Archiv für den Monat: Juni 2020

Google advanced search: Six powerful tips for better SEO

30-second summary:

  • Google advanced search helps you get granular with your searches and deliver hyper-focused searches with the help of search operators (or a combination of them).
  • For example, you can search for articles published in the last week by your competitors or discover internal linking opportunities you might’ve missed.
  • In this how-to guide, Venngage’s Aditya Sheth outlines six Google advanced search hacks you need to know to master Google search and become a better SEO.

I have to come clean on something: I’m lazy.

While being lazy may not be a virtue, it does come with an unseen advantage: It allows you to look for creative ways to get things done without necessarily spending more time.

And as an SEO, I’m always looking for ways to get more done without working longer hours. Essentially: aiming to accomplish more with less.

One way to do more with less is to look for tools, tactics or even hacks that help you cut down time wasted and get more done, faster.

One of my favorite hacks ever? Google advanced search.

But what is it? In simple terms, the Google advanced search helps you fine-tune your searches to find exactly what you’re looking for.

This is an especially useful skill if you want to quickly pull up small-bits of information without always having to rely on tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMRush to do it for you.

In this how-to SEO guide, you’ll use advanced search operators to:

Before we dive into the meat of this guide, first things first:

A mini-crash course on advanced search operators

To keep things simple, we’re going to cover four operators I, as an SEO, use most often.

The first operator is the site search operator. What this allows you to do is retrieve results from a single website. All you have to do is type site:[any website] into Google.

For example, If I enter, I will only see results pertaining to SEMrush:

You don’t need the http://, https://, or www prefixes when using the site operator.

That’s not all, you can even use a keyword in addition to the site operator to find if that site has written any content around that keyword.

Let’s say I want to find whether we’ve covered the keyword “infographic” on the site. I’ll enter “ infographic” and this is what comes up:

I personally use the site operator very frequently as it limits my search results to a single domain. Keep this operator in mind as we’re going to be relying on it later.

The next operator you’ll find useful is the quotes or exact-match (“”) operator. What the exact-match operator does is limit your searches to exact-match phrases only.

For example, here is a normal Google search (notice the number of results):

And now the same phrase wrapped in quotation marks:

Notice something different?

Compared to a normal Google search, exact-match queries will only show you results where your keyphrase has been mentioned exactly as it is (and not a variation).

This operator is especially powerful to identify if your site has any duplicate content that could be sabotaging your rankings (more on this later).

Last but not the least, we’re going to learn the dash (-) and plus (+) operators to perform laser-targeted searches.

What the dash (-) operator does is excludes certain keywords from appearing in the search results. So if I wanted to read about the topic of search engines but not search engine optimization, I’d use the following query:

By using the “- optimization” in my search, I’ll only see results about search engines and not search engine optimization.

The plus (+) operator, you guessed it — does the exact opposite. You can use the plus operator to add words to your original search and show you a different set of results.

For example, here’s a query I entered in Google search:

What did I do here? I used the site:, dash and plus operators in conjunction to show me articles that closely relate to search engine marketing but not SEO on the Search Engine Watch blog.


There are many search operators out there (too many to list in fact). You can find a much more comprehensive list of search operators on the Moz blog.

But for simplicity’s sake, we’re going to stick to the site, exact match, dash, and plus operators in this guide.

Six Google advanced search tips for better SEO

Using the Google advanced search operators above, you can access exactly what you’re looking for and spend less time searching for it.

Advanced search can come really handy especially when you’re just starting out and don’t have the budget for expensive SEO tools.

Imagine all the endless possibilities that lie in wait for you as an SEO; if only you got better at googling. Well, it’s easier than you think. I’ll show it to you:

1. Conduct basic but insightful competitor research

Conducting competitor research on Google is really easy. All you have to do is use the “related:” search operator followed by a website URL.

“Related:” allows you to find sites that are closely related to a specific URL. You can use related to identify not only direct competitors but also indirect peripheral competitors that you might’ve missed in your competitor research.

