Archiv für den Monat: September 2017

6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing


It seems like a small selection of tools just keeps traveling from article to article these days.

Opening a freshly-published article on a popular blog, I feel like I’ve already read it, because I know all the listed tools.

To celebrate “undercover” tools in the marketing industry, I picked six tools I use which I seldom or never see mentioned in other people’s articles. I think they totally deserve to be in the spotlight because they are as good as (or in most cases even better than) more discussed alternatives.

1. Cloudup to store your drafts and images

I hate to think that anyone reading this isn’t using cloud storage for work. It makes your life so much easier, allowing you to access your work from anywhere in the world as well as giving you tools to easily share your content with other team members, like editors and designers.

There’s no denying that Google is the Internet master for a reason, and their Drive service is hard for anyone to beat. But plenty of people choose not to entrust Google with their private docs for privacy reasons. Even if that’s not you, it’s never smart to put all your eggs in one basket. If your business 100% relies on Google, it’s time to change your business model.

Cloudup is a great alternative to both Dropbox and Google Drive giving you 200 GB (or up to 1000 items) of free storage which makes the service one of the largest free file sharing and storage options.

You can upload and share files, create docs and spreadsheets, use a huge number of tools and extensions, communicate with your team, and more. And it is all free up to 200 GB. You can find more alternatives here.

2. Drip to power your email marketing

It is no secret that I am not a big fan of MailChimp. I find their system overly bulky and difficult to use, while their policies are so unclear you can violate them by accident.

Drip is a nice alternative to better-known email marketing systems, giving you a lot of nice features for a comparatively low price.


It has a powerful content automation feature that lets you reach your reader at exactly the time they are likely to take an action.

3. Cyfe to publish and schedule social media updates


Cyfe is one of those tools you can use for anything under the sun. It’s like a Swiss knife that has a widget for anything, including:

  • invoicing (through FreshBooks and others),
  • performance monitoring (through Pingdom to monitor Uptime),
  • content analytics (through Google Analytics, Alexa and many others),
  • social media analytics (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, you name it!)

Additionally you can create and add custom widgets or embed anything using iFrame (for example, I embed my spreadsheets).

Their recent update has added social media publishing into the mix allowing you to schedule your social media updates right from your business monitoring dashboard. I was really excited by the move because now I don’t to have to pay for an extra social media management solution!

Cyfe publishing widget

4. Topvisor for content optimization and competitor research

Do you have an up to date content inventory? Probably not, because creating one is a time consuming and exhausting process and tools out on the market are expensive, clunky and rarely give you an accurate inventory to work from.

Topvisor was made to solve that problem. It is a fully customizable and extensive search engine optimization solution. They have monthly plans starting at just $29. I love their page change tracking tools that allow me to monitor my competitors and what they do to rank their content higher in search engines:


It’s incredibly affordable compared to similar tools and it will keep you or your team accountable for on-page SEO of every content asset that gets published on behalf of your brand.

It also integrates with Google Analytics to give you a more flexible content analytics dashboard.

5. Salesmate to organize and verify your leads

If you are using (or plan on using) any sales management platform to organize your leads, give Salesmate a try. It’s very affordable and incredibly reach in features. Easily integrating into any imaginable content marketing tool, Salesmate offers all kinds of features aimed at improving your sales process.


Set up sales pipelines and watch your leads go from step to step to easily analyze where the process can be improved or which sales magnets your site needs.

6. EpicBeat to monitor trends

EpicBeat isn’t just a trend monitoring tool. It is a dashboard that empowers your marketing with those trends. It takes what is hot and gives you a blueprint for incorporating it into your campaigns and promotional efforts.


It also had hot topics that you can go through, which is one of my favorite ways to find content ideas when I am running dry. Simple, effective and easy to use, it is one of my favorites on this list.

Bonus: content marketing resources

There are a few very popular content marketing resources out there everyone tends to recommend. However I think content marketing center is the best out there, yet you won’t see it mentioned too often. has built a major hub for resources related to content, providing a ton of tools for you to enjoy for free. In the analytics category they have two ebooks and three extensive posts explaining various facets of improving your SEO strategy when it directly coincides with your content publications.

That includes maximizing your ROI, finding leads, looking at the “right” KPI’s and more. On top of these resources you can also sign up for their dashboard, which is also about generating and converting more through content marketing. They have one for individuals, marketers and enterprises, with the first level being free.

One more bonus: more alternatives!

