Tag Archive | "long"

If You Start A Business Today How Long Will It Take To Earn A Full Time Income?

If your goal is to earn a stable full-time income from your own online business within 12 months, then now is the time to take things seriously. What you start building today, will bear fruit next year, probably LATE next year at best. I’m being brutally honest here — there…

The post If You Start A Business Today How Long Will It Take To Earn A Full Time Income? appeared first on Yaro.blog.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Phrase match is dead. Long live phrase match!

Reports of the demise of phrase match have been greatly exaggerated, finds contributor Steve Cameron. It turns out that there are certain situations in which it comes in pretty handy.

The post Phrase match is dead. Long live phrase match! appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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What The Toyota Way Can Teach Entrepreneurs About Continuous Long Term Improvement

What The Toyota Way Can Teach Us Entrepreneurs… I’m currently listening to the audiobook, The Toyota Way To Lean Leadership, by Jeffrey Liker and Gary Convis. The book pertains to provide the final step in “lean methodology” by reviewing how company leadership contributes to the process. I’m listening to the…

The post What The Toyota Way Can Teach Entrepreneurs About Continuous Long Term Improvement appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Search Engine Optimization Using The Long Tail, The Ultradian Rhythm For Productivity And The One Thing Startups Should Focus On

Welcome to the first episode of Everything Entrepreneurship with Walter and Yaro for 2014. This is episode #13, which felt a bit like a new years hangover episode. [ Download MP3 | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] We recorded this podcast at 10:30PM local time Monday night, after Walter had his first full day at the…

The post Search Engine Optimization Using The Long Tail, The Ultradian Rhythm For Productivity And The One Thing Startups Should Focus On appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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HTTPS Tops 30%: How Google Is Winning the Long War

Posted by Dr-Pete

[Estimated read time: 6 minutes]

It’s been almost two years (August 2014) since Google announced that HTTPS was a ranking signal. Speculation ran rampant, as usual, with some suggesting there was little or no benefit to switching (and possibly significant risk) while others rushed to sell customers on making the HTTPS switch. Two years later, I believe the data speaks for itself — Google is fighting, and winning, a long war.

What’s happened since?

If you only consider the impact of Google’s original HTTPS update, I understand your skepticism. Prior to the update, our 10,000-keyword tracking system (think of it as a laboratory for studying Google searches) showed that roughly 7% of page-1 Google results used the “https:” protocol. A week after the update announcement, that number had increased only slightly, to just over 8%:

The blue/purple show the before/after based on the announcement date. As you can see, the update probably rolled out over the course of a few days. Even over a 2-week period, though, the impact appears to be fairly small. This led many of us to downplay Google’s statements and ignore HTTPS for a while. The next graph is our wake-up call:

As of late June, our tracking data shows that 32.5% (almost one-third) of page-1 Google results now use the “https:” protocol. The tiny bump on the far left (above “A-14″ = August 2014) is the original HTTPS algorithm update. The much larger bump in the middle is when Wikipedia switched to HTTPS. This goes to show the impact that one powerhouse can have on SERPs, but that’s a story for another time.

What does it mean?

Has Google rolled out multiple updates, rewarding HTTPS (or punishing the lack of it)? Probably not. If this two-year trend was purely a result of algorithm updates, we would expect to see a series of jumps and new plateaus. Other than the Wikipedia change and two smaller bumps, the graph clearly shows a gradual progression.

It’s possible that people are simply switching to HTTPS for their own reasons, but I strongly believe that this data suggests Google’s PR campaign is working. They’ve successfully led search marketers and site owners to believe that HTTPS will be rewarded, and this has drastically sped up the shift. An algorithm update is risky and can cause collateral damage. Convincing us that change is for our own good is risk-free for Google. Again, Google is fighting the long war.

Is our data accurate?

Of course, our tracking set is just one sample of search data. The trendline is interesting, but it’s possible that our keywords are overstating the prevalence of HTTPS results. I presented a number of roughly 30% at SMX Advanced in mid-June. Later that same day, Google’s Gary Illyes called me out and confirmed that number:

Gary did not give an exact figure, but essentially gave a nod to the number, suggesting that we’re in the general ballpark. A follow-up tweet confirms this interpretation:

This is as close to confirmation as we can reasonably expect, so let’s assume we showed up to the right ballgame and our tickets aren’t counterfeit.

Why does 30% matter?

