White Label SEO
seo in dubai George Nguyen – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Fri, 24 Jan 2020 20:16:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bridging SEO and web development: How to get developers on your side /bridging-seo-and-web-development-how-to-get-developers-on-your-side-328148 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 13:30:00 +0000 /?p=328148 Autodesk’s Jenny Jiang shares her approach to fostering a healthy, productive environment between SEOs and web developers.

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The success of any given campaign can depend on your team’s ability to get buy-in from the right individuals. Sometimes, it’s upper management and other times it’s your web developer counterparts who are likely juggling their own set of priorities.

“The ultimate goal is the same,” said Jenny Jiang, SEO developer for design and engineering software creator Autodesk, “we want to drive revenue.” Ideally, a common goal would be enough to get the development team on board with your efforts, but it also helps to have a few strategies to improve your relationship with them.

Jiang will be presenting ways to nurture a healthy, productive environment where both SEOs and web developers can thrive at SMX West in San Jose on February 19. In advance of her SMX session, she has shared with us the ways that she approaches forging a relationship between SEO and web development.

What does a successful relationship between SEO and web developers look like?

“The engineering team communicates with the SEO team ahead of time for any upcoming technical changes,” said Jiang. This includes consulting with the SEO team when making site changes as well as looping them in when launching a new project.

“For instance, we plan to migrate [Autodesk’s website] to React and the engineering team consulted with us ahead of time,” said Jiang. “We raised a few concerns (such as URL and meta tags) and were able to find solutions for these issues.”

Establishing lines of communications between teams early on can ensure that you’re making forward strides instead of performing damage control. “If they didn’t come to the SEO team first, it would be very difficult to fix these issues later or even get SEO requests prioritized,” Jiang said.

Some SEO recommendations fall upon developers to implement, creating an asymmetrical relationship. What can SEOs do to even out this asymmetry?

“When Google first rolled out FAQ structured data, I was really excited to try it on our website, but didn’t get any support from the engineering team,” said Jiang, who overcame the challenge with a proactive approach. “So, I just went ahead and implemented FAQ structured data on one of our pages and got very positive results.”

The access and background in front-end web development that Jiang had may not be available to every SEO, but there are many ways to be assertive about demonstrating the value of your team’s goals. After adding the markup herself, Jiang’s team secured an endorsement from a VP, and now, the FAQ structured data will be rolling out across all of the company’s important product pages.

Are there any pain points, in particular, that strain the relationship between the SEO and web development teams?

“The way engineering teams and SEO teams work are very different,” Jiang said. “Engineers work in two-week sprints, while SEO is ongoing maintenance and project-by-project, and could last for months.”

Accounting for the different ways other teams work shows consideration, makes your requests more actionable and can improve your relationship with those team members. “In order to accommodate engineer sprint work, I customize my requests and break down the requirements into small tasks,” said Jiang.

What does the development team have to gain by improving its relationship with the SEO team?

“The SEO team has access to a lot of great data resources, such as Google Search Console, and we build dashboards or ad-hoc reports to share with the engineering team to show the impact of our projects,” Jiang said, adding, “using data to show the impact of their efforts really improves the relationship between the SEO and engineering team.”

For SEOs that already have a working relationship with their developer counterparts, what considerations should they be advocating for when they communicate with them?

“Include SEO in the planning conversations regarding things such as any site structure or engineering improvements,” Jiang said.

However, a relationship has to work both ways, so SEOs should also be proactive about finding ways to facilitate developers as well. “I have regular 1:1 talks with product owners/managers to understand the engineering team’s priorities and how the SEO team can help,” Jiang said.

“Moreover, we’ve started having a monthly SEO shareout with the engineering team to make sure we are on the same page for the overall health of our site, what areas need engineering effort, the progress of existing projects, and so on,” Jiang said, emphasizing that these meetings help the SEO team increase their visibility and influence.

SEOs can learn even more ways to demonstrate their value and engage with developers to implement technical SEO initiatives at SMX West in San Jose, February 19–20. Register today.

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Listings that earn featured snippets will not repeat on the first page of Google search /listings-that-earn-featured-snippets-will-not-repeat-on-the-first-page-of-google-search-328089 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 22:22:10 +0000 /?p=328089 Google says it is 'decluttering' the first results page.

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Pages that earn a featured snippet will no longer repeat as a regular listing on the first page of Google search, Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search liaison, announced Wednesday. The corresponding regular listing may or may not appear as the first result on the second search results page.

Why we care

For featured snippet owners, this change means that your URL will only appear once on the first page of search results, instead of twice.

