Hi, hello everyone. We’re having an incredibly gratifying first year and I’ve already presented WordLift and our AI-driven SEO this year at the Data Driven Innovation Day in Rome, at The Next Web Conference and SEMANTiCS 2017 in Amsterdam.
Every time I accept to give a talk or participate to an event I get scared that I don’t have anything new to bring to the audience. In reality, we’ve been super productive, and it’s a great time to share how semantic SEO is progressing and what we’re learning as we grow our technology and improve the web metrics for our clients.
This is why I’m truly excited to participateat two international events this month: on the 14th, I will be at the SMXL Milan 2017 and on the 29th I will be at Menlo Park, California, for the IDW Conference. For these two upcoming events we are building a cool new companion plugin of WordLift to leave you speechless – and…to make your website talk ??
When you publish your content as structured data, there are many different ways to leverage on it and to improve its findability and the monetization of it. It is always a fairly wild ride when working with technology: we keep on bouncing between conceptual thinking, technical specifications and very practical examples — we’re starting to test here and now the power of linked data and how it can help publishers interact more effectively with their audience.
The simplest and most immediate benefit of semantic SEO is for sure to let your website unambiguously communicate with search engines, gain good rankings and increase CTR. With some work and a bit of luck, your content can also get featured on voice search and personal digital assistants (or as someone would call itPASO the new SEO).
At the same time, by reusing the same structured data that helps you boost your ranking on your favorite SERP, you can do a lot more.
Make your website talk
A few weeks ago, we’ve released Doctor Search Marketing, a trivia chatbot which tests your semantic SEO skills. We created it out of a template and it was pretty effective, we just had to figure out a bunch of questions that could be answered by the entities on our website and we brought both questions and their answers into a spreadsheet to make it work.
We have also tested other more engaging ways of pulling content out of WordPress into a conversational UIs and I am really excited to share our findings.
At the SMXL Milan, I will share the stage with Richard Wallis, a maverick of structured data, Martha van Berkel, co-founder of Schema App, and – of course – our guest Sante J. Achille, a rockstar in the Italian SEO market space.
I will describe how computers understand human language with the help of semantics and structured data, the entity-based content model and how it impacts voice search results and – finally – how it can help you build a chatbot ?
I hope to communicate in these next upcoming events some of the exciting things that we’re working on right now, and a few of the things that we see emerging in the search industry. See you soon! ?
The vision of organizing content and creating – out of millions of web pages – a Giant Global Graph was groundbreaking. When Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s blogged about it back in 2007 it was clear that something was happening. Giant Global Graph (GGG) really was a definition that he introduced to clarify how a web of data was emerging from the web of documents.
«So the Net and the Web may both be shaped as something mathematicians call a Graph, but they are at different levels. The Net links computers, the Web links documents.
Now, people are making another mental move. There is realisation now, “It’s not the documents, it is the things they are about which are important“. Obvious, really.»
Later he continues:
«Then, when I book a flight it is the flight that interests me. Not the flight page on the travel site, or the flight page on the airline site, but the URI (issued by the airlines) of the flight itself. That’s what I will bookmark. And whichever device I use to look up the bookmark, phone or office wall, it will access a situation-appropriate view of an integration of everything I know about that flight from different sources. The task of booking and taking the flight will involve many interactions. And all throughout them, that task and the flight will be primary things in my awareness, the websites involved will be secondary things, and the network and the devices tertiary.»
I have been following this path in the last ten years — really. I actively played a role in the field of applied research to evaluate the impact of these technologies and to understand how, knowledge extraction, NLP and semantic technologies (now also called applied AI), could improve content management systems, publishing workflows, and content findability.
After these intense two days at SEMANTiCS 2017, the 13th European Conference on Semantics Systems in Amsterdam, I can finally see this whole vision becoming a reality. Knowledge graphs are not just crucial for the improvement of various machine learning and cognitive computing tasks, they are at the core of leading edge organizations like Electronic Art. They serve as complex content models to compete in today’s digital world.
Before incorporating WordLift as a startup we spent these last five years in harnessing the complexity of these technologies and I am proud now to hear esteemed managers at C-level, top notch consultants and even academics recognizingWordLift as a first mover in the digital marketing automation to cleverly use the entire stack of semantic technologies.
While there is a broad universe of computing challenges that are now interesting for the semantic web community and again large enterprises and institutions are undertaking significant investment to move from legacy databases to linked data infrastructures — imagine 100+ years of research documents being managed and produced by IET (The Institution of Engineering and Technology) becoming a giant graph, or scientific publishers of the size of Springer Nature, with their annual turnover of EUR 1.5 billion, moving to semantic graph databases — Semantic SEO is still in its infancy in this industry, and real five stars linked data publishing for websites (without astronomical budgets) is really only possible with WordLift.
The recent uptake of our product also means that we can finally experiment with these technologies by iterating on all kinds of enhancements and by measuring their immediate impact on a wide range of different websites.
