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Google’s algorithm is built around understanding content and search queries and making the answers accessible to users in the most convenient manner.

These seven insights show how to develop a winning SEO and content strategy by leveraging what we know about Google’s algorithms.

The following are insights developed by studying patents and research papers published by Google itself.

Insight 1: Follow the Correct Intent

There are some content writing systems that mine the top-ranked websites and provide content writing and keyword suggestions based on the analysis of the top ten to top thirty webpages.

Some people who have used the software have told me that the information isn’t always helpful. And that’s not surprising because mining all of the top-ranked webpages in any given search results page (SERP) is going to result in a noisy data set that’s inaccurate and is of limited usefulness.

One of the issues with identifying user intent is that almost every query contains multiple user intents.

Google solves this problem by showing links to webpages about the most popular user intents first.

For example, in a research study about automatically classifying YouTube channels (PDF), the researchers discuss the role of user intent in determining which results to show first.

In the below quote, where it uses the word “entity,” it’s a reference to what you normally think of as a noun (a person, a place, or a thing):

“A mapping from names to entities has been built by analyzing Google Search logs, and, in particular, by analyzing the web queries people are using to get to the Wikipedia article for a given entity…

For instance, this table maps the name Jaguar to the entity Jaguar car with a probability of around 45 % and to the entity Jaguar animal with a probability of around 35%.”

In plain English, that means researchers discovered that 45% of people who search for Jaguar are looking for information about the automobile and 35% are looking for information about the animal.

That’s user intent that is segmented by popularity.

The takeaway here is that if your content is about selling a product and the top-ranked pages are about how to make that product then it may be possible that the popular user intent for that keyword is how to make that product and not where to buy that product.

That insight may mean that new content is needed to target the underlying “how to make” latent question that is inherent in that search query.

Insight 2: Link Ecosystem Has Changed

Blogging was at an all-time high twelve years ago. Many people were going online to churn out content and link out to interesting websites.

Aside from the recipe niche, that is no longer the case and that may be affecting the link signal that Google uses for ranking purposes. This is super important to think about.

Fewer People Searching for WordPress

There are fewer and fewer people searching for WordPress every year. This indicates that WordPress is declining in popularity in the general population.

The search volume for the keyword “WordPress” has declined by 71% since September 2011.

Fewer People Searching for Blogs

It’s not just WordPress usage that is going down. There are also fewer people searching for blogs, with a pattern that mirrors the decline in searches for WordPress.

The Link Ecosystem in Decline

There may be many reasons why blogging has declined in popularity.

It could be social media or it could be the introduction of the iPhone and Android changed how the public interacts online.

The Link Ecosystem Has Declined

One thing that is indisputable is that fewer people are blogging and the link ecosystem has suffered a strong decline. What caused it is beside the point.

Gary Illyes of Google confirmed that the motivation for turning the nofollow link attribute directive into a hint was so that Google can use those links for ranking purposes.

“Yes. They had been missing important data that links had, due to nofollow. They can provide better search results now that they consider rel=nofollowed links into consideration.”

It’s not unreasonable to consider the use of nofollow links for ranking purposes was done because there are fewer natural links being generated.

With fewer links being naturally generated, it is highly likely that it’s going to affect how websites are ranked and that Google would be increasingly selective about the links it uses.

Today, it is increasingly clear that link strategies that rely on blog links are more easily detected as spam since fewer people are creating blogs.

The takeaway here is that when creating a link building strategy, it’s important to be aware that the link ecosystem is in decline.

That means that freely given natural links are also in decline.

Link strategies must be more creative in terms of identifying who is left linking to websites and understanding why they are linking to websites.

Takeaway About Links

The time for being selective about getting links from so-called “authority” sites is long past.

Get what you can get as long as it is natural and freely given by any relevant website.

Insight 3: Link Drought Link Building Strategy

Because there are fewer natural links being freely given it’s time to rethink the race to obtain the right anchor text and massive amounts of links.

While a freely given link with a relevant anchor text is useful it’s rarely going to happen naturally.

So maybe it’s time to move away from old traditional link building focused on anchor text and guest posting (which today means paid links).

Instead, it may be useful to cultivate links from news and magazines, relevant organizations, and some educational organizations.

Now more than ever it’s time to focus on outreach regardless of whether the outreach results in links. Just take the traffic.

