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This week’s Ask an SEO question comes from Marcus in East Yorkshire. He asks:

If I write a piece of unique content and post it onto my business website, I then also give the same content to a third-party website who links back to me via a follow hyperlink, does this devalue the potential performance of the content on my own website or does it not affect it as it is the original source? Or would you recommend providing a new version of the same content to the third-party website?

Content syndication can be tricky.

On the one hand, you want your content to be read by as many people as possible.

But on the other hand, you want as many people as possible to come to your website.

When you put your content on someone else’s site, you run the risk that they’ll read your content, but never visit your site.

But if the content isn’t on the other site, people may never see the content at all.

And that’s not even taking into account the SEO ramifications of syndicated content.

To answer the question, we have to go to the tried and true answer to many SEO questions:

It depends.

Duplicate Content Penalty?

Despite what you may have heard, there is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty.

You will never receive a manual penalty from Google for having duplicate content on your website, or for someone else having the same content as you on their site.

But there are definitely ramifications for duplicate content.

When Google detects the same copy on two different pages, the algorithm must decide on which version of the content will rank for a specific query.

There are many factors that go into which page will rank and those factors are all weighted differently – and the weighting of those factors appears to change frequently.

There is a good chance that your page may be outranked by a site with content identical to what is on your site.

And because Google wants the SERPs to have diversity, if the other site outranks you for a specific query, there is a good chance your site won’t appear on the front page for that same query at all.

Does Google Know the Original Source?

It can be difficult for Google to know the original source of a piece of content – unless you have the ability to tell Google the original source.

Scraping content is a real problem.

Some studies estimate that up to 30% of all content on the web is duplicate content of some sort.

And there are many sites that will simply scrape the content that is ranking and post it on a site of their own in the hopes that they can outrank the original source.

The good news is that Google wants to rank the original content first – even if it doesn’t always happen.

If you are syndicating your content properly, there are several ways you can tell Google where the original content resides.

The best way is to make sure that any site that syndicates your content links back to the original version surrounded by a statement to the effect of “the original article appeared here”.

Make sure that your syndication partners link back to exact original URL and avoid any parameters.

Having a link back to the original content is also good for your link profile – so if you can do this, do it.

For further protection, you can also ask anyone syndicating your content to place a no-index tag on the page where the content resides.

This will tell Google not index the syndicated content and rank it above the original.

The syndicated content will not appear in the SERPs, and you may not get as much benefit from any links pointing back to your site.

If you are having trouble with duplicate content on your own site, educate yourself on canonicalization.

But realize that canonicalization doesn’t work for duplicate content issues caused by syndication.

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How Culturally Aware Is Your Content Marketing Strategy?

How Culturally Aware is Your Content Marketing Strategy? Sarah Zuccaro

International Product Manager

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If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you know how diverse cultures can be. Languages, social norms, currency, religion, fashion – everything varies from culture to culture. And your content marketing strategy should be no different.

Many marketers understand the need for in-language content when marketing internationally – but are all marketers really doing enough to cater to the needs of buyers in each foreign market? It seems there is still a lot of work to be done in that regard. A survey of our audience this year revealed that 53% of non-English speaking respondents are unsatisfied with the amount of in-language content available to them (TechTarget Media Consumption Report 2023). Can you imagine how maddening it must be to research a product or solution, only to be met with content that isn’t in your native language? At that point, your options are to either attempt to translate it yourself (not likely) or simply move on to content from another source in your native language (much more likely).

IT Buyers want in-language content

Don’t just take it from me – take it from the IT Pros who are actually facing this challenge. One researcher from Brazil said, “Vendor Information in my native tongue is always much appreciated, especially when we have to expose information to third parties.” And 82% of Chinese and Japanese buyers said they are more likely to download a piece of content in their native language than in English. The good news is, by simply providing in-language content, you’ll likely win your brand favorability with buyers, and increase the likelihood that your content gets downloaded. You’d be crazy not to grab that low hanging fruit and capitalize on these opportunities to make a vendor’s short list internationally. The bad news, though, is that if you’re not providing in-language content, your competitors probably are – and that means you’re allowing that low hanging fruit to hang even lower for them.

The more you know about your audience, the more culturally aware your marketing can be

As you can imagine, there are many other preferences expressed by international buyers outside of just content. To name a few: when it comes to which email address a researcher prefers to use when conducting research, APAC and LATAM folks are more likely to register with a personal email address. And while APAC buyers often engage with sales through a live chat on vendor’s website, 59% of EMEA buyers say they will never engage with sales through that vehicle. The more you know about your target audience and their preferences, the more successful – and culturally aware – your international marketing strategy will be.

