Tag - International

Google Algorithm Changes, Bing AMP & JSON-LD, Google & YouTube Spam & Matt Cutts

– This week we have a lot to cover, first an algorithmic change in the Google search results over last weekend throughout this whole week. Bing announced a new AMP viewer coming this summer, they also announced JSON-LD support in Bing Webmaster Tools. Google announced their latest search spam metrics, including a drop of manual actions from 9 million to 6 million year-over-year. Paul Haahr, a Google search lead talked a lot about the philosophy around Google’s search rankings. Google Search Console now lets you filter out web light traffic. The order of URLs in your Google Sitemaps file does not matter. Google Search Console fixed the crawl stats bug on Wednesday. Link spam n forums do not work well said Google. Google clarified several points around the mobile-first index. Surveys, ratings, reviews are not an organic ranking feature. Google said cache-control headers do not impact crawling. Google said hreflang in sitemaps versus HTML code are treated equally. Local SEOs are not happy with the new Google Agency Dashboard in Google My Business. Google updated their ad settings page. Google AdWords launched new shopping features including in store savings and what’s in this store. Google Local added an attribute for watching sports around the World Cup. Google is piloting an Ad Grant Agency program. Google has added a knowledge panel for doing college research. Google added a carousel for hotel searches. YouTube is fighting paid like spam and has made changes yesterday to those spam algorithms. Matt Cutts stopped by SMX to surprise us all and it was super special. That was this past week in search at the Search Engine Roundtable.

A Google Algorithm Update On Friday, June 8th? :
New Bing AMP Viewer & JSON-LD In Bing Webmaster Tools :
Google Search Spam: Over 6 Million Manual Actions Last Year :
A Google Lead Ranking Engineer Talks About Philosophy Behind Search Ranking :
Google Search Console Now Shows How Much Of Their Traffic Is Over Web Light :
Google Sitemaps URL Order Does Not Matter :
Update: Google Search Console Crawl Stats Back :
Google: Link Spam In Forum Comments Work Very Badly :
Google Clarifies Seven Points On Mobile-First Indexing After Much Confusion :
Stars, Ratings & Surveys Not A Google Ranking Factor :
Google: Cache-Control Headers Do Not Impact GoogleBot :
Hreflang Attributes In Sitemaps & HTML Code Treated Equally By Google :
Local SEO Agencies Not Happy With New Google Agency Dashboard :
Google Updates Ad Settings: You Turn Off Personalized Ads :
Google AdWords New Shopping Features :
Google Local Panel With In Store Savings & See What’s In Store :
Google Local Adds Good For Watching Sports Attribute :
Google Ad Grants Agency Pilot Program Underway :
Google Gives Lessons On College Search :
Google Adds Similar Hotels Carousel To Local Panel :
YouTube Improves Likes Spam Filters To Block Paid Likes:
Matt Cutts Surprises SMX :

How to win with featured snippets | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on this topic, you can read our free guide on how to be featured in Google’s answer box here:

Izzi Smith, SEO Manager at Sixt, talks about featured snippets and how to make the most of them.

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(00:28) Why should businesses be thinking about featured snippets? Why are featured snippets so important for SEO?

(01:14) Some queries and some types of content are more suited to appearing in featured snippets than others. Where should you start when trying to determine which webpages or types of content to focus on optimising for featured snippets?

(02:56) One concern that some businesses have regarding featured snippets is that if they give people the answer in the search results, then these people are not going to visit the website. This is a problem because the purpose of websites is to get people to visit them and generate conversions. How can businesses use featured snippets without them stopping all their website traffic?

(04:02) What about the actual content itself that goes into the featured snippet? What do you need to be doing differently on your webpages to inform the search engines that this content could work well in a featured snippet?

(05:12) Position zero is a coveted spot! There is only one featured snippet for every keyword so it is quite competitive. What can people do to ensure they have an edge over their competitors and end up in position zero?

(06:44) What about if you’re doing this on an international scale, targeting different countries and different languages? Have you seen any differences in the way featured snippets work internationally?

(08:08) Sixt has seen good results with featured snippets. What kind of success rate have you seen and what impact has it had on your business and conversions?

(09:58) How can you track whether you are appearing in featured snippets?

(11:19) What are your top tips for businesses wanting to optimise for featured snippets?

Which ranking factors matter most? | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

Shyam Dattani from Searchmetrics joins us to discuss the results of its latest ranking study. He talks about how online businesses can improve search engine rankings by prioritising relevance and high-quality content, and how traditional ranking factors may be decreasing in importance. He also highlights differences between countries and industry sectors when it comes to search rankings.

