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Surviving Google: SEO in 202045:29 with Pete Meyers
Organic results are disappearing, replaced by Knowledge Graph, direct answers, new ad hybrids, and more. How can SEOs be ready for Google in five years?
[MUSIC] 0:00 Thank you. 0:07 Good morning, MozCon. 0:07 >> Morning. 0:09 >> My fourth time up here, it's great to be back. 0:11 Thank you for having me back. 0:13 I love you guys, and I could be all mushy for five minutes, but 0:14 it's gonna move fast today, and so I need to get started so buckle in. 0:18 I wanna take you on a journey today into the near future. 0:22 And unlike my friend Barry Allen, I can't run so fast that I travel through time, so 0:28 I have to cheat a little bit. 0:32 And how we cheat is this, I watch what Google's doing, 0:34 I watch what they have done in the recent past and I think sometimes as SEOs and 0:38 as marketers, we see what they do and all we do is react. 0:43 We look at our rankings and we go, what do I do now? 0:45 And what did they do, and what did they do to me, and why did it go up, and 0:49 why did it go down? 0:51 And we don't see the story behind what they're doing. 0:53 And so today, what I'd like to do is take a few themes, show you what's happened in 0:55 the last few months, in the last year and try to show you the philosophy behind 0:59 that and where it's going to take us in the next couple of years, and 1:03 hopefully a little bit about what we can do about that. 1:06 I have been accused of scaring people in some of my thoughts, and I'm gonna try and 1:08 make it a little actionable but it might be a little scary too. 1:12 So a little nostalgia, first of all. 1:16 This is the good old days. 1:18 Remember, ten blue links. 1:19 It was all organic. 1:21 You have to have some pretty weird, 1:23 boring queries like boring SEO blog ideas today to see ten blue links. 1:25 Even the search for ten blue links brings up paid results. 1:30 I don't know, I guess this is a chain link fence. 1:36 I don't know why you would have this. 1:39 I want you to note here that Google is selling links on this page. 1:41 >> [APPLAUSE] [LAUGH] >> You want to point that out to them? 1:45 Come on, Google. 1:48 What are you doing? 1:49 But today, too often what we're more likely to see is something like this. 1:51 Obviously, a very competitive commercial query for wedding rings. 1:57 We've got ads on the top. 2:01 We've got ads on the side. 2:02 We got a huge page shopping block. 2:04 We have an answer box for Google calls that feature snippets, the new answer box. 2:05 And there on the bottom left is almost one entire organic result. 2:10 This is a high risk training, I'm not cheating on this. 2:14 And you see that more about wedding rings, so 2:18 if you were to click on that then we have an organic anonymous page. 2:19 And yes, I'm cherry picking a little bit. 2:26 I'm gonna show you the worst just for fun. 2:28 But you may be thinking this is the exception, and 2:31 I wanna show you that it's not. 2:34 So let me take you through some data really quickly. 2:36 This is data from about two weeks ago, the very end of June. 2:38 This is from the Mozcast 10k so this is 10,000 keywords. 2:41 Pretty fairly distributed across competition and volume. 2:45 They're fairly commercial. 2:49 So if we look at just serps with verticals. 2:51 News results, image, in depth. 2:53 Almost half of the 10,000 serps in our set have some kind of vertical. 2:55 We added a knowledge graph. 3:00 Knowledge panel's on the right. 3:01 Knowledge card's on the top. 3:03 Featured snippets, the new ones. 3:04 We're up to 64%, almost two-thirds of the serps in our set have either verticals, 3:05 knowledge graph or both. 3:10 We add in what I call enhancements, so this is video thumbnails. 3:13 The mega videos, the big ones at the top, review stars, sitelinks, 3:16 which really dominate the number one position. 3:20 We're up to four out of five. 3:22 80% have one or more of these features. 3:24 We had a local traditional packs, one boxes, the snack packs 82%. 3:28 I don't want you to think that that means local is only 2%. 3:33 This is additive. 3:36 Local in our set is about 15%. 3:37 But what it's showing you is that many of these serps have more than one element. 3:40 And if we add in paid AdWords and shopping, we're up to 97%. 3:45 So 97 out of 100 of the serps in our data set do not have links, only 3% do. 3:48 So this is not the exception, this is our new reality. 3:54 So let's talk about what's been happening. 4:00 And I apologize, I'm gonna talk really fast today. 4:01 [LAUGH] I've been five minutes over every practice run, and 4:04 it's been fast even when I started. 4:07 So a lot has happened to Knowledge Graph in the past year, 4:09 and I wanna take you through it. 4:12 You may know how this works, but 4:14 I wanna give you a little taste of what we've had so far. 4:15 So you use to the answer box at the top, what they called the Knowledge Card and 4:17 we get a question like, how tall is the Space Needle? 4:22 And it comes back 605 feet. 4:25 And you see that panel on the right, and I think sometimes we look at that knowledge 4:28 panel and we just think of it as a chunk of text and of course, it's not. 4:32 This is a highly structured data that Google understands, 4:36 that they understand semantically. 4:38 And so if you look down there you see okay, height, 605 feet. 4:40 That comes from the structured data, so we can put that to the test. 4:45 You see right above that floor six, how many stories is the Space Needle? 4:48 I didn't even use the word floors, we get six. 4:52 You see the architects there? 4:56 Let's try again. 4:59 Space Needle architects. 4:59 Yeah, there they are. 5:00 They're in a carousel in a different format. 5:01 And you can use this to keep generating answers out of this 5:04 structured knowledge graph, and you might think this can go on forever. 5:07 But we've hit kind of an impasse. 5:12 This is Yahoo circa 2001. 5:17 And if you remember Yahoo at the time, it had a search box, but 5:20 Yahoo was not a search engine, it was a directory. 5:22 And it was a human additive directory. 5:26 And what we learned in the early days of search was this doesn't scale. 5:27 Even then it didn't scale, and now the pace of content creation has exploded. 5:32 And every experiment with it after that, services like KGB, 5:36 sites like Mahalo, unless you're in a niche that hasn't worked. 5:39 And so the irony, is till Google came along and 5:42 said we have to fully automate this. 5:44 This cannot be human edited. 5:46 And they built a search engine that was fully automated. 5:48 But they've come full circle. 