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Expansion, Machine Learning & Core Updates

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Expansion, Machine Learning & Core Updates


Google’s John Mueller was asked a series of questions around the product reviews update on last Friday’s video hangout. In short, it will expand to other languages and countries, it probably does use machine learning and eventually it might be incorporated into the larger core updates.

As a reminder, we had two product reviews updates in 2021, one in April 2021 and the other in December 2021.

These series of questions came up at the 46:21 mark in this video, here it is if you want to play it, otherwise the transcript is below:

Expanding The Product Reviews Update

John basically said Google does plan to expand the product reviews update beyond just English, as we covered before – but he has no timeline for when that might happen.

Here is what was said:

AUDIENCE: So I have a few questions about product reviews, which is my domain. So I noticed that recently you made some moves in the US to promote product reviews, where there were real testing instead of just comparison. Do you have any time estimates of when we could expect these upgrades to be, like, in the market stack in French or German?

JOHN MUELLER: I don’t know, with most things, it’s something, where we tend not to pre-announce them. So it’s hard to kind of say ahead of time. And for some of these updates, the team moves very fast in kind of, like, rolling things out globally. And for other types of updates, it’s very slow. And sometimes there are also policy and legal reasons kind of that make things a little bit harder. So it’s always very tricky to give an estimate.

Machine Learning & Product Reviews Update

Then he was asked if the product reviews update uses human input or machine learning? John basically said no to human input but likely to machine learning. John said this takes an “algorithmic approach” and not a human editing approach, like most of what Google does. He isn’t sure if this specific update uses machine learning, but he said it probably does “to some extent.”

Here is what was said:

AUDIENCE: I’m curious to just learn a little more in general how could Google train, like, an algorithm to understand where there were real testing or not. Is it machine learning, or is it also human reviewers?

JOHN MUELLER: For Search, for these kind of general ranking updates, it’s not something, where we would have human reviewers in the loop, because there’s just so much content out there. We can’t review it all. And a lot of times, we also don’t have a clear yes or no understanding, where someone can go through a website and say, oh, this page is good. This page is bad. It’s just not scalable.

So these are all essentially algorithmic approaches that we take. And we do use a lot of machine learning. Whether we use that for this particular update, I don’t know. My guess is probably also, at least to some extent. But it’s hard to say which exact technology was used for which update.

Core Updates & Product Reviews Update

Finally, he asked if eventually will the product reviews update be incorporated into the core update like some other algorithms have been in the past. John said maybe, it depends on a lot of things. He said it also depends on how you define core algorithms.

This is what was said:

AUDIENCE: OK, and do you plan to integrate this kind of understanding of a web page into the core Google algorithm?

JOHN MUELLER: I mean, it’s always tricky to define what is a part of the core update– the core algorithm. So I don’t think I have an answer for that. Because usually, what happens is when we see that some algorithm is working really well, then we’ll kind of like just keep using that for a longer period of time. And at some point, you could say, well, it’s a part of the core algorithm, even if it’s not in a file that is called Core Algorithm or something like that.

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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Flash Dressed Crocodile Toy On Google’s John Mueller’s Desk

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Flash Dressed Crocodile On John Mueller Desk


John Mueller posted this photo on Twitter saying he found this Flash dressed crocodile toy by his desk when he was in the office the other day.

I am not sure if there is an inside joke here, hence the joke being inside… But is funny either way.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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Google Dedicated Local Ad Pack

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Google Dedicated Local Ad Pack


Google seems to be testing adding a local pack for ads along with a normal organic local pack, I believe. Here is a screenshot showing a local pack labeled as “Ads” that show a list of stores that have shoes near you.

You can click “more places” that will load more local ads. Below that is the local pack map, showing you organic nearby stores that have that product nearby.

Here is a screenshot I took from a Twitter video from Saad AK:

Here are more examples of this in action from Saad AK:

I think this is new but I can be wrong?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Supposedly this is not a new thing, according to Google.





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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer’s Landscape

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer's Landscape


There is a new data revolution happening, and it’s sweeping across the industry so quickly that many SEO and digital marketers are struggling to make sense of the insights and intelligence at their disposal.

To utilize this opportunity, marketers need to evolve their mindsets and use technology to analyze multiple data formats and understand the new opportunities it can bring.

SEO marketers of today and digital marketers of tomorrow will need to extract, structure quickly, and manipulate data to drive the most critical business outcomes.

Data has always been mission-critical to digital decision-making.

