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  SEO Newsletter | Volume 138 | November 3, 2015 Special Conference News

Millennials in the Spotlight: The Market Segment to Crack

Author: Kristi Kellogg

From campaign headquarters to digital marketing agencies, strategists everywhere are thinking about how to entice America’s most talked-about and statistically impactful group: millennials. Even the search engines themselves are adapting their strategies and products to suit millennial needs.

In this feature article, get insights straight from Google's Gary Illyes and Bing's former spokesperson Duane Forrester on how they think about and market to millennials. You'll also hear some of the latest stats on this sought-after market segment, plus tips on how to optimize your digital marketing efforts in light of millennials. Learn more about:

  • The demands of millennials' shockingly microscopic attention spans
  • What entices millennials to make a purchase
  • How Starbucks and Macy's are building loyalty among millennials

Read more

  Back to Basics

2 Big Things Changing SEO Forever: What's New in SEO from SMX East & Pubcon

Authors: Virginia Nussey and Melanie Saxe

For SEOs who want to get straight to the heart of the latest game-changers, we offer our humble opinion that during the SMX East and Pubcon Las Vegas conferences of the last month, there were two big comets that hurtled from the sky, signaling changes to the SEO landscape forever: machine learning algorithms ranking content based on searcher behavior feedback; and predictive search serving searchers content before they ask.

Get answers to these cutting-edge questions:

  • What is RankBrain? How will artificial intelligence in Google's algorithm affect SEO?
  • What are searcher outputs and how can SEOs optimize for them?
  • How will predictive search, wearables and Internet connected devices change content delivery?

Read more

  Hot Topic

Latest on Mobile: Best Takeaways for Marketers from Pubcon & SMX East

Author: Paula Allen

It’s becoming clear that mobile friendliness is more than a responsive website that gets a passing grade on the Mobile-Friendly Test. The concept of mobile friendliness covers increasingly advanced digital media territory.

We’ve distilled the most important news and advice related to mobile that was shared by search engine reps and renowned digital marketers during SMX East in New York and Pubcon Las Vegas. Read the latest on Google’s mobile-focused features, app indexing and mobile ads in this post that covers:

  • Mobile apps: Do you have a mobile app? Is it indexable by Google? Are you taking advantage of Google’s stated ways of getting ranking boosts for your app?
  • Mobile conversions and personas: Is mobile traffic failing to convert? That’s to be expected if mobile personas, mobile-specific conversions and calls to action haven’t been identified. Mobile visitors are not the same as desktop visitors, after all.
  • Mobile advertising: Are you utilizing mobile search PPC features like call extensions and call-only campaigns?

Read more

  Education Matters

SEO Link Building 2.0 – Thinking about Links Post-Penguin

Author: Kristi Kellogg

Even in today's content-focused, post-Penguin digital marketing world, link building is not dead. Stone Temple Consulting CEO Eric Enge stated that, while links are secondary to reputation-building and audience growing, they're still very important. Links reduce your risk of penalties, are critical to search ecosystem that is built on links and are the outcome of correct content marketing, said Enge during the Link Auditing and Best Practices for Acquiring Authoritative Links" session.

As always, it's important to know where your links are coming from. Co-panelist and Director of Marketing Strategy at Merkle Megan Geiss shared some practical advice for monitoring your backlinks. No one source can give you all your backlinks. Geiss advised digital marketers to gather up backlink data from all possible resources and then de-duplicate the list. Get your information from sources like:

  • Google Analytics referral anomalies
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Mine the SERPs
  • Majestic SEO
  • SEMRush
  • Ahrefs

When it comes to links, it's important not only to monitor who's linking to who, but who's disavowing who. That's a topic we've covered in-depth, and, in fact, why Bruce Clay created DisavowFiles — a free, crowd-sourced tool that provides important data on potentially harmful external links. Bruce Clay was also part of this panel at Pubcon, sharing the latest stats on the tool (released earlier this year), including how many disavowed backlinks and URLs DisavowFiles has been able to identify.


