Kategorie-Archiv: Allgemein

Javier Jaén, the graphic history

Javier Jaén (Barcelona, 1983) is one of the most brilliant and creative minds to come out of Spain. Passionate about his work, he moves with such versatility between illustration and design, which at times blur the lines between them. It’s curious to discover that when he was younger, Jaén’s biggest interest was around sound, as in the world of radio, instead of the visual arts. He even gave some thought about becoming a journalist. Eventually though, he ended up pursuing an arts certificate, which would begin him on his visual path. It was there that he began to forge his peculiar and now characteristic way of framing his projects, tying together those two worlds: the purely communicational and the visual, something that up until now has become his house brand.

Work by Javier Jaén has now hit an international audience. Through a stroke of great dedication and passion for what he does, Javier captures a space for himself in the world of graphic communications. As a great testament to this, a large portion of his commissions come from the US, where his illustrations have commonly appeared in such prestigious outlets as The New York Times, The Washington Post and National Geographic. In Spain, his work is often featured in national media like La Vanguardia and El País Weekly. Add to his illustrations in print, his noteworthy book cover designs and also his work as a professor at different design schools, something he affirms to be very important in his life.

Javier Jaén’s primary interest is communication: to tell stories, to comment on things and to make people think. For this reason, he advocates for the need to get up close to each project in order to understand its idiosyncrasies. And still, his projects amaze while keeping on display the constant state of alert Jaén finds himself in, always aware of what surrounds him. Hence his ability to capture inputs, pass them through a sieve, creating new associations, in a process that yields something entirely new. Everything is subject to such influence, and the reason why his work is always so surprising. This, together with his intelligent use of humor and irony, results in an offering that agitates and convulses the spectator in a particular way.

His most personal work –that he fervently defends while trying to maintain it at a distance from his outside commissions – is continuous and presents itself as something intrinsic to his person. It is here we discover the real depths to Jaén, ones that compel him to experiment and play with his own limits. And it’s curiously this most personal work, which ends up perpetuating more inspiring work, work which harks back to his desire to investigate and to take risk.

Source:: blog.fotolia.com

The infinite creativity of Anna Ginsburg

A graduate of Animation from the Edinburgh College of Art and now established in London, Anna Ginsburg exudes talent and creativity wherever she goes, as if these qualities were a liquid that seeps into every work commissioned to her, as she shapes art out of all that enters her mind.And to describe this young animator, you would begin with her infinite versatility and creativity. You may not pin her down t0 one particular style, but the work of this multifaceted filmmaker does have as a common denominator an uncommon nuance that combines method and technique, almost always pulling together the technological with a touch of the manual, whether strokes of watercolor, modeling or drawing over digital images.This means 2D animation, 3D modeling, illustration, video editing or whatever is handed to her. Ginsburg’s every piece marries geometric detailing and interaction with artistic elements to incorporate the base image. A good example of this pairing is the music video for ‘Vamala‘ byChamps.

Although the music video is her favorite form of expression—as it lovingly respects the visualization of a melody as a complement to a sound—Ginsburg has created pieces of every kind. From her own short films to visuals for operas by Benvenuto Cellini or concerts by Disclosure that bring together many more video clips, a Christmas video for the illustrious seasonal campaign of John Lewis or a commercial for toothpaste, among other advertising gems.A shout out goes to pop culture as well. Ginsburg gets inspiration from the creativity of Beyoncé, David Hockney, FKA Twigs and even MissyElliot, as well as from her contemporary colleagues, who reflect all this creative liberty in their pieces, and evoke an almost rebel thought to satisfy the curious, “and what would happen if I try to combine this technique with this artist in this piece to communicate this message? How would it turn out?” And it’s exactly the experimental in her work and the risk she’s willing to make that sets Ginsburg apart into much more than just an animator.Among her most well known works, it is worth noting a piece for which she was awarded a Bafta for Best New Piece in the New Talents category,How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep? Or her critique of the little attention that is given to feminine pleasure in global dialogue around sexuality, Private Parts.

