Google Adds New Features To Keep Up With What’s Trending In Search and On YouTube

Want to know what’s trending in Google search? What about the hottest videos on YouTube at this moment? Now it’s easier than ever to find out.

Google announced that as of today you can search for “2014 trends”, or an equivalent search in over 45 different languages, and Google will populate a list of the year’s top trends based on Google Trends data.

Global ZG Onebox - N5Simply click on one of the topics while in Google search to learn more about it. Google is bringing similar functionality to YouTube, but making it even better by showing you what’s trending in real-time.

If you visit you’ll see a new “Trending on YouTube” tab where you can explore a list of videos that are rising in viewership.

If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because Google launched something similar last month in the United States only, but now it has been expanded to 27 additional countries.

It sounds as though the feature has also been improved from its initial launch last month:

“The new YouTube lists in Google Trends are our most comprehensive and dynamic yet, taking Google Trends technology and building on earlier efforts that started with YouTube Trends and the YouTube Popular Now Channel.”

You may find up to 200 trending videos in this section, which will vary from day to day, so you can keep up with all the hottest new videos across the web.

So, What Exactly Are People Searching For?

Google has put together comprehensive lists of what’s trending across multiple categories within multiple countries, or you can choose to view a combined list of top global searches.

I won’t provide the entire lists here because there are far too many of them, and quite frankly it would take the fun out of you exploring them for yourself. However, I will list out some of the favorites I found during my own exploring:

  • How To Teleport: Yes, this was really one of the top searches. I wonder if anyone got the answer they were looking for.
  • Selfie Tips: Apparently there are some selfie experts out there. It is possible we’ve been doing it wrong all this time?
  • Buy Pharrell Hat: Thank goodness this trend didn’t catch on.
  • Mutant Giant Spider Dog: Always fascinating to find out what the top video of the year was, wasn’t expecting this one.

Let me know in the comments what you came across that was either interesting or unexpected.

Take Charge of Your SEO With Five Tools No One is Talking About

SEO still matters. Jean Dion recently wrote a piece detailing why search engine optimization is still very much on the plate.

You still want to use properly placed keywords, draft blog posts for people not bots, and work to build your reputation to earn legitimate links.

But, there is a lot more to SEO. See what goes into a post today, as Ethan Lyon explained on the SEER Interactive blog. There’s a whole analysis of “Who, why, what, and when” just like it is for full-blown product development – all for a blog post? Welcome to 2015 and beyond!

It’s clear that well-written content still wins hands down. Earning links is getting harder and SEO has evolved from a simple task of spraying keywords into a complicated, never-ending process of getting it all rolling together along with emphasis on UX/UI, speed, relevance, social engagement, content, and links.

Life would be easier with some awesome tools to ease up the process. 

Here are a few tools that aren’t very mainstream. But they’re feature-packed, and worth your attention. If you’re an numbers-focused marketer, you might have stumbled across some of them but didn’t have the time to check them out. Luckily, I did the research for you.


Rank Watch

For all that work you put into content creation, basic SEO,  keyword research, and link building, you’d need a way to track, measure, analyze, and streamline your work.

RankWatch is a new tool that helps with effective, all-round and comprehensive SEO management. Featuring city-based rank tracking for geo-specific results, advanced dashboards, keyword archiving, tracking competitors, and a web page analyzer, it’s a powerful tool that helps get a lot done quicker.

RankWatch recommends potential keywords you didn’t track or consider, calculates and displays backlinks (with tons of relevant data such as follow versus nofollow, strongest pages, and deep link ratios) and gives you many ways to find the low hanging fruit.

Price – Starts from $47/month



While page relevance and quality content is still weighed for ranking, today the need for speed is critical. Google makes a point, and it sits nicely with the critical contribution fast-loading pages make for overall UX/UI experience for your customers.

Geoff Kenyon, in an insightful post on, points to research that webpage speed can boost conversions. Eric Enge also did a post on Search Engine Land that dwells on Google’s push for faster web pages.

