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In 2023, having an online presence for your restaurant business is essential.
When looking for new places to eat, people turn to search for thousands of results at their fingertips – and the competition is fierce.
If you want locals to find your restaurant while searching for places to eat in the area, you need to work on your online presence and appear prominently in those search results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best and most affordable ways to distinguish your restaurant online.
While on-page SEO is all about optimizing your website, off-page SEO focuses on spreading your reach online.
Below, you will find an off-page SEO checklist for restaurants featuring all the elements you need to keep track of regularly.
You will learn about Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, Yelp, social media, link building, and more.1. Claim Your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as Google My Business, is one of the most powerful tools for businesses everywhere.
It allows owners to increase their business’ visibility on Google and make a good first impression by highlighting what makes them unique.
Whatever information you decide to highlight is what customers will see when searching for your restaurant or restaurants near them on Google.
If you want your customers to find your restaurant on Google Search and Google Maps, you need to claim and fill out your Google Business Profile.
The more information you add about your restaurant, the bigger the chances of hungry customers finding it.
Your restaurant website is the most crucial element you need to add to Google Business Profile.
It will bring you an incredibly valuable free backlink and make it easy for people to navigate to your website.
Equally important for business is displaying your menu and order page.
Additional must-have Google Business Profile information includes:
Photos of your dishes and the restaurant ambiance.
To make your GBP profile more attractive, showcase your daily specials, promotions, events, and behind-the-scenes videos.
If you have multiple restaurant locations, it’s good practice to have a separate Google Business Profile for each.2. Claim Your Profiles On Yelp And TripAdvisor
Yelp and TripAdvisor are both a close second on this off-page restaurant SEO checklist.
According to a BrightLocal survey, 98% of customers read online reviews of businesses in 2023.
Websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp are visited by millions of consumers every month.
Naturally, that’s where your restaurant needs to be.
Add your restaurant to TripAdvisor and Yelp, or claim your listing if it’s already there.Yelp For Restaurants
After you fill in your basic information, follow these steps to customize your Yelp profile and stand out in the crowd:
Add your menu.
Provide additional information on your services, like delivery, table reservations, and online payment methods.
Add a restaurant description that you optimize with relevant keywords such as “Italian restaurant,” “pizza,” or “New York” – access this guide to learn how to do keyword research.
Add the Yelp badge to your restaurant website.
Grow your Yelp rating by encouraging reviews and filling in your profile 100%.
Add a call-to-action button that redirects customers to your website.TripAdvisor For Restaurants
The rules above apply to TripAdvisor, too.
Start by filling in profile basics like name, address, and website.
Next, take your profile to the next level with these tips on how to rank higher on TripAdvisor:
Collect reviews and reply promptly (starting with the negative ones).
Keep your listing up to date.
Order branded TripAdvisor stickers to decorate your windows.
Set up direct messaging so customers can contact you directly. (This can help you solve complaints without affecting your public reviews).
Create a Storyboard where you showcase your best photos and reviews.3. Link Your Website On Social Media
Social media is another vital aspect of off-page SEO for restaurants. While it’s not a direct ranking factor, it can still indirectly influence SEO.
How? Having your social media profiles redirect to your website will bring you additional traffic and business, and build your authority online.
However, having the profiles isn’t enough.
You must have an active presence and interact with your followers to encourage them to share your content.
Each social network has its function.
On Facebook, you can post your menu using the ‘Start Order’ button to actively boost sales.
Instagram is where your dishes will shine. Post photos that your followers won’t be able to resist.
Twitter is an excellent place to address customer concerns.
Use it to update followers on opening hour changes, new menu items, events, and anything else they might want to know.
While Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the holy trinity of social media platforms, there are other platforms you can leverage that can wield surprising results, such as Pinterest, Snapchat, or TikTok.
On Pinterest, you can post delicious photos of your menu, link to your website, create recipe boards, interact with other people in the restaurant industry, and create exclusive giveaways.
Snapchat can help you attract more local customers using geofilters and engaging your audience with little games and hidden discount codes in your stories.
Use TikTok to connect to a younger audience, create hashtag challenges, do funny skits and challenges, and take customers behind the scenes.