Her portfolio imparts satisfaction all around, and it’s obvious that Anna Ginsburg likes animation to be the focal point within the artistic disciplines that most call her attention. These include drawing, sculpture,video, photography, creative writing, music, popular culture and storytelling, in other words, practically all that exist.And in this way, among her own artistic works and the works commissioned by clients such as Island Records, The Welcome Trust, the BBC, Reebok and many more, Ginsburg leaves her mark of creativity in the panorama of modern animation coming out of London—and globally.

Source:: blog.fotolia.com

How to Know If You’re at Risk When Google Switches to a Mobile-First Index (Flowchart)

Google Mobile-First Index SEO Risk Assessment Flowchart

How to Know If You’re at Risk When Google Switches to a Mobile-First Index (Flowchart) was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

I’d like to put your minds at ease. Or alert you to an upcoming risk. I guess we’ll see which camp you’re in.

Over the course of the year, Google is going to turn up the dial on its mobile-first index. What’s that? Google is moving toward analyzing and ranking the mobile version of websites and not the desktop version, as they do now.

Exactly when the switch will be 100% is a mystery. Gary Illyes suggested it could be in 2018. Yet we know that Google rolls out algorithm and infrastructure changes gradually and with plenty of testing. We are likely witnessing mobile-first SERPs today to some degree.

With the switch to a mobile-first index, you’ll either be in good shape or you’re going to feel the pain of a major loss in organic search traffic.

As an SEO services company we are busy doing risk assessments for clients, identifying exactly how ready a website is for the mobile-first index.

To help you get a sense of how prepared you are for a Google index that’s focused on the mobile website experience, we created a decision tree to assess a website as low risk or high risk. For a refresher on how to satisfy a mobile searcher, take a look at our SEO Tutorial step on Mobile SEO and UX Optimization.

What does your path to mobile-first index readiness look like? Here’s what we look for when we do a mobile-first readiness analysis of a client’s site.

Click image to enlarge. Click this text to download as PDF.

Assessing Your Risk in Google’s Mobile-First Index

This agency signed on to the mission of helping businesses succeed online, but when more and more factors are rapidly changing, our ability to institute timely change diminishes. So we want everyone to know what’s at stake if every action isn’t taken to be mobile-friendly.

If a client’s site does not perform well on a mobile browser, this is a problem. The mobile experience is how we serve connected consumers. If there is any issue, then it’s our job as the SEO expert to discuss this risk with our clients.

If a client has a mobile-friendly site, it’s our job to evaluate if the mobile site contains the same content as served on the desktop. If the content is different, then the client is at risk.

If a client is unable to optimize for site speed or for conversions, or if they are not working on a solution to a mobile-friendly site, then this client should acknowledge the risk of losing rankings.

How do we check if a client site is going to suffer a drop in rankings and traffic when the mobile-first index goes live?

Right at this moment we can look in Google Search Console to compare mobile and desktop rankings. You can too.

How to Compare Your Mobile Rankings and Desktop Rankings in Google Search Console

  1. Go to your site in Google Search Console.
  2. Go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics.
  3. Select “Position” and “Devices”.
  4. Select the filter to compare mobile vs. desktop.
  5. Is your average position for mobile higher or lower than for desktop?

If your average mobile rankings are worse than your average desktop rankings, you’re at risk when the mobile-first index switch occurs.

Click to enlarge.

Calculating the Impact on Your Business

If I could stress three things, consider this.

  1. To be mobile-friendly goes beyond having a responsive website. It’s critical to match the content on the desktop site to the mobile user experience. A mobile-friendly website doesn’t merely mimic the desktop. In fact, a responsive site can have lower conversion rates if the mobile UX isn’t optimized. What value does your mobile experience provide to help the consumer want to do business with you?
  2. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, get started on your update now. Some content management systems (CMSes) don’t produce mobile experiences. Do you have a solution in place? What is it? How fast can you implement? You may already be late to the party.
  3. Please understand that “mobile first” relates to the Google index being based upon the mobile displayed content. It does not mean that desktop is dead. There are many reasons that in your business that “desktop first” may apply. For whether or not this applies to you, you may want to consult with an expert mobile SEO agency.

I’m not trying to create fear, but I am hoping to convey a risk.

What else can you do to make sure your business is well positioned when Google flips the switch and turns on its mobile-first index?

People generally understand how much traffic they’re getting from Google in the desktop-focused index environment. Meanwhile, we have no idea how much traffic will be affected after the switch to a mobile-focused index. We want you in the best possible position when the change to a mobile-first index rolls out.

We are convinced that mobile readiness is vital to the future of your business. To help you, we have created a service offering insights into your mobile readiness with our Mobile-First Readiness Report. Ensure your mobile-first SEO strategy is on track with a second pair of expert eyes on your site.

A typical report may include assessment of the following:

  • Mobile friendliness
  • Page speed
  • Content matching
  • Mobile navigation
  • Mobile interstitials
  • Security issues
  • Indexing and robots directives
  • Schema markup

mobile-first readiness report
Order a mobile-first focused audit of your site for just $995 and we’ll have it back to you in about a week.

Or give us a call at 866-517-1900 during business hours Pacific time and our team will be happy to answer any questions you have about the mobile-first index shift and developing your mobile SEO strategy.

Source:: bruceclay.com

Why Thin Content Still Ranks as a Top SEO Issue to Solve

Fixing thin content improved search traffic 150% YoY

Why Thin Content Still Ranks as a Top SEO Issue to Solve was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

It struck me the other day, while I was reviewing a client project with one of our SEO analysts, that the old problem of thin content is still an insidious revenue killer for many websites.

Or put another way, until you have content worth ranking, do not be surprised if you don’t rank well.

By way of example, the client, a B2B lead gen site for industrial parts, is receiving 150% more traffic this year compared to last and getting a record number of inquiries. We’re seeing these stellar results after many months of work that focused heavily on fixing thin content — until content was improved, the traffic suffered!

By focusing on improving content quality, our client is seeing 150% more traffic this year compared to last and getting a record number of inquiries. (click to enlarge)

Then looking at some mobile and newer sites reminded me that low-quality or “thin” content remains a serious problem for many websites, whether they know it or not. A majority of sales inquiries are sites with this problem.

“What a powerful weapon we wield, as SEOs, when we help a site raise its content quality.” -Bruce…
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SEO changes set the right course for a site, but content improvements give it long-term lift.

Why We’re Still Concerned with Thin Content Long After the 2011 Panda Update

Thin content is not a new search engine optimization issue.

It was February 2011 when Google introduced the first Panda update, which targeted low-quality sites and lowered their rankings. In addition to the algorithmic hits from Panda, countless sites have received manual actions penalizing them for having “Thin content with little or no added value.”

Google has only elevated the importance of quality content since then.

An unconfirmed update in early February and the Google Fred Update on March 7 both targeted low-quality content.

Sites that got hit by Fred included content-driven sites with heavy placement of ads, according to reporting by Barry Schwartz. These sites “saw 50% or higher drops in Google organic traffic overnight.”

Besides the algorithms, Google has an army of people reviewing sites manually for signs of quality. Periodically, Google releases its Quality Rater Guidelines, a document used to train these quality raters to spot low- vs. high-quality content. If you’ve gotten a manual action notice or warning in Google Search Console, you have a quality rater to thank. (Or not.) I unconditionally recommend that you read this entire document from Google!

The search engines clearly intend to keep ratcheting down their quality tolerance. The recent updates and penalties further stress the need for websites to fix thin content without delay.

“You cannot afford to ignore thin content on your site and expect to survive.” -Bruce Clay
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Solutions for Thin Content

Identifying thin content on a site is crucial to SEO health, yet it’s only the first step.

Once thin content is diagnosed on your site (whether by a Google manual action notice or through an SEO audit), you need a strategic plan for fixing it. And if you’re uncertain, then your content is probably low quality, too terse, or likely both.

The trick is knowing WHICH strategy is right to fix your unique situation.

The solution has to address your site’s situation uniquely, taking into consideration the scope of the problem AND the resources available to you to do the work.

Remove or Improve?

Site owners often react to the news that their sites have many thin content pages with a surgical approach: Cut it all out!

