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Why the Future of SEO Is Bigger than SEO: Integrating SEO into the Whole
Author: Virginia Nussey

Following a heavy conference season, an overarching theme emerged, tying together all the tactics and big picture points-of-view. In short, strategizing in buckets is out. Read why:

  • (Not Provided) is not the end of SEO. The effect of (Not Provided) is a focus on core tenants of SEO strategy, rooted in carefully designed architecture and data-driven content development.
  • Changing search technology is driving search behavior change. The effect of conversational search and wearable devices must be accounted for.
  • Google will have you beat with direct answers for queries with straight-forward answers. Shift away from thinking about drawing visitors to your site through search and build relationships.

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  Back to Basics
Why Siloing Remains Important in a PageRank Toolbar-Free World
Author: Chelsea Adams

Matt Cutts released a Google Webmaster video this month discussing PageRank's decreasing usage. Cutts said that "over time, the PageRank indicator will probably start to go away a little bit." Even if PageRank goes away entirely, the concept and principles of PageRank will remain. This back-to-basics article discusses those principles and the importance of siloing as it relates to PageRank. Learn: 

  • Why PageRank matters, even though the PageRank indicator is on its way out.
  • What constitutes "good architecture."
  • How to successfully set up a silo.

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  Hot Topic
Why (Not Provided) Isn't a Death Sentence

Google recently made the decision to fully implement “secure search” and encrypt all search term referrer data that originates from their search engine. Google first began migrating to a more secure search experience in October of 2011. At the time, the change was reserved for users who were signed into their Google accounts. Most in the industry agreed that it was only a matter of time before encrypted search expanded and (Not Provided) percentages would approach 100 percent. It appears that time has come.

While keyword data is a useful metric to track in an online marketing campaign, its removal from analytics is hardly a death sentence to the effectiveness of SEO’s and their ability to offer value and results. In fact, it can certainly be argued that a good SEO analyst is more valuable than ever following this change, as tough decisions are going to have to be made about online marketing campaigns with incomplete data, making past experience important to leverage.

Even after Google’s recent change, there remain valuable methods of obtaining keyword data:

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT): Google still offers keyword data along with impression, click-through and average ranking position data through Google Webmaster Tools.

PPC accounts: If your company uses Google Adwords, you still have access to keyword referrer data. Utilizing this data for your organic marketing is more important than ever.

Yahoo, Bing and other search engines: Other search engines still pass on keyword referral data and you can still access that data using Google Analytics.

Keyword rankings: Having access to keyword ranking data through a source like Bruce Clay’s SeoToolSet can offer you insight into the types of keywords that lead to page visits.

Landing page traffic: Correlating landing page traffic with keyword rankings can give you insight into the effectiveness of an SEO campaign (which Senior SEO Analyst Robert Ramirez recently delved into on the BCI blog ).

Successful SEO is all about increasing traffic. BCI has always gauged the success of SEO campaigns on our ability to increase the amount of visitors to a site; that goal, and the methods analysts utilize to achieve it, remains unchanged.

  Education Matters
Why (and How) to Set Up Your Klout-verified Snapshot on Bing

On Oct. 11, Bing (in partnership with Klout) introduced Bing Personal Snapshots. Not unlike Google's Knowledge Graph, Bing Snapshots (launched in May 2012) are designed to bring at-a-glance information relevant to eligible search queries, including landmarks and celebrities. This month's update brings Snapshots to the common man.

Bing will achieve this using Klout (a free service that offers online social assessment based on a user's aggregate social accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Bing, Google+, Tumblr, Foursquare, YouTube, Blogger, WordPress,, and/or Flickr). Klout users can now opt in to create a Klout-verified Snapshot.

Practically, this means that once a Klout user is connected to Bing, the new Bing Personal Snapshot will show his or her Klout picture, Klout score, top two recent influential moments and a bio pulled from LinkedIn. The Bing Personal Snapshot will also show a "verified" badge.

To claim your Bing Personal Snapshot, you must create a Klout account and then connect it to Bing. Other than Bing, the accounts you connect to Klout are optional. For example, you can connect only Facebook and Instagram, and not Twitter, or any other variant of accounts. The more accounts you connect, however, the greater potential for your Klout score to rise (and adding an account can never harm your score).

A Bing Personal Snapshot is comparable to Google Authorship, and having a Bing Personal Snapshot appear in Bing's SERP is another way for users to stand out among other entries. Bing Personal Snapshots are a fresh opportunity for anyone on the Internet to better manage his or her personal brand by further establishing recognition and trust signals.

With a Bing Personal Snapshot, your name becomes more than name -- with a photo, a bio, evidence of social media activity and a clear path to actually contact you, your online presence gains significance.

As Paul Kim and Genevieve Lydstone wrote on the Klout blog concerning this update, Bing Personal Snapshots (also called Klout-verified Snapshots) are "another step in connecting search with influence."  