Ok, so about one-third of results use HTTPS. Simple arithmetic says that two-thirds don’t. Projecting the trend forward, we’ve got about a year and a half (16–17 months) before HTTPS hits 50%. So, is it time to panic? No, probably not, but here’s the piece of the puzzle you may be missing.

Google has to strike a balance. If they reward sites with HTTPS (or dock sites without it) when very few sites are using it, then they risk a lot of collateral damage to good sites that just haven’t made the switch. If, on the other hand, they wait until most sites have switched, a reward is moot. If 100% of sites are on HTTPS and they reward those sites (or dock the 0% without it), nothing happens. They also have to be careful not to set the reward too high, or sites might switch simply to game the system, but not too low, or no one will care. However I feel about Google on any given day, I acknowledge that their job isn’t easy.

If rewarding HTTPS too heavily when adoption is low is risky and rewarding it when adoption is too high is pointless, then, naturally, the perfect time to strike is somewhere in the middle. At 30% adoption, we’re starting to edge into that middle territory. When adoption hits something like 50–60%, I suspect it will make sense for Google to turn up the algorithmic volume on HTTPS.

At the same time, Google has to make sure that most of the major, trusted sites have switched. As of this writing, 4 of the top 5 sites in our tracking data are running on HTTPS (Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube) with the only straggler being #5, Yelp. The top 5 sites in our tracking account for just over 12% of page-1 results, which is a big bit of real estate for only 5 sites.

Of the top 20 sites in our tracking data, only 7 have gone full HTTPS. That’s 35%, which is pretty close to our overall numbers across all sites. If Google can convince most of those sites to switch, they’ll have covered quite a bit of ground. Focusing on big players and convincing them to switch puts pressure on smaller sites.

In many ways, Google has already been successful. Even without a major, algorithmic HTTPS boost, sites continue to make the switch. As the number climbs, though, the odds of a larger boost increase. I suspect the war is going to be over sooner than the trendline suggests.

What are the risks?

Am I telling you to make the switch? No. While I think there are good reasons to move to HTTPS for some sites and I think most of Google’s motives are sincere on this subject, I also believe Google has been irresponsible about downplaying the risks.

Any major change to sitewide URLs is risky, especially for large sites. If you weigh the time, money, and risk of the switch against what is still a small algorithmic boost, I think it’s a tough sell in many cases. These risks are not theoretical — back in May, Wired.com wrote up the many problems they’ve encountered during their HTTPS switch, a switch that they’ve since paused to reconsider.

Like any major, sitewide change, you have to consider the broader business case, costs, and benefits. I suspect that pressure from Google will increase, especially as adoption increases, and that we’re within a year of a tipping point where half of page-1 results will be running on HTTPS. Be aware of how the adoption rate is moving in your own industry and be alert, because I suspect we could see another HTTPS algorithm update in the next 6–12 months.

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Just How Long Are Big-Company SEOs Waiting for Their Most Important Changes?

Posted by willcritchlow

What would you say if I told you that the average SEO at a big company has been waiting over six months for their highest priority technical change and doesn’t anticipate seeing it deployed for at least another six months? (40+% have been waiting over a year).

If you work in that kind of environment, there’s a good chance you’re not surprised, and if you’ve worked as a consultant and your experience is anything like mine, you might even be asking yourself “is that all?” It’s such a common challenge, and it’s so core to our fundamental goal of making a real difference for our clients, that the ability to effect change has even made it into Distilled’s core values.

Challenges in this area are a growing problem for big companies. As startups in particular come to grips with continuous deployment and similar approaches that bring agility to their processes, big companies risk being left behind on an aging technology stack.

Fred Wilson deploys code at Etsy

Board member Fred Wilson deploys code at Etsy. Photo credit.

The stats I opened with came from surveying a range of SEOs at big companies — a couple of dozen people responsible for billions of pageviews/month. I put together a survey form, sought out suitable people to respond — from mine and Distilled’s extended network — and then focused in on those managing big sites.

I’m still very interested in hearing more thoughts on this topic by the way, so if you haven’t shared your experiences with me, you can still go ahead and do that:

Take the Enterprise SEO Survey

If I get tons of new data, I’ll happily return to update this post.

My goal was to hear more about the real problems faced by enterprise SEOs and to collate that information for all of you so that we can all become more effective. To do this, I asked:

  • What is the technical change you are most desperate to make to your site that’s been difficult to get done?
  • How long have you been waiting for this change?
  • When do you anticipate you will finally see it live?
  • What is holding it up?
  • How big of a problem is this kind of thing for your organization?

