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5 Proactive SEO Practices to Help Your Content Rank Now and in the Future

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Search engine optimization is a dynamic digital marketing strategy. One day you’re at the top of the SERPs, and the next, Google knocks your business down to page two or stops promoting your pages entirely. 

It’s the nature of SEO: algorithms change, competitors re-optimize, keywords grow more competitive, and content, no matter how fresh, eventually becomes stale. 

So how can you maintain your rankings and optimize for now and the future? A proactive approach to SEO can help your business weather the changing landscape of search and prioritize what matters most. 

To stay ahead of the curve and above your competition in the SERPs, make sure your business is deploying these five SEO practices.

5 SEO practices for staying on top

1. Invest in high-quality content

Despite the changing landscape of search, Google’s north star has always remained the same: to provide high-quality, authoritative, and high-performing web content for users. Investing in quality content always provides the best ROI. Why? Because with every algorithm update, Google refines its ability to identify quality signals that indicate better content results.

If you start with the best content, you don’t have to constantly overhaul your pages when Google releases an update, although they may need a tune-up from time to time. In terms of how to create quality content from the get-go, do the following in your content creation:

  • Focus on providing the greatest value to users. Google’s ranking factors all add up to providing the most relevant, high-performing, and helpful content to searchers. 
  • Look at the content that is already ranking on page 1. What quality signals does Google appear to be responding to? Try to emulate them in your own content creation practices.
  • Don’t shy away from fresh ideas and use your industry knowledge. Google not only looks to the content on the page, but to expert authorship and sourcing.
  • Never use fluff, but aim for a greater topical depth. Although longer content is not a ranking factor, there is a strong correlation between longer content and higher positions.

2. Always be optimizing

One common mistake that site owners make is focusing on SEO only when they initially set up their website or first publish a piece of content. But Google wants to see that site owners are actively taking care of their websites.

Publishing new blogs, updating content, repairing broken links, and other regular tasks are SEO practices that are essential to showing Google that your website is high quality and worthy of ranking for the long-term. Make sure you are constantly improving these areas of your website to show Google crawlers that you also want to provide users with the best quality web experience:

  • Speed—Ensure your web pages load quickly, especially content above the fold. Using tools like PageSpeed Insights or the Search Atlas Site Audit tool can identify issues for your team to prioritize.
  • Mobile optimization—Mobile searches accounted for 61% of organic search engine visits in the United States and continue to account for more searches than desktops. This trend is not going to change; therefore, mobile-responsive design is a must. 
  • Web development and site organization—As your content library grows, your site infrastructure needs to be prepared. If users (and Google’s web crawlers) cannot find your content, it’s useless. Identify issues with regularly scheduled technical audits.
  • Updated content—Keep your content fresh. This not only involves updating the content on your pages, but culling outdated, low-traffic, or underperforming pages.

3. Study search intent

Google has been working to better understand its users’ search intent from the beginning. So should you. Content marketing to support SEO only works if you’re providing value to your visitors, after all. 

To understand how to provide your organic visitors with value, you must understand the purpose of their search. Certain keywords imply a specific search intent. If your piece of content does not meet that search intent, not only will searchers bounce back to the search results, Google will most likely not even promote that content.

There are four primary types of search intent, and they will determine what type of content you want to create:   

  1. Navigational—When a user uses Google to find a specific website they have in mind. For example, someone looking for the AllBusiness website may type in “allbusiness articles.”
  2. Informational—The searcher wants to learn a specific piece of information; for example, “what is seo?” Informational keywords represent users who are looking for answers, expertise, or additional information through blogs, articles, or resource-driven pages.
  3. Transactional—The searcher is looking to explore shopping options, often for a specific service or product. Keywords like “men’s running shoes” or “plumbers near me” indicate a user who is ready to make a purchase and is wanting to see product- or service-related landing pages.
  4. Commercial investigation—The searcher is looking to purchase in the near future, but may not be ready to buy right now. Keywords like “best natural cleaning products” represent users who are looking to compare products for the ultimate goal of making a purchase.

Not only will better meeting search intent help improve your keyword rankings overall, this SEO practice can also help improve conversion rates from organic clicks. After winning more visitors, you can then use conversion rate optimization (CRO) to further improve your pages’ ability to convert visitors to buyers.

Backlinks have always been the primary way that Google understands the authority of web pages and whether or not to promote them. Although content and page experience are important, Google’s No. 1 ranking factor still remains the same: backlinks.

Actively seeking out linking opportunities for your website is one of the most important SEO strategies that every business should implement, and it’s also the most impactful. One reason why top web pages stay at the top of the SERPs for years is because they have accumulated large amounts of PageRank via the many other websites that link to them. 