Insight 4: Search Results Show What People Want to See

Ever walk down a supermarket cereal aisle and note how many sugar-laden kinds of cereal line the shelves? That’s user satisfaction in action. People expect to see sugar bomb cereals in their cereal aisle and supermarkets satisfy that user intent.

I often look at the Fruit Loops on the cereal aisle and think, “Who eats that stuff?” Apparently, a lot of people do, that’s why the box is on the supermarket shelf – because people expect to see it there.

Google is doing the same thing as the supermarket. Google is showing the results that are most likely to satisfy users, just like that cereal aisle.

Sometimes, that means showing newbie 101 level answers. Sometimes that means showing something incredibly racist and sad.

For example, in 2009, Google had to apologize for showing an image of Michelle Obama that was altered to resemble a monkey every time someone searched on her name.

Why did Google show that result? Because most people searching on the name Michelle Obama were the kind of people who were satisfied seeing an image of her that resembled a monkey.

Remember those sugar-laden cereals in the supermarket? That’s what those kinds of results are. It’s what I refer to as a “Fruit Loops algorithm,” a popularity-based algorithm that gives users what they expect to see.

Satisfying user intent is what Google means when they talk about showing relevant results. In the old days, it meant showing webpages that contained the keywords that a user typed. Now it means showing the webpage that most users expect to see.

Essentially, the search results pages are similar to the cereal aisle at your supermarket. That’s not a criticism, it’s an observation.

I think it’s useful to think of the search results as a supermarket aisle and considering what kind of “cereal” is most popular. It may influence your content strategy in a positive way.

Insight 5: Expand the Range of Content

Google’s search results are biased to show the content that users expect to see.

This is why Google shows YouTube videos in the search results. It’s what people want to see.

It’s why Google shows featured snippets, it’s what satisfies the most people today who use mobile phones.

It’s not entirely accurate to complain that Google’s search results favor YouTube videos. People find video content useful, particularly for the how-to type of content. That’s why Google shows it.

It’s a bias in the search results, yes. But it’s a reflection of the users’ bias, not Google’s bias.

So if the user has a bias that favors YouTube videos, what should your online strategy response be?

Write more content and build links to it? Or is the proper response to shift to the kind of content users want, in this case, video?

So if you see the search results are favoring a certain kind of content, pivot to producing that kind of content.

Learn to read the room in terms of what users want by paying close attention to what Google is ranking.

Insight 6: Drops in Ranking and NLP

Drops in ranking can sometimes be explained by a shift in how Google interprets what users mean when they search for something.

Google is increasingly using Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms which influences what Google believes users want when they search for something.

For example, I witnessed a near rewrite of what kind of content ranked at the top in a certain niche. Informational content zipped to the top, commercial content dropped to the bottom of the top 10.

There was nothing wrong with the commercial sites that dropped, other than how Google understood user intent changed.

Trying to “fix” the commercial sites by adding more links, disavowing links, or adding more keywords to the page is unlikely to help the rankings.

Fixing something that isn’t broken never helps.

That’s why sometimes, it’s a good idea to study the search results first when diagnosing why a site lost ranking.

There might not be anything to fix. But there may be changes needing to be considered.

If your site has dropped in rankings, review what Google is ranking.

If the kinds of sites still ranking feature different content (focus, topic, etc) then the reason why your site dropped may not be about something that’s wrong.

It may be about something that needs changing.

This is why I use the phrase “Fruit Loops Algo” to refer to Google’s user-intent-focused algorithm. It’s not meant as a slur. It’s meant to illustrate the reality of how Google’s search engine works.

Many people want Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch breakfast cereals. The supermarkets respond by giving consumers what they want.

Search algorithms can operate in a similar manner.

A Better Definition of Relevance

That’s not keyword relevance to search terms you’re looking at — it’s relevance to what most users are expecting to see.

Sometimes that is expressed in how many links a site receives.

“Internet search engines aim to identify documents or other items that are relevant to a user’s needs and to present the documents or items in a manner that is most useful to the user. Such activity often involves a fair amount of mind-reading—inferring from various clues what the user wants.

Understanding user intent is so important that Google and other search engines have developed eye-tracking and viewport time technologies to measure where on a search result mobile users are lingering. This helps to measure user satisfaction and understand user intent for mobile users.

