Tag Archive | "Mean"

What will Google Hotels mean for online booking sites?

The new site mirrors the UI of Google Flights and could have a similar affect on the hotel booking market.



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What Do Google’s New, Longer Snippets Mean for SEO? – Whiteboard Friday

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Snippets and meta descriptions have brand-new character limits, and it’s a big change for Google and SEOs alike. Learn about what’s new, when it changed, and what it all means for SEO in this edition of Whiteboard Friday.

What do Google's now, longer snippets mean for SEO?

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about Google’s big change to the snippet length.

This is the display length of the snippet for any given result in the search results that Google provides. This is on both mobile and desktop. It sort of impacts the meta description, which is how many snippets are written. They’re taken from the meta description tag of the web page. Google essentially said just last week, “Hey, we have officially increased the length, the recommended length, and the display length of what we will show in the text snippet of standard organic results.”

So I’m illustrating that for you here. I did a search for “net neutrality bill,” something that’s on the minds of a lot of Americans right now. You can see here that this article from The Hill, which is a recent article — it was two days ago — has a much longer text snippet than what we would normally expect to find. In fact, I went ahead and counted this one and then showed it here.

So basically, at the old 165-character limit, which is what you would have seen prior to the middle of December on most every search result, occasionally Google would have a longer one for very specific kinds of search results, but more than 90%, according to data from SISTRIX, which put out a great report and I’ll link to it here, more than 90% of search snippets were 165 characters or less prior to the middle of November. Then Google added basically a few more lines.

So now, on mobile and desktop, instead of an average of two or three lines, we’re talking three, four, five, sometimes even six lines of text. So this snippet here is 266 characters that Google is displaying. The next result, from Save the Internet, is 273 characters. Again, this might be because Google sort of realized, “Hey, we almost got all of this in here. Let’s just carry it through to the end rather than showing the ellipsis.” But you can see that 165 characters would cut off right here. This one actually does a good job of displaying things.

So imagine a searcher is querying for something in your field and they’re just looking for a basic understanding of what it is. So they’ve never heard of net neutrality. They’re not sure what it is. So they can read here, “Net neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down, or blocking any . . .” And that’s where it would cut off. Or that’s where it would have cut off in November.

Now, if I got a snippet like that, I need to visit the site. I’ve got to click through in order to learn more. That doesn’t tell me enough to give me the data to go through. Now, Google has tackled this before with things, like a featured snippet, that sit at the top of the search results, that are a more expansive short answer. But in this case, I can get the rest of it because now, as of mid-November, Google has lengthened this. So now I can get, “Any content, applications, or websites you want to use. Net neutrality is the way that the Internet has always worked.”

Now, you might quibble and say this is not a full, thorough understanding of what net neutrality is, and I agree. But for a lot of searchers, this is good enough. They don’t need to click any more. This extension from 165 to 275 or 273, in this case, has really done the trick.

What changed?

So this can have a bunch of changes to SEO too. So the change that happened here is that Google updated basically two things. One, they updated the snippet length, and two, they updated their guidelines around it.

So Google’s had historic guidelines that said, well, you want to keep your meta description tag between about 160 and 180 characters. I think that was the number. They’ve updated that to where they say there’s no official meta description recommended length. But on Twitter, Danny Sullivan said that he would probably not make that greater than 320 characters. In fact, we and other data providers, that collect a lot of search results, didn’t find many that extended beyond 300. So I think that’s a reasonable thing.

When?

When did this happen? It was starting at about mid-November. November 22nd is when SISTRIX’s dataset starts to notice the increase, and it was over 50%. Now it’s sitting at about 51% of search results that have these longer snippets in at least 1 of the top 10 as of December 2nd.

Here’s the amazing thing, though — 51% of search results have at least one. Many of those, because they’re still pulling old meta descriptions or meta descriptions that SEO has optimized for the 165-character limit, are still very short. So if you’re the person in your search results, especially it’s holiday time right now, lots of ecommerce action, if you’re the person to go update your important pages right now, you might be able to get more real estate in the search results than any of your competitors in the SERPs because they’re not updating theirs.