State of Search rechristened itself as State of Digital. The name change is meant to signify that this blog covers more than just "search" — its reach extends into the social media, content and other search-related areas.

PPC Associates has rebranded itself as 3Q Digital. 3Q Digital felt it had outgrown the name PPC Associates since expanding its services to offer more than paid search services, including search engine optimization and social media marketing.

Yahoo! mail got a makeover this month — the revamp was aimed at making Yahoo! inboxes elegant, efficient and more user intuitive. Yahoo! is cleverly referring to the latest version of Yahoo! mail as "an inbox with a view."  


PubCon is in full swing in Las Vegas, Nevada, now through Oct. 25. What happens in Vegas isn't staying in Vegas as the social media marketers in attendance tweeting every informative detail.

For those interested in search engine strategies, mark your calendars: the SES Conference and Expo descends upon Chicago Nov. 4-7. 

Ad:tech New York will host digital marketers from around the world in New York Nov. 6-7. Early Bird rates end tomorrow (Sept. 18).

The agenda for SMX Milan has just been released. Search marketers will descend upon Italy for the destination conference Nov. 7-8. On Nov. 6, Bruce Clay Europe will present a one-day SEO workshop for SMX Milan attendees. Bruce Clay Europe is proud to be one of SMX Milan's founding sponsors.

Search heads south with the Internet Summit 2013 in Raleigh, N.C. Nov. 12–14.

Search Engine Land will present SMX Social Media Marketing in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov. 20-21. The agenda includes sessions on blogging, content, social ads, advanced Facebook tactics, social editorial calendars, social tools, social videos and much more.

Dec. 9-13 marks the last SEOToolSet Training of 2013. Join Bruce in Simi Valley for a standard or advanced session. Don't forget the special discount code, valid for the December training only: NEWS13.


YouTube recently introduced new functionality that allows account holders to more effectively monitor user comments. Account holders can block incendiary commenters and easily filter comments with words indicated as red flags. Comments from the account holder and those in his or her Google+ circle will also now automatically rise to the top of the comments.

Microsoft has revamped Bing with a new logo and interface design. Bing results combine Snapshot and Social Sidebar features into a shaded right-hand bar, similar to Google’s Knowledge Graph. A new Pole Position display (pictures or facts spread across the top of the SERP) appears when the search engine is highly confident of user intent, such as when someone searches for a celebrity. Also, a new Page Zero offers deep links as well as instant query suggestions before users even get to the results. The new Bing's gradual rollout promises to make Bing “more than just a search engine.”

Google introduced Analytics Academy, a "new hub … (of) free, online, community-based video courses about digital analytics and Google Analytics."

Google has created a new company called Calico that is tasked with a seemingly impossible task — extending the human lifespan. The moonshot company will be run by Arthur Levinson — the chairman of Apple and former CEO of Genentech.

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon played hysterical tribute to social media's beloved hashtags on SNL (video).

  Word on the Wire

Google introduced Hummingbird, a rewritten search algorithm that was built to handle more complex search queries. The change, which Search Engine Land Editor Danny Sullivan compares to an "engine upgrade," reportedly affects 90 percent of searches.

Promoted pins are the way of the future — Pinterest recently announced that it has been testing promoted pins. CEO Ben Silbermann ensures that promoted pins will be tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on user feedback.

After two years of steadily increasing (Not Provided) data, Google has now cut off the supply of all keyword data, as all searches are now encrypted using HTTPS. Keyword data will, however, still be available through AdWords.

Penguin 2.1 was released this month. The latest update to this spam-fighting algorithm affects approximately one percent of search queries.

Earlier this month, Facebook announced three changes: 1) A Trending Topics feature is forthcoming. Facebook will work with Discovery International, ProSieben and Canal+ to supply keyword-based user data in real time. 2) Increased functionality when creating ads. 3) A feature that allowed people to tailor who could find their profile in a search is on its way out.

For-profit sites that exist solely to curate mugshots (in hopes that those pictured will pay to have their mugshots removed) are being targeted by Google, who announced an algorithm update that will impact mugshot sites' rankings.

The latest version of Bing Ads — Bing Ads 9 — is live. New functionality includes bulk upload and download methods, support for new features, streamlined campaign management and much more.

Google Maps got a major revamp this month, with full screen capabilty, improved public transportation integration, and the return of multi-destination trips.

This month, Google announced that television show details (such as pilot date, theme song, network and characters) will now be available via the Knowledge Graph.

For the first time since May 2011, Yahoo's unique visitors exceeded Google's.

Google announced that its Terms of Services are getting an update. The new Terms of Service will take effect Nov. 11 and consist of three changes: 1) via the Share Endorsements setting, users will be able to control the their image (or lack thereof); 2) a reminder regarding mobile device safety and 3) information on the necessity of password confidentiality.