Good morning, is keyword research on the outs?

We know the search engines are getting better at understanding intent, thanks to BERT and other deep learning initiatives. So are we ready to abandon keyword research and focus on intent, as Bing’s Frédéric Dubut suggested would eventually happen? Probably not entirely, said Google’s John Mueller — but more so to give users context. “Showing specific words to users can make it a little bit easier for them to understand what your pages are about,” Mueller said,“and can sometimes drive a little bit of that conversion process.”

That conversation hits close to home for paid search marketers as well, as close variants have made the need for voluminous keyword research obsolete. At the same time, using the right words in ads and landing pages can be critical for click and conversion rates.

Brian Dean, of SEO training company Backlinko, shared some tips for video optimization and growing a subscriber base on YouTube in a, yes, video chat with Barry Schwartz. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Brian says he focuses on content quality over quantity: “The main thing is to have a couple of videos that kill.” Those will drive views and subscribers — and your intro is key to getting people to stick around. “It’s like the 80/20 principle in extreme.” Barry and Brian also talked about the nofollow link attribute change and more. Watch the full interview here. 

To give brands, businesses and even individuals more control over how their profiles appear in Bing search and Outlook, Microsoft has launched Bing Pages. It’s in beta, but anyone can sign up now. In Bing, the profiles look similar to knowledge panels. You can use Bing Pages to aggregate your brand’s social media links, list contact details and even promote social media posts for 24 hours on relevant searches.

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Want to help your brand rank better? Do your page one research

“When people search your brand name, you want them to see positive URLs and ideally, content that you have some control over,” explains Brian Patterson of Go Fish Digital. “To begin, review the list of the websites and social properties that appear most frequently on page one for companies. Identify which of those websites are relevant to your company and develop an individual plan for each property to build out robust pages and profiles. By having these as built-out as possible, with unique information (no duplicate company descriptions!), you make it more likely that Google will rank them well for your brand.”

Learn more »


The State of Retail Media: Learnings from 100 Retail Brand Executives

What exactly is the state of retail media in 2020? To find out, Crealytics interviewed 100 executives from leading retail brand manufacturers in the U.S. Join this live webinar with Crealytics CEO Andreas Reiffen and Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief Ginny Marvin as they discuss how leading retail brands can survive – and thrive – in the era of online marketplaces. You’ll hear how brands select which marketplaces to advertise on – and the thinking behind budgets for each.

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Search Shorts

Crawling can be complicated

Large scale crawling. Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter, “Crawling at a large scale is much more complicated.”

Dates are not an issue. Someone asked Google if dates on web pages would hurt a page when it comes to ranking. “Why would an article be disadvantaged by a date?” Mueller responded.

Mobile page URL format. It doesn’t matter how you set up separate mobile URLs. Mueller said, “A common pattern is to use m-dot subdomains, but it can be a subdirectory, query parameter, or anything.”


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Our new MVP program rewards you for spreading the word about the Search Engine Land daily brief to your friends and colleagues. The more people you refer, the higher your position on the leaderboard. Prizes include branded apparel and a free pass to Search Marketing Expo! Help your like-minded contacts stay in-the-know on all-things search by recommending the daily brief and have a shot at scoring some sweet swag while you’re at it!

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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Lucidworks Acquires E-Commerce Implementation Consultancy – Retail TouchPoints

A more helpful Google Assistant for your every day – Google Blog

Are You Ignoring This? – SuccessWorks

Google People Also Ask Showing Summarized From Table Source – Search Engine Roundtable

How Dotdash, formerly, is taking over the internet – Fast Company

Interpreter mode expands globally to airports, banks and more – Google Blog

Introducing quieter permission UI for notifications – Chromium Blog

PPC trends to look out for in 2020 – The Drum

Sonos, Squeezed by the Tech Giants, Sues Google – New York Times