How will this affect SEO?

So how is this going to really change SEO? Well, three things:

A. It changes how marketers should write and optimize the meta description.

We’re going to be writing a little bit differently because we have more space. We’re going to be trying to entice people to click, but we’re going to be very conscientious that we want to try and answer a lot of this in the search result itself, because if we can, there’s a good chance that Google will rank us higher, even if we’re actually sort of sacrificing clicks by helping the searcher get the answer they need in the search result.

B. It may impact click-through rate.

We’ll be looking at Jumpshot data over the next few months and year ahead. We think that there are two likely ways they could do it. Probably negatively, meaning fewer clicks on less complex queries. But conversely, possible it will get more clicks on some more complex queries, because people are more enticed by the longer description. Fingers crossed, that’s kind of what you want to do as a marketer.

C. It may lead to lower click-through rate further down in the search results.

If you think about the fact that this is taking up the real estate that was taken up by three results with two, as of a month ago, well, maybe people won’t scroll as far down. Maybe the ones that are higher up will in fact draw more of the clicks, and thus being further down on page one will have less value than it used to.

What should SEOs do?

What are things that you should do right now? Number one, make a priority list — you should probably already have this — of your most important landing pages by search traffic, the ones that receive the most search traffic on your website, organic search. Then I would go and reoptimize those meta descriptions for the longer limits.

Now, you can judge as you will. My advice would be go to the SERPs that are sending you the most traffic, that you’re ranking for the most. Go check out the limits. They’re probably between about 250 and 300, and you can optimize somewhere in there.

The second thing I would do is if you have internal processes or your CMS has rules around how long you can make a meta description tag, you’re going to have to update those probably from the old limit of somewhere in the 160 to 180 range to the new 230 to 320 range. It doesn’t look like many are smaller than 230 now, at least limit-wise, and it doesn’t look like anything is particularly longer than 320. So somewhere in there is where you’re going to want to stay.

Good luck with your new meta descriptions and with your new snippet optimization. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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What does the Consumer Review Fairness Act mean for consumers and online reviews?

Columnist Sherry Bonelli discusses the impact that newly signed legislation may have on local business owners and review sites.

The post What does the Consumer Review Fairness Act mean for consumers and online reviews? appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Google: More Traffic Doesn’t Mean You Need More Links

John Mueller of Google answered a question in the Google Hangout on Google+ saying a site that is getting more and more traffic…


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What Does It Really Mean to Go “Green”?




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Let’s face it… Most of us, if honest, will humbly acknowledge that we have been thrust into this wave of environmentally focused awareness having only a limited scope of perspective and true understanding of what it means to actually live and function in a “green” society. Various media vehicles such as the Internet, World News, and even in casual conversations among our peers or co-workers have all greatly massaged our need to know more. Long gone are the days of feeling responsible because we separated the plastics from the paper in our recycling receptacles. Oh no… the responsibility has become so much greater. There is an evolving and complex world of a global proportion that begs further investigation.

Let us begin…

“Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.

And so, let us delve into these “practices” that are designed to make us more ecologically responsible citizens and truly discover how adopting “green” traditions can change the way we live and ultimately change the world in which we live.

It can be argued that one of the major factors in positively contributing to the environment’s vitality is the practice of sustaining what has been given to us as natural resources. The idea of ecological sustainability points directly to the ability of a society to balance the depletion of renewable and non-renewable resources with the exact equivalent substitution of the said same with no discontinuity in between. What this means is that, as we use a specific resource, we have to ensure that the availability of that same resource is afforded the opportunity to thrive thereafter.

A very relatable and practical practice of sustainability is found in the business concept behind the online auction giant, eBay. This company upholds sustainability in that it offers people all around the world the opportunity to buy and exchange used goods that would otherwise go to waste, thereby lengthening its lifespan and productive energy. Where the environment is concerned, there should be a similar exchange of conscious replacement of resources used that becomes an effortless way of living. The result is a never-ending and plenteous stockpile of products and goods from which we can constantly create, re-create, and sustain.

