Eli Schwartz

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SEO

Here Are The Top Marketing Words in Job Titles on LinkedIn

I have been spending a lot of time in LinkedIn lately trying to fill an open SEO position at SurveyMonkey. (If you are a creative and analytical SEO person and want to join an amazing pre-IPO company with millions of organic visits per month, please get in touch!) Having looked at hundreds of LinkedIn profiles for marketers of all kinds, it got me curious about the most popular keywords in job titles, and which major US cities had the most people with those keywords in job titles.

Generally, most job titles are set by employers, so understanding popular keywords also gives some interesting clues about how companies are structuring their marketing teams. From an employee standpoint knowing the popular titles reveals some great directional info about the keywords one should include in their profile if they want recruiters to reach out to them about new opportunities. Additionally, slicing this data by the most populous cities with significant Internet-focused businesses reveals the digital skills and titles valued by region.

For the purposes of this analysis, I searched for keywords (the full list is at the end of this post) specifically included within a job title, and I filtered that search by people located within a metro area. The areas I looked at were the San Francisco Bay area, New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Miami/Ft Lauderdale, Boston and Washington DC.

Here are some of my most interesting discoveries:

  • For nearly every keyword on my list, New York City had the highest number of people using the searched keywords. As the most populous metro area in the US, this makes a lot of sense, of course.
  • The one huge exception is people that used the words “Growth”, “Growth Marketing”, “Growth Marketer” and “Growth Hacker” in the title. The San Francisco Bay Area was the clear winner here with nearly 50% more people using the word “Growth” than in New York. While the meaning of the words “Growth” and “Growth Marketing” is still up for debate, some sort of online marketing is usually included in the responsibilities of an individual responsible for growth.
  • On that note, there are more people in the Bay Area using the words “Content Marketing” and “Growth” than “SEO”. This is the only area where this is the case!
  • Based on these keywords, Los Angeles has more people working in SEO, PPC and Social Media than the San Francisco Bay area, while the Bay Area has more people working in general digital marketing and content marketing than Los Angeles.
  • The word “Digital” is used significantly more in all locations than either “online” or “Internet”
  • “Digital Marketing” beats “Internet Marketing” while “Internet Marketer” beats “Digital Marketer”; however, “Digital Strategist” seems like a far more popular choice
  • The same concept does not hold true for content marketing where using the words “content marketing” seems to be more popular than “content strategist.”
  • Relative to the amount of people using the word “SEO” in their title, there are very few people in SEO specific roles like manager, director and VP.
  • For paid media practitioners, SEM seems like the most popular keyword choice out of all the other options.
  • In the Bay Area, there are nearly as many people working in “CRM” than there are in SEO.
  • The cities with the most marketing people in rank order are:

    • New York
    • San Francisco
    • Los Angeles
    • Chicago
    • Boston
    • Dallas
    • Washington DC
    • Seattle
    • Miami
  • The most popular cities for SEO in rank order are:

    • New York
    • Los Angeles
    • San Francisco
    • Chicago
    • Miami
    • Dallas
    • Boston
    • Seattle
    • Washington DC
  • The most popular cities for content marketing in rank order are:

    • New York
    • San Francisco
    • Los Angeles
    • Chicago
    • Boston
    • Seattle
    • Washington DC
    • Dallas
    • Miami

Did I miss anything in this analysis? Please get in touch!