Don’t forget to add all your social media profiles to your website.
Use social media to share user-generated content too.
However, ensure you have your customers’ express permission to share their posts on your pages.4. Do Link Building Outreach
Getting quality backlinks from high-authority websites can help improve your site’s authority, reputation, and search rankings.
Having your restaurant featured in local online publications will expose your business to new customers, as well.
First, look for high-rated websites in the food industry and approach them with a guest post pitch.
You can offer your knowledge as a chef or restaurant owner and include a link to your restaurant website in the article.
Next, find local business directories and get in touch to add your restaurant.
The same goes for websites that rank the best restaurants in an area.
Offer to include a discount code for their visitors to sweeten the deal.Create A Restaurant Blog
If you want relevant websites to link to you naturally, consider opening a blog where you share your experience in the restaurant industry.
Remember to do keyword research to find topics that people are interested in reading about so your articles can rank high.
Here are some restaurant blog topic ideas you can explore:
How-tos and cooking guides (how to cook seafood, how to season rice, what wine goes with fish).
Lists (X common kitchen ingredients, X dinner etiquette tips, X types of food for movie night).
Menu, food, or industry trends (food trends 2023, restaurant trends 2023)
Menu updates, limited items, and FAQs.
New features or products (how to place an order online, how to book a table online, how to pay for your meal online).
Pages about you and your staff (employee of the month, meet the owner, the story behind your restaurant).
When looking for keywords, keep in mind your restaurant’s cuisine and key selling point.
If you own a vegetarian restaurant, for instance, you won’t be writing about “how to cut steak” but rather “vegetarian lunch box ideas” or “how to season vegetables for grilling.”5. Collaborate With Food Influencers
Food bloggers and influencers with a social media following can be excellent promoters of your restaurant.
They can help boost traffic to your website and increase your search engine ranking by linking to your domain.
Invite local influencers for exclusive tastings of your newest menu items so they can post about them on their blogs and social media.
You can also provide their followers with a special discount coupon.
You can find local influencers on subreddits created by and for food bloggers or use tools like chúng tôi to look for foodie groups meeting in your town.
Try paid blogger outreach software if you’re willing to invest more in blogger outreach.6. Keep Your NAP Updated Throughout All Platforms
Consistency of NAP (name, address, phone number) is an important step in restaurant SEO and a must-have item on this off-page SEO checklist.
Your NAP information should be available on your website, social media, and third-party websites.
Search engines are particularly fond of this information, as it helps users find the answers to their questions.
For your restaurant information to be shown in relevant searches, you must display your NAP information and update it constantly across all platforms.
Make sure the information is spelled the same and is displayed in the same format.
Otherwise, it might confuse users and make you untrustworthy for search engines.7. Add Your Restaurant On Popular Review Platforms And Business Directories
Once you’ve covered your bases with Google Business Profile, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, it’s time to research additional directories and websites where you can list your restaurant.
Some of these will help you get a valuable backlink, but all will expose you to new customers.
For example, Bing might not be as popular as Google, but it’s worth adding your restaurant to Bing Places.
Here are other websites where you should add your restaurant to boost off-page SEO:
Good food is just one element of your restaurant’s success.
Without a solid online presence, you can’t cater to today’s audience of food lovers.
Getting attention online starts with your website but continues with off-page restaurant SEO.
From social media to review websites and food blogs, check off all the items on this off-page SEO checklist to make your restaurant a fixture in the local community – and a dominant force in search results.
Featured Image: Monster Ztudio/Shutterstock
You're reading Improve Rankings With This Off
How would you rate your small business SEO performance, and what should you focus on next for greater success?
SEO is the process of optimizing your site to rank higher in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Your goal is to get in front of the searchers who could become your customers.
It’s important that your business appears in different types of search results, too – Google Maps, organic, Featured Snippets, images and videos, and more – in order to maximize your visibility.
Small business SEO is uniquely challenging in that you probably don’t have a dedicated SEO team or a lot of time to stay up to date on all the latest developments in search.
You’re competing not only against other small businesses but also publishers, big brands, and all kinds of other informational sources that appear in search results.
And, you definitely don’t have the budget those larger rivals do.
What’s a small business to do?