Another practice closely associated with “going green” can be found in the implementation of the Green Supply Chain Management Program. What this is, is an adoption of widely used sub-programs by large and small companies who have dedicated a large portion of their production efforts to the implementation and execution of environmentally conscious practices. One such program is the recycling initiative where employees are encouraged to eliminate their usual practices of throwing away renewable resources and instead place them into receptacles that will later be transported to larger facilities who will, in turn, use green processes to sustain the vitality of the items used. These ecologically driven actions are positively reinforced with rewards, special privileges, and other forms of recognition that are designed to boost morale and encourage similar positive behaviors.

Also growing rapidly in popularity in small and large businesses alike is heightened focus on the reduction of carbon emissions and the use of environmentally harmful toxins in the production aspects of their industries. More and more, businesses are employing carbon-free or reduced-carbon sources of energy such as wind power and solar power in order to drastically affect the amount of carbon-based fuels emitted into the atmosphere. Not only has this proven to be a strategic business strategy for some, but it has also contributed to a healthier and cleaner environment for the whole to enjoy. Businesses of varied trades, specifically in the construction and home building industries, are also taking a more considerate look at the products they use in their production phases and end projects. Most have adopted the use of more efficient, and sometimes more costly, eco-friendly brands to supplement the toxic and bio-accumulative ones. This simple change has contributed to improved air quality and cleaner work environments in a notably impactful way.

So, there is a part that we can all play in the global effort to create a “greener” environment. We can agree that the effort really begins in understanding why changes to the way we have done things in the past are minimal when compared to the hugely beneficial harvest we will enjoy in the future. If we intend to be here for a while, we should all endeavor to make it a place worth being.

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Kristen Bell Is Speechless After Reading Mean Tweet About Herself

Kristen Bell appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week just to read some unkind words about herself, and although she was a good sport about it, she was left speechless after sharing it with the audience.

Bell, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jeff Bridges all showed up for an updated version of one of Jimmy’s segments, which involves celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves to the audience. This week, those celebs will be reading them live on the show instead of in a taped segment, and all Kristen Bell could do after sharing hers was smile and walk off stage.

“Kristen Bell seems like such a bitch, her vagina is probably an Alcatraz for penis,” Bell read.

Bell was in good company with Cumberbatch and Bridges, but they’re not alone; Kimmel has been doing this segment for a while now and has had stars like Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry read hateful comments from the micro-blogging site.

Kristen Bell took some time off over the summer to focus on being a mom, but she’s getting ready to jump back into the acting game alongside her husband Dax Shepard, who is writing, directing, and starring in an upcoming CHiPs movie. According to Deadline, Shepard will play Officer Jon Baker.

Shepard will play Officer Jon Baker (played in the original by Larry Wilcox), while Michael Pena is attached to play Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, the role Erik Estrada originated. Rick Rosner created the NBC series.

Daredevil star Vincent D’Onofrio is also set to star in the film as a former cop who is now head of a stolen car ring.

Kristen Bell has had a full plate lately despite taking the summer off; after a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, she produced and starred in a Veronica Mars movie and garnered an indie following with The Lifeguard. She’s set to appear next in The Boss with Melissa McCarthy.

The post Kristen Bell Is Speechless After Reading Mean Tweet About Herself appeared first on WebProNews.


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30 Percent of the Population Gets News From Facebook. . . They Just Don’t Mean To

1-Facebook-and-NewsAccording to a new study by the Pew Research Center, 30% of US adults consume news on Facebook. But the vast majority (78%) didn’t log on for that purpose, they just happened to see news posts in their feed.

Only 4% of those surveyed said Facebook was an important source for news and that makes me feel better about the world.

I can’t be too snarky though, because I get a lot of my news from Twitter. The reality is that we live in a content heavy world. A story breaks in China and people on the ground start posting the details on Twitter and Facebook within minutes.

Most of us don’t subscribe to mobile alerts from CNN or Fox News, but we do get mobile alerts from our social media accounts. So even if it’s midnight, when my phone starts pinging like crazy, I know something major happened somewhere in the world.

