The Power of "Is": A Featured Snippet Case Study

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Posted by EricSerdar I’m not a literary scholar, but I believe it was Hamlet that said “to have a featured snippet or not to have a featured snippet?” Ever since featured snippets came onto the scene, sites have been trying to secure them. My team and I wanted in on this craze. Throughout our journey of research, testing, failure, and success, we found some interesting pieces of information that we wanted to share with the community. I’ll walk you through what we did and show you some of our results (though can’t share traffic numbers). It was Britney Muller’s webinar on Feature Snippet Essentials and the release of the featured snippets cheat sheet that inspired me to capture what we've learned. What are featured snippets? A featured snippet is the box that appears at the top of the search result page that provides information to succinctly and accurately answer your query and cites a website. Why are featured snippets important? A featured snippet is important because it represents an additional SERP feature that you can secure. Usually located at the very top of the results page, featured snippets offer you greater visibility to searchers and can boost brand recognition. Our featured snippet plan of attack Research, research, and more research on how to pull this off Identify keywords we wanted to target Change how we structured our on-page content Measure, test, and repeat the process 1. Research, research, and more research We spent a great deal of time researching featured snippets. We looked at different ways to find featured snippet opportunities and researched how to optimize our content for them. We also went and saw Kellie Gibson speak on featured snippets volatility . Did we implement everything from what we learned during this discovery phase into our featured snippet strategy? No. Are we perfect at it now after a year and a half of practicing this? No, no, no. We are getting better at it, though. 2. Identify keywords we wanted to target We originally started out focusing on big “head” keywords. These represented terms that had indeterminate searcher intent. The first head term that we focused on was HRIS . It stands for Human Resources Information System — sexy, right? Note: Looking back on this, I wish we had focused on longer tail keywords when testing out this strategy. It's possible we could have refined our process faster focusing …

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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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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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How to Detect and Improve Underperforming Content: A Guide to Optimization

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Posted by SamuelMangialavori Content, content, and more content! That’s what SEO is all about nowadays, right? Compared to when I started working in SEO (2014), today, content is consistently one of the most popular topics covered at digital marketing conferences, there are way more tools that focus on content analysis and optimization, and overall it seems to dominate most of SEO news. Don’t believe me? Here’s a nice Google Trends graph that may change your mind: Google Trends screenshot for “content marketing” as a topic, set for worldwide interest. But why is it that content is now dominating the SEO scene? How vital is content for your SEO strategy, actually? And most importantly: how can you be content with your site’s content? Puns aside, this post aims to help you figure out potential causes of your underperforming content and how to improve it. Why content is key in SEO in …

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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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Behind the SEO: Launching Our New Guide — How to Rank

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard Seven years ago, we published a post on the Moz Blog titled "How to Rank: 25 Step Master SEO Blueprint." From an SEO perspective, the post did extremely well. Over time, the "How to Rank" post accumulated: 400k pageviews 200k organic visits 100s of linking root domains Despite its success, seven years is a long time in SEO. The chart below shows what often happens when you don't update your content. Predictably, both rankings and traffic declined significantly. By the summer of 2020, the post was only seeing a few hundred visits per month. Time to update We decided to update the content. We did this not only for a ranking/traffic boost, but also because SEO has changed a lot since 2013. The old post simply didn't cut it anymore. To regain our lost traffic, we also wanted to leverage Google's freshness signals for ranking content. Many …

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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 to Scale Content Creation [New Step-By-Step Guide]

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In this post I’m going to show you how to scale your content marketing. (Step-by-step) In fact, this process has helped me publish over 326,649 words of blog content over the last year. Plus: a new flagship course, dozens of social media posts, email newsletters, YouTube video scripts, and more. And in today’s post I’ll show you exactly how I scaled up. Step #1: Break Down Your Writing Process Into TINY Steps Step #2: Create an Organized Content Calendar Step #3: Plan Out Your Content Schedule For The Next 6-8 Months Step #4: Create Outlines For Upcoming Posts Step #5: Write Content Based on Firsthand Knowledge and Experience Step #6: Hire Writers With Actual Experience Step #7: Staff Up Your Content Team Bonus: Repurpose Content Into New Formats Step #1: Break Down Your Writing Process Into TINY Steps I used to think of “writing content ” as a single step. …

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How Google SERP Layouts Affect Searching Behavior

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Posted by Stephen_Job There are several studies (and lots of data) out there about how people use Google SERPs, what they ignore, and what they focus on. An example is Moz’s recent experiment testing whether SEOs should continue optimizing for featured snippets or not (especially now that Google has announced that if you have a featured snippet, you no longer appear elsewhere in the search results). Two things I have never seen tested are the actual user reactions to and behavior with SERPs. My team and I set out to test these ourselves, and this is where biometric technology comes into play. What is biometric technology and how can marketers use it? Biometric technology measures physical and behavioral characteristics. By combining the data from eye tracking devices, galvanic skin response monitors (which measure your sweat levels, allowing us to measure subconscious reactions), and facial recognition software, we can gain useful …

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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 to Get Quick Results With SEO Sprints: The DriveSafe Case Study

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Posted by ChristopherHofman Currently, many businesses face challenging times and are moving their SEO budget to disciplines which offer quicker wins. But you can also create instant results with SEO, and it can be done on a small budget even when you are up against bigger players in your industry. In this blog post I will show you my framework to do SEO sprints. I will show you how you can use Google’s ability to index and rank faster to your advantage. Later, you will be presented with a case study, where we used SEO sprints for a chain of opticians. The result: an increase in bookings of vision tests of 73%. But first, let's have a look at the layout on page one of Google (for most queries). Google never took SEOs into account when designing for the user. As a result, their transformation over the last few years …

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