In this article, you’ll find an 11-point SEO checklist for small businesses that help you prioritize and focus on those SEO tasks that will really move the needle for you, including:
What to address.
Why it’s important.
The tools to use.
The time commitment involved.1. Nail Down What Problems You Solve For Customers
Before jumping into SEO, you must first understand how people search. You can waste a lot of money in paid search targeting the wrong people, or delivering the right people the wrong message.
Knowing who you’re trying to reach and what problem you’ll solve for them is essential.
Start by asking yourself questions like:
How, when, and where do customers determine they need your product or service?
Is it away from home, using their cell phone? Is it at home using a desktop computer or tablet?
Is it driven by a personal desire, like good food to eat or a great place to spend some time?
Or is it caused by a disruptive event like a home or personal issue?
These questions color the language your customers will use to find your business.
This information will drive your keyword research and content creation, among other tasks.
(You can use these free keyword research tools to get you started.)2. Fix Your Technical SEO Issues
Your small business website might look fine on the outside, with great graphics, colors, and fonts.
But if there are technical problems “under the hood,” it will likely impact your rankings and traffic.
Before embarking on a content or link campaign, spend time fixing the foundation.
You need a solid website structure so search engines can properly crawl and index your webpages.
Some of the most common technical SEO problems have to do with:
Improper use of canonical link elements.
You’ll learn more about what it takes to conduct a technical SEO audit here.3. Optimize Your Pages
On-page optimization is more than just putting a target keyword in strategic places on the page.
It’s important to develop properly structured, high-quality content written in natural language that incorporates your targeted keywords.
Use every reasonable (i.e., non-spammy) opportunity to add your targeted keywords appropriately on your website.
Otherwise, you’re missing important ranking signals. In other words, you must optimize your:
Title tags and subheadings.
Images and videos.
And more – get the On-Page SEO Guide to learn more.4. Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Your GBP strategy should be a focal point for any small business. It’s free, easy to update, and can make a big impact.
Ideally, your Google Business Profile will provide all of the information a potential customer needs to call you, get driving directions, order online, or otherwise convert directly from the listing.
The first step toward optimizing your Google business listing is claiming and verifying it.
Be sure to fill out as many fields as you can and include photos and videos to enhance your listing.
Your category selection is super important. Be sure to choose the correct categories for your business.
The primary category guides which attributes and other features are available to you.
What does that mean?
In local search results, there is a section on your listing where people can ask questions and get answers.
As a small business, it is important that you stay on top of these questions.
You can even create your own questions and provide the answers to proactively provide information that might help searchers convert.
Read The New Google Business Profile: A Complete Guide to learn more.5. Find Out What Competitors Are Doing & Do It Better
Competitors online might be different than the competitors within your local area.
For SEO purposes, we are the most concerned with the websites that are showing up in the top five to 10 positions of Google search results for your targeted keywords.
Those are the competitors you want to analyze.
When doing a competitive analysis, use tools to find out:
What those sites are ranking for.
How many pages they have indexed.
Their website structure.
The quality of their backlink profile.
Whether they’re ranking for long-tail keywords you could target.
Also, we know page speed is a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Run their landing pages through page speed tools. Look for areas of weakness.
Google’s own Page Speed Insights is a great place to start.
For example, are their pages running slow? Are there keywords they have missed that you can target?
See 3 Ways to Quickly Compare Your Website With Your Competitors for more helpful tips.6. Manage Local Business Listings & Citations
In addition to Google Business Profile, you need to control the accuracy of your local business data.
Consistency is crucial.
Data aggregators (e.g., Neustar Localeze, Factual) share information about local businesses, including the name, address, and phone number (NAP).
Make sure your business’s NAP information is consistent and accurate. Local business listings and citations (i.e., online mentions of a business) can help improve your local presence.
It can be helpful to sign up for a service or use a local citations tool that will distribute your NAP information and monitor for inaccuracies.7. Get Links From Websites In Your Local Area
Most small business owners never think about links.
However, getting links to your site can help improve your rankings.
That can mean more sales and more customers.
My approach to “link attraction” has always been more of a publicity angle.
What can we do to spread the word about our business, educate others, and get involved in the community?
