Archives January 2020

You Can Win At Google My Business Without Doing Anything On Google My Business

We got the opportunity to expand the organic program we have with a Big Baller Brand ™.

This always makes me giddy, as I think local organic search is one of the places where we excel. Turns out, I was right to think so, because we crushed it.
Local SEO Guide Crushed It.
Like I mentioned, this is all organic search work done on-domain. It includes things like technical optimization and content. We did nothing with GMB in the same timeframe. Which is really interesting because GMB killed it too!

The Local SEO Guide Team Went Murder Town on Local Search.

We track clicks from Google My Business to the website, so we can see increases in Search -> Google My Business -> Website user flows (which are a very valuable and constantly slept on segment). As you can see, without doing anything on Google My Business the traffic rose in relation to organic traffic, even if not immediate. Let this be a lesson for organizations out there that you can kill it at Google My Business by being focused on local organic search first.

Just as an endnote, these screenshots are from a Google Data Studio reporting instance that aggregated dozens of websites into BigQuery to allow us to report on like pages etc across domains as well as aggregate GSC data and all kinds of other fun stuff for this client.

Five simple content marketing trends for 2020

How can you improve your content marketing strategy in 2020? Here are five simple and useful content marketing trends to follow in the new year.

We’ve welcomed 2020 and it’s the perfect time to start thinking of the best way to maintain a successful content marketing strategy over the next 12 months.

New channels, tactics, and trends emerge every day but the challenge is to decide on the ones that you want to include to your own strategy.

There are many posts that focus on the latest big trends and how you could revolutionize your tactics for 2020. We’ve decided to go back to basics to review how simple tactics and trends that can improve your content success.

1. Focus on the experience

It’s not enough to increase the frequency of your blogs to improve your content marketing success. In a digital world full of new content, the challenge is to stand out from your competitors.

A good way to achieve success is to focus on the experience. Your content should be relevant and informative but it should also facilitate the user experience.

Content experience is a growing term that refers to the role that sits between content marketing and UX. It’s about reviewing how you can improve your content, your website and even your strategy to ensure that your readers are spending more time on your posts.

There are many ways to improve your content experience:

  • Test the mobile version of your site
  • Aim for short paragraphs that are easy to read on mobile
  • Enhance the “readability” of your content by allowing your text to “breathe” with images and sub-headings
  • Review your loading speed
  • Aim for personalization

Not all changes require too much of your time. What’s important is to acknowledge how your team, your tools, and your processes can gear up towards improved content experiences in 2020, one step at a time.

2. Include visual data

Visual content can improve the reading experience. It can also help you get the main data to stand out. Infographics, for example, help you summarise your key points in a more visual way. They can even help you enhance the “shareability” of your post.

Visual quotes can also help you get your point across in a way that stands out to the reader. You can also include videos in your content to provide an alternative content format for your story.

Another idea that is very helpful in SaaS marketing is to include GIFs when talking about your product. It’s easier for your readers to understand what you’re referring to.

Using visual data in your content marketing can help you simplify complicated ideas and we’re seeing more brands using videos and GIFs to present their data.

Content marketing trends 2020 using story telling

Visual storytelling is growing stronger and it’s useful to experiment with different formats to find out what works best for your readers.

3. Write long-form content

There is a constant struggle on the internet to grab someone’s attention. Not everyone is spending a lot of time on a page, which pushes us to come up with new ideas of bite-sized content. This is actually a good approach in many ways but we also need to remember that long-form content is not dead.

There are many reasons to create long-form content in 2020:

  • Build trust with your readers
  • Go in-depth in the topics that you’re writing about
  • Showcase your writing style and your personality
  • Improve your SEO

Medium got popular as a platform that focuses on writing rather than distractions. You can find the content of great quality and many writers are not afraid to go in-depth in the topics that they’re covering. The Medium looked at their most successful posts to find out that the ideal blog post on their platform is around 1600 words and it takes seven minutes to read it.


Medium's stat showing long-form content length content marketing trends 2020

Moreover, creating long-form content is also helping your search ranking. Long-form content is helping you cover in-detail a topic that you want to serve as the authority.

Not all your posts should be too long. But it’s still a good idea to dedicate some time every month to produce a few pieces of more than 1000 words.

4. Read your content out loud

A simple method to improve your content writing in 2020 is to start reading your content out loud. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts when writing content. What seems to be making sense to you might not necessarily do so for anyone else.

