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What Boom Have Been Reading – November 2018 Edition

cute snowman on snowy field

Where has this year gone? It’s been a bit of a whirlwind couple of months here at Boom and we’re now preparing ourselves for Christmas… wooo!

We’re also really excited to announce our next Drink Digital event, which is set to be a good one, so make sure you’ve got your name down! We’ve got lots to talk about in the new year, so please do come and join us… it’s free!

This month, we’ve been reading all about Gutenberg, algorithm analysis and some scary SEO stories that might just make your bones shudder. So grab a cuppa, and settle in for the read of your life.

Ian Lockwood

Ian Lockwood


Algorithm Analysis In The Age Of Embeddings

by AJ Kohn (@ajkohn)

AJ Kohn debunks the idea of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust) being at the heart of recent Google updates that started with Medic on 1st August. This resonates strongly with our own data and analysis where it appears that for some search terms, Google has rather misunderstood intent and the quality of results has suffered.

The article is pretty long and gets fairly deep into the mathematics of Natural Language Understanding, but this is important stuff to understand for any SEO. Note also the point that Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines are essentially used for training the system, not reviewing the performance of the current algorithm.

Wayne Barker

Wayne Barker

Director of Online Marketing

The Two-Tiered SERP

by Tom Capper (@THCapper) Tom’s presentation from Searchlove London this year requires your attention. It looks at how Google may be ranking head terms and how that ties into a brand. Also, how SEOs are rubbish and knowing what works and the importance of testing.

I have also been having fun with a new tool from Craig Addyman called Big Metrics that is well worth a play around with. It pulls your Google Search Console data into a dashboard that allows you to create SEO tests and address keyword cannibalisation at scale.

James Walsh

James Walsh

Head of Production

Mullenweg Ramps Up Communication Ahead of WordPress 5.0 Release, RC2 Now Available

by WP-Tavern WordPress 5.0 is now live, and it’s certainly proving to be an interesting transition. 

Lauren Roitman Headshot

Lauren Roitman

Digital Marketing Client Manager

Facebook Aims to Give More Transparency Around Brand-Influencer Relationships

by Amy Gesenhues (@AmyGesenhues) Facebook is rolling out stricter #sponsored content rules to ensure more transparency around brand-influencer relationships. This is so that Facebook users can easily determine which partnerships are paid, and provide them with more context on individual posts.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt

Digital Marketing Client Manager

Understanding 14 Types of Backlinks – SEO Boosters & Those to Avoid

by Kim Kosaka If you’re just starting out on your outreach journey, it’s important to know what it is you’re aiming for in terms of links. Some links will hold more value than others so quality over quantity should always be where your values lie. That’s not to say I’m totally against an increased number of backlinks of course, but being mindful of what Google uses to judge the integrity of your website/content is vital.

An SEO’s Letter to Santa: All I Want for Christmas This Year

by Tony Wright (@tonynwright) The perfect Christmas wishlist for anyone involved in SEO. We hear ya Tony!


Cara May-Cole

Digital PR Specialist

Eight Successful Examples of Mind Blowing Content Marketing

by Mark Delarika (@DelarikaMark) If you’re looking for inspiration for your next content marketing strategy, look no further than these major brands.

This article is a great little reminder of how even the simplest ideas across big businesses can not only establish growth but build community among their consumers.

Pete looking up

Peter Bingham

Head of Design & Creative Content

10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

by Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) It’s an old one, admittedly, but this is a great read by Steal Like an Artist legend Austin Kleon about the importance of sharing your work. Almost everything the design team at Boom works on gets shown to the public, and people can be mean so you have to be able to take a few knocks and learn from it (see step 8).

Thankfully, before that stage, I have at my disposal an entire army of gobshites at Boom who aren’t afraid to tell me when my work needs improving. That way, the client gets the best result possible, I learn something about myself/my work and I can move on to the next project confident of a job well done.

