Tag Archives: serp

Hacking Google Answer Cards with Freebase (Two Weeks Left!)

Hurry up! Freebase is about to become read-only March 31, 2015.

Freebase optimization was one of the most visible methods of making a change in search results on Google. In early December, Google announced it will shut down freebase, and transfer existing data to Wikidata.

There has been a lot of seo buzz around ‘entity search’ and Freebase was always a part of that conversation. I think of Freebase as a content library that can populate a variety of different structured data coding languages.

Freebase Data as Answer Cards

For SEO purposes, I initially used Freebase to fill in information for hotels. Freebase appeared to be an extension of local SEO and also link building. NAP information needed to be accurate and comprehensive; followed links should be flowing to the proper pages. Once those Freebase fields were correct for an individual hotel, there was room to be a bit creative with the other information to include within the page.

seo freebase optimization

The key with Freebase is to focus on factual information. In this case, I populated the date of a hotel opening. Once complete, many question related search queries asking for the hotel’s opening date return the card-format search result. I do not have a specific timeline for when this card emerged following my initial entry, but it was within a few weeks. (Not able to share the client)

There are perhaps over a thousand different data points to include within an entity’s Freebase profile: attractions nearby, name of architecture, name of enclosed restaurants, number of rooms, etc.

Google Becoming the Ultimate Source?

It appears that when Freebase data is used as the source of information within an answer card, there is no link citation. Google bought Freebase from Metaweb in 2010 so I guess they don’t need to cite; just some speculation.

There are many card-format search results that do have a link citation within them.

google answer cards

What does this all mean?

Freebase was a great experiment for Google and I would say a success. It should be interesting to see how much original content was given to the search engine through the site.

I would bet that most SEOs agree answer cards are here to stay and there will be more. Dr. Pete & Moz showed a 44% increase in answer cards in September 2014. For websites & brands, it’s now an even faster race to establish authority with their space. Why? Google may cite your content within an answer card. More on this in another post perhaps.

Google Banner Ads and Possible Impact on SEO, Organic Search

Google unveiled a beta test dealing with banner ads associated to organic search results for branded searches. Search Engine Journal broke the story and highlights Southwest Airlines and Virgin America. What does this mean for SEO?

Google Banner Ad Test Virgin America Example

Well, organic results are obviously free as compared to paid search & display advertising. We also know Google is in the business of making money. What if there could be additional revenue streams from organic listings? This in addition to paid search & display revenue.

The site links associated to the banner ad are purely organic, this is one of the main reasons this new ad block is so interesting. The image is obviously an attention grabber similar to a rich snippet. Some data shows rich snippets provide an  increase in click through rates within the SERP 20-200%.

This banner ads beta launch for branded searches may be the beginning of paid rich snippet components to organic search results. These components would likely have no direct impact on organic rankings, although there are indirect links associated with the increased traffic these listings garner.

 

SERP example of google banner ads with southwest airlines

It will be interesting to see how this beta launch evolves and is opened up to all companies advertising within Google Adwords.

What do you think this means for organic search?