For those that don’t own the featured snippet, it means that your competitor that does own it will no longer appear twice.

Because it is now possible to earn a featured snippet while appearing on the second page of results, SEOs should keep an eye on their traffic and tracking tools to see how they adjust.

More on the announcement

  • As of January 22, the change has rolled out globally.
  • Featured snippets will also be counted amongst the ten organic listings shown.
  • The right-sidebar featured snippet variant will begin appearing in the main column and deduplication will apply to those as well, Sullivan tweeted.

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Google’s mobile-first indexing guide update emphasizes the same content across site versions /googles-mobile-first-indexing-guide-update-emphasizes-the-same-content-across-site-versions-328067 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 18:39:21 +0000 /?p=328067 New guidance has been added in numerous areas, including crawling, structured data, visual content and best practices.

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Google has updated its mobile-first indexing developers guide, the company announced on Wednesday. New guidelines were added in a number of areas, including crawling, structured data, visual content, and best practices.

Below, you’ll find a summary of the additions. The document was updated on Jan. 21, 2020, with the previous version having been updated on Oct. 9, 2019.

Crawling. A section titled “Make sure that Googlebot can access and render your content” has been added. In it, developers are advised to use the same meta robots tags on the mobile and desktop versions of their site. This is particularly important with regards to the noindex and nofollow attributes.

Lazy loading of primary content is also discouraged, as Googlebot will not load content that requires user interaction, such as clicking, typing or swiping, to load.

The documentation also cautions developers about resources with different URLs on the mobile and desktop versions of your site, and says that if you want Google to crawl those resources, to ensure that they’re not blocked with the disallow directive.

The same content across mobile and desktop. Google has advised developers to maintain the same primary content across the desktop and mobile versions of their sites, but the documentation now includes the following warning.

Source: Google.

Structured data. Structured data should be identical on both versions of your site. URLs within the structured data of your mobile site should also use mobile URLs.

Visual content. The new “Check visual content” section provides image and video guidelines.

Site owners should stick to persistent URLs for their images and use the same alt text across desktop and mobile. Google also warns that you may experience a temporary image traffic loss during the transition to mobile-first indexing if you’re using different image URLs for desktop and mobile.

Source: Google.

As is this case with images, videos should also use persistent URLs. Site owners are also reminded to use the same video structured data across both versions of their site and to avoid placing videos in hard-to-find locations on mobile pages, such as areas that would require a lot of scrolling to find the video.

Best practices for separate URLs. Google added several points to its “Additional best practices for separate URLs” section.

Error page statuses should be the same on both desktop and mobile: if an error page is served on the mobile side but the desktop site shows normal content, that page will be missing from the index.

Avoid using fragment URLs on your mobile site. The fragment section of a URL appears at the end of the URL and is expressed with a hash (#) character; they are usually used to refer to a section within a page. “Most of the time, fragment URLs are not indexable, these pages will be missing from the index after your domain is enabled for mobile-first indexing,” the document reads.

Desktop versions that serve different content should have equivalent mobile versions. After your domain switches over to mobile-first indexing, pages will disappear from the index if different URLs redirect to the same URL on mobile devices.

Why we care. You cannot opt into or out of mobile-first indexing, which means that site owners are not in control of which version of their site gets crawled and indexed. Ensuring that both versions are properly maintained will result in a more pleasant experience for your users, regardless of the device they’re on, and make your pages more competitive within the search results.

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Raising the stakes on product category pages /raising-the-stakes-on-product-category-pages-328023 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:32:47 +0000 /?p=328023 Aleyda Solis and Arsen Rabinovich discuss ways to make your category pages more competitive and adapt to inventory shifts.

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E-commerce brands are upping the ante on their product category pages in an effort to rank higher than competitors on the search results. Where these pages used to be little more than a list of products, category pages these days are able to deliver a wider variety of information to support consumers on their buying journey, explained Aleyda Solis, international SEO consultant for Orainti.

However, inventory can change and the way your pages are structured has to facilitate a seamless customer experience while signaling relevance to search engines.

“The most important part [of optimizing for a shifting inventory] requires a deeper look at your inventory and understanding what and how many brand and product categories there are,” said Arsen Rabinovich, founder and director of SEO for “Can they be organized in a way that makes sense for the user, do we have more product categories or brand categories, should brands be nested under product categories or visa-versa, and in doing so, will these combinations be in-line with how your store’s audiences search for these products?”

Solis and Rabinovich will be discussing how to prepare your digital storefront for inventory shifts, future-proofing product listings, creating evergreen product and category pages and more at SMX West in San Jose on February 19.