Although your business cannot control whether another website links to yours, there are ways that you can be proactively seeking out backlink opportunities and building offsite signals for your website. Some great ways to build links include:

  • Getting listed in online directories—For local businesses, in particular, this is one of the easiest and most affordable ways (under $100) to start building your site authority. Industry-specific directories are ideal for starting to build strong offsite or local signals in the eyes of Google crawlers.
  • Guest blogging—Webmasters and publishers are always on the hunt for good content. If you provide that content for them, it can often mean a link back to your website in your author byline, or even sometimes in the context of the article.
  • Outsource your link building—If you don’t have an in-house team to create original content or do manual outreach to other publishers in your industry, consider the help of a link-building agency. SEO and marketing agencies often have teams of content creators in-house and strong relationships with established websites.

Making link building outreach an integral part of your marketing and public relations efforts is one of the most important SEO practices you can implement. The efforts produce benefits across all of your web pages and elevate your SEO performance now and in the future.

5. Leverage your SEO metrics

Your website’s search metrics are the equivalent of health vitals. Tracking your keyword rankings and other key search metrics can help you understand the overall health of your website and iterate on your SEO strategy to make more targeted, impactful optimizations. 

If you see a sudden drop in one of your top-performing pages, it’s time to jump into action. If your CTRs, site visibility, and overall keyword positions have an upward trajectory, your strategy is most likely working, and you should redeploy similar optimizations on other pages of your website.

Although organic clicks are the ultimate goal of search engine optimization, there are other key performance metrics your business should be tracking:

  • Impressions—The number of times a page on your site has appeared in search results. Lots of impressions for multiple relevant keywords is one of the first signals that your optimizations are on the right track.
  • Total keywords—The total number of keywords that your website (or a specific web page) ranks for. Longer, in-depth content, and publishing more content to your website, can increase the total number of keywords your web pages show up for in search.
  • Rank position—The position of your web pages in the SERPs for a specific keyword queries. Higher positions earn more organic clicks, so identifying keywords where your web pages can rank in position 1-3 are essential to ranking for the long-term.
  • Site authority—An authority metric that quantifies a website’s offsite signals through backlinks and referring domains. The most popular site authority metrics include Domain Rating and Domain Authority.

Paying attention to these SEO vitals, and leveraging them to your advantage, is one of the most essential SEO practices to earn organic rankings in the short term and maintain those top positions over the years.

Google rewards proactive SEO practices

When you take a best practices, proactive approach, Google responds. Google likes to see site owners take the time to update their content and page experience and improve upon it for users.

The results? Longevity, stability, and less troubleshooting and revision in the future. It also means sustainable, scalable growth that helps your business maintain your content’s foothold in the SERPs for the long haul.

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Unveiling the Digital Evolution: Web2 vs. Web3 – Understanding the Shift Towards Decentralization and Blockchain

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Introduction:

The transition from Web2 to Web3 marks a significant paradigm shift in the ever-evolving Internet landscape. Web2, characterized by centralized platforms like Facebook and Google, is giving way to Web3, a new era embracing decentralization and blockchain technology. This article delves into the differences between Web2 and Web3, exploring the implications of this digital evolution on our online experiences and interactions.

Understanding Web2:

Web2, the current internet era, is dominated by centralized platforms that control and shape our online activities. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have established themselves as giants, offering services that rely on centralized servers and databases to function. Users interact with these platforms through interfaces designed and controlled by the companies, giving rise to concerns over data privacy, censorship, and control.

The Rise of Web3:

Web3 represents a departure from the centralized model of Web2, embracing decentralization and blockchain technology. In Web3, users have greater control over their data and digital identities, thanks to decentralized networks that operate without a central authority. Blockchain, the underlying technology powering Web3, enables secure and transparent transactions, smart contracts, and decentralized applications (dApps).

Key Differences Between Web2 and Web3:

Centralization vs. Decentralization:

One of the fundamental distinctions between Web2 and Web3 is the approach to centralization. Web2 relies on centralized servers and platforms controlled by a single entity, while Web3 operates on decentralized networks where power is distributed among participants. This shift towards decentralization in Web3 promotes transparency, security, and user empowerment.

Data Ownership and Privacy:

In Web2, users often surrender their data to centralized platforms, which can lead to privacy concerns and data breaches. Web3, on the other hand, prioritizes data ownership and privacy by leveraging blockchain technology to give users control over their personal information. This shift empowers individuals to manage and monetize their data securely.

Trust and Security:

Centralized platforms in Web2 require users to trust the platform provider with their data and transactions. In Web3, trust is established through decentralized consensus mechanisms, such as blockchain’s immutability and transparency. This enhanced security model in Web3 reduces the risk of fraud, censorship, and manipulation, fostering a more trustworthy digital environment.

Implications of Web3 Adoption:

Decentralized Finance (DeFi):

Web3 has paved the way for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications that offer financial services without intermediaries. DeFi platforms leverage blockchain technology to enable peer-to-peer transactions, lending, borrowing, and trading, revolutionizing the traditional financial sector.

