Tag Archive | "Game"

Google doodle doubles as a garden gnome game in honor of Germany’s Garden Day

Leading to a search for “History of Garden Gnomes,” the doodle gives players a quick history of garden gnome production before launching the game.



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Game of Featured Snippets: How to Rank in Position 0

Posted by larry.kim

Google’s Featured Snippets are amazingly powerful. We’re seeing more snippets than ever before for more search queries. You need them.

We know this thanks to some brilliant articles and presentations from some super smart people in the industry, including Glenn Gabe (see: The Power of Google Featured Snippets in 2016 and a Google Featured Snippet Case Study – also, an extra big shout out to Glenn for helping me answer some important questions I had when writing this article!), Peter Meyers (see: Ranking #0: SEO for Answers), and Rob Bucci (see: How to Earn More Featured Snippets).

But even after reading everything I could find about Featured Snippets, one huge question remained unanswered: How the heck do you get these damn things?

:you know nothing about featured snippets meme.jpg

All of this leads us to today’s experiment: How exactly does Google’s algorithm pick which snippet to feature?

Obviously, Google isn’t manually picking them. It’s an algorithm.

So what makes Google’s Featured Snippet algorithm tick?

For example, if two competing domains both have great, snipp-able results, how does Google decide to pick one over the other? Take this one, for example:

:what is link building.jpg

Why does WordStream (in Position 4) get the Featured Snippet instead of Moz (Positions 1 and 2) or Search Engine Watch (Position 3) on a search for [what is link building]?

What we know about Featured Snippets

Before we dive into the unknown, let’s briefly review what we know.

:knowledge is power.jpg

We know snippets, like unicorns, come in all shapes and sizes. Your content must provide the answer in the “right” format, which will vary depending on the specifications in Google’s algorithm. Snippets can be:

  • Text.
  • Lists (ordered or unordered).
  • Images.
  • Charts.
  • Tables.
  • Knowledge Graph.

We also know that any website can earn a Featured Snippet. Large brands and sites have no advantage over smaller brands and sites.

Finally, we also know that winning a Featured Snippet lets you enjoy some spoils of war, including:

  • You get more website traffic.
  • You gain greater visibility in Google’s SERPs.
  • You earn trust/credibility.

So that’s what you need to know about Featured Snippets. Now let’s dive into the unknown.

Important disclaimers

Featured Snippets pose a few problems that really complicated the analysis.

For one, snippets are finicky. You can do a search right now and see the snippet. But sometimes you can conduct the same exact search an hour later and the snippet won’t be there.

For another, we’re all working with limited data sets. We’re limited to analyzing just the snippets we have.

Finally, snippets impact your organic CTRs. Some snippets will increase the CTR to your site – for instance, if you’re ranked in fourth position but you have the featured snippet. But other times a snippet can actually decrease your CTR because the searcher already got their answer – no need to click through.

Google isn’t much help either. Gabe asked Google SEO PR spokesperson Gary Illyes and got this frustratingly funny reply:

Theory #1: Snippets aren’t featured based on organic search ranking factors alone

This one is relatively easy to prove.

According to Gabe’s data, ranking position played some sort of role in whether you get Featured Snippets. Every single snippet was taken from a page that was good enough to rank in the top 10 organic positions.

If you look at Bucci’s data, however, he discovered that Google will take snippets from content that ranks on Page 2 of Google.

I found something a bit more incredible when I pulled a report of snippets – 981 in total – for my own website. Take a look:

  • About 70 percent of the time, Google pulled snippets from pages in positions 1 to 3.
  • About 30 percent of the time, the snippets “source” comes from positions 4 to as deep as 71 (wow!).

If Google’s algorithm were relying just on traditional search ranking factors (e.g., keywords and links), then Google would simply pick the first “snipp-able” content fragment from the highest-ranking piece of content every time. Google would never have to go to Page 2 or further (Page 8!) for snippets when other there are other perfectly nice formatted snippets to choose from which rank higher.

Clearly, this isn’t happening. Something else is at play. But what?

Theory #2: Having your content in a snipp-able format matters (but isn’t the whole picture)

Is it all about being the most clear, concise, and thorough answer? We know Google is looking for something “snipp-able.”

For the best shot at getting a Featured Snippet, your content should be between 40 and 50 words, according to SEMRush‘s analysis.

Without a doubt, format matters to Google’s algorithm. Your content needs to have the right format if you’re ever going to be eligible to be snipped.

But again, we’re back to the same question. How does Google pick between different pages with eligible stuff to snip?

