Archive for SEO

Gilbane Advisor 4-25-18 — deep learning value, martech size, no-click searches

Notes from the AI frontier: Applications and value of deep learning

In 2011 as the excitement about Big Data was becoming mainstream, McKinsey published what was the most useful early report for executives. Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity, took a smart and measured look at use cases and value across industries. Given the symbiotic relationship between data and AI / machine learning, companies who were paying attention and invested in Big Data then are likely positioned well ahead of others to benefit from today’s advances in machine learning technologies and techniques.

AI performance improvement by industry

McKinsey’s new report provides a knowledgeable overview using accurate terminology in their “… analysis of more than 400 use cases across 19 industries and nine business functions highlights the broad use and significant economic potential of advanced AI techniques.” Highly recommended. Read More

A flaw-by-flaw guide to Facebook’s new GDPR privacy changes

Josh Constine provides a useful take on the changes rolling out now to European users illustrated with screen shots. But I think it’s safe to say that whether they are meeting the “letter of the GDPR law” is still a matter for debate.

Overall, it seems like Facebook is complying with the letter of GDPR law, but with questionable spirit…Facebook struck the right balance in some places here. But the subtly pushy designs seem intended to steer people away from changing their defaults. Read More

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2018)

Scott Brinker has just released the latest update to his famous “Supergraphic”. The number of marketing technology vendors continues to grow. As Scott puts it, “Water continues to flow into the martech tub faster than it’s draining out.” Check out his post on what it all means and to see/download the graphic and a spreadsheet. Read More

Uh oh, click counts count less

Click quality and measurement has always been a bit iffy. But the biggest challenge to click value yet may come from a combination of mobile trends and Google’s strategy of reducing the need to click away from the search results page. Rand Fishkin’s post, New Data: How Google’s Organic & Paid CTRs Have Changed 2015-2018, looks at some interesting numbers. Back to brand marketing banners?
No-click searches desktop vs mobile

Ultimately, I think this data shows us that the future of SEO will have to account for influencing searchers without earning a click, or even knowing that a search happened. That’s going to be very frustrating for a lot of organizations. Read More

Also…

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. See all issues

Smart Content and the Pull of Search Engine Optimization

One of the conclusions of our report Smart Content in the Enterprise (forthcoming next week) is how a little bit of enrichment goes a long way. It’s important to build on your XML infrastructure, enrich your content a little bit (to the extent that your business environment is able to support), and expect to iterate over time.

Consider what happened at Citrix, reported in our case study Optimizing the Customer Experience at Citrix: Restructuring Documentation and Training for Web Delivery. The company had adopted DITA for structured publishing several years ago. Yet just repurposing the content in product manuals for print and electronic distribution, and publishing the same information as HTML and PDF documents, did not change the customer experience.

A few years ago, Citrix information specialists had a key insight: customers expected to find support information by googling the web. To be sure, there was a lot of content about various Citrix products out in cyberspace, but very little of it came directly from Citrix. Consequently the most popular solutions available via web-wide searching were not always reliable, and the detailed information from Citrix (buried in their own manuals) was rarely found.

What did Citrix do? Despite limited resources, the documentation group began to add search metadata to the product manuals. With DITA, there was already a predefined structure for topics, used to define sections, chapters, and manuals. Authors and editors could simply include additional tagged metadata that identified and classified the contents – and thus expose the information to Google and other web-wide search engines.

Nor was there a lot of time or many resources for up-front design and detailed analysis. To paraphrase a perceptive information architect we interviewed, “Getting started was a lot like throwing the stuff against a wall to see what sticks.” At first tags simply summarized existing chapter and section headings. Significantly, this was a good enough place to start.

Specifically, once Citrix was able to join the online conversation with its customers, it was also able to begin tracking popular search terms. Then over time and with successive product releases, the documentation group was able to add additional tagged metadata and provide ever more focused (and granular) content components.

What does this mean for developing smart content and leveraging the benefits of XML tagging? Certainly the more precise your content enrichment, the more findable your information is going to be. When considering the business benefits of search engine optimization, the quality of your tagging can always improve over time. But as a simple value proposition, getting started is the critical first step.