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Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 1 minute ago from feeds.searchengineland.com
Thanks to a pretty cool new feature on Facebook, you can now send direct messages to your elected representatives. Just go to your “Settings” tab and enter your address to see a list of your reps and policymakers at the highest levels—including the vice president and president. And start chatting away.
But even though we’re sure you’ve got plenty of things to message Donald Trump about, you’re going to have to wait on that.
Many politicians have jumped on board with the new feature, but shooting off a DM to Trump himself is not an option. That was discovered and pointed out by ProPublica on Monday, the same day the new feature launched. Read more…
Reblogged 59 minutes ago from feeds.mashable.com
Google announced yesterday the launch of “shortcuts in search”, which will allow Android users (only in the US, for now) to access quick answers on a range of topics with the touch of a button.
Fittingly, Google has termed these “tappable shortcuts” and they will lead searchers to instantaneous information on dozens of topics, including sports, restaurants, local amenities, and entertainment.
The new feature is available within the Google app in the US, although users will have to upgrade the app to the latest version before the shortcuts are accessible.
As Google continues its relentless release of new mobile-first products, this announcement is entirely aligned with the search engine’s strategy to keep pace with – and anticipate – trends in user behavior.
Tappable shortcuts lend themselves to a search experience that is more open-ended in nature than traditional Google queries. Notably, they also remove a fundamental element of the Google experience: either typing or voicing a query.
In a wider ecosystem that now includes maps, the knowledge graph, and structured data, it is understandable that Google has chosen to make this move now. With the addition to their fold of hardware like Google Home and the Pixel smartphones, combined with an upgraded Assistant on all Android phones, Google seems closer than ever to unifying the digital user journey.
The following (very short) video was also released yesterday to demonstrate how ‘shortcuts in search’ will work:
But will this initiative take off, what will it mean for SEO, and how will Google manage to integrate paid ads into this new search experience?
The first phase will be to convince its vast user base to transition across to this way of discovering information.
The actual functionality underpinning this change has not been updated; it is merely a more streamlined way to surface information. Google Now has offered access to many of these features for some time, but user behaviors can be slow to change.
One could even suggest that this launch is Google giving a nudge to the public to show them just how much is possible through their products now.
At SMX West yesterday, Google’s Jason Douglas summarised one of their core objectives as simply trying to find the “easiest way to help the user get things done.”
No doubt, achieving that goal would go some way to convince people to take the small step of updating an app.
A mass migration of users to this app would have myriad benefits for Google. By keeping users enclosed within its own ecosystem of information, Google gains access to their data and, just as crucially, keeps those users out of Facebook’s grasp.
With machine learning at the core of everything Google does now, all of that data will only serve to improve the accuracy of search results, and those improved results will convince users to stay on the app.
This is an important question for SEO professionals, although it is a little early to answer it conclusively. Its degree of importance will also, of course, depend on just how many users elect to search by tapping on shortcuts.
Intriguingly, Jason Douglas implied at SMX West yesterday that as part of the wider Actions on Google initiative, consumers will be able to set preferences, not just on their sports teams or favorite restaurants, but also on the brands they like most.
Douglas went on to add:
“We’re trying to decide now how sticky those preferences should be. In some cases, you can set some preferences in the app. We’re trying to learn as we go. For shopping, is it convenience or best price that matters most? There are a lot of new ranking and quality challenges.”
The ramifications of that statement could be far-reaching, and it is understandable that Douglas chose to equivocate slightly on these points, refusing to take a definitive stance on such an important point.
Nonetheless, it is certainly plausible that user ‘preferences’ on certain brands would factor into personalized organic search results.
Google has been open in stating that this new environment presents a huge challenge to its paid search business. Voice search is best suited to providing just one answer, which leaves little room for paid placements.
The inherent complexities for an auction-based bidding model like AdWords in this scenario are subtle and difficult to disentangle, but this is especially true if users state an overt preference for one brand over another.