You’ll find lots of tips and suggestions for local link building here.8. Add Schema Markup
Schema markup helps search engines signals better understand different page components, such as:
Number of employees.
And a lot more.
Using this markup can help you appear in rich snippets in the SERPs.
Check out all of the different types of schema available for local businesses here.9. Focus On Getting Reviews
Even my kids are conditioned to look up reviews before making a purchase.
Local reviews were one of the leading local search ranking factors in 2023, according to Whitespark’s Local Search Ranking Factors report.
Plus, you can improve your conversions by putting effort into getting reviews and feedback from your customers.
Platforms can help you organize and manage a review campaign.
Or, you can simply encourage customers to leave reviews on the major online review sites.
These techniques can help you get more local reviews.
Make sure you respond, too. Your answer (or lack thereof) is not only visible to the person who asked the question but to all other local searchers who see the review in the future, as well.
Even negative reviews are an opportunity to connect with the customer and show others you care.10. Create Videos & Images For Competitive Keywords
Websites need content, which means words, so that search engines understand what they are about.
Content goes beyond words, though, and should include images and videos.
In fact, if you are struggling to show up for competitive keywords, why not try a properly optimized video or an image?
As SEJ’s Anna Crowe wrote recently in her image optimization guide:
And, it’s becoming an increasingly more important role.”11. Mix Paid With Organic To Get Going
If you’re just starting out with SEO, it can take a while to see results.
Even after you have a steady flow of organic traffic to the website, you might still consider running a paid search campaign in conjunction.
Read more and find 10 tips for local paid search success here.Summary
Even if the list of things to do seems overwhelming, the important thing is to just get started.
Begin with the first goal you know you can accomplish.
In time, you’ll discover local SEO tools that can make quicker, easier work of the tactics that are making a difference for you.
You’ll build more inbound links from relevant, reputable local sources.
You’ll add new blog posts and other content to your website, helping you rank on a greater variety of search terms.
And, once you’ve worked through the introductory items on this checklist, you’ll be ready to take your SEO strategy further.
I highly recommend Maddy Osman’s Complete Local SEO Checklist when you’re ready for that next level.
Featured Image: Deemka Studio/Shutterstock
Some iPhone users have experienced a very annoying issue; their iPhone will randomly turn itself off, despite having battery charge remaining. Sometimes this is just a matter of the iPhone battery indicator not updating properly, sometimes it’s software related, and sometimes it’s actually related to the battery hardware itself.
If you’re experiencing the random shutting itself down problem on your iPhone, we’ve got a few troubleshooting solutions that may fix the issue.Step 1: Drain the iPhone to 0%, Charge to 100%
For many users, simply draining the iPhone battery all the way down to 0% (not just to the point of shutting down, but actually letting it completely drain) and then charging it back to 100% is enough to get the random shut-off problem to resolve itself. This usually only works if the issue is related to the iPhone battery indicator not properly showing the charge remaining.
Still randomly shutting off? Try step 2:Step 2: Back up & Restore as New
The next step is to restore the device as new, then restoring from a backup, but only do this after you’ve made a backup of everything on the iPhone.
Connect the iPhone to a computer and launch iTunes
From iTunes, choose to “Back Up Now” – this will make a most recent backup of the iPhone and everything on it (you can also backup to iCloud if you want) – wait for this to finish
When the backup is complete, choose to “Restore iPhone” from the iTunes options
Let the restore process complete, when finished the iPhone will start as if it was brand new. In this setup process, choose to restore from your backup that you just made
Note that restoring the iPhone this way will also install the latest version of iOS available for your device – that’s a good thing, if you’re not on the latest version you may be missing out on bug fixes anyway.
This wipes the iPhone, reinstalls iOS, and then puts all your stuff back onto it, helping to rule out software problems as the random shutdown cause. You’ll need to use the iPhone for a while to determine if this has fixed the problem, many times this will resolve it completely and the iPhone will no longer randomly turn itself off.