To celebrate people offering to spotlight less discussed alternatives, here are a few more roundups which inspired this article:

Do you have some tools you think deserve to be on this list? Let us know in the comments.


Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn Top Content, Twitter Gets Character & Apple Goes Google

The Content Preferences of LinkedIn Members [Infographic]
What kinds of content do LinkedIn users prefer? A new infographic shows that LinkedIn users prefer content that’s informative, educational and relevant. MarketingProfs

Giving you more characters to express yourself
Twitter recently announced they’re giving us an additional 140 characters with which to convey our deepest, Tweetiest thoughts by upping their character count to 280. They believe this will encourage more active posting on their platform. Twitter

Apple switches from Bing to Google for Siri web search results on iOS and Spotlight on Mac
Apple has finally made the plunge with Google – when you search with Siri on your iOS device or Mac, you’ll be shown search results from Google. In other news, none of that would have made any sense 20 years ago (according to Josh Nite). TechCrunch

Adding LinkedIn’s Profile Card on Office 365 Offers a Simple Way to Build a Professional Relationship
LinkedIn and Microsoft have made it official recently with the anticipated rollout of the ability to integrate your personal LinkedIn profile card with your Office 365 profile. Full details and how-to’s are available, and the release will happen over the next couple of weeks. LinkedIn

Know Their Intention, Get Their Attention: New Ways to Connect and Measure on YouTube
Google has announced four new tools to help brands and users „capture the attention of your audience on YouTube.“ These tools include Custom Affinity Audiences, Video Ad Sequencing and more. Inside AdWords

Instagram Hits 800 Million Monthly Users, Adding 100 Million in Just 5 Months
AdWeek reports: „After announcing this morning that Instagram has 2 million advertisers, the Facebook-owned app also says that it has 800 million monthly users, up from 700 million in April.“ AdWeek

Report: The future of paid-search marketing is machine learning and AI
„Machine learning-optimized campaigns saw 71 percent better conversion rates and lower CPCs than those not using it.“ At least, that’s what Search Engine Land makes of the recent report from Acquisio. Search Engine Land

Only A Third Of Ad Execs Trust Their Audience Data, Measurements
According to a recent survey, only 33% of advertising executives consider their data to be completely trustworthy. Only 29% said they felt their audience analytics/measurement was completely accurate. MediaPost

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news! If you have something to share, pass it along to the newsroom or Tweet me @Tiffani_Allen or @toprank.

The post Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn Top Content, Twitter Gets Character & Apple Goes Google appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Andreas Übele über Gestaltung, Auftraggeber & Akquise

Andreas Übele und sein Büro stehen seit über 20 Jahren für herausragende Orientierungssysteme und Erscheinungsbilder. Vor Kurzem ist mit einem riesigen Umfang von 654 Seiten sein Buch Material erschienen, das Einblick in die Arbeitsweise und Haltung des Stuttgarter Büros gibt. Im Buch werden über 80 Projekte vorgestellt – Interviews, Essays und Beiträge von anderen Kreativen.

was bedeutet verantwortung?

Was ist so spannend an der Gestaltung von Identitäten für Unternehmen und Leitsystemen?

nichts ist schöner als gestalten, das erschaffen von etwas neuem. es stellt gewohnheiten in frage und fordert den betrachter heraus. der träger einer marke kann sieht sich in einem fremden kleid und kann sich damit neu erfinden, seine haltung überprüfen und verändern. denn das erscheinungsbild ist wie eine erzählung und ein schönes orientierungssystem leistet mehr, als nur dem suchenden den weg zu weisen. es entfaltet den ort und macht ihn lesbar. es gibt ihm ein poetisches maß.

Welche Erfahrungen in der Zusammenarbeit mit Auftraggebern haben Sie besonders positiv in Erinnerung?

gib vertrauen, erhalte hingabe

was lernen studenten bei ihnen?

Leider läuft nicht immer alles nach Plan, welche Zusammenarbeit haben Sie weniger gut in Erinnerung?

wenn sich ein auftraggeber in die gestaltung einmischt und nicht fähig ist, sachliche kritik zu äußern, ohne gestalterische verbesserungsvorschläge zu machen, muss der gestalter nein sagen, um seine seele zu schützen. wenn der auftraggeber diese notbremsung versteht und einlenkt, geht es weiter. ansonsten ist dies der richtige zeitpunkt, sich zu trennen.

