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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    Nope. Google Does Not Use CTR For Core Search Rankings

    by rustybrick
    Feb 22, 2019 at 5:23 AM
    I am so so so tired of covering this topic, we've covered it for well over a dozen years and I just covered it a week or so ago. Google doesn't use CTR, click through data, to rank their search results. But of course, Google posted something that is driving huge confusion again around the topic.

    What a Two-Tiered SERP Means for Content Strategy - Whiteboard Friday

    Feb 21, 2019 at 4:00 PM
    Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

    If you haven't heard the news, the Domain Authority metric discussed in this episode will be updated on March 5th, 2019 to better correlate with Google algorithm changes. Learn about what's changing below: Learn more about the new DA Video Transcription

    Hi, Whiteboard Friday fans. I'm Will Critchlow,...

    Google Search Console Notifications For Drop In Weekly Clicks

    by rustybrick
    Feb 21, 2019 at 4:56 AM
    Google is now sending out what I believe are new notifications when a site verified in Google Search Console has seen a drop in clicks, impressions, etc. This alert communicates to the site owner or webmaster that there may be an issue.

    Software should be designed for teachability rather than learnability

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 20, 2019 at 9:31 AM
    Related to the podcast discussion I shared the other day, Andy J. Ko wrote a really good essay called The problem with “learnability” in human-computer interaction. He argues that most software is learned socially, not independently:

    We just have to think about our own personal experiences to see that nearly everyone learns how to use all but the simplest software socially, not in isolation. Our friends and family introduce us to new software and teach us how to use it. Our parents...

    Google Algorithms Detect & Adjust Rankings For YMYL Queries

    by rustybrick
    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:55 AM
    The Google white paper I just covered mentions explicitly that Google's algorithms can detect if a query is related to YMYL, your money your life, related content and then adjust the weights of the ranking algorithm for those specific queries. There has been some debate in the SEO industry if Google is indeed doing this so now this should clear that up.

    Context Clusters in Search Query Suggestions

    by Bill Slawski
    Feb 18, 2019 at 4:39 PM
    unsplash-logoSaketh Garuda Context Clusters and Query Suggestions at Google

    A new patent application from Google tells us about how the search engine may use context to find query suggestions before a searcher has completed typing in a full...

    Podcast: why customer education should be a priority for all companies

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 18, 2019 at 6:19 AM
    I found this discussion on the Product Love podcast really interesting. Eric Boduch talks to Adam Avramescu (Head of Education at Checkr) about the importance of educating customers on how to use your product. They cover a bunch of topics, including the myth that you don’t need education if your UX is good enough, the right way to approach documentation, and how onboarding is an important part of customer education but not the only thing you need.

    Listen on Soundcloud or Overcast.

    Google Search Algorithm Updates Continue Through Weekend

    by rustybrick
    Feb 18, 2019 at 5:57 AM
    The chatter has not simmered down that much from the February 12/13th Google algorithm update chatter. In fact, it picked up on the 14th, 15th and continued through the weekend through today. Some are saying they are seeing some reversals of the update on the 13th.

    Companies have to get better at explaining the data behind personal recommendations

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 16, 2019 at 3:38 PM
    Ryan Bigge makes some very good points in his post about better personalized recommendations through transparency and content design:

    Data-driven companies know something that the user doesn’t. Yet the language used to convince people to act on recommendations lacks variety and explanatory power.

    Algorithms aren’t neutral — or as Ryan puts it:

    Every facet of machine learning is fueled by human judgement, so it must be multi-disciplinary.

    Users are getting more...

    When it comes to adding new features, slow and steady is usually best

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 15, 2019
    In the article From Four Wheels to Two RJ Marsan talks about the Lyft engineering team’s principles for quickly and safely adding major features to a mobile codebase. It’s full of interesting learnings as they went through the process of adding scooter rentals to the app. Here’s a good point about trying to avoid doing everything in the first release of a new feature:

    Every new feature is a chance to start with a clean slate, and it’s often tempting to immediately build for scale. We...