Is Google or the User Biased Toward Brands?

Some people believe that Google has a big brand bias. But that’s not it at all.

If you consider this in light of what we know about Google’s algorithm and how it tries to satisfy user intent, then you will understand that if Google shows a big brand it’s because that is what users expect to see.

If you want to change that situation then you must create a campaign to build awareness for your site so that users begin to expect to see your site at the top.

Yes, links play a role in that. But other factors such as what users type into search engines also play a role.

Someone once argued that Google should show results about the river when someone typed Amazon into Google. But that is unreasonable if what most people expect to see is Amazon the shopping site.

Again, Google is not matching keywords in that search query. Google is identifying the user intent and showing users what they want to see.

Key Takeaways Understand the Search Results

The 10 links are not ordered by which page has the best on-page SEO or the most links. Those 10 links are ordered by user intent.

Write for User Intent

Understand what users want to accomplish and make that the focus of the content. Too often publishers write content focused on keywords, what some refer to as “semantically rich” content.

In 2023 I published an article about User Experience Marketing in which I proposed that focusing on user intent will put you in line with how Google ranks websites.

•What task or goal is the content helping the site visitor accomplish?”

Understand Content Popularity

Content popularity is about writing content that can be understood by the widest audience possible. That means paying attention to the minimum grade level necessary for understanding your content.

If the grade level is high, this means your content may be too difficult for some users to understand.

I am not saying that Google prefers sites that a sixth-grader can understand. I am only stating that if you want to make your site easily understood by search engines and the most users, then paying attention to the difficulty of your content may be useful.

Google is not a keyword-matching search engine. Google is arguably a User Intent Matching Engine. Knowing and understanding this will improve everyone’s SEO.

There is a profound insight into understanding this and adapting your search marketing strategy to it.

Use What Is Known About Google’s Ranking Algorithms

Google publishes an astonishing amount of information about the algorithms used to rank websites. There are many other research papers that Google does not acknowledge whether or not the technology is in use.

One can level up their SEO and marketing success by knowing what algorithms Google has admitted to using and what kinds of algorithms have been researched.

More Resources:

Featured image: Master1305/Shutterstock

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How To Follow Websites In Google Chrome

Last month, Google announced a new experimental feature that lets users follow any website within Chrome, essentially eliminating the need for a dedicated RSS reader app on their smartphone. The software giant is initially testing the feature on Chrome for Android. In this article, we will take a look at how you can enable the Web Feed feature right now and follow websites in Google Chrome.

Follow Websites in Google Chrome (2023)

Chrome’s Follow feature is getting a gradual rollout right now. At the moment, it is hidden behind a feature flag in Chrome. In addition, it is rolling out for users in the United States. That said, here’s how you can enable and try out the new ‘Web Feed’ RSS Reader feature in Google Chrome right now.

Note: As of writing this article, if you live outside the U.S., you may not see Chrome’s Follow feature even after enabling the flag. If you would like to test this feature ahead of its official release, you can get a VPN app for Android and switch to a U.S. Google Play account. You can follow our guide on installing Android apps not available in your country.

Steps to Enable Web Feed RSS Reader in Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome on your Android device and visit chrome://flags.

2. In the search box at the top of the page, type “Web Feed” and choose “Enabled” from the dropdown menu next to the Chrome flag. You can also directly access the Chrome flag by pasting the following address in Chrome’s address bar:


3. After enabling the Chrome flag, do not forget to restart the browser. You will now see a new “Following” section on Chrome’s new tab page when you reopen the browser. For detailed steps on how to follow websites and add them to the Web Feed in Chrome, check out the next section.

How to Use Web Feed to Follow Websites in Google Chrome

1. Visit your favorite website and tap on the vertical three dots menu at the top right corner. On the pop-up menu, tap on the new “Follow” button that shows up along with the website’s URL and favicon.

2. Go back to the new tab page, and you will now see a scrollable feed of posts from the website you just added in reverse chronological order. Notably, Chrome will show the AMP version of the website.

4. Under Manage settings, tap on “Following”, and you can now choose to unfollow websites you no longer want to see in your feed. To unfollow a website’s RSS feed in Chrome, all you have to do is tap on the checkmark next to the website’s name.

