Competitor content analysis: Here’s what you can learn



Andrew Dennis

It’s 10 pm – do you know where your competitors are?

Like the effect those PSAs had on parents in the 80’s and 90’s, this message likely brings up feelings of concern and uncertainty, especially if you’re a brand fighting for your spot in the marketplace.

Competitor analysis is an integral part of running a successful business and this holds true for online brands as well, particularly when it comes to search marketing and SEO. While it may take quarterly or even annual studies to discover when you’re losing market share to the competition in terms of positioning or share of mind, you can see your competition start to outrank you in the search results immediately.

Since search engines largely rely on algorithms to determine the results they show searchers, these results are constantly updating, and if you’re standing pat with SEO, you’re losing ground.

To mitigate these losses – as well as find growth opportunities – you need to monitor competitor strategies, and one of the best places to start is with their content.

Analyzing competitor content to identify content gaps

Keeping an eye on the competition is important because it can help you find gaps within your own content strategy and where your pages might be missing the mark.

Start by identifying your competitors’ top pages. One way to find these pages is to use a tool like Screaming Frog to see which pages have the most internal links pointing to them. Internal links signal importance to search engines, so these are the pages your competitor has flagged as their most important. Review these pages to see if there are any relevant pages you need to add to your site.

Another great way to find missed opportunities through competitor content is to identify which pages are driving organic traffic to competitor sites. Tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs make it easy to identify top pages based on what percentage of organic traffic they earn. 

If you see a page that is responsible for a substantial percentage of your competitor’s traffic – and you don’t cover that subject on your site – it may be worth exploring what it would take to create your own page on the topic. Furthermore, if your competitor’s content is thin, poorly structured, or you are otherwise confident you can create something equal or better, you’ve just found a prime opportunity to capture more search visitors.

Analyze your competitors’ top pages, and the keywords associated with those pages, then examine your own content to see if there are any gaps you could fill to create new sources of organic traffic.

Competitor content analysis for content improvement

Analyzing competitor content can also empower you to improve your existing pages.

As you analyze your competitors’ top pages, don’t just focus on keywords – scrutinize the structure and organization of the page to understand why it might be performing so well.

Does the page go in-depth and perhaps it’s ranking based on thoroughness? Or is the page answering a specific question quickly and succinctly? Or does it do both?

These are important questions to answer if you want to understand why their page is ranking, and more importantly, how you can improve the performance of your pages.

You should also pay attention to the formats and types of content used. Is the content broken up with images or screenshots? Do they use bullet points and sub-headers to make the page easy to scan? Is video or audio present on the page? Again, these are your competitor’s top pages, and that short video they’ve embedded on their page might be the difference between their content’s performance and yours.

However, don’t stop at your competitor’s page. Go examine the corresponding search results where they rank and analyze the other pages featured there. While these pages might be from brands you don’t consider traditional competitors, these are the pages you’re competing with for visibility in search. Also, these pages can provide further insight into how you can tweak and improve your existing content.

Other information you can glean from competitor and current ranking pages includes:

  • Primary intent that search engines associate with the given topic.
  • Relevant and related sub-topics or questions.
  • Associated SERP features (rich snippets, knowledge graph, local packs, etc.)
  • And credible external sources and relevant citations.

With this information, you will have all the tools necessary to update your page to best answer the query you’re targeting. 

At this point, the only thing standing between your content and page one rankings might be backlinks. However, with backlink tools like Majestic and Moz you can identify the sites linking to those top pages – if you work to improve your page to the level of quality of the ranking pages, it’s likely these sites would be open to linking to your page as well.

Leveraging competitor content for linkable asset ideation

Speaking of backlinks, analyzing competitor content can help you generate ideas for link-worthy content too.

Before, you were scrutinizing competitor pages based on organic traffic, but many of the tools I’ve discussed here will also help you identify your competitors’ top pages based on backlinks. Just as you analyzed their top trafficked pages to understand why they rank so well; you can analyze these top linked pages to understand why they attract so many backlinks.

This analysis provides you with a host of topics that generate links and interest within your niche. You can also dig into the backlink profiles of these pages to learn how they are linked to gain insight into what types of pages and websites would want to link to this content.

For example, your competitor may have executed an original study that produced one interesting statistic that is being cited by numerous websites. It’s likely you won’t be able to replicate that study – and if you do, other sites are more likely to find your competitor’s site when searching for a citation – but you can analyze their study and identify what made it interesting to springboard ideas for tangential or supportive research.

Of course, improving on their idea, also known as the skyscraper technique, is an option as well, but this approach typically requires significant investment.

The key to this analysis is identifying linkable topics and pivoting them to be unique while maintaining the attributes that made your competitor’s pages link-worthy.

Benefits of competitor content analysis

Content marketing continues to be an integral part of successful digital marketing and SEO as search engines constantly provide the advice to “create good content.” However, consistently generating quality content ideas and executing them well is difficult, particularly if your goal is to rank your content in competitive SERPs.

Fortunately, your competitors are here to help! Through competitor content analysis you can learn:

  • Which pages and topics your competitors identify as important.
  • How your competitors earn organic traffic from search.
  • Where gaps exist within your current content marketing strategy.
  • Which low-investment content opportunities are available.
  • Ways to improve existing content for better search performance.
  • Which topics generate interest and backlinks within your niche.
  • And how and why websites link to content within your space.

Understanding your competitors’ content strategies will help you outperform them where it matters most, in the search results.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Andrew Dennis is a Content Marketing Specialist at Page One Power. Along with his column on Search Engine Land, Andrew also writes about SEO and link building for the Page One Power blog, Linkarati. When he’s not reading or writing about SEO, you’ll find him cheering on his favorite professional teams and supporting his alma mater the University of Idaho.



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6 Ways to Get More Organic Traffic, Without Ranking Your Website



ryanwashere

A few years ago, I wrote a post here that caught some attention in the community.

I argued Google appears to be ranking websites heavily based on searcher intent — this is more true now than ever.

In fact, it might be algorithmically impossible to get your website on top of the SERPs.

If you find your website in this position, don’t give up on SEO!

The point of “Search Engine Optimization” is to get organic exposure through search engines — it doesn’t necessarily have to be your website.

We can leverage the ranking authority of other websites pass organic referral traffic to our sites.

I’m going to give 6 times when you should NOT rank your website.

Prefer to watch / listen? I outlined all these points as a part of a recent keynote: https://youtu.be/mMvIty5W93Y

1. When the keywords are just TOO competitive

We’ve all been there: trying to rank a website with no authority for highly competitive keywords.

These keywords are competitive because they’re valuable so we can’t give up on them.

Here’s a few workarounds I’ve used in the past.

Tactic 1: Offer to sponsor the content

Ardent sells a product that “decarboxylates” cannabis for medicinal users.

There’s a ton of challenges selling this product, mostly because patients don’t know what “decarboxylation” means.

So, naturally, ranking for the keyword “what is decarboxylation” is a critical step in their customer’s path to conversion. Problem is, that keyword is dominated by authoritative, niche relevant sites.

While Ardent should still build and optimize content around the subject, it might take years to rank.

When you’re trying to build a business, that’s not good enough.

We decided to reach out to those authoritative sites offering to “sponsor” one of their posts.

In this case, it worked exceptionally well — we negotiated a monthly rate ($250) to tag content with a CTA and link back to Ardent’s site.

Granted, this doesn’t work in every niche. If you operate in one of those spaces, there’s another option.

Tactic 2: Guest post on their site

Guest writing for Moz in 2015 put my agency on the map.

Publishing on powerful sites quickly expands your reach and lends credibility to your brand (good links, too).

More importantly, it gives you instant ranking power for competitive keywords.

As co-owner of an SEO agency, it would be amazing to rank in Google for “SEO services,” right?

seo-servce-google-search

Even with an authoritative site, it’s difficult to rank your site for the search “SEO service” nationally. You can leverage the authority of industry sites to rank for these competitive searches.

The post I wrote for Moz back in 2015 ranks for some very competitive keywords (admittedly, this was unintentional).

This post continues to drive free leads, in perpetuity.

moz-referral-traffic

When we know a client has to get visibility for a given keyword but the SERPs won’t budge, our agency builds guest posting into our client’s content strategies.

It’s an effective tactic that can deliver big results when executed properly.

2. When you can hijack “brand alternative” keywords

When you’re competing for SERP visibility with a large brand, SEO is an uphill battle.

Let’s look at a couple tactics if you find yourself in this situation.

Tactic #1: How to compete against HubSpot

HubSpot is a giant on the internet — they dominate the SERPs.

Being that large can have drawbacks, including people searching Googlef “HubSpot alternatives.” If you’re a competitor, you can’t afford to miss out on these keywords.

“Listicle” style articles dominate for these keywords, as they provide the best “type” of result for a searcher with that intent.

It’s ranking on top for a lot of valuable keywords to competitors.

As a competitor, you’ll want to see if you can get included in this post (and others). By contacting the author with a pitch, we can create an organic opportunity for ourselves.

This pitch generally has a low success. The author needs to feel motivated to add you to the article. Your pitch needs to contain a value proposition that can move them to action.