Removing or no-indexing low-value pages can fix thin content problems some of the time, enabling a site to get back on its feet and start regaining lost rankings with minimal time and effort. For instance, Marie Haynes cites one Panda-penalized site that recovered by removing a forum it had hosted, accounting for several thousand low-quality posts that were separate enough from the main site content to be easily detached.

However, removing content can have a negative SEO effect instead. Cutting off whole sections of a site at once could amputate the legs the website needs to stand on, from an SEO perspective.

Another approach is to simply elevate the quality and depth of the content. It is hard to be a “subject matter expert” in only a few words. And if your content is written poorly, then you gain no love from others — the kiss of death for content.

We prefer this latter approach, but use both at the same time quite often.

@Marie_Haynes Thin content: make it better, make it … thick, and ADD more highQ stuff. @jenstar @shendison

— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) October 7, 2015

If the pages hurting your search engine rankings (for being low quality) are also the ones supporting your keyword relevance (for having keyword-containing bulk content), then you’re stuck. You have little choice but to keep the content, improve its quality, and perhaps add more content readers will appreciate.

Finding a Way to Improve Thin Content — Affordably

For this client’s site, we took the content-improvement approach.

The types of thin content we found on their website included:

  • Product pages with minimal text (just one or two sentences with a few bullets)
  • Pages whose content had been scraped and indexed on many third-party sites
  • Image alt attributes lacking text and/or keywords
  • Autogenerated title and meta description tags that often lacked targeted keywords

Your site may have similar issues, or may contain other types of thin content. Google’s support topic on thin content lists these common forms:

  • Automatically generated content
  • Thin affiliate pages
  • Content from other sources (example: scraped content or low-quality guest blog posts)
  • Doorway pages

Fixing these content problems may involve any or all of the following:

  • Removing pages or no-indexing them
  • Reducing the number of ads
  • Adding at least a few sentences of original text (on filter-category pages, for example)
  • Inserting relevant content from a database (in small doses)
  • Revising title and meta tags to be unique and contain appropriate page keywords
  • Adding original text in image alt attributes and captions
  • Rewriting the page entirely

Our client’s site contained a manageable number of pages (less than 500), so we started chipping away.

The SEO analyst first clarified the silo structure of the site, and then prioritized pages for revision starting with the top-level pages for each silo. In batches of 10 or so at a time, pages were rewritten and reviewed, passing back and forth between the client and the BCI analyst. Important products got brand-new full-page descriptions. Information pages were rewritten with thorough explanations. In all, we fattened up about half of the site’s pages.

The strategy worked. Among the SEO services we provided to this client, by far the higher quality content is yielding the biggest wins. The search engines and site visitors are eating it up, with vastly improved rankings, traffic and leads.

Why Your Thin Content Solution Must Be Your Own

If you have an enterprise site with millions of pages, or an ecommerce site with thousands of products, you might be thinking this approach would never work for you.

And you’d be right!

It’s often simply impossible to rewrite each individual page manually on a large website. Yet quality content is a non-negotiable for SEO. Even large sites have to find a way to fatten up or remove their thin content.

Maintaining quality content requires an ongoing investment to maintain rankings — but each site’s specific strategy has to be practical and affordable to implement.

A Prioritized Approach

First, we look for what’s causing the thin content. A template might be producing non-unique meta tags, for instance. The business may be duplicating pages on other domains. A CMS might be building empty or duplicate pages. Whatever the issues are, we try to identify them early and stop the bleeding.

Next, we prioritize which pages to tackle first. It’s worth the effort to hand-edit content on the most important pages of even the largest sites. This priority list should include the home page, the top-level landing page(s) per silo, as well as the most trafficked and highest-ROI product pages. Putting creative energy into making these pages unique and high quality will pay huge SEO dividends.

It’s also crucial to look at competitors‘ sites. Even if your content is technically clean and unique, is it as high quality as theirs? Remember that “thin content” can be a relative term, since Google is going to choose the highest quality results to present to a searcher.

More and more often, we include some sort of content development along with our SEO services. As we found with the industrial parts site, fixing thin content can make an essential difference.

A parting comment: If nobody would share your content, then it is not good enough.

If your site has thin content or other SEO issues, contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-517-1900.