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(00:17) Searchmetrics regularly conducts studies into ranking factors. What are the latest findings?

Key takeaways:
– We analysed ranking factors for this year versus last year and found that traditional “checkbox” factors (such as title and meta tags) are declining in importance.
– Instead, we found that relevancy is a very strong ranking factor with an almost perfect correlation with the actual search rankings.

(03:23) Did you find any interesting or significant differences between countries or are search rankings the same all around the world?

Key takeaways:
– There are definite differences between markets.
– The English-speaking markets tend to be ahead of the curve.
– In places like the Nordics and Turkey, the actual search ranking algorithms are further behind, meaning that traditional ranking factors are more important than relevancy in these markets.
– However, if you are targeting these non-English speaking markets, it is worth optimising for relevancy now so that you are prepared for when they do finally catch up to the curve.
– There are also differences by industry.

(05:31) What are the best strategies to rank highly for relevant search terms?

Key takeaways:
– Your technical SEO needs to be good.
– Remember that you are optimising for a user, not for Google.
– Concentrate on what the user wants to find on your page and produce this content.
– Remember that one topic does not equal one keyword. There will be multiple keywords per topic.

(08:40) Are traditional SEO factors, like title tags and meta tags, still important?

Key takeaways:
– Yes, they are still important and you should still make sure that you use title tags and meta tags etc. You just need to be aware that relevancy is now something that you should also be focusing on.

(11:06) How do you think search engine ranking factors will change in the future?

Key takeaways:
– I think SEO will become closer to content marketing than ever before.

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

How To Appear In The Google Answer Box | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on this topic, download our free guide on how to be featured in Google’s Answer Box here:

Saga’s Adrian Phipps joins us to explain how to get your content to appear in Google’s Answer Box. We discuss the value of the appearing in that position, which SEO tactics can help achieve that visibility and how good, relevant content is fundamental to success. Adrian also explains how quick answers should fit into an overall international SEO strategy.

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(00:16) What is the Google Answer Box?

Key takeaways:
– The Google Answer box is a snippet of information in a grey box that appears above the organic SERP rankings in Google.
– It sometimes appears when a user searches for a question and is a chance by Google for your website to provide an answer without the user having to click onto your website.
– Two types of queries can result in a Google Answer Box: discovery intent queries (e.g. what, how, when, where and why questions) and purchase intent queries.
– It is a fantastic opportunity to raise brand awareness.

(02:28) What tactics can help you to appear in the Google Answer Box?

Key takeaways:
– Answer a question!
– Conduct research to find out which questions your users are searching for, and then create content that answers those questions.
– Only answer questions that are relevant to your business and industry.

(03:24) Where should you have your answers on your website?

Key takeaways:
– You should have an article page on your website. It is best practice to answer the question in the first 100 words. If appropriate, this page should be backed up by assets such as videos, calculators and widgets that help the user to understand the topic.

(04:08) If you appear in the Google Answer Box, there’s a risk that the user will simply read your answer and leave without actually going to your website! How do you ensure that they go onto your website?

Key takeaways:
– You need to persevere and build a good authority as a content owner. This will help you to rank well in the search results in general.
– Make sure you have follow best practice for technical SEO, on-page SEO, brand awareness, PR, citations, backlinks and social media. This will expose your brand to your audience and over time they will be more and more encouraged to check you out.

If you’re interested in finding out more on this topic, download our free guide on how to be featured in Google’s Answer Box here:

Technical SEO Tactics For International Ecommerce Sites | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

James McLoughlin, Technical SEO Manager at Mister Spex, discusses the differences between managing ecommerce SEO compared to non-ecommerce sites, such as the increased value of long-tail search queries when selling products online. He talks about the increased importance of crawling on product and category pages and discusses issues such as duplicate content and site structure, as well as how to best present your site in multiple foreign markets.

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(00:19) What are the biggest differences between SEO on an ecommerce site versus a non-ecommerce site?
(02:01) There are various options you can choose from to ensure that Google does not crawl certain URLs on your website. What are the pros and cons of the different methods?
(02:53) How do you make sure that you have a really clean and structured navigation system?
(04:24) A common problem for ecommerce sites is duplicate content. How do you handle duplicate content to make sure that your products are not being indexed unnecessarily?
(05:45) How important are rich snippets and schema for products on ecommerce sites?
(06:50) What role does internal linking play for ecommerce sites? How do you make it scalable and ensure your site has a logical linking structure?
(08:02) How much value does internal linking add from an SEO point of view?
(08:45) What extra challenges does international throw into the mix for ecommerce SEO, for example geo-targeting?
(10:26) How do you audit your website and put checks in place to ensure that you flag up any issues and see where you are missing opportunities?