Eric points out how conversions depend on page speeds and how different companies ran tests to determine how slow page speeds affect their respective businesses:

  • Shopzilla ran an A/B test comparing the impact of the download speed had on conversion. They found that the faster pages delivered 7% to 12% more conversions than the slower pages. Firefox ran a similar test, and saw a 15.4% increase in conversions.
  • Google and Microsoft ran a test and found that an artificially introduced delay of 500 milliseconds reduced user satisfaction by almost 1%. When the delay was increased to 2 seconds the drop in satisfaction was 4%.

Fast loading pages score points for your SEO, and a tool like GTMetrix makes for an essential inclusion in your SEO toolkit. It’s thorough, user-friendly, and it gets the job done.

Price – Free



You probably know Ontolo already. It’s been around for a long time and is a workhorse like no other. Ontolo makes the gargantuan and relentless task of link building easy by helping you “create better content, promote your content easily, and get more inbound links.”

Ontolo speeds up the backbreaking job of collecting, organizing, and prioritizing content. It allows you to identify link-building opportunities with an immediate “instant” and a comprehensive “nightly” option, finds out who links to you, who you should link to, and the contact information for every potential lead.

Price – Starts $29/month

SEO Gadget For Excel From Builtvisible

RoboForm-IMG1SEO Gadget for Excel from Builtvisible

Rand Fishkin wanted to smuggle Richard Baxter into the U.S. and chain him to a desk at Moz for the brains that he is blessed with; so we ought to know that his new, improved SEO gadget for Excel tool from Builtvisible must be something extraordinary.

This tool allows you to gather valuable link and keyword search volume data from major industry tools such as MajesticSEO, Moz, Ahrefs and SEMrush. You can uncover hidden opportunities by combining link acquisition history and search volume data without leaving your Excel Sheet.

Finally, it gives you a great idea of which keyword groups work as real assets for your business by harnessing the Grepwords and SEMRush APIs.

Price – Free

Target CPL Calculator from Jellop

CPL Calculator

Though SEO and PPC have their own die-hard supporters, we all agree that SEO efforts are best complemented by PPC campaigns. So we need a PPC tool to go along with the SEO resources in this list.

Logging into Bing Ads or Google AdWords is pain. However, you might still want a quick check on what costs on your campaigns would be with specific parameters such as Cost Per Lead. Jellop has an easy to use Target CPL calculator that you can use to optimize your PPC/SEM campaigns. No signups needed. Giving away your email is optional.

Any paid campaign could quickly turn disastrous if you don’t know what you are doing. Plus, there’s constant optimization, tweaking, analyzing, and then relaunching. On top of it all, you have the cost. Campaigns can turn expensive quickly and it always pays to know what you spend versus ROI, overall lead acquisition costs, lifetime value of customers, etc.

For all of these concerns, the Jellop Target CPL Calculator is your answer.

Price – Free

Final Thoughts

Simple rules often have a huge impact. Keep trying out the latest and the greatest tools as and when they come out, and you’ll never be left behind in the constant race for SEO one-upmanship.

What favorite SEO tools do you use on a daily basis? Have you used any of the tools mentioned here? Please share your results, both successes and failures, in the comments below.

SEO 101: How Local SEO Changed in 2014 and How to Get Ready for 2015

Here’s an interesting piece of information you should be aware of as we head into 2015: Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times every year. As Moz points, however, that’s nothing to be worried about. Most of the time these are minor changes, but every now and then Google shakes things up significantly – think Google Panda and Google Penguin.

Regardless of the size of the update, Moz recommends marketers be aware of “the dates of these Google updates,” because it “can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimization.” And, since Google owns over 67% of the search engine market, whenever it does make a change, we have to pay attention.

While 2014 saw updates regarding Panda, as well as the removal of Authorship, it was also a very interesting year in regards to local search. This past year alone we experienced the launch of Google My Businesses, a major Pigeon update, and some significant changes with Carousel.

We’ll take a look at how these three changes have impacted local SEO and then provide a couple of tips to take with you into the next year.

Google My Business


Mark Mitchell notes on the BrightEdge Blog that “Google Places was first introduced with Google Plus (Google+) in 2011,” which became Google+ Local by 2012. This past June Google announced that this free service had been renamed to Google My Business.