In the Freeyork.org case that I presented at SEMANTiCS 2017, we had the unique opportunity to see how enriched articles performed against not enriched articles in terms of page views and sessions but also in terms of engagement metrics like average time spent on the page, session duration and number of pages visited per session. The results that we measured are impressive and not only important for the happy users of our service, but are paving the way for a completely new generation of AI-driven SEO tools powered by semantic technologies that combine knowledge extraction with high-quality graphs to help editors focus on their stories and let machines find the perfect audiences for it.
The key findings from the freeyork.org use case.
In this sense, @RamiaEl the editor in chief of @Tharawatmag, has probably written, a few days ago, one of the best reviews for our plugin.
If I have to look ahead, the challenges that we need to face with WordLift and within the emerging market sector of automated SEO really are twofold:
building the business infrastructure around the technology to help us scale (Aaron Bradley and Eamonn Glass from Electronic Arts have been very clear to this regard – Simplify, ScaleandStandardise)
improving the quality of the data that we use to structure content and the quality of the data that we generate and publish. The leading edge, when you’re creating intelligent content, as more people, will begin to use semantics, is going to be on the quality of the data. Machine learning here is a key player but, still, I haven’t seen many solutions where it has been effectively applied to data curation, cleaning, and interlinking.
I will probably blog more about the conference in the next few days and I am sure that all the ideas and the experiments that I have discussed, planned and evaluated in these two days are going to help inform the way AI powered SEO will evolve in the next few years.
Networking with like-minded people, visionaries and researchers from all over the world (along with cycling in a stormy weather at full speed) is absolutely a great way to spend my time and to keep on improving our product. ?
Creating Machine-Friendly Content in WordPress: Making Web Content Accessible is a free, one-hour webinar about how to create smart content from your WordPress web site. You will learn how to implement new ways of interacting with your audience using digital personal assistants, chatbots, and smart homes devices.
The key? Semantically-rich web content. ?
The webinar has been hosted on BrightTALK by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, with Andrea Volpini, CEO and co-founder of WordLift, as a guest.
What is the Machine-Friendly Content Webinar about?
The goal of the webinar is to discover howbuilding a knowledge graph can empower your web content—making it readily available to chatbots, smart crawlers, voice search, and personal digital assistants. You’ll find why making your content machine-friendly can help you optimize your content, so it appears at the top of the search results. And, you’ll learn how making your content intelligent can provide you with actionable business insights and metrics that matter.
The webinar has been recorded on September 14th at5:00 pm Central European Time (8:00 am PT / 11:00 am ET)
What is a WordCamp? How do people in the WordPress community look like? What’s the magic behind the people that power 28 percent of the Web? What is so exciting about meeting contributors from around the world and end up translating strings of a content management software that a lot of tech people consider messy and somehow outdated?
I’ve attended my first European WordCamp along with other 1.900 people traveling from 79 countries to answer these questions and to present WordLift to partners and friends.
Long time WordPress ninjas agree that the WordCamp Europe 2017 edition was by far one of the best(article by WP Tavern).
Attending a WordCamp is not just about reviewing themes and discussing core developments of the WordPress platform but it is really about looking closely at the enthusiasm of a thriving and highly competitive eco-system.
Here is my short summary of the event and my five reasons to attend the next WordCamp:
Accessibility and inclusivity matter. Enjoy it! If there is a single theme to describe WordPress’s core efforts nowadays this would beinclusivity. From presentation about the ongoing efforts to grow the platform, to marketing trends inside Automattic, everything is designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of technical skills and language barriers.
Innovation as a side effect. Let’s catch up! WordPress easy-of-use remains the most important driver of adoption of WordPress. Never the less the community is there to show you that a lot of innovative and amazing work is still happening under the hood. We develop WordLift, our semantic SEO plugin, with a focus on digital marketing automation, so my attention was somehow biased by the presentation of Gutenberg (WordPress new web editor technology). Matt Mullenweg attended a casual Q&A session and showed us a demo of the editor that finally introduces true workflow capabilities on WordPress and can be already tested by downloading a plugin on WordPress.org. Now, while a good chunk of the presentations revolve around the industry, open source initiatives and testimonials, there is a great lot of innovation to catch up with (and this is, of course, a great sign)
Competition is fierce and many-sided. It’s time to find your next partner. By attending this type of events you can finally understand and see that behind the enthusiastic open source community spirit there is a billion dollars economy that fights like crazy to remain ahead of the curve and to create consistent business value. If you’re making a living using WordPress, if you have spent nights coding themes or plugins, a WordCamp really is an event to attend. It’s not just a venue where platform’s users and blogging newbies gather every now and then, this is the event that represents an entire industry!
