All links aren’t created equal. We all know that but Majestic now provides much more insight into the precise context into why and where links appear.
Geeking out like never before. Earlier this week the company announced upgrades that allow SEOs to explore links in much more depth. The tool now organizes webpages into 40 segments and provides visibility into where backlinks physically appear on the page, what text surrounds them and internal and external link density. This helps more easily determine which links are more valuable and potentially uncovers new linkbuilding opportunities.
Dashoboard view of British Heart Foundation link context
Search/sort/filter. According to Dixon Jones, Majestic’s Global Brand Ambassador, the new capabilities allow SEOs to do things like:
Find all the backlinks to a domain where any keyword is used in the surrounding text.
Find “DoFollow” links that lie in on the top 20% of a web page.
Find links which are bundled tightly with other links, so likely to spam be directory listings.
Find links on high value pages which do not contain many other external links.
The tool offers numerous ways to search, sort and filter the data to get to some pretty precise and esoteric results.
Link context visualization. One particularly noteworthy innovation is Majestic’s link context chart that helps visualize all this information, and for which they are seeking a patent. Accordingly, the graphic below presents a link analysis of five different types of sites. The green box illustrates where the link appears on the page. The blue bars are internal links and the yellow represent external links.
Visualization of distinct types of links from different websites
Why we should care. Beyond being a helpful auditing tool, the enhancements should make it a more useful and effective tool for link building.
The video below offers an overview and visual product tour from Dixon Jones. There’s also an in-depth guide (.pdf) to the new capabilities that goes into significantly more detail than I have above.
About The Author
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.
NEW YORK – Google’s relationship with brands has shifted from referrer to competitor, SparkToro CEO and co-founder Rand Fishkin said at SMX East on Wednesday during his keynote about how the search engine’s business model has been evolving.
Now that the majority of Google searches are no-click, companies will have to find on-SERP opportunities to reach their audiences and strengthen their branding so that users will actively seek them out, said Fishkin.
The zero-click search trend
More than half (56.1%) of Google searches conducted from a mobile browser and 34.9% of Google desktop searches ended without a click to other content, according to Jumpshot data. “However, the trend is the same: organic, going down; while paid and zero-click searches are on the rise,” said Fishkin.
“In September, 7.5% of all searches resulted in a click to an Alphabet property,” said Fishkin. “Google is the biggest beneficiary of Google Search today. Nobody else comes close to that 7.5% number.”
From middleman to “competitor”
In addition to organic click volume eroding, Google’s direct answers and its foray into verticals resolves searches in numerous industries, such as weather, travel, local, and reviews, without the user ever having to click through to the sites that originally published that information.
“This is widespread, friends,” said Fishkin, citing results from Google Hotels, Flights, Jobs, the local pack and other types of rich results surfacing on the main results page. “We are talking about results that are taking business away from Skyscanner and Kayak in travel, from Eater and Yelp in local results, from U.S. News and FiveThirtyEight in the college rankings, from Wunderground and Weather.com, from MetaCritic and PC Gamer, and basically everybody but Alphabet when it comes to a lot of popular culture and media stuff.”
What brands can do about it
“We have to find ways to make our brand what searchers seek out,” said Fishkin. “I don’t want searches for ‘weather’; I want searches for my brand: I want searches for ‘Weather Underground’ and ‘Weather.com’ and ‘Weather Channel.’ I want to find ways to benefit from zero-click searches.”
Despite the bleak outlook for organic traffic in certain industries, there are still a number of ways that brands can influence what Fishkin refers to as “post-search behavior.”
Designing content with rich results in mind is one way companies can increase their visibility on the search results page — what Fishkin refers to as and “on-SERP SEO” — and the attribution from those results may help familiarize users with your brand. Buying ads will also help you do this, Fishkin said.
Offline brand campaigns, such as billboards, radio and TV ads can also influence search behavior. If users are actively seeking out your brand, claiming or suggesting changes to your knowledge panel can help you positively influence brand perception. To bolster your brand even further, Fishkin recommended reputation management SEO to help control branded search results.
The prisoner’s dilemma for brands
“The prisoner’s dilemma is ‘Do I optimize for zero-click searches, for providing these answers, for marking my results the way Google wants them — and potentially losing traffic as a result?’” said Fishkin, highlighting the predicament that many brands are now finding themselves in.
Fishkin’s mechanism for navigating this dilemma divides the issue into two categories: one for all types of content that can surface as a rich result (above), and another specifically for search results derived from structured data (below).
“All of us have to try and build walls to protect against the competition that will absolutely come to sector after sector from Google as they search for growth … that is just the reality,” said Fishkin. “But, I think we have an opportunity to build our own brands and still succeed.”
