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Google is testing new Rewarded Ad Gate beta program for publishers

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Google has just started testing a new rewarded ad beta program for publishers to serve their players long-form, playable ads.

How it works. As described by, “The Rewarded Ad Gate beta program will give you an opportunity to monetize your most engaged users. If a user frequently visits your site, you’ll have a way to collect additional ad revenue.”

1. The Rewarded Ad Gate will be displayed to a visitor on their fifth-page view of each month.
2. If the visitor chooses to view a short ad, a video or image ad will play for 30 seconds or less.
3. A “Thank you” message will appear after the ad is complete and the visitor will gain access to your site.
4. If the user chooses not to view a short ad, they won’t be able to access the site until their page views reset the following month or they choose to view the ad.

Dig deeper. There is no info from Google on the new test, but you can read the post from here.

Why we care. If you’re a publisher, the new feature could be another option for you to further monetize your content. We’ll update this article with more information as soon as it becomes available.

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Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Link juice: Is it the new snake oil of Google SEO?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller – in a rare case of annoyance – said that any SEO advice mentioning “link juice” is not to be trusted. Is it or not?

I wondered about the context and doubted whether it was true. There are different opinions

After Barry Schwartz shared the news on LinkedIn, a lively debate ensued. Even Moz and SparkToro founder Rand Fishkin chimed in on the comments saying, “Maybe link juice is real after all. Maybe y’all should write more about it!”

On link juice and bad SEO advice

When he dismissed link juice, Mueller was answering a question about outgoing links. He essentially ignored the original question and solely responded to the undesirable “link juice” mention. 

While Mueller is usually neutral in his tone this time he came close to a rant on Twitter: 

This is nothing new. He’s just reiterating what he expressed in the past more than once.

Here’s a similar quote from his Twitter account back in 2020: 

So is link juice such a detestable term? Is it akin to the “snake oil” fringe SEO practitioners are still offering? Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.

Snake oil: A popular type of panacea in SEO

There’s a reason why the SEO industry had a bad rep for many years. Metaphorical snake oil has been sold in various ways and many websites have been harmed by misguided SEO advice or tactics.

The proverbial “snake oil” – a synonym for misleading promises of miraculous cures to all kinds of diseases – has often been likened to SEO.

Even in 2022, we see many more #seohorrorstories passed on Twitter and other social media than inspiring success stories. SEO experts themselves, not just outsiders, rather focus on those negative news.

Of course, the SEO industry is not the only one guilty of selling snake oil or spreading the word about it. 

I had many clients asking me for unethical SEO practices over the years. To this day, you have to be very firm in your ethics in order not to get caught up in a downward spiral of shady SEO techniques. I also get requests for paid links and other similar offers regularly by mail.

The history of link juice

When Google started out in the crowded and messy search engine market, it had a revolutionary ranking algorithm that used the so-called “PageRank” to determine website authority. It was named after Google co-founder Larry Page, not (just) the actual “web page.”

SEO specialists started to use many different slang terms for PageRank – “Google juice” or “link juice” being among the most popular.

In the early years since its inception, Google performed pretty well by PageRank alone and grew its market share continuously. 

First-generation search engines like AltaVista, Yahoo and Infoseek were easily gamed by simply using:

Once Google grew big enough to dominate the market, unethical SEO practitioners mainly focused on artificially inflating the number of incoming links (also called backlinks) so that Google would rank them higher.

PageRank became less and less of a guarantee of high-quality search results leading to Google started adding more ranking signals to the algorithm over time. 

As link juice became more abused, Google kept on adding more ranking signals, sophisticated technologies like AI and quality concepts like E-A-T.

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How does link juice work?

We won’t go too deep into the topic of link juice, as others have done before us. An evergreen guide by WooRank is still worth reading to get a quick overview. Their visualizations are especially self-explanatory.

In theory, the website authority of the site linking out is spread more or less equally to the pages it links to. 

But in reality, the process is much more complex and link value depends on many other elements including:

Is content the new link?

By 2019, Google has shifted its messaging to concentrate on quality content. From the outside, the pivot seems to imply that “content is the new link.” Eventually, one of Google’s main SEO documents which largely focused on links was updated to predominantly cover content.

