Answer Boxes Are Personalized And Brands Should Capitalize On It

May 19th, 2016

We have been doing some research into Google’s Answer Box and discovered that what is served as an answer is dependent on search personalization. In the screenshots below there are two different results for the search “michael strahan net worth”. This first one is when logged into a browser:

Personalized Google Answer Box

And this one is from incognito mode:

Google Answer Box Incognito

How Brands Can Capitalize on Personalized Answer Boxes

Now to me, there is tons of opportunity to improve the performance of your search channel with this knowledge. Let’s use The Home Depot as an example. They are a large brand that has eCommerce store that drives significant revenue for the brand. It also is a heavily trafficked site with millions of monthly visitors. They could easily take an eCommerce category and build an Answer Box strategy around it. Let’s take smokers/grills as an example, as it’s a category I know a little about. The strategy process would look something like this:

  1. Find Money Category (Smokers/Grills)
    • If you are internal at The Home Depot you likely have easy access to this data, if you are an agency just ask your client.
    • Lots of people have bought or looked at products in this category, so you have a large, monetized user base.
    • This category has lots of ancillary products that purchasers will need over their lifetime. Smokers is a great example of this as people will need charcoal, wood and accessories over the lifetime of owning their smoker.
  2. Compile List of Related Products/Terms for Money Category
    • For smokers it’s things like charcoal, charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal, wood, wood chunks, wood chips, apple wood chunks, smoker accessories, tongs for smoker etc.
  3. Create content around these ancillary products
    • For example you could put together a guide on charcoal. This guide would try to answer questions like “What is the best charcoal for a smoker”.
    • You could review multiple brands, provide calls to action/links to the products on your eCommerce site etc.
    • Content can get granular, can focus all the way down to the product level e.g. “what is the best charcoal for a weber smokey mountain”

Consider how killer of a strategy this could be. Since answer boxes are personalized you know that you are already more likely to show up to a Google searcher who bought a smoker from http://www.homedepot.com/, now you are offering them trusted information about what products to purchase for their smoker as well as getting preferential placement in Google through the answer box. Obviously, there will likely need to be page level optimization done for your content, but this is killing multiple birds with one stone. You are creating synergistic content around your top products aimed and keeping your brand top of mind for repeat customers. On top of that, these guides are killer link building targets and you can use them to boost the value of not just the content pages itself, but through internal links you can help rank your product pages higher as well.

Anyone out there pursuing Answer Box SEO like this? Would love to hear how you have gone about this.


→ 2 CommentsTags: Google
Posted by Dan Leibson

GBoard SEO: Ready For Single Result Mobile SERPs?

May 12th, 2016

I just downloaded GBoard, the new Google iOS app that replaces the standard iOS keyboard with a keyboard that allows you to search Google from the board itself – and the results show up as cards at the bottom of the browser. Check it out:

Gboard appears when you start to search in an iOS browser:
Gboard App for IOS

Results show as a single card at the bottom. Scroll to the right for more results.
Gboard for iOS App Result

If this thing catches on, you’d best be ranking #1. On the other hand, no room for ads…yet.

After playing around with it a bit, I noticed the results are heavily biased towards Knowledge Graph cards. Check these KRoCs (Keyboard Results Cards) out:

Gboard search result for “Yelp”
Gboard Yelp

Tapping the card populates a URL in the browser

Which takes you to a mobile SERP for “Yelp Corporation”
Gboard Result

Yeah, that’s what I wanted. Thanks Google.

Comments Off on GBoard SEO: Ready For Single Result Mobile SERPs?Tags: Google · iOS · iOS Search · Mobile Search
Posted by Andrew Shotland

I Don’t Trust Google To Extract Data From Javascript, But…

April 22nd, 2016

Check out the “342 matches” snippet attached to the MadisonApartmentLiving.com result for “madison wi apartments“:


That “342 matches” is only visible on the MadisonApartmentLiving home page when javascript is turned on:

Madison WI Aparments

So not only is Google seeing content in JS, it considers a number + “matches” relevant enough to put it in the SERP snippet.

We always tell clients not to rely on Google to see your content that requires JS, and we still will, but GOOG is getting pretty good at this kind of thing.


→ 6 CommentsTags: Google
Posted by Andrew Shotland

Robots.txt 503 = SEO Death: A Tragedy In 4 Acts

April 20th, 2016

Another stellar entry in the long-running SEO Death series:

Robots 503 2

Robots 503 1

Robots 503 2.5

Robots 503 3

Thanks to Julie Kosbab, our Director of Enterprise SEO, for her continual inspiration…

Comments Off on Robots.txt 503 = SEO Death: A Tragedy In 4 ActsTags: Whateva
Posted by Andrew Shotland

Your Move “Speaker” Ryan…

April 13th, 2016

So Paul Ryan has said he has no interest in running for President regardless of what happens in Cleveland, but Google’s Knowledge Graph seems to have other ideas:

Who is speaker of the house

To be fair Boehner is still considered “a” Speaker of the House but who is speaker of the house right now?

WHo is speaker of the house right now

Like I said, don’t trust Google to structure your data.

h/t to Lenny Pham

Comments Off on Your Move “Speaker” Ryan…Tags: Google
Posted by Andrew Shotland