A few tips:

  • Find the author’s social profiles and add them. Then retweet, share, and like their content to give them a boost
  • Offer to share the article with your social profiles or email list if they include you in it
  • Offer to write the section for inclusion to save them time

While success rate isn’t great, the payoff is worth the effort.

Tactic #2: Taking advantage of store closures

Teavana is an international tea retailer with millions of advocates (over 200k searches per month in Google).

Just a few months ago, Starbucks decided to close all Teavana stores. With news of Teavana shutting down, fans of the brand would inevitably search for “Teavana replacements” to find a new company to buy similar tea from.

Teami is a small tea brand that sells a number of SKUs very similar to what Teavana. Getting in front of those searches would provide tremendous value to their business.

At that moment, we could do two things:

  1. Try to rank a page on Teami’s for “Teavana replacement”
  2. Get it listed on an authority website in a roundup with other alternatives

If you ask many SEO experts what to do, they’d probably go for the first option. But we went with the second option – getting it listed in a roundup post.

If we ranked Teami as a Teavana replacement — which we could do — people will check the site and know that we sell tea, but they won’t take it seriously because they don’t trust us yet that we are a good Teavana replacement.

How to pull it off for your business

Find a writer who writes about these topics on authoritative sites. You may need to search for broader keywords and see articles from authority magazine-like websites.

Check the author of the article, find their contact info, and send them a pitch.

We were able to get our client (Teami Blends) listed as the number-two spot in the article, providing a ton of referral traffic to the website.

3. When you want to rank for “best” keywords

When someone is using “best” keywords (i.e. best gyms in NYC), the SERPs are telling us the searcher doesn’t want to visit a gym’s website.

The SERPs are dominated by “roundup” articles from media sources — these are a far better result to satisfy the searcher’s intent.

That doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from “best keywords.” Let’s look at a few tactics.

Tactic #1: Capture searchers looking for “best” keywords

Let’s say you come to Miami for a long weekend.

You’ll likely search for “best coffee shops in Miami” to get a feel for where to dine while here.

If you own a coffee shop in Miami, that’s a difficult keyword to rank for – the SERPs are stacked against you.

A few years back we worked with a Miami-based coffee shop chain, Dr Smood, who faced this exact challenge.

Trying to jam their website in the SERPs would be a waste of resources. Instead, we focused on getting featured in press outlets for “best of Miami” articles.

local PR for links

How can you do it?

Find existing articles (ranking for your target “best of” keywords) and pitch for inclusion. You can offer incentives like free meals, discounts, etc. in exchange for inclusion.

You’ll also want to pitch journalists for future inclusion in articles. Scan your target publication for relevant journalists and send an opening pitch:

Hey [NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME]. Our agency manages the marketing for [CLIENT].

We’ve got a new menu that we think would be a great fit for your column. We’d love to host you in our Wynwood location to sample the tasting menu.

If interested, please let me know a date / time that works for you!

We pitched dozens of journalists on local publications for Dr Smood.

author info

It resulted in a handful of high-impact features.

local PR for links

Work with food service businesses? I have more creative marketing tips for restaurants here.

Tactic #2: If you have a SaaS / training company

Let’s say you work for an online training company that helps agencies improve their processes and service output.

There’s hundreds of articles reviewing “best SEO training” that would be a killer feature for your business.

Getting featured here isn’t as hard as you might think — you just have to understand how to write value propositions into your pitch.

Part of that is taking the time to review your prospect and determine what might interest them:

  • Helping get traffic to their site?
  • Discounts / free access to your product?
  • Paying them…?

Here’s a few I came up with when pitching on behalf of The Blueprint Training.

Hey [NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME]…nice to meet you.

I’ll get to the point – I just read your article on “Best SEO Trainings” on the [BLOG NAME] blog. I recently launched a deep SEO training and I’d love consideration to be included.

I recently launched a platform called The Blueprint Training – I think its a perfect fit for your article.

Now, I realize how much work it is to go back in and edit an article, so I’m willing to do all of the following:

– Write the section for you, in the same format as on the site

– Promote the article via my Twitter account (I get GREAT engagement)
– Give you complimentary access to the platform to see the quality for yourself

Let me know what you think and if there’s anything else I can do for you.

Enjoy your weekend!

If you can understand value propositioning, you’ll have a lot of success with this tactic.

4. When you need to spread your local footprint

Piggybacking off the previous example, when performing keyword research we found Google displayed completely different SERPs for keywords that all classified what Dr Smood offered.

  • Miami organic cafe
  • Miami coffee shop
  • Miami juice bar

The algorithm is telling us each of these keywords is different — it would be extremely difficult to rank the client’s website for all three.

However, we can use other owned properties to go after the additional keywords in conjunction with our website.

Properties like Yelp allow you to edit titles and optimize your listing just like you would your website.

We can essentially perform “on page” SEO for these properties and get them to rank for valuable keyword searches.

The structure we took with Dr Smood was as follows:

When doing this for your business, be sure to identify all the keyword opportunities available and pay attention to how the SERPs react for each.

Understand which citation pages (Yelp, MenuPages, etc) you have available to rank instead your website for local searches and optimize them as you would your website.

5. When you need to boost e-commerce sales

The SERPs for e-commerce stores are brutally competitive. Not only do you have to compete with massive brands / retailers, but also sites like Amazon and Etsy.

Look, I get it — selling on Amazon isn’t that simple. There’s a ton of regulations and fees that come with the platform.

But these regulations are what’s keeping a lot of larger brands from selling there, aka, there’s an opportunity there.

Amazon accounts for 40% of online retail in the US (and growing rapidly). Not only can you get your Amazon to rank in Google searches, but 90% of sales on the platform come from internal Amazon searches.

In other words, Amazon is its own marketing engine.

While you might take a haircut on your initial sales, you can use Amazon as a customer acquisition channel and optimize the lifetime value to recoup your lost upfront sales.

Here’s how we did it for a small e-commerce client.

Tactic: Radha Beauty Oil

Radha Beauty sells a range of natural oils for skin, hair and general health. Our keyword research found that Amazon listings dominated most of their target keywords.

With clients like this we make sure to track SERP result type, to properly understand what Google wants to rank for target keywords.

Specifically, Amazon listings had the following SERP share:

  • First result = 27.3%
  • Second result = 40.9%
  • Third result = 35.9%

Fortunately, this client was already selling on Amazon. Unfortunately, they had a limited budget. We didn’t have the hours in our retainer to optimize both their e-commerce store and their Amazon store.

This data gave us the firepower to have a conversation with the client that our time would drive more revenue optimizing their Amazon store over their e-commerce platform.

We focused our efforts optimizing their Amazon listings just like we would an e-commerce store:

  • Amazon product titles
  • Amazon descriptions
  • Generating reviews from past customers
  • Building links to Amazon store pages

The results were overwhelmingly positive.

If you’re a newer e-commerce brand, an Amazon store gives you the opportunity to outrank giants like Ulta in Google.

6. When the SERPs call for video

Predator Nutrition is an e-commerce site that sells health and fitness supplements. They have their own private label products, but they’re mainly a retailer (meaning they sell other brands as well).

While performing keyword research for them, we found a ton of search volume around people looking for reviews of products they sold.

youtube-review-keywords

The SERPs clearly show that searchers prefer to watch videos for “review” searches.

There are a couple ways you can capture these searches:

  1. Create videos for your YouTube channel reviewing products
  2. Find and pay an influencer to review products for you

I prefer method #2, as reviews on third-party channels rank better — especially if you’re targeting YouTubers with a large following.

Not only are you adding more branded content in the SERPs, but you’re getting your products reviewed for targeted audiences.

Final thoughts…

This industry tends to romanticize SEO as a traffic source.

Don’t get me wrong, I love how passionate our community is, but… we have to stop.

We’re trying to build businesses. We can’t fall in love with a single source of traffic (and turn our backs to others).

The internet is constantly changing. We need to adapt along with it.

What do you think?



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How we can restore trust in digital advertising



Greg Sterling

Benoit Grouchko is CEO and co-founder of Teemo.

Teemo is a France-based location intelligence provider (“drive-to-store” marketing platform) that serves the retail, fast-food, automotive and grocery industries. The company worked closely with the French privacy regulator (CNIL) to develop specific consent language around third-party use of location data and saw 70% consumer opt-in rates.

Benoit Grouchko is CEO and co-founder. I spoke to him recently about data and consumer privacy and his expectations for how CCPA will impact marketers.

ML: Google proposed an industry-wide initiative to try and preserve behavioral targeting in the U.S. while giving consumers more control over that data. Are you hopeful about this effort?

BG: Google
owns such a large piece of the digital advertising pie that one can only be
hopeful. Do they have the leverage to manipulate this to their benefit? Sure,
but their efforts can also do a lot of good on a macro level. 

It’s a good
sign and indicates that Google is seeking to be ahead of the regulation curve
by setting the precedent on privacy. What’s interesting is that a lot of the
best practices this blog proposes are already in place in France and the rest
of Europe. There’s a lot the US can learn from GDPR.

ML: Many surveys suggest that consumers increasingly distrust big internet companies, brands and digital advertising generally. Can trust in digital marketing be restored?

BG: I am an
optimist so, yes, I think trust can – and will – be restored. We sometimes
forget that digital advertising is a relatively new industry. And every
industry goes through a “correction” or “adjustment” of some kind at some point
in its history. We’ve been building up to this for a while now; the Facebook
debacle and the institution of GDPR are the two straws that broke the camel’s
back. 