Further to the above, Austin’s Blog is always worth a read. Enjoy!

Headshot Lorcan

Lorcan Fearon

Junior Digital Marketing Executive

Google CTR in 2018: Paid, Organic & No-Click Searches

by Rand Fishkin (@randfish) I went to see Rand’s keynote speech at brightonSEO in September, where he talked about Google’s aggressive strategy of enriching their search results, drowning out organic search results in the process. Before you think it’s all doom and gloom, Rand did state that no one should be worried about their jobs but should start to reconsider their strategy. This post touches on the same topics as his speech, with some handy data to boot.

Despite this slightly alarming increasing trend of no-click searches, Rand says that it’s not increasing in proportion with how much time and energy Google seem to be putting into enriching the search results. Still, it seems like something worth noting and keeping an eye on.

19 SEO Horror Stories That Will Scare The Hell Out Of You

by Alexandra Tachalova (@AlexTachalova) This post looks at some bone-shuddering mistakes made by prominent SEOs. You learn far more from the mistakes of others than you do their successes, so here’s a handy little round up of what NOT to do in SEO.

Why I Still Promote Content (Even Though I’m The Operations Director)

by Gisele Navarro (@ichbinGisele) Don’t be fooled by the title, this articles addresses much more than pitching content. It’s a positive read about how we, not just as digital marketers but employees and employers of all industries, can do things differently to get more out of our work.

The first week of October was Mental Health Week so it’s definitely a good time to talk about it. This article is a welcome reminder that ultimately, your own happiness and welfare is far more important than expectations and results. And the responsibility is on all of us to make a change. Plus, it includes a great quote from Bill Hicks that’s worth the click alone.

Claire Brain

Claire Brain

Digital Marketing Client Manager

Surprising SEO A/B Test Results – Whiteboard Friday

by Will Critchlow (@willcritchlow)

In SEO, split testing has been challenging. I was interested to learn that Distilled have been working on an A/B testing platform and really intrigued to read about some of their results. Some of these really are surprising, so this is well worth a read.

Martin Baxter

Martin Baxter

PPC Account Manager

Facebook approved political ads ‘paid for’ by Cambridge Analytica

by Shona Ghosh (@shonagosh)

So Business Insider ran a couple of fake ads they claimed to be paid for by Cambridge Analytica and they passed Facebook’s initial approval process. They were disapproved after a couple of days. Still not cool though.

Google: All right, screw it, from this Christmas, Chrome will block ALL adverts on dodgy sites

by Thomas Claburn

Chrome ad blocker site blocking ads, unlikely to have any impact on GDN placements as it’ll just be for ads outside of Google’s own network. If they were dodgy, Google would never approve them, right Facebook?

Old Google Ads Interface Shutting Down October 4th or October 18, 2018

by Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick)

R.I.P. Google AdWords interface, you will be missed old friend.

Google’s ad revenue jumps 20% in Q3

by Zak Stambor

Interesting 3rd quarter revenue figures from Google, including a 62% YoY increase in paid clicks.

Bing Announces LinkedIn Profile Targeting for Bing Ads

by Lisa Raehsler (@LisaRocksSEM)

Could be excellent for B2B targeting on Bing Ads.

David Allsop

David Allsop

Web Developer

Create Duplicate Content with Gutenberg

by  Rachel McCollin (@rachelmcwrites)

I like many other WordPress enthusiasts have been scouring the internet for all things Gutenberg recently. I came across this great little blog post which shows you how to create duplicate (shared) content blocks within Gutenberg. These blocks can then be used for adding identical content (e.g. a general warning) to posts and pages. You can also use them as a template on which to base new content.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt

Amy started out as a Digital Marketing Executive here at Boom in late 2016, graduating in 2018 to Digital Marketing Client Manager and then to Head of Outreach & Digital PR at the beginning of 2021. Amy works on various digital marketing projects for different clients, focusing on SEO, content marketing and outreach.View Author posts

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