Sarah Perez explained on TechCrunch that Google My Business is a suite of tools “for business owners, offering them a one-stop shop to update their business information, add photos, read reviews and, of course, use Google+.” The idea behind Google My Business is that business owners can easily update and increase their visibility on Google search, Google Maps, and Google+ through one dashboard.

In fact, as Ashley Zeckman states on SEW, you can now access the following applications on one screen:

  • Google+: You can share new text, photos, links, videos, and events.
  • Insights: Once you verify your business you are able to gain insights into your visibility, engagement, and audience.
  • Reviews: Each business is given a Google rating and you are able to manage your reviews on Google and view other reviews around the web.
  • Google Analytics: Quick access directly to your Google Analytics dashboard.
  • Start a Hangout: With the click of a button you can start or join a Hangout.

By the end of October the Google My Business App – available on both Google Play and iTunes – was beefed up so business owners could read and respond to online reviews. AsBusiness News Daily states, this means you’ll receive an alert whenever someone posts a review on Google+ Local and be able to respond to that review in a timely manner. The update to the app also works with AdWords Express so you can track ad campaigns from anywhere via your mobile device or login via desktop.

Key takeaway: Google My Business can be used by small business owners to engage their audience in one convenient location. Because of this, you can now respond to reviews quickly and keep your customers in the loop.



On July 24, Google turned the local SEO community on its head with the algorithm update, “Pigeon” – Jim Yu stated in SEW that many believed it was “the biggest Google update to the local search results since the Venice update in 2012.”  One of the biggest impacts was “directories were now being favored in the results above local businesses.” And while that may have been welcoming news for sites like Yelp, it wasn’t exactly a great day for top-ranked websites.

According to data from BrightEdge, via SEW, here were the industries hit hardest by the Pigeon update:

  • Jobs (68% decline in Google Places results)
  • Real estate (63% decline in the Google Places results)
  • Movies (36% decline in the Google Places results)
  • Insurance (11% decline in the Google Places results)

That’s not to say that it was all doom and gloom for business owners. The Pigeon update helped improve queries for the following:

  • Hospitality (28% growth in Google Places results)
  • Food (19% growth in the Google Places results)
  • Education (13% growth in the Google Places results)

Other winners included Spa (+4.64%), Shop (+4.32%), Law (+3.55%), Medical (+1.83%), Transportation (+1.31%) and Fitness (+1.12%).

What else did Pigeon have an effect on? According to Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors 2014, it also changed the importance of ranking factors. Following the update, here are the ten most important ranking factors:

  • Domain Authority of Website
  • Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
  • Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  • City, State in Landing Page Title
  • Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  • Page Authority of Landing Page URL

Here are the factors that have decreased in importance:

  • Proximity of Address to Centroid
  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
  • Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
  • Proximity of Address to Centroid of Other Businesses in Industry
  • Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
  • Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  • Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
  • Geographic Keyword in Website URL
  • Proper Category Associations

Key takeaways: Despite all the changes with the Pigeon update, you shouldn’t neglect the four main areas of local: website, links, citations, and reviews. However, after a through 5,000 page case-study, Adam Dorfman shared the following on Search Engine Land: Pigeon has not improved SERPs, strong domains are important, location matters, and you shouldn’t over-optimize your site.



In June 2013, Google debuted the Carousel feature for desktop searches. These interactive, horizontal listings included images you could scroll if you searched for something like “Seattle restaurants.” Search marketer Matthew Hunt, via Search Engine Land, discovered that “48% of searchers surveyed clicked the Carousel results, while only 14.5% clicked on the map” in 2013. Because of the popularity of this feature, it was suggested that you should use high-quality images of your business.

That was all well and good until Google decided to start shifting away Carousel over this past summer. Instead, the Big G now prefers to have a format that more closely resembles mobile searches. By mid-November, local searches for hotels, restaurants or nightlife options were replaced by a “three-pack” of ads – Bing, however, is now using the interface for local searches. Lisa Raehsler, founder and principal strategist at online advertising company Big Click Co., informed SEW that:

“Clicking on the organic results leads to a new details page where initiating a second action, like hotel reservation search, is a sponsored ad. This opens up opportunities for SEO/PPC to be more integrated and see more interactive ad units in search results.”