Everything you are writing should sound natural. Start creating content that feels more conversational to “hack” a more successful writing style.

Once you start applying this idea to your content marketing strategy, you start realizing that online writing should not be hard to understand. The idea is to help your readers enjoy your content in a simple and authentic way.

Reading your content out loud is pushing you to review the way you’re getting your message across. It is a practice that helps you improve your writing along with the reading experience. Next time you’re planning to create content for your customers, read it out loud before you publish it. You might be surprised by the difference it can make.

5. Make your SEO smarter

It’s time to make your search engine optimization smarter for 2020. How about being more strategic with SEO to focus on what matters?

You can start by making small changes that can have a long-term impact:

  • Stop focusing on the most popular keywords and start discovering the long-tail keywords that can help you stand out
  • Spend more time on improving your content rather than making sure that you stuff it with your focus keywords
  • Invest in the tools that can make SEO easier
  • Stop aiming for position one ranking in SERPs and explore the different ways to stand out (for example, visual ranking or featured snippets)
  • Write more conversational content to increase the chances of showing up in the featured snippets and the question boxes

What’s important is to start thinking of SEO as another element of your content marketing strategy that addresses your readers’ needs. It’s not just about ranking at the search results. The end goal should always be to deliver a great experience.

What’s next?

Not every content marketing trend should be groundbreaking. Sometimes even the simplest change can lead to great success.

Look at your existing content marketing strategy and what worked in 2019. Start exploring the areas that you want to improve on and find small wins that you can implement.

Look at these five trends as the starting point to simple changes that you can make to improve the understanding of your audience and their needs.

The post Five simple content marketing trends for 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

20/20 Vision: A Rise in Featured and Vertical Paid Elements – Jordan Koene // Searchmetrics

Episode Overview:  As Google moves to increase zero-click SEO positioning it’s also adding more vertical based paid ad elements, which raises an important question – How will these changes affect brands and advertisers? Join Ben and Searchmetrics’ CEO Jordan as they continue 20/20 Vision Week discussing Google’s focus on increasing featured elements and analyzing how these changes will impact the search ecosystem and competitive landscape.


  • As Google tailors its paid and non-paid verticalization experience by establishing its own ecosystem rules and competitive landscape, it potentially exposes the company to more regulation or lawsuits from brands and advertisers.
  • Google’s flight and vehicle finder features will rise in prominence as Google seeks to consolidate resources for consumers, acquiring more search market share on their platform.
  • An ongoing prediction for the decade is that Google will further iterate voice search experience as they continue improving mobile with more featured elements and vertical paid ad elements.


Ben:                 Welcome to SEO Predictions Week on the Voices of Search podcast. I’m your host Benjamin Shapiro, and this week we’re going to publish an episode every day covering our bold SEO predictions for 2020.

Ben:                 But before we get started, I want to remind you that this podcast is brought to you by the marketing team at Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics is an SEO and content marketing platform that helps enterprise scale businesses monitor their online presence and make data driven decisions. And to support you, our loyal podcast listeners, they are offering a complimentary trial of their services and software. That’s right. You can try the Searchmetrics Research Cloud Suite and the Content Experience Tool to optimize all of your content, risk-free, no credit card required, by going to That’s

Ben:                 Okay. Joining us for SEO Predictions Week is Jordan Koene who is the lead SEO Strategist and CEO of Searchmetrics Inc., and today Jordan and I are going to talk about how there’s going to be an increase in featured elements from Google, and also how more vertical based paid ad elements are going to be included in SERPs.

Ben:                 All right. Here’s the second installment of SEO Predictions Week for 2020 with Jordan Koene, CEO and lead SEO strategist of Searchmetrics Inc.

Ben:                 Jordan…

Jordan:             Hello, Ben.

Ben:                 Welcome back to SEO Predictions Week for 2020. We’re off to a flying start this year. We talked a little bit about position zero, about brand SEO, about where voice search is going to play in 2020.

Ben:                 Now we’re going to talk a little bit more about what’s going to happen on the SERP. Your prediction is that we’re going to see an increase in featured elements and more vertical based paid ad elements.

Ben:                 Talk to me about what you think is going to happen on the SERP this year?