Browse a Website’s RSS Feeds in Google Chrome

So, that’s how you can follow websites with Chrome’s Follow feature. As mentioned earlier, this is still in the testing phase and will take a while to roll out to general users. If you are looking to try out more Chrome-related features, check out our guides on how to enable the built-in price tracking tool in Chrome, disable FLoC in Chrome, and also remove your Google account from Chrome.

Why Google Ranks Singular And Plural Keywords Differently

Google’s John Mueller was asked about why Google ranks different pages for singular and plural versions of keywords. John gave details on why Google’s algorithm treated plural keywords differently from singular.

A publisher related that a client’s site ranked different sections of a site for singular and plural.

This is the question:

“I have a question about singular and plural form of keyword.

One of our clients the keyword is garden shed Sydney and garden sheds Sydney.

Now, for garden sheds Sydney, the category page, the garden shed category page ranks in Google.

But for the singular form garden shed Sydney, one of the blog posts is ranking on Google instead of the category page.

Why is this different? Both keywords are the same, just singular and plural.”

Related: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: Everything You Need to Know

Why Google Ranks Different Pages for Singular and Plural Keywords

Google’s John Mueller prefaced his answer with a disclaimer that what he was about to say was in general and not specific to the client site.

Then Mueller started sharing details of why Google’s algorithm ranks different sites for some queries that are singular and plural, even though they can be seen as synonyms.

“…we would see those queries as being different… And when we see them as being slightly different, then we might think that one or the other of these pages makes more sense to show.

So usually with singular and plural, we do recognize that they’re synonyms, more or less.

But we also recognize that maybe there’s something kind of unique to one of them or to the other one.

Such as, if you’re looking for a plural maybe you’re looking more for like a list or a comparison page or maybe a category page of different kinds of these items.

So that’s something where our systems try to take that into account and it can result in slightly different results being shown for one or the other.”

That’s an important point he’s making. I’ve noticed this in the search results. For some queries it appears that users expect to see lists of products or services.

When a user searches with a plural, for some searches it means that they expect to see a comparison of sites or a comparison of products.

This is why the client of the SEO who asked the question was ranking with a category page for the plural search phrase.

The category page satisfies the search intent for a listing of multiple products that is inherent in the plural version of the keyword phrase.

Google’s Mueller then addressed the difficultly of trying to update pages in order to rank the desired page for a singular or plural version of a keyword phrase.

“It’s a bit tricky when you’re in that situation. You’re like, oh but I want my other page to rank instead of this one. And you don’t want to remove the page you currently have ranking.

That’s something where you… can’t really force that, other than to tweak things subtly, that you kind of make sure that the right words, the right phrasing is on these pages, that you link them internally properly.

But that’s sometimes kind of tricky.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that just because when you take a step back that these words or these queries sound very similar and they seem very much the same, it might well be that user do treat them as different queries and do expect different kinds of results.

So… before just jumping in and saying oh I need to have the same page rank for both of these, maybe check with some other people to see, does it make sense to change this?

Or is this something where it’s actually not that bad?  …Another thing you can do is the page that’s currently ranking, put some kind of a call to action on it and say hey, if you’re looking for this, also check out this other page.”

Related: 8 of the Worst SEO Mistakes Even the Experts Make

In my opinion it’s best to let the search engine results pages tell you what the search intent is and then rank the most appropriate page for that search intent.

The SEO assumed he had a problem in that the category page ranked for the plural version of a search phrase and a blog article ranked for the singular.

But that’s not a problem. It’s a reflection of the search intent difference between the singular and plural.

Trying to “fix” a page that’s not broken could actually backfire by losing rankings for one of the keyword versions, since it’s been optimized for something it’s not really optimal for.

The relation of singular and plural versions of a keyword phrase to different kinds of web pages (general versus specific) is something many have known about but not really discussed all that much.

Google’s John Mueller clarified that plural versions of a keyword may indicate a search intent for multiple products or a comparison of different service providers.

It’s good to see Mueller confirming what some in the search marketing industry had observed in the search results.

Watch Mueller answer the question here:

How Facebook Algorithm Ranks News Feed Content

Facebook published an article that explains how the Facebook News Feed algorithm works. Compared with Facebook’s news feed algorithm patent, both documents explain much about how Facebook ranks posts in the news feed.