For example, if a user has selected Kayak as a preferred flight aggregator over Skyscanner, how would that affect the price each would have to pay to rank first on that user’s travel searches? How would Google factor that into its auctions, at a grand scale?
If Skyscanner did choose to pay an inflated rate for first position, how would that sit with the user, who no doubt would recall selecting Kayak as their preferred brand?
These are challenges that Google is all too aware of, but there can be little doubt that ultimately, they will find a way to monetize this trend if it does take off.
We should expect any attempts to monetize this to be tentative at first – especially in the wake of the opprobrium raised by the recent ‘Ads on Google Home’ fiasco.
That said, Google’s decision to make these updates has been driven by what it foresees to be a new way of discovering information.
Therefore, we can first expect Google to entice users to use its new range of hardware and software through their ubiquity and ease of use, before making those first forays into transforming its paid search model to an interaction that no longer requires a user to search.Reblogged 59 minutes ago from searchenginewatch.com
It’s not easy nowadays to win over your audience in an abundance of online content, and the short attention span of human beings isn’t making things any easier.
It’s always a challenge to make your content stand out, but this doesn’t mean that you should be discouraged from creating it.
As the average human attention span has dropped to just 8 seconds, however, how can you make content that captures your audience’s attention before it’s gone?
This is the first thing that will help you beat the readers’ attention span. It is very important to understand your audience, as this will help you create more relevant content for them.
Here are some tips for understanding your audience:
Having well-structured content helps readers to stay longer on your page. It’s not just the quality of the content that maintains readers’ interest, but also the way you present it.
A clear and organized structure makes it less strenuous for readers to digest your content, so remember to:
As with a good content structure, images make reading a page more appealing.
From the header or feature image that offers an introduction to the topic (which may also be the image used on your social shares), to the additional images included throughout the text, images help to separate one section from another in the most engaging way.
They also help the eyes relax from a long sequence of text (which might otherwise be a little dull to read), while making it easier for the brain to process what it just read.
Moreover, images can offer additional value with the use of quotes, stats, or even tips that facilitate quick reading. These images can double as shareable content on your readers’ social feed, giving you more mileage from your content.
You might assume that a short attention span will require an equally short piece of content for consumption. This is not always the case, as well-executed long-form content is still a valuable asset to your blog.
Provided that you’re adding value to a topic they find interesting, length should not discourage your readers from consuming your content. Remember that long-form content doesn’t have to be boring: structure and images can contribute to make the reading experience easier.
In fact, according to Orbit Media Studios, blog content is getting longer year by year. In 2016 the average blog post length was 1054 words – up from 887 words in 2015.
This is a good reminder for all of us that there’s no need to be afraid of longer content. All you need is to focus on relevance and a good user experience to keep people engaged on the site.
If you want to appeal to a wider audience, then you might have to experiment with different types of content. There’s no need to limit your creativity to plain text, especially if you can include other formats like:
Every type of content serves its own goal, and all of them can enhance your message.
For example, if you want to turn a complicated concept into a simpler analysis, then a visually appealing infographic can be useful.
If you want to find new ways to repurpose your content, then you can turn a blog post into a presentation, a video, or a podcast.
These allow you to promote your content across new platforms and reach the right audience with the right type of content. And many of these content formats are more engaging to time-starved audiences than a text-based post.
After all, content marketing is all about being creative with your content and its distribution.
If you’re wondering how social proof can convince your audience to spend more time on your site, here’s an example of how it can work in practice.
We all have more chances to read the content that our friends, or our favourite influencers, share on their social feeds. This is due to the trust that we’ve built up with them, and the belief that their approval serves as the credential we need to visit a page.
This can become even more important if it’s about a page that we haven’t visited in the past.
It’s not a bad idea to build relationships with other people to ensure that our site’s content reaches more people. This way the connection becomes more genuine and there are more chances for new readers to actually pay attention to our content.
