Google Ramps Up Efforts to Filter Out Factually Inaccurate Content

Did you know Google has teams of human quality-raters whose sole job is to rate the quality of websites?

Google gives them their own document in its “General Search Quality Guidelines.” Simply put, the searchers have to conduct various searches and rate how well the pages returned satisfy their query. This information then gets applied to Google’s algorithm so it can automatically apply the judgment to its search results.

Google does this for “offensive” and “upsetting” content. But of most concern to you is that they do this for “factually inaccurate” content. Google recently updated the section of their search guidelines that describes how evaluators should rate “inaccurate” content.

What Should You Do About This?

Truthfully, you don’t even need to look at the document to understand what to do. If you look from a high level at what Google’s trying to do strategically, they’re trying to clean up the web.

Users should be able to go to a website, get the information they want, and get a factually accurate answer.

What if there are different opinions on the correct answer to a question? Now, there’s a legitimate concern.

But again, you have to go back to what Google wants to do: help users. So if there are differing opinions on a particular subject, it’s okay to offer those as possible answers.

Let This Example Clear “Inaccurate” Up for You

Google offers an example in its search evaluator guidelines document. The website in question states (and this is serious):

“Christopher Columbus was born in 1951 in Sydney, Australia…”

You can see an image of this website here.

It continues:

“Columbus knew he had to make this idea of sailing, using a western route, more popular. So, he produced and appeared on infomercials which aired four times daily.”

Clearly, that’s not accurate information. It’s not going to help the website’s users in any meaningful way.

If this were a humor website portrayed as such, it may not get subjected to the filter. However, as it is, it appears to want to be a legitimate website. So, its real motivation may be to deceive its intended target audience (young elementary school students).

Google doesn’t want that in its search results because users won’t find that helpful.

So when you publish blog posts or web pages, make sure your information has good factual backing. As long as you have solid intent to help your users, you’ll be okay.

How to Get High-Income Consumers with Adwords

Many people believe consumers with high incomes need to hear fancy language to buy. That’s not true.

They talk just about the same as anyone else. However, the difference is what they talk about.

With that in mind, we want to tell you about an income targeting feature available in Adwords. In fact, you can target incomes like this:

  • Top 10% (household income: $146,001 +)
  • 11-20% ($131,001       – $146,000)
  • 21-30% ($111,001 – $131,000)
  • 31-40% ($96,001 – $111,000)
  • 41-50% ($64,001 – $96,000)
  • Lower 50% ($0 -$64,000)

…But there is a little bit of a catch. You always have to be careful with Adwords. Remember, it’s Google’s number one source of profit – by far. No other revenue stream of theirs even comes close. It’s to their advantage to look good to their investors. When you make mistakes or don’t understand how Adwords works, Google makes money.

In this case, if you target people by city or zip code in addition to income, that targeting trumps the income. This time, that makes sense. But, we’re just giving you a word of caution so you don’t use Adwords blind and suddenly find yourself in trouble.

In Adwords, you simply go to “Settings > All Settings > Advanced Search > Location Groups > Demographics > Select Household Income Tier.”

Of course, if you know the income range of your customers, then you’d only want to target that range, right? Otherwise, you’ll get clicks with zero-to-little chance of making a sale, which means you’ve wasted your time and money targeting that demographic.

 

How This Comes Into Play in DFW

We have a wide range of incomes here in the Metroplex, and certainly our fair share of high-income earners. But, imagine you know the income of the customer you want to attract.

For example, you sell fancy audio-video home theater systems, and you know people who make $100,000 or more would have an interest in them. Well, now you can target suburbs of DFW where that makes sense. And then you can target the right household income range.

Then, to make it work, you sell the experience of having an amazing home theatre with comfortable seating. Avoid the temptation to use fancy, flowery language. That’s the stuff you see on TV. People who buy home theatres want the intense experience – one that’s way better than watching a regular TV.

And that’s how you use Adwords’ income targeting to your advantage.

Google Releases Its Own Recommendations for Hiring a SEO Consultant

Shot of two male colleagues working on a computer at the office

 

Seems a little late to the game, doesn’t it? SEO’s been around as a practice since 2000. It’s had a reasonably popular reputation since 2008 or so.

You can actually see the video on YouTube here:

Here’s some of the main highlights of the video if you prefer to read instead of watch:

  1. SEO is not “black magic.” It’s a legit practice. Some shady SEO companies certainly treat it like black magic. But Google says it’s definitely a legitimate thing.
  2. You can’t use quick tricks to rank number one in just a few short weeks. You could have done that 12-15 years ago. But SEO isn’t that easy anymore.
  3. Successful SEO helps your site put its best foot forward so it ranks appropriately. No surprises here. Searchers want the best websites at the top of Google’s rankings. This demand forces Google to continue to improve its algorithm so that happens.
  4. Good SEOs ensure you give your online customers a good experience. This certainly follows from the previous point. Spammy tactics, shortcuts, and fast results are not promised by good SEOs.
  5. It takes 4-12 months to rank. Good SEOs need time to implement improvements. And they need some more time for Google to pick up on those and rank your website accordingly.
  6. The best thing you can do is to get a SEO who correlates their recommendation to a documented statement from Google. Google has great resources for this. You’re better off Googling the specific recommendation. But, a couple resources include Google’s Webmaster Search Console and the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.
  7. In most cases, doing what’s good for SEO is good for your customers (and vice-versa). Again, this relates to points made earlier. Users want websites where they can learn what they want fast and either order it, or save your site and come back to it later to learn more, until they are ready to order.
  8. Conduct a two-way interview with your SEO. There’s several aspects to this. First, try to make sure the SEO is genuinely interested in your business. Check their references. Ask for a search audit (which will cost you money). Finally, make your decision to hire (or not hire) the SEO.