With more than two decades of SEO experience for clients big and small, Solis and Rabinovich shared some insights and trends that e-commerce brands can use to get the most out of their category and seasonal landing pages, and adapt to inventory changes.

What trends have you been witnessing in terms of how brands structure their online storefronts, category and/or product pages?

“With the introduction and widespread adoption of Shopify and how this e-commerce CMS forces store owners to organize their inventory into ‘collections’ and ‘products’ informational silos, we are noticing product URLs with nested category or brand information becoming a thing of the past,” said Rabinovich. “I’ve been a long-time proponent of this ‘individual’ silo structure as it allows you to create multiple organizational and informational paths to products with breadcrumbs.”

Product category pages are also getting built out with more informational content that seeks to connect with user intent, address questions, and maximize relevance to be more competitive in the search results, said Solis.

Product category pages are less likely to change than product pages. Do you have any advice for e-commerce marketers that want to optimize their category pages for search?

“To help category pages rank better, we advise our clients to not only have a list of product names, thumbnails and ‘view more’ buttons, but to turn this page into an experience that helps the user with making a decision,” said Rabinovich. “We recommend bringing in excerpts from product descriptions, star ratings, supporting content, tips, recommendations, and FAQs to create a richer experience for the user.”

Supplementing your category pages in such a way will also help to optimize it for search. “When properly coded and structured, the combination of all of the above gives Google more context and a better understanding of the category page,” said Rabinovich.

“To provide category pages with ‘fresh’ content you can also feature direct access to the latest news/blog posts/guides regarding that type of product, latest Q&As, related products, user comments and testimonials, or the latest buying trends seen in that particular category,” said Solis. In addition to adding an element of freshness to your category page, this will also help to establish your brand as an authority and may increase the likelihood of generating backlinks.

How might an e-commerce site’s search optimization change when inventory shifts or a new product category is introduced?

“The internal site search functionality should ideally work (or be very well integrated) with the main ‘indexable’ website categorization system to be updated in real time whenever new categories or inventory shifts happen,” Solis said. This can help reduce crawl budget spent on non-indexable pages as well as poor user experiences.

When introducing a new product category, Rabinovich advises marketers to evaluate their existing categories and inventory to inform how the new category can be implemented.

“If, for example, you have a single-brand e-commerce site that sells socks and you want to introduce a new line of t-shirts, you will most likely have to figure out how your current informational silos can support these new products,” said Rabinovich. “Can they be used for the new products (male/female, size, color), do you need to introduce a product-category silo for t-shirts and one for socks, should you redirect or use canonicals?”

Are there any considerations that brands should pay more attention to when preparing for seasonal events (such as Black Friday) or offering other special promotions?

“Still today I see brands falling into basic and totally preventable mistakes, like not establishing clear rules to reuse landing pages through the years for seasonal events that would allow them to capitalize on former years’ work and rankings, for example,” said Solis, who also advises brands to address connected queries with informational content that can support transaction-focused landing pages.

“All of the necessary page level and internal signals (page title, heading, URL, internal links and their anchors) should hint to Google that this is a dedicated page on your website for ‘Black Friday Sales,’ said Rabinovich, who also recommended creating dedicated pages for such seasonal events. “You can then use this evergreen and dedicated silo to house all of your sale content.”

E-commerce marketers can learn even more ways to optimize changing product pages during Rabinovich and Solis’ session at SMX West in San Jose, February 19–20. This year, we’ve added an entire track dedicated specifically to digital commerce marketing. Register today.

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Google will drop support for structured data on April 6 /google-will-drop-support-for-data-vocabulary-org-structured-data-on-april-6-327927 Tue, 21 Jan 2020 16:38:59 +0000 /?p=327927 Site owners will have to switch to markup to be eligible for rich results.

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]]> structured data markup will be ineligible for Google rich result features starting on April 6, 2020, the company announced Tuesday. Site owners will need to convert to the markup if they want their pages to be eligible for Google rich results.

Why we care

If your pages are still marked up with schema come April 6th, rich result features for your pages will no longer appear, which means less organic visibility and, as a consequence, potentially decreased traffic.

More on the announcement

  • “From January 20 until April 6, any structured data on a web page will trigger a warning for the appropriate rich result type. After April 6, an error will be triggered,” Google wrote on its data anomalies page.  Warning and error messages will appear within Google Search Console.
  • Google cited the increasing usage and popularity of for the shift in developmental focus.
  • Site owners can test out live code snippets using Google’s Rich Results Test tool.
  • Pages using schema for purposes other than rich results will still remain valid.