Not only that, the related: operator also helps you understand how Google is categorizing your competitors and your website.

Let’s look at what Google returns if we search for competitors related to Venngage

I already know the first three results are our direct competitors, but the last two are surprising because they seem to be indirectly competing with us (and I wasn’t even aware of them).

We’re an online infographic maker tool while both Column Five Media and InfoNewt appear to be done-for-you agencies. Google has identified and categorized them as sites related to Venngage which is an insightful find.

Don’t dismiss this advanced search hack because of its simplicity. Try it for yourself and see what Google comes up with. You might just come away with a better understanding of the competition as it pertains to SEO.

2. Stalk your competitor’s content strategy

Sticking to the topic of competitor research, here’s a cool way you can spy on your competitor’s content strategy: combining the site operator and Google’s date-range filter.

Let’s try this on one of our direct competitors: Piktochart.

To limit my search to only blog-related results, I’ll use Piktochart’s/blog subdomain instead of their website. And by the looks of it, they have 790 pages on their blog.

I can use the date-range filter (click on tools and filter by date) to further drill down these results to identify what content they published in the last month only. Here’s what comes up:

This not only tells me Pitkchart published four new articles last month but also gives me insight into Piktocharts‘ content strategy and the keywords they’re targeting.

You can find even more data by filtering the results by days, months, or custom time periods.

I can even include exact-match (“your keyword” in quotes) keywords to find out how much content Piktochart has published on any given topic, which is a clever way to uncover their topic cluster strategy.

Let’s take content marketing as a topic for example

Using the site operator in conjunction with the date filters on Google search gives you information on:

  • How much content your competition has published till date
  • How often they publish new content in a given time period
  • What kind of content they publish at a certain point in time
  • How often your competitor has written about a given topic

Pretty cool right?

3. Unearth a gold mine of guest posting opportunities

If your goal is to drive quality traffic back to your website, pick up high-quality backlinks, boost your website’s domain authority and even rank higher on Google — guest blogging will help you do all of the above.

Anybody that tells you guest blogging is dead is either lying or in on it. Guest blogging still works, even in 2020.

Now that we’ve briefly covered how important guest blogging really is, how do you uncover guest blogging opportunities in your niche or industry?

Here are a few advanced search queries you can copy and paste into Google

  • Your Keyword “guest post opportunities”
  • Your Keyword “guest post”
  • Your Keyword “submit guest post”
  • Your Keyword “submit blog post”
  • Your Keyword intitle:“write for us”
  • Your Keyword intitle:“guest post guidelines”

If I’m looking to guest post for sites in the design space, for example, I’d use the following query:

Sites bookmarked. Guest post pitches sent. Fingers crossed.

Try out these search queries for yourself and you’ll be able to build a respectable list of sites to contribute for.

Brian Dean has the most exhaustive guide on guest blogging I’ve read (it includes a huge list of search operators that will help you find even more guest posting opportunities).

4. Discover hidden opportunities for internal linking

Internal linking plays a small but important role in the ranking factors that determine how well you rank on Google.

Irrespective of how well-designed and easy-to-navigate your site may be, a great internal linking structure can make all the difference when it comes to driving traffic from one post to another across your entire blog.

Internal linking also creates topical relevance by creating supporting content for the main topics of your website.

A few weeks ago, I published a mammoth webinar guide on the Venngage blog. I wanted it to start driving traffic to the post and rank for high-volume keywords immediately.

I got to work by finding out where I could link to our guide internally from as many relevant posts on our blog as possible. All I did was use the site operator and the keyword “webinar”:

Boom! Barring the first result, I found 47 internal linking opportunities with a simple search. And all it took was a few seconds.

You can even use this search query: intext:”your keyword” to pretty much do the same thing.

This advanced search hack won’t be as useful if you’ve recently started blogging, but it will come in handy if you manage a huge blog that already has a lot of existing content.

5. Find duplicate content on your website

Duplicate content is content that appears on more than one location on your website and can confuse search engines when it comes to deciding which page to rank higher.

In short: Duplicate content can hurt your website rankings and it’s a technical SEO issue you cannot afford to ignore.

To show you an example of duplicate content, I’ll use this small piece of copy from the Apple Airpods product description on Walmart:

Google advanced search tips: Duplicate Content

Using the site operator, I’ll paste the copy into Google using the exact-match operator. Here’s what I come up with:

The same piece of copy shows up on six other pages on Walmart. Things could be a lot worse but still, not ideal.

But if I were to search for the same piece of copy across the web (not just Walmart) using the dash operator, this is what comes up:

The same piece of copy appears on ~19,000 other websites (excluding Walmart). That’s a lot of duplicate content.

Duplicate content is especially a major issue for website blogs with 1,000s of pages or ecommerce sites with the same product descriptions.

6. Find missed content opportunities

One of the last search operators I’ll cover is the “filetype” operator.

Filetype can help you find non-HTML content on your site, such as Word Documents or PDF files. This content is often valuable, but not search optimized. And traffic to it doesn’t show up in your Analytics.

To use this search operator, simple type in “ filetype:pdf” like so:

Then look at that content. Have you published it as HTML content? Is it search optimized? Is there an opportunity to make it a valuable, rank-worthy and trackable webpage?

PDF files are often the rust of the internet, added to sites because the content manager doesn’t have an easy way to publish actual web pages.

They should always be an alternate (print-friendly, download-friendly) version of HTML content. They should almost never be the only version of a piece of content.

Your turn to master Google search

Congratulations! You’ve officially made it to the end of this mammoth guide.

Google is far more powerful and robust than we realize or give it credit for.

Knowing what to search for and how to search for it with the help of Google advanced search operators will help you harness Google’s true power and in turn, grow your site.

As SEOs, our job comprises running SEO tests, tinkering with Google’s algorithms, and staying on top of the latest search trends.

Google advanced search is not only a fun skill that you can learn over the weekend. It can help you uncover opportunities hiding in plain sight and help you be more effective at your job.

The real kicker

Google is and always will be free. The know-how to fine-tune your searches will help you become a better SEO and pay dividends over the long term.

Has using Google advanced search in your day-to-day made you a better SEO? Which search operators do you use most frequently? Did I miss any advanced search tips? Drop them in the comments below.

Aditya Sheth does Content & SEO at Venngage. You can connect with him on Linkedin or find him on Twitter @iamadityashth.

The post Google advanced search: Six powerful tips for better SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Four strategies to maintain your social media activity during a crisis

Social media activity example repurposing content

30-second summary:

  • It’s important to stay engaged with our audience during the crisis, and there’s a lot we can do to accomplish that.
  • Low budgets, limited workforce, and lesser bandwidth for content production are some challenges businesses are seeing on the forefront.
  • Roman Daneghyan shares four strategies to maintain your social media activity during a crisis.

Social media is a fun place where we can engage with our audience on a daily basis. You’re probably already familiar with the benefits of social media, which means you maintain consistent social media activity.

Unfortunately, during troubling times like the COVID-19 outbreak that we’re experiencing today, businesses often struggle to maintain an active social media presence. Your budget is low, the workforce is limited, and there’s usually little motivation to produce content with everything that’s going on around you.

Still, it’s not that hard to maintain social media activity during a crisis, and it is perhaps the only sensible thing we can do. It’s important to stay engaged with our audience during the crisis, and there’s a lot we can do to accomplish that.

Here are four strategies to maintain your social media activity during a crisis.

1. Repurposing content

If we are unable to create fresh content, we can always work with what we already have. If you had a well-built content strategy prior to the crisis, then chances are you have a lot of pieces to work with. Our goal here is to repurpose existing content into something fresh.

Start with what you already have: a podcast, a video log, a long-form blog article, a sales letter, anything works. Try to collect all long-form, pillar content that you have. Next, we’re going to use and repurpose that content to create fresh content. A vlog turns into a blog, a blog into an email, an email into a tweet, and so on… you get the point.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of repurposing content, he also popularized the content pyramid model that is based on this idea. Gary says he can create 30 fresh pieces of content to be used across his channels just from a single daily episode of his show.