Incidental news exposure on Facebook increases along with time spent on site. Says Pew, “two-thirds (67%) of those who use Facebook for at least an hour a day get news there compared with only 41% of those who spend less than an hour a day on the site.”

Does that mean that people who spend more time on Facebook are actually better informed about the world than those who spend less?

Maybe not. Pew found that people who consume news on Facebook just tend to be all-around, more active users.

  •  77% are driven to the platform to see what friends are up to (compared with 60% of other Facebook users),
  • 49% go to chat with friends and family (versus 29%)
  • 26% go to post personal updates (versus 9%).
  • In addition, almost two-thirds (65%) of those who get news on Facebook visit the site several times a day, compared with about three-in-ten (29%) other Facebook users.

What I find interesting about those numbers is that only 9% of people go on Facebook to post personal updates.

When users do see a news story in their feed, they’re most likely to click because they’re interested in the topic, or because it sounds entertaining or surprising. The source of the story only mattered to 20% of respondents.

Surprisingly, 34% of Facebook users follow a news organization or journalist in their feed. Not surprisingly, these people are more likely to click, like, comment on and share news stories.

Overall, only 28% of consumers have intentionally turned to Facebook for breaking news so CNN doesn’t have to start worrying just yet.

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Does Your Webmaster Tools Message Mean You’ve Been Penalized?

A WebmasterWorld thread has an SEO asking if all messages sent to webmasters via Google Webmaster Tools necessarily mean the site was indeed penalized.

You know, when you get one of those messages from Google about problems with your site…


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Watch NBA Players Read Mean Tweets About Themselves

Having people read tweets is one of Jimmy Kimmel’s favorite styles of bits – whether it be forcing little kids to read vulgar tweets from Twitter comedians, or having Kenyans read inane celebrity tweets. One of the best bits on the show is called “Mean Tweets,” and it has celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves.

Well, Kimmel’s back with a new one and in the spirit of the ongoing NBA finals, this episode of Mean Tweets involves people in and around the NBA – players and broadcasters. Check it out:

[JimmyKimmelLive]


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What ‘Thinking Like Zuck’ Could Mean For Your Business

Not everyone loves all of Facebook’s policies and practices, but one thing that’s hard to argue against is Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s entrepreneurial success.

Have you learned anything about business from the Facebook story? Let us know in the comments.

Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a Wall Street Journal bestselling book about a topic which is made fairly obvious by its title. While it was just published in December it could go on to be considered one of the major works dealing with entrepreneurship in the age of the social network. We had a conversation with author Ekaterina Walter, a “social media innovator” at Intel and board member of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, about what it means to “think like Zuck” and how doing so can help entrepreneurs build the best businesses possible.

“‘Think Like Zuck’ is an analogy of a leader who follows his/her passion, leads with purpose, builds great teams, and strives for continued excellence in his/her product (or services) and partners smartly,” Walter tells WebProNews. “It is a mentality that drives great leaders to build successful businesses and the approach they use to do so.”

The one trait Mark Zuckerberg holds that entrepreneurs should strive to emulate, Walter says, is “Long-term strategic outlook and the courage to stand up to the pressures (both internal and external) that would veer him away from his vision.”

“For example, everyone was saying NewsFeed was a bad idea and now it is the feature we can’t live without,” she says. “People were saying Facebook becoming a platform is not the right strategic and business decision and now 24.3 percent of the top 10,000 websites in the world have some form of official Facebook integration on their home pages.”

“It isn’t easy (especially when you are in your early twenties) to withstand those pressures,” adds Walter. “It is even harder to walk away from a billion dollar buy-out offer. But Zuck has a clear long-term vision of where he wants to go and where he wants to take this company and he is executing on that vision. Everything he does consistently supports his purpose of connecting the world and making it more open and transparent. Having a clear direction and focus is critical for a success of any company.”

For some, it’s become hard to remember what the Internet was even like before Facebook. Still, even today, Zuckerberg is only 28 years old, and he’s had far more success than most of us, including many entrepreneurs with years more experience, will ever see.