Machine Learning and Ranking

Facebook’s news feed algorithm is a machine learning ranking system. It’s not just one algorithm though. It’s a combination of multiple algorithms that work together in different phases.

All of those different layers are applied in order to predict what a Facebook member is going to find relevant to them.

The goal of the algorithms is to to rank which posts show up in the news feed, the order they are in and to select the posts that a Facebook member is likely to be interested in and to interact with.

It’s not just a few signals either that are considered. Facebook states that they use thousands of signals.

According to Facebook:

“For each person on Facebook, there are thousands of signals that we need to evaluate to determine what that person might find most relevant… to predict what each of those people wants to see in their feed…”

Facebook News Feed Ranking Signals Characteristics of a Facebook Post

One of the ranking signals that Facebook discusses is the “characteristics” of a post.

Facebook is using a feature or quality of a post and determining whether this is the kind of thing that a user tends to interact with more.

For example, if a post is accompanied with a colorful image and a member has a history of interacting with posts with colorful images, then that’s going to be ranked higher.

If a post is accompanied by a video and that’s what a Facebook member likes to interact with, then that’s going to be ranked higher for that member.

Whether the post has an image, a video, if friends of a user are tagged in the post, those and other characteristics of a post are used as a ranking factors for determining whether a post is going to be shown to a user and how high it’s going to be ranked in the news feed.

Facebook used the example of a fictional user called Juan (the name “John” in Spanish) to illustrate the characteristics ranking factor.

This is what Facebook said about the characteristics ranking factor:

If Juan has engaged with more video content than photos in the past, the like prediction for Wei’s photo of his cocker spaniel might be fairly low.

In this case, our ranking algorithm would rank Saanvi’s running video higher than Wei’s dog photo because it predicts a higher probability that Juan would like it.”

Time is a Facebook Ranking Factor

What’s interesting about the example of the fictional “Juan” is that Facebook mentioned that when a post was made is a ranking factor.

The Facebook news feed patent is called, Selection and Presentation of News Stories Identifying External Content to Social Networking System Users.

This is what the Facebook News Feed patent says:

“…news stories may be ranked based on chronological data associated with interactions with the news stories, so that the most recently shared news stories have a higher ranking.”

That seems to confirm the value in posting the same post more than once during the course of a day. It may reach different people across time periods and those who interact with the post may help it to be shown to their friends, etc.

Engagement and Interest

Another ranking factor involves predicting whether a user will be likely to be interested in or engage with a post. Facebook uses a number of signals to make that prediction.

The article is clear on that point:

“…the system determines which posts show up in your News Feed, and in what order, by predicting what you’re most likely to be interested in or engage with.”

And some of those factors that Facebook uses are signals from past posts and people that the user has interacted with. Facebook uses these past interactions to help it predict what a user will interact with in the future.

According to Facebook:

“These predictions are based on a variety of factors, including what and whom you’ve followed, liked, or engaged with recently.”

Each of these forms of engagement receive a ranking score and are subsequently ranked.

To summarize, the ranking process begins by identifying candidate posts to rank, from a pool of posts that were made since the user’s last login.

The next step is to assign ranking scores to each post.

This is how Facebook explains it by using an example of a fictional user named Juan:

“Next, the system needs to score each post for a variety of factors, such as the type of post, similarity to other items, and how much the post matches what Juan tends to interact with.

To calculate this for more than 1,000 posts, for each of the billions of users — all in real time — we run these models for all candidate stories in parallel on multiple machines, called predictors.”

Ranking Signals are Personalized to the User

An interesting insight into ranking factors is that they are weighted differently from one user to the next. Weighted means for when a ranking signal is more important than another ranking signal.

What Facebook revealed is that for one person, the prediction that they would “like” a post could have a stronger influence on whether that post is ranked.

Facebook shared:

“Next is the main scoring pass, where most of the personalization happens.

Here, a score for each story is calculated independently, and then all 500 posts are put in order by score.

Any action a person rarely engages in (for instance, a like prediction that’s very close to zero) automatically gets a minimal role in ranking, as the predicted value is very low.”

What that means is that in order for a post to be successful, the post must inspire different forms of engagement from every user.