Erinnern Sie sich noch an die Anfangszeit ihres Büro? Wie habt ihr damals Kunden akquiriert?

telefonat 157: uebele, grüß gott, ich bin grafik-designer. vielleicht brauchen sie ein buch über ihr büro … ähm, nein? ach so … aber vielleicht brauchen sie visitenkarten? auch nicht? … ok, mhm, danke, aufwiederhören.

telefonat 249: … aber vielleicht darf ich mal vorbeikommen um ihnen meine arbeiten zu zeigen? ahja, ja okay, aufwiedersehen – äh: aufwiederhören.

telefonat 371: grüß gott, herr uebele, äh nein, also ich heiße uebele, und ich wollte fragen … oh, schade, ja danke, aufwiedersehen.

was macht einen guten designer aus?
gestaltung ist – überspitzt gesagt – ein flipperautomat. die kugel rollt durch einen Irrgarten und erhält immer wieder neue impulse, bis sie irgendwann in das richtige loch fällt. man darf nicht versuchen, zwanghaft seine position durchzusetzen. man muss zuhören können und die dinge aus der sache heraus entwicklen.

Wurde der Wert ihrer Leistung mal von Auftraggebern verkannt? Wie gehen Sie damit um?

es ist wie mit einer fremdsprache: wenn ich kein französich spreche, dann kann ich es auch nicht verstehen. eine sprache, die ich nicht beherrsche, klingt allerdings wie kauderwelsch – und das ist der unterschied zur gestaltung. da meint nämlich jeder, trotzdem mitreden zu können, weil die gestalterischen parameter vordergründig lesbar sind: farbe und form sind begreifbare elemente. eine krawatte wird als schön empfunden und deswegen gekauft. möglicherweise finden wir aber diese krawatte hässlich. warum? weil wir uns ständig mit mustern, farben und formen beschäftigen. unsere augen sind wie die ohren eines musikers, der kleinste nuancen bemerkt, die anderen entgehen. wir nehmen die dinge ohne formale vorlieben wahr, ohne gestaltungswillen, ohne modische verführbarkeit, ohne eitelkeit. deshalb versuche ich, unseren auftraggebern design verständlich zu erklären; warum etwas genau so aussieht, warum diese bestimmte form in diesem falle richtig ist und warum jene farbe am besten funktioniert. alle formalen entscheidungen lassen sich erklären, wenn sie sinnvoll sind und ihnen ein konzept zugrunde liegt. diesen sachlichen argumenten folgen die meisten, denn ein gutes konzept hält allen nachfragen stand.

Gutes Design hat seinen Preis, dennoch scheint die Bereitschaft für Design entsprechend zu zahlen, nicht immer hoch. Wie sehen Sie diese finanzielle Wertschätzung?

wenn kunden ohne finanzielle not unanständig niedrige honorarvorstellungen haben, zeigt das ihre geringschätzung. für solche menschen möchte ich nichts entwerfen. auftraggeber, die grundsätzlich wenig zahlen wollen, behandeln einen auch schlecht. abgesehen davon gibt es auftraggeber, die wirklich wenig geld haben und trotzdem unbedingt mit uns zusammenarbeiten wollen. wenn wir den eindruck haben, dass wir die notwendige gestalterische freiheit haben, die es uns ermöglicht, gute arbeit zu machen, nehmen wir den auftrag an.

Andreas Übele und seine neue Geschäftspartnerin Carolin Himmel


Pinterest, Google or Bing: Who has the best visual search engine?

visual culture

Visual search engines will be at the center of the next phase of evolution for the search industry, with Pinterest, Google, and Bing all announcing major developments recently.

How do they stack up today, and who looks best placed to offer the best visual search experience?

Historically, the input-output relationship in search has been dominated by text. Even as the outputs have become more varied (video and image results, for example), the inputs have been text-based. This has restricted and shaped the potential of search engines, as they try to extract more contextual meaning from a relatively static data set of keywords.

Visual search engines are redefining the limits of our language, opening up a new avenue of communication between people and computers. If we view language as a fluid system of signs and symbols, rather than fixed set of spoken or written words, we arrive at a much more compelling and profound picture of the future of search.

Our culture is visual, a fact that visual search engines are all too eager to capitalize on.

Already, specific ecommerce visual search technologies abound: Amazon, Walmart, and ASOS are all in on the act. These companies‘ apps turn a user’s smartphone camera into a visual discovery tool, searching for similar items based on whatever is in frame. This is just one use case, however, and the potential for visual search is much greater than just direct ecommerce transactions.

After a lot of trial and error, this technology is coming of age. We are on the cusp of accurate, real-time visual search, which will open a raft of new opportunities for marketers.

