Spot Zero is Gone — Here's What We Know After 30 Days

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Posted by PJ_Howland As you are probably aware by now, recent updates have changed the world of search optimization. On January 22nd Google, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the URL that has earned the featured snippet in a SERP would not have the additional spot in that SERP. This also means that from now on the featured snippet will be the true spot-one position. If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat the listing in the search results. This declutters the results & helps users locate relevant information more easily. Featured snippets count as one of the ten web page listings we show. — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 22, 2020 Rather than rehash what’s been so eloquently discussed already, I’ll direct you to Dr. Pete’s post if you need a refresher on what this means for you and for Moz. 30 days is enough to call out trends, not all of the answers I’ve been in SEO long enough to know that when there’s a massive shake-up (like the removal of spot zero), bosses and clients want to know what that means for the business. In situations like this, SEOs responses are limited to 1) what they can see in their own accounts, and 2) what others are reporting online. A single 30-day period isn’t enough time to observe concrete trends and provide definitive suggestions for what every SEO should do. But it is enough time to give voice to the breakout trends that are worth observing as time goes on. The only way for SEOs to come out on top is by sharing the trends they are seeing with each other. Without each other’s data and theories, we’ll all be left to see only what’s right in front of us — which is often not the entire picture. So in an effort to further the discussion on the post-spot-zero world, we at 97th Floor set out to uncover the trends under our nose, by looking at nearly 3,000 before-and-after examples of featured snippets since January 22nd. The data and methodology I know we all want to just see the insights (which you’re welcome to skip to anyway), but it's worth spending a minute explaining the loose methodology that yielded the findings. The two major tools used here were Google Search Console and STAT . While there’s more traffic data in …

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Identifying Advanced GSC Search Performance Patterns (and What to Do About Them)

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Posted by izzismith Google Search Console is by far the most used device in the SEO’s toolkit. Not only does it provide us with the closest understanding we can have of Googlebot’s behavior and perception of our domain properties (in terms of indexability, site usability, and more), but it also allows us to assess the search KPIs that we work so rigorously to improve. GSC is free, secure, easy to implement, and it’s home to the purest form of your search performance KPI data. Sounds perfect, right? However, the lack of capability for analyzing those KPIs on larger scales means we can often miss crucial points that indicate our pages’ true performance. Being limited to 1,000 rows of data per request and restricted filtering makes data refinement and growth discovery tedious (or close to impossible). SEOs love Google Search Console — it has the perfect data — but sadly, it’s …

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Position Zero Is Dead; Long Live Position Zero

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Posted by Dr-Pete In 2014, Google introduced the featured snippet, a promoted organic ranking that we affectionately (some days were more affectionate than others) referred to as "position zero" or "ranking #0." One of the benefits to being in position zero was that you got to double-dip, with your organic listing appearing in both the featured snippet and page-1 results (usually in the top 3–4). On January 23, Google announced a significant change (which rolled out globally on January 22) ... "Declutters" sounds innocuous, but the impact to how we think about featured snippets and organic rankings is significant. So, let's dig deep into some examples and the implications for SEO. What does this mean for Moz? First, a product announcement. In the past, we treated Featured Snippets as stand-alone SERP features — they were identified in our "SERP Features" report but were not treated as organic due to the …

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Opting-Out of Google Featured Snippets Led to 12% Traffic Loss [SEO Experiment]

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard Note: This post was co-authored by Cyrus Shepard and Rida Abidi . Everyone wants to win Google featured snippets. Right? At least, it used to be that way. Winning the featured snippet typically meant extra traffic, in part because Google showed your URL twice: once in the featured snippet and again in regular search results. For publishers, this was known as " double-dipping ." All that changed in January when Google announced they would de-duplicate search results to show the featured snippet URL only once on the first page of results. No more double-dips. Publishers worried because older studies suggested winning featured snippets drove less actual traffic than the "natural" top ranking result. With the new change, winning the featured snippet might actually now lead to less traffic, not more. This led many SEOs to speculate: should you opt-out of featured snippets altogether? Are featured snippets causing …

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There's Gold In Them Thar SERPs: Mining Important SEO Insights from Search Results

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Posted by AndrewDennis33 There’s gold in them thar SERPs…gold I tell ya! Now, whether that phrase takes you back to a simpler (maybe? I don’t know, I was born in the 80s) time of gold panning, Mark Twain, and metallurgical assay — or just makes you want some Velveeta shells and liquid gold (I also might be hungry) — the point is, there is a lot you can learn from analyzing search results. Search engine results pages (SERPs) are the mountains we’re trying to climb as SEOs to reach the peak (number one position). But these mountains aren’t just for climbing — there are numerous “nuggets” of information to be mined from the SERPs that can help us on our journey to the mountaintop. Earning page one rankings is difficult — to build optimized pages that can rank, you need comprehensive SEO strategy that includes: Content audits Keyword research Competitive …

