Whether you’re new to running a website or have already built a successful website, content marketing is among the most important components of long-term success. Content marketing is an essential marketing approach that involves the creation and publishing of various types of content, which can include everything from written articles and eBooks to webinars and videos.

If you want your website to be successful and convert visitors into return customers, it’s important that you stay up to date with the different content marketing strategies available to you as well as the developing internet culture. The types of content that your prospective customers want will likely change over time. Only by paying attention to marketing trends will you be able to adapt in a timely and efficient manner. This article offers up a guide on the rise of summary bots and other essential SEO strategies you should know about.

The Rise of Summary Bots

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Many site owners fear the rise of summary bots over the belief that these bots will keep users from navigating to websites. Summary bots are designed to automatically summarize content into one or two sentences depending on the bot. These bots are relatively new creations that have been popularized on Reddit. This particular website was ranked as sixth in the U.S. for website traffic in 2018, which is why many websites focus some of their content marketing strategies on Reddit.

Reddit specifically uses a tool known as AutoTLDR, which uses the SMMRY algorithm. At first, TLDR users would summarize their own posts into a single sentence on Reddit. However, a study found that the majority of users don’t even open the content before interacting with a post by upvoting or downvoting it. To make sure that the posts were properly summarized and optimized, summary bots were created to auto-summarize all content, which ensured that users wouldn’t need to waste their own time handling the summaries.

To better understand what a summary bot does, the content that you post on your website will automatically be summarized when other users share your content throughout Reddit. If a Reddit user decides to post a blog article of yours to Reddit, the content will be reduced by at least 70 percent into a summary that gets rid of transition phrases, unimportant details, and other content that’s deemed to be nonessential. If you’re worried about how these bots will affect your page views, there are some things that you can do to compensate for these bots.

Summary Bots: What Can Content Marketers Do?

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To determine what you should do about summary bots, it’s first recommended that you run your content through the SMMRY summary bot, which can be done at this link. Once you’ve been provided with the summary of your content, ask yourself if it includes the most important parts of the content. Next, you should identify which sentence in the SMMRY summary is the most important and focus on it. Does the sentence include the standard keywords that you included in your content for SEO purposes?

One great way to improve the single-sentence concept held by SMMRY is by foregoing the use of a period and instead using other forms of punctuation. Can you replace periods with an exclamation point or question mark? SMMRY only recognizes when a period is placed at the end of a sentence, which means that other sentences that end with different forms of punctuation would still be counted as a single sentence.

While automatic summary bots are only located on Reddit for the moment, this will likely change in the future given the convenience that the tool provides. There are plenty of reasons that you might start to notice the spread of summary bots. For instance, more people who browse websites via their smartphones won’t want to read a lengthy article on a small screen, which is when auto summarizing might prove to be useful.

When you create longer posts and articles on your website, you might want to think about placing your own summary towards the very beginning of the article, which allows you to cater to both types of customers. Before making any of these changes, ask your readers directly about what they would do in your situation. The feedback that you receive could help you make the right decision. Bots like SMMRY will look for:

  • How lengthy is the sentence?
  • How many words does the sentence share with the article title?
  • Where is the sentence located in the text?
  • Where is the sentence located in the paragraph?
  • How frequently are certain words used compared to the entire text?
  • Does the sentence begin with a conjunction?
  • Does the sentence begin with a noun?
  • Is the sentence written with personal pronouns as opposed to noun phrases?

Meta Descriptions and Summary Bots

One great alternative to summary bots is the use of a meta description in the content that you place on your website. This description is a short snippet or summary of the content that can only reach up to 155 characters in length. The point of this description is to provide a brief summary of any page content.

When placed correctly in the content via an HTML tag, search engines like Google will display the description in any search results that lead to your content. Your meta description will typically pop up in search results when the phrase that the user searched for is located in your description, which is why it’s important to optimize the meta description for some on-page SEO.

When compared to a summary bot, meta descriptions are oftentimes more effective at bringing users to a website. Summary technology will already affect the content by reducing the length of it. On the other hand, readers may choose to read all of your content after looking at the meta description. Even though summary bots may not be wholly negative for site traffic, meta descriptions have practically no downsides and should help you gain site visitors.

Google BERT

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Google BERT is a highly advanced neural network-based technique that helps search engines more effectively comprehend how people communicate. Originally released towards the end of 2019, Google BERT allows search engines to parse lengthier search queries more effectively.

Before this update was integrated into Google, the search engine would sometimes have issues properly directing a user to the results they were looking for, which was particularly common with conversational queries that had connecting words in them. Google has estimated that around 10 percent of all search queries were positively affected by the introduction of Google BERT.

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness: The Backbone of SEO

Person looking at SEO statistics

The core concept of SEO is expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. If you want your website to appear towards the top of search engine results, it’s important that you focus on earning Google’s trust, which is actually relatively simple to do once you understand what it takes to earn their trust. Keep in mind that the rich get richer in terms of ranking. More popular content is more likely to continue to be read by users, which serves to make the content increasingly popular as time goes on.

Among the more effective ways to grow trust in your content is to use backlinks whenever possible, which are external links on other websites that lead back to your website. Link building and brand building are essential if you want Google to view your content and overall website as being trustworthy. Stronger brands will invariably appear to be more trustworthy to Google and their search algorithm.

You should also think about creating regular posts on your website that provide visitors with the kind of information that they’re looking for. These posts can be separated into planned editorials, reactive editorials, and planned reactive editorials. When looking specifically at planned editorials, these articles include topics that are covered by various journalists at certain intervals of the year, which can include Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Black Friday.

On the other hand, planned reactive editorials are features that are written on topics that tie to a specific seasonal theme or event but aren’t always known in advance. While the time frame of the article is understood, the exact story isn’t known until it’s written by journalists or editors. Reactive editorials are ones that can’t be planned and are written based on the latest news and updates. Providing your site visitors with the kind of content that they want should help your site grow in the rankings.

Artificial Intelligence Will Continue to Grow

Artificial intelligence will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Your key takeaway should be that AI is evolving on a nearly continual basis to the point where machine learning is something that can be done currently. While summary bots may not be ideal if you want readers to look at your content, they have proven to be effective at getting more users on Reddit to read posts instead of immediately upvoting or downvoting them. You can also see with BERT that AI advancements are beneficial for content marketers and may soon make it much easier for you to perform effective SEO.

AI marketing is currently in its baby stages, which means that you have time to prepare. Google continues to use AI advancements as well as machine learning for their new products. For instance, Speakable identifies portions of webpages or articles that are ideally suited for audio playback via text-to-speech. By marking these sections, Google automatically knows which content to read aloud on devices wherein Google Assistant is enabled. This is just one example of the initial AI advancements that are being made in the industry. It’s clear that future SEO advancements will have a lot to do with artificial intelligence.

Bryan Miller of Bryt Designs Long Beach Web Design, Development, & SEO
Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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