Key takeaway: As Tom Dibble states on Econsultancy, “this move will affect your organic traffic ranking and volume of traffic,” especially if you’re in the hospitality industry. He also notes that “the new Local 3-Pack is going to make the lives of independent and boutique properties a bit more difficult.”

Local SEO Tips for 2015


To help you prepare your local SEO strategy for 2015, here are a handful of general SEO tips.

Be Mobile-Friendly

According to research conducted by Google, in conjunction with Nielsen, consumers are spending over 15 hours per week during research on their smartphones. As smart phone usage continues to grow, it only makes sense for your business to be mobile friendly. If not, competitors could take away 68% of your smartphone traffic.

Jay Taylor argues on SEW that having a mobile-friendly site can improve click-through rate and increase both rankings and revenue. To make sure your site is mobile-friendly you can use this handy tool from Google.

Optimize Google My Business

You also want to optimize your Google My Business. Google suggests you do the following:

  • Make sure your business location is entered correctly on the map
  • Double check your business name, physical address, and phone number(s)
  • Add information such as hours of operation and payment types
  • Add your official website on the local Google+ page
  • Use specific categories, keywords and descriptions of your business
  • Encourage reviews

Get Listed

Besides being listed on Google My Business, you should also be listed on the following business directories:

Moz has an extremely useful guide on how to get local citations if you need a little more assistance in this area. And, don’t forget to make sure that your N.A.P. is consistent as well.

Be Awesome

Here’s some simple, and effective, tips on how to be successful with local search in 2015 courtesy of Greg Gifford on Search Engine Land.

  • Have useful content on your homepage
  • Include relevant and informative content on every page
  • Stop spamming keywords
  • Your title tag should summarize the page
  • Include your city and state in your title tag, H1 heading, URL, content, and alt text on images
  • Earn quality links

In short, these tips aren’t all that different from the good ol’ fashioned local SEO tactics you’ve probably used in the past.

Stay Alert

Miriam Ellis created a 6-point Pigeon-proofing checklist for local businesses for Moz that starts off with this piece of advice, “Stay tuned in to local blogs and fora and monitor the SERPs on a regular basis to watch things progress in the coming weeks and months.” She says because “the dust has not settled” on the Pigeon update, you shouldn’t “react with a complete 180 in your marketing strategy.”

Was your local SEO campaign affected by any of these changes that Google implemented this year? If so, how did you react? And, how are you planning your local SEO strategy for 2015?

LinkedIn Reveals Top 25 Skills Of 2014, SEO In The Top 5

LinkedIn recently revealed the top 25 hottest skills of 2014, which was determined after analyzing data in over 330 million LinkedIn member profiles to determine which were the most in-demand skills.

Some good news for those of us in the SEO industry— our skills came in at number 5! Marketing, programming, and other web-related skills also made up much of the top 25.

Here is the full list:

The 25 Hottest Professional Skills Of 2014

1. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
2. Middleware and Integration Software
3. Storage Systems and Management
4. Network and Information Security
5. SEO/SEM Marketing
6. Business Intelligence
7. Mobile Development
8. Web Architecture and Development Framework
9. Algorithm Design
10. Perl/Python/Ruby
11. Data Engineering and Data Warehousing
12. Marketing Campaign Management
13. Mac, Linux and Unix Systems
14. User Interface Design
15. Recruiting
16. Digital and Online Marketing
17. Computer Graphics and Animation
18. Economics
19. Java Development
20. Channel Marketing
21. SAP ERP Systems
22. Integrated Circuit (IC) Design
23. Shell Scripting Languages
24. Game Development
25. Virtualization

It’s interesting to note that LinkedIn released a similar list last year which saw social media marketing and mobile development in the top 1 and 2 positions. Now social media marketing is nowhere to be found, and mobile development fell to number 7.

Here’s what this year’s report had to say about SEO/SEM in particular:

“Marketing is back in vogue. Interestingly, another quite popular profession on the list is marketing. The focus this year was on SEO/SEM specialists, campaign managers and digital marketers – it sounds like companies are focusing on improving the performance of their efforts and focusing on digital innovation.”

LinkedIn’s report of the top 25 skills also offers a breakdown of the most sought after skills in each country. You can view the full report here.