When asked what more experienced entrepreneurs can learn from Zuck, Walter says, “Creating the culture of urgency, staying in the state of permanent beta, not resting on [and] its laurels. That is something a lot of leaders are struggling with, especially once they reach some level of success. The hacker culture that Zuck created is the key to its continuous innovation and fluid adaptability.”

“Find and hire passionate people (independent of their age and sometimes experience) and offer them non-traditional career paths,” she suggests. “Zuckerberg understands the power of passion and the right attitude. Sometimes Facebook hires people just to have the right talent on board, and later on matches up their passions to the projects that they are best suited to work on.”

“Facebook runs hackathons where engineers can work on new ideas outside of their current projects and anything goes,” Walter notes. “A lot of traditional leaders a lot of times are afraid to give young and inexperienced a big chance and that’s where they are missing a huge opportunity to tap into passion and motivation of the entrepreneurial generation.”

As big and ubiquitous as Facebook has become, many wonder what direction the company would take, should Zuckerberg ever decide to step down from his role. Walter is not so sure Facebook could continue to thrive if someone else took over as CEO.

“Zuckerberg has always had this profound vision of where he wants to take the company,” she says. “He has made some unpopular decisions that ended up paying off big time. I believe the reason Facebook stayed so successful was because Zuckerberg maintained control over the company and a laser focus on his vision. How many leaders do you know have courage to stand up to the short-term pressures to create long-term value? And how many companies fell apart because they were bought out and/or changed leadership? More than we care to admit.”

Near the beginning of her book, Walter talks about how organizations need “intrapraneurs.” This is a term she credits Edelman Digital executive vice president David Armano with coining, and defining as “someone who has an entrepreneurial streak in his or her DNA, but choose to align his or her talents with a large organization in place of creating his or her own.”

So how can an employer foster this kind of development within its staff?

“Hire for attitude, not just skills,” urges Walter. “Skills can be taught; passion can’t. You need to get the right people on board. The right people are those people who share your beliefs, live your values, and strive for the same purpose.”

“Zappos is considered to be the company that not only treats its customers right, but also treats its employees right,” she continues. “Zappos has a rigorous screening process and intense 3-week training for new hires. But even with that, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, thinks bad hiring has cost Zappos more than $ 100 million. ‘This cost is a result of not only the bad hires we’ve made, but the decisions those people have made and how they have contributed to additional poor selections,’ he says. That’s why Zappos offers its new hires a substantial sum of money to leave the company if after the training they feel like this isn’t the right fit for them. You see, a great company not only has to focus on bringing the right people on board, but also make sure it leaves the wrong people behind.”

“Also, foster the environment of fearlessness, not fear,” she adds. “Empower your employees to innovate and execute on their ideas…passion, curiosity and sometimes naiveté prevail. Don’t dismiss ideas and believe in impossible.”

In the book, Walter says that when a company starts growing, it gets harder and harder to find employees who share the same bigger purpose or who fit perfectly into the unique environment created by its founders, but if building the right team around the values of the company is so important, how can employers overcome this challenge? How do you find the right people?

“First, look within,” says Walter. “Rally your employee base and involve them in finding the best candidates. Chances are if your employees are passionate about your brand and your mission, they connect with similar-minded people. In the early days every single employee at Facebook was serving a function of a recruiter. They were scouting their connections, universities, friends to see if they can find people who are passionate about what the company does and wanted to join them.”

Second, watch the industry closely,” she says. “Who are some of the people who write about the issues you are passionate about? Who are the ones that are being mentioned in the hallway conversations?”

“Third, invite the candidates in. Events like the Hacker Cup that Facebook puts together every year brings a lot of like-minded people together. That is an amazing (and elite) candidate pool to choose from.”

“Be creative in building communities internally and externally that would allow you to identify and single out the most passionate people,” Walter says.

That’s a handful of the things you can learn from Zuckerberg, but of course, there are enough to fill a book. On the other hand, as another book (and the film that adapted it) taught us, some have different views of Zuck’s principles.

Do you consider Mark Zuckerberg an inspirational figure? Let us know in the comments.


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