I think
it’s a matter of time until things settle. I can’t say it will be soon, but
regulation will normalize over time and companies will fall into place. 

What we can
do individually – as people and companies – is to do what’s right for our
customers and to organize. We need to stop thinking of short-term gains and
think about the ecosystem as a whole. As you rightly pointed out, we all stand
to lose here. 

Often
consumers conflate mistrust with misunderstanding. Better transparency will
help people see that the “creepy types of targeting” they mistrust is not quite
as threatening as they perceive.

Advertisers are good at their jobs,
and even better when they use data. Being embedded in the ad industry, I have
the perspective that good advertising helps inform me about products or
opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise know. As digital literacy and transparency
increase, so will trust.

ML: We spoke about finding a middle point between irrelevant and creepy. In a post-GDPR, CCPA world how does all that happen on a mechanical level? 

BG: The middle
ground between irrelevant and creepy is an ad experience that optimizes
performance for the advertiser and is great for the consumer. Two things need
to happen to find that middle ground: first, advertisers need to get better at
understanding performance. Even if an ad is hyper-relevant, if a consumer
perceives it as creepy, it will decrease performance and deteriorate brand
sentiment. Advertisers need to look at performance over everything. The “creep”
factor will play into performance and help advertisers determine what types and
depth of targeting to use.

The second thing that needs to
happen is on the consumer level. Consumers need to become more digitally
literate. Any data that digital marketers ethically use will be anonymized.
Most consumers probably don’t understand that. It goes both ways, though. Many
consumers don’t know which apps are tracking them and when. Great transparency
and knowledge will help us reach a middle ground.

Regulations
will certainly help put some boundaries there and make sure nothing creepy
happens. However, there is a deeper question here around what is actually
creepy or not, as that might vary from one consumer to another.

ML: My understanding that most Europeans aren’t doing much in the way of managing cookie settings; they’re making binary choices (decline/accept). Is this accurate? 

BG: I think
European consumers are confused about how cookies function. I also think many
are wary of the concept. And they should be.

Many
companies use “tricks” to drive consumers to give consent. Some play with
screen placement and colors; others offer only a single choice, which is
consent. 

From my personal point of view, I think these choices relate back to digital literacy. More digitally literate people will make more complex choices and set their permissions at the top level. Most people are probably making binary choices, but as digital literacy increases, people will begin to change their attitudes. Pop-ups were once the bane of any Internet user’s existence. Now users have to deal with privacy, notification and tracking pop-ups. I doubt this will continue forever.

ML: Regarding CCPA, what is put in front of consumers when they visit a website will matter. If choices are complicated they’ll likely “accept” to get to the desired content and there won’t be much impact. Do you agree? 

BG: I couldn’t agree more. And it’s these manipulative/deceptive practices I stated above that are counterproductive to the cause. 

No one reads the entire terms and conditions. People use the Internet to increase speed and efficiency. Like I said, even the opt-in or opt-out choices may fade away at some point.

ML: In the U.S. “ad choices” — the industry’s prior attempt to deliver user control and choice re behavioral targeting — is a total failure.  Why would any of the newer “choice” initiatives (or CCPA) be any different?

BG: Something’s
got to give in terms of privacy and transparency in the US. I hope that CCPA
will learn from GDPR and how consumers reacted. While the first set of
regulations may create an undue burden, the landscape will reach equilibrium,
and everything should go back to “normal” at some point.

ML: How does Safari and ITP, which is a different approach to these same problems, affect the market? Many marketers see cookie blocking as a blunt instrument and very heavy-handed. How do you see what Apple is doing? 

BG: Apple has
always taken a hard line on security – and it’s served them well. If there were
more companies like Apple, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this situation to begin
with. The greedy argument is that digital advertising would not have reached
such heights but, as I said, this is a long-term game. 

The problem
I see now is that everyone has gotten a taste of the profits and set the bar
quite high, making it difficult for any one vendor to take such a hard line
without losing a ton of business. Not an easy problem to solve.

While a
hard line on security has served Apple well, consumer reaction always has a lot
of influence on regulation. Apple has always been able to simplify the digital
experience for consumers. But I still think this first round of guidelines will
be a learning experience, especially as other big players in tech respond.

ML: Whose job is it to educate consumers to make them more digitally literate? 

BG: I think, ultimately, it’s up to us in the industry to not only do what’s right in terms of respecting privacy but also to educate consumers on best practices. I feel that regulation is meaningless to consumers if they don’t understand the nature of the transactions in which they engage, how the technologies work, and the associated costs, benefits, trade-offs. 

Informed consumers are in the end
the future of our businesses, which are built on trust. It’s in our best
interest to do right by then to gain/regain this trust so we can build loyalty.

Regulators, advertisers, companies,
and web providers all have an obligation to be transparent about the digital
landscape and what it means for consumer privacy. But, if the burden falls to
these entities it creates a greater layer of complexity than necessary. It begs
the question: how much should regulators, advertisers, etc. inform consumers?

There certainly should be some
level of transparency, but privacy practices that, for example, initiate pop-up
requests for permission to run every nominal background task may end up
annoying or confusing consumers more than they help them. The landscape will
eventually reach equilibrium. Ultimately, in any society with freedom of
information, it’s up to consumers themselves (along with news organizations,
journalists, and watchdogs) to become digitally literate.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.



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Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, it’s buyer activity that matters most



John Steinert

We’re 20 years into the SaaS revolution now, and B2B companies have gotten the table stakes of an operational set-up for tactical go-to-market pretty much down. We know how to define our ideal customer profiles (ICP) in terms of firmographics. We understand the importance of technographics and the implications of existing installs on sellability. We’ve learned about buying team dynamics and we’ve gotten the hang of creating personas to help us address the typical needs of important functions and roles. And, if we have enough historical data, we can now pretty easily use analytics to model propensity to buy, project that onto a list of lookalike targets, and have at it. 

But what if you’re a new company and you don’t have the data you’d need to create an effective model? What if you’re small and you don’t have the resource to get all that groundwork done any time soon? What if you’re in a mature category and you’ve already completed all the set-up work – and all your competition has too? In those situations and more, innovative marketing and sales teams are starting to look at their challenges and opportunities through a different lens. Rather than viewing their ICP targets as lookalike companies who all deserve equal attention, they’re turning to sources of behavioral insight that can illuminate the actual people and real solution needs to focus on now. By shaping their own actions around the activity in the market, they’re better able to optimize resource allocations, deliver improved customer experiences and maximize their revenue.

Here’s the proof of why activity matters

When the global tele-qualification company Operatix leverages rich activity signals on behalf of their clients, they’ve achieved a 4X lift on typical conversion rates. And these meetings convert far better than average into real opportunities that progress into deals. When we executed our own extensive analysis of cold list-based demand gen tactics compared to those where we could see significant buyer activity, after over 6,000 outbound calls and more than a million emails, we showed that activity-based targeting yields an up to 7X lift in email response and a 5X improvement in MQLs qualified. What’s more, when rigorously applying the insights available to us to better prepare our callers, we’ve achieved as high as 19X improvement in meeting creation. Conversely, our cold lists required 4X more dials to get a meeting booked, and of those scheduled meetings, the show rate was 50% worse.

But not just any activity

It’s important to note that the activity we’re talking about here is materially different from three more common sources of behavioral data. First, and most common, are the “leads” you’re already buying or capturing inbound from your website and outbound with your MAP. High-volume leads are typically exhibiting a single consumption behavior in response to a single asset. And even sophisticated scoring efforts, if you’re strict, might include less than half a dozen specific behaviors. As a result, you get a lot more false positives and a lot less productive yield.

Likewise, the activity we’re talking about here is very different from the signals you can pick up about a company or an individual by scraping investment sites like Crunchbase or public relations news about big new deals or personnel changes you might get from LinkedIn. While useful as background for sales call preparation and relationship management, these are neither intense enough nor directionally powerful enough to depend on as drivers of concerted outbound activity. They can’t tell you who exactly is involved, where a buy is coming from now, or what other types of purchases could be coming in the future.

Furthermore, while there are increasingly promising sources of account-level buying signals that can narrow your total target list a great deal, without knowing the specific people involved and the issues at play at a very granular level, you simply can’t target as tightly or message as precisely as is needed to maximize productivity.     

How activity matters in sales

When a salesperson has a large territory comprising many accounts, it’s typical to organize them into buckets based on some combination of ICP matching, experience and similar variables. “A” accounts will then get more attention than those ranked “B” or “C.”  When buyer behavior is overlaid on such a ranking, something very interesting happens: Now the seller can make a much more informed choice of where exactly to focus their next outbound blitz for example, because they can see where there really is a deal taking shape, rather than having to continue with cold probes that commonly turn up little of immediate interest.

For field reps with only a few accounts, the value of activity is more subtle, but just as powerful. For a wide range of products, large accounts can typically have many buying centers. But if a salesperson has worked hard on a given account, maybe they’ve even sold a deal, the natural next step is to move on to another in their patch. When they have access to buyer activity data across the whole of the account, they’re able to immediately see demand present in other pockets even though they hadn’t had a chance to personally reach out to that buying center. Now they can make a truly informed choice of whether or not it’s time to move on or to strike while the iron is hot and leverage what they’ve learned into follow-on business.