Breakdown of the responses

Here’s how long people have been waiting for the technical change they are most desperate to get implemented (42% have been waiting longer than a year):

How long enterprise SEOs have been waiting for their top change

And most (58%) don’t anticipate seeing that change live for at least another 6 months:

How long enterprise SEOs anticipate waiting for their top priority change

Why does this happen?

The most common reasons given for the inability to get their top priority changes made were:

  • Marketing team priorities fall behind those of other teams (53%)
  • The change they want is “not possible” with current platform (37%)
  • Every change has to pass through a long dev backlog (32%)

The full range of answers can be mainly bucketed into two big reasons:

  1. Difficulty in proving the value in advance or making the business case
  2. Legacy technology or outdated processes hampering progress

Is it a big deal?

While the most common response was that it was “just” a serious frustration, almost half of the people I spoke to (47%) reported that inability to make these kinds of changes is stopping their team hitting their objectives or cramping the performance of the whole company:

How much of a problem this is to enterprise SEOs

Given the scale of company we are talking about here, this is incredible — especially for the fifth of people who said it’s cramping the performance of the whole company. That turns it from some geek thing into a burning issue for senior leadership.

What should we do about it?

1. Get better at consulting (even in-house)

The quickest win (which can feel like cheating) is to improve our personal consulting, persuasion, and communication skills. Getting things done sometimes comes down to making our case more effectively — either with more data or with a better argument. Some resources that you might find useful here include:

2. Make better business cases

One specific part of consulting skills that is particularly important in getting things done in big orgs is the ability to build a business case. This requires financial/data analysis skills, but it’s important to remember that it’s not enough to make an Excel model — you also need to tell the story (see some of the resources above).

I spoke on this subject a couple of years ago at our San Diego SearchLove conference in 2013 in a talk about technical (slides here, video here [behind a paywall — if you don’t have a DistilledU account, you can use this link to get access to that video for free]). I talked about:

  1. Winning hearts as well as minds — with descriptions of your vision, competitor comparisons, proof that customers care etc.
  2. Preparing like you are going to have to go into a meeting with Jeff Bezos (I love some of the stories here and you should particularly read about Steve Yegge’s experiences)

We’re getting really excited about the kinds of business cases we are able to build with split-testing. When you can present data like this, it gets way easier to get things done:

SEO split test results

(That’s a screenshot from our new tool — ODN — by the way. If you’d like a demo, you can register your interest here).

3. Make things better over time

All of the problems I’ve talked about here are compounded by technical debt. A great goal for enterprise/in-house folks is to build the flywheels and to do the things now that will make all of this easier in the future. Upgrading core infrastructure, getting towards continuous integration and fast deployment, and improving slow processes all have long-term ROI.

In particular, getting in place tools like tag management move many kinds of change directly into the hands of the marketing team. This is again our thinking behind building our ODN tool — in addition to building business cases, it’s designed to get changes live in the interim until they can be fully built-out into the back-end.

I think my best general recommendations in this area are to start with the lean startup — I had read some articles about it, but it was only when I saw Eric Ries speak (before I’d read the book) that I truly “got it” about what he was calling an MVP which is actually closer to what Rand called marketing first than it is to building an ugly prototype. This image explains it well:


Some more resources:

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments — and don’t forget that if you are in charge of search for a big site, I’d still love to hear your experiences in the survey:

Take the Enterprise SEO Survey

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How Long Does Link Building Take to Influence Rankings?

Posted by Kristina Kledzik

[Estimated read time: 9 minutes]

If you’re an SEO, chances are, you’ve recommended link building as a tactic. And, unless you work for a very trusting firm, you’ve probably been met with the question, “When will we see a return on our investment, and how much will we see?”

This is a question I’ve been asked numerous times, but never had a good answer for. The truth is, a new link doesn’t affect rankings immediately. That makes it hard to tie an individual link to SERP rankings increases, since there will usually be several other links and on-page changes made to a target page between the time when you get that first link and when you finally see increases in rankings.

So, I set out to figure this out myself. I’m lucky enough to be working for a company with nearly 200,000 indexed pages, which gets hundreds of new links each month naturally, through PR and through my link building efforts. That means I’ve got a lot of pages that only got 1–2 links in the last 6 months, and didn’t go through many on-page changes.