NFTs and Digital Ownership:

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have gained popularity in the Web3 space, allowing users to tokenize and trade unique digital assets. From digital art to virtual real estate, NFTs enable creators to establish ownership rights and monetize their creations securely and transparently.

Decentralized Social Networks:

Web3 is fostering the development of decentralized social networks that prioritize user privacy, content ownership, and censorship resistance. These platforms aim to empower users by giving them control over their data and interactions, challenging the centralized model of social media in Web 2.

Conclusion:

The transition from Web2 to Web3 represents a transformative shift in the digital landscape, emphasizing decentralization, blockchain technology, and user empowerment. As we embrace the principles of Web3, we are moving towards a more transparent, secure, and inclusive Internet ecosystem that prioritizes data ownership, privacy, and trust. By understanding the differences between Web2 and Web3, we can navigate this digital evolution with awareness and adaptability, shaping the future of the Internet for generations to come.

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LinkedIn Lays Off 668 Employees Amid Slowing Hiring Activity

Introduction In a move that reflects the broader economic downturn, LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site, announced the layoff of 668 employees across its engineering, talent, and finance teams. This second round of job cuts in 2023 comes as the company faces a slowdown in hiring activity and a decline in advertising revenue. Impact […]

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linkedin job search app on an iphone

Introduction

In a move that reflects the broader economic downturn, LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site, announced the layoff of 668 employees across its engineering, talent, and finance teams. This second round of job cuts in 2023 comes as the company faces a slowdown in hiring activity and a decline in advertising revenue.

Impact of Layoffs

The layoffs, affecting more than 3% of LinkedIn’s global workforce, are a significant blow to the company and its employees. The affected individuals will undoubtedly face challenges in finding new employment amidst a tightening job market.

Reasons for Layoffs

Several factors have contributed to LinkedIn’s decision to reduce its workforce. The company cited a slowdown in hiring activity, a decline in advertising revenue, and the need to streamline operations to remain competitive in a challenging economic environment.

Wider Implications

The layoffs at LinkedIn are not an isolated incident. The technology sector, in general, has been experiencing a wave of job cuts as companies grapple with economic uncertainty and shifting market conditions. This trend is likely to continue in the near future, posing challenges for both employers and employees in the tech industry.

LinkedIn’s Response

LinkedIn has acknowledged the impact of the layoffs on its employees and has committed to providing them with severance packages and outplacement services. The company has also expressed its intention to continue investing in its core business and to emerge stronger from this period of economic uncertainty.

Conclusion

The layoffs at LinkedIn serve as a reminder of the volatile nature of the tech industry and the broader economy. While the company faces immediate challenges, it remains optimistic about its long-term prospects and is committed to adapting to the changing landscape.

FAQs

Q: How many employees were laid off by LinkedIn?

A: LinkedIn laid off 668 employees, representing more than 3% of its global workforce.

Q: Which departments were affected by the layoffs?

A: The layoffs primarily impacted LinkedIn’s engineering, talent, and finance teams.

Q: What are the reasons for the layoffs?

A: LinkedIn attributed the layoffs to a slowdown in hiring activity, a decline in advertising revenue, and the need to streamline operations in a challenging economic environment.

Q: How will the layoffs affect the company and its employees?

A: The layoffs will undoubtedly impact LinkedIn’s operations and morale, while the affected employees will face challenges in finding new employment.

Q: What is LinkedIn doing to support the laid-off employees?

A: LinkedIn is providing severance packages and outplacement services to assist the affected employees in their job search.

Q: What are the broader implications of the layoffs in the tech industry?

A: The layoffs at LinkedIn reflect a wider trend of job cuts in the tech sector as companies adapt to economic uncertainty and shifting market conditions.

Q: What is LinkedIn’s outlook for the future?

A: Despite the immediate challenges, LinkedIn remains optimistic about its long-term prospects and is committed to adapting to the changing economic landscape.

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Closure of Microsoft’s Activision Deal Approaches as British Approval Nears

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Introduction

In a groundbreaking move that could reshape the landscape of the gaming industry, Microsoft is closing in on a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s largest and most influential video game companies. This monumental acquisition has been making headlines worldwide, and the recent signal of approval from Britain has added a significant chapter to the unfolding story.

With an ever-growing appetite for gaming content and an expanding portfolio of successful gaming-related ventures, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is poised to be a game-changer. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details of this historic deal, its potential impact on the gaming industry, and what it means for gamers and investors alike.

The Microsoft-Activision Deal: A Closer Look

Microsoft’s pursuit of Activision Blizzard has been anything but subtle. The tech giant, known for its Windows operating system, Xbox gaming consoles, and cloud services, has been on a mission to bolster its presence in the gaming world. The proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a gaming behemoth responsible for iconic titles like “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Candy Crush,” represents a significant step towards achieving this goal.