The current content marketing landscape in many international markets leaves a lot to be desired by researchers and buyers. This presents a huge opportunity for brands to be seen as thought leaders and gain favorability within these markets – by creating a more culturally aware marketing strategy.

All references and quotes from TechTarget’s 2023 Media Consumption Study.

content development, content marketing, international content, international marketing, localization, translation

Reviewing Content Effectiveness With Google Analytics Content Groups

A tutorial showing you the options to set up this new GA feature

When Google Analytics launched in 2005 it democratised web analytics with its feature rich offering, since then Google has worked hard to add new features to a product that is now considered a viable alternative to most enterprise level web analytics tools. But until recently GA lacked a key feature that many of it’s competitors have had since the first half of the last decade, that is the ability to group content at the session level.

Grouping content has lot’s of applications, for retail sites grouping categories and products is important, for media sites, different types of stories and today all businesses need to know which types and formats of content are supporting their content marketing.

Other tools around the time of Google Analytics’ launch, such as HBX, dealt with this very well but Google, with its URL based content reports and lack of segmentation couldn’t deal with it without some rather involved configuration at the account level.

Other options for grouping content in Google Analytics

Although, it has always been possible to group content at the page view level by using the content drilldown feature or report filter in what is now the ‘All Pages’ report, this isn’t terribly helpful because the base metric used is page views (or worse still, unique page views) and trying to establish content popularity based on page views instead of sessions or visitors is like declaring that a minor celebrity has a high-profile based on the total number of column inches written about him or her as opposed to the total number of people doing the actual writing; it’s not wholly inaccurate but you can do a great deal better.

Advanced segments afford a greater degree of analytical control and flexibility but for non premium GA users they are subject to the vagaries of GA’s sampling so making the data flimsy in some situations.

Goals are more accurate in context of data output but they are limited to a single metric – that being sessions.

So with the introduction of content grouping in December 2013 it seemed as though the problem was resolved but indeed, though very good, Content Grouping is not without its own limitations.

To begin with you will find the option to configure Content Grouping at the ‘View’ level of the Admin section in GA. Here you will immediately notice the main flaw, namely that only a maximum of five content groups that can be configured (ten would be a better number), that means you will need to be judicious in deciding which content to group. That said, you can create sub-categories in each group so all is not lost.

Which content should you group?

This depends on the kind of site you have, broadly speaking there are two options, either by page type or based on the nature of the content itself.

If you’re running an e-commerce site then you might prefer to group content by page type e.g. list page, product details page etc. In most cases this will better reflect the customer journey and do more to help you understand the level of engagement at each of the key steps in the on-site customer journey.

If you run a publishing site or similar you may prefer to group content by subject matter since page type may be less relevant e.g. news, weather, etc. The main issue here is that there will doubtless not be enough content groups to cover off all the areas you would want to group so you would have to be clear about which are the most important areas of content – maybe there will be a way in which several areas can be rolled into one content group.

How to set up content grouping

The content groups themselves can be configured in different ways. There are three configuration options:

1. Using the tracking code

2. ‘Extraction’

3. A set of rules definitions

It is possible to configure the content groupings using one or more of these options and you will need to consider each according to your site.

You may prefer to use the tracking code option if you have a set of content that has a URL structure which doesn’t change or is the same as the URL structure in other parts of the site.

You may prefer to use the extraction method if you simply want to group content according to a folder within a URL. Here, you may need to have a basic understanding of how Google Analytics uses regular expressions in order to maximise this.

You may prefer to use a set of rules definitions if you need to apply a slightly more complex filtering process e.g. instances where you may wish to include content that includes one element of a URL but not another.

The benefit of the second and third options is that they don’t require any changes to be made to the GA tracking code and so there is no dependence on developer time. On the other hand if your GA code is managed by a tag management system (see the Smart Insights guide to tag management) this will be less of an issue.

and from here you will then be presented with the three configuration options shown above.

…don’t forget…

When setting up Content Groups you should remember that like goals, data is only collected from that point onwards, in other words it isn’t collected retrospectively.