— Mari Smith Ⓜ️ (@MariSmith) March 25, 2017
If you want to maintain your readers’ attention while reading your content, you have to test your page for any distractions.
It’s easy for the reader’s eye to be distracted by a pop-up, a shiny sidebar, or even untidy formatting. That eye-catching banner ad might be doing its job extremely well – and it may also be competing with your content for attention.
Content success is all about focusing on the reader and the browsing experience. That’s why it’s always useful to switch sides and visit your pages from time to time as a reader.
What do you notice first?
Are you willing to spend enough time to read the content?
Is there something you need to change?
It’s useful to keep in mind that the shorter the attention span, the bigger the challenge to appeal to your audience.
This doesn’t mean that your content can’t win your audience over. All you have to is to keep in mind some tips for making it more appealing:
YouTube has over one billion users worldwide, and they all watch different types of videos every day. What’s your favorite type of video to watch on the platform?
As it turns out, your video preferences may vary depending on your date of birth: Influenster surveyed nearly 8,500 YouTube users of all ages to learn about their viewing habits and interests.
Although younger generations spend more time on YouTube than their older counterparts, Generations X, Y, and Z all have specific preferences when it comes to how and where they want to consume video content on different topics. For example, while a significant portion of respondents said they liked watching product reviews, Generation X preferred how-to content, and Generation Z liked unboxing videos.
Reblogged 2 hours ago from blog.hubspot.com
Sometimes an event is so remarkably big that it completely takes over social media for a few hours, or even days. Think back to the last awards show, sporting event, or viral meme — how many tweets about it popped onto your Twitter timeline?
When more than 9,000 tweets are published per second, it can be hard to find great content on the platform. So in 2015, Twitter rolled out Twitter Moments — curated tweets revolving around a single topic or story, all in one place.
Initially, only Twitter and its editorial partners, such as BuzzFeed and The New York Times, could curate Moments. Last year, however, Twitter opened up Moments for all Twitter users. Now, all content creators on the platform can compile groups of tweets. Whether it’s about an event, a campaign, or a pop culture moment, marketers can take advantage of this feature and potentially get discovered by new followers.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the 411 on Twitter Moments, how to create them, and how brands can use them.
Twitter Moments are collections of tweets about a topic or event. They can be tweeted, liked, pinned, and embedded like normal tweets, but when you tap to open a Moment, it shows you a collection of different tweets. Moments are published with a cover photo and introduction, so they’re kind of like a “best of” compilation article.
You can find Twitter Moments via desktop by tapping the lightning bolt icon — it’s in the top-left corner of Twitter on your browser.
You can access Twitter Moments on mobile by tapping the magnifying glass icon — this will take you to the Explore tab, where you can scroll down past Twitter Trends to find Twitter Moments.
When you tap on a Moment to read more, swipe left to begin reading tweets about the topic:
Moments are categorized under the following interest areas on a desktop: News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun. Additionally, there is a Today tab that shares the biggest moments of the day on Twitter. Here’s what a Moment looks like embedded on a web page:
And here’s what it looks like when you open it up to read on a desktop:
Twitter Moments help Twitter users find more quality content about topics they’re interested in. Moments also help brands and creators get discovered in a different way than relying on the Twitter timeline and retweets alone. Now, let’s dive into how to make Moments across platforms and devices.
These will appear as a preview of your Moment on the Moments tab and on the Twitter timeline.
You can choose from tweets you’ve liked, review different Twitter accounts to select tweets from a certain brand or individual, or search for tweets by specific keywords and hashtags. You can also enter the URL of a tweet you want to include. You can add tweets to your Moment by tapping the grayed-out check mark next to tweet content.
You can also remove tweets from your Moment by tapping the gray x button.
Once your Moment is published, you can share it in a tweet, embed it on your website, or share a link to your Moment.
You can also create a new Twitter Moment by tapping theicon next to a tweet and selecting “Add to new Moment,” which will direct you to the Moment creation dashboard described in Step 2.