Source:: bruceclay.com

The REAL Impact of RankBrain on Web Traffic


The REAL Impact of RankBrain on Web Traffic was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

We’re entering a new era of optimizing for search engines.

And no, SEO is not dead.

While many things stay the same in search, we can’t deny the new path we’re on with the introduction of machine-learning systems like Google’s RankBrain.

The concept of RankBrain may seem technical and daunting, but it’s one that CMOs — not just technically savvy SEOs — must understand to be competitive in the months to come.

In this post I cover:

  • What RankBrain is.
  • How search results are changing.
  • How to evolve your digital marketing strategy for machine learning search algorithms.
  • And why you might need PPC advertising even more than ever.

An Intro to RankBrain

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that came onto the scene in 2015.
Bloomberg was the first among mainstream media to break the news of RankBrain, Google’s newest addition to search rankings.

And while we officially discovered RankBrain in 2015, Google was talking about it as early as 2013.

RankBrain is designed to better understand the meaning behind a searcher’s words. This 2013 post at Google discusses this concept of understanding word relationships if you want to learn more.

From the Bloomberg article we learned that 15 percent of queries per day have never been seen by Google before. RankBrain helps interpret those novel queries.

At the heart of RankBrain is a goal to better interpret search queries and serve the most relevant search results. This has been a lifelong goal of Google Search.

We discuss this at greater length in our SEM Synergy podcast http://www.semsynergy.com/ (July 2016) here.

Mobile: A Primary Driver of RankBrain’s Existence

Mobile drove the need for RankBrain even further. Mobile search behavior has been a game-changer, especially when it comes to voice search, something a lot of mobile users take advantage of.

As you may know, queries tend to be much more conversational using voice search versus typing.

RankBrain deals well with the long-tail queries that are common to voice search today, though there are plenty of long-tail searches typed into a search bar, too.

I believe that RankBrain is preparing for a world where voice search will become more and more the norm.

Remember, voice search is already on the rise. In a presentation by Mary Meeker on the popular 2016 internet trends report, we see that voice search is up 7x since 2010.

And it’s not just voice search coming from mobile devices. Now, we have to consider things like voice assistants such as Google Home, where it remains to be seen how the device’s answers will pull from web results.

Here’s What RankBrain Does

RankBrain was designed to better analyze the language of websites in Google’s index, and then apply that analysis to a search query. By better understanding the search query it can better match users with websites and pages.

The purpose is to better understand the meaning of content and the intent behind a search query.

Once RankBrain better understands the intent, it can then presumably apply the appropriate Google algorithm signals that deserve the most weight for that query.

Along with being able to understand concepts on a web page better, RankBrain also allows for a better understanding of the association between multiple queries, like:

“Where is the Eiffel Tower?”

Followed by:

“How tall is it?”

How Does RankBrain Learn? Examples of RankBrain in Action

Essentially, RankBrain can take sets of “training” data created by humans to help establish a baseline, and then can apply machine learning to determine the best search results based on a variety of factors over time.

Google confirmed in the Bloomberg article and in this article at Search Engine Land that they periodically update the system by giving it new data to better reason with new concepts.

At SMX West 2016, some presenters shared examples of RankBrain in action.

One study showed how RankBrain better interpreted the relationships between words.

This could include the use of stop words in a search query (“the,” “without,” etc.) — words that were historically ignored by Google but are sometimes of critical importance to understanding the intent behind a query.

For example, take the television series “The Office.” It’s an example of a search that would be taken out of context without the all-important “the.”

Here’s another example query from an interview with Googler Gary Illyes: “Can you get 100% score on Super Mario without walk-through?” Ignoring “without” would potentially return search results on getting a 100 percent score on Super Mario with a walk-through … so the opposite of the results a person was trying to get.

There are other theories on how RankBrain might use data to learn what the best results are for a search query. It’s possible that searchers‘ engagement with the search results may be a factor in how RankBrain determines the relevancy of a result, as Rand Fishkin posits in a keynote from July 2016.

For example, if someone clicks on a search result and doesn’t go back to the search results to start clicking on other websites, this could indicate the searcher found what they were looking for.

The machine could then learn over time that a low bounce rate signals a relevant result, so that web page could show up more often and higher in search results.