How activity matters in demand gen

Because they’re often selling low-involvement products, many B2C marketers actually do have the ability to generate demand. As any first-year economics student will tell you – with all else being equal – if you lower the price of a commodity, “demand” for it can go up. B2B is different though. We may call what we do “demand gen” but it’s really about demand identification and demand capture. Unfortunately for all of us (and frankly, for our prospects) we’re all literally spending billions of dollars looking for demand where it could be at some point but actually isn’t right now. As a result, many of our processes and systems have been tailored to increase our volume of activity rather than its precision.  

Activity-based demand gen turns the table on this. It puts the focus squarely on improving conversion rates through quality interaction. When teams make the switch to activity-based targeting, we see them become much more picky about what they produce and what they invest in. Rather than staying satisfied with hypothetical personas, for example, they start learning all they can about the actual people who are exhibiting buying signals. They begin to work much more closely with their inside sellers to shape cadences more intelligently. They dig into their conversational marketing tools to better address and qualify inbound traffic. And importantly, we see them move beyond output-based KPIs, to focus on opportunity creation, pipeline movement, and revenue yield.

How activity matters in ABM

As we see it, the sole purpose behind investing in ABM programs is to increase the average revenue yield and total profit obtained from a specific set of target accounts. We plan to invest more on those accounts because, by doing so, we intend to get more out of them. We’re making an educated bet that there’s more demand in there than we’ve historically been able to tap into. And to go after it, we know we’ll have to do better at marketing and sales.

A notable difference we’re seeing between practitioners who are lukewarm on ABM and those who are shouting its benefits to the rafters stems in part from the efficiency of, and the scale to which they’ve been able to grow their successes.

The very best teams are starting to move beyond only doing better with a small set of laboratory accounts to measuring success objectives using a completely new type of metric. SiriusDecisions’s “demand unit” concept provides the intellectual groundwork for the evolving approach. Rather than just looking to beat a historically derived account quota, companies are now beginning to try to calculate the real potential of the account more accurately. Then, they’re planning and investing proportionally in marketing and sales based on that potential. Activity-based targeting is making it easier to operationalize advanced approaches like this. Practitioners are using it in ABM to build programs designed to maximize share of wallet yields per account.

Activity demands action

Buyer activity signals – combining what you’re able to capture on your own properties and obtain through third party sources – provide access to a more complete view of total demand activity in a given market category. Capturing this demand requires that you make a concerted effort to go after it. If in the presence of better information, you don’t change your processes, you shouldn’t expect better yields. Furthermore, the more granular and rich the signals’ components, the greater their accuracy will be in pinpointing opportunity and the greater potential that they will offer a guide to modifying your efforts in line with real behavior in the marketplace. The logic of this seems clear: When the task is to close business, it’s essential to listen and respond to what the customer is telling you. That’s how you can deliver better on customer experience. 

Marketers and sellers who are succeeding with activity-based targeting are pursuing activity aggressively. They’re throwing out rigid persona concepts to adapt to rapidly evolving buyer researcher types. They’re dynamically adjusting messaging and positioning to reflect how customers themselves view the issues. In sum, they’re becoming smarter, more agile and more customercentric than ever before.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

John Steinert is the CMO of TechTarget, where he helps bring the power of purchase intent-driven marketing and sales services to technology companies. Having spent most of his career in B2B and tech, John has earned a notable reputation by helping build business for global leaders like Dell, IBM, Pitney Bowes and SAP – as well as for fast-growth, emerging players. He’s passionate about quality content, continuously improving processes and driving meaningful business results.



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Facebook, Elections and Political Speech

Speaking at the Atlantic Festival in Washington DC today I set out the measures that Facebook is taking to prevent outside interference in elections and Facebook’s attitude towards political speech on the platform. This is grounded in Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression and respect for the democratic process, as well as the fact that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is.  

You can read the full text of my speech below, but as I know there are often lots of questions about our policies and the way we enforce them I thought I’d share the key details.  

We rely on third-party fact-checkers to help reduce the spread of false news and other types of viral misinformation, like memes or manipulated photos and videos. We don’t believe, however, that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny. That’s why Facebook exempts politicians from our third-party fact-checking program. We have had this policy on the books for over a year now, posted publicly on our site under our eligibility guidelines. This means that we will not send organic content or ads from politicians to our third-party fact-checking partners for review. However, when a politician shares previously debunked content including links, videos and photos, we plan to demote that content, display related information from fact-checkers, and reject its inclusion in advertisements. You can find more about the third-party fact-checking program and content eligibility here.

Facebook has had a newsworthiness exemption since 2016. This means that if someone makes a statement or shares a post which breaks our community standards we will still allow it on our platform if we believe the public interest in seeing it outweighs the risk of harm. Today, I announced that from now on we will treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard. However, in keeping with the principle that we apply different standards to content for which we receive payment, this will not apply to ads – if someone chooses to post an ad on Facebook, they must still fall within our Community Standards and our advertising policies.

When we make a determination as to newsworthiness, we evaluate the public interest value of the piece of speech against the risk of harm. When balancing these interests, we take a number of factors into consideration, including country-specific circumstances, like whether there is an election underway or the country is at war; the nature of the speech, including whether it relates to governance or politics; and the political structure of the country, including whether the country has a free press. In evaluating the risk of harm, we will consider the severity of the harm. Content that has the potential to incite violence, for example, may pose a safety risk that outweighs the public interest value. Each of these evaluations will be holistic and comprehensive in nature, and will account for international human rights standards. 

Read the full speech below.

Facebook

For those of you who don’t know me, which I suspect is most of you, I used to be a politician – I spent two decades in European politics, including as Deputy Prime Minister in the UK for five years.

And perhaps because I acquired a taste for controversy in my time in politics, a year ago I came to work for Facebook.

I don’t have long with you, so I just want to touch on three things: I want to say a little about Facebook; about how we are getting ourselves ready for the 2020 election; and about our basic attitude towards political speech.

So…Facebook. 

As a European, I’m struck by the tone of the debate in the US around Facebook. Here you have this global success story, invented in America, based on American values, that is used by a third of the world’s population.

A company that has created 40,000 US jobs in the last two years, is set to create 40,000 more in the coming years, and contributes tens of billions of dollars to the economy. And with plans to spend more than $250 billion in the US in the next four years.

And while Facebook is subject to a lot of criticism in Europe, in India where I was earlier this month, and in many other places, the only place where it is being proposed that Facebook and other big Silicon Valley companies should be dismembered is here.

And whilst it might surprise you to hear me say this, I understand the underlying motive which leads people to call for that remedy – even if I don’t agree with the remedy itself.

Because what people want is that there should be proper competition, diversity, and accountability in how big tech companies operate – with success comes responsibility, and with power comes accountability.

But chopping up successful American businesses is not the best way to instill responsibility and accountability. For a start, Facebook and other US tech companies not only face fierce competition from each other for every service they provide – for photo and video sharing and messaging there are rival apps with millions or billions of users – but they also face increasingly fierce competition from their Chinese rivals. Giants like Alibaba, TikTok and WeChat.

More importantly, pulling apart globally successful American businesses won’t actually do anything to solve the big issues we are all grappling with – privacy, the use of data, harmful content and the integrity of our elections. 

Those things can and will only be addressed by creating new rules for the internet, new regulations to make sure companies like Facebook are accountable for the role they play and the decisions they take.

That is why we argue in favor of better regulation of big tech, not the break-up of successful American companies. 

Elections

Now, elections. It is no secret that Facebook made mistakes in 2016, and that Russia tried to use Facebook to interfere with the election by spreading division and misinformation. But we’ve learned the lessons of 2016. Facebook has spent the three years since building its defenses to stop that happening again.

  • Cracking down on fake accounts – the main source of fake news and malicious content – preventing millions from being created every day;
  • Bringing in independent fact-checkers to verify content;
  • Recruiting an army of people – now 30,000 – and investing hugely in artificial intelligence systems to take down harmful content.

And we are seeing results. Last year, a Stanford report found that interactions with fake news on Facebook was down by two-thirds since 2016.

I know there’s also a lot of concern about so-called deepfake videos. We’ve recently launched an initiative called the Deepfake Detection Challenge, working with the Partnership on AI, companies like Microsoft and universities like MIT, Berkeley and Oxford, to find ways to detect this new form of manipulated content so that we can identify them and take action.

But even when the videos aren’t as sophisticated – such as the now infamous Speaker Pelosi video – we know that we need to do more.

As Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged publicly, we didn’t get to that video quickly enough and too many people saw it before we took action. We must and we will get better at identifying lightly manipulated content before it goes viral and provide users with much more forceful information when they do see it.

We will be making further announcements in this area in the near future.

Crucially, we have also tightened our rules on political ads. Political advertising on Facebook is now far more transparent than anywhere else – including TV, radio and print advertising.

People who want to run these ads now need to submit ID and information about their organization. We label the ads and let you know who’s paid for them. And we put these ads in a library for seven years so that anyone can see them.

Political speech

Of course, stopping election interference is only part of the story when it comes to Facebook’s role in elections. Which brings me to political speech.