Using a single piece of content, you can create fresh content for your social media accounts, and it doesn’t have to be a repost. You can repurpose a piece of content to tweet some bits on Twitter, start a discussion on Facebook, post an edited clip on Instagram, or share a concise blog post on LinkedIn. And boom, there’s your content.

Also, there’s no need to feel like a fraud for repurposing ‘used‘ content. Most of your followers won’t remember your older posts, and they could always use a reminder, especially during a crisis. Even if we have nothing ‘new‘ to say, we can still share our insights from the past. To give your old content a fresh look, you can add some eye-catching visuals to it. You can take the help of a web designing firm to create visuals that can get noticed in crowded social media feeds.

2. Make use of content creation tools

With everything slowing down, it’s hard to create enough content all on your own. In the past few years, we saw a lot of content creation tools and templates come to life, and perhaps it’s time to make good use of them. Content creations tools help us to minimize the time, budget, and effort needed to create content, and now we need them more than ever.

Depending on your needs, there are various tools to choose from:

  • For research, you can make use of Google Drive’s Research Tool to conduct quick research, all it takes is clicking a simple ‘Explore‘ button in the bottom right. Also, ‘Site: search‘ function is another useful tool accessible from the browser.
  • If you need help writing posts for your social media account, you can use writing tools like Evernote to take notes, Grammarly to catch errors, WriteRack to tweetstorm.
  • If you want to post visual media then you have to try out tools like PicsArt. These tools are easy to use, and you can create great visual content in less than five minutes. Instead of spending hours on design, all you have to do is choose a template and fill it with your brand graphics.

It takes a lot of effort to create great social media content, but we can always make use of content creation tools to save some time or get a few creative ideas.

3. Utilize user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is content created by people rather than brands, which means you don’t have to create anything. Utilizing UGC is incredibly important for social media, and it can be used to fill the gaps in your content strategy. Brands may not be able to create their own content during the crisis, but can always rely on user-generated content.

The type of content you repost will vary depending on the media.

Instagram: The king of user-generated content, Instagram has all kinds of options for brands to share content created by users. You can repost to your own profile, share images on your story, and easily browse using #hashtags and the Explore function. Aerie is a great example of how this should work:

Facebook: Facebook is a fantastic network for sharing stories and videos with your audience. You can invite your fans to contribute stories, images, or videos and use it to invite discussion and engage with the rest of your audience.

Twitter: A great place to utilize user-generated content, Twitter makes it easy with #hashtags and the “Retweet” function. You can simply retweet users and add your own comments to spark a discussion. Food brands do a great job on Twitter:

when you don’t get the toy you wanted in the kids meal

— Burger King (@BurgerKing) October 8, 2019

LinkedIn: Professionals love LinkedIn, and you can use LinkedIn to promote user content that’s relevant to your brand. You can repost the content or feature some users in your blog posts.

If you want to search for location-specific content, you can always use a VPN service to gain access to content specific to a certain location. This method helps you to understand how your audience sees things, and you can tailor your content to meet their personal needs.

4. Keep up with the updates

Posting relevant content is important, but don’t forget to post personal updates about your business. Your audience may want to know how you’re doing, whether there will be disruptions in service, and what to expect in the coming days.

To add on to that, make sure you understand your position during a crisis. If you’re in the middle of it, you can provide daily updates on how your local community is dealing with the crisis, and that’s a good way to build a relationship with your audience.

Lastly, don’t forget to show compassion for the victims, and you can even use one of the content tools to create supportive posts and remind your audience that you’re thinking of them.

What’s your take?

What do you think about the ongoing crisis and what is your strategy to maintain your social media activity in the upcoming weeks?