I picked out 76 links pointing to pages which are all similar to each other in content, and we didn’t change that content (significantly) for 6 months. I focused on rankings for target keywords with a 25–35% Keyword Difficulty Rating. I looked at two versions of their target keywords, so I could have a bit more data. The results aren’t super surprising to SEOs, but they’re often questioned by the managers of SEOs, and now you have graphs to prove what you’ve been saying all along.

It takes 10 weeks on average to see 1 rank jump

This graph shows an up-and-to-the-right trend for average increase in rank over weeks after link was created.

More links do have a more immediate effect. Jacob at Exstreamist promoted some material that got him around 20 links to one of his pages, which was being outranked by other pages with about 6 more inbound links. It took his page 5–10 weeks to move from #9 to #5.

It seems that each link has a small to medium effect initially, but that effect increases over time. If you add a lot of links at once, you’re not only going to see faster results, you’re going to see much bigger results over time.

The lower the rank, the more effect a link has

This graph shows the average increase in rank by starting rank over weeks after link was created.

The pages that I observed that were already ranking on the first page of SERPs didn’t show much of a rankings increase with one link, barely moving over one spot in 22 weeks. In contrast, pages ranking on the second or deeper pages of SERPs took off after 8–9 weeks.

Keep in mind that I am working with a fairly small data set, so I don’t recommend that you promise a 10 spot jump after 22 weeks.

Higher DA will move the needle faster

This graph shows average increase in rank by Domain Authority range over weeks after the link was created.

Wondering where DA 50+ links are on this graph? I didn’t have enough to pages other than the homepage to get meaningful averages. Sorry, guys.

Unsurprisingly, a higher DA will have a bigger effect — in fact, you can see that the average rank change for a page that got a link from a site with a DA below 25 actually dropped after 13 weeks, then recovered to barely two ranks up.

I generally have a rule that I don’t want to spend any time or money on sites with DAs under 25. This chart shows that they’re not completely devoid of value, but be prepared for a very, very small change in rank with these guys.

Interestingly, both the DA 0–25 and DA 25–50 sets showed their first big jump after 10 weeks, but anecdotally, I’ve heard that higher DA links will have faster effects. This may be because higher DA sites get crawled more often (so the link will be discovered sooner), but I think this may be a purposeful delay in the algorithm. Google’s probably taking a bit more time to trust a link from a lower-quality site.

Cool! So, if I start link building now, I’ll see results in 10 weeks or sooner!

Actually, no. It takes a while to get links from a (legitimate) link building campaign. Each step is going to take a varying amount of time, based on the company you work for and the resources you already have. Here’s a list of steps you should keep in mind.

1. Getting the resources

Finding an agency (1–3 months)

The easiest route when you’re starting out is to hire an agency, since they’ll come prepared with a whole team of experienced link builders and will recommend their own tried-and-true strategies. Based on my experience watching businesses scope out Distilled when I worked there, the decision-making process is going to take you 1–3 months. It can be more if you’re a large company with a lot of bureaucracy, or if you’re trying to get a really good deal. Once you’ve chosen your partner in crime, you’ll usually have to wait a couple of weeks to a month to formally start.

Hiring a link builder in-house (1–2 months)

If it’s easier for you to hire a person than an agency, or if you think this is the best long-term strategy, you may end up needing to hire someone. The best candidates here are going to be people with link building experience, a customer service background, and/or bloggers who have successfully built up their own communities. According to Fast Company, it takes about 23 days to hire someone, so include that in your timeline.

Work with PR (almost immediate)

You can work with your PR team to start optimizing their media hits to also include good links. The success of this strategy will vary based on whether you’re going for general Domain Authority link building — in which case, all of those homepage links they’re getting will help you a lot — or trying to build Page Authority to individual landing pages, in which case they’ll probably have a hard time helping you out.

It’s worth pointing out that I don’t know any SEO who relies solely on PR wins to drive their link building strategy, so branch out if at all possible. If you’re low on budget, though, try buying your PR team some drinks and getting them on your side.

2. Coming up with a link building strategy (2 weeks–1 month)

Once you’ve got link builders working for you, you’re going to need to come up with reasons why people will want to link to you. Here are some broad ideas, from fastest to longest ramp-up time:

Your company as a resource (1 week)

One way to get links is to find pages that are listing resources for something that your company provides. For example, if you’re Lyft, you can look for blogs and other sites that list ways you can make money with a flexible schedule.