Freedom of expression is an absolute founding principle for Facebook. Since day one, giving people a voice to express themselves has been at the heart of everything we do. We are champions of free speech and defend it in the face of attempts to restrict it. Censoring or stifling political discourse would be at odds with what we are about.

In a mature democracy with a free press, political speech is a crucial part of how democracy functions. And it is arguably the most scrutinized form of speech that exists.

 In newspapers, on network and cable TV, and on social media, journalists, pundits, satirists, talk show hosts and cartoonists – not to mention rival campaigns – analyze, ridicule, rebut and amplify the statements made by politicians.

At Facebook, our role is to make sure there is a level playing field, not to be a political participant ourselves.

To use tennis as an analogy, our job is to make sure the court is ready – the surface is flat, the lines painted, the net at the correct height. But we don’t pick up a racket and start playing. How the players play the game is up to them, not us.

We have a responsibility to protect the platform from outside interference, and to make sure that when people pay us for political ads we make it as transparent as possible. But it is not our role to intervene when politicians speak.

That’s why I want to be really clear today – we do not submit speech by politicians to our independent fact-checkers, and we generally allow it on the platform even when it would otherwise breach our normal content rules.

Of course, there are exceptions. Broadly speaking they are two-fold: where speech endangers people; and where we take money, which is why we have more stringent rules on advertising than we do for ordinary speech and rhetoric.

I was an elected politician for many years. I’ve had both words and objects thrown at me, I’ve been on the receiving end of all manner of accusations and insults.

It’s not new that politicians say nasty things about each other – that wasn’t invented by Facebook. What is new is that now they can reach people with far greater speed and at a far greater scale. That’s why we draw the line at any speech which can lead to real world violence and harm.

I know some people will say we should go further. That we are wrong to allow politicians to use our platform to say nasty things or make false claims. But imagine the reverse.

Would it be acceptable to society at large to have a private company in effect become a self-appointed referee for everything that politicians say? I don’t believe it would be. In open democracies, voters rightly believe that, as a general rule, they should be able to judge what politicians say themselves.  

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, I understand the debate about big tech companies and how to tackle the real concerns that exist about data, privacy, content and election integrity. But I firmly believe that simply breaking them up will not make the problems go away. The real solutions will only come through new, smart regulation instead.

And I hope I have given you some reassurance about our approach to preventing election interference, and some clarity over how we will treat political speech in the run up to 2020 and beyond.

Thank you.





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How to Onboard Clients with Immersion Workshops – Whiteboard Friday



HeatherPhysioc

Spending quality time getting to know your client, their goals and capabilities, and getting them familiar with their team sets you up for a better client-agency relationship. Immersion workshops are the answer. Learn more about how to build a strong foundation with your clients in this week’s Whiteboard Friday presented by Heather Physioc.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, everybody, and welcome back to Whiteboard Friday. My name is Heather Physioc, and I’m Group Director of Discoverability at VMLY&R. So I learned that when you onboard clients properly, the rest of the relationship goes a lot smoother.

Through some hard knocks and bumps along the way, we’ve come up with this immersion workshop model that I want to share with you. So I actually conducted a survey of the search industry and found that we tend to onboard clients inconsistently from one to the next if we bother to do a proper onboarding with them at all. So to combat that problem, let’s talk through the immersion workshop.

Why do an immersion workshop with a client?

So why bother taking the time to pause, slow down, and do an immersion workshop with a client? 

1. Get knowledgeable fast

Well, first, it allows you to get a lot more knowledgeable about your client and their business a lot faster than you would if you were picking it up piecemeal over the first year of your partnership. 

2. Opens dialogue

Next it opens a dialogue from day one.

It creates the expectation that you will have a conversation and that the client is expected to participate in that process with you. 

3. Build relationships

You want to build a relationship where you know that you can communicate effectively with one another. It also starts to build relationships, so not only with your immediate, day-to-day client contact, but people like their bosses and their peers inside their organization who can either be blockers or advocates for the search work that your client is going to try to implement.

4. Align on purpose, roadmap, and measuring success

Naturally the immersion workshop is also a crucial time for you to align with your client on the purpose of your search program, to define the roadmap for how you’re going to deliver on that search program and agree on how you’re going to measure success, because if they’re measuring success one way and you’re measuring success a different way, you could end up at completely different places.

5. Understand the DNA of the brand

Ultimately, the purpose of a joint immersion workshop is to truly understand the DNA of the brand, what makes them tick, who are their customers, why should they care what this brand has to offer, which helps you, as a search professional, understand how you can help them and their clients. 

Setting

Do it live! (Or use video chats)

So the setting for this immersion workshop ideally should be live, in-person, face-to-face, same room, same time, same place, same mission.

But worst case scenario, if for some reason that’s not possible, you can also pull this off with video chats, but at least you’re getting that face-to-face communication. There’s going to be a lot of back-and-forth dialogue, so that’s really, really important. It’s also important to building the empathy, communication, and trust between people. Seeing each other’s faces makes a big difference. 

Over 1–3 days

Now the ideal setting for the immersion workshop is two days, in my opinion, so you can get a lot accomplished.

It’s a rigorous two days. But if you need to streamline it for smaller brands, you can totally pull it off with one. Or if you have the luxury of stretching it out and getting more time with them to continue building that relationship and digging deeper, by all means stretch it to three days. 

Customize the agenda

Finally, you should work with the client to customize the agenda. So I like to send them a base template of an immersion workshop agenda with sessions that I know are going to be important to my search work.

But I work side-by-side with that client to customize sessions that are going to be the right fit for their business and their needs. So right away we’ve got their buy-in to the workshop, because they have skin in the game. They know which departments are going to be tricky. They know what objectives they have in their heads. So this is your first point of communication to make this successful.

Types of sessions

So what types of sessions do we want to have in our immersion workshop? 

Vision

The first one is a vision session, and this is actually one that I ask the clients to bring to us. So we slot about 90 minutes for the client to give us a presentation on their brand, their overarching strategy for the year, their marketing strategy for the year.

We want to hear about their goals, revenue targets, objectives, problems they’re trying to solve, threats they see to the business. Whatever is on their mind or keeps them up at night or whatever they’re really excited about, that’s what we want to hear. This vision workshop sets the tone for the entire rest of the workshop and the partnership. 

Stakeholder

Next we want to have stakeholder sessions.

We usually do these on day one. We’re staying pretty high level on day one. So these will be with other departments that are going to integrate with search. So that could be the head of marketing, for example, like a CMO. It could be the sales team. If they have certain sales objectives they’re trying to hit, that would be really great for a search team to know. Or it could be global regions.

Maybe Latin America and Europe have different priorities. So we may want to understand how the brand works on the global scale as opposed to just at HQ. 

Practitioner

On day two is when we start to get a little bit more in the weeds, and we call these our practitioner sessions. So we want to work with our day-to-day SEO contacts inside the organization. But we also set up sessions with people like paid search if they need to integrate their search efforts.

We might set up time with analytics. So this will be where we demo our standard SEO reporting dashboards and then we work with the client to customize it for their needs. This is a time where we find out who they’re reporting up to and what kinds of metrics they’re measured on to determine success. We talk about the goals and conversions they’re measuring, how they’re captured, why they’re tracking those goals, and their existing baseline of performance information.

We also set up time with developers. Technology is essential to actually implementing our SEO recommendations. So we set up time with them to learn about their workflows and their decision-making process. I want to know if they have resource constraints or what makes a good project ticket in Jira to get our work done. Great time to start bonding with them and give them a say in how we execute search.

We also want to meet with content teams. Now content tends to be one of the trickiest areas for our clients. They don’t always have the resources, or maybe the search scope didn’t include content from day one. So we want to bring in whoever the content decision-makers or creators are. We want to understand how they think, their workflows and processes. Are they currently creating search-driven content, or is this going to be a shift in mentality?

So a lot of times we get together and talk about process, editorial calendaring, brand tone and voice, whatever it takes to get content done for search.

Summary and next steps

So after all of these, we always close with a summary and next steps discussion. So we work together to think about all the things that we’ve accomplished during this workshop and what our big takeaways and learnings are, and we take this time to align with our client on next steps.

When we leave that room, everybody should know exactly what they’re responsible for. Very powerful. You want to send a recap after the fact saying, “Here’s what we learned and here’s what we understand the next steps to be. Are we all aligned?” Heads nod. Great. 

Tools to use

So a couple of tools that we’ve created and we’ll make sure to link to these below.

Download all the tools

Onboarding checklist

We’ve created a standard onboarding checklist. The thing about search is when we’re onboarding a new client, we pretty commonly need the same things from one client to the next. We want to know things about their history with SEO. We need access and logins. Or maybe we need a list of their competitors. Whatever the case is, this is a completely repeatable process. So there’s no excuse for reinventing the wheel every single time.

So this standard onboarding checklist allows us to send this list over to the client so they can get started and get all the pieces in place that we need to be successful. It’s like mise en place when you’re cooking. 

Discussion guides

We’ve also created some really helpful session discussion guides. So we give our clients a little homework before these sessions to start thinking about their business in a different way.

