Get More Customers To My Website
Rated 4.7/5 based on 197 reviews

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Thumbnail for 45613

A Year In Review: Search Engine Land’s Top 10 Columns Of 2015

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Jessica Thompson

While 2015 saw some significant and exciting new developments in search, marketers this year were seemingly less reactive and more proactive — a sign of a maturing industry. Rather than scrambling to adapt to the latest algorithm change or rushing to implement the newest trend, readers instead gravitated towards high-level thought pieces and detailed, tactical how-tos.

This is evident in the fact that many of the most popular columns in 2015 were focused on getting the fundamentals right. Where do I get started with local SEO? How can I build links in an ethical manner to avoid penalties? What’s the best way to manage my AdWords campaigns? How do I optimize video content on YouTube? These are all questions that were addressed by our top columns on Search Engine Land this year.

And despite 2015 arguably being the true “year of mobile” in search — we lived through Mobilegeddon and we saw mobile searches overtake desktop searches on Google — only one of the top 10 pieces dealt specifically with mobile search, and that was Emily Grossman’s piece on Apple Search and iOS app indexing. Indeed, app indexing became a hot topic this year as search engines began surfacing more and more app content within their search engine results pages.

The most widely read column on the site by far was Adam Audette’s piece on how Google handles JavaScript. Search marketers have long wondered to what extent the search engine can crawl this content, and Audette’s column (which summarized the findings of original research performed by Merkle | RKG) shed some light on this previously underexplored topic.

So, here you have them — Search Engine Land’s top 10 columns of 2015!

  1. We Tested How Googlebot Crawls JavaScript And Here’s What We Learned by Adam Audette, published on 5/8/15 in the All Things SEO Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 2498, Google+ 1357, LinkedIn 1092
  2. 5 Essential SEO Techniques To Master In 2015 by Jim Yu, published on 1/27/15 in the All Things SEO Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 921, Google+ 399, LinkedIn 614
  3. 10 WordPress SEO Questions That Took Me 10 Years To Answer! by Trond Lyngbø, published on 2/12/15 in the All Things SEO Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 1371, Google+ 526, LinkedIn 769
  4. 5 Techniques To Safely Get Links In 2015 by Neil Patel, published on 2/20/15 in the Link Week Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 733, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 32
  5. Local SEO: How To Rank Your Local Business by Matthew Barby, published on 4/22/15 in the Local Search Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 710, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 43
  6. They Fooled Us All: Why Google May No Longer Announce Major Algorithm Updates by Nate Dame, published on 3/27/15 in the All Things SEO Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 585, Google+ 317, LinkedIn 621
  7. How Google Won The PR Battle Over SEO, And Why That’s A Good Thing by Nate Dame, published on 10/9/15 in the All Things SEO Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 779, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 473
  8. The Secret To AdWords Success, Told By A Former Googler by Frederick Vallaeys, published on 1/21/15 in the Paid Search Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 686, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 100
  9. App Indexing & The New Frontier of SEO: Apple Search + iOS App Indexing by Emily Grossman, published on 7/6/15 in the All Things SEO Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 552, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 503
  10. YouTube Ranking Factors: Getting Ranked In The Second Largest Search Engine by Tony Edward, published on 7/24/15 in the All Things SEO Column.
    Social activity: Facebook 1276, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 717

Methodology: Columns published in 2015 are ranked in order of pageviews measured by Google Analytics. Data includes all columns published through November 30, 2015. Social data provided by SharedCount.

The post A Year In Review: Search Engine Land’s Top 10 Columns Of 2015 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source::

      

Thumbnail for 45604

Definitive Guide To Duplicate Research For Local SEO

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Joy Hawkins

Duplicate listings are one of the biggest negative ranking factors in Local SEO. Knowing if your business has duplicates out there that need to be resolved is very important for ranking success in the 3-pack. Often, duplicate listings get overlooked because they are so hard to find. This article will go through the process I use to discover duplicates and organize them so they don’t have a negative impact on ranking.

How To Find Duplicate Listings

For this example, we’ll be using a plastic surgery business in Phoenix, AZ: Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery.

(Disclaimer: This business is not a client of mine, but rather the client of a professional connection of mine at another agency. I have used this example with their permission.)

  1. First, open up my Local SEO Duplicate Tracker template and make a copy for your own use. Fill in the business details on the top line based on what you see on the business website.
  2. Next, head over to Google Map Maker and search for Phoenix, AZ so that the map lists Phoenix.
  3. Plug the phone number into the search bar, which should pull up each listing that exists in that area with that phone number.