If you’re looking to get a more comprehensive grasp on structured data, the role it plays in the searcher experience and the types of schema you should use for best results, make sure to attend Leveraging Schema and Structured Data for Maximum Effect at SMX West on February 19, led by Abby Hamilton, SEO associate manager at Merkle, and Cata Milos, principal program manager for Microsoft. Register today.

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OneSearch, Verizon Media’s new search engine, sounds awfully familiar /onesearch-verizon-medias-new-search-engine-sounds-awfully-familiar-327817 Fri, 17 Jan 2020 20:37:05 +0000 /?p=327817 The privacy-focused search engine serves contextual ads and doesn’t use cookies for tracking.

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Verizon Media has launched OneSearch, which appears to be a direct DuckDuckGo competitor, capitalizing on heightened awareness around privacy and tracking issues. The new search engine will serve results powered by Bing and run contextual ads rather than behaviorally targeted ads that rely on cookies.

Microsoft and Verizon Media. OneSearch’s organic search results are provided by Microsoft’s Bing search engine and its contextual ads will be served by Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) under the Verizon Media and Microsoft Advertising partnership. However, at the time of publishing, ads do not appear to be showing on search results pages.

Privacy features. OneSearch does not employ cookies to track online behavior for targeting or retargeting users with ads.

The search engine encrypts search terms entered by the user and builds the search URL using those encrypted search terms. The encryption key expires after one hour, which may stop third parties from accessing search history via browser history after the one-hour period.

“Advanced Privacy Mode,” which is enabled by default, must be turned on to encrypt search terms and expire search history links.

Trending Now. When a user clicks on the search box, a list of “Trending Now” searches appears (before the user begins inputting their search terms).

“Trending Now uses search logs to determine if there are entities (people, places or things) for which searches have been peaking recently,” a Verizon Media spokesperson told Search Engine Land. “We compare the number of searches for that entity within a short, recent, period of time with the average baseline for that entity over an extended period of time. A pool of those that are showing the most dramatic uplift are selected, and we rotate through that pool.”
Why we care. OneSearch offers another search option for privacy-oriented users. DuckDuckGo, which also serves contextual search ads that do not rely on cookies, has gained in popularity over the years and will appear on Google’s search choice screen for Android users in the EU, which may increase its share of the mobile search market. OneSearch will have to differentiate itself if it seeks to overtake similar competitors such as DuckDuckGo, let alone more well-known search engines.

The way that OneSearch leverages trending searches also lends itself to the content that other Verizon-owned companies, such as Yahoo, produce.

“We crawl the web for content, which includes Verizon Media websites, and pull the most recent, relevant content from that pool,” a Verizon Media spokesperson told Search Engine Land. “If you tend to see Yahoo content, that just means Yahoo has a good depth of recent, relevant articles that pertain to the content.”

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DuckDuckGo, crowd out Bing in Google’s Android search options /duckduckgo-info-com-crowd-out-bing-in-googles-android-search-options-327360 Thu, 09 Jan 2020 17:17:43 +0000 /?p=327360 The auction results are in: Bing will only appear in the UK, but DuckDuckGo and will be choices in all territories.

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Google has announced which search engines will appear on its default search provider screen for Android users in the EU. Bing will appear as an option in the United Kingdom only, while DuckDuckGo and will appear alongside Google in all 31 EU territories, The Verge first reported Thursday.

Why is Google doing this? The Android search choice screen is part of Google’s efforts to comply with the European Commission’s July, 2018 antitrust ruling.

An example of the search choice screen. Source: Google.

How it works. Beginning on March 1, the search choice screen will be shown to users in the EU who are setting up their Android devices for the first time. Google, DuckDuckGo, and one other search engine (which varies depending on the region) will appear as options.

When the user selects their desired provider, the associated application will be installed and it will become the default search engine in Chrome and on the home screen search box.

Why these particular search engines? The search providers were selected using an auction method in which Google accepted bids on how much each provider was willing to pay per user that selects their search engine as the default.

The auctions were conducted on a per-country basis, using a “fourth-price” system, where the three winners pay Google the amount of the fourth-highest bid. The search providers selected in the first auction cycle will appear on the search choice screen for four months (until June 30), with future auctions occurring quarterly.

Auctions aren’t fair for all. “We believe this auction is at odds with the spirit of the July 2018 EU Commission ruling,” said Christian Kroll, CEO of Berlin-based search engine Ecosia, in a statement sent to Search Engine Land.

Ecosia uses its profits for reforestation efforts. “Planting trees in biodiversity hotspots is our priority, this means that biddings processes like this cut out purpose driven search engines like Ecosia,” said Kroll. Ecosia declared that it would boycott the auction shortly after the methodology was first announced in August 2019.