Jordan:             Yeah, this is nicely connected to the first prediction around zero click positions and brand SEO, but more specifically this prediction is about Google becoming more verticalized, and we’ve been seeing this now for about a decade with Google.

Jordan:             It really started with PLA, which made a ton of sense. You know, product listing ads where Google can come in for products in specific product feeds, showcase ads that are very direct to consumers, as well as to the brands who are selling those ads. We’re going to see this more often this year. We’re already starting to see a massive trickle of verticalized experiences.

Jordan:             We’ve seen a massive increase in what we call the hotel finder. So for a lot of hotel based queries, what you see is Google’s own paid ad experience that allows different hotel brands, as well as online travel agencies, to list hotels, and actually bid for placement of different hotel and hotel offerings in the hotel ad finder.

Jordan:             And I expect that we’re going to see this continued verticalization and association, both paid and non-paid, experiences that allow Google to provide consumers with a very direct set of results.

Ben:                 I think there’s a lot of risk here for Google, and I don’t disagree that we’re going to see more paid integration similar to product listing ads. You know, we’re going to see flight booking, right? And you’ll be able to book all these things, hotels, we’re seeing more of this vertical integration, where Google is your travel agent, your product comparison engine.

Jordan:             Yeah.

Ben:                 Right? And I also think that Google is trying to compete more with Amazon and just be a universal search option for products.

Ben:                 On the flip side, I do think that there is some risk here for Google on the legal side. Where, when you start blending the ads and some of the free stuff, the line gets a little gray. There’s risk that Google is not making it clear who is the actual service provider, and I think there’s some legal risk.

Ben:                 Do you think there’s any scenario where Google avoids doing more of these featured elements, specifically the paid ones, to just try to avoid litigation?

Jordan:             Yes. I mean, there have been verticals where Google has tested this, for example, the car marketplace. They’ve already tested this with flights in the past, and it really didn’t work out for them. But essentially, then, the challenge here for consumers and for Google, is that Google is dynamically changing these things. They are not very static when it comes to this.

Jordan:             The flight finder’s a great example. Google made an acquisition almost eight years ago to help them improve their ability to understand different flights and provide feeds for flight search, but they’ve never been able to turn that into a monetizeable experience, and that’s why I combined both the featured elements here with the paid ad components, because I believe as Google tests these things out, they’re going to make a decision whether this is a paid ad experience, non-paid ad experience, maybe a little bit of both, but essentially taking more control of the real estate with an owned asset that is theirs to embed very specific content, that has its own set of rules and requirements to participate in is going to be a more prolific experience and expectations should have as SEOs.

Jordan:             I think that’s where it becomes really tricky for us. How do we manage that and how do we adapt and adjust?

Ben:                 I think this goes back to what we said in our previous episode with our previous prediction, and for anybody that didn’t hear that, it’s that there’s going to be an increase in zero click SEO positioning. There’s going to be more brand SEO.

Ben:                 I think the theme here is that Google is going to try to keep the consumer on Google, right? Whether it is, we’re just going to give you the answer when you search for something, your position zero, when you’re looking for a flight, or when you’re looking to book a car, when you’re looking for a product, we’re going to allow you to purchase it within Google, and whether it’s a paid or a free experience, Google is surfacing more and more content in the search results and adding more utility.

Ben:                 My big concern, and like what I said yesterday, is well what’s the value for people to continue to submit their content to Google if Google is just going to keep them on their properties?

Jordan:             Yeah, I think the big difference between yesterday’s episode and today, is that with the zero click policy you have very little in your control, right? I mean it’s going to be the Google show or the highway, wherein these cases SEOs actually have a ton of control and paid marketers as well. Excuse me.

Jordan:             You are making a conscious decision to participate and engage in these experiences, the same way you would set up your Google My Business to have a local positioning, so that you can be seen in Google maps. The reality here is that you’re making some sort of conscious decision to participate and utilize this resource and although I would say that, yes, Google is trying to keep people on Google in these instances, I believe as Google kind of tweaks the dials here, they’re going to make decisions that push consumers in a direction, right?

Jordan:             Because they know that in these experiences, the answer in and of itself isn’t contained exclusively in the module. They’ve only prioritized the options in a more clear cut way, right? They have data, structured data, or they have feeds that allow them to say, “This is number one, this is number two, this is number three,” but it’s within a Google contained experience, as opposed to the organic results.