5:51 And they're trying to build a knowledge graph of human created data and 5:52 it's not working. 5:56 So what do they have to do? 5:57 They have to dip into our data, they have to dip into the index and 5:59 create knowledge. 6:02 And that's what's happening. 6:03 So this is the new answer box, Google calls this a featured snippet, 6:05 I'm trying to use their language. 6:08 So you get a question, what color is the Space Needle? 6:11 It's not in the knowledge graph. 6:13 So Google goes out and look and they come back with a block of text. 6:14 And it's pretty good with paint colors like orbital olive for the body, 6:17 astronaut white for the legs, re-entry red for the saucer. 6:22 Okay, then you get a little bit at the end that doesn't quite make sense. 6:24 It was completed in 1962. 6:28 Why is that in there? 6:31 And then we see the attribution. 6:33 This came from a page on Wikipedia. 6:34 And yes, it's scraped directly from the middle of that page. 6:37 And so Google is trying to build the knowledge graph on the index 6:41 they already have. 6:44 They have to. 6:44 They can't scale it manually. 6:45 They have to use the massive data they have. 6:47 They have to use automation. 6:49 You can tell it's automation, because some of these answers are a little weird. 6:53 You might have seen this recently, this is stop pickups. 6:56 So drink waterplugged ears. 7:00 That's grammatically a little strange, but okay. 7:03 Pull your tongue out. 7:06 Yes, this may be rude. 7:07 Well, if I'm gonna pull my tongue out, I'm not worried about rudeness. 7:08 >> [LAUGH] >> Have an orgasm. 7:11 I guess that's generally good advice. 7:13 >> [LAUGH] >> I'm not gonna get 7:16 into your personal lives. 7:19 And I'm gonna just walk right past number four. 7:20 >> [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] I hope 7:22 you've solved the problem by three, let's put it that way. 7:24 >> [LAUGH] >> And so 7:27 you can tell that this is algorithm. 7:30 And it's easy to make fun, but this is an incredibly difficult problem. 7:33 And Google is trying to solve it with the algorithm. 7:36 They're trying to solve this with deep learning, and 7:38 this is incredibly disruptive. 7:42 And we're gonna see big changes coming. 7:44 The other difficulty they're trying to face is what is a question 7:46 in the first place. 7:49 Stop pickups isn't really a question in the traditional sense but 7:49 they know what you're trying to do. 7:53 So sometimes you get questions that don't make sense. 7:54 Like what car does Jesus drive? 7:57 >> [LAUGH] >> There you go. 7:58 I have a Honda, so hey cool. 8:03 Bonus points, I hope. 8:06 And this comes actually from a site with a what would Jesus drive page which is 8:08 the WWJD, and it's pretty funny actually, but so this is their difficulty. 8:12 They're trying to tell what's the question and how do we answer it? 8:16 But they are trying to do this with machines, and 8:19 they are going to only increase the phase of this. 8:21 So we can make fun, but 8:23 I think we shouldn't lose sight that they are really gonna keep moving. 8:24 We're seeing some new entities, this is kind of a dual answer box. 8:28 So the top is actually, probably coming from the knowledge graph and 8:30 the bottom is coming from the site. 8:34 So they are going to use this new knowledge system, I don't wanna use 8:36 knowledge vault cuz that's kind of taken on a different meaning, and 8:39 they're gonna build the knowledge graph, and 8:41 then they're gonna start to put these things together. 8:43 We've also seen these coming, in testing cuz people also ask box, 8:46 each of these is an answer. 8:51 And so you can expand those and Google's trying to build questions. 8:54 So if you type in VPN, they don't know what you want. 8:57 Do you wanna know what it is? 9:00 Do you wanna set one up? 9:01 And so they're trying to generate the kind of information you might be interested in. 9:02 So why are they doing this? 9:08 This is a weird thing. 9:09 When they provide this concise answer, they're disrupting the serp and 9:10 that's not only revolutionary for us, but it changes their model. 9:13 It changes their business model. 9:16 It disrupts their advertising, so why would they do it? 9:18 Well, mobile is one answer. 9:21 A small screen, you need a concise information, you need something that fits. 9:23 But there's another reason they have to do this, and hopefully this works. 9:27 >> Okay, Google. 9:32 There we go [SOUND]. 9:33 >> It's me talking to my phone. >> What is the cloud? 9:33 [SOUND] >> According to Gizmodo, 9:36 cloud is a buzzword that vaguely suggests the promise and 9:39 convenience of being able to access [CROSSTALK] files from anywhere. 9:42 But the reality is that the cloud is hardly floating like mist above our heads. 9:45 It's a physical infrastructure. 9:49 It's many computers housed in massive warehouses all over the world. 9:51 >> A little wordy, I apologize. 9:56 But that's voice search on Android. 9:57 Voice search is dependent on concise answers. 10:00 You can't have a SERP. 10:03 And as we get into, as I'll show you later, voice appliances and 10:05 voice in our car, and voice on our wearables, 10:08 where screen space is limited, this is why they need this. 10:10 And this is challenging for them. 10:13 It's challenging for us, but they don't know how they're gonna monetize this. 10:14 They don't know where it's going. 10:17 But they know that they have to have it. 10:18 And it's not just basic answers we see in a pretty complex stuff. 10:20 This is what they call live results, but, they're taking a fairly large amount of 10:25 information and putting it into one little box. 10:29 And luckily, I could show you that they last because we [INAUDIBLE]. 10:33 Something you don't know, I'm from Chicago even though I work here at Moz. 10:37 Again, this is well suited not just for mobile but also for- 10:42 >> Okay Google. 10:46 [NOISE] Blackhawks score. 10:47 [NOISE] >> The Blackhawks lost to the Lightning 10:50 4 to 3. 10:53 They are playing the Lightning today at 7 PM. 10:54 >> As a casual sports fan, that's all I needed to know. 10:57 So this is incredibly disruptive. 11:00 They're trying to figure out where they're headed with mobile and with voice, and 11:01 we're only going to see more of it. 11:04 So let's get tactical. 11:06 There is something you can do. 11:07 If this is built on my data, can I take advantage of that? 11:10 So, last year I noticed that for how much does Google make? 11:13 My post, how much does Google make? 11:16 Came up in the answer, came up in the enhance snippet. 11:18 And it wasn't a very good answer. 11:22 You know it started a little weird, 11:23 this post has nothing to do with SEO, okay, thanks. 