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the deal was valued at a staggering $68.7 billion. However, keep in mind that figures might have evolved since then, as such deals tend to be dynamic and subject to regulatory approvals.

The British Regulatory Signal

One of the crucial developments in this ongoing saga was the signal of approval from Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In February 2023, the CMA announced that it had no competition concerns regarding the proposed acquisition. This decision is pivotal, as it indicates a significant step towards the deal’s completion.

The CMA’s approval comes after months of rigorous scrutiny, where they assessed the potential impacts of the merger on competition in the gaming industry. The fact that Britain, a major player in the global gaming market, has signalled approval underscores the deal’s global implications.

Why This Deal Matters

  1. Consolidation of Power: The gaming industry has witnessed a trend of consolidation in recent years, with big players acquiring smaller studios and publishers. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is arguably the most significant move in this direction, giving them even more control over a vast array of popular gaming franchises.
  2. Content Is King: In today’s gaming landscape, content is king. Microsoft is not just acquiring a company; it’s acquiring a treasure trove of iconic game franchises. “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Candy Crush” are household names in gaming, and they have the potential to be leveraged across various Microsoft platforms and services.
  3. Expanding the Xbox Ecosystem: Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem is about more than just gaming consoles; it encompasses PC gaming, cloud gaming via Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly known as Project xCloud), and Xbox Game Pass. The acquisition of Activision Blizzard adds a plethora of content to this ecosystem, making it even more attractive to gamers.
  4. Competition and Regulatory Scrutiny: The gaming industry is no stranger to regulatory scrutiny. As gaming companies grow in size and influence, concerns about competition, consumer rights, and data privacy become more pronounced. The CMA’s decision to approve the Microsoft Activision deal is a significant marker in the ongoing conversation about regulating the gaming industry.
  5. Impact on Competitors: The Microsoft-Activision deal could have far-reaching consequences for competitors like Sony, Nintendo, and other major gaming studios. It could lead to more exclusive titles for Xbox platforms, potentially tilting the balance in the console wars.

Impact on Gamers

For gamers, this acquisition raises a myriad of questions and possibilities. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Exclusive Titles: Historically, exclusive titles have been a major driver of console sales. With Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, we could see more iconic franchises becoming Xbox exclusives. This could be a double-edged sword, offering exciting content to Xbox gamers but potentially leaving others in the cold.
  2. Cross-Platform Play: Microsoft has been a proponent of cross-platform play, allowing gamers on different consoles and PCs to play together. This acquisition might further push this agenda, leading to a more interconnected gaming world.
  3. Subscription Services: Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that offers access to a vast library of games, could benefit immensely from the addition of Activision’s titles. Gamers may see more blockbuster titles available through this service, providing incredible value for subscribers.
  4. Innovation: With Microsoft’s deep pockets and commitment to innovation, we might see advancements in gaming technology and experiences. Cloud gaming, virtual reality, and augmented reality are all areas that Microsoft has been exploring, and the acquisition of Activision could accelerate these endeavours.
  5. Long-Term Impact: While this deal may lead to exciting developments in the short term, gamers should also consider the long-term effects. How will the industry evolve, and how will this deal shape the gaming landscape for years to come?

Impact on Investors

Investors, too, are closely watching this deal and its potential repercussions. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Stock Market Dynamics: The stock prices of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have been affected by news and developments related to this acquisition. Investors need to keep a close eye on market trends and expert analyses to make informed decisions.
  2. Potential for Growth: If the acquisition is successful, Microsoft’s gaming division could experience significant growth. This could be reflected in the company’s stock performance and dividends.
  3. Risks and Uncertainties: Like any major acquisition, this deal comes with risks and uncertainties. Regulatory hurdles, integration challenges, and market dynamics could impact the investment’s success.
  4. Diversification: For investors with holdings in the gaming industry, this acquisition could lead to a more concentrated portfolio. Diversification strategies may need to be adjusted accordingly.
  5. Industry Trends: This deal is a reflection of broader trends in the technology and entertainment industries. Understanding these trends can help investors anticipate future opportunities and challenges.

Conclusion

Microsoft’s imminent acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a game-changing development in the gaming industry. The recent signal of approval from Britain’s CMA is a significant step towards the deal’s completion, but it’s not the end of the story. The impact of this acquisition will reverberate through the gaming world, affecting gamers, investors, competitors, and the industry as a whole.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial for all stakeholders to stay informed and adapt to the changing landscape. The Microsoft-Activision deal is just one chapter in the ongoing saga of innovation, competition, and creativity that defines the world of gaming. How this story unfolds will be watched with bated breath by millions of gamers and investors worldwide, eager to see what the future holds for their favourite pastime and its key players.

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