Category Archives: SEO

Google updates recipe markup for Google Search & Google Assistant

Google announced that it’s updated its recipe structured data documentation to help webmasters improve the visibility of their recipes both in Google Search and on Google Assistant, including Google Home devices.

Google said, “The updated structured data properties provide users with more information about your recipe, resulting in higher quality traffic to your site.”

If you want your recipes to work on Google Assistant, Google requires that the recipeIngredient and recipeInstructions properties be used in your markup. Adding these properties to your recipes will enable recipe guidance, which will walk the user through step-by-step instructions on how to make the recipe.

In addition, Google is now recommending the following recipe properties:

  • Videos: Show users how to make the dish by adding a video array.
  • Category: Tell users the type of meal or course of the dish (for example, “dinner,” “dessert,” “entree”).
  • Cuisine: Specify the region associated with your recipe (for example, “Mediterranean,” “American,” “Cantonese”).
  • Keywords: Add other terms for your recipe such as the season (“summer”), the holiday (“Halloween,” “Diwali”), the special event (“wedding,” “birthday”) or other descriptors (“quick,” “budget,” “authentic”).

This expands on the recipe markup Google launched a year ago.

You can read more about how to implement this structured markup at the Google developer site.


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SearchCap: Google AdWords Editor, Bing Audience Ads & recipe markup changes

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:


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Caroline’s Corner: How to use Pinterest to grow – my experiences

A little over a month ago I started looking at my Pinterest profile more seriously in regards to my blog. I didn’t use Pinterest for my blog yet and never even thought of pinning my blog posts to Pinterest. I used the website to keep my wishlist up to date and had tons of hidden boards full of inspiration for future projects that I would probably never do.

Facebook is my biggest source of traffic currently, but with Facebook’s announcement on the new algorithm, I want to rely less on Facebook. Or spread my traffic source at least. At the end of March, I received a newsletter from a blogger I follow. She claimed she receives over 15,000 visitors from Pinterest every month. She started blogging last year and hasn’t written a new blog post since January. Yet her blog is ever growing, and so is her bank account. 15k for a website that’s not regularly updated raised one main question with me: HOW?

We emailed for a while and she explained she started to treat Pinterest as a search engine instead of a social medium. People are not on Pinterest to see what their friends like, they are looking for a solution for a problem they have. The difference with Google? You have a personal feed when you open Pinterest. And it is visual.

Skepticism

I was skeptical. I don’t like promoting my website, due to my inner critic who thinks it’s necessary to tell me no one wants to read my blog posts and I should not be bothering them on Facebook or anywhere else. Also, I dislike scheduling my social media to promote my blog and I definitely do not like to make the graphics for my blog. I am a writer, but as a blogger you have to be all-round, unless you’re as lucky as me and you can blog for Yoast where there’s an entire team who will create graphics and do the promotion for you. Unfortunately, they won’t do promotion for my personal blog. I should’ve negotiated that at the beginning of my contract.

Still skeptical about Pinterest, I walked into Joost’s office last month and asked him what he knew about Pinterest. He explained to me that there are mom blogs, especially in the US, that get ten thousands of visitors through Pinterest. The statistics can get bizarre. He told me I was definitely in the right niche to grow through Pinterest and should give it a go.

That night I sat down and started creating graphics for my blog. Pinterest suggests vertical pins instead of the horizontal scaled images for Facebook.

What Pinterest did to my statistics

I would love to say that I woke up the next morning, opened Pinterest and saw that my pins went viral. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Your exposure will slowly climb and the more active you are on Pinterest, the faster you will get rewarded.

If you have a business account with Pinterest, you can look at your statistics. I saw that one of my pins had been shown over 400 times in just a few days. So I squealed and told everyone how amazing Pinterest was. I then showed my statistics to everyone who wanted to see, and even those who didn’t know they wanted to see.

But out of those 400 impressions on Pinterest, not one person had repinned my pin. And no one had clicked the link. Facebook advertising sounded a lot more appealing right now. And less work. And easier to understand.

It took me a week to understand and find the mix that started getting me visitors. I can now say that after one month, 10% of my traffic to my blog is Pinterest. 10% in just one month! My stats are surprising me each and every day and I actually love looking at Google Analytics and my Pinterest statistics. I’ve created a board for my blog and created boards that are close to my niche. I’ve repinned pins from others and pinned my own blog posts.

How you can start to grow

To start growing, the first important step is that your image should be appealing and of high quality. Pins with the message in bold letters across the image, work wonders. People want to know what your post is about in one glance. Writing compelling titles is already important for SEO, so dust up those skills and get them to use for Pinterest!

Another important factor of getting seen is collaborating with others in group boards. By pinning your content to group boards, your content will be seen by the others who contribute to the board.

But balance is key: don’t just pin from your own website. Repin as well. Don’t be afraid to repin a blog post from a competitor if it fits one of your boards. For example: one of my best performing boards is about self-care. I have only written two blog posts on this subject yet, but funny enough, these two blog posts generate the most traffic to my blog.

There’s no easy fix to gain visitors fast. It’s much like Google, Facebook or your other sources of traffic: you need to solve a problem for you visitor by creating content your visitors are looking for.

Read more: ‘Blogging: the ultimate guide’ »

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Google: Expect “Extreme” Ranking Fluctuations When Publishing New Content by @MattGSouthern

Google’s John Mueller stated this week that “extreme” ranking fluctuations may occur after publishing new content.

It’s also not unusual for these fluctuations to occur for up to one or two weeks after the content has been published.

This topic came up during a Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout when a site owner asked the following question:

”… a bunch of our visitors had been asking for information about a topic, so last week we created a page centered around answering those questions.

On Friday, when we finished it, we launched it and submitted it though Search Console. Almost immediately, for a search for the long-tail term on that topic, we showed up number 12 in the rankings… and then Saturday comes and the page basically disappeared from the index to where we can’t even find it anymore.

Another page on our site, our index page, which isn’t even really at all related to that topic, comes up in the couple 100s in the rankings. We’re trying to figure out what kind of problem this could indicate, or where we should even look.”

Mueller says this type of situation is “completely normal.”

When Google first indexes a piece of content it has to estimate where the content should be ranked in search results. Sometimes Google overestimates, or underestimates, the ranking position of new content.

Google will eventually determine the most appropriate ranking position for that content, which could take multiple weeks. During that time the ranking position may fluctuate before settling down.

When it comes to new content, Mueller says to expect rankings to fluctuate quite a bit. This could even involve disappearing from search rankings completely, and then showing up again.

You can hear this Q&A in the video below starting at the 3:48 mark. See below the video for a complete transcript of Mueller’s response.

”That can be completely normal. The tricky part there is when we find new content, on a new site or existing site, we kind of have to estimate where we think we should show it where it’s relevant. Sometimes we estimate fairly high and, over time, that kind of settles down.

So it could be that it settles down in a similar position, it could be that it just fluctuates for a while and then settles down in a similar position, or maybe it’ll settle down ranking higher or maybe it’ll settle down ranking a bit lower.

So especially with completely new content, the rankings that you see there I would expect would fluctuate quite a bit. Maybe — I don’t know, I’m just making up a number — a week or two until things kind of settle down into a state where we say this is the normal ranking that we think is appropriate…

It’s kind of extreme, I guess, but it can definitely happen that we index something that we rank it fairly high that, for a couple of days, it disappears completely and then it pops back in maybe at the same position or maybe a slightly different position.”

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