Here’s a visual of that concept from Fishkin’s presentation:


How RankBrain Works with Other Ranking Signals

As I mentioned earlier, RankBrain is essentially built into the query process to better understand language and make an improved match between the search query and the websites in the Google index.

Remember that Google still has hundreds of other signals it can apply to a search query to identify the best results.

In 2016, however, Google confirmed that RankBrain was among its top 3 ranking signals for search. Rounding out the top 3 are content and links.

This is an important concept to understand. Google clearly stated that the signals that we’ve come to know to be important and that we’ve been optimizing for still matter: content and links.

While the content on a website and its links are both essential to determining meaning and relevance, RankBrain works in partnership by assisting the Google search engine to better determine if a website is the most relevant based on signals and algorithms, given the searcher’s intent.

The Impact of RankBrain on Big Brands

With machine learning, RankBrain learns associations over time. That means, if a brand becomes associated with a certain product, the queries about that product may lead to more branded search results.

Because Google tends to favor big brands online for a variety of reasons, with RankBrain things like the site’s engagement rate, mentions of the brand across many social sites and so on could further enhance favoritism here.

This could happen despite the fact that some bigger brands may have a weaker link profile than other websites in their space.

What RankBrain Means for Your SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy

OK, now for some action items …

SEO and Your Content

First, let’s talk content. For many, it’s actually business as usual.

Examine your content to ensure it provides the best, most complete answers to a query, whether you’re an informational page or selling a product.

RankBrain is a machine learning system but it still needs input from your website.

Yes, it’s working to better make connections about concepts. For example, we can give RankBrain credit for understanding a page is about baseball even if the word is never used and only “Chicago Cubs” and “New York Yankees” are present on a page.

Absolutely one of the goals of SEO is to better help search engines understand what your content is about. It is still vital that you make sure you’re including the keywords that are important to your business on your website page.

This includes keyword “stemming” (like “walked” and “walking” along with “walk” and “walks”) and using synonyms and natural word variations to help make connections between ideas.

One example we use in our SEO training classes is the word “mercury.” You can use “mercury” 10 times on a page, but if you forget to use the word “planet,” then the search engine may be confused about the subject of the page. Is it an element, car, insurance or other?

This is also a time to explore structured data markup, which helps search engines better make connections as to what is on the page.

Remember, the little things matter as they always have in SEO.

You’ll want to continue to pay attention to making your search results listings stand out in the crowd. That means ensuring each web page has custom meta data in addition to exploring other ways you can make it stand out using schema markup and useful, engaging copy.

Another question to ask: Once people land on your website, is it helping them along their journey even further by offering up related content that explores a topic/product/service more?

This can be accomplished by siloing your content to create subject themes around the key terms that are important to your business.


Subject organization chart aka siloing

RankBrain and Digital Marketing Strategies

I mentioned earlier that RankBrain will likely favor big brands. So what happens if you’re not a big brand?

Now is the time to start thinking about how to supplement your digital marketing strategy, if you haven’t already.

While it’s a great idea to have a thorough SEO strategy, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs into one basket.

So in the era of RankBrain, even though the basics of SEO that we know and love are still important, you’ll want to think of creative ways to grab that SERP real estate.

That means if you’re not in the upper echelon of brands online in your space, consider supplementing your search marketing strategy with pay per click ads.

RankBrain Is Not the End of SEO

If you’ve been concerned about how RankBrain impacts SEO, there’s possibly more to worry about than you may think.

RankBrain is search results relevance on steroids. Simply put, you must improve your content relevancy to match the query intent. Yes, SEO best practices are critical to traffic, and rankings are more competitive than ever.

But you must also focus on your content from a macro and micro level, and how your website’s content as a whole helps to answer the questions your audience is looking for.

And don’t forget to supplement your digital marketing strategy with things like paid search, social and other channels to keep your brand top of mind.

Do you have insights on the impact of RankBrain on search rankings? I want to know. Leave a comment below.

We can help with your RankBrain optimized SEO strategy. Our services are tailor-made to match your goals and audience. For more revenue through digital marketing, let’s talk.

Source:: bruceclay.com