Ben:                 Yeah, and I agree with you that in 2020 Google’s going to continue to iterate on the experience. They’re going to try to add more utility into the search.

Ben:                 I have questions about what the impact is going to be for marketers, for SEO, for performance marketers, but I agree that we’ve seen nothing but an indication that the more structured data you could submit to Google, they’re finding ways to present that so they can provide the best possible user experience to their consumers.

Jordan:             And you brought up a point earlier. I do agree that this creates a ton more legal risk for Google, right? Because as they verticalize these things, it creates a unique ecosystem and competitive landscape, that then needs to be either regulated or monitored differently. And so it just exposes Google to more potential regulation or lawsuits from brands and advertisers.

Jordan:             So, I do agree that there’s some risk in this for Google, but at the end of the day, I think Google has to do this to create really good consumer experiences, in particular mobile experiences that allow consumers to find the content they want.

Ben:                 And going back to what we think is our 2020 decade prediction, that voice search is going to continue to be an iterative approach for Google, when they are building mobile experiences and building these, we’re going to have the immediate answer for you, it all feeds into what Google’s going to be doing over the decade. Iterate on voice search.

Jordan:             Yep.

Ben:                 And that wraps up this episode of the Voices of Search podcast. Thanks for listening to my conversation with Jordan Koene, lead SEO strategist and CEO of Searchmetrics Inc.

Ben:                 We’d love to continue this conversation with you. So if you’re interested in contacting Jordan, you can find a link to his LinkedIn profile in our show notes. You can hit him up on Twitter. His handle is JTKoene, J-T-K-O-E-N-E.

Ben:                 If you have general marketing questions, if you’d like to talk to me about this podcast, or if you would like to be a guest on the Voices of Search podcast, you can find my contact information at BenJShap. We also have a Voices of Search Twitter handle, which is @VoicesofSearch.

Ben:                 If you’re interested in learning about how to use search data to boost your organic traffic online visibility, or to gain competitive insights, head over to, for your risk-free trial of Searchmetrics’ Suite and Content Experience services.

Ben:                 And if you liked this podcast and you want a regular stream of SEO and content marketing insights in your podcast feed, hit the subscribe button in your podcast app and we’ll be back in your feed tomorrow morning, when we discuss our third prediction for 2020, which has to do with Google’s ability to communicate changes on their platform.

Ben:     Lastly, if you’ve enjoyed this podcast and you’re feeling generous, we’d love for you to leave us a review in the iTunes store. Okay? That’s it for today, but until next time, remember, the answers are always in data.

Yoast SEO 12.8: Fixes and enhancements

Welcome to another year of helping you achieve your goals with your site! Today, it’s time for the first in a long line of releases planned for 2020: Yoast SEO 12.8. In this release, you’ll find a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements. Let’s get to it!


A while ago, a developer called Alex Bouma reached out to us on GitHub with an interesting performance-enhancing improvement. He suggested a better way of retrieving the options inside Yoast SEO. We tended to call these a lot — which led to a less than optimal performance. After careful testing and slightly adjusting the methodology, we came up with a good solution that works. This is one of many performance-enhancing improvements we’re rolling out this year.

Schema identifiers

We offer a lot of flexibility for developers who want to integrate with our Schema structured data implementation. In our Schema documentation, you’ll find everything you need to get going. In Yoast SEO 12.8, we’ve made the implementation a bit more flexible by making it possible to look for a public class property named identifier. This makes it possible to integrate in a situation where the class isn’t named WPSEO_Schema_* or is using a namespace.

Paging comments in Health Check

In Yoast SEO 12.8, we moved the notice from paginated comments from the dashboard to WordPress’ Health Check. Should you paginate comments — not needed for most sites, due to SEO and UX concerns —, you can find a new notice on your Health Check dashboard.

Activating paging comments used to trigger a dashboard notification, but we’ve moved this to Site Health

Bug fixes

As always, this release features a number of bug fixes and other improvements. We’ve also improved the documentation for the Schema structured data HowTo block (thanks to Tim van Iersel) and the Breadcrumbs file, thanks to Alfio Salanitri.

Some of the bugs we fixed concerned incorrect icon placements, styling issues, incorrectly generated Schema for breadcrumbs and one where the images alt attribute SEO assessment in the Classic Editor didn’t work properly. We’ve also fixed a bug where author archives for authors without posts would show up in the search results, even though the “Show archives for authors without posts in search results?” option was enabled. See the full changelog for a detailed overview of all the fixes and enhancements.