Restored and STILL having the phone randomly shut itself down? Step 3 is the way to go…Step 3: Phone Still Shutting Down Randomly? Contact Apple Support
If you still experience the random shutdown problem after doing the full restore, you’ll probably need to visit an Apple Store Genius Bar or contact Apple’s official support channels to resolve the issue. It’s entirely possible that the iPhone battery itself has gone bad or is no longer functioning properly, and if the iPhone is still under warranty Apple will replace the battery for free. In order to find this out for sure, Apple will need to run tests on the device, which is why you’ll either need to go to the Genius Bar or send in the iPhone, thus your next move is to contact Apple Support online, calling 1-800-MY-IPHONE (1-800-694-7466), or visiting an Apple Store.
The quality raters guidelines provides insights into what improvements can be made to a web page to help it rank better. It is not a step by step guide. However Google’s Danny Sullivan encouraged publishers to read it for ideas on how to build a better experience for users and ultimately to improve rankings.
Google’s Danny Sullivan remarked that sites that dropped positions in the August Broad Core Update cannot fix themselves out of lost rankings.
Yet he also encouraged site publishers to read the Google Quality Raters Guidelines to better understand how to rank better in Google’s algorithm. The first statement discourages hope. The second statement lights a way to better rankings, seemingly contradicting the first statement.Why Did Google Say Nothing to Fix?
It is naive to assume that every single update is focused on removing sites from the search results for “quality” issues.
Search engineers are focused on satisfying users. Better results are not exclusively about removing sites with “quality” issues.
Better results come from becoming adept at identifying what users desire when they search. That’s what RankBrain is about.
When RankBrain was introduced it was focused on understanding what users meant when they searched with the 15% of search queries Google has never seen.
At some point Google updated it’s algorithm to expand the use of RankBrain to more queries.
When the update that expanded RankBrain to more queries happened, some in the search community may have noticed and responded by jumping on the “quality” update train. And that was a train that led in the opposite direction of where the algorithm was headed.
So when Google’s Danny Sullivan said there was nothing to fix, he may very well have been communicating that the broad core update was not about penalizing sites for “quality” issues, therefore there’s nothing to fix.
If the algorithm update is not about penalizing sites for “quality” issues then the update may likely be about presenting more relevant search results.
And when we talk about “relevance” the measure of relevance is user satisfaction. And that’s where Google’s quality raters come in.What the Quality Raters are About
Machine learning algorithms need a baseline to learn from. Human judgment serves as the baseline from which a machine can learn from and test itself from.
For example, here’s a research paper describing a way to reformulate search queries, Generalized Syntactic and Semantic Models of Query Reformulation. What’s interesting is how the researchers use human quality raters to judge which results are most relevant and then use those judgments to score the algorithm against.
Google hires quality raters to evaluate search results in order to provide feedback on the algorithm. The quality raters guidelines is meant to teach the human raters how to classify web pages as useful and so on.
Here is how the quality raters guidelines defines the job of a quality rater:
“Your ratings will be used to evaluate search engine quality around the world.”Why Google Recommended the Quality Raters Guidelines
The quality raters guidelines tells us what kinds of web pages Google wants to rank. It provides clues as to the kind of content Google wants a website to have.
The raters guidelines identifies the five most important factors for rating a high quality web page. Note: MC is an abbreviation for Main Content.
Five most important rating factors:
The Purpose of the Page
Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness: This is an important quality characteristic.
Main Content Quality and Amount: The rating should be based on the landing page of the task URL.
Website Information/information about who is responsible for the MC: Find information about the website as well as the creator of the MC.
Website Reputation/reputation about who is responsible for the MCHow to Fix Lost Rankings in the August Broad Core Update
Danny Sullivan’s first statement that there’s nothing to fix seemingly contradicts his follow up statement to read Google’s quality raters guidelines for information on Google’s expectations for quality content. The only way to reconcile these statements is to accept that the first statement addresses SEOs and publishers who will try to identify what they did wrong.
In this kind of update, there is no “wrong” to fix because the update was not about catching pages that did something wrong.
Google’s second statement recommending the raters guidelines may indicate that this update was about being able to surface sites in the search results that did something right.
In my opinion, I believe that if a site lost rankings, then it may be because another site did something right better than your own site. The answer to why another site is better than yours can be found in the quality raters guidelines.Takeaway: Things to Fix
As noted above, there are five important factors related to ranking better. It’s possible to divide those factors into two categories: Author factors and content factors.