You can choose from your tweets, tweets you’ve liked, and by searching for tweets. Add them by tapping the tweets and then tapping the green “Add 1 Tweet” button.
You can also create a new Moment by tapping theicon next to a tweet and selecting “Add to Moment,” which will direct you to the Moment dashboard in Step 2.
To create a Twitter Moment on Android devices, the process is virtually the same — except you access the Moments menu by tapping on your profile picture when you open up Twitter:
Source: Addictive Tips
Create a Twitter Moment that showcases what’s going on at an event your brand is hosting or participating in. You can share what others are saying about your brand and keep followers up-to-date about what’s going on if they can’t attend the event themselves.
Here’s a Twitter moment published by INBOUND at the kickoff of INBOUND 2016, when Gary Vaynerchuk kicked off the weeklong marketing and sales event with a keynote speech. The Moment compiled various tweets about the speech from different attendees and influencers and provided an inside look at the event for those following along at home.
For those times when live-tweeting a series of related tweets is necessary, a Moment can serve to showcase a tweetstorm after it’s happened to bring attention to what a brand or individual is tweeting about.
Here’s an example from Persil UK & Ireland, a laundry detergent brand that created a Twitter Moment tweetstorm to promote its social media conversation, #DirtIsGood, about the importance of kids getting outside:
Another great use case for Twitter Moments is breaking news. Journalists and publications can produce Twitter Moments to group together tons of tweets about an emerging story. Whether the tweets are all originals from the brand’s account or are a compilation of different voices, the Moment serves to provide Twitter users with as much information as possible.
Here’s a breaking news Twitter Moment from Bloomberg about the World Economic Forum in Davos:
One of the great things about social media is it gives customers a window into brands they love that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Brands can use Moments to create behind-the-scenes looks at products, employees, and events on Twitter.
Here’s Allure’s Moment featuring a behind-the-scenes look at ringing the New York Stock Exchange opening bell:
A multi-channel strategy is key to successfully promoting content you publish on your blog and website, and social media channels are no exception. Try publishing insights and data from your latest blog post or research report in the form of a Twitter Moment.
Here’s an example from the team here at HubSpot. We published a Moment about our annual State of Inbound survey results:
Now that you’re a pro at creating Twitter Moments, try publishing one today to see how it impacts your Twitter engagement. Don’t let your clever tweets and hashtags go to waste — create a Moment and share content with your audience year-round.
How do you use Twitter Moments? Share with us in the comments below.
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
The post SearchCap: Google image search bug, local insights & post-rank appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 4 hours ago from feeds.searchengineland.com
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A fascinating look at Artificial Intelligence, from its humble Cold War beginnings to the dazzling future that is just around the corner.
When most of us think about Artificial Intelligence, our minds go straight to cyborgs, robots, and sci-fi thrillers where machines take over the world. But the truth is that Artificial Intelligence is already among us. It exists in our smartphones, fitness trackers, and refrigerators that tell us when the milk will expire. In some ways, the future people dreamed of at the World’s Fair in the 1960s is already here. We’re teaching our machines how to think like humans, and they’re learning at an incredible rate.
In Thinking Machines, technology journalist Luke Dormehl takes you through the history of AI and how it makes up the foundations of the machines that think for us today. Furthermore, Dormehl speculates on the incredible–and possibly terrifying–future that’s much closer than many would imagine. This remarkable book will invite you to marvel at what now seems commonplace and to dream about a future in which the scope of humanity may need to broaden itself to include intelligent machines.Reblogged 10 hours ago from www.amazon.com
This week: Apple’s Snapchat-inspired video-editing app; LinkedIn’s big news for its Sales Navigator, and its new retargeting tools; Foursquare’s plot to take over the world; YouTube’s phaseout of annotations; Instagram’s surprising effect on older users; much more! Read the full article at MarketingProfsReblogged 11 hours ago from www.marketingprofs.com