Appendix

keywords searched for this analysis:

  • marketing
  • marketer
  • brand
  • inbound
  • online
  • internet
  • internet marketing
  • internet marketer
  • Digital
  • digital marketing
  • Digital Marketer
  • digital strategist
  • search engine
  • organic
  • SEO
  • SEO manager
  • head of seo
  • SEO director
  • VP SEO
  • content
  • content marketer
  • content strategist
  • content marketing
  • social media
  • social marketing
  • ppc
  • user acquisition
  • paid media
  • SEM
  • performance marketing
  • performance marketer
  • email
  • crm
  • growth
  • growth marketing
  • growth marketer
  • growth hacker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEO

Optimizing for the Invisible Search Keyword

In the early days of search, optimizing for a particular keyword was as easy as jamming it (and every related iteration) in a meta keywords tag. As search engines, namely Google, became more advanced, websites began utilizing other signals, like placement of a keyword, keyword density, and backlinks, all acquired from some of the best local lead generation sites, to determine the relevance of a webpage to a query.. A diligent SEO could still rank on a particular query if they reverse engineered the right formula for ranking.

In 2016, Google introduced Rank Brain which uses machine learning to understand a user’s query and the webpages that will deliver the best results for that query. This leap forward in Google’s algorithm makes it infinitely harder to rank on a keyword by sheer brute force.  If a webpage does not match the intent of a user’s query, as determined by Rank Brain, then there is no amount of links and keywords that can make a page rank in the results.

The complexity of Rank Brain can be illustrated by viewing search results which appear to be based on hidden keywords. Hidden keywords are the words that the user DID NOT type, yet Google assumes they are a part of the query anyways.

Here are some examples.

  • For the keyword “Customer Satisfaction”, Google has determined that a user is searching for a result that informs them of the level of importance of customer satisfaction. The results for the query “customer satisfaction” and “customer satisfaction importance” are very similar. Since Google assumes that when a user searches for customer satisfaction, they really want to know about the importance, they simply append the keyword importance [important] invisibly to the query.

  • Local queries are one of the first places Google started using this invisible keyword. Queries like “pizza” or “car dealership” will typically have the user’s location appended to them invisibly. In the example below, you can see these results showing results as if I have included my location.
  • In this final example, Google has determined that someone who searches the keyword “online surveys” (the plural form) is looking to take online surveys rather than create them. Looking at the top few results, it does not look like these sites really even optimized their title tag towards the keyword of “online surveys”. For this query, Google has determined that someone searching for “online surveys” is really searching for “paid surveys” and even in the “people also search” box supports that.

 

What should you do about this:

Rather than just relying on keyword search volume in deciding what kinds of content to write on a website, you also need to take the next step of understanding what kind of content Google believes users want to see on that query. This information should be utilized both in the theme of the content you write and also in the keywords used on the page. If you optimize for the invisible keyword you just might get a leg up over competitors who did not bother to optimize for the full phrase Google is querying for in their database.

SEO

Google is the source and antidote to bad medical advice online

We are privileged to live in an age overflowing with information. With access to the entire world’s knowledge literally in our pockets, there is never an excuse to have dinner debates about whether Friendster was the world’s first social network or how to the source of a Singlish phrase. Even more than the random useless trivia that we draw from the internet, we pretend the internet can substitute as as our parents, our legal advisors and even our clergy

One major area of online search is health. We find a rash on our arm, we ask Siri to Google it. We even ask Google to diagnose multiple symptoms (bad idea: the results usually, falsely, point to a deathly disease).  

To anyone that read the recent news about a person dying as a result of a Baidu search this is no surprise and we all do it. While Baidu might have quality issues when it comes to ranking results, the same wrong information is still available in Google.   

Search as the means 

According to a survey I conducted in the US on SurveyMonkey Audience with 395 random Americans, 77 percent of respondents admitted to going online to diagnose medical symptoms. 
 
 

 
52 percent of Americans even used an image search engine like Google Images or Pinterest to diagnose a skin condition. 
 
 
 
When respondents were asked why they went online instead of reaching out to to a doctor, nearly twice as many stated “ease of use” vs. cost. 
 
 

While many medical professionals are opposed to this practice, there are others that think it’s a great idea. According to these medical professionals, searching online for answers to health issues leads to a more engaged patient and even allows people to figure out if a “nasty rash” is a mosquito bite or a creeping parasitic infection that requires a trip to the emergency room. Self-diagnosis might even be a good method to reduce the load on the health care system by empowering patients to triage themselves. 

The source of all of this health info 
 
However, there is one major issue with this hypothesis: Much of the medical resources on the web is horrifically inaccurate (just like everything else on the web). The authors of the vast trove of health information on the Internet are not trained medical professionals. Rather, they are “content marketers” hired to produce articles to rank high on Google searches. That means that much of Google’s highest ranked medical advice is written by a person who’s job is to simply bring people to a website. 

Lacking the medical background to write original medical information, content marketers source their writing from other websites. For the discerning content marketer trained to ignore user generated content, they instead source content written by other content marketers thus contributing to the ever growing cycle of manufactured, and often false, medical advice. 

“There are ample examples of how doctors who have taken an oath to ‘do no harm’ respond to financial and other incentives in ways that do harm patients,” says Josh Steimle, CEO of digital marketing agency MWI, citing a 2015 Los Angeles Times article that explores variances in the rates of c-section births in Los Angeles area hospitals. 

“I have great respect for content marketers and doctors, but should I believe that content marketers, who haven’t taken anything like the Hippocratic Oath, and aren’t nearly as sensitive to the harm they may be doing, are producing accurate health information online when it may not be in their best financial interests? It’s great for patients to do research online, and there is valuable work content marketers can do to put helpful medical information on the internet. But since we can’t even trust doctors 100 percent of the time, it’s up to patients to do thorough research and make sure the information they’re getting is accurate.” 

To a patient in need, it is not obvious that the health care information found online was not produced by a medical professional. The medical advice usually appears on seemingly reputable health websites or even homepages of local family doctors. Additionally, consumers are lulled into thinking the information must be correct because it appears high on Google. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

“Depending on the scenario, relying on inaccurate medical information could have deadly consequences when wrong advice is given,” says marketing visionary John Rampton. “While there are certainly laws and codes of ethics that require content produced online to be correct, content marketers might not even be aware that these laws even exist.” 

Example 
 
To illustrate the scale of this issue, let’s look at a very standard Google query like “cure nearsightedness.” Most eye care professionals would say that there is no way to revert nearsightedness. However, if a layperson searches such a question online, they would be led to believe that indeed, nearsightedness is curable. Without linking to any particular results (I don’t want to send people to these pages), there are particular websites that offer unproven and false ways to “cure” nearsightedness. Consumers may not be aware that the motivation behind these websites is to sell a product rather than share information. 

In this case, the harm is the false hope of an eventual cure, but the risk is far greater when it comes to advice about “eating salad to stave off cancer” or following diets that deprive the body of essential nutrients. 

Google as the savior 
 
It’s worth it to note that all is not lost in the fight against this tide of unverified and bogus content. In the beginning of 2015, Google started showing medical information in the knowledge graph. While, Google uses an actual doctor to verify these answers, these verified results will likely only show up on the limited amount of queries for which Google is able to curate the results. 
 
On the millions of other queries that could not possibly be moderated by a human, Google relies on the standard components of their algorithm which are designed to evaluate quality and relevancy. Without knowing exactly how Google makes these determinations, we can assume that Google looks at which websites link into a piece of content as a signal of quality. Additionally, Google could analyze article wording and phrasing to see if it is similar to other trusted medical sources. 
 
Health search in the new norm 

One in 20 searches conducted on Google are for health related queries; therefore, the trend of using Google in lieu of a doctor is likely to grow. This challenge of keeping us protected from bad advice is set to become even more critical as more users turn to the internet for daily questions. In my survey, the majority of users only looked at 1-2 websites for medical advice, so provided Google can keep these top results accurate, they limit the exposure to factually inaccurate results. 
 
If you are questioning why people even bother creating content that Google will keep out of the top results, you are not alone. That’s an answer for another article. In the meantime, you can rest assured that the runny nose you have is probably not the Zika virus. But just in case you are concerned, here are the actual symptoms of Zika on Google as approved by a doctor. 

SEO

Competition is Good for Google and the World

I recently wrote on SearchEngineLand that after many years of stability, Google’s share of the search market dipped a few percentage points, according to the October Comscore’s report on desktop search market rankings (Note, the Google search market share number has remained at the current level since the October decline).  Like many digital marketers, I don’t completely trust the Comscore rankings since I have always seen a different breakdown of search engine traffic in my own logs. To understand if Google’s market share truly decreased or if this was just a Comscore blip, I ran a survey on SurveyMonkey Audience.

 

In my survey, I asked people to share their primary desktop search engine, and here are the results:

Search Engine Market Share

I ran this same survey one year ago, and according to my survey, Google had 80% of the market. Based on my survey results, it would seem to be that Google is actually losing market share— and it’s not just Comscore’s reporting methodology. While a decline in market share for the first time in many years might not seem like it bodes well for Google and its shareholders, I actually think this is the best thing ever for Google and the whole Internet.

 

Keeping Google honest

Generally, Google runs a search engine that for the most part does what users need as evidenced by their market share. However, they make constant search improvements to bring Google closer to their ultimate goal of achieving Larry Page’s vision of a “perfect search engine,” which he described as “something that understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.”

 

 

Background of Google enhancements

 

While Google claims to make thousands of tweaks to their core website ranking algorithm every year, they only make a small amount of updates that fundamentally transform the Google search results. Some of the really big updates merit blog posts on the Google webmaster blog and receive official names (Kind of like hurricanes.)

 

Panda

 

In 2011, the Panda algorithm targeted low quality content that plagued the Google search result pages. This update was massive, and according to Google, it impacted more than 10% of all queries. Like every piece of Google’s search algorithm, they never detailed exactly what it looked for, but many people did notice that it did a pretty good job of removing the kinds of results that seemed artificial.

 

Penguin

 

In 2012, Google released the Penguin algorithm, which was aimed at neutralizing websites that took advantage of artificial links to increase their websites’ rankings. Links pointing to a website have always been an important part of how Google determines a website’s ranking; and it was one of the key features that Google differentiated themselves from competitors and directories during the late 1990’s. Rather than earn links naturally, webmasters skirted the process by using a variety of means including exchanges of cash to acquire links. Again, Google never detailed exactly how this algorithm works, but it is meant to determine whether links have been earned “naturally” or “unnaturally” (as defined by Google of course).

 

 

Mobile friendliness, Hummingbird and Rank Brain

 

In addition, there have been a series of recent updates aimed at improving search results on mobile. One update specifically demoted websites on mobile search that were deemed not “mobile friendly”. Others like “Hummingbird” improved search, so people can get results faster, sometimes without even clicking a website result.

 

Most recently, Google launched an algorithm update they dubbed “Rank Brain”. Rank Brain uses artificial intelligence to interpret never before seen queries and serve up the best results for the searcher based on what Google thinks they are seeking.

 

 

Competition as a motivation

Constant improvements of their search engine, with the occasional rewrite of their core algorithms, is expensive, and the exercise isn’t just one of altruism. Without the pressure of competitors biting at their heels, they might be less motivated to create the perfect search engine.

 

International markets are a perfect test of a more competitor-free environment, and notably even some of their big algorithm updates take a bit of time to migrate out of the US. In Singapore, where I am currently living and working, Google has almost complete dominance. As an English-speaking country with near total penetration of the Internet, Google’s search results should be as “perfect” as they are in the US, but they are not.

 

Singapore as an example

I was recently searching on for a baby bassinet for my newborn. The first result is for the US based Toysrus.com website which does not even allow for shipping to Singapore. Imagine if this were to happen in the US, where the results for a Canadian or Mexican website that does not offer shipping to the US showeed up in US results. Users would scamper off to Bing or Yahoo or DuckDuckGo faster than a blink of an eye.

 

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