Your potential here is going to vary based on what your company does and how well you understand the solutions your business offers and who appreciates them. Allow at least a week to prospect potential sites to reach out to.

Your expertise as a resource (2 weeks–1 month)

People are always looking for experts online, and your company probably has some valuable knowledge you can share. For example, if you’re Periscope Data, a company that lets you turn your database into graphs and tables for easier understanding, you might have a hard time finding many sites that are looking for your exact product. But you can put together advice on how to properly write SQL, and boom: thousands of more linking opportunities!

In this case, you’re going to need to both prospect to find the right sites to connect with, then you’re going to want to offer either quotes, guest posts, or resources on your site to entice them. That’ll take a few weeks to a month.

Infographics (1–3 months)

Infographics may be a little overused by SEOs, but high-quality visual assets can get a lot of attention. Just keep in mind that if you don’t work closely with your PR team, you may end up with a lot of posts sharing your infographic, but not linking back to your site.

To put together a good infographic, you’re going to need a compelling idea, clever/unique data, and a good visual designer. They’ll take you at least two months as you get started (but bank on three), though you may be able to get the time down to one month, if your company is a smoothly running machine.

In-depth research (1–3 months)

Write a really unique or really well-researched, well-written article, and you can probably get a lot of shares even without a visual component. This works best for companies that are leaders in their specific field and have a lot of data that their upper management is okay with them sharing.

Expect for this to take just as much time as an infographic — your writer needs just as much time, if not more, as a visual designer. OKCupid’s (previously) famous blog took 2–4 weeks of developer time and 4–8 weeks of a writer’s time for each post.

3. Executing (2 weeks–1 month)

Once you’ve got your strategies in place, you’re going to need to email each prospect, possibly going back and forth with them as they take their time to get back to you, post the wrong link, or need more persuading. You may get a few immediate wins, but remember that you’re not paying them, so you’re at the bottom of their priority list.

Kicking off a link building campaign? Here’s what to plan for:

  • 1–4 months: Find a link building agency and start them at the beginning of a month, OR
  • 1 month: Find an in-house link builder
  • 1 month: Come up with your top link building strategies
  • 1–3 months: Prospect for potential sites to target, and pull together the content that you need to entice those links
  • 2 weeks–1 month: Execute! It’ll take awhile to write all the emails you need to write, and respond to the feedback you get
  • 5–10 weeks: Wait for those links to take effect! Tell your team not to panic for at least 10 weeks (although effects will continue to grow beyond that)

All in all, that means that it may take you 6 months–1 year from beginning to end before you start seeing noticeable effects from your link building efforts.

As an SEO, I feel the need to reiterate: SEO is an investment. Yes, it’s going to take you a lot of time to get those results. But do you see how those rankings keep moving up and to the right, even after you’ve secured those links? Set your manager’s expectations that this is going to be a long process, but the money you pay now is going to pay off continually as long as you keep on top of your competition.

Good luck, and happy link building!

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Get Ready for the Evolution of Long Tail Keywords, Coming Soon to Mobile Apps

Posted by Royh

Last month Google made a big announcement, potentially signaling a game changer for search. Google is quietly rolling out app-only content indexing, even if that content isn’t actually hosted on the indexed app.

So, what does that actually mean?

The game-changing implication is that when you search Google from your phone or tablet, app-only content will “stream” directly to your mobile device — even if you don’t have the app installed.

Thus, if I search for the key phrase “hotel tonight in Chicago,” I’ll see results from mobile apps that aren’t installed on my device, sending me directly to app-only content “streamed” from a virtual app hosted on the Google cloud.

Hotel Tonight

(Image credit: TechCrunch)

How is app content indexed differently?

Before this announcement, direct deep links to app content were displayed only if the matching app was already installed on your mobile device, as in the example below:

(Image credit: Google)

With this change, web content no longer needs to match app content.

According to Google’s Rajan Patel leading the new initiative:

“We want users to be able to have access to this content, regardless of whether it’s available on the web or in an app.”

How will this announcement change the way applications are discovered?

Well, Google is effectively lowering the bar for app indexing, and app owners can score a quick win if they act in a timely manner — a few tips on this below.

The new long tail landing page for mobile

The new app content streams are essentially equivalent to landing pages for a desktop website. Both share the same principal: promoting select content from the website or app.