Below, we review the progress made by three key players in visual search: Pinterest, Google, and Bing.


Pinterest’s visual search technology is aimed at carving out a position as the go-to place for discovery searches. Their stated aim echoes the opening quote from this article: “To help you find things when you don’t have the words to describe them.”

Rather than tackle Google directly, Pinterest has decided to offer up something subtly different to users – and advertisers. People go to Pinterest to discover new ideas, to create mood boards, to be inspired. Pinterest therefore urges its 200 million users to “search outside the box”, in what could be deciphered as a gentle jibe at Google’s ever-present search bar.

All of this is driven by Pinterest Lens, a sophisticated visual search tool that uses a smartphone camera to scan the physical world, identify objects, and return related results. It is available via the smartphone app, but Pinterest’s visual search functionality can be used on desktop through the Google Chrome extension too.

Pinterest’s vast data set of over 100 billion Pins provides the perfect training material for machine learning applications. As a result, new connections are forged between the physical and digital worlds, using graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate the process.

pinterest object detection

In practice, Pinterest Lens works very well and is getting noticeably better with time. The image detection is impressively accurate and the suggestions for related Pins are relevant.

Below, the same object has been selected for a search using Pinterest and also Samsung visual search:


The differences in the results are telling.

On the left, Pinterest recognizes the object’s shape, its material, its purpose, but also the defining features of the design. This allows for results that go deeper than a direct search for another black mug. Pinterest knows that the less tangible, stylistic details are what really interest its users. As such, we see results for mugs in different colors, but that are of a similar style.

On the right, Samsung’s Bixby assistant recognizes the object, its color, and its purpose. Samsung’s results are powered by Amazon, and they are a lot less inspiring than the options served up by Pinterest. The image is turned into a keyword search for [black coffee mugs], which renders the visual search element a little redundant.

Visual search engines work best when they express something for us that we would struggle to say in words. Pinterest understands and delivers on this promise better than most.

Pinterest visual search: The key facts

  • Over 200 million monthly users
  • Focuses on the ‘discovery‘ phase of search
  • Pinterest Lens is the central visual search technology
  • Great platform for retailers, with obvious monetization possibilities
  • Paid search advertising is a core growth area for the company
  • Increasingly effective visual search results, particularly on the deeper level of aesthetics


Google made early waves in visual search with the launch of Google Goggles. This Android app was launched in 2010 and allowed users to search using their smartphone camera. It works well on famous landmarks, for example, but it has not been updated significantly in quite some time.

It seemed unlikely that Google would remain silent on visual search for long, and this year’s I/O development revealed what the search giant has been working on in the background.

google lens

Google Lens, which will be available via the Photos app and Google Assistant, will be a significant overhaul of the earlier Google Goggles initiative.

Any nomenclative similarities to Pinterest’s product may be more than coincidental. Google has stealthily upgraded its image and visual search engines of late, ushering in results that resemble Pinterest’s format:



Google’s ‘similar items‘ product was another move to cash in on the discovery phase of search, showcasing related results that might further pique a consumer’s curiosity.

Google Lens will provide the object detection technology to link all of this together in a powerful visual search engine. In its BETA format, Lens offers the following categories for visual searches:

  • All
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Handbags
  • Sunglasses
  • Barcodes
  • Products
  • Places
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Flowers

Some developers have been given the chance to try an early version of Lens, with many reporting mixed results:


Looks like Google doesn’t recognize its own Home smart hub… (Source: XDA Developers)

These are very early days for Google Lens, so we can expect this technology to improve significantly as it learns from its mistakes and successes.

When it does, Google is uniquely placed to make visual search a powerful tool for users and advertisers alike. The opportunities for online retailers via paid search are self-evident, but there is also huge potential for brick-and-mortar retailers to capitalize on hyper-local searches.

For all its impressive advances, Pinterest does not possess the ecosystem to permeate all aspects of a user’s life in the way Google can. With a new Pixel smartphone in the works, Google can use visual search alongside voice search to unite its software and hardware. For advertisers using DoubleClick to manage their search and display ads, that presents a very appealing prospect.

We should also anticipate that Google will take this visual search technology further in the near future.

Google is set to open its ARCore product up to all developers, which will bring with it endless possibilities for augmented reality. ARCore is a direct rival to Apple’s ARKit and it could provide the key to unlock the full potential of visual search. We should also not rule out another move into the wearables market, potentially through a new version of Google Glass.