Update to Yoast SEO 12.8

And there you have it: the first release of 2020! In this release, we made a number of improvements to enhance the performance of the plugin. Please review the changes and update to Yoast SEO 12.8 whenever you’re ready.

The post Yoast SEO 12.8: Fixes and enhancements appeared first on Yoast.

Seer Goes to Hogwarts

Harry Potter and the Missing Scarf

It’s tough to accurately describe Seer’s culture in a way that others can understand. Our team is just as ambitious, driven, and competitive as it is supportive, kind, and nurturing. But at the end of the day, we’re all a bunch of nerds. And we really like Harry Potter. And data.

It all started when a member of the team (we’ll call him “Ryan” to protect his identity) discovered a lost scarf in the office and sent a photo to the office group chat in an attempt to find the owner.

Seer Loves Harry Potter

The photo of Ryan wearing the lost scarf immediately became fodder for Photoshop, where his head and scarf were placed upon the body of a Quidditch player from Harry Potter.

Seer Loves Harry Potter

Naturally, this resulted in a company-wide inquiry: was “Ryan” really a Slytherin? Lacking access to a magical sorting hat, there was only one way to find out – the internet.

The Sorting Hat

Time Magazine’s Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz provided the answers we all needed. If you’re not familiar with Harry Potter, there are four houses into which students are sorted based upon personality traits.

  • Gryffindor: Students are known for being brave, loyal, and adventurous. Gryffindors are likely to stand up for others and to do the right thing.
  • Ravenclaw: Known for their intelligence, wisdom, and for valuing brains over brawn. These people are often the smartest in the room.
  • Hufflepuff: Students value hard work, are kind to others, and are known for being patient and loyal. Hufflepuffs enjoy making others happy and doing what is nice.
  • Slytherin: Known for being clever, ambitious, and determined. Slytherins are proud of their achievements and will do what is necessary to get ahead.

Who Works at Seer?

As more team members took the quiz and shared their results, we realized we needed a way to capture all of the data. By the end of the day, over 100 team members had submitted their results, and we were ready to do some data analysis.

Seer Hogwarts House Data

Most witches and wizards will not simply have the personality traits associated with one single house, but will demonstrate a mix of traits associated with different houses. The quiz classifies each participant according to the overall percentage of relevant traits they demonstrate for each of the houses at Hogwarts.

If you know anything about Seer, you’ll know that we love data visualization. A member of our Data Strategy team (we’ll call him “Michael” to protect his identity) plugged our data into a box plot so we could take a look at our results.

Seer Hogwarts House Data

Overall, the majority of the Seer team was sorted into Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. This tells me what I already know to be true – we’ve got a team of super-smart, inquisitive people who love to learn, and we’re also incredibly friendly, nice, and willing to share our knowledge. Just look at the rest of this blog for proof of how much we love to share what we know!

Very few of our team members were sorted into Slytherin, which is not surprising, since many of us tend to struggle with imposter syndrome and not taking as much pride in our kick-ass work as we should.

Join Our Team!

Still waiting to get your Hogwarts letter in the mail? Join our team of data wizards and business intelligence witches! Sign up for our newsletter below to get access to the magical work we’re doing, and check out our open positions to see if you could be a good fit for our team.

5 Tips for Job Transitioning Between Digital Marketing Agencies

Transitioning jobs can be a tricky process across any industry, but moving from one digital marketing agency to another comes with its own quirks. Having recently made the switch myself, I’ve learned a thing or two. Here are 5 tips for anyone leaping jobs from one digital marketing agency to another:

1. Study up on the basics.seer icon lightbulb 1

When starting a new job, the unfamiliarity of everything can be overwhelming, but getting the basics down can help smoothen the onboarding process. Here are some things that may seem uncomfortably foreign at first:

  1. The Office – Take a tour and make some rounds in the office to get yourself comfortable, especially if you’re working in a big office.
  2. The People – It can be intimidating and overwhelming, but take the time to learn the names and faces of your new agency. Start by grabbing coffee with your desk neighbors!
  3. The Lingo – Get familiar with the language used at your new agency. Getting squared on the specific lingo will take some stress off of your onboarding as you’ll be clued in on what acronyms are being used and account deliverables are being discussed.

