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The beginning of spring has echoed themes of change and progress throughout the digital sphere. From search engine updates to GDPR preparations, here are some of April’s biggest headlines from SEO, content marketing and digital PR. Google rolls out updated search algorithm Mutters of a Google algorithm update have been heard throughout the search and marketing industry this month, and on April 16th we finally got the news we’d been waiting for. Announcing the news via Twitter, Google identified the change as a ‘broad core algorithm update’, the likes of which systematically take place at several points throughout the year. Even so, businesses across the globe have been eager to discover exactly what the update means for them. The general consensus from Google is that these updates are an integral part of their work. While some users are expected to experience slight drops or gains in visibility during this time, the search engine...

Semantic trends have played an increasingly central role in search for some time. Algorithms now have the ability to take whole queries into account, rather than simply focusing on specific keywords. By doing so, search engines are able to delve deeper into the intent behind each query, delivering tailored, highly intelligent results. 2013’s Google Hummingbird update marked a significant turning point for semantic search. For the first time, the technology required to understand the meaning behind specific searches was rolled out on a large scale. Rather than honing in on one or two keywords, the new algorithm was able to read and configure the meaning behind each query, denoting which results would be most relevant to the needs of the user. Appetite for intent-driven, conversational search has only grown in the years following Hummingbird. In 2018, an understanding of the latest semantic trends is a vital component of any successful SEO strategy....

We’re already a quarter of the way through 2018, and search engine and social media giants are pushing boundaries in the name of improving user experience. From shoppable social media posts to drastically condensed search results, here’s the biggest marketing news from digital and SEO in March. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announces security changes in light of Cambridge Analytica scandal Facebook’s association with data mining company Cambridge Analytica has made global headlines this month, as it’s been suggested that data gathered through the platform may have been used to influence elections. The news has once again thrown into question just how secure our online data really is. In light of the scandal, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg this month announced plans to strengthen security and reduce the likelihood of third-party apps being able to access personal data. Key changes include a thorough investigation of both new and existing apps that use the platform, as well...

There’s no denying that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way in which we use technology. In October 2015, Google announced the roll-out of an AI algorithm called RankBrain that generates responses to search queries. Since then, this machine-learning system has continued to impact the digital marketing landscape and the way sites are optimised for search. In fact, RankBrain is the third most important ranking signal after quality content and natural links, and is sure to play an even bigger role in the future of marketing. Here’s a closer look at what RankBrain is, how it came about and what you need to do to make sure your site is optimised for AI in 2018. What is RankBrain? RankBrain is a machine-learning algorithm that uses AI to filter and sort search queries in Google. It also works to assist Google to better understand search queries, particularly uncommon words and terms. RankBrain is...

Thanks to its association with all things romance, brands and businesses have been competing to encourage feelings of love from their users in February – often with mixed results. With some Google updates thrown in for good measure, here’s a run down of February’s biggest headlines in marketing, content and SEO. Google launches Mobile Scorecard and Impact Calculator Back in January Google announced plans to make mobile page speed a key ranking factor from July, preparation for which stepped up a gear this month. The search engine recently unveiled two new tools that promise to give brands a better view of their mobile performance. The first is aptly named the Mobile Scorecard. Here, users are able to gain an insight into their site’s mobile speed, as well as that of their competitors. According to Google, the tool extracts data from the Chrome User Experience Report to provide information on mobile speed for thousands...

As popularity in voice-operated devices grows, so too does the use of voice search. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri and Microsoft Cortana are all paving the way for new voice-centric strategies within the world of marketing. In this blog, we look at what voice search could mean to SEO specialists and content marketers, before exploring ways to prepare for the potential impacts of voice search. What do we know about voice search so far? Well, we know that popularity in voice-activated devices is growing at a rapid rate. In a report from Technavio via Skyword, it is estimated that “by 2019, the voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry”. According to Google Trends via Search Engine Watch, "Google voice search queries in 2016 were up 35 times over 2008”. And in 2016 alone, eMarketer recorded a sizeable increase in voice search of 128.9%. Research and estimates concerning this area largely point to the...

A new study by WooContent has revealed that the majority of consumers feel that they are being spammed by brands online, with 75% adding that they would boycott their product or services as a result. We asked over 1000 internet users the following questions, and here is what we found out… Do you trust Google to display the most relevant content you are looking for? Yes – 79% No – 21% Users said that they feel they can trust Google to display the most relevant content in their search results, likely due to Google’s ever evolving spam-filtering algorithm. Do you think Google is getting better, worse or staying the same as a search engine? Better – 34% Worse – 9% Staying the same – 57% The majority of users either feel that Google is maintaining its standards or improving as a search engine – again, this is likely to be related to their continuing work on spam-filtering. Do you think...