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A Simple Guide to the SERPs

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The SERPs (search engine results pages) are the listings you see whenever you type a query into a search engine. For most of us (63%, plus 90% of mobile searches), that search engine will be Google, so if your website does well in Google’s SERPs, you’re going to see a lot of organic traffic. When it comes to digital marketing, organic traffic is something of a Holy Grail. Why? Because as opposed to paid advertising, where you pay to get eyes on your content, organic clicks = free clicks. However, the SERPs aren’t as straightforward as they once were, and there are several ways they can influence the amount of organic traffic you get. So, let’s take a look at some of the different forms of traffic, how the SERPs affect them, and how you can get your website noticed in SERPs. What Types of SERP Results Are There? When …

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17 Advanced SEO Techniques for 2020

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This is a list of 17 advanced SEO strategies, techniques and tactics. In fact, these strategies have helped my site bring in 350,973 visitors per month from Google. So if you’re sick of reading the same old beginners stuff (“create great content!”), you’ll really enjoy this list. 1. Rank for “Journalist Keywords” 2. Use Animated Images to Improve Time On Site 3. Create Content Hubs 4. Target Comparison Keywords 5. Use Dynamic Parameters for Pagination 6. Build Backlinks With Podcasts 7. Forge a Content Alliance 8. Maximize SERP Real Estate 9. Embed Original Images In Your Content 10. Optimize Your Content For Keyword Relevance 11. Create a Comments Section On Your Blog 12. Uncover People Also Ask Keywords 13. Add “Content Features” To Your Page 14. Publish Topic + Year Content 15. Get Backlinks From Unlinked Brand Mentions 16. Optimize for Google Discover 17. Find Low-Competition Keywords From Reddit Bonus …

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How Low Can #1 Go? (2020 Edition)

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Posted by Dr-Pete Being #1 on Google isn't what it used to be. Back in 2013, we analyzed 10,000 searches and found out that the average #1 ranking began at 375 pixels (px) down the page. The worst case scenario, a search for "Disney stock," pushed #1 all the way down to 976px. A lot has changed in seven years, including an explosion of rich SERP (Search Engine Results Page) features, like Featured Snippets, local packs, and video carousels. It feels like the plight of #1 is only getting worse. So, we decided to run the numbers again (over the same searches) and see if the data matches our perceptions. Is the #1 listing on Google being pushed even farther down the page? I try to let the numbers speak for themselves, but before we dig into a lot of stats, here's one that legitimately shocked me. In 2020, over …

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How People Use Google Search (New User Behavior Study)

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We analyzed 1,801 Google user behavior sessions to better understand how people interact with modern Google SERPs. Specifically, we investigated: How many people click on ads vs organic results Percentage of clicks go to local, video and Google Shopping Average search session length Number of users that make it to the bottom of the first page Lots more And now it’s time to share what we discovered. Here Are Our Some of Our Key Findings: 1. Google searchers use one of Google’s autocomplete suggestions 23% of the time. People that search for informational and local searches tended to click on an autocomplete suggestion more often than those searching with commercial queries. 2. 50% of Google users click on their result within 9 seconds of searching. And the average amount of time it takes a Google searcher to click on something is 14.6 seconds. 3. Only 9% of Google searchers make …

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SEMrush Review: Details, Features & Pricing

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Here is my complete review of SEMrush . In this post you’ll see: What SEMrush does well What SEMrush doesn’t do well My opinion of SEMrush’s SEO and PPC features Whether SEMrush is worth the monthly fee A whole lot more Let’s get started. Domain Analytics This is a big picture overview of a site’s overall SEO and PPC marketing efforts. And if you want to dig deeper, you can get details on a site’s organic traffic, backlinks , PPC campaigns, engagement metrics (like bounce rate ), the site’s main competitors in Google search, and more. This report is helpful if you want to quickly see how much traffic a site gets from SEO or Google Ads . But the real value here comes from each of the detailed subreports. So let’s break down a few of these right now. Organic Research This feature is simple. Yet super powerful if …

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Some Featured Snippets may not appear as the top organic result

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If you follow my blog, you’ll know about the latest update to Featured Snippets on Google. An update which most of us probably didn’t see coming. I found that the “Featured” aspect of a “Featured Snippet” had been drastically reduced. While the result was still boxed-in, the ranking position had been demoted. This article explores this update, assessing how far-reaching it was in search results, along with some additional context involving classification. But first, a quick TL;DR : Featured Snippets that don’t appear in the top organic position are of a specific type. They have similar features to Knowledge Panels and trigger for a very small subset of queries. Looking at data for millions of queries across various segments, I was able to find some commonalities among the new Google Featured Snippets. Here’s what I learned. How have some Featured Snippets changed? The change involves some Featured Snippets showing in …

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