That means focusing on long tail keywords. Simply changing the title and description of the home page of the app is no longer enough — targeting those long tail keywords is going to be essential.

To find the keywords that send traffic to competitors, I’ll use the SimilarWeb app analysis feature as an example. In this case, you can see how the search engine keywords that sent traffic to Snapchat’s competitors — keywords searched in the Google app — drove traffic to Snapchat after the search, and were basically all keywords from app indexing.

What’s the key here?

Say hello to the app indexing API!

In order to make this whole process possible, app developers need to implement the app indexing API. It’s not new, but now that you don’t need to match app content to web content, it can be your secret weapon to torrents of mobile traffic.

The indexing API doubles as a ranking signal to Google, so all the mobile apps that implement and complete the app indexing API will gain a ranking edge.

Measure mobile engagement stats

Once you implement the indexing API, you’ll show Google how much time users spend inside your app, and what they do there.

If you need a benchmark to go by, you can measure how your competitors’ apps are doing in terms of time on the app and session per user. Here’s an example from SimilarWeb’s app engagement function:

Again, the first thing you need to do in order to get started is implement the app indexing API, as I said earlier — since Google factors it as one of the ranking signals, it will favor the app owners that complete the process.

If you want some more instruction and technical walkthroughs for getting your app indexed, you can check out this piece by Bridget Randolph on the subject. Just keep in mind that this is still in beta.

Google is testing the process on a few apps that agreed to participate in this experiment. It’s still unclear when the update will be released out of beta, but I’m sure several clear winners (and losers) will emerge when this fully rolls out.

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24 Hours Power Supply – A Long Way to Go




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It is a known fact that the energy sector in India is still plagued with some gaps. Accumulated losses, debt, theft and loss of power are some of the problems that hinder the development of this sector. At the same time, you can not deny that there has been no growth at all, promoting private sector participation and capacity building generally conventional in the past two decades is considered; However, the growth achieved by this sector is not enough to meet the huge energy needs of the country.

The bottleneck is the retail segment connecting the electricity sector consumers. The lack of effectiveness and coordination of their work, a price level have contributed to his sad condition. There is a greater need today to exploit alternative energy sources as well as discover new forms of energy production so that electricity is available to everyone at all times.

Solar and wind energy has to seriously exploit to allow the widespread and continuous use of electricity. Judging by global developments in this area, the use of solar energy has become very competitive with electricity produced from conventional sources. The rapid progress in microelectronics industry has led to great advances in technology related to crystalline silicon solar cells, which reduces the cost of solar energy production. This solar boom witnessed in almost every country in the world and India is no exception. However, to make this scale, it is very essential for the removal of vested interests and necessary for all politicians to take a greater interest and depth, followed in this filed.

New technology for the production of 24-hour diet should be encouraged on all fronts. In fact, there is some evidence in four southern states of India on the use of this new technology that provides a continuous flow without interruption (UDC) for Domains. According to reports, this method involves the continuous supply of electricity from the grid to meet the demands of basic appliances, even when demand is high or the time of failure. In total, the minimum supply of 100 watts of power would be available on a daily basis for homes with the installation of a single piece of equipment in substations.

At the same time, also require the addition of a small device in front of home electric meter. In addition to the regular intake of 100 watts of the network, a 48 volt DC power can be supplied by additional second power output. This amount of power is maintained even in downtime and avoiding a total blackout. The LED lights that run on DC power will be provided by the DC source.

Also, if the UDC unit is connected to a solar panel, then there is much room for expansion to reduce dependence on expensive diesel fuel. This technology is still in the testing phase and thus, obtaining approvals and the development of regulatory safety standards will be implemented in carrying out the pilot.

If things go as planned, and soon 24 hours of power will not remain a dream.

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Long Tail CTR Study: The Forgotten Traffic Beyond Top 10 Rankings

Posted by GaryMoyle

Search behavior is fundamentally changing, as users become more savvy and increasingly familiar with search technology. Google’s results have also changed significantly over the last decade, going from a simple page of 10 blue links to a much richer layout, including videos, images, shopping ads and the innovative Knowledge Graph.

We also know there are an increasing amount of touchpoints in a customer journey involving different channels and devices. Google’s
Zero Moment of Truth theory (ZMOT), which describes a revolution in the way consumers search for information online, supports this idea and predicts that we can expect the number of times natural search is involved on the path to a conversion to get higher and higher.