Theory #3: Engagement metrics seem to play a role in snippet selection

To figure out what was happening, I looked at the outliers. (Usually, the best way to crack an algorithm is to look at the unusual edge cases.)

Let’s look at one example: [how to get more Bing Rewards Points].

This page shows up as a snippet for all sorts of queries related to “getting bing rewards points,” yet the source of the snip is from position 10. What’s crazy is that our page ranks behind Bing’s official site and all sorts of other video tutorials and community forums discussing the topic.

Why the heck is this happening?

Well, when I look at this page in Search Console, I notice it gets an unusually high CTR of 21.43 percent, despite a ridiculously low average position of 10.

This CTR is 10x higher than what you’d expect to see at this position.

The other thing I noticed was that the page had remarkably great engagement metrics. The time on site (which is proportional to dwell time) was an amazing 14 minutes and 30 seconds.

C:\Users\lkim\AppData\Local\Temp\SNAGHTML83e215.PNG

This time on site is considerably higher than the site average – by nearly 3x!

Note: This is just one simple example. I did this for more than 50 pages (unfortunately I was limited by data here because I was looking specifically for pages that rank poorly, yet generate snippets).

What I found was that the relative time on site for pages that were snipped from low positions on the SERP has incredibly higher time on page, compared to the site average.

:time on site low position snippets.png

Basically, what I think might be going on is something like this:

:how-featured-snippets-get-picked.png

Supporting fact #1: Marissa Mayer said it worked this way

In addition to this data, there are a couple more reasons why I think engagement metrics may be playing a key role in Google’s Featured Snippet algorithm. These examples indicate that Google has long-held beliefs around good engagement metrics reflecting quality content.

Does the past hold some important secrets to our current plot? Let’s see.

:watch listen remember.jpg

First, we’ll head back to 2007 for an interview with Marissa Mayer discussing the OneBox and how features like news, maps, and products would get promoted above the organic results into the OneBox, based on click-through rate:

“We hold them to a very high click-through rate expectation and if they don’t meet that click-through rate, the OneBox gets turned off on that particular query. We have an automated system that looks at click-through rates per OneBox presentation per query. So it might be that news is performing really well on Bush today but it’s not performing very well on another term, it ultimately gets turned off due to lack of click-through rates. We are authorizing it in a way that’s scalable and does a pretty good job enforcing relevance.”

Supporting fact #2: Google used the same algo in paid search a few years back

OK, now let’s go back to 2008 – back when Google still had AdWords ads on the right rail. (Unfortunately, with the death of the right-side ad rail, all ads appear above the organic search results now – a moment of silence for the right-side rail).

Google would promote three ads to appear above the organic search results. How did Google decide which paid search ads to feature above the organic search results?

Here’s what Google revealed in an AdWords blog post, “Improvements to Ads Quality“:

“To appear above the search results, ads must meet a certain quality threshold. In the past, if the ad with the highest Ad Rank did not meet the quality threshold, we may not have shown any ads above the search results. With this update, we’ll allow an ad that meets the quality threshold to appear above the search results even if it has to jump over other ads to do so. For instance, suppose the ad in position 1 on the right side of the page doesn’t have a high enough Quality Score to appear above the search results, but the ad in position 2 does. It’s now possible for the number 2 ad to jump over the number 1 ad and appear above the search results. This change ensures that quality plays an even more important role in determining the ads that show in those prominent positions.”

What’s important to know here is how incredibly important CTR is in the Quality Score formula. By far, CTR has the biggest impact on Quality Score.

So here we have spokespeople from both the organic search side and Google’s own ad system telling us that CTR can play a vital role in helping Google ensure that a piece of content or an ad meets a high enough quality threshold to qualify to appear in the very prominent and valuable space above the organic search results.

That’s why I strongly believe that Featured Snippets work very much the same way – with CTR and engagement metrics being the key element.

What does it all mean?

:game of snippets.jpg

Featured Snippets give us yet another reason to focus on engagement rates. This year we talked about how engagement rates:

Any one of these alone is good reason to focus on improving your CTR. But wait, there’s more: I believe engagement rates also impact the selection of Featured Snippets.

So in addition to formatting your on-page copy to meet the snipping requirement, follow the guides on improving CTR and time on site.

A call to arms

:more featured snippets data.jpg

One thing that’s hard about doing research and analysis on Featured Snippets is that we’re limited to the data we have. You need to have lots of snippets and access to all the CTR data (only the individual webmasters have this). You can’t just crawl a site to discover their engagement metrics.

Why don’t we team up here and try to crack this nut together?