For a long time, Google representatives have been wary of the industry’s emphasis on link building. Instead, they underscore the need for quality content each time the question comes up.

Now, Google tends to overemphasize content in order to make people more aware of it and underrepresent links so SEOs stop obsessing about them.

In Google Search Essentials, the “key best practices” section mentions content six times including on top while links are mentioned only three times:

In my opinion, we have to put both tendencies into perspective and ensure we find the middle ground.

Links are still very important yet their impact will be dwindling over time, while content is steadily growing in importance.

So, is link juice real?

While the colloquial term link juice really sounds a bit sleazy, the concept behind it (Google’s original algorithm) is still valid and used to determine website and page-level authority or value. 

It’s a huge oversimplification of the by-now very complex Google algorithm containing numerous checks and balances (as Kaspar Szymanski has summarized) ensuring a proper ranking less prone to manipulation.

At the end of the day, you still have to attract links to your website or else other content of similar quality will outrank you in organic search results. So, while using the term link juice may sound a bit outdated, it’s not yet complete snake oil. 

What do the experts say? Fishkin is not the only one to speak about link juice.

Brian Lonsdale, Co-founder of Smarter Digital Marketing Ltd, maintains:

WhilePierre Zarokian, CEO at Submit Express / Reputation Stars, added

What terms should be used instead of link juice?

You can say many things to refer to link juice without sounding like a drug dealer in a back alley. 

Jessica Levenson, Global Head of Digital Strategy & SEO at NetSuite and Oracle, makes it pretty clear:

What else can you say instead then? Some of the more professional-sounding terms include:

Daniel Foley Carter, Director at Assertive, explains:

If that’s too boring or technocratic for you, you can follow the advice of Brent Payne:

Link equity is not enough

When you use a synonym for “link juice” though, remember that the concept is on the way out and doesn’t work by itself as in the early days. 

When I started out in SEO in 2004, it was still common to rank empty websites.

You could even get thin content pages to rank for competitive keywords solely by directing link juice to them. In 2022, that’s a rare exception – if at all possible.

Focus on creating great content to attract great links

As always, the truth is found somewhere in the middle. While Google is de-emphasizing links in their algorithm and public rhetoric, its technology still relies to some extent on links.

It’s still very difficult to get organic search visibility on Google solely by way of content. But once that content gets endorsed by links from authority sites, the probability of gaining visibility on Google’s top positions grows significantly. 

So how do we get there without buying paid links or otherwise gaming Google? There is a well-traveled path by now. It has worked for many content SEO practitioners.

Create ‘linkable assets’

For many years, website owners wanted to buy SEO services instead of creating content that could actually earn links. I lost many potential clients when explaining that I can’t artificially inflate the ranking of an empty site that only has self-promotional material as its content. 

Linkable assets are any kind of comprehensive, valuable and unique resources that are likely to get recommended by other publishers. In-depth guides, unique survey results, and breaking news are some examples.

Attract links naturally

Once you have published content that is worth getting linked to, you ideally just have to sit and wait until people notice and link to you. 

This is, of course, the theory. In practice, you will most likely be overlooked unless you are already having an established audience. 

In such instances, you have to at least mention experts in your content who already have an audience. They can help you get the ball rolling.

Reach out to ‘linkaratis’

Influencers, journalists and industry experts are usually very busy and once they are established a social media mention may not be enough to get their attention. 

Good old email outreach is your tool of choice then. So-called linkaratis are often open to helpful suggestions that match their interests. 

When you choose the right people and focus on a few instead of sending mass mailings to hundreds of strangers, you get some initial traction until others notice you organically.

The post Link juice: Is it the new snake oil of Google SEO? appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Use this SEO forecasting template to gain insights for 2023

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Even in boom times, marketing budgets are divided among a range of teams, channels, and initiatives.

Going into 2023, with a shaky economy likely to cap many budgets and headcounts far below optimal levels, it will be especially important for marketers to articulate a compelling case for why their area of expertise should get a fair share of resources.

In other words: forecasting how X resources will achieve Y growth is going to be vital.