Google visual search: The key facts

  • Google Goggles launched in 2010 as an early entrant to the visual search market
  • Goggles still functions well on some landmarks, but struggles to isolate objects in crowded frames
  • Google Lens scheduled to launch later this year (Date TBA) as a complete overhaul of Goggles
  • Lens will link visual search to Google search and Google Maps
  • Object detection is not perfected, but the product is in BETA
  • Google is best placed to create an advertising product around its visual search engine, once the technology increases in accuracy


Microsoft had been very quiet on this front since sunsetting its Bing visual search product in 2012. It never really took off and perhaps the appetite wasn’t quite there yet among a mass public for a visual search engine.

Recently, Bing made an interesting re-entry to the fray with the announcement of a completely revamped visual search engine:

This change of tack has been directed by advances in artificial intelligence that can automatically scan images and isolate items.

The early versions of this search functionality required input from users to draw boxes around certain areas of an image for further inspection. Bing announced recently that this will no longer be needed, as the technology has developed to automate this process.

The layout of visual search results on Bing is eerily similar to Pinterest. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Pinterest should be overwhelmed with flattery by now.


The visual search technology can hone in on objects within most images, and then suggests further items that may be of interest to the user. This is only available on Desktop for the moment, but Mobile support will be added soon.

The results are patchy in places, but when an object is detected relevant suggestions are made. In the example below, a search made using an image of a suit leads to topical, shoppable links:


It does not, however, take into account the shirt or tie – the only searchable aspect is the suit.

Things get patchier still for searches made using crowded images. A search for living room decor ideas made using an image will bring up some relevant results, but will not always hone in on specific items.

As with all machine learning technologies, this product will continue to improve and for now, Bing is a step ahead of Google in this aspect. Nonetheless, Microsoft lacks the user base and the mobile hardware to launch a real assault on the visual search market in the long run.

Visual search thrives on data; in this regard, both Google and Pinterest have stolen a march on Bing.

Bing visual search: The key facts

  • Originally launched in 2009, but removed in 2012 due to lack of uptake
  • Relaunched in July 2017, underpinned by AI to identify and analyze objects
  • Advertisers can use Bing visual search to place shoppable images
  • The technology is in its infancy, but the object recognition is quite accurate
  • Desktop only for now, but mobile will follow soon

So, who has the best visual search engine?

For now, Pinterest. With billions of data points and some seasoned image search professionals driving the technology, it provides the smoothest and most accurate experience. It also does something unique by grasping the stylistic features of objects, rather than just their shape or color. As such, it alters the language at our disposal and extends the limits of what is possible in search marketing.

Bing has made massive strides in this arena of late, but it lacks the killer application that would make it stand out enough to draw searchers from Google. Bing visual search is accurate and functional, but does not create connections to related items in the way that Pinterest can.

The launch of Google Lens will surely shake up this market altogether, too. If Google can nail down automated object recognition (which it undoubtedly will), Google Lens could be the product that links traditional search to augmented reality. The resources and the product suite at Google’s disposal make it the likely winner in the long run.


The last word on Fred from Google’s Gary Illyes

This month’s Brighton SEO delegates all hoped for Google’s Gary Illyes to enlighten them on the major talking points in search this year. They weren’t disappointed.

Google algorithm updates are frequently on the minds of SEOs and webmasters, and have been a hot topic for years. We are always on tenterhooks, waiting for the next change that could damage our site’s rankings.

We are never able to rest, always at risk of being penalized by the next animal to enter Google’s zoo of updates.

Past assumptions about Google Fred

Back on March 7th 2017, many webmasters reported unexpected fluctuations to rankings. The name Google Fred then began to circulate following a chat on Twitter between Barry Schwartz and Google’s Gary Illyes where Gary joked about future updates being named Fred.

sure! From now on every update, unless otherwise stated, shall be called Fred

— Gary „鯨理“ Illyes (@methode) March 9, 2017

We safely assumed there was an adjustment to the algorithm as Google confirmed there are updates happening every day. As usual, Google did not confirm any details about this particular update, but analysis of affected sites suggested it focused on poor quality content sites that were benefiting from monetization tactics.

As this update felt larger than the normal day-to-day algorithm changes, it seemed only natural it should be worthy of a name. As a result, the name “Google Fred” officially stuck, despite Gary Illyes intending his tongue-in-cheek comment to refer to all future updates.

So how can we tell the difference between the Fred update in March and other updates?

What is Google Fred, really?