Relying on search engines to reach your customers inherently makes brands susceptible to the way those search engines deliver results. However, by complementing your SEO efforts with a strategy that creates demand for your brand, you may be able to insulate yourself and stay ahead of the competition.
About The Author
George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.
As every search marketer knows, clicks are a key metric in measuring search traffic, yet counting clicks can be a complicated thing. All clicks are not the same. There are paid clicks. There are organic clicks. There are mobile clicks. And many times there are clicks that get quickly redirected in the blink of an eye without a user even realizing it. These redirected clicks can cause discrepancies and confusion in click reports.
Consider this: a recent post from StatCounter shows a search engine market share of Google 88.37% and Bing 6.07%. At the same time, other sites such as Statista, show Google at 62.5% with Microsoft sites (Bing) at 25%. And even another site, comScore, places U.S. Bing share at 36% on PC and 20% across all devices. Why such large discrepancies? What is driving the confusion? The answer requires an understanding of the mechanics of ad serving and web referrals.
Referrers are links that drive traffic to other websites, moving people around the internet. A referrer site is simply the site that a person was on right before they came to your page. But sometimes referrer sites get misrepresented. A click can get diverted to an ad server, then quickly redirected to your page. Take for example the retailer, Kohls. A person is surfing the Kohls website and clicks on a picture of a TAG Heuer watch:
From a user experience, this shopper goes directly from the Kohls website to TAG’s website. And yet on paper, the referrer click gets credited to Google. Why is this? Through Google’s AdSense program, the click from Kohl’s gets quickly redirected to Google’s ad server before going to tagheuer.com. The click referral is attributed to Google not Kohl’s. The clicks from ad servers can add up and skew market share, even though these are not direct search queries from a search engine.
It’s good to understand how sites such as StatCounter or JumpShot calculate their data by combining search engine referrals with ads from syndicated websites in their referrer metrics. Referrer can be rich with insightful information, but should be carefully analyzed and understood before making any optimization or business decisions. Search marketers should also stay vigilant for redirects on referrer click reports as often times there is more to a click than meets the eye.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
About The Author
Christi Olson is a Search Evangelist at Microsoft in Seattle, Washington. For over a decade Christi has been a student and practitioner of SEM. Prior to joining the Bing Ads team within Microsoft, Christi worked in marketing both in-house and at agencies at Point It, Expedia, Harry & David, and Microsoft (MSN, Bing, Windows). When she’s not geeking out about search and digital marketing she can be found with her husband at ACUO crossfit and running races across the PacificNW, brewing and trying to find the perfect beer, and going for lots of walks with their two schnauzers and pug.
Want to showcase your knowledge of search marketing to our SMX West attendees? We’d love to hear from you, and if you wow us with your proposal we’ll invite you to speak at the conference. To increase the odds of being selected, be sure to read the agenda. Understand what the sessions are about. Ensure that your pitch is on target to the show’s audience and the session. Please also be very specific about what you intend to cover. Also, if you do not see a particular session listed, this is because there are no openings for that session. Use this form to submit your request.
PLEASE NOTE: We have changed the pitch process. We’ve put together session titles that we plan to run at the show, and we’re looking for you to tell us what key learning objectives and takeaways you’ll offer to attendees. Detailed instructions are on the pitch form.
As you might guess, interest is high in speaking at SMX conferences. We literally sift through hundreds of submissions to select speakers for the show. Here are some tips that will increase your chances of being selected.
Pitch early: Submitting your pitch early gives you a better chance of being selected. Coordinators accept speakers as soon as they identify a pitch that they think best fits the session, just like colleges that use a rolling admissions policy. So pitching early increases the likelihood you’ll be chosen.
Use the form: The speaker pitch form (http://marketinglandevents.com/speaker-form/) is the way to ask to speak. There’s helpful information there about how your pitch should be written and what it should contain.
Write it yourself and be specific: Lots of pitches come in that are not specific to the session. This is the most effective ways to ensure that your pitch is ignored. And this year, we’re no longer accepting pitches written by anyone other than a proposed speaker. If you’re a thought leader, write the pitch yourself… and make certain that it is 100% focused on the session topic.
“Throw your best pitch:” We’re limiting the number of pitches to three per person, so please pitch for the session(s) where you really feel you’ll offer SMX attendees your best.
NEW: SMX Insights Sessions. What are they? 8-10 minute solo sessions that pack a punch and wow attendees with content they can’t and won’t see anywhere else. Tactical. Specific. Actionable. Speakers are challenged to deliver the goods in a limited amount of time: one must-try tactic, one nugget of sage advice, or one takeaway that makes you more productive. Have a gem to share with your colleagues? Pitch your idea and you may make it to the SMX stage!
You’ll be notified: Everyone who pitches to speak will be notified by email whether you are accepted or not.
And don’t delay—the pitch forms for each session will close as sessions are filled, with everything closing Friday, November 29.