The Economist, back in 2017, declared it the world’s most valuable resource.

Fast forward to today and the future, and we can see that the exponential growth of data fuelling this revolution is staggering.

According to the IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage.

Think about that for a second!

Flash drives, for example, were introduced in 2000.

This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of 2x the data created in the last 22 years!

The Data Revolution Means More Sources & Complexity For SEO

The data revolution has gone on for some time now, and it’s changed our concept of what counts as “data,” rightfully so.

In the past, we thought only numbers mattered.

But, in this new digital world where everything is converted into ones and zeros, data is broader and contains text, audio, and visual information – all bits waiting to be processed!

  • Machine-based and human-generated data are growing at a rate of 10x faster than conventional business data.
  • Machine-created data is increasing exponentially at a 50x the growth rate. This data revolution is primarily marketing-driven and consumer-oriented who are “always on.”
  • In just the last 18 months, the volume of site processing data we have been generating at BrightEdge has increased by 11x!

As a result of these increasingly demanding trends, SEO and digital marketers need to adapt and become more like data analysts and scientists in approaching the extraction of structured data insights and business intelligence – without adding more manual work.

Fortunately, SEO is well-positioned to take advantage of this new data revolution.

  • Increasing your keyword universe – More keywords mean more data points to look at with reporting and fuelling insights. While focusing on conversion rate metrics is very important, it wouldn’t be possible without opening the scope of your audience and getting more people in the door. SEO has drifted away from writing for a primary dedicated keyword and is now way more advanced with advancements in search engines like Google’s understanding of intent of searches through RankBrain and BERT.
  • Increasing your search footprint – will also help you discover unexplored of informing your future content strategy or ideate new keyword ideas. However, sometimes you might miss the boat, like the transition of Content Management Systems slowly turning into “Experience Platforms” as they offer more functionality to meet the needs of today’s webmaster or marketer.

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Data Is The Currency Of An Accelerated SEO & Digital Age

By 2025, Worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes.

But unfortunately, the human brain can’t process, structure, and analyze all that data.

So technology engines have to help, and digital marketers should be the driver.

There is a massive opportunity for companies that can utilize data to create more engaging experiences.

A recent study showed that 95% of business leaders recognize this as their biggest growth lever over the next three years, which means there’s plenty at stake here!

Robust data analysis ensures decisions are evidence-based and have more accountability.

Drawing on existing and new data sources to fully integrate business acumen and analytical skills into decision making, sourcing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data will ensure continued use and success.

SEO began with data and has evolved.

From the introduction of real-time SEO in 2019 and Page Experience Updates in 2021, SEO’s future lies again with data and the creation of intelligent systems. Here marketers can leverage combined data sources that structures data for them.

As a result, they can achieve business objectives and stay ahead during all data and digital transformation stages.

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Technology & AI Are Helping SEO Evolve

Advancements in technology and, in particular, AI and Natural Language Processing has meant that SEO and digital marketers can become data analysts without having to become an actual data scientist.

This is key to unlocking structured insights from your company’s big data to make more precise predictions about what is coming next based on existing information.

Digital marketers can evolve, understand key trends, and learn in new areas such as:

  • Predictive modeling of future trends and forecasting based on multiple types of data.
  • Real-time identification of opportunities and intelligence.
  • Digital research at scale with both historical and real-time data.
  • Leveraging automated visualizations for various stakeholders.
  • Improved data security and compliance.
  • Market and business intelligence at a macro level.
  • Consumer behavior at the most granular level.

SEO and digital marketers can learn critical skills such as statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and strategy.

AI, NLP, and machine learning are helping them do this without needing expertise in computer programming and software applications.

What digital marketers must do is combine their communication skills and analytics skills with stakeholders who cannot think outside of the advertising box.

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Data Analysis & Intelligence As Competitive Advantage

The application of technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of data analysis technology.

Therefore, SEO and digital marketers of today should learn how to better utilize insights from data analysis.

It’s becoming more apparent that the marketing platforms of tomorrow will require the capabilities of data analysis and science infrastructure at their core.

The future of marketing will blend technological know-how, business sense, and an understanding of data analysis.

The next generation of SEO will touch all components of marketing, from video, email, and voice, to digital performance of content.

SEO and data science will converge into one evolved discipline that drives omnichannel acquisition and democratizes data.

Marketers who embrace this new era of SEO will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Data is reconfirming its role as the new competitive advantage, and as SEO and digital marketers, you must evolve if you want to be part of the future.

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Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock





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