Duplicate Research 1

  1. Right-click the business name for each listing, and select “Open Link in a New Tab.” Do this for all the listings you see here. This should give you the Map Maker URLs for each listing in the address bar for each tab you opened. URLs should look something like this: http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x872b12600fbeb101:0x294d0ac3848c9d97
  2. Record the URLs in Column K in the Google Doc, and note the corresponding business name on the listing in Column B.
  3. Go through each listing and record the phone number, street address, suite # (if listed), city, ZIP code, website URL (if listed) and categories for each listing into the spreadsheet. (Note: For the street address, you do not want to copy what you see on the listing by just looking at it. Click Edit > Edit this Place beside the listing and copy exactly what Map Maker has for each listing’s address. You’ll notice in the example below, the street number isn’t in the Street # box, so I will leave it blank on my spreadsheet.)

Duplicate Research 2

  1. Anything you find that does not match what is listed on the website should be marked in red so you know it’s problematic.
  2. Hit cancel at the bottom of the screen so you’re no longer in edit mode, right-click and click “View Page Source.” Press CTRL + F on your keyboard, search for “CID,” and grab the long number that you see in quotations. Insert it into this URL, replacing the bolded text: http://maps.google.com/maps?cid=2976046763620474263. Record that as the Maps URL on the spreadsheet in Column J. Also record the number of reviews you see on the listing in Column L.
  3. Now you want to see if there are any duplicates that exist at that address that use a different phone number. To accomplish this, go over to Google.com and type in the following query: [“4611” “Shea” “Phoenix” “contact” inurl:about site:plus.google.com]. (When you do this for your own listings, use the same format: [“street number” “beginning of street name without prefixes” “city name” “contact” inurl:about site:plus.google.com].)
  4. Add &filter=0 to the end of your URL in the address bar to make sure nothing is filtered out.
  5. This returned a ton of listings using that address because this is a plaza or a building housing many different businesses. You are only looking for ones that would be related to your particular business. In this example, one that stuck out is https://plus.google.com/+Sugarmewax/about because it lists the exact same address and suite number as the plastic surgeon. So either they are sharing a suite (which can be confusing) or Sugar Me Wax has closed down and this listing should be marked closed. If you find any listings worth noting, add them to the sheet at the bottom so you can investigate and deal with them later.

Duplicate Research 3

Going through the steps above, I was able to identify three separate listings for Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery. One was a listing for the practice itself, and two were listings for individual doctors within the practice.

Best Practices For Handling Duplicate Listings

Now that you have your list of duplicates, here are some best practices for how to handle them:

General Best Practices For Cleaning Up Your Listings

The business name should follow Google’s guidelines and should not contain any keyword stuffing. Any phone numbers listed on Google should match what’s on the website. In the example above, there was a phone number on the two doctor listings which is not present on the website footer or contact page. This is problematic.

The street address should be formatted properly and, like the phone number, should also be consistent across all professional listings. In this example, one of the doctors didn’t have the street number on his listing, which is a problem.

Suite numbers are not necessary and don’t seem to impact ranking much. It’s usually best for the user if you include it, but if the listings don’t all have the suite number, it’s not a problem worth stressing over. The city and ZIP code, on the other hand, should absolutely be present (and the same) across all listings. If it’s not, you should investigate why Google Maps isn’t sure about the city.

Usually, it’s best if you don’t overlap categories whenever possible. You should use the least amount of categories possible on the listings you are trying to minimize. Don’t ever use categories if they don’t actually apply to the business. Always remember to look at what categories competitors are using to see if you are forgetting/missing any that apply.

Controlling Which Listing Ranks Among Many Duplicates

Professional/practitioner listings are not considered duplicates, and Google will not remove them. You should pick which one you want to rank (ideally, the one with the most/best reviews) and minimize the others. You don’t want these competing against each other.

If you want to control which listing Google shows in the 3-pack, you should be very careful about what website URL you use on each listing. You want to use the strongest URL on the listing you want Google to rank.

In this example, we most likely want the practice listing (rather than the individual doctor listings) to rank. In order to achieve that, we should be linking it to the homepage, since that is what ranks highest organically for “plastic surgeon phoenix.” It would be best if the two doctor listings linked to a weaker page, such as http://www.mosharrafa.com/about/.