Because of this, I frequently get the following questions from clients (and prospective clients):

The beauty and unique challenge of SEO is its blend of art and science. Unlike paid performance channels, where you have CPC and CPM benchmarks that tell you how many clicks and impressions you’ll get for a specific amount of spend, SEO doesn’t have a clear, quantifiable path to cause/effect.

That said, you can do SEO forecasting to give some directional answers to these questions and set traffic expectations for the year (or any specified time frame) ahead. In this article, I’ll explain my approach.

SEO forecasting template for 2023: How to use the tool

We’ve built a forecasting template that I’m happy to share with you here

Before we get started, note that:

Let’s break down how the tool works.

Benchmarking your growth data

In this SEO forecasting doc, rows 3-14 give you a year’s worth of monthly traffic history. For the purpose of forecasting a full year to come, you should be able to reference at least a year of historical data for benchmarking.

It’s important to note, though, that reliable forecasting depends on having mature data as a benchmark. Extrapolating growth rates from, say, the first 12 months of a website’s traffic will yield highly skewed projections.

Pick a time period that makes sense for your brand’s traffic history. Make sure you’re accounting for factors that artificially spiked or depressed any particular month’s search:

Once you have your benchmarking data selected, take those numbers and calculate an average month-over-month growth rate (and add to cell L5); this smooths out factors like seasonality. 

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Forecasting baseline growth (with no resources)

Your next 12 rows after the historical benchmarking data are where the forecasting begins. 

Starting with row 15, Column B takes your benchmarked traffic and simply applies the average growth rate (in L5) over the next year to get a forecasting baseline.

Column D takes the previous year’s data and applies the Google Sheets “forecast” formula, which you can get by entering =round(forecast(A15,C$3:C14,A$3:A14),0) into Column D, Row 15 and dragging the formula down through all applicable cells.

This formula does not produce a flat month-over-month growth rate; as Google describes the formula, it “calculates the expected y-value for a specified x based on a linear regression of a dataset.”

The values in columns B and D are forecasting models for your growth if you applied no SEO resources at all and simply let your growth momentum continue on its own.

Forecasting growth with resources

We really get to the good stuff with Column E, which takes your historical, known SEO data (rows 3-14) and applies a range of expected % of growth given whatever SEO resources you’re projected to have on hand. 

It’s up to you to set the two ranges we’ll describe below (which are only included as examples and not as recommendations in the forecasting doc).

To calculate the expected growth ranges:

Create two ranges: one conservative range for the first three months (to allow momentum to build for newly in-focus keywords) and a more aggressive range for the following nine months. 

Once you have your conservative range, add the low end to L6 in the sheet and the high end to M6. Paste the formula =round(D3*((RANDBETWEEN($L$6,$M$6)/100)+1),0) into Column E, Row 15, and drag down for the first three months to get forecasts for applicable cells. 

Once you have your aggressive range, add the low end to L7 in the sheet and the high end to M7. Paste the formula =round(E6*((RANDBETWEEN($L$7,$M$7)/100)+1),0) into Column E, Row 18, and drag down for the next nine months to get forecasts for applicable cells. 

Now you have your forecasts for traffic without SEO resources (Column D) and traffic with SEO resources (Column E).

Note: I recommend using Column D, not Column B, for comparison purposes because you’ll likely report to your team by month, not by year, and should therefore reference the more accurate monthly forecasts. Subtract the number from Column D from the number in Column E, and you’ll have estimates for SEO growth that you can share with your stakeholders. 

Using SEO forecasting to gain directional insights

This is not an exact science because of the nature of SEO. With frequent algorithm and SERP updates that can swing your traffic one way or another, this data will be directional.

It also won’t account for external factors like a planned site relaunch, cuts in top-of-funnel ad spend that may stunt organic growth for brand keywords, etc. 

That said, it is a reference point for what’s at stake for teams weighing whether to invest in SEO in the coming months.

All good SEO professionals know how to paint a picture with some data ambiguity, so use those storytelling skills and some Excel formulas to support your cause.