Contextual Features for Diversity of News Feed

The last step in the ranking process is to ensure diversity of the type of content that is shown in the news feed. That way the user’s feed doesn’t become repetitive.

Multiple Personalized Facebook Ranking Factors

Facebook didn’t list every ranking factor used to rank posts in a news feed. But they did give an idea, an overview of how the ranking process happens and what kinds of behavior are prioritized. We also learned that ranking signals are dynamic and can be weighted differently depending on the person.


How Does News Feed Predict What You Want to See?

How Machine Learning Powers Facebook’s News Feed Ranking Algorithm

Selection and Presentation of News Stories Identifying External Content to Social Networking System Users (PDF)

Sentiment Polarity for Users of a Social Networking System (PDF)

Re-Ranking Story Content (PDF)

Resolving Entities from Multiple Data Sources for Assistant Systems (PDF)

How Ecommerce Websites Can Achieve E

When Google updated their Search Quality Rater Guidelines in July this year, the concept of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) gained spotlight once again.

The updated guidelines increased the focus on E-A-T, as well as the author of the content as an individual – not just the authority of the website/brand as an entity.

For ecommerce websites, achieving E-A-T is a balance of optimizing page formats and content design for conversion and achieving the necessary on-page signals that Google is looking for.

This is especially important seeing as ecommerce pages will likely fall under the category of YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages, meaning the information displayed on those pages will be expected to be of the highest accuracy, and trustworthiness.

What the Guidelines Say

When it comes to E-A-T for product category and individual product pages, the concept differs to that of long-form content and blog articles.

For an ecommerce site, authoritative text on pages isn’t enough. All features and elements of the page contribute to the perceived user quality.

In April 2023, Moz published a Whiteboard Friday video that I think gives a great breakdown on the type of content you need to include on product pages. It also ties in with the idea of search intent – and optimizing pages to match search queries, not just those with the highest CPC average monthly search volumes.

This ties in with what Google outlines in their guidelines as to what they expect to see when looking for E-A-T on ecommerce websites.

For the quality raters, whose influence is only minor, to establish the E-A-T of your commerce pages, there are certain elements they need to be able to clearly identify to score expertise, authority, and trust.

Within the rater guidelines themselves, as an example of high-quality E-A-T for shopping pages, Google gives the example of the chúng tôi Deluxe Book Pack product page. This page demonstrates:

Very high level of E-A-T for the purpose of the page.

Very positive reputation (website).

A satisfying or comprehensive amount of high-quality main content (MC).

So how can this be achieved by all ecommerce site owners?

What Demonstrates Expertise?

The examples provided within the guidelines suggest that what counts as expertise for a commerce page are:

The expertise and reputation of the product manufacturer.

The expertise and reputation of the brand in regard to the products being sold.

“recommendations by experts, news articles, and other credible information…”

This highlights the importance of traditional marketing, public relations, and outreach (not for links) and how they impact SEO efforts.

Simply put: real businesses do real marketing activities and make real noise both online and offline, and people talk about it.

Expertise is something granted by your peers and isn’t something that can always be credibly self-assigned.

In order to receive peer recommendations and have others talking about the brand and website online, you need to work on your reputation.

You can do this by:

Actively engaging with other members of the industry and contributing to content.

Taking newsworthy actions such as sponsorship deals and charity donations.

Even tactics more closely related to backlink generation, such as sending out products for review.

These are all activities genuine businesses engage in.

What’s the opportunity cost of not doing activities such as these?

You will have less of a reputation online and within your peers than those who have actively engaged in these promotions.

Reputation requires a lot of trust and editorial freedom.

What Demonstrates Authority?

Because the store produces this backpack, they are experts on the product, making the page on their own website authoritative.

This implies that for content to be authoritative in Google’s eyes, the content must be coming from either the manufacturer or an industry expert.

On this basis, a smaller ecommerce site with limited reach could be considered to have authority if it claims to be the authority over its own products.

A good example of this would be within a small niche, where an ecommerce site caters for a specific and specialist line of products.

Likewise, a larger ecommerce site asking as a marketplace for a number of different manufacturers and products can be verified much more easily, and if they do have affiliations with those sellers.

This is especially important when dealing with high value, luxury products that are often the focus of misrepresentation online.

Rolex, for example, is a prestigious and sought-after brand but cannot be sold online.