Two of the five factors relate to the author of the content, three if you include Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
Three of those factors are about the content itself.
Three most important content factors:
The purpose of the page
Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthinessHow to Improve Ranking Signals
If you read the quality raters guidelines you’ll see that certain kinds of sites require stricter criteria to rank. For example anything related to finances is going to be held to a sctricter standard.
I suspect that every niche and keyword phrase is going to require different ranking factors. Evidence of that is in the fact that Google created a Your Money or Your Life category of sites that deal with specific topics.
So if your site is not one of these kinds of pages, then the criteria for ranking is going to be different. Thus, you don’t necessarily have to work at getting every ranking signal correct. Only focus on the signals that are appropriate for you.Here is how Google defines these sensitive pages
such pages “Your Money or Your Life” pages, or YMYL.”
It then lists the six categories of pages that fall into this category that needs extra work for ranking:
Shopping or financial transaction pages
Financial information pages
Medical information pages
Legal information pages
News articles or public/official information pages
The other category is one that you’ll have to determine if you fall into this category. And remember, Google’s not evaluating entire sites, they are evaluating pages. Section 2.3 of the Quality Raters Guideline is called, “Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) Pages.”
From my observations, some of these extra requirements are not required for ranking for certain keyword phrases that lie outside of the safety/health/money etc. categories.
If you compare keywords within a single niche, you’ll see (as I did) that some keyword phrases are more sensitive than others. Phrases are being treated differently according to how sensitive the topic is to a person’s life, health and money.Should You Go for the Gold Standard?
It probably won’t hurt to give your shot at rankings a 150% push. It might not make a difference, now. But it could make a different later on. So being prepared to meet the algo of tomorrow could make sense.Compare Your Page to Better Ranking Pages
When losing rankings, always compare your site to those that replaced yours. There may be clues there as to why Google declined to rank your sites.
Typical questions to answer:
What do those pages/sites have that yours do not?
How do those pages approach the content that differs from yours?
Are those pages more specific?
Are those pages addressing a different audience?Review Your Page as a User
The answers to those questions relate directly to how the quality raters guide defines satisfying users. The introduction of the Quality Raters Guide makes it clear that the raters are standing in for users. Section 0.2 is titled, “Raters Must Represent the User.”
So when you study the search results looking for answers, you too must look at it as a user.
Here is what the raters guide specifies:
and location in order to represent the experience of users in your locale.”
That is how you should review the search results, as a user in a specific location with specific experience. If you’re selling maternity clothes, I suspect the information needs of a new mother will differ from an experienced mother. Maybe most shoppers on that site are new? This is the kind of information that will help you better satisfy users.
It’s the users that influence the search results. As the raters guidelines indicates, get into the mindset of the user.Don’t Follow the Money
In politics and crime they say, “Follow the money.” But for search marketing it’s “Follow the user.”
This is a profound and pragmatic insight that is found within the raters guidelines. Count how many times the word User occurs in the raters guidelines. I lost count after forty.
Download Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines here.More Resources
Screenshots by Author
Apple TV has steadily been updated with new features since tvOS and the current hardware were introduced in late 2023, and we’re expecting to see even more this summer with tvOS 11 at WWDC.
Updates to tvOS 9 focused a lot on feature parity with the previous Apple TV and recent iOS updates, and tvOS 10 updates introduced the new TV app and single sign-on feature. Here’s what we’re hoping to see this year from tvOS 11 at Apple’s developer conference in June.TV
Apple launched its new TV app last December through tvOS 10.1, but it’s still limited to the United States. The TV app does a decent job of presenting shows you watch in one interface instead of digging around for something to watch in multiple apps. The top request for the TV app this year is introducing it to more countries.
Next on our list has to be true Netflix support. Some features work sort of by accident, but you can’t use the TV app to its full potential with Netflix like you can with officially supported services. Netflix was a big missing partner to start, and hopefully tvOS 11 offers something to resolve that.
Finally, the TV app could benefit from a focus on presenting live content when available. You can already use Siri to jump to live content on specific channels with a feature called Live Tune In, but there’s really no visual user interface for this. The TV app would be the natural location for such an interface.