Once you’ve got the simple stuff out of the way, you’ll have more wiggle room to enjoy the fresh environment and focus on the job you were hired to do.

2. Try to not compare.

It’s easier said than done and something that I’m working on myself, but it does not bode well to compare every single detail of your past agency to your new one. Every agency functions in their own respective way and can attribute their success to their unique methods. There is not necessarily a wrong or right culture, process, or business strategy (for the most part) for an agency.

To put things into perspective, when I first arrived at Seer I would compare things like corporate culture, company perks, office space, and so on. Upon second consideration, I had to realize that the offerings at Seer, like open office space and WFH flexibility, might not fit another agency that thrives on private workspaces and in-office activity.

Sometimes comparisons cannot be helped, but it’s best to focus on what excites you now rather than dwell on what didn’t.

3. Don’t be afraid to question processes.

That being said, it’s 100% valid to question your current agency’s processes based on what you know. From what you’ve learned at your last company, what knowledge can you offer to your new environment? Are there chokeholds and roadblocks that you know could be tackled? Have you seen or enacted strategies to expedite processes and boost productivity? It’s perfectly acceptable to inform constructively and add your 2¢. No agency runs on perfection, and every company deals with its own fair share of growing pains.

At Seer, the worst thing you’ll hear is “Thank you for the suggestion! We tried that and it didn’t work, but please keep the suggestions coming.”

4. Got a question? Ask it! question mark icon

When you’re in a new environment, it’s natural to be inquisitive. Don’t resist the urge to question methods and deliverables. Your question can help you walk away with the clarity you need and may even elevate the conversation to new heights. It didn’t take long for me to realize how much the folks at Seer love questions, even the tough ones that bring even tougher answers.

5. Embrace the cultureseer icon competition

The job switch can get stressful quickly if you don’t take the time to sit back and appreciate your newfound environment. As a newcomer, it can be tempting to take on every task that comes your way but that’s also the fast track to burnout. Before you dive headfirst into a competitive keyword analysis or a technical audit, read up on your agency’s values, grab a coffee with a colleague, and ask everyone everything you want to learn. Getting acclimated to Seer’s innovative culture set the tone for my experience and has instilled value into my work.

Excited for the next step in your journey?

As you’re transitioning jobs make sure you’re stepping into your new agency with the right mindset. Be open and inquisitive, and don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.

If you’re not quite mid-transition but curious about making the switch, visit our Careers page because we’re hiring across all departments and levels. We’re excited to meet you!

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How to Prioritize Work for Busy Clients

Have you ever run into a situation where you’ve identified all these amazing opportunities for your client, but they’re so busy that they have trouble finding the bandwidth to review them, let alone implement them? Before you know it, these opportunities that you were so stoked about are still sitting unread, collecting dust months later. So, how can you help prioritize work for a client that’s so busy?

1. Only send over the top 3 opportunities identified

seer icon lightbulb

There’s nothing worse than when you have a full plate and you know you need to check things off the list, but you’re overwhelmed on where to even start. Well, clients are no different. But by sharing only the top opportunities in small lists of 3, you cut down the daunting list they would otherwise have to work through and instead have them focused on 3 digestible items.

 2. Order tasks by estimated effort

seer icon time

What if you’ve already delivered a list of more than 3 things? Don’t worry, it’s not too late! Revisit the list of opportunities you’ve identified and create a priority order based on the level of effort. Maybe your client only has an hour to work on things you’ve given them, perfect! They can quickly scan the items and see that they can knock off one or two things from the list during that time. Once they’ve gotten a few things checked off, you’ve gotten their attention and it will likely be easier for them to agree to working on more things again.

 3. Show the impact they’re missing out on

seer icon money

Nothing catches someone’s attention more than when you put into plain figures the opportunity missed each day, week, or month that action isn’t taken. The most effective way to communicate this is often via revenue, however, feel free to use any metric that would resonate best with your client. Maybe it’s website traffic or qualified leads. Whatever metric that will hit home for your client and give them that extra bit of awareness, utilize it!

Tell Us What’s Worked For You

Have you seen success utilizing these tactics, or have tried ones similar? Let us know about them! Comment below on your situation and what you did to successfully prioritize work for your busy client.