Understanding how people interact with Google and other search engines will always be important. Organic click curves show how many clicks you might expect from search engine results and are one way of evaluating the impact of our campaigns, forecasting performance and exploring changing search behavior.

Using search query data from Google UK for a wide range of leading brands based on millions of impressions and clicks, we can gain insights into the how CTR in natural search has evolved beyond those shown in previous studies by
Catalyst, Slingshot and AOL.

Our methodology

The NetBooster study is based entirely on UK top search query data and has been refined by day in order to give us the most accurate sample size possible. This helped us reduce anomalies in the data in order to achieve the most reliable click curve possible, allowing us to extend it way beyond the traditional top 10 results.

We developed a method to extract data day by day to greatly increase the volume of keywords and to help improve the accuracy of the
average ranking position. It ensured that the average was taken across the shortest timescale possible, reducing rounding errors.

The NetBooster study included:

  • 65,446,308 (65 million) clicks
  • 311,278,379 (311 million) impressions
  • 1,253,130 (1.2 million) unique search queries
  • 54 unique brands
  • 11 household brands (sites with a total of 1M+ branded keyword impressions)
  • Data covers several verticals including retail, travel and financial

We also looked at organic CTR for mobile, video and image results to better understand how people are discovering content in natural search across multiple devices and channels. 

We’ll explore some of the most important elements in this article.

How does our study compare against others?

Let’s start by looking at the top 10 results. In the graph below we have normalized the results in order to compare our curve, like-for-like, with previous studies from Catalyst and Slingshot. Straight away we can see that there is higher participation beyond the top four positions when compared to other studies. We can also see much higher CTR for positions lower on the pages, which highlights how searchers are becoming more comfortable with mining search results.

ctr-comparison-730px.jpg

A new click curve to rule them all

Our first click curve is the most useful, as it provides the click through rates for generic non-brand search queries across positions 1 to 30. Initially, we can see a significant amount of traffic going to the top three results with position No. 1 receiving 19% of total traffic, 15% at position No. 2 and 11.45% at position No. 3. The interesting thing to note, however, is our curve shows a relatively high CTR for positions typically below the fold. Positions 6-10 all received a higher CTR than shown in previous studies. It also demonstrates that searchers are frequently exploring pages two and three.

CTR-top-30-730px.jpg

When we look beyond the top 10, we can see that CTR is also higher than anticipated, with positions 11-20 accounting for 17% of total traffic. Positions 21-30 also show higher than anticipated results, with over 5% of total traffic coming from page three. This gives us a better understanding of the potential uplift in visits when improving rankings from positions 11-30.

This highlights that searchers are frequently going beyond the top 10 to find the exact result they want. The prominence of paid advertising, shopping ads, Knowledge Graph and the OneBox may also be pushing users below the fold more often as users attempt to find better qualified results. It may also indicate growing dissatisfaction with Google results, although this is a little harder to quantify.

Of course, it’s important we don’t just rely on one single click curve. Not all searches are equal. What about the influence of brand, mobile and long-tail searches?

Brand bias has a significant influence on CTR

One thing we particularly wanted to explore was how the size of your brand influences the curve. To explore this, we banded each of the domains in our study into small, medium and large categories based on the sum of brand query impressions across the entire duration of the study.

small-medium-large-brand-organic-ctr-730

When we look at how brand bias is influencing CTR for non-branded search queries, we can see that better known brands get a sizable increase in CTR. More importantly, small- to medium-size brands are actually losing out to results from these better-known brands and experience a much lower CTR in comparison.

What is clear is keyphrase strategy will be important for smaller brands in order to gain traction in natural search. Identifying and targeting valuable search queries that aren’t already dominated by major brands will minimize the cannibalization of CTR and ensure higher traffic levels as a result.

How does mobile CTR reflect changing search behavior?

Mobile search has become a huge part of our daily lives, and our clients are seeing a substantial shift in natural search traffic from desktop to mobile devices. According to Google, 30% of all searches made in 2013 were on a mobile device; they also predict mobile searches will constitute over 50% of all searches in 2014.