This Rolex listing can be verified as genuine immediate because:

There is no option to purchase the item directly online, instead a number of CTAs to inquire about the product

There is a prominent “Rolex Official Retailer” badge in the top left, which links through to the Rolex site.

The page itself is hosted on chúng tôi but a part of the retailer’s main navigation.

What Demonstrates Trust?

From experience, this is where conflicts between SEO and design come into play.

Essentially, any potential questions, concerns, or additional queries that a user may have regarding the product or service should be openly addressed – especially if competitors selling the same (or similar) openly address them.

At the risk of having long pages, information should be comprehensive and readily available.

As a best practice, ensure that product pages contain:

Information about delivery costs and durations.

Any other additional costs, taxes, or tariffs that could be incurred shipping to specific locations.

Return policies, product guarantees, and other similar information should be accessible.

Company contact information, live chat, customer support, and FAQs all should be easy to find.

It’s also important to remember that Google is considering this information to be a part of the main content of the page, and not support content. This should also be reflected in site design and, where possible, accessible with JavaScript disabled or visible on page load.

Other and more obvious ways of earning trust include gaining reviews and having a secure website.

When it comes to reviews, a study conducted by the Association for Psychological Science found that users are swayed more by the number of reviews, rather than the overall review score itself.

A second study conducted by the Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center also found that users tend to trust overall review scores between 4.2 and 4.5 (out of five), as higher overall scores raised suspicion.

More SEO Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, October 2023

Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice

A guide to Mastering SEO when there is no Google

Operating in a world where Google and many other familiar channels don’t exist is something that many search marketers in the west might feel unsure of. The fact is, many of the fundamental rules are the same, but the context in which you’re operating becomes dramatically different.

For search marketers that successfully venture into the Chinese market, the ‘size of the prize’ is huge. With over 640 million internet users, you’ve got the potential to reach an audience that’s more than twice the size of the US. Yes, twice the size!

For any business looking to grow an audience in China, gaining visibility and coverage on the nation’s biggest search engine Baidu should form a key part of any strategy. With SERPs that may look familiar on the surface, Baidu has a lot of features that actually differ from what we’re used to, and therefore gaining a good understanding of the basics is vital before you dive in.

Many of the questions we receive on Baidu SEO centre around the differences between optimising your sites for Google, and how that translates to Baidu. The good news is that once you’ve understood the basic difference, your existing skill set is entirely transferable.

To provide the high level view on what to consider, I’ve listed some of the biggest differences below.

1. Baidu Webmaster Tools – much like Google, one of the first ports of call is getting your domain registered with Baidu Webmaster Tools. The layout and functionality doesn’t differ too much from Google’s Search Console, so you shouldn’t struggle too much to work out what’s going on.Registering an account enables you to cover the basics such as submitting sitemaps and monitoring performance. We’ve seen some great quick wins from completing this often forgotten step alone.

2. Search Volume – on first glance, keyword search volume reported in Baidu’s keyword planner equivalent ‘Baidu Tuiguang’ might not look all that large. However, unlike the monthly average search volume we’re used to seeing, here we have daily average. Taking that into consideration and comparing a few terms, you’ll quickly see that the traffic potential via Baidu is vast!

4. Link Building – historically Baidu have been slower to address spam, and as such link building tactics we might consider to be dead and buried have worked in Baidu until more recently. If you’re engaging in a link building campaign to boost visibility in Baidu, you need to be aware of their ‘Money Plant’ algorithm update which similarly to Penguin, aims to reduce the effectiveness of spammy link building. As with Google, if you’re embarking on a campaign to build long-term visibility – you’re safest bet is to build the best work you can, aiming 100% on quality links and citations.

5. Research Tools – Baidu have a huge range of tools available to SEO’s looking to research the best opportunities. From their Baidu Tuiguang keyword tool through to Baidu Feng Yun Bang (trends) there’s an enormous amount of ability to drill down into some real specifics such as rising trends in geographical locations, and data on related search terms and topics that you might be interested in targeting.

If you work as an SEO for a business expanding into China and want to build a good understanding of Baidu – take a look through our comprehensive guide to Baidu SEO to help get you on the right path.

The guide goes through everything you need to know; from the history of Baidu, to key algorithm updates, and therefore how your tactical approach should adapt from what you already know when working in Google.

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