Duplicate Research 4

Currently, one of the doctor listings goes to http://experiencethebestofyou.com/, which is actually a forwarding URL (301 redirect) which is against Google’s guidelines and can result in the page getting suspended.

Best Practices For Handling Technical Issues

  • It’s very important to know the CID number for the business and make sure that when you load the Google Maps URL, it shows the right business. I ran into a case recently where a search for a university on Google pulled a psychologist listing up because on the back-end, the CID number for one was actually attached to the other. Knowing the CID can also help you get reviews transferred if ever needed.
  • If you find other listings using your address that are not there, or if you find duplicates for the business that should be removed (they’re not professional listings), make sure you get them removed based on these procedures.

Now that the duplicate research is done, the next phase is to start hammering away at the issues you discovered along with all the other factors that influence ranking in Local SEO.

The post Definitive Guide To Duplicate Research For Local SEO appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source::

      

Thumbnail for 45601

What Will Hatch Tomorrow In Google’s New Year’s Eve Doodle

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Barry Schwartz

Google has an animated Google Doodle on their home page today for New Years eve. It is a image of birds on a branch, waiting with anticipating for the egg to hatch. Yes, the birds are in party hats.

In fact, on the Google Doodle page Google says “check back tomorrow to see what will hatch in the new year.”

Here is the animated version, as you can see, it is just about to hatch and the birds cannot contain themselves:

new-years-eve-2015-5985438795825152-hp

So what will hatch?

The cool thing is that it is already the new year in places like Google Australia, so if you want to see what hatched on New Years – go there. There are three different things that hatch, so refresh the home page a bunch of times to see them all.

Don’t forget to check out Bing, they have a pretty festive home page up today.

Happy New Years to all of you out there and thanks for reading us daily!

The post What Will Hatch Tomorrow In Google’s New Year’s Eve Doodle appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source::

      

Thumbnail for 45494

SearchCap: Local Search, SEO Columns & Engaging SEO Stories

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Barry Schwartz

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

From Search Engine Land:

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

Searching

SEO

SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

The post SearchCap: Local Search, SEO Columns & Engaging SEO Stories appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source::

      

Thumbnail for 45471

Getting Social With Search Engine Land: Our Most Engaging Stories Of 2015

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Lauren Donovan

Well readers, if you can even believe it, the year will be over in a mere 48-ish hours, and as it ends, 2016 will begin. It seems like just yesterday, experts were casting predictions for what 2015 would hold for the world of search. If we have learned anything over the past 12 months (and surely, we have learned a lot!), it is that time moves pretty dang fast. (Hello? 2016, already?!) But it’s not just time that moves quickly. It’s technology. And every year, its pace seems to double.

Yes, one of the most remarkable things about our industry surely is the incredible speed at which it evolves. New platforms, channels, tools and tactics emerge every single day, and it’s our job as cutting-edge professionals to stay as up to speed as possible. Daily digests like our SearchCap and Marketing Day can help keep us abreast of search, social and all-around digital marketing news as it happens, but as we enter into a new year, it can be insightful and inspiring to zoom waaaaay out and take a look at the stories our readers found most fascinating over the past 12 months.

This particular roundup, part of our annual year-in-review coverage, looks at the Search Engine Land stories that generated the most social engagement on Facebook and Twitter, that is, the most combined likes, favorites, shares, comments, retweets, replies — you name it, it was tallied. (We tip our hat to Simply Measured, a social analytics platform we used to gather these metrics!)

So, without further ado….

Search Engine Land’s Most Social Tweets Of 2015

For Twitter, total engagement points are defined as combined likes (favorites), retweets and replies.

1. Research Reveals What It Takes To Rank In Mobile Search Results by Jayson DeMers, 10/20/15 – 202 engagement points

Research Reveals What It Takes To Rank In Mobile Search Results by @JaysonDeMers https://t.co/E7ElPHR2yw

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) October 20, 2015

2. FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm by Danny Sullivan, 10/27/15 – 164 engagement points

FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm by @dannysullivan https://t.co/EN5YUGsFDG #google #SEO

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) October 27, 2015

3. Site Redesign & Migration Tips To Avoid SEO & UX Disasters by Modestos Siotos, 12/8/15 – 164 engagement points

Site Redesign & Migration Tips To Avoid #SEO & #UX Disasters by @Modestos_ https://t.co/aE3JzCkYiB

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) December 8, 2015

4. Google Testing “Slow To Load” Warning Label In Mobile Search Results by Barry Schwartz, 6/15/15 – 145 engagement points