Working Smarter (Not Harder) with Content and Social Media

Author: Kristi Kellogg

In today's digital atmosphere, there's more content than ever — but that doesn't mean it's being read. Only 35 percent to 50 percent of people actually finish reading an article on average, according to Taboola research. That figure drops to 20 percent if they arrived at the link through a Facebook link. These are not happy statistics for a content creator or digital marketer.

Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin has a word of advice: don't just create great content. Create content that is ten times greater than any other content out there. Why? Because we live in a two-algorithm world. There's the search algorithm that all SEOs are chasing after, but there's an equally important algorithm: people. Discover more thoughts from Fishkin in "SEO in a Two Algorithm World: Pubcon Keynote Rand Fishkin."

It's not enough to just create the content, of course. With 10X greater content comes 10X more social sharing. Digital marketing strategist Jordan Kasteler holds that just as much time should be spent promoting a piece of content as creating it. Find out how he recommends approaching that social promotion in the Pubcon liveblog, "Search and Social Strategy." This article also contains actionable tips from Bruce Clay, Inc.'s Director of Training Mindy Weinstein on another important social media imperative: knowing your audience inside and out.

We didn't forget about paid content marketing, of course. In "Content Promotion Strategy, Including Pay to Play," Search Influence CEO Will Scott takes a deep dive into native advertising and Casie Gillette, online marketing director at KoMarketing, provides a case study of what happened when her team amplified a massive content project with paid social ads.


5-Star SEO Workshop in Italy


An all-day SEO workshop led by Ale Agostini, the managing director of Bruce Clay Europe, will kick off Search Marketing Expo Milan. The 5-star training to be held Nov. 11 will cover critical SEO topics, including:

  • Technical SEO concepts
  • The anatomy of a website
  • Understanding the search engines
  • Spidering and crawling
  • Mobile SEO
  • social media marketing
  • Recovering from penalties
  • Internal linking and siloing
  • SEO's role in the digital marketing landscape

You can register here, and you can fill out this form to receive an exclusive discount.

  Sound Bytes

Audiophiles, Subscribe!


Like what you read? Then you might enjoy the weekly digital marketing podcast SEM Synergy with host Bruce Clay. Here are the latest episodes available to stream. Subscribe on iTunes to get new episodes sent straight to your mobile.

1. AdWords and TrueView Ad News
Within AdWords reporting, Google has changed its definition of a “conversion,” which changes things for SEM reporting. In this episode of SEM Synergy, BCI’s David Szetela and Bruce Clay discuss the adjustments. They also reveal ways to take advantage of video streaming and video ads on Facebook and YouTube.

2. Takeaways from Bruce’s Exclusive Interview with Google’s Gary Illyes
In September, Bruce Clay interviewed Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes. On this show, Bruce Clay, Mindy Weinstein, Virginia Nussey and Kristi Kellogg talk about topics of the interview, including news of the next Panda update and how HTTPS is a tiebreaker between otherwise equal sites. The second half of the show examines the ins and outs of creating content that’s useful to your readers.

The original interview was aired October 14: Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Bruce Clay’s SEO Questions

3. Getting to Know Your SEM Synergy Panelists; Bruce Clay Members Plan for Pubcon 2015
Get to know David Szetela, Rob Ramirez, and Mindy Weinstein, your SEM Synergy Panelists and BCI main players. David and Mindy also share the topics of their presentations for Pubcon 2015. David's session is entitled “The Top Major AdWords Mistakes and How to Prevent Them; Mindy's session is “Search and Social Content Strategy.”

4. Millennial Marketing, Content Case Studies & Pubcon Las Vegas
Day one of Pubcon Las Vegas is a wrap, and the BCI team is ready to share what they’ve learned. Kristi Kellogg, Virginia Nussey and Mindy Weinstein discuss how major brands like AT&T and American Eagle are reaching the millennial market through social media. They also share tips on how to use Reddit for content sharing and visibility.

5. Google Changes Position on AJAX; Amazon Cracks Down on Fake Reviews
There’s a right and wrong way to get reviews. Amazon has filed a lawsuit against 1,000 people who provided reviewing services on — that's one wrong way. So how do you get reviews the right way? The BCI team shares some tips. Later in the show they discuss Google's decision to stop supporting its AJAX crawling proposal.

