Google is apparently surveying customers on how satisfied searchers are with the search results that Google presents on the search engine results page. It appears that this “Satisfied With These Results” test is only being tested on mobile phones as with extensive testing that I have done this morning (January 30th, 2015 11:26 AM) I was not able to Google’s emoji Likert scale of satisfaction to appear on the search engine results page when performing queries on a desktop or tablet. I also found it interesting that I only received the Satisfied With These Results survey to appear when using Safari and could not get the survey to appear while using Chrome. Perhaps, this is ploy by Google to create an annoying pop-up feature in the Safari browser that would further encourage users to use Chrome or it could be that they did not want to muddy the Chrome experience. Has anyone else received this test on any other device or other browser? I look forward to comments below.
Schema is a type of markup that webmasters can use to markup HTML pages in ways recognized by major search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex. Search engines have become increasingly more reliant on schema to improve the display of their search results. It should be noted that Schema is a type of Microdata and is not customer facing. Schema markup can be used for articles, local businesses, reviews, events, products, and now in-site search results.
It is my speculation that without schema markup added to your site in 2015 the likelihood of your pages appearing in search results will decrease by 10-20%. The pages currently most at risk from not appearing in search results are in-site search results pages and local business information.
The application of schema markup to your web pages should not take more than 1 week of development time and can be even implemented in phases to reduce development hours. Schema is relatively easy for any experienced webmaster to implement and does not hinder page performance or will not conflict with other scripts on the page.
The expected revenue lift from a fully optimized site with schema can be as high as a 20% revenue lift with results appearing from the schema markup in as few as four to six weeks.
So how do you add Schema markup to your website? There are hundreds of different ways to use Schema for your site so let’s take at one example that would optimize your local search results by adjusting the markup on a store locator page:
Before getting started be sure to read the documentation guides for local businesses: http://schema.org/LocalBusiness
A superb collection of skateboard, snowboard, surf, and streetwear.
The amount of information a website should present to the search engine will be specific to the website’s goal and niche. For more information on Schema https://schema.org/.
Bing appears to be testing a “search within” website feature on their search engine results page that could have website owners up in arms. If you’re a typical e-commerce site you have spent much of your time perfecting merchandising algorithms to categorize products in a specific order and merchandised that experience with offers, call-to-actions, and other flags. Your site might also be using sophisticated recommendation engines that personalize the shopping experience based on customer behavior. If your merchandising efforts are not automated this means there is a team of merchandisers that are manually sorting products on the category list page, which is a very time consuming process and leaves very little time to optimize thousands of in-site search queries.
I often find that e-commerce sites favor merchandising over improving in-site search results even though in-site search results often have a higher conversion rate. Even the best retailers have less than optimal in-site search result pages as shown by an in-site search for green jackets.
So here is the crux of presenting a “search within” feature on Bing’s search engine results page. The user has just searched for their favorite shopping site and is likely to be at the top of the purchasing funnel. Bing now is challenging the user to haphazardly shift their mind into a bottom of the shopping funnel thinking and create a new specific search query. This methodology skips the awareness, consideration, and intent of a normal shopping funnel.
The result is that the user is now presented with an un-optimized in-site search results page that is not personalized and bypasses all the great merchandising that you worked so hard to present to the customer. Yes, even the most sophisticated recommendation engines are useless on the first internal search query.
Bing’s “search within” feature may also lead to higher bounce rates for your site and if Bing uses bounce rate to determine your site’s relevancy on the SERP your organic traffic may begin to suffer.
The lesson we can learn from Bing’s search within feature is that we have opportunity to improve our in-site search experience whether we wanted to or not.
To further prove the usefulness of social media marketing for SEO I performed a test that only used social media marketing as a means to improve the search engine results page position of a page. The keyword that this page was optimized for was a highly competitive keyword and as shown inline was a term that did not rank in the first 40 positions prior to this experiment. Doing nothing other than adding social sharing buttons to the page, creating a Google+ page, and using only social media within five months the page appeared on the first page of the search engine results page and ranked in position 6!
According to SharedCount here are the social sharing stats:
- 8 Facebook likes
- 5 Facebook Comments
- 11 Facebook Shares
- 2 Tweets
- 3 Stumbles
- 285 followers
- 14,310 page views
- 1,425 Google +1’s
Magento is a powerful, scalable eCommerce solution that allows site managers to control multiple store views from one administration panel. The ability to control multiple store views is definitely underestimated and undersold from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective as store views can offer personalization and localization. Additionally, having control over a second store view can create opportunities for A/B testing and even allow a SEO to test URLs for categories and product pages.
Adding a new store view http://www.magentocommerce.com/knowledge-base/entry/creating-a-store-view in Magento can be done in four steps but before creating a new store view it is important to note that by creating multiple store views using the same catalog may introduce a new parameter to your URLs.
Normally, a new parameter only means the page with the parameter is a variation of the page without the parameter the Webmaster can control of the crawling of new parameters within Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). However, when a new store view is implemented there is a sneaky “___store” parameter that may be added to every URL on your website. The new parameter has just created a duplicate page for every page on the website and creates a very high risk of being penalized for duplicate content. Even if the site is not penalized for duplicate content the page with the new parameter will become indexed, cached, and shared with the incorrect or un-optimized URL. It is also worth to note all the new URLs will have a page authority of 1 and the duplication of your site content will wreck havoc on your search engine optimization efforts.
When a store view is initially installed the configuration settings are assigned to “default” and if a website only has a single store view the default value should never appear in the URLs of the site. Upon implementing a new store view the “___store” parameter with the value of default may be added to every URL within the original store view. This can be prevented if the “___store” parameter has not been commented out in the Magento Catalog widget.
If you are currently running multiple store views and are uncertain if this parameter exists on your domain using the Google operator site: and “___store” you can find out if the new store view is causing duplicate content. Here’s how to do it:
site:domain.com “___store” (that’s three underlines)
If you find that your pages have been indexed and duplicated with the “___store” parameter it may be recommended to use GWT to decide how Google should index your content. Caution: Use this method only if you’re sure how parameters work. Incorrectly excluding parameters could result in many pages disappearing from organic search results.