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

International Search Marketing For Ecommerce Brands | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

We delve deep into the world of international search for ecommerce with Ruben Vezzoli from Lesara. He talks about how best to succeed with a search campaign, including the implementation of localisation and combining search activity with a social campaign. We also discuss how to measure success and the need to adapt benchmarks and goals across different markets.

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(00:22) What are the biggest challenges about managing international search?
(00:55) Lesara operates in 23 different countries. How do you manage your search campaigns on such a large scale and make sure that each one is relevant to the local audience?
(01:52) Are there any areas in which you can scale your efforts across markets?
(02:56) How effective is Google Shopping compared to search ads? Does one work better than the other or should you have both?
(03:41) What about advertising on social media? How does social advertising compare to search?
(04:32) How much do your digital marketing tactics vary by country?
(05:10) What about SEO? How does SEO support the paid side of things?
(05:50) How do you measure your results? Do you have standard goals and KPIs across all countries or do these vary by country?
(06:35) Online fashion is a very competitive sector. What are the most important things to focus on in the online fashion industry, in order to stand out from the competition?
(07:22) What are your top tips for international search management?

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

Tips For Rolling Out An International Mobile Site | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

Liang Chen from RS Components joins us to discuss the SEO secrets behind launching a successful mobile site. We talk about the various SEO tactics that can be used to make sure that your site is visible in mobile results and the different ways in which a mobile presence can be achieved. Liang also talks about the different attributes from different search engines that have to be considered to be successful on a global level.

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(00:20) A global mobile website rollout is something you’ve done recently at RS Components. What was the reason for doing that?
(01:11) What criteria did you take into account when deciding how to structure your mobile website?
(02:18) Once you decided on your approach and are starting to build your mobile website, what are the main things to ensure you get right?
(03:18) You have to make sure that Google knows which version of your website is for desktop and which version is for mobile. How do you do that?
(04:16) When you are rolling a mobile website out globally, you need to take into considering more search engines than just Google. What extra things do you need to think about when you’re targeting other search engines like Baidu or Yandex?
(05:36) With any rollout, the key is to not cause any disruption to your website and your users. What steps can you put in place to make the rollout process as quick and efficient as possible?
(07:24) How quickly do you see results from a global mobile website rollout?
(08:25) On an ongoing basis, once you’ve rolled out your global website and it’s live, what do you need to keep on top of it and make sure that it continues to perform properly?

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

How to manage SEO on a global scale | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

Working in so many markets, Vodafone’s SEO strategy has to be very carefully constructed. Nick Wilsdon, Vodafone’s Lead SEO for Global, explains how it is important to share knowledge between markets, centralise reports and introduce automation. He also speaks about encouraging different teams around the world by being able to measure local successes.

This in-depth interview with Nick Wilsdon from Vodafone provides a unique insight into managing SEO from the perspective of one of the world’s biggest mobile operators.

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(00:19) How many markets and languages is Vodafone operating in?

Key takeaways:
– Vodafone operates in 22 core markets and 65+ partner markets and has 438 million mobile customers.

(01:18) What are the fundamentals that you need to have in place as a centralised manager of an international SEO project?

Key takeaways:
– Vodafone built an SEO community within the company with social channels and webinars where all the SEO specialists can share their knowledge and expertise.
– Vodafone allows different markets to try different strategies and then present these case studies to the rest of the group. Successful strategies can then be adopted by the rest of the company.

(04:40) How do you effectively communicate with your global teams where they have to adhere to brand guidelines and where they have the freedom to be different?

Key takeaways:
– Vodafone has global brand guidelines and provides assets for a wide variety of things, for example for app store icons and for individual marketing campaigns.

(06:06) When it comes to reporting and analysing data, it must be a challenge if you’ve got teams in each market as they will potentially be collecting data in a slightly different way. What tips do you have for how to centralise reporting and make the process more efficient?

Key takeaways:
– All data needs to be automated in order for centralised reporting to work.
– Gamification has proven to be a successful strategy to motivate different markets.

(09:13) In your experience, what has been the most effective way to manage geo-targeting on such a large scale?

Key takeaways:
– Implementing hreflang tags has been incredibly useful and effective.
– You should also ensure that your content is specifically tailored to each market you are targeting.

(10:15) How do you deal with duplicate content on such a large international website?

Key takeaways:
– Many tools now allow you to identify where you have duplicate content.
– Having a dedicated process with regards to duplicate content within the SEO team also helps.