You should also remember that while you can switch Content Groups on and off you cannot delete them. You can however edit them but if you do this in such a way that they start tracking different content or the same content with a different URL element (perhaps after a site rebuild or redesign) then you should make a note in Google Annotations on the day that you made the configuration change to help remind yourself why the data output might have changed. This last point is particularly important because if there is no recollection of the change being made it could cause a great deal of pain and wasted time when running an analysis that crosses over the date when the change was made.

What happens next?

Once you’ve set up your content groups and data begins to be aggregated within them there are a couple of ways which you can view the data.

2. An alternative and more powerful option would be to create a custom report using the content groups.

Content Groups + custom reports = better insight.

The main problem with the standard Content Grouping reports in that the primary reporting metric is page views or unique page views, this is at odds with the primary reporting metric for most sites which is usually sessions. Because of that it’s not really possible to calculate conversion to a specific content group using these two different metrics. The solution is to create a custom report.

Creating custom reports

If you’ve used up all five content groups then you will be best off creating one tab for each content group in your custom report. The example below shows this.

You can then apply the metrics for each group, beware that there are some limitations in terms of which metrics you can use and you will not necessarily know which metrics this applies to until you’ve viewed the report and seen whether or not data has populated, but as an initial indicator some revenue metrics will not work. Page value should be fine if you have an e-commerce site.

You can then use the various charting functions to interpret the data and draw your own insights from it.

4. Create a custom report to help in analysing your new data.

Using Competitor Research For Your Content Ideation

Are you using competitor research? It can help you uncover the content themes and formats that tend to work well in your industry and discover influential sites that tend to share and link to this content.

Analyzing this data will allow you to make more informed decisions about the content you create and provide you with a hit list of influential outreach targets.

Here’s how you can use competitor research to discover your competitors’ top-performing content and inform your content ideation.

Identifying Your Competition

You likely have two kinds of competitors.

Your traditional competitors: Those offering the same products and services in close proximity to your business or targeting customers in the same area as you.

Your competition in the search results: Those who you’re vying against to rank for keywords related to your products and services.

Often, there is overlap here. But it can be easy to overlook companies that rank well in organic search, even if you didn’t previously consider them a competitor. You want to know why they rank so well, especially if they occupy positions above you.

So before you focus too heavily on an existing competitor, make a note of which sites rank best for keywords related to the products and services you offer. You can either do this manually or with a competitor analysis tool, such as SEMrush.

Objectives of Your Research

What you should be looking to uncover from your research is:

Which pieces of content are being shared the most in your industry.

Which topics/themes are trending in your industry.

What type of content is getting your competitors links.

Who follows your competition and what do they tend to share.

What types of content are the big brands in your industry writing.

Let’s look at each of these objectives.

1. Research Their Most Shared Content

Reviewing a number of your competitors’ most shared pieces of content will give you an idea of the type of content that tends to resonate with your target audience.

Using BuzzSumo, you can enter the domain names of your competitors and view detailed stats on their most shared content.

At the most basic level you’ll end up with a table containing the number of social shares for each of that website’s posts, ordered by the highest number of social shares:

This information is hugely valuable, but it’s important not to focus too much on just one competitor. Instead, collect data from multiple competitors to look for trends.

2. Find Trending Topics in Your Industry

To find trends, try to answer the following questions:

Do certain topics tend to generate a lot of shares for your competition? If a topic such as “mobile SEO” is generating traction for your competition, then it might be a good idea to create some content focused around that topic. 

Do certain formats (e.g. videos) get more shares than regular posts? If videos on a certain topic tend to get the most shares, then you might want to consider creating your own video if you’re planning content about that same topic. To get this info, navigate to the Content Analysis tab on BuzzSumo and review the shares by content type chart: 

Does one social platform tend to generate more shares than others in your industry? Visual content such as infographics and lifestyle photography may tend to generate more shares on platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.

Don’t simply replicate your competitors’ top-performing posts. The goal of competitor research is to get a better idea of popular topics, format, and platforms in your industry to better inform your own content ideation process.

3. Discover Their Best Backlinks

Getting links to your content from relevant and high-authority sites can help improve your visibility in Google’s search results. Therefore, it’s important to research which pieces of content are earning links for your competitors.

Content that generates a lot of social media shares and engagement also tends to attract links – but not always. So it’s still important to research which types of content are generating your competition links separately to share stats.