Have you won Featured Snippets? What are your engagement rates like for your featured snippets – from the Search Console for CTR and Google Analytics for time on site? Do you see any patterns? Please share your insights with us in the comments!

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Why Facebook Might Beat Google At The Online Advertising Game

During the few years I was running CrankyAds, an advertising management tool for bloggers, I spent quite a bit of time researching the online advertising space. One of my primary goals for this research was to find a way to deal with two issues – Banner advertising sucks, and… There…

The post Why Facebook Might Beat Google At The Online Advertising Game appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Writers: Discover How to Step Up Your Game with Our Free Ebook

word-free-writers-ebook

We love writers around here. Have you noticed?

Professional writers. Aspiring writers. Struggling writers. Successful writers. Writers of all kinds!

To show our appreciation, we put together a free ebook for writers called WORD. Because in our experience, writers are also readers, so an ebook seemed like the perfect delivery system for our information.

We gathered our best articles-written-for-writers from people like Sonia Simone, Brian Clark, Stefanie Flaxman, Beth Hayden, and this other writer you may know. ”</p

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Quick Wins To Beat The SEO Waiting Game

Even though SEO is a long-term investment, marketers often feel pressured to show progress quickly. Columnist Dan Bagby provides some ideas for quick wins that can show value while waiting for your longer-term initiatives to start gaining traction.

The post Quick Wins To Beat The SEO Waiting Game…



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3 Unusual Hacks to Dramatically Up Your LinkedIn Game

Posted by larry.kim

Wouldn’t it be so cool if you could drive engagement and qualified traffic to grow your business and brand from LinkedIn?

You can!

This article will show you how to get tons of likes on your LinkedIn updates and further grow your reach with LinkedIn Pulse.

Doing so requires one crucial thing. You must:

Be a Linkedin Unicorn in a Sea of Donkeys (source: Larry messing around with photoshop)

(Image source: me attempting to use Photoshop)

1. Build a large LinkedIn network

Smart marketers must build a large LinkedIn network.

The LinkedIn news feed algorithm isn’t a black box. It’s more like an open box. It’s about as basic as boiling water.

Updates that you “like” will be shared with your LinkedIn network. If your connections “like” your status updates, their connections will see that update.

NxF3lFC.jpg

So if you have 20,000 connections on LinkedIn, then it’s so much more likely that (a) more of your connections will click “Like” on your updates and (b) that their connections will also click “like” on your updates.

LinkedIn’s algorithm is about as stupid-simple as it gets — it shows your updates to all of your connections.

There’s no way to search for updates on LinkedIn — not even with advanced search. Nobody will see your updates unless they are connected to you.

When more people see your updates, it increases the odds that more people will like that update.

More connections. More likes. Simple.

Add connections and the results will multiply over time. Quality connections are key here. Only connect with people you know and want to know — don’t just try to connect with random people, recruiters, or those really annoying sales spammers.

If you add 10x more connections, then you’re 10x more likely to get that engagement.

How do you expand your LinkedIn network? You can definitely help yourself by optimizing the heck out of your LinkedIn profile and writing irresistible LinkedIn connection requests.

But having tons of connections is only half the battle.

2. Post high-engagement updates to LinkedIn

The second half of the battle is posting interesting updates more often. And by often, I mean 1 to 3 times a day.

But our battle begins not on LinkedIn. It begins on Twitter.

gghjsUf.jpg

Here’s how this pyramid scheme works. (Don’t worry, it’s totally legal!)

You can try out lots of different updates on Twitter. Let’s say you post 20 tweets a day.

Some of your tweets will get tons of engagement (clicks, replies, retweets, likes). Some will do moderately well. Others will die of loneliness (hopefully not too many!).

We want to focus on the winners.

5lrwtB7.jpg

Think of this as your personal “LinkedIn Update Hunger Games.”

You audition the different updates on Twitter. Each tweet is one of your “tributes.”

Your best stuff is transported from Twitter to LinkedIn. Only your “victors” get the heroes’ welcome at The Capitol.

Using Twitter analytics, you pick your victors — the top 5 or 10 percent top-performing Twitter updates. The tweets people liked, retweeted, or replied to.

Use your top stuff from Twitter as a guide for your LinkedIn updates. After all, it’s highly likely that the same content that did well on Twitter will also get lots of likes on LinkedIn.

3. Hacking LinkedIn Pulse

Now let’s turn our attention to Pulse, LinkedIn’s content app and news feed curation service.

You can blog on LinkedIn and easily get a few thousands views. According to LinkedIn’s latest available figures, more than a million people have published posts on LinkedIn’s platform; more than 130,000 posts are published every week; and the average post reaches LinkedIn members in 21 industries and nine countries.