In a Q&A session at September’s Brighton SEO, Google Fred was brought up once again, and we got the final word on Fred from Gary Illyes himself. Here’s what Fred’s creator had to say:

Interviewer: Let’s talk about Fred.

Gary Illyes: Who?

Interviewer: You are the person that created Fred. So Fred is basically an algo that…

Gary Illyes: It’s not one algo, it’s all the algos.

Interviewer: So you can confirm it’s not a single algo – it’s a whole umbrella of a bunch of different changes and updates that everyone has just kind of put under this umbrella of “Fred”.

Gary Illyes: Right, so the story behind Fred is that basically I’m an asshole on Twitter. And I’m also very sarcastic which is usually a very bad combination. And Barry Schwartz, because who else, was asking me about some update that we did to the search algorithm.

And I don’t know if you know, but in average we do three or two to three updates to the search algorithm, ranking algorithm every single day. So usually our response to Barry is that sure, it’s very likely there was an update. But that day I felt even more sarcastic than I actually am, and I had to tell him that.

Oh, he was begging me practically for a name for the algorithm or update, because he likes Panda or Penguin and what’s the new one. Pork, owl, shit like that. And I just told him that, you know what, from now on every single update that we make – unless we say otherwise – will be called Fred; every single one of them.

Interviewer: So now we’re in a perpetual state of Freds?

Gary Illyes: Correct. Basically every single update that we make is a Fred. I don’t like, or I was sarcastic because I don’t like that people are focusing on this.

Every single update that we make is around quality of the site or general quality, perceived quality of the site, content and the links or whatever. All these are in the Webmaster Guidelines. When there’s something that is not in line with our Webmaster Guidelines, or we change an algorithm that modifies the Webmaster Guidelines, then we update the Webmaster Guidelines as well.

Or we publish something like a Penguin algorithm, or work with journalists like you to publish, throw them something like they did with Panda.

Interviewer: So for all these one to two updates a day, when webmasters go on and see their rankings go up or down, how many of those changes are actually actionable? Can webmasters actually take something away from that, or is it just under the generic and for the quality of your site?

Gary Illyes: I would say that for the vast majority, and I’m talking about probably over 95%, 98% of the launches are not actionable for webmasters. And that’s because we may change, for example, which keywords from the page we pick up because we see, let’s say, that people in a certain region put up the content differently and we want to adapt to that.


Basically, if you publish high quality content that is highly cited on the internet – and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that.

[audience laughter]

Then, I shouldn’t have said that right? Then you are doing great. And fluctuations will always happen to your traffic. We can’t help that; it would be really weird if there wasn’t fluctuation, because that would mean we don’t change, we don’t improve our search results anymore.

(Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity)

So there we have it: every update is a Fred unless otherwise stated. The ranking drops in March may well have been triggered by the “original” Fred update, but so will all fluctuations, for they are all Fred.

How can we optimize for Fred?

Gary says that 95-98% of updates are not actionable for webmasters. With two or three updates a day, that accounts for a lot of updates each year! So what do we do?

The answer is simple – do what you were doing before. Build great websites, build your brand and produce high quality content aimed to satisfy the needs of searchers whilst adhering to the Webmaster Guidelines.

As Simon Ensor wrote in his recent article on the SEO industry and its sweeping statements, SEOs shouldn’t fear algorithm updates from Google:

“Many may complain that Google moves the goalposts but in actual fact, the fundamentals remain the same. Avoiding manipulative behavior, staying relevant, developing authority and thinking about your users are four simple factors that will go a long way to keeping you on the straight and narrow.

The Google updates are inevitable. Techniques will evolve, and results will require some hard graft. Every campaign is different, but if you stick to the core principles of white-hat SEO, you need not take notice of the sweeping statements that abound in our corner of the marketing world. Nor should you have to fear future Google updates.”

What does it mean for SEOs?

Sage advice aside, this explanation from Gary Illyes may still leave SEOs feeling slightly frustrated. We appreciate that not every small update warrants a name or set of webmaster guidelines, but we still have a job to do and a changeable industry to make sense of.

We have stakeholders and clients to answer to and explain ranking fluctuations to. It doesn’t help us to put all updates under the carpet of Fred.

Of course we would find it really useful if each major update came with clear guidelines immediately, not leaving us for days in the dark, figuring it out and stabilizing our rankings.

But maybe – as Gary may have been alluding – where would the fun be if it were that simple?

To read the full transcript of the Q&A with Gary Illyes or watch a recording of the interview, check out this blog post by iThinkMedia.