So that’s how Google says to hire a SEO. It’s good, commonsense, practical advice that helps you make a great decision you won’t regret.

3 Techniques You Can Use to Win in Local Search

"Search area on LCD display, pixelated close up view."

Yes, you can do some things to win the fight for local search rankings. And what’s more, they’re fairly simple.

You may be a time-strapped local business owner. But, you can take some small steps to help out your SEO company.

Here are some simple things you might consider:

1. Compelling Titles and Meta Descriptions

For titles and meta descriptions, you simply use the SEO by Yoast plugin. It shows you exactly how your search result appears as you type it in. This is important because the length of both your title and meta description actually change. Go too long, and you see the dreaded (…) in the search results.

That’s a huge turnoff for searchers. So, Yoast SEO helps you stay on top of that so you don’t make mistakes.

Now, as to writing titles and descriptions, you simply answer the question,”So what?”

That’s what searchers think. “So what? Why should I click on your search result instead of any others?”

The better answer you offer to that question, the more clicks you get. Benefits, emotions, and experiences are most enticing for consumers. Business people want emotional benefits too, and you have to compliment those with benefits for their business also.

2. Make Your Business Worthy of 5-Star Reviews

Local business owners are finally getting it. Reviews are key to their success. 70% of consumers will leave a review when you ask. 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

For starters, make sure your company offers 5-star products and services. Study your competition’s reviews to see what people like and don’t like about their company. When you get negative feedback, take that to heart and change your company for the better (assuming it’s not an unreasonable customer). Publicly show you care by responding and fixing what’s wrong, and then ask your customer if they’d update your review.

Never, ever create fake reviews. Many businesses do this. They get away with it for a while. But it eventually catches up to them.

3. Monitor Your Analytics Carefully

If content is king, analytics is queen. You’ll want to watch how long people are staying on your website. Do they bounce? How many take the action you really want them to take?

Test small changes to your website to optimize these. Change what you offer in the headline. Write different calls to action. See what works best with your website.

That’s how the winners separate themselves from the pack.

If you use these 3 techniques, you’ll be well ahead of most local businesses.

Pay Per Click Marketing Guide

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You’re missing out on big revenues by not using Pay Per Click Advertising! Download our FREE Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online covering topics including:

  • Why Should Your Company Run a PPC Campaign?
  • What Kinds of Companies Can Benefit from PPC?
  • A Side-by-Side Comparison of PPC vs Organic SEO
  • Kinds of PPC and Benefits of Each
  • PPC Innovations You Can Use to Get Better Results
  • Ad Copy 101: How to Write PPC Ads that Get Sales
  • A Brief Analysis of a Landing Page that Sells Like Crazy
  • Should You Use PPC to Drive Brand Awareness?
  • Common Profit-Killing PPC Mistakes SMBs Make on Their Own
  • What Negative Keywords are and How They Skyrocket Your Costs
  • What Does Quality Score Have to Do with PPC?
  • PPC in Action: Setting Up A Sample Campaign
  • Frequently Asked Questions about PPC

To learn how you can boost your revenues with Pay Per Click, fill out the form below to download our free guide.

Want to Cut Your PPC Costs?

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Type an extra “0” in the wrong place in Adwords, and you send your PPC costs out of control!

That’s an easy fix though.

Did you know you could be wasting hundreds, maybe thousands, each month on PPC?

Instead of one gigantic mistake, you slowly drain the financial health out of your company.

Google defines “Quality Score” as “…an estimate of the quality of your ads and landing pages triggered by that keyword.”

Sounds simple in theory, but it gets amazingly complex in practice. In reality, the rank of your PPC ad equals your bid times your Quality Score.

So, the more you increase your Quality Score, the lower the bid you have to pay to keep your rank the same.

Here’s a quick hint too: you don’t want the number one PPC ad rank all the time. There’s lot of research on this, and this post at Wordstream.com shows why it doesn’t always give you the best ROI.

In general though, you want be near the top.

And of Course, Google’s Changed How Quality Score Works (Although it’s Still Unclear What This Means)

It used to be something worth obsessing over, but Google now advises you to keep an eye on it, and not to get too worked up about maximizing it. At ThinkWithGoogle.com, they advise to view it as a “check engine light,” not a defining metric.

You should focus on ad relevance, expected CTR, and landing page experience. Beyond that, don’t get hyper focused on every little detail.

How do you keep your Quality Score high? Here are a few basics:

  1. Avoid negative keywords. Your PPC ads will appear for keywords that do you no good at all. Add them to your negative keywords list so that doesn’t happen. You get a better CTR and Quality Score as a result.
  2. Try new calls-to-action. One may get you much better CTR and Quality Score. Try out several, and test out new ones on an ongoing basis.
  3. Send people to relevant pages. A common rookie mistake is to drive PPC visitors to your home page. You can do that if you’ve set it up to be a landing page. Always use the keyword searched in the title of the page so your visitors know they’re in the right place.
  4. Fast landing page load times. This is a must-do on your website anyway. Aim for 2 seconds or less with every important landing page.
  5. Keep testing keywords. Keyword research is an ongoing process. Always be testing and refining your keywords. Google considers a CTR of less than 1.5% low. Discard any keywords that go below that threshold.
  6. Test your copy. Always make sure your landing page is loaded with benefits for your readers. Many businesses write facts and features. They’re helpful, but benefits like “fast, saving time, and saving money” sell.

The Moral of the Story: Don’t Obsess Too Much about Quality Score

It’s a general indicator of how well your ad will perform. However, if you’re making a tidy profit on leads that come from various searches, be happy with that.

Don’t worry too much about perfectly optimizing each and every landing page!