Google is testing a “Slow to load” yellow sign in mobile search results. http://t.co/BgmjlXnRHZ pic.twitter.com/ztfzHCJ9Yc

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) June 15, 2015

5. Mobilegeddon Checklist: How To Prepare For Today’s Google Mobile Friendly Update by Barry Schwartz, 4/21/15 – 142 engagement points

Mobilegeddon Checklist: How To Prepare For Today’s Google Mobile Friendly Update by @RustyBrick http://t.co/kOd5Qj3gpT #Mobilegeddon

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) April 21, 2015

6. Keywords Are Back For Google Shopping Campaigns! by Daniel Gilbert, 9/23/15 – 133 engagement points

.@danielgilbert44 shares a new @adwords script for managing Google Shopping campaigns with keywords: http://t.co/z4mQ9SJUIy

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) September 23, 2015

7. Google Panda 4.2 Is Here; Slowly Rolling Out After Waiting Almost 10 Months by Barry Schwartz, 7/22/15 – 132 engagement points

Google Panda 4.2 Is Here; Slowly Rolling Out After Waiting Almost 10 Months by @rustybrick http://t.co/r3l0Hm6exM

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) July 22, 2015

8. The 7 Characteristics That Can Make A Link “Bad” For SEO by Jayson DeMers, 12/14/15 – 131 engagement points

These 7 characteristics can make a link “bad” for #SEO, says @JaysonDeMers: https://t.co/p9KH10wkaF

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) December 15, 2015

9. Infographic: Mobile SEO Tips To Help You Survive The Coming Google Mobilegeddon, 4/7/15 – 127 engagement points

Infographic: #Mobile #SEO Tips To Help You Survive The Coming @Google Mopocalypse http://t.co/96eEFNljHc

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) April 7, 2015

10. DuckDuckGo Surpasses 10 Million Daily Queries by Barry Schwartz, 6/23/15 – 124 engagement points

.@DuckDuckGo hit a major milestone – 10 million daily queries: http://t.co/huAQMb7cOg pic.twitter.com/bNOlCpoQPZ

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) June 23, 2015

Search Engine Land’s Most Social Facebook Posts Of 2015

For Facebook, total engagement points are defined as combined likes, comments and shares.

1. Google Is Hiring An SEO Manager To Improve Its Rankings In Google, 7/15/15 – 1061 engagement points

2. Google Files Suit Against SEO Firm Accused Of Robocalling, Launches Complaint Center For Users, 9/16/15 – 1017 engagement points

3. Google Releases The Full Version Of Their Search Quality Rating Guidelines, 11/19/15 – 1017 engagement points

4. It’s Official: Google Says More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop, 5/5/15 – 901 engagement points

5. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Is Rolling Out Right Now, 4/21/15 – 703 engagement points

6. Google To Begin To Index HTTPS Pages First, Before HTTP Pages When Possible, 12/17/15 – 690 engagement points

7. Is “Facebook Professional Services” Facebook’s Stealth Project To Beat Yelp? 12/15/15 – 672 engagement points

8. FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm, 10/27/15 – 637 engagement points

9. Worldwide, More Than Half Of Google’s Searches Happen On Mobile, 10/9/15 – 594 engagement points

10. Google Search Algorithm Adds Mobile-Friendly Factors & App Indexing To Ranking, 2/26/15 – 523 engagement points

Until next year!

The post Getting Social With Search Engine Land: Our Most Engaging Stories Of 2015 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source::

      

Thumbnail for 45458

Organic Food For Thought: Our Top All Things SEO Columns For 2015

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Jessica Thompson

It’s tough being an SEO practitioner. Every time you think you’ve got the best practices down, some new development comes along that forces you to change your tactics or adjust your strategy. From algorithm updates to SERP layout adjustments to new search features, optimizing a website for organic search can often feel like trying to hit a moving target.

That’s where our All Things SEO columnists come in. By sharing their insights and advice, columnists were able to help SEO newbies and veterans alike navigate the fast-changing organic search landscape throughout the year.

As with previous years, 2015 saw its fair share of major developments in the organic search world, each of which presented challenges as well as opportunities to search marketers.

In particular, we saw a huge shift in focus towards mobile this past year. On April 21, 2015, a day known within the tech world as “Mobilegeddon,” Google released an algorithm update which gave a rankings boost to “mobile friendly” pages in Google’s mobile search results. The mobile friendly update also gave greater visibility to app content within search results, which left search marketers eager to learn more about app indexing. Columns related to mobile search captured three of our top 10 spots this year.