Sometimes LinkedIn articles perform fantastically well, transforming from average to a unicorn. We’re talking 50,000, 100,000, or even millions of views.

Wish you could get that many views? You can!

How do you do it?

First, you must get your content featured on a Pulse channel. Pulse has several Channels (i.e., topics) that have millions of followers — some of the most popular include Leadership & Management, Big Ideas & Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing & Advertising.

linkedin pulse channels

If you only have 500 or 1,000 followers on LinkedIn, Pulse is the outlet that can expose you to a massive audience.

So how do you get your blog post featured on a Channel?

4gGuTOe.jpg

Algorithmically

You need to do old-school SEO on your post. LinkedIn Pulse categorizes your content based on an analysis of the text of your article. This is like SEO from 15 years ago, when all you had to do was put the keyword in the title and all throughout the article! Crazy simple.

DFB6hUV.jpg

Ask an editor to feature your story

You can tweet them @LinkedInPulse and ask them to feature your article in a specific channel.

Getting featured on a Channel is awesome. But it isn’t enough.

Hitting it big on LinkedIn Pulse is similar on Digg or Reddit. Just because you submit something doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to get tons of traffic. You need to be one of the top two or three featured stories to get the lion’s share.

The same is true on LinkedIn. You’ll experience the biggest wins after you get to the top of a Pulse Channel.

How do you get to the top? One tactic that can work brilliantly is using Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin promoted posts to quickly drive lots of traffic to your LinkedIn article.

weHGOCa.jpg

One key factor of LinkedIn Pulse’s algorithm is the amount of traffic and engagement an article has seen in the last several minutes. You don’t have to drive traffic forever. You just need a catalyst — something that gives your article a little push to get it to the top.

Once your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter ads help your article get to the top, it will be self-sustaining for a while as people go to the Channel and check out what’s trending – make sure it’s your post!

The winning LinkedIn formula

So, there you have it. The way to get tons of likes on LinkedIn is the combination of high engagement content plus lots of connections. Then, take it a step further by optimizing for LinkedIn Pulse to expose yourself an even larger audience.

A long time ago, I used to treat LinkedIn separately. But I’ve since grown and found several reasons to treat LinkedIn more like Twitter. Key among them: More people will engage with you, share your best content, and visit your website.

LinkedIn is constantly evolving to serve its more than 400 million members. So evolve your LinkedIn marketing strategy accordingly in 2016. Start building more connections and raising your visibility!

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Jerry Seinfeld: Twitter Lights Up Over His Strange Way of Clapping at Clubs-Mets Game

Jerry Seinfeld became a hot Twitter topic on Sunday night when people reacted to his strange way of clapping while cheering on his team at the Cubs-Mets game.

One Twitter user even compared Jerry Seinfeld’s clapping to character Elaine Benes (played by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus) during an episode of Seinfeld.

Another Twitter post compared Jerry Seinfeld’s strange clapping to other odd characters who were the subjects of other Seinfeld episodes.

This next post shared no comparisons to Seinfeld episodes, but simply dissed Jerry Seinfeld in a most blatant way.

And then this guy summed up his feelings about the game while mentioning Jerry Seinfeld’s rather peculiar behavior.

He then decided to go straight to the source of some of the most offensive clapping you might ever experience.

Did you get to witness firsthand what Jerry Seinfeld sadly believes is the act of cheering for his team? Wouldn’t it have made a great Seinfeld episode?

The post Jerry Seinfeld: Twitter Lights Up Over His Strange Way of Clapping at Clubs-Mets Game appeared first on WebProNews.


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Britney Spears Surprises Kate Hudson by Crashing Her Game Night Gathering

Britney Spears surprised Kate Hudson this weekend when she crashed her game night gathering.

Sharing a photo of herself with Hudson via Instagram, Britney Spears and Kate Hudson look like sisters with their blonde hair. They were both wearing black tank tops, too, making the resemblance even stronger.

“Two blondes… Too much fun. ”</p

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Search In Pics: Google Bumper Cars, Game Of Thrones & Day At The Beach

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Google Bumper Car: Source: Google+ Google At The Beach: Source: Google+…



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Why Facebook Might Beat Google At The Online Advertising Game

During the few years I was running CrankyAds, an advertising management tool for bloggers, I spent quite a bit of time researching the online advertising space. One of my primary goals for this research was to find a way to deal with two issues – Banner advertising sucks, and… There…

The post Why Facebook Might Beat Google At The Online Advertising Game appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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