11:25 But every once in a while, blah, blah, 11:28 blah, they made this is in 2010, well this is 2014. 11:29 And even though this was my post, that was a pretty lousy answer to the question and 11:32 I thought well maybe we could change that and so I rewrote the top of the post and 11:36 I tried to make it user-friendly. 11:40 Since this post was written, Google's revenues have roughly doubled. 11:42 Here's what they are in 2013. 11:45 Here's where they're headed. 11:45 Because people landing on this, 11:48 it was a weird post, people landing on this post might just want to know that. 11:49 Let's make it friendly; let's see what happens. 11:53 And, it did change. 11:56 It took six months. 11:58 I talked to Google. 11:59 They said that shouldn't have happened, but we won't, I don't know why. 11:59 [LAUGH] But it did. 12:02 So, if it's coming from us, maybe we have some control over it. 12:04 This is a very irrelevant question. 12:10 What is page authority? 12:12 And we thought, well, maybe we should be in that box. 12:13 And interesting, the number two result was getting in that box. 12:18 So, don't tweet this, 12:20 but this is one of the rare things I ever got confirmed by Google. 12:23 I talked to Gary, and I said, 12:26 over drinks when we had a few, I think this is how it works. 12:28 Will you tell me? 12:31 And he said yes. 12:32 So this is how it works for now. 12:32 How it works is first of all, Google has to think this is a question, okay? 12:35 They do their processing, we have the Hummingbird core architecture now, 12:39 we can do that kind of thing. 12:42 They think it's a question. 12:43 They run the they decide who's gonna land on page one. 12:44 But from page one, once you've cleared the page one hurdle, 12:49 they look at those results and try to find the one that best matches the question. 12:52 And that's really more of a text semantic kind of process. 12:56 So once you've cleared the page one hurdle, you're eligible to be in that box. 13:00 You don't have to be number one. 13:04 So we said, well we are number one, we should be able to get in there. 13:06 And could we steal that box? 13:10 Steal is a, could we occupy it for the users? 13:11 I don't wanna say steal. 13:16 >> [LAUGH] >> Can we improve the experience? 13:17 And so we rewrote it, we set our title. 13:21 It's not a question, we're not using what it is. 13:24 We were kind of wordy in the intro, and yeah, six weeks later, 13:26 we were able to take that, but now we lost it again. 13:30 So I'm sorry but, it's a little tricky [LAUGH]. 13:33 But, the interesting thing about this to me, 13:36 is first of all realizing you're twice on the page. 13:38 You can get scared about this and say, oh no, Google is taking over. 13:42 But you just double dipped. 13:45 You're number one and number zero now. 13:46 But the other thing I want you to think about and 13:49 why I want you to try this is, let say you're number five and 13:51 a competitive query, and you're trying to get to number one. 13:55 That is incredibly difficult. 13:57 That takes a lot of money and a lot of links, a lot of authority. 13:58 You might be able to jump pass number one to number zero with this, 14:02 just by matching the question better. 14:05 So it may actually be easier to get from number five to number zero, 14:08 than it is to get from number five to number one. 14:11 So try it out, be a better match, be a better answer to the question. 14:14 It's good for users. 14:17 This isn't spamming, this is our metric, we should be able to answer this question. 14:18 Now, how much does Google make? 14:22 That was a better answer. 14:24 So you're improving the search experience and you're making more money. 14:25 We don't get that very often. 14:29 This is what I want you to do tactically, and this is gonna be hard to hear. 14:32 I tend to be a late adapter, and 14:36 I'm changing my tune a bit because things are moving faster. 14:38 And so I want you to think about an example, which is Authorship. 14:43 Last year Authorship went away. 14:45 And a lot of us said, ha ha, I told you so, I'm glad I didn't do that. 14:48 But Authorship was around for two to three two or three years. 14:53 And Cyrus actually did some great stuff showing you could really boost 14:58 click-through, testing, images, and things like that. 15:00 And so if you were one of those people that said, ha ha, 15:04 I'm glad I didn't waste my time on that. 15:06 Think about this. 15:08 For two to three years, people were getting double digits increases in CTR. 15:08 They were making hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of dollars for 15:13 those two to three years. 15:16 And they cashed it in, and that money was in the bank. 15:17 And when Authorship went away, sure that kinda sucked for them. 15:20 But if you said ha ha, who is the chump? 15:23 The person who waited, and then laughed, or the person who cashed it in for 15:26 two years? 15:29 So I want you to try these things, I want you to experiment. 15:31 Look at emojis recently. 15:34 I was in Australia, and we can make fun of them. 15:35 Oh, emojis in titles is idiotic. 15:37 I talked to a friend, big enterprise search person in Australia, that said hey, 15:40 I've been experimenting with this for a month. 15:43 I'm getting 16% CTR increases on a huge site. 15:45 He made thousands of dollars for two months. 15:49 And it's in the bank. 15:52 So, who's the chump, you know? 15:53 Try it out. 15:55 It's gonna take some investment. 15:57 And some of these things, Authorship was easy. 15:58 Take advantage of it while it's there. 16:02 All right, now onto the scarier stuff. 16:04 It's only going to get scarier and scarier. 16:06 Google is no longer a content curator. 16:10 They are a content creator. 16:12 And we have to be aware of this as content marketers. 16:13 So, let's start where we were, with a knowledge graph. 16:17 Sometimes knowledge entities, knowledge curves like this are so 16:20 definitive that they essentially destroy the SERP. 16:23 When is National Taco Day? 16:25 That's a thing. 16:27 There's still plenty of time to buy me a present. 16:28 >> [LAUGH] >> And there's the answer. 16:30 I trust Google. 16:33 I trust them as much as any site below it, so I'm done. 16:34 They have essentially disrupted this entire SERP with definitive content. 16:37 Oh, I'm sorry. 16:43 >> [LAUGH] >> I didn't auto play it, 16:43 thought I'd be nice. 16:47 This is the new Megavideo format. 16:48 This is content. 16:51 This isn't just a link to a video, this is their content. 16:52 It's got knowledge panel information, it dominates the SERP. 16:55 They're taking over with their own content. 16:59 Lyrics popped up earlier this year. 17:02 Again, this is content. 17:04 They are becoming content creators and they're dominating the top of these SERPs. 17:07 Data partnerships like the knowledge curves we saw. 17:11 This is rich stuff. 17:14 This isn't just the score. 17:15 They've got logos and they've got information about the schedule. 17:16 You can pull down the whole thing. 17:19 They've got video. 17:20 They're building tools. 17:22 This is appearing on queries like mortgage calculator, interest rate calculator. 17:23 This is competitive stuff. 17:28 And they're building content for a better experience, and 17:30 they're disrupting your content. 17:32 This is kinda cool, and I wanna explain to you why. 17:35 If you go on desktop and you do a search for best movies of 1985, 17:38 you get that black carousel. 17:41 It's kind of a weird experience on desktop. 17:43 But if you go on Android phone, you get this experience, 17:47 which is a lot cooler if it's on the page. 17:51 But you notice those colored boxes under the movie posters? 17:53 They're algorithmically choosing that color based on the poster. 17:58 They're designing content with the algorithm. 18:01 So machines are building content for them, machines are designing content. 18:05 They're not just displaying results. 18:08 They're going to make these results richer, and more interesting, 18:10 more disruptive, and less organic in the sense we've come to see it. 18:14 You may have seen this earlier this year. 18:19 This is the medical knowledge panels. 18:21 These are fully custom, this did not come from the Knowledge Graph. 18:25 They worked with the medical community, they created this data, they curated it. 18:27 All these images? 18:31 Custom. 18:32 This is Google as content creator. 18:33 They stepped in, they said, we need better content here. 18:35 They did it once, they will do it again. 18:38 Incredibly disruptive. 18:40 We see testing in the auto insurance space. 18:42 We've seen it. 18:46 It's been in the UK for a while. 18:47 It's gonna come to the US. 18:48 They will move in to more and more verticals. 18:49 Don't tweet this yet. 18:53 I want you to understand that this screen is fake. 18:54 So don't panic, but where could they go? 18:58 I want to show you how easy it would be, if you're in the real state. 19:01 This looks like a local snack pack. 19:05 This looks like a new local result. 19:07 What if Google bought the MLS data? 19:08 They have the money. 19:10 It would be easy. 19:11 What if they got tired of everybody posting the same shit over and 19:12 over on every real estate site in the world. 19:16 Terrible duplicate content, you know it's true even if you're in the industry. 19:19 And they just stepped in. 19:22 They said let's put that in the local search result. 19:23 And let's filter by bedrooms and bathrooms and price. 19:26 They can do it tomorrow if they wanted to, so be aware. 19:29 Google will create more content. 19:33 They will step into more spaces. 19:34 So what do we do? 19:37 That's a hard question, but I wanna try and 19:39 give you at least some strategic advice. 19:40 First of all, build deep. 19:43 Don't be an easy answer. 19:44 If you run a site that says things like, when is Mother's Day and gives the date, 19:45 okay that's useful. 19:50 But Google can wipe you off the map. 19:52 They've replaced that with the answers. 19:53 You're business model is gone. 19:54 So this is one of my babies, the Algo Change History. 19:56 This is long content, it's deep content. 19:58 We change it all the time, we update it. 20:01 It's hard to replace this with a little box. 20:03 And because it's about the Google Algo, 20:05 they don't ever wanna show that little box. 20:07 So it's about the safest content I could ever build. 20:09 Add real value. 20:12 My wife works through one of the big three credit firms, I won't say which one. 20:13 And so it's funny. 20:18 Credit Karma is one of their competitors. 20:18 And we often use it and talk about how great it is, and 20:20 how scary that is for them. 20:22 Because if you're in the business where your business is credit scores, 20:24 what if Google decided to just put that credit score in a box? 20:27 And they might. 20:31 So what Credit Karma does, it's cool, 20:33 is they actually show you what that score's based on and how to improve it. 20:34 And it's actionable stuff. 20:38 It's not vague, weird advice. 20:39 We've actually increased our credit score 30 points, by using this advice. 20:41 And so they're adding real value. 20:45 They're adding insight. 20:47 They can't put that insight in a box and easily replace you. 20:48 And step it up. 20:52 This is site called EuroSport. 20:53 This is from the Women's World Cup. 20:54 This is kind of cool. 20:55 There's a timeline on the top, horizontally. 20:56 You click on it and it pops to the event in the vertical timeline. 20:59 And you can see highlights or you can see the whole thing. 21:02 And you can see Tweets and you can see video snippets. 21:04 And if you're not a casual sports fan and you're really into it, 21:07 this is the kind of thing you wanna see. 21:10 So if you're in that business and all you wanna see is the score, 21:11 you've already been replaced. 21:14 So you're gonna have to step it up. 21:16 All right, real quick. 21:17 We're gonna talk about mobile, because we've all been worried about it. 21:20 And mobilegeddon, the mobile friendly update. 21:23 For anyone from Google listening, they don't like mobilegeddon. 21:26 And to be fair, how much of a geddon was it? 21:30 Well, not much. 21:34 Don't worry about the students. 21:36 This is data from Moz guest mobile, about a month before launch. 21:38 We rolled out a separate mobile version to see how was going. 21:41 How much were rankings changing from day to day? 21:46 An average day on Moz guest is tune to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 21:48 And so they told us that mobile getting rolled out April 21st and 21:53 was gonna take a couple weeks. 21:57 We saw a bump on April 22nd. 21:59 And a bump relative to desktop, but it wasn't a big bump. 22:02 And so it was easy to kinda go, all right, well, what was that all about? 22:05 I'll tell you a couple things. 22:10 First of all, Google did get what they wanted. 22:10 This is two months of data, 22:13 there's a little separation at the beginning and the end. 22:14 If you look at the number of in our mobile data set that had the mobile friendly tag, 22:18 the number of URL, sorry. 22:22 In early April, it was about two-thirds. 22:25 It was about 66%, which is surprisingly large. 22:27 We saw a bump on April 22nd. 22:30 But unlike the this number continued to increase. 22:32 And now we're closer to 80%, we're about 78. 22:36 So about four in five of the we see in mobile, have the mobile-friendly tag. 22:38 And this is what Google wanted. 22:42 And I think it's easy to look at this and say it was just fud, 22:44 this was just them crying wolf to get us to change. 22:47 And yes, it was. 22:50 Make no mistake. 22:51 They got us to change because that's cheaper and easier and 22:52 less risky than updating the algorithm. 22:55 There's incredible collateral damage for an update like this. 22:57 So they got us to change. 23:01 But because they got us to change, 23:02 don't make the mistake of thinking that they're not serious about mobile. 23:03 And I wanna tell you why, quickly. 23:07 This is data from Mary Meeker's annual report. 23:10 Mobile eclipsed half of usage early this year. 23:14 Google has said the same thing. 23:17 Mobile has eclipsed half of searches in the U.S. and a few other countries. 23:19 Now it's interesting, and Rand pointed this out. 23:23 If you see desktop and laptop, it hasn't really gone down that much. 23:25 There was a little dip. 23:28 But if you're looking at that number and you're saying, 23:30 my desktop traffic hasn't gone down, I don't need to worry about this. 23:33 You're not realizing that you're missing half of your opportunity. 23:36 And so I think you have to be careful. 23:40 This is a study, the multi device world study from 2012 by Google. 23:43 In 2012, they determined that 65% of searches started on smartphone, 23:47 even commercial. 23:52 Now what's interesting is that, they found out that it's part of a journey. 23:53 So sometimes I think we talk like there's smartphone and there's tablet and 23:57 there's desktop. 24:00 And those are all different things. 24:01 No. 24:02 We watch something on TV, we see something happen, we look at our phones, 24:03 we put it in our pocket. 24:05 And later, we go follow up on our computers and our panels. 24:06 And we go back and forth and this is only going to increase, and 24:10 this was three years ago. 24:12 So mobile is serious, Google knows it's serious. 24:14 And Google is scared, believe me. 24:16 They saw CT Airs drop precipitously on mobile. 24:19 They were worried about their $60 billion in advertising. 24:23 And they changed their tune, and they did this. 24:26 Last year, there was a pretty big redesign. 24:29 And Jon Wiley, one of the lead designers at Google said, 24:31 towards the end of last year we launched some pretty big design improvements for 24:34 search on mobile and tablet, mobile-first. 24:38 The bolding is mine, the underline, the exclamation point and 24:41 the smiley are all Jon's. 24:45 Mobile-first is serious. 24:47 Google felt that they were in danger and 24:48 they changed to a mobile-first design strategy. 24:51 If you don't believe me, let's look at a few. 24:53 Christopher Lee, a little shout out, passed away earlier this year. 24:56 If you don't know it besides being awesome, he sang metal songs and 25:00 had a couple of metal albums. 25:03 And so this is a carousel of his songs. 25:05 And on the desktop, it's a little weird. 25:08 It scrolls horizontally. 25:10 It kinda doesn't fit. 25:13 It disrupts the surf. 25:13 Well, here's what it looks like on Android. 25:15 It's single panel, it's nice, it looks good. 25:17 You scroll with the finger swipe, it makes sense. 25:20 This was designed for mobile, rolled out to desktop. 25:22 The new local snack pack, it's kinda strange. 25:26 It floats in space. 25:28 This is the snack pack on mobile. 25:31 It fits the screen, it's got a map, it's easy to filter. 25:34 If you scroll horizontally through options, you can actually have a complete 25:37 local experience without ever seeing the organic surface below it. 25:41 This was built for mobile and adapted to desktop. 25:44 Remember this? We just saw this one. 25:48 Built for mobile, adapted to desktop. 25:50 We're going to see this more and more. 25:54 So don't look at mobilegeddon and say, this was just fluke, 25:56 this was Google playing around around with us. 26:00 Google takes mobile incredibly seriously, and that will continue. 26:01 And there will be a real mobilegeddon, whether it's all at once or gradual. 26:05 I think it will be gradual. 26:08 So what do you do? 26:10 Well, Cindy's up after me and she's gonna say a lot of smart things about mobile. 26:11 And so I'm not gonna say anything more, cuz I might sound dumb in retrospect. 26:14 But do this, run your numbers. 26:18 First of all, there are two goals. 26:19 One is, are you creating a good mobile experience for your users and 26:21 do your users need that? 26:24 That depends on you, that depends on your niche, that depends on your users and 26:25 how savvy they are. 26:29 The other is, how do we get that mobile friendly tag and 26:31 convince Google that we're mobile friendly? 26:33 Those goals right now are not quite the same. 26:36 And so, what I want you to do is, do the math. 26:39 Figure out what it would cost you to get there, and what you would gain from it, 26:41 and be serious about it. 26:44 And don't keep putting it off. 26:45 So just take it seriously. 26:47 Run the numbers, decide where you need to be. 26:48 All right, it only gets worse. 26:52 We're [INAUDIBLE] to paid. 26:53 These are what I call, The Ad Hybrids. 26:55 The snack pack launch and something came with it, and 26:59 rolled out to organic, which was paid hotel booking. 27:02 So if you do a search like Grand Hyatt Seattle, 27:05 you can book a room right in the knowledge panel. 27:07 And this is a little scary, because Google has trained us to look at that thing to 27:11 the right and think of it as trusted knowledge. 27:16 Think of it as unbiased information. 27:18 And so what we're starting to see is paid information popping up in there. 27:21 And incredibly disruptive. 27:24 If you're looking to book at room, this is useful. 27:26 We get a bunch of these have rolled out. 27:30 This is paid product. 27:31 It looks like a knowledge panel, very competitive search for iPhone 6. 27:33 You see some specs, but the entire top is places to buy, and that's all sponsored. 27:37 This is an ad. 27:42 Movies? Another shout out, 27:45 you can watch it right now on Google Play. 27:47 This is an ad in the knowledge panel. 27:49 Music, another ad. 27:52 Books just rolled out this month, we think, we're not sure. 27:56 Video games also rolled out, we're gonna see more if they're on Google Play. 27:59 It's an ad. 28:04 This is a tricky one. 28:06 You remember those lyrics? 28:07 If you go to the bottom, full lyrics are on Google Play. 28:08 Guess what? 28:13 You can buy the song there. 28:14 This is an ad. 28:17 Why did Google move into the lyric space? 28:19 Because Google owns Google Play and they can sell music. 28:21 This is an ad. 28:24 Google is a commercial ecosystem. 28:27 They are more than search. 28:29 Yes, they make most of their money on advertising. 28:30 And that is their strength and their danger. 28:32 But they have Google Play now. 28:34 They have this app ecosystem. 28:36 Rand showed you the app pack. 28:38 This is a competitive search, this is job search. 28:40 This isn't Transformers video games or Girl's Math Games, 28:42 or the things you think of is app related. 28:47 This is competitive. 28:50 Not only that, but these app packs, they can go up to six results. 28:53 And unlike a vertical, you might know about news, in depth and 28:56 images take away one organic spot. 29:00 No matter how many there are, they take away one spot. 29:03 App packs, every single app on android takes away a spot. 29:06 So if you have six apps, you loose six organic spots on page 1. 29:09 That's massively disruptive, and all of this is part of Google's paid ecosystem. 29:14 If you wanna know what's coming, look to mobile. 29:17 This is car dealerships, nearby. 29:21 This is available on mobile, it comes and goes. 29:24 They're testing. 29:26 It will come to desktop, I'm pretty sure. 29:27 The interesting thing to me about this is the intersection of knowledge graph, 29:30 page results, and local. 29:33 And it's incredibly powerful. 29:36 If you're look to buy, if you're looking for a local dealership, 29:37 this is incredibly powerful. 29:40 And it's useful, and it will change the game if you're in that industry. 29:41 All right, this is fake, again. 29:46 So don't screenshot it like its a real screen. 29:49 So I wanted to think ahead a little bit and think what if we did a search for 29:53 Jurassic World and we showed no organic results. 29:57 What might that look like? 30:00 And so, we have showtimes, which you'll see now. 30:03 If you don't realize it, showtimes is paid content, it's Fandango right now, I think. 30:04 This is commercial content. 30:09 And then over on the right, let's say we had that knowledge but 30:11 Google said if you're interested in this, 30:14 maybe you'd like to watch the original Jurassic Park cuz that's already out. 30:15 So let's put some paid content in there. 30:19 And if you're interesting in Jurassic World, 30:22 maybe you'd like to buy some cool shit, like Lego Raptors, which I do. 30:23 That sounds awesome. 30:28 >> [LAUGH] >> And 30:28 what's interesting to me about this concept, is that first of all, 30:30 even though this is fake, every single one of these pieces exist today. 30:34 All Google would have to do is mix and match them. 30:40 And I apologize if they do this a month from now because this would not 30:42 be that hard. 30:45 But the other thing interesting to me about this. 30:47 First of all, it has no AdWords ads at all, and yet it's entirely paid. 30:50 But it's also a good user experience. 30:54 Arguably this is a good experience. 30:58 And this is the problem. 30:59 As SEOs sometimes we play this game. 31:00 We say this thing, which is basically, 31:02 well, Google is just going to turn everything into ads. 31:04 If you don't think so, you're stupid. 31:07 Well, that's a little naive, because yes, Google's an advertising company, but 31:10 Google needs organic, they need to bring us back. 31:14 They could just replace everything with AdWords ads today, and 31:18 they'd make a lot more money for a week or a month, and then we'd never come back. 31:21 Google needs the experience. 31:24 But this arguably is an entirely paid SERP that is an awesome experience that 31:27 might bring us back, and that's what we're gonna see. 31:31 This is just a little thing for fun. 31:35 Google awhile back, they moved from the block, the colored block with 31:39 the background, where all the adds were together, to individually labeled ads. 31:42 Now that they's done that, I think adds are gonna break out. 31:46 I think in the next three years we're gonna see adds starting to move 31:48 in between organic and become a little more seamless. 31:51 I don't why, but I think it'll happen. 31:55 So what do you do? 31:57 I know that we don't like to think about this as SEOs but 31:58 I want you to think about it. 32:00 If you are in a very competitive niche, this is wedding dress, one organic. 32:02 Images, shopping, paid, local. 32:06 If you're fighting against David's Bridal for that one organic, you're probably 32:09 going to lose unless you're a very big player and it's gonna cost you a lot. 32:13 So I don't want you to ignore all the things around it. 32:18 I want you to be aware of your paid ecosystem because it's gonna get richer, 32:20 it's gonna get more competitive. 32:24 I believe in organic, I believe in that it's a long term investment, but 32:26 I don't think you can afford to ignore these things. 32:29 Don't hide your head. 32:31 Know what's out there. 32:32 All right, can we make it through [LAUGH] all of this? 32:35 I'll have three more scary slides, and I'll try and say some nice things. 32:39 And I admit, I had a really ambitious title, SEO in 2020, cuz it sounded nice. 32:43 And truthfully, this more like SEO in 2016 to 2017. 32:48 This is coming sooner than we think. 32:52 One thing I believed for a long time, 32:56 is that we would see the SERP begin to disappear. 32:58 And if you don't think that, look at what we already have. 33:01 This isn't mobile, this is Google Maps for desktop. 33:03 Because this is what we want. 33:07 We don't want a listing of places. 33:09 You see the thing on the left, 33:10 that's actually where the snackpack essentially came from. 33:11 We want a map. 33:15 We have to think of it in terms of location. 33:16 And this is gonna become more and more common. 33:18 The SERP is already becoming a more dynamic thing. 33:19 We talked about voice, and I think it's easy to take voice for granted because 33:24 today we see voice as something we do with our phone when we can't drive our car. 33:27 We don't want to get arrested. 33:31 Voice is hands free, don't let the cops see me on Facebook. 33:33 Because we still have that screen and so we don't take voice seriously. 33:38 Well this is the Amazon Echo, I bought one earlier about a month ago. 33:41 And it's easy to see it as a toy and yes, it's still improving, but it's not. 33:45 This is a voice appliance and when you start to use it, 33:50 you start to understand how powerful voice can be. 33:52 And I have two kids, and they understand it already. 