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Guard your most valuable asset against pesky competitors by Adthena

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

In an ideal world, guarding your most valuable asset, your brand, would be effortless. But take off those rose-tinted glasses, and you wake up to the reality that competitors are posing threats to your brand in search every day of the week.

You’ve risen to the top of the search rankings. Hurray! But realize your trademarks and brand equity aren’t protected in search. Booo! Thus, competitors can steal valuable clicks from you, diminish your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and threaten future budgets.

Does this sound familiar? Are you finding it hard to fend off brand infringements?

You are not alone. Many companies find it increasingly difficult to fend off rivals using their branded terms, trademarks and ad copy in search. For example, software company Sage had over 89,000 infringements from one single partner in one year. The repercussions were more than undesirable, as they inflated CPCs and impressions and damaged the brand. The results tend to be synonymous among all industries.

This article will cover how you could automatically monitor all infringements, guard against competitors and maximize ROAS. Sounds good, right?

Before we get into the technicalities, let’s dive into the problems you may be struggling with in more detail.

What seems to be the problem, marketer?

Adthena’s customer research has revealed that search marketers are experiencing countless challenges in controlling the use of their trademarks.

Two common themes are:

Our research shows that you could waste around eight hours a month on collecting and processing the trademark violation data required to send to Google, as it takes around five minutes to fill out each Google complaint form.

However, there is a way to automate the aggregation and submission of specific infringements across devices at scale, allowing you to confidently protect your brand and save time and effort to boot.

We can sense you edging to the front of your chair, so let’s get to the fun part.

What’s the solution?

Automation is at the forefront of the world of paid search, with Google’s Performance Max solution heading the charge. New products are continually being developed, including a new tool from Adthena called Auto Takedown.

It allows you to map and monitor all competitive and partner activity around your brand terms. You can efficiently respond to trademark infringements and report those examples directly to Google for removal. All with the push of a button inside the Adthena app. Time and effort: saved.


What value does Auto Takedown bring to the table?

The tool adds value in three key ways:

  1. Automatically monitoring your brand trademark search terms at scale, 24/7.
  2. Submitting evidence of trademark violations directly to Google for you. Adthena will also keep track of the responses from Google and communicate this to you if there are any questions or resolutions.
  3. Saving you up to 8 hours per month in manual monitoring, allowing you to focus on strategy and growth instead.

After just five days of using Adthena’s Auto Takedown, Sage saw a 75% decrease in CPCs for brand terms and a 33% decrease in partner impression share.

Protect your trademark today

When the clicks are down, and you know why, take back control and fend off unwanted competitors to protect your valuable assets.

Check out this easy guide, Brand Crashers: 5 steps to optimize your brand in search to get started.

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New Meta privacy updates for teens

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has just rolled out new privacy updates for everyone under the age of 16, or 18 in some countries.

New privacy defaults. Starting today, teens will default to more private settings when they join Facebook. For teens already on the platform, Meta recommends making these changes manually. The new privacy settings affect:

Restricting connections. Meta is testing ways to protect teens from messaging suspicious adults they aren’t connected to, and those adults won’t be shown in teens’ People You May Know recommendations. Meta further clarifies that a “suspicious” account is one that belongs to an adult that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person, for example. As an added layer of protection, Meta is also testing removing the message button on teens’ Instagram accounts when they’re viewed by suspicious adults altogether. 

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New safety tools. Meta is also developing new tools to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. On their blog, Meta says, “we’re prompting teens to report accounts to us after they block someone, and sending them safety notices with information on how to navigate inappropriate messages from adults.  In just one month in 2021, more than 100 million people saw safety notices on Messenger. We’ve also made it easier for people to find our reporting tools and, as a result, we saw more than a 70% increase in reports sent to us by minors in Q1 2022 versus the previous quarter on Messenger and Instagram DMs.”

Stopping the spread of sensitive images. Meta is also working on new tools to help stop the spread of teens’ intimate images online. Meta says:

We’re working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to build a global platform for teens who are worried intimate images they created might be shared on public online platforms without their consent. This platform will be similar to work we have done to prevent the non-consensual sharing of intimate images for adults. It will allow us to help prevent a teen’s intimate images from being posted online and can be used by other companies across the tech industry. We’ve been working closely with NCMEC, experts, academics, parents and victim advocates globally to help develop the platform and ensure it responds to the needs of teens so they can regain control of their content in these horrific situations. We’ll have more to share on this new resource in the coming weeks.

We’re also working with Thorn and their NoFiltr brand to create educational materials that reduce the shame and stigma surrounding intimate images, and empower teens to seek help and take back control if they’ve shared them or are experiencing sextortion.

Dig deeper. Meta says that anyone seeking support and information related to sextortion can visit their education and awareness resources, including the Stop Sextortion hub on the Facebook Safety Center. You can also read this announcement from Meta on their blog.

Why we care. It’s hard to criticize Meta for taking steps to protect and prevent harm to teens. Though teens will default to the new settings once they sign up, they can still opt out if they choose. And teens already on the platform will have to manually select the new options, which many of them may not do.

At least parents of teens can now be aware of the new changes and take the appropriate steps to help protect them.

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Google Search adds new spam policy: Policy circumvention

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Google has added a new spam policy to its search spam policies today, the new spam policy is named “Policy circumvention.” In short, if you find ways to get around the current spam prevention measures, Google may take action on your content, site, or account.

The new policy. Google posted the new policy over here, it reads:

“If you engage in actions intended to bypass our spam or content policies for Google Search, undermine restrictions placed on content, a site, or an account, or otherwise continue to distribute content that has been removed or made ineligible from surfacing, we may take appropriate action which could include restricting or removing eligibility for some of our search features (for example, Top Stories, Discover). Circumvention includes but is not limited to creating or using multiple sites or other methods intended to distribute content or engage in a behavior that was previously prohibited.”

The penalty. Google said if you violate this new policy, Google may restrict or remove the content from showing up in search or for some search features.

What is a policy circumvention? In short, it sounds like any action you take to bypass the other Google Search spam or content policies. This includes creating new sites, using other sites or other methods to distribute that content, maybe on third-party sites or other avenues.

Why we care. Knowing Google’s spam and content policies is a prerequisite for performing SEO services and other marketing services on Google Search. This is a new policy but the fundamentals of logic behind the policy match most of the already published Google Search spam policies. In short, don’t try to manipulate Google Search’s ranking algorithms and if you do, you run the risk of having your site removed or downgraded in Google Search.

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NPS for agencies: How to capture client and employee satisfaction

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Agencies can often fall into the trap of thinking that clients are happy if they increase their marketing investment. 

Similarly, we assume that employees are happy if we’re focusing on culture and trying to do the right thing.

But are those things really true?

Our agency uses two simple metrics to gather objective data – Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).

Net Promoter Score for agencies

Even if you’ve never heard of NPS, you’ve probably received an email or text that asks a simple question: “Would you recommend us to a friend, family member, or colleague?” 

That single question helps companies measure client satisfaction and can help your agency understand if clients are delighted or simply comfortable.

Those who give you a 9 or 10 are considered “promoters” and are your biggest advocates. They not only tend to stick with you, but they are also likely to evangelize for you internally and externally.

Anyone who gives you a score of 6 or lower is a detractor. That means that they not only aren’t fans of yours, but they generally aren’t willing to defend their relationship with you or your firm either. Scores of 7 or 8 are considered passive and are not counted toward your NPS.

The Net Promoter calculation requires adding up the survey responses and subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The delta is your Net Promoter Score. 

For example, let’s say:

In this case, your NPS would be 65-25=40.

An NPS score above 70 is world-class, and the benchmark for digital marketing agencies is 68.

The reason that the benchmark is so high for digital marketing agencies is that dissatisfied clients tend to take their business elsewhere if they aren’t happy.

Net Promoter Scores can help you understand how the overall health of your agency is likely to trend and may help you predict (or stop) upcoming client churn.

I’d recommend capturing the score on a quarterly or semi-annual basis since perceptions can change – not only based on results but external factors and feelings.

We use a tool called AskNicely that allows us to ask follow-up questions after receiving the score, and also lets us trigger different workflows based on responses.

We can understand if clients are delighted by technical knowledge, communication, or a different factor. Similarly, we can understand any causes of dissatisfaction.