We’ll ask them open-ended questions like: What kinds of problems are your business unit solving this year? Or what is one of the biggest obstacles that you’ve had to overcome? Or what’s some work that you’re really proud of? So we send that in advance of the workshop. Then in our business unit discussions, which are part of the stakeholder discussions, we’ll actually use a few of the questions from that discussion guide to start seeding the conversation.

But we don’t just go down the list of questions, checking them off one by one. We just start the conversation with a couple of them and then follow it organically wherever it takes us, open-ended, follow-up, and clarifying questions, because the conversations we are having in that room with our clients are far more powerful than any information you’re going to get from an email that you just threw over the fence.

Sticky note exercise

We also do a pretty awesome little sticky note exercise. It’s really simple. So we pass out sticky notes to all the stakeholders that have attended the sessions, and we ask two simple questions. 

  1. One, what would cause this program to succeed? What are all the factors that can make this work? 
  2. We also ask what will cause it to fail.

Before you know it, the client has revealed, in their own words, what their internal obstacles and blockers will be. What are the things that they’ve run into in the past that have made their search program struggle? By having that simple exercise, it gets everybody in the mind frame of what their role is in making this program a success. 

Search maturity assessment

The last tool, and this one is pretty awesome, is an assessment of the client’s organic search maturity.

Now this is not about how good they are at SEO. This is how well they incorporate SEO into their organization. Now we’ve actually done a separate Whiteboard Friday on the maturity assessment and how to implement that. So make sure to check that out. But a quick overview. So we have a survey that addresses five key areas of a client’s ability to integrate search with their organization.

  • It’s stuff like people. Do they have the right resources? 
  • Process. Do they have a process? Is it documented? Is it improving? 
  • Capacity. Do they have enough budget to actually make search possible? 
  • Knowledge. Are they knowledgeable about search, and are they committed to learning more? Stuff like that.

So we’ve actually created a five-part survey that has a number of different questions that the client can answer. We try to get as many people as possible on the client side to answer these questions as we can. Then we take the numerical answers and the open-ended answers and compile that into a maturity assessment for the brand after the workshop.

So we use that workshop time to actually execute the survey, and we have something that we can bring back to the client not long after to give them a picture of where they stand today and where we’re going to take them in the future and what the biggest obstacles are that we need to overcome to get them there. 

So this is my guide to creating an immersion workshop for your new clients. Be sure to check out the Whiteboard Friday on the maturity assessment as well.

We’d love to hear what you do to onboard your clients in the comments below. Thanks and we’ll see you on the next Whiteboard Friday.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


Heather shared even more strong team-building goodness in her MozCon 2019 talk. Get access to her session and more in our newly released video bundle, plus access 26 additional future-focused SEO topics from our top-notch speakers:

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Soapbox: Publishers, stop giving lucrative content away to Amazon and Facebook



Adam Berkowitz

As Facebook once again rolls out its pitch to publishers, this time pledging publishers more money and promising to hire former journalists to evaluate the feed, the industry begins its seemingly never-ending, tired debate around Facebook’s trustworthiness.

But it’s not just Facebook trying to lure publishers, Amazon launched Onsite Associates program as an appeal to publishers to upload publisher’s lucrative product guides to the Amazon platform.

Are publishers really going to fall for it again?

Look to the precedent of their treatment of video creators on Prime Video, where they mirrored the classic moves of Facebook and Google and cut the returns for the actual creators of content.

Publishers need to protect their future by lessening reliance on any intermediary. Publishers recognize this which led to the recent craze in instituting paywalls. And already, there are incredible advancements in this area. Some companies are making use of the assets publishers exclusively have at their disposal (first-party data) to build models that aren’t reliant on platforms like Facebook and Amazon to create revenue.

By using all the data signals they have at their disposal, publishers can drive subscriptions effectively, thus lowering their dependence on the walled gardens for revenue. Publishers have a lot of weapons at their disposal but they’re still, by and large, thinking like a newspaper that gets read on a computer, not like a forward-thinking digital brand. Publishers should embrace all the data they have at their fingertips and invest in exploring how to cut out the intermediaries.

Soapbox is a special feature for marketers in our community to share their observations and opinions about our industry. You can submit your own here.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Adam Berkowitz is chief of staff at LiveIntent.



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You can’t advertise that: The big list of prohibited ads across social and search platforms



Amy Gesenhues

Part of managing successful ad campaigns involves knowing what types of ad content is disallowed and what’s restricted across the social and search ad landscape. Most prohibited content (counterfeit goods, illegal products and services, etc.) and restricted content (political ads, alcohol, etc.) follows similar standards from one platform to the next, but each company has its own set of rules.

For the marketers who are often tasked with getting ad campaigns up and running in a moment’s notice, knowing what ad content may be blocked by an automatic system could be a lifesaver for the social media ad manager who spends her time in the trenches, uploading creative, setting ad filters and waiting for approval.

Across all social and search ad platforms, the standard rules apply for prohibited ads: no promoting counterfeit goods, tobacco, illegal products or services. No promotions that include trademark or copyright infringement or fraudulent and deceptive practices. Restricted ad content – ads you can run, but with certain limitations – are a bit more varied from platform to platform. Some platforms make their rules easy to follow or refrain from getting too much into the minutiae of things, while others are very specific. The following list gives marketers a general idea of each platforms prohibited and restricted ad guidelines, while also calling out the more unique policies from site to site.

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook’s prohibited ad content across its family of apps includes the standards: no ads promoting illegal products or services, tobacco products or firearms and weapons. It also prohibits ads for surveillance equipment or any ad content that includes third-party infringement (no ads that violate copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or proprietary rights).  

But there are a few topics worth noting. For example, the company does not allow ads that lead to a non-functioning landing page, “This includes landing page content that interferes with a person’s ability to navigate away from the page.” You cannot advertise for payday loans, paycheck advancement services or bail bonds. And here’s one that makes anyone wonder if there was a specific instance that inspired the rule: Facebook does not allow the sale of body parts.

For restricted content, advertisers wanting to promote online dating services must receive permission from the platform before running ads, same with political and issue-related ads and cryptocurrency products and services. Promotions around gambling, state lotteries, OTC drugs and online pharmacies also come with restrictions.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs in the U.S. must first be certified via LegitScript before they can apply to run ads on Facebook’s platforms. And ads for weight loss products and plans must be targeted to users age 18 years and older.

Google and YouTube

Google
has recently taken efforts to simply
and standardize its content policies
. It didn’t actually change or updates
its rules around allowed and disallowed ads, but instead, reorganized how it
presents content policies and restrictions across AdSense, AdMob and Ad
Manager.

“One consistent piece of feedback we’ve heard from our publishers is that they want us to further simplify our policies, across products, so that they are easier to understand and follow,” wrote Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads Scott Spencer on the Inside AdSense blog.

Google keeps its prohibited and restricted ads general, outlining a high-level over view of what’s prohibited and what’s restricted. Prohibited ad content includes:

  • Counterfeit
    goods
  • Dangerous
    products or services
  • Ads
    that enable dishonest behavior
  • Inappropriate
    content

Google
also separates out ad practices it prohibits: abusing the ad network,
misrepresentation and data collection and use (“Our advertising partners should
not misuse this information, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without
appropriate security measures”).

The company’s list of restricted ad content is more comprehensive, but still stays within the usual parameters without any odd items – like human body parts. Google’s restricted content ad policies include:

  • Adult content
  • Alcohol
  • Copyrights
  • Gambling and games
  • Healthcare and medicines
  • Political content
  • Financial services
  • Trademarks
  • Legal requirements (all ads must comply with the laws and regulations pertaining to the location where the ad is displayed).

Google keeps its ad policies at a high-level for the most part, a tactic that gives the company more control to decide on a case-by-case basis what’s allowed and what’s not.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a Microsoft-owned platform, but its prohibited and restricted ad policies are separate from the rules outlined for Microsoft and Bing. In addition to the usual disallowed content, LinkedIn’s list of prohibited ads has some interesting entries. For example, the site does not allow ads for downloadable ringtones and occult pursuits (“Ads for fortune telling, dream interpretations and individual horoscopes are prohibited, except when the emphasis is on amusement rather than serious interpretation”).

Also, instead of having restrictive measures around political ads, LinkedIn prohibits any political ad content, same as its parent company: no ads advocating for or against a political candidate or promoting ballot propositions.

LinkedIn’s restricted ad content includes the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Animal products
  • Dating services
  • Soliciting funds
  • Medical devices
  • Short-term loans and financial services.

One
side note about LinkedIn’s ad policies, the company specifically states that it
prohibits ads that are offensive to good taste. “This means ads must not be,
for example, hateful, vulgar, sexually suggestive or violent. In special circumstances,
LinkedIn may determine that an ad that was acceptable is no longer appropriate
as we update our policies to reflect new laws or clarify our position.”

Microsoft (Bing)

Microsoft’s disallowed and restricted ad policies, which include rules for Bing search ads, can be confusing to follow. The company has published a one-page list of “Restricted and disallowed content policies,” but within that page are links to more detailed pages for “Disallowed Content Policies” and “Disallowed and restricted products and services policies.

Microsoft disallows any election related content, political parties, candidates and ballot measures. Ads promoting fundraising efforts for political candidates, parties, PACs and ballot measures are also prohibited.