(11:12) A mobile operator needs to have a good mobile experience! How do you make sure that your mobile website and app are top-notch?

Key takeaways:
– Vodafone has been concentrating on mobile optimisation strategies such as app indexation and deep linking.
– The implementation of AMP (accelerated mobile pages) has also been important.
– It is advisable to use a tag management system as an SEO data layer. It is useful for running proof of concepts and getting around blockages.

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

How to target global markets through international SEO | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

Jesse James Woods, an SEO Analyst at the travel site Kayak, talks to us about international SEO. With Kayak currently working in 36 countries across the world, we discuss how best to overcome the nuances in foreign markets and create a local experience. Jesse also talks about using tools to improve SEO insights and processes, the challenges of implementing hreflang, and the differing approaches of the global search engines in crawling and indexing websites.

This in-depth interview with Jesse James Woods, from the well-known travel website Kayak, provides a unique insight into international SEO from the perspective of one of the biggest names in travel.

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(00:19) How many markets is Kayak active in and how many languages does Kayak have on its website?
(00:36) When you’re dealing with global languages, such as English and Spanish which are used in multiple countries, how do you handle that from an SEO point of view?
(01:38) What tools do you use to find out which keywords people are searching for in different markets? Are there any other tools that are useful for international SEO?
(02:29) How regularly do you go back to these tools to conduct new research and check that your information is still up-to-date?
(03:07) What are the biggest challenges for implementing hreflang and what do you do to ensure that it is working correctly on your website?
(04:53) With hreflang, paginated pages can be a challenge. How do you handle that?
(05:57) What are the main things to consider from an international SEO perspective when internally linking between websites?
(07:19) What are your recommendations for the best ways to build links to your website from external websites?
(08:28) Do you always replicate every page from your .com site to all the languages you target, or do you decide on a page-by-page basis?
(09:35) Another important development is the mobile-first index from Google. What impact is that going to have for brands with big international websites? What should they be doing to prepare?

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

How To Manage Large-Scale SEO Projects | International SEO

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here:

Gerry White, an SEO Consultant for Just Eat, talks about the challenges of managing large-scale SEO projects in multiple markets, and the importance of working with other teams within the business. He also discusses the most valuable tools within SEO, and what each of these can do for your business.

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(00:19) How do you prioritise where to focus your efforts when you’re working on SEO for a large, complex, international website?

Key takeaways:
– Create a list of SEO tasks that need to take place and consult with developers to discover which 5 things will bring the biggest return on investment (ROI).
– Think carefully about the amount of time and resources that these changes will take up.

(01:41) What are your top tips for scaling SEO efforts?

Key takeaways:
– Automation is key! Look for SEO tools that can help you to monitor performance.

(02:17) Which SEO tools are most valuable for large global websites?

Key takeaways:
– DeepCrawl
– SEMrush

(02:55) Why should Google Tag Manager be part of your SEO toolkit?

Key takeaways:
– Google Tag Manager allows you to run tests on a subset of pages.

(03:49) In terms of implementing Google Tag Manager, how easy is it to get started? What are the potential pitfalls to avoid?

Key takeaways:
– You need to know what you’re doing in order to avoid messing it up, but if you know what you are doing it is not too difficult.
– In terms of pitfalls to avoid, because Google Tag Manager allows you to place any JavaScript onto a website, it means you can potentially break the entire website, so be careful not to do that!

(05:44) How important is testing in SEO? How do you determine which tests you should be doing when?

Key takeaways:
– SEO testing is very important. However, split testing in SEO can be difficult because results can be influenced by more than just the changes you’ve made, for example by a search engine algorithm update or a content marketing campaign.

(07:57) Can you scale SEO tests globally or do you need to run tests in each market?

Key takeaways:
– Technical SEO issues can often be scaled globally.
– However, for less technical elements, it is often the case that different markets have different reactions to things. Therefore, in these cases it is wise to run tests in each individual market rather than scaling the results of tests in one market to all markets globally.

(08:51) What tips do you have for businesses wanting to boost their app’s rankings in the app stores and search engines?

Key takeaways:
– ASO, or app store optimisation, is where you try to ensure that your app appears at the top of the app store search results for relevant search queries.
– The best way to achieve this is to make sure you have a really good app that works well and contains all the features that users want.
– There are also some key things you should make sure are optimised: title, description, meta keywords.
– Deep linking is another strategy you should consider employing.
– Google has introduced progressive web apps (PWA).

If you’re interested in finding out more on international SEO, check out a selection of our guides and videos on the subject here: