Happy Thursday, everyone!

Before we launch into the biggest news in search… we’d like to share the biggest news for Uproer. Welcome our newest (and by FAR the cutest) team member: Levon!

Uproer’s founder Griffin and his wife Jane welcomed their happy and healthy firstborn, Levon on July 26th. Congratulations to the new parents!

Though we could look at adorable baby pictures all day, we have to move on to search. Check out July’s biggest SEO + SEM news below!

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Buy on Google to Go Commission Free

by Retail Dive

The Story: In another move to open the doors to Google Shopping, Google recently announced it was dropping its commission from ‘Buy on Google,’ a feature which lets shoppers purchase right on the Google Shopping interface. What’s more, the platform will soon allow PayPal and Shopify to facilitate payments, and it will add a filter that lets users search and shop products from small businesses.

Why it Matters: Google has made big moves in shopping, likely to garner market share from Amazon and Target.com. While paid ads still get priority on Google Shopping (no surprise there), new organic features have made it easier than ever for e-commerce businesses to list and advertise their products on Google.

In this most recent push, Google has created opportunities for small retailers to earn customers at little-to-no cost. The opportunities here are pretty wide-reaching for sellers. But one thing is for sure, however, as Google continues its work on shopping, it solidifies the need for well-built product pages and a search marketing strategy that takes advantage of both paid and organic listings.

Feedback optimization: A User-First Approach to SEO

by Search Engine Land

The Story: Abby Reimer of Uproer explores the concept of Feedback Optimization: Using your reader’s comments on articles to consistently improve the content. The article covers 5 key steps of this process, and shows how just a few small changes can please your audience (and in this case, improve CTR +96%).

Why it Matters: Why It Matters: Keeping content fresh and writing for user intent have long been recognized as search success factors. If you want content that continues to perform, these items are crucial. But beyond the performance gains, listening to our users is one surefire way to create content that truly helps people. When that’s the #1 goal, the rest will come.

How to Hire a Content Marketing Firm

by Credo

The Story: Everyone knows SEO and content marketing go hand in hand, but content marketing is MUCH bigger than content that you can use to build links to. Credo talks through the benefits of hiring a content marketing firm, and what to look for in this step by step guide, focusing on research expertise rather than subject matter expertise.

Why it Matters: There’s not enough hours in a day where you can sit your best experts down to get them to write content. So most companies outsource, which can be a mixed bag. It’s important to rely on content agencies that pride themselves on research and strategy, rather than words per minute.

B2C Content Marketing: How We Grew a B2C Blog to 70,000 Pageviews in 14 Months

by Grow & Convert

The Story: Devesh Khanal from Grow & Convert tells the story of a B2C content marketing campaign that grew their client’s blog traffic from almost nothing to over 70K pageviews in only 14 months.

Why it Matters: This article is important because it debunks the idea that content marketing is somehow less important or less effective for B2C websites than for B2B websites. Devesh introduces the idea of what he calls the “readability index” for estimating the likelihood of success with long-form content.

There are several other solid, practical content marketing strategies included in this article, so we encourage you to take a look for your self. Fair warning – it’s a long one, so grab a cup of coffee and block out some time.

How to Make Your Writing more Inclusive

by Stéphanie Thomson

The Story: Language and social norms change fast. There were 650 words added to the dictionary last year, and woke was one of them. What might have been a common expression one day can suddenly make you sound at best out of touch, at worst offensive. This post goes into detail on how to better your writing for good.

Why it Matters: Our Minneapolis community has been through a long summer. Thousands of people across America are expecting more from their brands and more from the people they look up to, so it’s important to put our best feet forward and think harder about our word choices to make people feel included by our content.

How Long Should Blog Posts Be? The ‘Truth’ About Content Length

by Ahrefs

The Story: This is the debate that never seems to go away. Is long-form content the most effective way to rank or do we need to keep content as brief as possible in order to keep readers on the page? The answer: Yes.

Why it Matters: There is a positive correlation between content length and backlinks but that correlation gradually starts to reverse after around 1,000 words, according to Ahrefs’ research. One reason for this is that short posts rarely explore a topic to a satisfying degree and don’t contain “linkable” points or subtopics. On the other hand, excessively long content is often full of fluff and creates a poor user experience.

If you’re tasked with writing content, don’t start with only a specific word count in mind. Instead, cover all of the relevant subtopics in as concise a manner as possible, using competitive analysis as a supplemental benchmark.

Other Interesting Stories

Free Tool of the Month: Entity Explorer

Entity Explorer is an excellent tool for content brainstorming and mapping out potential hub and spoke ideas. Start with a seed topic and Entity Explorer will show you ideas, concepts, and subtopics that are related to it. Give it a shot and see how you like it!