February 2020 – SEO and marketing news

Feb 14, 2020 by
February 2020 – SEO and marketing news

Brexit is finally (allegedly) sorted, but the SEO world keeps on spinning regardless. In the same month that Google Maps celebrates its 15th year (has it really been that long?), the search titans declare they are hiring for in-house SEO and make some pretty interesting declarations regarding URL length.

Outside of the Google bubble, meanwhile, we delve into the lack of job security being felt by SEO marketers across the globe and the sheer power of meta descriptions. We also discover just how hard it is to be an SEO in 2020. So, without further ado, let’s crack on shall we?

URL length not a ranking factor according to Google

Google’s John Mueller has used Twitter to officially announce that “URL length is not a ranking fraction.” He was responding to a Tweet that was worried about the length of automatically-generated URLs and how they are longer than most SEOs recommend.

It does make sense when you think about it – keeping URLs short might be a good thing for usability on our end, but for Google, why should the size really matter as long as they know what they’re doing with it?

Only 45% of SEOs feel their job is secure

An SEO survey conducted earlier this month of almost 500 digital marketers unearthed some sobering stats. It found that around 80% of SEOs are concerned that algorithm changes will negatively impact their career and nearly 3 in 4 are concerned that algorithm changes will have negative implications for the industry overall. Those concerns are not unfounded either, as 60% of SEO specialists say they’ve experienced layoffs or firings as a result of algorithm changes.

However, despite nearly 1 in 4 SEOs perceiving their job security as precarious and only 45% feeling secure win their jobs, over two-thirds report a high level of job satisfaction. Still, it’s also an industry that is perceived as having a rather short shelf life, with fewer than 12% saying they plan on remaining in the industry for the rest of their careers.

For many, it would appear, SEO is a good stepping stone. What do you think? Are you happy, secure, and “in it for the long haul”? Or do you see yourselves more as SEO tourists? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

Meta descriptions and branding found to have the most influence on clickthrough

Meta descriptions, followed by brand name and page title, have the largest influence over whether users click through on a search result, according to a clickthrough study conducted by Ignite Visibility that polled over 500 participants ages between 25 and 60.

Two-thirds of survey respondents also said that more ads would make them want to use Google less, and the majority agreed that Google is improving its search results by including featured snippets and other SERP features.

SEO the most important hard skill for marketers to master according to Microsoft

Yes, you read that right, if you’re reading this then you are now officially ‘skilled’, at least according to Microsoft.

In a LinkedIn study published by the computing giant, several important marketing trends are analysed and at the top of the skill tree when it comes to important ‘hard’ skills is SEO. This flies defiantly in the fact of those who heralded the death of SEO.

The study also counts copywriter, data analysis, automation, and behavioural analysis amongst its most important hard skills with the understandably more vague creativity, humility, empathy, adaptability, and transparency filling out the list of soft skills.

Of course, the vast majority of marketers are at least familiar with SEO, copywriting, and data analysis, but it’s the other two that could prove to point us ahead into the future. Because knowing what people are doing is one thing, but understanding why they are doing it is another entirely.

Fancy working as an SEO for Google?

Finally, this month Google threw open its arms to us humble SEOs, with former Google SEO, Sean O’Keefe, tweeted that his old job at Google as an SEO is now open.

Sean is now working with the Google AI team – so his role needs to be filled. So if you are an SEO and looking for a job working at Google, in Mountain View, California – you can apply here to work as a “Product Marketing Manager, SEO at the Google Growth Lab.