33:55 That if I'm in the room and 33:57 I need to set a timer, or I need to convert some measurements, or 33:58 I need to know the weather, it's right there, and I just talk to it. 34:01 I know people who have one, it has this silon light that follows you. 34:04 I didn't know about that, and it was really creepy the first time because 34:09 the microphone sees you and you say, Alexa is the activation word. 34:12 You're like Alexa, and it's like. 34:15 >> [LAUGH] >> Okay, I'm sorry. 34:17 So, here's a recording of Alexa. 34:22 >> Alexa, will it rain tomorrow? 34:24 >> It might rain in Hinsdale tomorrow. 34:27 There's a 40% chance. 34:29 >> This isn't, what's the weather gonna be? 34:32 I can ask, will it rain tonight? 34:34 This is powerful stuff and this is where we're headed. 34:35 And this is a challenge for everyone because the SERP's gone, and 34:38 Google's worried too. 34:41 How do they monetize this? 34:43 We don't know. 34:44 This is coming, you need to be aware. 34:46 You've seen Google Now, this is predictive search, this is search without keywords. 34:48 Google is trying to say I know you're a Cubs fan, I know where you are, 34:54 I know what stocks you're tracking, I know you seem to be driving to work and 34:57 maybe there's a lot of traffic. 35:00 They're trying to tell us what we want to know before we type. 35:02 What does that mean for keyword research? 35:04 Be aware these things are changing. 35:07 But, two messages I want you to take away. 35:09 First of all, today if you have traffic from Google, and 35:12 we all do, you have to rank to get there. 35:16 It has to come from a link on the screen. 35:19 So this is still our reality today. 35:21 We need to be aware but we also need to keep playing this game. 35:24 So Diago changed history. 35:27 This is a document people keep coming back to. 35:29 They bookmark, they social and yet 75% of our traffic still comes from search. 35:31 It comes from ranking number one for competitive terms. 35:36 So we still live in this reality. 35:39 I think we have to have a dual mentality, we have to have this awareness, we have to 35:41 know what's coming, but today this is still our reality, and this still matters. 35:46 And I think you also just have to look wider. 35:51 This doesn't seem that competitive. 35:54 It's a SERP for stencils. 35:57 And if you think purely in terms of organic and 35:59 purely in terms of your ranking, and purely in terms of where you are, 36:01 it's going to look like there's only two opportunities on this page. 36:05 And as much as I believe in SEO, I want you to realize that, in some ways, 36:10 there are 22 opportunities on this page. 36:14 And if you're missing them, you're missing 90% of the potential opportunities. 36:16 Are they all the same? 36:20 Are they all relevant to you? 36:21 Are they all the same ROI? 36:22 No, they're not. 36:23 But don't hide your head in the sand. 36:24 Be aware of this. 36:26 And finally, I wanna say this. 36:28 I want you to think short term tactically and long term strategically, 36:32 and I wanna explain why with this example. 36:36 And I needed a couple slides to justify why I'm wearing a super hero t-shirt. 36:38 So, you know? 36:41 [LAUGH] >> I know I can probably get away 36:41 with it but I have a little justification. 36:43 If you haven't seen it, this is Marvel's Fate, Marvel Studios' phase three plan. 36:46 Earlier this year, they announced every one of their movies until 2019, 36:51 with titles and dates. 36:55 Can you imagine five years ago any movie or studio doing this? 36:57 What are they doing? 37:01 It's incredibly risky. 37:02 They're telling us what products are going to launch four years from now. 37:05 What is their tactical SEO plan plan for 2019. 37:10 They don't know, 37:14 they don't fucking care what they're tactical SEO is gonna look like in 2019. 37:15 Nobody knows what's gonna happen in 2019. 37:19 But you know what? 37:21 They told us today they're building a product. 37:23 They are building links, they are building social, they are building mentions, 37:25 they are getting articles, four years in advance of the product even existing. 37:29 This is how I want you to think, today we have to be tactical. 37:35 And I know people always say, and 37:38 it's tough cuz I do a lot of, obviously data science. 37:40 And people go, oh we need actionable, we need it tactical. 37:43 Today we have to be tactical! 37:45 But if you don't have this product plan, 37:47 if you don't have something worth marketing later, you will fail. 37:49 This is a company that's saying, we will release this product in four years and 37:53 we're already building links to them and we're already building mentions to them. 37:56 And when their SEO kicks in, in mid-2018, they'll already be winning. 37:59 Can you say that? 38:05 That's what I want you to work towards. 38:06 And it's difficult, no doubt. 38:08 All right, please don't tweet this yet. 38:10 Because we don't know if it's gonna break, [LAUGH] but we're doing little tests. 38:13 We're gonna launch a little tool today, it's at mozcast.com/keyopp, 38:18 k-e-y-o-p-p, and it's based on what we're talking about, 38:22 something we're working on for future metrics. 38:26 And essentially, what we're building, is a keyword opportunity score. 38:28 So, it's based on the idea that 10 little links is 100% opportunity, 38:32 in the way we're used to thinking of it organically. 38:36 And as we get these things like knowledge panels and ads and shopping and verticals, 38:39 each of these things subtracts away from that. 38:43 And so along with some of our other metrics like keyword difficulty, 38:47 we wanna see what's left for organic. 38:49 So here's a sample, this is Starbucks, and you may say, wow, holy shit 5%, why? 38:52 Well, okay, we have six site links, and that means that basically organic 38:59 positions two, three, and four are all gone. 39:03 Organic position number one is Starbucks.com, and 39:07 unless you are starbucks.com, you're not gonna rank number one for Starbucks. 39:09 So one through four and the entire top of the CTR curve are gone. 39:14 The next one after that is news. 39:18 And there's an in-depth and there's an ad and there's a knowledge panel. 39:20 And if you look at it from a click through rate perspective, 39:24 all you're left with is the bottom four, essentially organic. 39:26 And that's not much. 39:30 So, why are you going after this server? 39:32 Unless you're Starbucks, this makes no sense. 39:34 And so we would love you to play around with this. 39:37 Just tell us what you think. 39:39 This is super, super beta. 39:40 I don't know if that's a thing, beta, beta, beta, whatever you call it. 39:42 But yeah, let us know what you think. 39:46 If it says sorry try again later, that means just try again in five minutes, 39:48 not an hour. 39:52 So please let us know what you think. 39:52 And that's it. 39:55 [APPLAUSE] >> I'm sorry, 39:56 where can people find that tool? 40:05 Where is it? 40:06 >> So it's at mozcast.com/keyopd. 40:07 We're just not sure how much load it can handle, so. 40:10 Don't put it out there quite yet [LAUGH]. 40:14 >> I know I should know this, I'm sorry I don't read my emails. 40:16 But we have the keyword difficulty tool of ours. 40:18 >> Yes. >> Is there any 40:21 chance of incorporating this someday? 40:21 >> Well, so the idea is to see how useful this is, and 40:23 potentially we're working on some numetrics. 40:26 And I don't know how much I'm supposed to say about. 40:29 Can we talk about emi? 40:31 Yes, we're working on Moz explorer and some new tools. 40:34 So this is hopefully gonna be part of that whole package and 40:38 some new ways to look at our keywords. 40:40 But for now this is just a test, 40:42 it will move into product at some point, hopefully. 40:43 >> Okay, I want to read a question from Ryan Ricketts. 40:46 Good question. 40:49 If I change our page to get a featured snippet, 40:50 won't users just adjust the answer and not click through to our site? 40:53 It's a big question a lot of people have. 40:56 >> Yeah. It's a big question. 40:57 It's a hard question. 40:58 The folks from Stone Temple who are here, Mark and Eric, obviously big names, 41:00 the NCO have done some studies and we've seen some data. 41:05 It looks like the answer is no, 41:08 that unless that answer is really really definitive, and 41:10 it ends the question essentially, people will click on that link. 41:15 We're actually seeing some click through boosts. 41:20 And again keep in mind that you've also still got that organic result, 41:21 so you've got two positions where other people only have one. 41:24 So it's not as scary as it looks. 41:28 For now, we are getting decent click through boosts. 41:31 The other thing is if you're looking at something like your competitor in that 41:34 spot, the game's already in play. 41:37 So would you rather you be in the box or they be in the box? 41:39 >> Yeah, and we can verify that on Moz for some of our snippets that have been shown. 41:42 >> We've seen it for a couple, yeah. 41:46 >> Yeah, and no traffic change really at all. 41:47 Matt Round yesterday talked about how 41:52 Google is acting as its own filter for too much content. 41:56 Panda, penguin, there's too much content, they're filtering it themselves. 42:01 You showed some examples where there are further filtering it with 42:04 the answer boxes. 42:07 Are we in danger of Google going away as it stops being a search engine? 42:08 Or being an answer, just. 42:12 >> Yeah, I don't think, you know, not everything can be answered. 42:14 Let's put it that way. 42:17 I think they have to adapt to these new modalities. 42:18 They have to adapt to things like voice in mobile. 42:21 And I think it's tough for them, because if they give you the answer and you leave, 42:23 you're not buying anything. 42:27 And so they're kinda struggling with that too. 42:29 So, no, I don't think so. 42:31 There are gonna be search results. 42:32 It's actually interesting, even on Echo if I do a search and 42:34 it can't answer it, I have an echo app on my phone, 42:38 it sends me the Bing url on my phone, so I can go back later and look up the url. 42:40 We're gonna see more of that cross modality kinda search. 42:45 I think we're gonna see a world where we can swipe the phone screen to the tv, 42:48 that's not that far off and move our search experience around. 42:52 So there will be bigger screens, there will be more results. 42:55 So if it's the kind of query where people naturally need to dig in, 42:58 there's always gonna be results. 43:03 You know we're always gonna have to filter information somehow, and 43:04 not everything has an answer. 43:07 So I think it really depends. 43:08 I think the hard thing is, it's really hard to stand up here and 43:10 give you one size fits all advice for 43:12 the next couple of years, because it's so query dependent. 43:14 It's so niche dependent. 43:18 >> So a lot of us in this room, agencies, we have clients, we report rankings. 43:20 This is a really good question from Paul Shirland. 43:25 Given Google personalization, 43:27 how repeatable are any measurements of search rank with Google in 2020? 43:29 >> Yeah, it's tough. 43:33 The short answer is we don't know. 43:37 And obviously we've built rank tracking software and we're very aware of this. 43:38 For now we don't usually see personalization have a profound impact. 43:42 But again it's like answers, not everything can be personalized. 43:46 But we're gonna see more and more of that, we're gonna see Google Map pop up more. 43:50 They just launched, what do they call that? 43:53 They basically rolled out the Google Now ecosystem to apps, so 43:56 they wanna see that be in more things. 44:01 You can only do so much with predictive search, but it's gonna matter. 44:02 It's gonna matter more and it's gonna be a challenge for all of us. 44:09 How do we track that? 44:11 How do we know what people are seeing? 44:12 Google's gonna have some of that data and 44:14 we're gonna have to find some of that data. 44:15 So yeah, it's a challenge. 44:17 I have no easy answer. 44:18 >> I don't want you to predict too much in the future, but 44:20 do you ever see regulation coming to Google? 44:23 >> I mean, I agree with what was said. 44:27 They're one of the biggest lobbies in the US right now. 44:28 We know they're a near monopoly, but they will work hard to, 44:32 [LAUGH] to say that they are, I don't know. 44:37 It's tough. Because I give Google crap, 44:39 but I use a lot of Google stuff and it's generally a good experience. 44:41 Truthfully I think something disruptive will come along before regulators 44:47 shut down Google. 44:53 One thing you have to realize about Google, and I think about this a lot, 44:54 we think of them as kind of this unstoppable giant. 44:56 They're barely a 15-year-old company and 44:59 they're entirely dependent on advertising revenue. 45:01 So if our advertising behavior changes, Google's world could change overnight. 45:04 And, so I don't think they're gonna be what they are forever. 45:09 But I don't think it's gonna be the FCC who changes that, basically. 45:13 >> It's all about disruption. 45:16 >> Yeah, it's gonna be who comes along next. 45:18 >> All right. Got a lot of questions, 45:20 I think a lot of people are gonna corner you at lunch today. 45:21 So Dr. Pete, thank you so much for being with us today. 45:24 [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you. 45:27 Take care. 45:28
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