The post Four strategies to maintain your social media activity during a crisis appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Why Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever for B2B Brands

B2B Marketing Content

B2B Marketing ContentIn his recently published eBook, Corona Marketing, Joe Pulizzi recounts how he and his wife launched the website Content Marketing Institute in 2007 at the exact time as a devastating financial crisis was beginning to unfold in the United States.

“At the time, we believed things couldn’t have been bleaker,” Pulizzi writes. “Looking back though, this was absolutely the best time for my wife and I to start a business.”

Why is that? Because their commitment to providing useful, helpful and relevant content – even at a time where it was difficult to drive direct revenue with that content – paid major dividends as the market recovered.

“When we were starting to come out of the recession in 2010, Content Marketing Institute quickly became the leading resource for content marketing education, not because we had some secret sauce, but simply because we invested in our audience for two years when everyone else went silent (or went out of business).”

Even when times are difficult, professional audiences still look to people and brands they trust for guidance, information, and entertainment; in fact, one might argue especially when times are difficult. And as we’re said on this blog before, that continued search for solutions means the work of marketing doesn’t stop.

The challenges our world now faces with the coronavirus pandemic and social justice movement create a unique opportunity for B2B content marketing to make an impact, even relative to other recessions and crises we’ve faced in the past. Here’s why.

The Vital Role of B2B Content Marketing Right Now

In an increasingly customer-centric business sphere, content marketing has become a virtually omnipresent tactic for two primary reasons:

  1. It’s cost-effective at a time where budgets and ROI equations everywhere are closely reviewed and scrutinized.
  2. It’s non-pushy at a time where customers are increasingly resistant to interruptive, promotional messaging.

Both of these underlying drivers are magnified in the current environment. Budgets are broadly down – both for marketers and their customers – so business purchases (particularly discretionary ones) are being delayed and dialed back. As such, ads and content that aim for direct conversions can miss the mark. In fact, the perception that a brand is attempting to opportunistically profit during a crisis can be outright damaging.

But content that is aimed at building brand trust, affinity and loyalty? It has the ability to make a bigger positive impact than ever. This is NOT the time to remain silent. As Sarah Tourville writes in a recent piece at Forbes, “Silence does not convey the look of a healthy brand, and perception is paramount during these trying times.”

By stepping up and asserting our values, reinforcing our purpose, and delivering contextually useful insights, B2B companies can leave a lasting impression that profoundly strengthens our long-term outlooks.

Your audience is receptive. Digital content consumption and engagement rates are way up. Are you ready to deliver?

Here are three examples of B2B brands that have impressed me with the way they’ve risen to the challenge.

3 Examples of Exceptional B2B Content Marketing During the Crisis

Content Marketing Institute: COVID-19 Resource Hub

CMI Covid 19
Since we mentioned Mr. Pulizzi and CMI earlier, they’re a fitting example to start with. The
COVID-19 Content Marketing Resources page on CMI’s site is full of free, neatly organized, and continually updated resources for brands and practitioners.

Not only does CMI’s staff curate these articles and assets on their own, but they invite their community to contribute findings as well – while being crystal clear on the submission form about the purpose of these resources: “educational, inspirational, and freely accessible for all.”

American Express: Stand for Small

AMEX Stand for SmallStand for Small is another example of an excellent resource hub directed at a distinct subset of professionals. In this case, American Express partnered with numerous other organizations to compile helpful information and guidance for small businesses, which are feeling the brunt of COVID-19 and its economic impact as much as anyone. American Express‘ branding is minimal throughout the site. With tons of other big-name brands participating, this is an impressively collaborative effort.

Stand for Small’s homepage states that “when small businesses thrive, our communities do too.” Unstated is that when small businesses thrive, American Express does too. But there’s nothing cynical about that because both things can be true. When content is able to find purpose in something that’s beneficial for your company AND beneficial for society in a deeper way, you’re doing it right.

Citigroup: Executive Thought Leadership

Citigroup I Can't Breathe
While there is a time and place for brands to speak as entities, it’s usually more powerful for leaders within the company to speak up, putting a human face and heart behind the sentiments. One example is a
post on Citigroup’s blog from Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason, which opens with a haunting reference to George Floyd’s last words, and closes with an urge for others to join the fight against racial injustice.