I would also love to see Apple promote single sign-on apps more prominently on the tvOS App Store. They’re currently highlighted with an app tile that goes to the collection, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this promoted to a top-level navigation item.Siri
We’re probably years away from this actually happening (who knows!), but the dream is talking to Siri on one device and having Siri do something on another device. For example, you could ask Siri on your iPhone to play Finding Dory on the family room Apple TV.
You can already get part of the way there with the Remote app for iPhone and iPad. It lets you control Siri on the Apple TV from your iPhone, but the goal is having one Siri that you can activate in an instant versus a secondary Siri located within an app.
Another example of something that Siri could someday pull off is asking Siri to play a specific song on Apple Music on multiple Apple TVs. In general, Siri on Apple TV has opportunities to come to feature parity with Siri on other devices before next level features are considered.AR
Apple CEO Tim Cook loves, loves, loves AR. He called the idea of augmented reality something he considers ‘as a big idea like the smartphone’ recently, and he talks about the promise of AR any chance he gets.
iPhone 8 AR concept
One thing that isn’t clear yet is what Apple has planned for AR features within its ecosystem. The iPhone is the obvious platform for AR features with its portable display and sensors including multiple cameras. At least one unverified report has claimed Apple plans to use AirPlay between the iPhone and Apple TV to create an augmented reality experience as well.Smart Dark Mode
tvOS 10 introduced something we all really want on iOS: dark mode. The old Apple TV software always used a dark theme, and tvOS 9 was introduced with vibrant theme that made it pop in comparison. Apple heard our requests for the return of a dark theme, however, and added a toggle in Settings that can also be controlled with Siri.
With tvOS 11, we would love to see the ability to automatically switch between light mode and dark mode based on either time of day or sunset/sunrise. Light mode during the day, dark mode during the night. Apple TV can already detect local sunrise and sunset times as a trigger for HomeKit automation so the box knows when the specific event occurs locally.
If you want to go a step further, tvOS 11 could introduce Night Shift like we see on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, although color shifting on third-party displays over video content might not be a great idea in practice.Home App & Video
When I wrote about tvOS 10 wish list items a year ago, my modest list included something that Apple delivered: HomeKit support for smart accessory control and automation. It makes perfect sense to tell Siri on the Apple TV to set your Movie Scene which dims the lights before you watch a film in the living room.
This year I hope Apple goes a step further and introduces a Home app for Apple TV with tvOS 11. The Home app with iOS 10 is very useful on the iPhone and iPad, and you can already interact with HomeKit through Siri. Creating a Home app on Apple TV could create a dashboard that guests can easily access and control.
HomeKit also gained the ability to work with video cameras last year, and video is ideal for Apple TV. You can already use the Apple TV to watch live video feeds from non-HomeKit cameras like Canary, but if there’s a way to view my HomeKit video camera feed on my Apple TV, I haven’t discovered it.Apple News & Video
Speaking of video (and something we don’t expect to happen but would appreciate), Apple News could be a useful app on Apple TV and tvOS. Apple News is already popular with readers on iPhone and iPad (and we hear from a lot of readers who say they want a Mac version).
Apple News on Apple TV could focus solely on video similar to how Twitter and Facebook have approached their own tvOS apps. You could even have a Watch It Later feature on the iOS app that lets you make a queue of videos to watch on your Apple TV through Apple News.
Apple’s News team could also curate video content for Apple TV and feature a video tab in the Apple News app for iOS.More
Other major changes to tvOS could come with new hardware to include more sensors like always-on mics, built-in or add-on cameras, and more. Apple TV already works with dedicated gaming controllers, but consoles also support other add-ons that Apple TV could follow.
Apple TV’s Remote app has improved greatly over the past year with new features and an iPad version, but there are two more opportunities that I see as possible in the near future.
First is Control Center access from iPhone and iPad. I keep the Apple TV Remote app on my first Home screen since I use it frequently, but I would really love Control Center access as a dedicated tile or an app shortcut next to or in place of Timer and Calculator.
Second is the Remote app for Apple Watch. It works as a basic navigation controller, but it hasn’t adopted the features of the new Apple TV since it was first introduced and hasn’t changed. Siri and Dictation support would also go a long way. These are changes that could be included in iOS 11 and watchOS 4 but benefit tvOS 11 and Apple TV.