Google Has Updated Quote Searching to Focus on Videos

Searching for Quotes has shifted at Google with an Updated Continuation Patent

In August of 2017, I wrote the post Google Searching Quotes of Entities. The patent that post was about was called Systems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database.

I noticed that this patent was updated last year (February 2019) with a continuation patent. I like comparing the claims in older patents with the claims from newer continuation patents – it is a message saying, “We used to do something one way, but we have changed how we do it now, and want to protect our intellectual property by updating the claims in this patent with a newer version of it.”

Reviewing the Patents on quote searching

It appears that this patent is showing us that Google is paying more attention to indexing audio, and that shows in this updated patent.

Here is a comparison of the claims from the patents.

The first claim from the 2017 versionSystems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database:

1. A computerized system for searching and identifying quotes, the system comprising: a memory device that stores a set of instructions; and at least one processor that executes the set of instructions to: receive a search query for a quote from a user; parse the query to identify one or more key words; match the one or more key words to knowledge graph items associated with candidate subject entities in a knowledge graph stored in one or more databases, wherein the knowledge graph includes a plurality of items associated with a plurality of subject entities and a plurality of relationships between the plurality of items; determine, based on the matching knowledge graph items, a relevance score for each of the candidate subject entities; identify, from the candidate subject entities, one or more subject entities for the query based on the relevance scores associated with the candidate subject entities; identify a set of quotes corresponding to the one or more subject entities; determine quote scores for the identified quotes based on at least one of the relationship of each quote to the one or more subject entities, the recency of each quote, or the popularity of each quote; select quotes from the identified quotes based on the quote scores; and transmit information to a display device to display the selected quotes to the user.

The first claim from the 2019 versionSystems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database

1. A method comprising the following operations performed by one or more processors: receiving audio content from a client device of a user; performing audio analysis on the audio content to identify a quote in the audio content; determining the user as an author of the audio content based on recognizing the user as the speaker of the audio content; identifying, based on words or phrases extracted from the quote, one or more subject entities associated with the quote; storing, in a database, the quote, and an association of the quote to the subject entities and to the user being the author; subsequent to storing the quote and the association: receiving, from the user, a search query; parsing the search query to identify that the search query requests one or more quotes by the user about one or more of the subject entities; identifying, from the database and responsive to the search query, a set of quotes by the user corresponding to the one or more of the subject entities, the set of quotes including the quote; selecting the quote from the quotes of the set based at least in part on the recency of each quote; and transmitting, in response to the search query, information for presenting the selected quote to the user via the client device or an additional client device of the user.

If you want to read about how this patent was originally intended to work, I detailed that process when I wrote about the original granted patent that was granted in 2017. The continuation patent was filed in 2017 and was granted last spring. The first version tells us about finding quotes looking at knowledge graph entries. The phrase “knowledge graph” was left out of the newer claim, but it also tells us that it is specifically looking for audio content, and performing analysis on audio content to collect quotes from entities.


What this update tells me is that Google is going to rely less upon finding quote information from knowledge base sources, and work upon collecting quote information from performing audio analysis. This seems to indicate a desire to build an infrastructure that doesn’t rely upon humans to update a knowledge graph but instead can rely upon automated programs that can crawl content on the web, and analyze that information and index it. This does look like an attempt to move towards an approach that can scale on a web level without relying upon people to record quotes from others.

I am seeing videos at the top of results when I search for quotes from movies, and that have been reported upon in the news. Like President Trump referring to a phone call he had with the leader of Ukraine as a “perfect phone call.”

quote searching using videos

Note that Google is showing videos as search results for that quote.

I tried a number of quotes that I am familiar with from history and from Movies, and I am seeing at or near the top of search results videos with those quotes in them. That isn’t proof that Google is using audio from videos to identify the sources of those quotes, but it isn’t a surprise after seeing how this patent has changed.

Has Google gotten that much better at understanding what is said in videos and indexing such content? It may be telling us that they have more confidence in how they have indexed video content. I would still recommend making transcripts of any videos that you publish to the web, to be safe in making sure content from a video gets indexed correctly. But it is possible that Google has gotten better at understanding audio in videos.

Of course, this change may be one triggered by an understanding of the intent behind quote searches. It’s possible that when someone searches for a quote, they may be less interested in learning who said something, and more interested in watching or hearing them say it. This would be a motivation for making sure that a video appears ranking highly in search results.

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