This was a hard-hitting message, and one that will stick with me when I think about Citi’s brand in the future. Importantly, the comments section was left open on the post, enabling (mostly respectful and grateful) dialogue.

Even more so than pandemic-related topics, this represents precarious ground for B2B brands, with political activism being a controversial subject. But there’s the thing: Mark’s post isn’t political. There’s nothing inherently political about condemning George Floyd’s murder, or calling attention to the systemic issue it reflects, or saying “Black Lives Matter.”

The more we can normalize these messages through corporate-backed statements like this one, the more we can stop acting like advocating for social justice is political, or hazardous for brands with prominent voices and an ability to effect change.

Invest in Your Audience

In many ways, content marketing was built for moments like this. It’s about developing relationships without treating the sale as a be-all, end-all. It’s about establishing what your brand stands for beyond the products or services it offers. It’s about investing in your audience rather than simply expecting your audience to invest in you.

I’ll close this out by circling back to another quote from Mr. Pulizzi, this one a bit older – drawn from an interview he did with our own Ashley Zeckman five years ago – but as relevant as ever:

“I don’t like the idea that marketers only sell and don’t make positive change happen. That’s why I love content marketing. You can increase the bottom line while, at the same time, help your customers live better lives or get better jobs. Content marketing is the only kind of marketing that provides ongoing value, whether you purchase the product or not.”

Provide ongoing value, prop up your brand values, and eventually you’ll see plenty of value in return. For more inspiration, check out these five examples of effective B2B content marketing in times of crisis.

The post Why Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever for B2B Brands appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Creative Paper Conference

Dieses Jahr konnte durch die Corona-Pandemie bisher fast keine Konferenz stattfinden. Doch ab September ist es wieder möglich. Daher kann die Creative Paper Conference dieses Jahr wieder stattfinden.

Ende Oktober ist es wieder soweit und Designer, Veredler sowie Druck- und Papier-Spezialisten versammeln sich in München. Unter dem diesjährigen Motto der CPC – »Papier wird zur Idee“ – zeigen Kreative aus Deutschland, Österreich, England und der Schweiz in ihren Vorträgen, wie gute Gestaltung durch die richtige Papierwahl und den intelligenten Einsatz von Druck- und Veredelungstechniken zu einem wirkungsvollen Kommunikationsmittel wird. Ergänzend zum Konferenzprogramm erwartet die Besucher ein großer Messebereich, in dem sich Drucker, Veredler und Papierhersteller mit ihren Leistungen und Produkten präsentieren und mit ihrem Fachwissen für Gespräche zur Verfügung stehen.


Dafi Kühne
Designstudio B.O.B.
Herburg Weiland
Holger Jacobs
Mario Drechsler
Studio Bruch

Kontakte knüpfen, Erfahrungen austauschen und Inspirationen rund um die Gestaltung mit Papier sammeln – die Creative Paper Conference zeigt Papier von seiner schönsten Seite.


29. bis 30. Oktober 2020


München Alte Kongresshalle


85–250 Euro


Creative-Paper .de


Hikaye Packaging Concept

Mehr Bilder…

The Hikaye wine series is a high-quality line of the Turkish wine label Grapes of Anatolia. It is a contemporary and elegant interpretation of the Anatolian craft of making kilims – beautifully handmade rugs full of color and symbolism. Traditionally the women making the rugs are telling age-old stories about the Anatolian people – about love, loss, hope or simply everyday life. Some people even describe kilims as woven poetry. With ›hikaye‹ meaning ›story‹ this wine series continues this tradition. The symbols you can find on the label are the ›elebelinde‹ (hands on hips), the ›sudoku‹ (running water), the ›bereket‹ (fertility) and many others. On all the Grapes of Anatolia wines you also find the ›nazar‹ symbol – the eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye – as a sign of the wine-sellers deep rooted love for their heritage.

Franziska Böttcher