As with other platforms, Microsoft doesn’t allow weapons to be advertised on its platforms. This includes firearms and ammunition, but also knives: “Knives that are positioned as weapons or whose primary use is violence, including switchblade knives, disguised knives, buckle knives, lipstick case knives, air gauge knives, knuckle knives and writing pen knives.”

In Brazil, India and Vietnam, Microsoft does not allow advertising that promotes infant feeding products such as baby formula, feeding bottles, rubber nipples or baby food of any kind.

To get a clear understanding of Microsoft’s disallowed ads versus the ads that can run but only with restrictions, advertisers need to review the company’s “Restricted and disallowed content policies” — as opposed to its “Disallowed Content Policies” page — where it outlines specific rules and regulations.

Pinterest

Pinterest’s prohibited ad content guidelines follows the standard themes. No ads for:

  • Drugs
    and paraphernalia
  • Endangered
    species and live animals
  • Illegal
    products and services
  • Counterfeit
    goods
  • Sensitive
    content
  • Tobacco
  • Unacceptable
    business practices
  • Weapons
    and explosives

Pinterest
defines “Sensitive content” as anything it deems divisive or disturbing. For
example, language or imagery that is offensive or profane, excessively violent
or gory, vulgar or sickening or politically, culturally or racially divisive or
insensitive. It also does not allow content that capitalizes on controversial
or tragic events – or references to sensitive health and medical conditions.

Pinterest does not allow any “Adult and nudity content” in ads on its platform. Also, ads containing clickbait are disallowed. Like LinkedIn, it prohibits political campaign ads.

The company keeps its list of restricted ad content simple with a detailed outline of what it will and won’t allow around its restricted content. For example, ads that include contests, sweepstakes and Pinterest incentives are restricted. Advertisers are asked not to require users to save a specific image or suggest that Pinterest in any way sponsors or endorses the promotion. It does state specifically that advertisers are not allowed to promote anything that, “Directs people to click on Pinterest buttons to get money, prizes or deals.”

Pinterest’s other restricted ad content includes:

  • Alcohol
  • Financial
    products and services (ads promoting cryptocurrencies and payday loans are
    prohibited)
  • Gambling
    products and services (no ads for lotteries, gambling gaming apps or gambling
    websites)
  • Healthcare
    products and services

In
terms of its healthcare related ads, Pinterest does allow ads promoting products
like eyeglasses or content lenses, Class I and II medical devices and OTC,
non-prescription medicines. It does not allow ads for weight loss or appetite
suppressant pills and supplements or promotions that claim unrealistic cosmetic
results.

Reddit

Reddit’s
list of prohibited and restricted list of ads follows suit with the other
social platforms. Disallowed ads include promotions for counterfeit goods,
hazardous products or services, illegal or fraudulent products or services and
more of the same standard policies. It states specifically that advertisers are
prohibited from using inappropriate targeting: “All targeting must be relevant,
appropriate, and in compliance with relevant legal obligations of the
advertiser.”

Reddit does not allow advertisements for addiction treatment centers and services, it does not accept advertising pertaining to political issues, elections or candidates outside of the U.S. It has a very specific list of financial services and products that are disallowed, including bail bonds, payday loans, debt assistance programs, cryptocurrency wallets, credit and debit cards, and “get rich quick schemes.”

Any
advertiser wanting to promote gambling-related services must have their ads
manually approved and certified by Reddit: “In order to be approved, the
advertiser must be actively working with a Reddit Sales Representative.” This
does not include ads for gaming promotions where nothing of value is exchanged,
gambling-related merchandise or hotel-casinos where the ad is focused on the
hotel.

And
while Reddit does allow ads for dating sites, apps and services, it prohibits
any centered on infidelity, fetish communities or any that discriminate by excluding
persons of specific races, sexualities, religions or political affiliations.

Snapchat

Snapchat’s
prohibited ads include the usual suspects, but there are also entries that
appear to be designed because of its younger audience. For example, the
platform states specifically that it does not allow ads that, “Encourage
Snapping and driving or other dangerous behaviors.”

Also, it disallows ads intended to “shock the user” and no ads for app installs from sources other than the official app store for the user’s device. Other prohibited ads include any promotions that involve:

  • Infringing
    content
  • Deceptive
    content
  • Hateful
    or discriminatory content
  • Inappropriate
    content

Snapchat’s
restricted ads for alcohol include a list of 18 countries where alcohol ads
cannot be placed. Alcohol ad campaigns that run in allowed countries must not appeal
particularly to minors or encourage excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.
They must also refrain from glamorizing alcohol, “Or otherwise misrepresent the
effects of consuming alcohol.” Snapchat requires alcohol advertisers to include
warning labels such as “Please drink responsibly” within their ad copy.

Also,
alcohol promotions must be targeted to users who meet the legal drinking age
requirement within the country where the ads run. The same goes for gambling and
lottery related ads – they must be targeted to users who meet the legal age
requirement to gamble.

Same
as Reddit, Snapchat allows ads for dating services, but they must be targeted
to users age 18 and over, and cannot include provocative, overtly sexual
content or reference prostitution. Also, Snapchat does not allow ads that
promote infidelity.

Many
of Snapchat’s restrictive ad policies are by country. For example, it only
permits targeting lottery-related ads to 14 countries, including Brazil, Iraq,
Italy, Poland and Russia – but not the U.S. Snapchat does not permit targeting
ads for online dating services to Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Advertisers cannot target ads for OTC
medicines in Columbia, Iraq, Lebanon, Romania, Spain and Turkey. It also does
not permit targeting ads for condoms in Bahrain, Ireland, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Monaco, Oman, Poland and Qatar.

In
other words, if you are an advertiser managing multiple ad campaigns for
various brands across multiple countries, you probably should bookmark Snapchat’s
ad restrictions page.

Twitter

Twitter’s
list of prohibited and restricted ads are arguably the easiest to follow. There
are no out of the ordinary ads disallowed on the platform, and its restrictive
policies are the same standard rules applied across the social ad landscape.

The one area where Twitter distinguishes its policies from other platforms is by stating specifically that it prohibits ads promoting malware products and has restrictions around promotions for software downloads.

It’s worth noting that the ad content policies listed here for each of the platforms are as they stand now, but social platforms have a history of regularly changing their ad content policies. This has happened most notably during the past year and a half with political advertisements. Facebook has gone back and forth with its rules around cryptocurrency ads, totally banning the ads in January, 2018 and then reversing its policies six months later. It wasn’t until last year Facebook began implementing ad targeting restrictions for weapon accessory ads to users 18 years and older.

As ad policies change across platforms, Marketing Land will be sure to update our list.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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Planning and creating the perfect landing page



Digital Marketing Depot

If you’re looking to gather leads for your business, you need to have a landing-page strategy. Just like every other marketing tactic, this can be done well or it can be done poorly. To see the greatest return on their investment, businesses need to build effective landing pages, then test and optimize them to maximize conversion rates.

This guide from SharpSpring is written for any marketer looking to initiate or improve their landing page strategy. It will guide you through everything you need to know to allow you to create and optimize landing pages for your website.

Download your copy to find out:

  • What a landing page is and is NOT.
  • Planning & creating the perfect landing page.
  • Testing & optimizing: Why your landing pages are never “done.”

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Creating Landing Pages That Convert.”

About The Author

Digital Marketing Depot is a resource center for digital marketing strategies and tactics. We feature hosted white papers and E-Books, original research, and webcasts on digital marketing topics — from advertising to analytics, SEO and PPC campaign management tools to social media management software, e-commerce to e-mail marketing, and much more about internet marketing. Digital Marketing Depot is a division of Third Door Media, publisher of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, and producer of the conference series Search Marketing Expo and MarTech. Visit us at http://digitalmarketingdepot.com.



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E-A-T and the Quality Raters’ Guidelines – Whiteboard Friday



MarieHaynes

EAT — also known as Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness — is a big deal when it comes to Google’s algorithms. But what exactly does this acronym entail, and why does it matter to your everyday work? In this bite-sized version of her full MozCon 2019 presentation, Marie Haynes describes exactly what E-A-T means and how it could have a make-or-break effect on your site.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans. My name is Marie Haynes, from Marie Haynes Consulting, and I’m going to talk to you today about EAT and the Quality Raters’ Guidelines. By now, you’ve probably heard of EAT. It’s a bit of a buzzword in SEO. I’m going to share with you why EAT is a big part of Google’s algorithms, how we can take advantage of this news, and also why it’s really, really important to all of us.

The Quality Raters’ Guidelines

Let’s talk about the Quality Raters’ Guidelines. These guidelines are a document that Google has provided to this whole army of quality raters. There are apparently 16,000 quality raters, and what they do is they use this document, the Quality Raters’ Guidelines, to determine whether websites are high quality or not.

Now the quality raters do not have the power to put a penalty on your website. They actually have no direct bearing on rankings. But instead, what happens is they feed information back to Google’s engineers, and Google’s engineers can take that information and determine whether their algorithms are doing what they want them to do. Ben Gomes, the Vice President of Search at Google, he had a quote recently in an interview with CNBC, and he said that the quality raters, the information that’s in there is fundamentally what Google wants the algorithm to do.

“They fundamentally show us what the algorithm should do.”
– Ben Gomes, VP Search, Google

So we believe that if something is in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines, either Google is already measuring this algorithmically, or they want to be measuring it, and so we should be paying close attention to everything that is in there. 

How Google fights disinformation

There was a guide that was produced by Google earlier, in February of 2019, and it was a whole guide on how they fight disinformation, how they fight fake news, how they make it so that high-quality results are appearing in the search results.

There were a couple of things in here that were really interesting. 

1. Information from the quality raters allows them to build algorithms

The guide talked about the fact that they take the information from the quality raters and that allows them to build algorithms. So we know that it’s really important that the things that the quality raters are assessing are things that we probably should be paying attention to as well. 

2. Ranking systems are designed to ID sites with high expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness

The thing that was the most important to me or the most interesting, at least, is this line that said our ranking systems are designed to identify sites with a high indicia of EAT, of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

So whether or not we want to argue whether EAT is a ranking factor, I think that’s semantics. What the word “ranking factor” means, what we really need to know is that EAT is really important in Google’s algorithms. We believe that if you’re trying to rank for any term that really matters to people, “your money or your life” really means if it’s a page that is helping people make a decision in their lives or helping people part with money, then you need to pay attention to EAT, because Google doesn’t want to rank websites that are for important queries if they’re lacking EAT.

The three parts of E-A-T

So it’s important to know that EAT has three parts, and a lot of people get hung up on just expertise. I see a lot of people come to me and say, “But I’m a doctor, and I don’t rank well.” Well, there are more parts to EAT than just expertise, and so we’re going to talk about that. 

1. Expertise

But expertise is very important. In the Quality Raters’ Guidelines, which each of you, if you have not read it yet, you really, really should read this document.

It’s a little bit long, but it’s full of so much good information. The raters are given examples of websites, and they’re told, “This is a high-quality website. This is a low-quality website because of this.” One of the things that they say for one of the posts is this particular page is to be considered low quality because the expertise of the author is not clearly communicated.

Add author bios

So the first clue we can gather from this is that for all of our authors we should have an author bio. Perhaps if you are a nationally recognized brand, then you may not need author bios. But for the rest of us, we really should be putting an author bio that says here’s who wrote this post, and here’s why they’re qualified to do so.

Another example in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines talks about was a post about the flu. What the quality raters were told is that there’s no evidence that this author has medical expertise. So this tells us, and there are other examples where there’s no evidence of financial expertise, and legal expertise is another one. Think about it.

If you were diagnosed with a medical condition, would you want to be reading an article that’s written by a content writer who’s done good research? It might be very well written. Or would you rather see an article that is written by somebody who has been practicing in this area for decades and has seen every type of side effect that you can have from medications and things like that?

Hire experts to fact-check your content

Obviously, the doctor is who you want to read. Now I don’t expect us all to go and hire doctors to write all of our content, because there are very few doctors that have time to do that and also the other experts in any other YMYL profession. But what you can do is hire these people to fact check your posts. We’ve had some clients that have seen really nice results from having content writers write the posts in a very well researched and referenced way, and then they’ve hired physicians to say this post was medically fact checked by Dr. So-and-so. So this is really, really important for any type of site that wants to rank for a YMYL query. 

One of the things that we started noticing, in February of 2017, we had a number of sites that came to us with traffic drops. That’s mostly what we do. We deal with sites that were hit by Google algorithm updates. What we were noticing is a weird thing was happening.

Prior to that, sites that were hit, they tended to have all sorts of technical issues, and we could say, “Yes, there’s a really strong reason why this site is not ranking well.” These sites were all ones that were technically, for the most part, sound. But what we noticed is that, in every instance, the posts that were now stealing the rankings they used to have were ones that were written by people with real-life expertise.

This is not something that you want to ignore. 

2. Authoritativeness

We’ll move on to authoritativeness. Authoritativeness is really very, very important, and in my opinion this is the most important part of EAT. Authoritativeness, there’s another reference in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines about a good post, and it says, “The author of this blog post has been known as an expert on parenting issues.”

So it’s one thing to actually be an expert. It’s another thing to be recognized online as an expert, and this should be what we’re all working on is to have other people online recognize us or our clients as experts in their subject matter. That sounds a lot like link building, right? We want to get links from authoritative sites.

The guide to this information actually tells us that PageRank and EAT are closely connected. So this is very, very important. I personally believe — I can’t prove this just yet — but I believe that Google does not want to pass PageRank through sites that do not have EAT, at least for YMYL queries. This could explain why Google feels really comfortable that they can ignore spam links from negative SEO attacks, because those links would come from sites that don’t have EAT.

Get recommendations from experts

So how do we do this? It’s all about getting recommendations from experts. The Quality Raters’ Guidelines say in several places the raters are instructed to determine what do other experts say about this website, about this author, about this brand. It’s very, very important that we can get recommendations from experts. I want to challenge you right now to look at the last few links that you have gotten for your website and look at them and say, “Are these truly recommendations from other people in the industry that I’m working in? Or are they ones that we made?”

In the past, pretty much every link that we could make would have the potential to help boost our rankings. Now, the links that Google wants to count are ones that truly are people recommending your content, your business, your author. So I did a Whiteboard Friday a couple of years ago that talked about the types of links that Google might want to value, and that’s probably a good reference to find how can we find these recommendations from experts.

How can we do link building in a way that boosts our authoritativeness in the eyes of Google? 

3. Trustworthiness

The last part, which a lot of people ignore, is trustworthiness. People would say, “Well, how could Google ever measure whether a website is trustworthy?” I think it’s definitely possible. Google has a patent. Now we know if there’s a patent, that they’re not necessarily doing this.

Reputation via reviews, blog posts, & other online content

But they do have a patent that talks about how they can gather information about a brand, about an individual, about a website from looking at a corpus of reviews, blog posts, and other things that are online. What this patent talks about is looking at the sentiment of these blog posts. Now some people would argue that maybe sentiment is not a part of Google’s algorithms.

I do think it’s a part of how they determine trustworthiness. So what we’re looking for here is if a business really has a bad reputation, if you have a reputation where people online are saying, “Look, I got scammed by this company.” Or, “I couldn’t get a refund.” Or, “I was treated really poorly in terms of customer service.” If there is a general sentiment about this online, that can affect your ability to rank well, and that’s very important. So all of these things are important in terms of trustworthiness.

Credible, clear contact info on website

You really should have very credible and clear contact information on your website. That’s outlined in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines. 

Indexable, easy-to-find info on refund policies

You should have information on your refund policy, assuming that you sell products, and it should be easy for people to find. All of this information I believe should be visible in Google’s index.

We shouldn’t be no indexing these posts. Don’t worry about the fact that they might be kind of thin or irrelevant or perhaps even duplicate content. Google wants to see this, and so we want that to be in their algorithms. 

Scientific references & scientific consensus

Other things too, if you have a medical site or any type of site that can be supported with scientific references, it’s very important that you do that.

One of the things that we’ve been seeing with recent updates is a lot of medical sites are dropping when they’re not really in line with scientific consensus. This is a big one. If you run a site that has to do with natural medicine, this is probably a rough time for you, because Google has been demoting sites that talk about a lot of natural medicine treatments, and the reason for this, I think, is because a lot of these are not in line with the general scientific consensus.

Now, I know a lot of people would say, “Well, who is Google to determine whether essential oils are helpful or not, because I believe a lot of these natural treatments really do help people?” The problem though is that there are a lot of websites that are scamming people. So Google may even err on the side of caution in saying, “Look, we think this website could potentially impact the safety of users.”

You may have trouble ranking well. So if you have posts on natural medicine, on any type of thing that’s outside of the generally accepted scientific consensus, then one thing you can do is try to show both sides of the story, try to talk about how actually traditional physicians would treat this condition.

That can be tricky. 

Ad experience

The other thing that can speak to trust is your ad experience. I think this is something that’s not actually in the algorithms just yet. I think it’s going to come. Perhaps it is. But the Quality Raters’ Guidelines talk a lot about if you have ads that are distracting, that are disruptive, that block the readers from seeing content, then that can be a sign of low trustworthiness.

“If any of Expertise, Authoritativeness, or Trustworthiness is lacking, use the ‘low’ rating.”

I want to leave you with this last quote, again from the Quality Raters’ Guidelines, and this is significant. The raters are instructed that if any one of expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness is lacking, then they are to rate a website as low quality. Again, that’s not going to penalize that website. But it’s going to tell the Google engineers, “Wait a second. We have these low-quality websites that are ranking for these terms.How can we tweak the algorithm so that that doesn’t happen?”



But the important thing here is that if any one of these three things, the E, the A, or the T are lacking, it can impact your ability to rank well. So hopefully this has been helpful. I really hope that this helps you improve the quality of your websites. I would encourage you to leave a comment or a question below. I’m going to be hanging out in the comments section and answering all of your questions.

I have more information on these subjects at mariehaynes.com/eat and also /trust if you’re interested in these trust issues. So with that, I want to thank you. I really wish you the best of luck with your rankings, and please do leave a question for me below.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


Feeling like you need a better understanding of E-A-T and the Quality Raters’ Guidelines? You can get even more info from Marie’s full MozCon 2019 talk in our newly released video bundle. Go even more in-depth on what drives rankings, plus access 26 additional future-focused SEO topics from our top-notch speakers:

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