Readers were also interested in “big picture” articles about Google. Two excellent thought pieces by Nate Dame, which focused largely on Google’s evolving relationship with the SEO community, each garnered enough page views to break into the top five All Things SEO columns for 2015. Both are essential reading for those who want to gain a broader perspective on the state of the industry.

Top honors went to Adam Audette’s piece, which explored how Google crawls and indexes JavaScript. Based on original research done by Merkle | RKG, this column offered concrete information on a topic which had previously been shrouded in mystery.

For these columns and more, check out our top 10 All Things SEO columns of 2015:

  1. We Tested How Googlebot Crawls JavaScript And Here’s What We Learned by Adam Audette, published on 5/8/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 2498, Google+ 1357, LinkedIn 1092
  2. 5 Essential SEO Techniques To Master In 2015 by Jim Yu, published on 1/27/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 921, Google+ 399, LinkedIn 614
  3. 10 WordPress SEO Questions That Took Me 10 Years To Answer! by Trond Lyngbø, published on 2/12/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 1371, Google+ 526, LinkedIn 769
  4. They Fooled Us All: Why Google May No Longer Announce Major Algorithm Updates by Nate Dame, published on 3/27/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 585, Google+ 317, LinkedIn 621
  5. How Google Won The PR Battle Over SEO, And Why That’s A Good Thing by Nate Dame, published on 10/9/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 779, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 473
  6. App Indexing & The New Frontier of SEO: Apple Search + iOS App Indexing by Emily Grossman, published on 7/6/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 552, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 503
  7. YouTube Ranking Factors: Getting Ranked In The Second Largest Search Engine by Tony Edward, published on 7/24/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 1276, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 717
  8. Research Reveals What It Takes To Rank In Mobile Search Results by Jayson DeMers, published on 10/20/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 1917, Google+ 206, LinkedIn 557
  9. Mobilegeddon Is Beginning, Not Ending by Bryson Meunier, published on 5/7/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 662, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 620
  10. 7 Key SEO Activities That Can Now Be Automated by Aleyda Solis, published on 6/25/15.
    Social Activity: Facebook 1225, Google+ 298, LinkedIn 644

Methodology: Columns published in 2015 are ranked in order of pageviews measured by Google Analytics. Data includes all columns published through November 30, 2015. Social data provided by SharedCount.

The post Organic Food For Thought: Our Top All Things SEO Columns For 2015 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source::

      

Thumbnail for 45450

5 Trends In Local Search In 2015

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Jason Decker

Local Search is a constantly changing landscape, and that certainly has been the case in 2015! The power of local search for a local business cannot be underestimated. A Bright Local study found that local search is the most effective digital marketing channel for local businesses. Here are my top five takeaways from a crazy year in local search.

1. From Seven To Three, The Google Snack Pack

In my opinion, the single biggest change in local search in 2015 was the number of local results dropping from seven to three on Google’s search engine results page (SERP). These results are now lower on the page, too, with local ads taking up more premium space.

Don’t expect this to change! It’s now more important than ever to be in a top-three position in Google local results. Local businesses need to prepare, because “pay to play” is here to stay.

2. Near Me & Location-Based Services

A recent Google study indicates that for local searches involving “near me” in 2014, 80% were conducted on a mobile device. Proximity searches (where the searcher’s location is automatically determined via phone location and IP address) are an increasingly important local ranking factor.

While you can’t optimize for each searcher’s location, local marketers must make sure that your local presence is strong in terms of important ranking factors such as NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure that your NAP is accurate and prominently listed on your website.
  • Add appropriate structured data markup to improve local search results and “near me” search results.
  • Ensure city and state appear in your title tags.
  • Ensure strong local links.
  • Ensure consistency of NAP across all local directory citations.

3. Mobile-Friendly Site Required!

Earlier this year, Google basically demanded that all businesses have a mobile-friendly website. Many businesses that didn’t provide searchers with a good mobile experience saw significant drops in their mobile search results. Mobilegeddon was upon us.

With mobile searches now edging out desktop searches in the United States, a mobile website cannot be ignored. Along with a mobile-friendly website, a full-blown mobile marketing strategy must be in place to capitalize on the 78% of mobile local searches that result in an offline purchases. (For example, a search for “pizza delivery” will likely result in a purchase soon after.)