In addition, we can slice data based on the person working with the client to understand if there’s risk based on one of our employees or by the line of service (e.g., SEO, PPC, strategy).

The additional feedback complements the score itself and allows us to dig into the “why” behind a rating, and course correct anywhere needed.

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The flip side: Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

As all agency leaders know, the market for digital marketing talent is exceptionally hot, especially with so many remote roles. This remote shift has made the barrier to switching jobs extremely low, so managers must have a pulse on employee satisfaction.

The eNPS question is very similar to the one for NPS, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our organization as a place to work to others?”

Although you likely have some raving fans, eNPS tends to have more “passive” or neutral scores than a traditional NPS score for your service offering. Employees likely won’t feel bad about giving you an 8, a score that ultimately gets discarded since it’s considered a neutral sentiment.

An eNPS score of 40 or greater is considered excellent. Employees tend to hold companies to a very high standard – often higher than clients.

Similar to NPS, it’s important to trend this score either quarterly or semi-annually for various reasons:

In addition to tracking the eNPS score itself, I also recommend that smaller firms look at the average of the scores. For example, perhaps your agency has a lot of 9 and 10s, but there are just a couple of people giving you detractors, your overall satisfaction may be strong. 

Sample size can have a big impact on smaller firms, especially if you don’t get a 100% response rate.

Why should your agency care?

Client and employee churn is part of running an agency, but by capturing these two objective metrics, you can try to get ahead of it.

Reach out quickly to clients that give you anything outside of a 9 or 10, and even those who drop from a 10 to a 9. Ask them for candid feedback about what you can do to turn them into promoters and improve the business relationship.

To get the most accurate feedback from employees, you’ll need to gather the data anonymously. This makes gathering actionable insights a bit more difficult.

However, if you receive a lower than optimal score, you can follow up eNPS with another anonymous survey asking employees what their favorite and least favorite parts of working for your agency are.

Getting started

Since NPS and eNPS are based on one question, it’s easy to start. For a free solution, you can try SurveyMonkey or Typeform. 

However, several solution providers specialize in capturing satisfaction feedback such as Delighted, AskNicely, Survey Sparrow and Retently. These SaaS companies can help you extract more details than a simple form.

For more advanced analysis, you’ll want to find a solution that connects to your other data sources (such as your CRM), but it ultimately has to meet the pricing and features required for a business of your size.

Get started today and understand if your agency is on the right track.

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YouTube just announced its 2023 class of #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund creators

Friday, November 18th, 2022

Earlier this year, YouTube announced a new fund aimed at helping black creators find dedicated partner support, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and the opportunity to participate in bespoke training, workshops and networking programs. This week they named the first 30 creators for the 2023 class.

Meet the class. One of the creators from the 2023 class is Jasmine Taylor from Baddies & Budgets. Taylor shares the highs and lows of becoming financially free as someone who grew up in poverty and wasn’t taught financial literacy.

Taylor teaches other women how to take control of their personal finances through tools and coaching. About being part of the new class or creators, Taylor said:

“This fund is going to open my business up to many opportunities. Exposure is everything and YouTube is amazing for enabling black creators to grow their platform. This experience will enable to further monetize and grow my business and brand. I’m so excited to get started. A major part of my brand is education and outreach, more channel exposure means that I can reach more women and in turn help more women to take control of their personal finances.” 

Other creators included in the new class are:

Dig deeper. Meet the rest of the 2023 class on the YouTube Blog. Check out videos from the class here.

Why we care. The new fund will help black creators gain more visibility on the platform, increasing the subscribers to their channels, expanding their communities, and making more money through donations, and sponsorships.

If you’re interested in participating in an upcoming class, stay tuned for more information on how to apply. In the meantime, congrats to all of the creators in the class of 2023. If you want to support the creators, subscribe to their YouTube channels and show support by donating using the Super Thanks button.

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Don’t fall for fake ownership requests for your Google Business Profile

Friday, November 18th, 2022

Google Business Profiles can be claimed by the owner or business manager in Google Maps or in Google Search. When someone makes a claim for ownership of a Google Business Profile listing and if that business was already claimed by someone, the current owners will get an email asking if they approve or deny the new ownership request.