You can use Ahrefs to review the most linked content on your competitors’ sites. Here you’ll be able to generate a list of URLs that have historically attracted the most links:

Additionally, you can then filter down to their top linked content now returning 404s and use this as the basis of a broken link building campaign:

Finally, make sure to check out the Ahrefs Best by Link Growth report to review which pieces of content have been generating links to your competitors’ sites in the last 30 days:

This report can help you identify trending topics. For example, if you spot a common theme between your competitors’ recent links, it may pay to write a post around the same topic!

4. Who Shares Their Content

Reviewing the individuals and businesses who share your competitors’ content can help you identify influential bloggers, social media influencers, and journalists with a significant following to help amplify the content you create.

To get this data you can again use BuzzSumo, this time utilizing the View Sharers feature alongside any piece of content:

In the ‘view sharers’ report, you can order by regularity of retweets, number of followers, and the page/domain authority of the URL displayed on their Twitter bio.

While you can never guarantee that these individuals will also share your content, you can export the data for use when conducting outreach:

If you already have a credible brand, you could even contact relevant influencers and request their contribution to an industry roundup piece as a way of piggybacking on their authority and boosting your chances of acquiring links and shares.

For deeper analysis, you can use a tool like Followerwonk to review your competitors’ social media following, common retweets, and favorites, along with who they mention most often.

5. How to Keep Track of Competitor Updates

In addition to carrying out in-depth research on an ad-hoc basis, set up Google Alerts to keep track of your competitors’ brand mentions on the web, which in turn helps you see what kind of content is earning them coverage online.

This is also a great way to discover brand mentions and link opportunities for your own brand.

Conclusion

Researching your competitors is an essential part of the content ideation process. When you know what’s working for your competition, you’ll be able to make informed decisions around topics, formats, and outreach targets when brainstorming your own content ideas.

When discovering that your competitor gets a ton of links and shares to a particular piece of content, it can be tempting to simply tweak and replicate. You might have success with that tactic, but imitation will never position you top of mind with your target audience. The best way is to use this information from your competitors as a starting point for your own content ideation.

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How To Set The Vertical Alignment Of The Content In An Element With Javascript?

In this tutorial, we will learn how to set the vertical alignment of the content in an element in JavaScript.

The vertical-align property of HTML DOM Style is used to set the vertical alignment of the content in an element.

The vertical-align attribute specifies or returns the vertical alignment of an element’s content. The vertical-align attribute controls the vertical alignment of an inline-block or table-cell box. The vertical-align attribute is used to align the box of an inline element within its line box vertically. It may, for example, be used to arrange a picture within a line of text vertically. It is also used to align the content of a table cell vertically.

Vertical-align only applies to inline, inline-block, and table-cell elements; it cannot be used to align block-level components.

Using the Style verticalAlign Property

The verticalAlign property sets or retrieves the vertical alignment of the content. The top property aligns the top of the element and its descendants with the top of the whole line.

Syntax document.getElementById("myTable").style.verticalAlign="top";

The id of the table element is fetched using the getElementById() method, and the vertical alignment of the text is set to the top of the box.

Example

We used width and height components in this example to construct a box with a solid blue border. A certain text is written in the box. According to the default setting, the text is aligned in the middle. The top property of the vertical-align attribute is used to change this to the top of the box.

table

{

border

:

3

px solid blue

;

width

:

200

px

;

height

:

200

px

;

}

function

myFunction

(

)

{

document

.

getElementById

(

“myTable”

)

.

style

.

verticalAlign

=

“top”

;

}

Using Different Values in verticalAlign Property

The verticalAlign property specifies or returns the vertical alignment of an element’s content. The element is positioned in the center of the parent element via the middle property. The bottom attribute aligns the element’s bottom with the lowest element in the line.

Syntax document.getElementById("myTable").style.verticalAlign="middle"; document.getElementById("myTable2").style.verticalAlign="bottom";

The table element’s id is obtained using the getElementById() function, and the text’s vertical alignment is set to the middle and bottom of the box.

Example

table

{

border

:

3

px solid green

;

width

:

200

px

;

height

:

200

px

;

}

function

myFunction

(

)

{

document

.

getElementById

(

“myTable”

)

.

style

.

verticalAlign

=

“middle”

;

document

.

getElementById

(

“myTable1”

)

.

style

.

verticalAlign

=

“middle”

;

document

.

getElementById

(

“myTable2”

)

.

style

.

verticalAlign

=

“bottom”

;

document

.

getElementById

(

“myTable3”

)

.

style

.

verticalAlign

=

“bottom”

;

}

Using Bootstrap to set vertical alignment

Bootstrap is a set of free and open-source tools for building responsive websites and online apps. It is the most widely used HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework for creating mobile-first, responsive websites. Nowadays, webpages are optimized for all browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome) and screen sizes (Desktop, Tablets, Phablets, and Phones).

Vertical Alignment in Bootstrap alters the vertical alignment of items using vertical-alignment utilities. Vertical-align utilities only impact inline (Present in a single line), inline-block (Present as blocks on a single line), inline-table, and table cell (Elements in a table cell) elements.

Syntax

Using the Bootstrap align attribute, the class is described to baseline, top, or middle.

Example

In this example, we have created a div element. The text is added to the class element, and the alignment of the content is changed accordingly, first to baseline, then to the top, middle, and bottom. The following text content is changed to text-top and text-bottom.

In this tutorial, we have learned how to set the vertical alignment of the content in an element using JavaScript. The vertical-align attribute is used to complete this task. The top, middle, and bottom properties are discussed in this tutorial. The vertical alignment using Bootstrap is also discussed.

How To Use Google My Business To Boost Your Content Seo

If you have a business that has a physical presence, then it is essential to use Google My Business (GMB) to improve your local SEO and enhance your online presence. Google My Business (GMB) is a complementary tool provided by Google, enabling businesses to control their digital footprint on Google search and Maps. This article will guide you through optimizing your GMB listing to boost your content and SEO.

Claim Your Business

When you claim your business, you verify that you are the owner or an authorized representative of the business. Once you have claimed your business, you can manage your listing and additional information to make it more informative and attractive to potential customers.

Optimize Your Business Information

Ensure all your business information is complete and accurate, including your business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and services. Add photos and videos to your listing to make it more appealing to potential customers.

The more information you provide about your business, the more likely potential customers will find your listing and visit your business. Keep your business information up-to-date, especially if you change your business hours or location.

Use Relevant Keywords

Incorporate relevant keywords into your GMB listing to improve your local SEO. Research keywords your potential customers are searching for and include them in your business description, services, and attributes.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool or other keyword research tools to find relevant keywords for your business. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your GMB listing, making sure not to overuse them.

Encourage Reviews

Positive reviews can improve your local SEO and attract more customers to your business. Respond to all positive or negative reviews to show that you value your customers’ feedback.

To encourage reviews, ask your customers to leave a review after they visit your business. You can also add a link to your GMB listing on your website or social media pages. Remember to respond to all reviews promptly and professionally, thanking customers for positive reviews and addressing any concerns raised in negative reviews.

Post Regularly

Use the ‘Posts’ feature in your GMB listing to keep your customers up-to-date with your latest news, promotions, and events. Posting regularly can also improve your local SEO and increase your visibility on Google search and maps.

Monitor Your Insights

Use the insights feature in your GMB dashboard to monitor your listing’s performance. Track how many people view your listing, how they find your business, and what actions they take on your listing.

Use Q&A

Use the Q&A feature in your GMB listing to answer potential customers’ questions about your business. Respond promptly and provide accurate information to improve your online reputation.

Add Products and Services Use Attributes

Use the attributes feature in your GMB listing to highlight specific features of your business, such as wheelchair accessibility, free Wi-Fi, or outdoor seating. Adding attributes can make your business more appealing to potential customers and improve your local SEO.

Connect Your GMB Listing with Your Website

Connect your GMB listing with your website to improve your online presence and enhance your local SEO. Make sure to use consistent business information, such as your business name, address, and phone number, on both your GMB listing and your website.

To connect your GMB listing with your website, add a link to your website in your GMB dashboard. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and has a clear call-to-action to encourage customers to take action.

Use GMB Messaging

Use the messaging feature in your GMB listing to communicate with potential customers and answer their questions. Respond promptly and provide accurate information to improve your online reputation.

Use GMB Reviews in Your Content

Use your GMB reviews in your content, such as on your website or social media pages, to improve your online reputation and attract more customers. Highlight positive reviews and use them as testimonials.

Conclusion

In conclusion, optimizing your GMB listing can improve your local SEO and enhance your online presence. Claim your business, optimize your information, use relevant keywords, encourage reviews, post regularly, monitor your insights, use Q&A, add products and services, use attributes, connect your GMB listing with your website, use GMB messaging, manage multiple locations, use GMB reviews in your content, and use GMB for local SEO. By following these steps, you can boost your content and SEO and attract more customers to your business.

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