6. Up Close and Personal with Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin
Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin joins Bruce Clay, Inc.’s Kristi Kellogg for an exclusive interview in advance of Rand's keynote at Pubcon. They look at the ROI of giving away content, how he brings Moz’s core values to life and current search trends.


And the Winners Are!


Congratulations are in order for all the winners crowned at the recent Landy Awards in New York and the U.S. Search Awards in Las Vegas! On both sides of the coast, digital marketers were recognized for contributions to the digital marketing industry. From next-level search marketing campaigns to social media excellence, technological innovation to PR prowess, the winners and nominees represent the best and brightest across the nation.

Award Highlights


Duane Forrester passed on the crown for Search Personality of the Year to Wordstream Founder Larry Kim at the U.S. Search Awards. Kim also won the Search Marketer of the Year at the Landy Awards.


Back Azimuth's Bill Hunt (right) took home the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Chris Boggs.


Bruce Clay, Inc. sponsored the open bar (always a hit) at the U.S. Search Awards.

Click through to find the complete list of winners for the U.S. Search Awards and The Landys.

  Word on the Wire

Paid Search Straight Talk

Author: Virginia Nussey

For digital marketers specializing on the paid advertising side, pay attention to the sessions at SMX East and Pubcon. Top minds in the paid media space, including VP of the Google Display Network, Google Head of Publisher Policy, and renowned SEM specialists, shared new products, challenges, and ways of thinking about paid search engine marketing.

Here are some highlights from our paid search session coverage.

VP of Google Display Network Announces AdWords Updates

Brad Bender, vice president of product management at Google Display Network, delivered a keynote at SMX East 2015. He announced recent improvements to Google ad platforms that advertisers should take advantage of:

  1. Enhanced Dynamic Remarketing means GDN ads now automatically reshape and resize to fit all devices.
  2. Adwords Audience Insights enable marketers to look at their remarketing lists and understand their composition: demographics, location, interests, type of device.
  3. Customer Match lets you target ads by email lists the advertiser uploads. See examples of Customer Match in action in Ira Kates' presentation on PPC for the automotive industry.
  4. The Global Display Network is moving all CPMs to 100% viewable.
  5. Native ads in Gmail rolled out globally.

Read more details on these new features in the keynote coverage.

The Trouble with Ad Blockers and What Google Wants to Do About It

In a keynote at Pubcon, Googlers Richard Zippel, Product Manager, and John Brown, Head of Publisher Policy Communications, addressed advertisers' and publishers' growing concern with ad blockers. Zippel said ad blockers are a sign that at least some of us have taken our eye off the ball — keeping users happy. He offered that Google is very concerned about the growing rate of ad blocker adoption. The answer to ad blockers, Zippel and Brown said, is for publishers to focus on user experience. Fast loading pages and reasonable amounts of ads (rather than ad overload) would improve the ad ecosystem. Read the full liveblog coverage of this keynote for the whole conversation.

The High Cost of Free Traffic

Wil Reynolds, founder of SEER Interactive, presented a keynote at Pubcon that flipped the boundaries of paid and organic content upside down. Your traffic isn’t free, he said. Users don’t see organic content, and the concept that organic is cheap is wrong. The question is not whether or not to go into paid. It is: What are you building that is worth paying for people to see? Get deeper into his thought-provoking presentation in our full report.

You also don't want to miss:

Winning at Mobile PPC Advertising: Is your mobile conversion rate low? Aaron Levy, Amy Bishop and John Busby talk about why mobile doesn’t convert like desktop. It’s not mobile’s fault. It's advertisers' fault. Now here's what to do about it.

Major AdWords Mistakes and How to Prevent Them: David Szetela and Mona Elesseily caution advertisers on common mistakes with mobile ads, negative keywords, ad testing, ad formats, display ads, ad extensions, and Quality Score optimization.

Hot Topics




Sound Bytes


Word on the Wire




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