Trending February 2024 # Google Updates Education Q&A Structured Data Documentation # Suggested March 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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Google updated the Education structured data documentation with new content guidelines and a manual action warning for sites that don’t conform with the new requirements.

Education Q&A Carousel in Search Results

Google added documentation for new structured data that helped relevant pages become eligible to be shown in the Education Q&A carousel.

The Education Q&A carousel is an enhanced search listing available in the following search types:

Google Search results

Google Assistant

Google Lens

Two very different kinds of pages are eligible for this enhanced search feature.

Flashcard pages

Single Q&A pages

Google described the two kinds of pages that are eligible for the Education Carousel display in search:

“Flashcard page: A page that contains flashcards that typically have a question on one side and an answer on the other side. To mark up flashcard pages, continue reading this guide to learn how to add Education Q&A schema.

Single Q&A page: A page that only contains one question and is followed by user-submitted answers. To mark up single Q&A pages, add QAPage markup instead.”

Flashcard pages use the Quiz markup. Q&A pages use the QAPage structured data.

Content Guidelines

The new section of the documentation warns:

“We created these Education Q&A content guidelines to ensure that our users are connected with learning resources that are relevant.

If we find content that violates these guidelines, we’ll respond appropriately, which may include taking manual action and not displaying your content in the education Q&A rich result on Google.”

There are three points to keep in mind:

Those guidelines state that the QAPage structured data markup can only be used on pages where users can answer questions. The valid use case example given is a web forum.

2. The page must feature education-related content in the form of questions and answers, and the answer does answer the question.

3. Answers must be accurate and correct. The guidelines state that if an (unspecified) amount of the content is found to be inaccurate, then Google would make all the content ineligible to be seen in the Education Q&A carousel.

Focus on Accuracy

Education is a sensitive topic, so it makes sense for Google to add an extra layer of strictness concerning the quality of information shown in their Education Q&A carousel.

Google is increasingly emphasizing correct and helpful information, which could be part of the ongoing process to improve search results.

Citation

Read the new Q&A Structured Data Guidelines

Content guidelines

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5 Real Dangers Of Chasing Google Algorithm Updates

You know you do it.

You hear rumors on Facebook or Twitter that there’s been some type of Google update (let’s call it Barney) or notice some sudden movement in one of the queries you check obsessively and the first thing you do is start spot checking rankings while your tools are running ranking reports.

Maybe you take a moment to rush to Search Console and see if there’s anything telling in your query data there. But darn it… the data isn’t fresh enough.

So off to Moz or Algoroo or one of the other SERP monitors to see what they tell you prior to checking if Barry Schwartz has published anything about it yet.

Yep, you know you do these things. And if I didn’t do them too I wouldn’t know the routine so well.

And its trappings.

There are serious dangers inherent in just these simple actions, not the least of which is what they represent.

To make matters worse, Google is being less upfront about their updates than they have been in the past, leaving our chasing to guesses and hearsay.

Here’s why.

Danger 1: Losing Sight of the Goal

Easily the number one danger of chasing Google’s algorithm is losing sight of the big picture.

The goal of SEO, with very few exceptions, is to rank over time not simply for one short duration.

That means we need to focus on what the search engines will be doing more than what they have done.

To be clear, knowing what Google is doing with their algorithm can provide some insight into areas the search engines are paying attention to but we need to look at it as part of a broader picture.

The question we need to ask is not why they’re doing what they’re doing.

So, pay attention to Google’s algorithms to be sure. But ask the right question.

Danger 2: Anecdotal at Best

Unless you monitor tens or hundreds of thousands of keywords across virtually every sector, the ranking fluctuations you see will be anecdotal.

That is, you will be looking at a tiny snapshot of what’s going on around you and putting that into the context of what you have done lately or the things you know about the site(s) you’re working on.

Even if you’ve headed over to WebmasterWorld and compared notes with other webmasters you’ll be hearing mainly from those who lost positions and again, with their bias (and sometimes anger) thrown in.

Anecdotal conclusions in SEO are almost always worse than no conclusion.

If you know nothing you’ll plod along focused on what you know to be the best practices; if you draw anecdotal conclusions you’re as likely to make a bad decision as a good one and you’ll do it with a lot more conviction.

Danger 3: They Keep Going and Going…

Let’s say you nail it. Your anecdotal observations pay off and you’re right.

Google’s algorithm update increased the value of anchor text in links (or whatever you concluded) – fantastic.

How long is it going to take you to act on this?

How long will it take Google to find your work and apply it to their results?

How many more Google algorithm updates will happen between now and then?

Even if you manage to guess right there are going to be more updates that apply different goals and signals – so which do you focus on?

Which brings us to a related issue with chasing Google’s algorithms.

Danger 4: Sometimes Google Is Wrong

I know, I know, half of you think that’s blasphemy and the other half have been doing SEO for more than six months.

Remember, these are the same folks that pushed Google+ in 2011, the Florida Update, and are constantly pushing and pulling tests in-and-out of the knowledge panel and rolling out and pulling back updates without any fanfare.

If you draw a conclusion about what an update resulted in, even assuming you’re right you may shift gears in a direction they determine isn’t beneficial and pull back from.

Google is constantly testing things. Algorithms are no exception.

Just because you see Google roll out something doesn’t mean it’s going to stick forever.

Danger 5: Sometimes We’re Wrong

It’s crazy to say but sometimes you might be wrong.

It’s OK, I have trouble admitting it too, but it happened once back in 1997 and I’m pretty sure it’ll happen again one day.

The danger here is twofold:

You may put your attention in the “wrong” place chasing after what you think is going on when in fact it isn’t.

You may do yourself damage focusing on something contrary to what’s actually happening.

Putting your attention on the wrong thing can be costly in time, but is the less damaging of the two.

It might sort-of look the same if you’re looking at it wrong, but will produce very different results.

In Summary

I’m not saying don’t pay attention to Google updates. But there’s a big difference between paying attention and chasing.

In the former, you’re treating the update as information, a potential sign of their evolution. In the latter, you’re blindly chasing what the latest update is focused on (hopefully) without the full context.

To put it simply, you’re acting as a competitor who’s constantly adding whatever features the market leader adds, right after they do. At best you’ll always be a step or two behind, except in this case your competitor is Google and they’ve got thousands of engineers working on the steps you’re chasing.

So, pay attention just as you would with a SERP layout change or statement on the value of Schema but treat it as a cup of information in a pool of data and rather than chasing it ask “why?”

If the end goal of the change you think you see (or heard in a forum or worse … Facebook) would benefit either the engine or the searcher, then add it to the array of information that you use to guide your decisions.

But never … ever … chase an update.

2 Recent Google Updates You Should Know About

1. New pagination tags

Value/Importance: [rating=3]

Recommended link: Source

A recent release from Google, these new tags are aimed at aiding the Google bot when crawling sites such as media sites (or other content rich sites) & large ecommerce websites. The new tags are to be used on the “Next”, “Previous” & View All links on pages helping Google understand a paginated series of pages. This feature is particularly relevant to media sites that use the format of an article broken down into several pages (which I personally find annoying, but I know it’s done to increase page views and so ad revenue).

Much like the canonical tag which is used to highlight duplicate pages on your website these new tags are aimed at helping the Googlebot index your website effectively. The two key points highlighted in the post / update from Google states it will help them understand:

Consolidate indexing properties, such as links, from the component pages/URLs to the series as a whole (i.e., links should not remain dispersed between page-1.html, page-2.html, etc., but be grouped with the sequence)

Marketing implications of these new tags

Coupled with effective use of Google Webmaster Tools & other tags such as the canonical tag & rich snippets I would recommend making use of any tool that Google gives you to aid indexing of your website. I do not believe any of these tags will transform your rankings but they should definitely be implemented, they are relatively easily to integrate into your sites templates & helping Google understand your website can only mean good things?! Google even mention the fact utilising these tags will aid with link consolidation to the primary page, I would imagine this will create opportunities for most websites, you just never know what those few extra links may do!

2. PDF’s in Search Results

Value/Importance: [rating=4]

Recommended link: Source

PDF’s are a rapidly growing format for publishing content online, especially in the B2B

space. Google has been indexing them and other document types of nearly 10years & this latest post from the Google Webmaster Blog provides answers to some of the more popular questions surrounding the indexation of PDFs. I have highlighted the 3 questions I believe you should consider if you publish a lot of PDF’s online.

A: Generally links in PDF files are treated similarly to links in HTML: they can pass PageRank and other indexing signals, and we may follow them after we have crawled the PDF file. It’s currently not possible to “nofollow” links within a PDF document.

A: Whenever possible, we recommend serving a single copy of your content. If this isn’t possible, make sure you indicate your preferred version by, for example, including the preferred URL in your Sitemap or by specifying the canonical version in the HTML or in the HTTP headers of the PDF resource. For more tips, read our Help Center article about canonicalization.

A: Sure! They’ll generally rank similarly to other webpages. For example, at the time of this post, [mortgage market review], [irs form 2011] or [paracetamol expert report] all return PDF documents that manage to rank highly in our search results, thanks to their content and the way they’re embedded and linked from other webpages.

The last two questions I find very interesting since I see PDF’s utilised on the web. Generally PDF’s are offered as a downloadable / offline way to consume content that is displayed on a web page. If you are going to have both HTML & PDF versions of content I would always recommend disallowing the PDF from search engines as people are more likely to link to a web page than directly to PDFs which will improve your chance of ranking , images will be indexed on web pages not in PDFs & its much easier to update & control web pages.

Google Starts Android Q Using Two Brand New Pixel Phones, 21 In Smartphone

Google Starts Android Q

Android Q is the most popular version of Android. Google asserts that Android is powering over 2.5 billion devices that are active.

Android Q is custom made to accommodate to the requirements of watertight and 5G mobiles. The newest operating system is optimized to provide better multi-tasking encounter and will adapt to various display dimensions easily. This usually means the transition between the smaller and bigger displays in a foldable telephone is expected to be eloquent. So far as 5G is worried, Android is your first smartphone operating system to encourage the next-generation low-latency connectivity.

Key features of Android Q

“For 466 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals around the planet, captions are greater than a benefit –they create material more accessible,” said the search giant in a blog article. Bearing this in mind, Google worked closely together with the hearing impaired community to come up with a quality that would enhance access to electronic media.

With one tap, Live Caption will mechanically caption media that is playing music in your mobile phone. Live Caption functions with podcasts, videos and sound messages, even across any program — even things you record . The moment speech is discovered, captions will look, without needing Wi-Fi or phone data.

Additionally, Google announced the machine learning which powers Smart Reply has become built into the notification system in Android, enabling any messaging program to indicate responses in notifications. Smart Reply will also intelligently predict your next actions –for instance, if a person sends you a speech, you can simply tap to start that speech in Maps.

On the safety front, Google promised to scan 50 billion programs daily using Google Play Protect. “For instance, we made a committed Privacy department under Preferences, where you will discover significant controls in 1 spot. Under Preferences, you will also discover a new Location segment that provides you more transparency and granular control over the place data you discuss with programs,”said the business in the blog article.

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Q & A: Kissmetrics’ Neil Patel

Continuing a long tradition of interviews and insights here at Search Engine Journal, I reached out to Neil Patel last week to get an update on Neil & his KissMetrics project. I’ve known Neil for a long time and have always kept tabs on him after meeting at an SES San Jose in back in 2005. Over the past 6 years, a lot has changed, but his two projects in KissMetrics & CrazyEgg keep innovating.

Neil, you have done a lot over the last 10 years of your entrepreneurial career. For those of us who don’t know, please shed some light on all of your accomplishments.

Thank you for the kind words!

I started off my career when I was 16 and now I am currently 26. My first company ended up being an Internet marketing agency in which we did the marketing for companies like HP, Samsung, GM, Amazon, Microsoft, and AOL. We did well overall, but when the recession came around, we took a bit hit.

Luckily, my business partner and I also invest a good portion of our money into software companies. The first one was Crazy Egg, which shows you how people interact with your website in a visual format. Crazy Egg has been up and running for almost 6 years and it is cranking along at a healthy growth rate.

The second large software company that my business partner and I transitioned into was KISSmetrics. We realized Crazy Egg would never be that 100 million dollar software company, so we created a bigger analytics company that would solve a much larger problem that companies were facing.

You’re known in the Internet marketing world as an SEO, yet you have been able to transition into the web 2.0 realm. How did you make the transition?

The way I transitioned into the web 2.0 realm is by first doing SEO for a lot of web 2.0 companies. From blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable to startups like I Can Has Cheezburger and Zimbra. After working with a few dozen startups my business partner and I learned the power of subscription businesses.

With the knowledge we had from the Internet marketing world we knew a lot about analytics and what was gaps were missing in that space. And from working with web 2.0 companies we learned a lot about working with developers, raising venture capital, building out sales teams, etc. When we combined both of those knowledge sets we were able to create a “web 2.0” company and slowly transition into that world.

Judging from your social media updates, it seems like these days you are focusing your efforts on your startup, KISSmetrics. What is KISSmetrics and what does it do?

Have you ever noticed that when you log into Omniture or Google Analytics you see green arrows showing how your traffic is up? The problem that we encountered and many other companies as well encountered is that just because your traffic is up, it doesn’t mean you are making more money.

The reason people are in business is to make money. So instead of focusing our analytics solution on metrics like pageviews and visitors we focused it around revenue, life time value of a customer, churn, marketing attribution, conversion rates and other important data points that can help companies make more money.

So when you log into our system, you see those metrics and more importantly you can find out what is impacting them in a negative and positive way. You can then take that information, adjust your marketing efforts, and watch your revenue increase.

How is KISSmetrics different than an Omniture or Google?

First off I want to make it clear that our solution doesn’t replace a Omniture or Google Analytics. We don’t do a lot of the things they do such as show you your bounce rate, pageviews, and time on site. Instead we focus on:

Tracking people – if someone has multiple browsers, uses multiple devices (iPhone, iPad, laptop, computer, etc.) we can tie in all of those usages into one person. This way when you are making business decisions you can do so with accurate data.

Conversion tracking – with most analytics solutions you predefine your marketing funnels. The problem with this is that there are many ways users can convert instead of one. Our system looks at all of the possible ways users are converting and it shows you the areas in your website that are causing your conversions to not be as high as they should.

Revenue – at the end of the day, you are in business to make money. From showing you your lifetime value of your customers to tracking your churn rate we show you the numbers you need to know to grow your business. Just because someone converts it doesn’t mean they are worth as much as the next user who converts. We can show you which traffic sources are causing people to spend the most money on your website in both the short run and long run.

What’s your overall goal for KISSmetrics?

My goal is to create the next big analytics companies. Solutions like Omniture and Google Analytics are great, and I actually use Google Analytics every day because I love it, but it’s harder for these big companies to continue to innovate.

See, these analytics solutions were built a long time ago for the web 1.0. The problem is the web has evolved and people have different tracking needs. So with KISSmetrics our goal is to solve these tracking problems so that companies don’t have to waste millions of dollars building in house analytics tools.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Unlike most startups, software as a service companies typically are around much longer before they flop, get sold, or go public. I love what I am currently doing and still want to be at KISSmetrics shooting to create the next big analytics company.

In addition to that I do want to focus more of my time in the non-profit world. There are a lot of great causes out there and one that really resonates with me is just helping out entrepreneurs. I want to spend a portion of my day giving back to the entrepreneur community so that we can have more people who are innovating and solving problems.

If you are passionate about something, get out there and do it. Don’t be afraid just because you are going into an unknown territory that you don’t know much about. There are millions of people out there who are willing to help, you just have to shoot off and email or make a call. You’ll be surprised on how many people respond back.

In addition to that you also need to make sure you are solving a real problem. One that people are experiencing today and are willing to pay to get solved. And ideally something that hasn’t been solved by another company. If you can do this, you’ll create a company that isn’t just making money, but it’s helping make people’s lives better.

Thanks Neil!

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