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Google’s John Mueller responded to a Reddit SEO discussion where a search console warning about mobile usability was soon after followed by a rankings drop in a medical related website.
The timing of the drop in rankings happening soon after search console issued a warning about mobile usability issues made the two events appear to be related.
The person despaired because they fixed the problem, validated the fix through Google search console but the rankings changes haven’t reversed.
These are the salient details:
“Around Aug. 2023, I noticed that Google Search Console was saying ALL of our pages were now failing Mobile Usability standards. I had a developer “fix” the pages…
…I resubmitted the sitemap & asked Google to “Validate” all of my fixes on Oct. 25, 2023. It has been 15 days with no movement.”Understanding Changes in Ranking
John Mueller responded in the Reddit discussion, observing that in his opinion the mobile usability issues were unrelated to the rankings drop.
“I’ll go out on a limb and say the reason for rankings changing has nothing to do with this.
I’d read the quality raters guidelines and the content Google has on the recent updates for some thoughts, especially for medical content like that.”
This is a great example of how the most obvious reason for something happening is not always the correct reason, it’s only the most obvious.
Obvious is not the same as accurate or correct, even though it might seem like it.
When diagnosing a problem it’s important to keep an open mind about the causes and to not stop diagnosing an issue at the first more obvious explanation.
John dismissed the mobile usability issue as being serious enough to affect rankings.
His answer suggested that serious content quality issues are a likelier reason for a rankings change, especially if the change happens around the same time as an algorithm update.
The Google Raters Guidelines are a guide for assessing site quality in an objective manner, free of subjective ideas of what constitutes site quality.
So it makes sense that Mueller suggested to the Redditor that they should read the raters guidelines to see if the descriptions of what defines site quality matches those of the site in question.
Coincidentally, Google recently published new documentation for helping publishers understand what Google considers rank-worthy content.
The document is called, Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content. The documentation contains a section that’s relevant to this problem, Get to know E-A-T and the quality rater guidelines.
Google’s help page explains that their algorithm uses many factors to understand whether a webpage is expert, authoritative and trustworthy, particularly for Your Money Your Life pages such as those on medical topics.
This section of the documentation explains why the quality raters guidelines information is important:
“…our systems give even more weight to content that aligns with strong E-A-T for topics that could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society.
We call these “Your Money or Your Life” topics, or YMYL for short.”Search Console Fix Validations Are Generally Informational
Mueller next discussed the search console fix validations and what they really mean.
He continued his answer:
“For indexing issues, “validate fix” helps to speed up recrawling.
For everything else, it’s more about giving you information on what’s happening, to let you know if your changes had any effect.
There’s no “the website fixed it, let’s release the hand brake” effect from this, it’s really primarily for you: you said it was good now, and here is what Google found.”YMYL Medical Content
The person asking the question responded to Mueller by noting that the majority of the website content was written by doctors.
They next mention how they also write content that is meant to convey expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
This is what they shared:
“I’ve tried to really write blog articles & even marketing pages that have a satisfying answer above the fold, but then explain the details after.
Pretty much everything a person would do if they were legit trying to get an answer across – which is also what you read to be “EAT” best practices.
They lamented that their competitors with old content overtook them in the rankings.
Diagnosing a ranking issue is sometimes more than just navel gazing one’s own site.
It may be useful to really dig into the competitor site to understand what their strengths are that might be accounting for their increased search visibility.
It might seem like after an update that Google is “rewarding” sites that have this or that, like good mobile usability, FAQs, etc.
But that’s not really how search algorithms work.
Search algorithms, in a nutshell, try to understand three things:
The meaning of a search queries
The meaning of web pages
So it follows that any improvements to the algorithm may likely be an improvement in one or all three (probably all three).
And that’s where John Mueller’s encouragement to read the Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines (PDF) comes in.
It may also be helpful to read Google’s fantastic Search Quality Raters Guidelines Overview (PDF) because it’s shorter and easier to understand.Citation Read the Reddit Question and Answer
Impact Of “Validating” A Fix In Search Console/Mobile Usability
Image by Shutterstock/Khosro
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