Increase in fake claims. According to some in the local SEO community, there has been an increase in the number of fraudulent requests to claim and take ownership of business listings. “I am seeing a ton of owner requests come in from hijackers, are you all seeing the same?” asked Ben Fisher.

Indeed, other local SEOs confirmed seeing similar in the forums. Here are just a couple of the responses:

Be careful. So beware of such fake claims of ownership and make sure to validate that the person making the claim is a real owner or manager of the business. If you are unsure, it is better to decline the request than to accept it. If the wrong person gains access to your business listing, they can potentially remove your listing or change the website, phone number – or worse.

Why we care. There is a lot of fraud online, especially with Google Search and Google Maps. So being on top of these scams are important so that you are less likely to become a victim of these scams. Stay on top of your business listings and make sure the information is up-to-date and accurate. And never give access to your Google Business Profile to anyone you do not know and trust.

The post Don’t fall for fake ownership requests for your Google Business Profile appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Are we officially saying goodbye to Twitter? It depends on who you ask

Friday, November 18th, 2022

The last few weeks have been nothing short of dramatic over at Twitter headquarters. But before we get into that, I just want to thank dark-paul gosselaar for our cover image inspiration. 

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I sympathize with all of the employees who have been let go, by choice or not. Thousands of people losing their jobs isn’t a laughing matter and in no way am I making light of it. 

How we got here

Elon Musk posted eight tweets today, which is surprising for someone who should be busy running a company (into the ground).

But his latest round of changes is an undoing of one of his earliest acts as new CEO, which was to ban Kathy Griffin and others for poking fun at his leadership.

Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee have been reinstated.

Trump decision has not yet been made.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022

But the week started with Musk sending out an (encrypted?) email to all staffers informing them that they will be fired unless they work at an “extremely hardcore” rate to build “Twitter 2.0”. 

The result?

What I’m hearing from Twitter employees; It looks like roughly 75% of the remaining 3,700ish Twitter employees have not opted to stay after the “hardcore” email.

Even though the deadline has passed, everyone still has access to their systems.

— Kylie Robison (@kyliebytes) November 17, 2022

Shortly after the email went out, Twitter announced that they were locking their doors (some say they’ll reopen on November 21). All remaining employees were informed that their badge access had been revoked.

We're hearing this is because Elon Musk and his team are terrified employees are going to sabotage the company. Also, they're still trying to figure out which Twitter workers they need to cut access for.

— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) November 17, 2022

This was the scene at Twitter HQ last night:

Twitter's San Francisco headquarters has gone hardcore tonight. #TwitterTakeover

— Muskrat McRatfu*ker needs to resign as CEO  (@christoq) November 18, 2022

And Musk tweeted:

And … we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022

He does know people love watching a train wreck, right? 

Either way it seems like conversations are flowing, opinions are flying, and engagement is through the roof. 

It’s no wonder that so many people think this is the end for Twitter. Even Musk is joining in on the …er, fun?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022

Let this sink in. Musk started his first day on the job by firing top executives, including the CEO, Parag Agrawal. Soon after, several others followed suit. Let’s look at who’s gone:

Those who haven’t been fired are choosing to quit on their own terms. The reasons? Peter Clowes helps explain why some are choosing not to follow Musk:

Why I left @twitter or rather why I did not sign up for “extremely hardcore” Twitter 2.0


— Peter Clowes (@peterclowes) November 18, 2022

So is Twitter done?

Maybe? One of its remaining employees has told Newsweek reporter Travis Akers the website “has about a week left before it’s dead.”

Some people aren’t convinced.

loving how clear it is none of us understand what it takes for a website to actually break

— steph mccann (@steph_mcca) November 18, 2022

It is difficult to believe that Musk would spend $44 billion on the platform just to watch it all burn in a matter of weeks. But I also think he underestimated how much the staff would endure. With all of the conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know what to believe. We’ll try to keep this page updated with the latest information as it’s coming out. Stay tuned!

The post Are we officially saying goodbye to Twitter? It depends on who you ask appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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