Where is Bing? Microsoft’s search engine is noticeably absent as a search choice except in the United Kingdom, where search ad revenue is likely to be higher than in nations with a lower GDP, The Verge noted.

Why we care. Despite offering users in the EU with three other search providers to choose from, it is not likely to make a big dent in Google’s share of the market as search is heavily integrated with its other Android apps and Google is what the majority of users are accustomed to.

Since an auction method was used, the choices merely reflect which search engines were willing to pay the most per user and is not indicative of search market share in those respective countries.

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With Bing Pages, brands can manage their profiles across Microsoft products, including Bing Search /with-bing-pages-brands-can-manage-their-profiles-across-microsoft-products-including-bing-search-327298 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 16:00:38 +0000 /?p=327298 Brands can also use Bing Pages to promote their social content on relevant search results.

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Microsoft has launched Bing Pages, a new product aimed at enabling businesses and individuals to manage their branding on Bing and Outlook. The program, first reported by MSPoweruser, is currently in beta.

An example of a Bing Page. Source: Bing.

Why we care

Bing Pages show in Bing search results similar to a knowledge panel and give brands one more way to manage their online presence. They can use it to aggregate their social media links, publish contact details as well as customize their Outlook profiles with images and content.

Bing Page owners can also promote their social media posts for free. Promoted posts will appear in relevant search results for 24 hours and page owners can designate up to three categories as well as a geographic region to target their audiences.

Bing Pages has a relatively simple, unrestricted signup process. This may help increase adoption among smaller brands and businesses.

More on Bing Pages

  • Microsoft uses an email address and Twitter to authenticate accounts. Submitted applications are reviewed by Microsoft.
  • Once verified, the applicant’s social media accounts and official website are used to populate their Bing Page (as shown in the screenshot above).
  • The signup page is open to all.

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Direct site navigation via voice arrives on iOS Bing Search app /direct-site-navigation-via-voice-arrives-on-ios-bing-search-app-327240 Tue, 07 Jan 2020 17:26:08 +0000 /?p=327240 The app also has a new look featuring a carousel of common search categories.

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Microsoft’s Bing Search App has been updated with a new design aesthetic and its latest update, version 6.48, brings direct site navigation via voice to iOS users.

Voice navigation on the Bing Search app.

Why we care

For users who prefer to navigate via voice, the Bing Search app provides one more option and may help increase adoption.

The Bing Search app navigation bar, which includes a carousel of categories such as “near me,” “news,” “movies,” “images,” and more, is also a relatively new UI feature that makes some of the most common verticals accessible as soon as the user opens the app. Consider Schema markup opportunities and other optimization tactics to appear when target prospects select navigation categories that are relevant to your business.

More on the update

  • After a user navigates to a website, users are prompted to “Keep using voice to search this site.” Users can then specify the page or area of the site they’d like to be taken to.
  • Voice navigation on the Bing Search app first rolled out to Android users; this update brings parity with the Android version.

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Online tax-filing services can no longer hide free services from Google Search results /online-tax-filing-services-can-no-longer-hide-free-services-from-google-search-results-327099 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 17:28:02 +0000 /?p=327099 TurboTax and others are prohibited from noindexing their free e-file landing pages, per new IRS rules.

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The IRS has revised its Free File agreement with online tax return software providers, requiring them to allow their Free File landing pages to be indexed by search engines and backing out of its pledge not to enter the e-file services marketplace, ProPublica reported on Monday.

Why we care

Strategic use of robots directives can restrict the pages that are crawled and indexed by search engine bots, keeping them from showing in search results. This can influence how users interact with your brand and discover the products or services available.

In this case, popular online tax filing services were using robots.txt and meta robots to keep their free e-file services from appearing in the search results. Now, those pages may appear in the search results, pointing users to the free options that they may not have discovered previously.

More on the news

  • The Free File agreement, which debuted in 2003, kept the IRS out of the online tax-filing marketplace. One of the conditions of the agreement was that Free File Alliance members provide taxpayers (with an adjusted gross income of $66,000 or less) with a Free File option on their websites.
  • In April, 2019, it was revealed that Intuit (the makers of TurboTax) and H&R Block had been using the robots meta tag and the robots.txt file to prevent their Free File landing pages from appearing in search results.
  • “[Free File, Inc.] Members are prohibited from engaging in any practice that would cause the Member’s Free File Landing Page to be excluded from an organic internet search,” the addendum to the agreement stipulates.
  • To make Free File more accessible, participating companies will also have to standardize the name of their Free File offering as “IRS Free File program delivered by [Member company name or product name].”

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