Understanding CTR from mobile devices will be vital as the mobile search revolution continues. It was interesting to see that the click curve remained very similar to our desktop curve. Despite the lack of screen real estate, searchers are clearly motivated to scroll below the fold and beyond the top 10.

netbooster-mobile-organic-ctr-730px.jpg

NetBooster CTR curves for top 30 organic positions


Position

Desktop CTR

Mobile CTR

Large Brand

Medium Brand

Small Brand
1 19.35% 20.28% 20.84% 13.32% 8.59%
2 15.09% 16.59% 16.25% 9.77% 8.92%
3 11.45% 13.36% 12.61% 7.64% 7.17%
4 8.68% 10.70% 9.91% 5.50% 6.19%
5 7.21% 7.97% 8.08% 4.69% 5.37%
6 5.85% 6.38% 6.55% 4.07% 4.17%
7 4.63% 4.85% 5.20% 3.33% 3.70%
8 3.93% 3.90% 4.40% 2.96% 3.22%
9 3.35% 3.15% 3.76% 2.62% 3.05%
10 2.82% 2.59% 3.13% 2.25% 2.82%
11 3.06% 3.18% 3.59% 2.72% 1.94%
12 2.36% 3.62% 2.93% 1.96% 1.31%
13 2.16% 4.13% 2.78% 1.96% 1.26%
14 1.87% 3.37% 2.52% 1.68% 0.92%
15 1.79% 3.26% 2.43% 1.51% 1.04%
16 1.52% 2.68% 2.02% 1.26% 0.89%
17 1.30% 2.79% 1.67% 1.20% 0.71%
18 1.26% 2.13% 1.59% 1.16% 0.86%
19 1.16% 1.80% 1.43% 1.12% 0.82%
20 1.05% 1.51% 1.36% 0.86% 0.73%
21 0.86% 2.04% 1.15% 0.74% 0.70%
22 0.75% 2.25% 1.02% 0.68% 0.46%
23 0.68% 2.13% 0.91% 0.62% 0.42%
24 0.63% 1.84% 0.81% 0.63% 0.45%
25 0.56% 2.05% 0.71% 0.61% 0.35%
26 0.51% 1.85% 0.59% 0.63% 0.34%
27 0.49% 1.08% 0.74% 0.42% 0.24%
28 0.45% 1.55% 0.58% 0.49% 0.24%
29 0.44% 1.07% 0.51% 0.53% 0.28%
30 0.36% 1.21% 0.47% 0.38% 0.26%

Creating your own click curve

This study will give you a set of benchmarks for both non-branded and branded click-through rates with which you can confidently compare to your own click curve data. Using this data as a comparison will let you understand whether the appearance of your content is working for or against you.

We have made things a little easier for you by creating an Excel spreadsheet: simply drop your own top search query data in and it’ll automatically create a click curve for your website.

Simply visit the NetBooster website and download our tool to start making your own click curve.

In conclusion

It’s been both a fascinating and rewarding study, and we can clearly see a change in search habits. Whatever the reasons for this evolving search behavior, we need to start thinking beyond the top 10, as pages two and three are likely to get more traffic in future. 

 We also need to maximize the traffic created from existing rankings and not just think about position.

Most importantly, we can see practical applications of this data for anyone looking to understand and maximize their content’s performance in natural search. Having the ability to quickly and easily create your own click curve and compare this against a set of benchmarks means you can now understand whether you have an optimal CTR.

What could be the next steps?

There is, however, plenty of scope for improvement. We are looking forward to continuing our investigation, tracking the evolution of search behavior. If you’d like to explore this subject further, here are a few ideas:

  • Segment search queries by intent (How does CTR vary depending on whether a search query is commercial or informational?)
  • Understand CTR by industry or niche
  • Monitor the effect of new Knowledge Graph formats on CTR across both desktop and mobile search
  • Conduct an annual analysis of search behavior (Are people’s search habits changing? Are they clicking on more results? Are they mining further into Google’s results?)

Ultimately, click curves like this will change as the underlying search behavior continues to evolve. We are now seeing a massive shift in the underlying search technology, with Google in particular heavily investing in entity- based search (i.e., the Knowledge Graph). We can expect other search engines, such as Bing, Yandex and Baidu to follow suit and use a similar approach.

The rise of smartphone adoption and constant connectivity also means natural search is becoming more focused on mobile devices. Voice-activated search is also a game-changer, as people start to converse with search engines in a more natural way. This has huge implications for how we monitor search activity.

What is clear is no other industry is changing as rapidly as search. Understanding how we all interact with new forms of search results will be a crucial part of measuring and creating success.

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