supplied via the engine’s preferences page. According to an official blog post by the Bing team, Bing will also store data based on time and date of search and on browser configuration.
Despite the amount of data Bing projects it will store, they argue that for the most part, they will be able to personalize using “a minimal amount of personal information.” The company proposes that search result hierarchy will mainly be based on the understanding that searchers use the engine to find a specific website, and will thus base results on what searchers have clicked through to previously. For example, if a searcher has previously searched on the term “DIA,” and the top results were “Denver International Airport” and “Defense Intelligence Agency,” and the searcher clicked on the “Defense Intelligence Agency;” in future searches, Bing will offer “Defense Intelligence Agency” as the top result.
Posted by: Leslie Norgren, Account Manager
Earlier this month, Microsoft submitted a patent application for “search queries with shifting intent.” The patent specifies that the Bing search engine will be capable of delivering results based on the intention of the searcher and the seasonality of the query. So, what exactly does this mean, and how is it different than how search engines currently deliver results?
Based on the patent application, it appears that Bing will evaluate the frequency of specific queries, and determine if there are shifts in dates when these searches occur. For example, if someone is looking for “last minute Thanksgiving flights” in October instead of November, Bing might assume that the searcher is looking for Canadian Thanksgiving offers, whereas if the query is submitted in November, it could surmise that the searcher is looking for U.S. Thanksgiving offers. Similarly, results for a basic query like “King Tut” are primarily historical and informative, but if a King Tut exhibit is underway, Bing may return results for museums where the event is touring.
To define when search queries are no longer temporal, Bing will be monitoring for changes in click-through rates, bounce rates or results-based query changes.
As Bing gains market share, it is becoming increasingly important to stay informed of algorithm changes. If your site’s organic traffic is impacted by seasonality, stay ahead of the game by optimizing with temporally related content. Aside from considering the impact seasonality may have on your organic listings, it would be wise to start brainstorming ways you might modify your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising strategy as well.
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