4. Behavioral Influences

Searcher behavior has a larger impact on the algorithm than ever before. Sites with a low click-through rate, high bounce rate, or low time-on-site are being negatively impacted.

Study your analytics data. If visitors are bouncing at a high rate or exiting quickly, evaluate your site’s content, usability and paths-to-conversion. For example, make sure that the content in your organic listing is aligned with the content on the landing page. Last but not least, ensure your images and messaging are compelling.

5. Naming Confusion Continues

So many names! “Google Local,” “Google Plus Local,” “Google Maps,” “Google My Business.” Which one is it? It’s becoming difficult for even the experts to keep up with all the name changes, and the lack of clear communication from Google doesn’t help.

What we know is that Google My Business is the primary interface for local business owners and their agencies (for now). We have recently seen Google move local business data and reviews away from the Google Plus social network. For example, practices such as Google +1’s and sharing information on the Google Plus network appear to be obsolete.

I hope this summary of major changes in local search in 2015 is a helpful review.

Local Search is a living, breathing and ever-evolving ecosystem. Stay tuned as 2016 is sure to be action packed!

The post 5 Trends In Local Search In 2015 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source::

      

Thumbnail for 45418

Related Questions Grow +500% in 5 Months

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Dr-Pete

Posted by Dr-Pete

Earlier this year, Google rolled out the Related Questions feature (AKA “People Also Ask”). If you haven’t seen them yet, related questions appear in an expandable box, mixed in with organic results. Here’s an example from a search for “Samsung Galaxy S6″:

If you click on any question, it expands into something that looks like a Featured Snippet:

Currently, Related Questions can occur in packs of between 1–4 questions and answers. Here’s an example of a box with only one question, on a search for “lederhosen”:

Once expanded, a typical answer contains a machine-generated snippet, a link to the source website, and a link to the Google search for the question.

How common are related questions?

We started tracking Related Questions in late July on the MozCast 10K, where they originally appeared on roughly 1.3% of queries. Keep in mind that the MozCast set tends toward commercial queries, and the absolute percentage may not represent the entire web. What’s interesting, though, is what happened after that. Here’s a graph of Related Questions prevalence since the end of July:

You can clearly see two spikes in the graph — one measured on October 27th, and one on December 1st. As of this writing (December 10th), Related Questions appeared on about 8.1% of the queries we track. In less than 5 months, Related Questions have increased 501%. This is a much faster adoption rate than other Knowledge Graph features.

Where do the answers come from?

When you expand a question, the answer looks a lot like another recent Knowledge Graph addition — Featured Snippets. Digging deeper, though, it appears that the connection is indirect at best. For example, here’s an expanded question on a search for “monopoly”:

If you click on that search, though, you get a SERP with the following Featured Snippet:

It’s interesting to note that both answers come from Investopedia, but Google is taking completely different text from two different URLs on the same site. With Featured Snippets, we know that the answer currently has to come from a site already ranking on page one, but with Related Questions, there’s no clear connection to organic results. These answers don’t seem tied to their respective SERPs.

Where do the questions come from?

It’s clear that both the answers in Related Questions and the snippets in Featured Snippets are machine-generated. Google is expanding the capabilities of the Knowledge Graph by extracting answers directly from the index. What may not be as clear, at first glance, is that machines are also generating the questions themselves. Look at the following example, from a search for “grammar check”:

Out of context, the question doesn’t even make sense. Expanded, you can see that it relates to a very specific grammar question posted on Quora. While the topic is relevant, no human would attach this question, as worded, to this search. Consider another example, for “cover letter examples”:

The first and last question are obviously, to a human, redundant. To a machine, though, they would look unique. To be fair, Google has come a long way in a short time — even a couple of months ago, some of these questions were riddled with grammar and spelling errors. As of this writing, I can’t find a single example of either.

Finally, there are the questions that no human would ever ask:

No rational human would ever want to know what kind of meat is in a gyro. It’s better that way.

What’s coming next?

It’s clear that Google is rapidly expanding their capability to generate questions and answers from the index. Both Featured Snippets and Related Questions have evolved considerably since their respective launches, and Google’s ability to understand natural language queries and semantic data is growing daily. It may be months before we fully understand if and how these results cannibalize organic clicks, but it seems very clear that Google no longer considers these features to be experimental and will be aggressively pushing forward question-and-answer style SERPs in the near future.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Source::