Great products are made by people, so go and meet them. Products are never finished. This is true for digital products and now it is also true for things that exist in the real world like cars and airplanes. Kevin Kelly talks about ‘becoming‘ as one of his twelve technological forces that shape our future. The basic idea is that perfection does no longer exist and you as a maker shall keep on adapting your product to change what you’re building and to respond to the audience. This also means that people, still play a pivotal role in these ecosystems. Their product adapts over time but their vision is what you, as a prosumer (or consumer) are really buying. A WordCamp is a terrific place where you can go and showcase like we did, your plugin to WordPress’s living rockstars like Joost de Valk from Yoast or Syed Balkhi from WPBeginners and Optin Monster.
Give back, always.It’s good for your karma and good for your business. Whether you are cheering up a thought leader speaking on the front stage or you decide to roll up your sleeves and join for the Contributor Day a WordCamp is the place where you have your chance to move your energy and intentions in favor of others. I don’t want to sound too mystical but this really is the life blood of these experiences.
Here is a timeline from our Twitter account and below, two real gems I picked for you!
Now two contributions that really deserve your attention:
1. John Maeda head of Design and Inclusion at Automattic presenting the three types of design: classical design, business design, and computational design (as during his talk for the WordCamp John explains in this video that inclusivity is the secret weapon of every successful design team).
2.Marina Pape – Marketing Wrangler at WooCommerce sharing her precious experience. Great stuff!
On the 18th and 19th of May 2017, thousands of entrepreneurs, developers, marketing managers, CEOs and policymakers will visit Amsterdam and join one of the most interesting, amusing and engaging tech festivals of the World. We are talking about TNW Conference 2017: it’s going to be awesome and, yep… we are going to be there!
In the wonderful Westerpark, that once was the district where the first industrial revolution took place in Amsterdam, interesting speakers coming from all around the world, promising startups, entrepreneurs, and managers will meet for two intense days of tech talking to discover the next big things to come.
Let’s meet at TNW Conference 2017!
We are going to join the conference as a startup and we’ll showcase our product thereon May 19th in Exhibitor Area 2!
We’d love to meet tech enthusiasts, bloggers, journalists, and marketers to show them how we are changing the online publishing paradigm thanks to artificial intelligence and semantics.
Pen on one hand, smartphone on the other: this Saturday at Play Copy we tweeted and took notes at a double speed, trying to grab the best tips and tricks from some expert Italian copywriters and content marketers. While Gennaro, Andrea, and Beatrice were at our desk, showing WordLift to those who write for a living, I was in the classroom, learning some good advice from this big conference. In this post, you’ll find some key takeaways about copywriting, plus one bonus tip.
We are really proud of having sponsored this inspiring, rich, funny event. Our biggest thanks goes to Pennamontata for planning Play Copy! I hope reading this post you’ll feel like you were there at the Spazio Talent Garden just like us.
LESSON ONE: STORYTELLING
Social media manager at LAV, the most important non-profit organization in Italy which defends the rights of all animals, Carlotta showed us her point of view on storytelling and then delighted all the copywriters in the room with the touching but still funny story of a big family of macaques, #imagnifici16.
Some lessons that we’ve learned with Carlotta:
In storytelling, emotions are the key to the heart of your public: anger, joy, sadness, wonder.. there is a wide range of feelings that we can use to touch people. Choosing an emotional key is the first step to catching your target attention.
Never – ever! – forget your target: try to create a connection between humans, because – in the end – whether if you’re trying to connect for business or non-profit reasons, it’s all about building relationships which bind people to your story.
You can animate people to stand up by your side even with some humor: you don’t need to use pain and sadness all the time. Sometimes a laugher is the strongest way to your target heart.
LESSON TWO: CRISIS MANAGEMENT
Copywriter and mom of Pennamontata, the agency that organized Play Copy, Valentina helped us to understand the difference between a not-so-relevant banana peel and a real crisis. While banana peels make you fall but don’t hurt so much your business, actual crisis are like shitstorms which affect your brand reputation and – even worse! – your revenues.
Which is the right way to face a crisis?
Don’t minimize: see your problem for what it really is, because playing it down will not help you to keep the score.
Take your responsibility: be true, and admit your mistakes. If you’re able to be honest with that, you can handle your motivations and proof your real intentions.
Apologize: sorry may be the hardest word to say, but it will help you to raise your head up. Don’t be an ostrich!
Empathize: try to understand the heart of the matter. It may be some deep and hidden value that you’ve hit unwittingly.
Keep your promises: respect your values and keep your promises to fix the issue.
LESSON THREE: SIMPLIFY YOUR TEXT
When Leonardo Luccone, Director at Oblique Studio, steps in the classroom every typo starts to shake. Mordacious and immediate, Leonardo gave us the best advice to write a better business profile: simplicity is elegance.
Then, quoting Flaubert, he said that since words matter, there is no reason to describe ourselves with words that belong to someone else. His point was: in a world that seems crowded with people with a similar educational and professional background, the only way to stand out of the crowd is to highlight your individual characteristics and passions.
LESSON FOUR: WRITE GOOD BUSINESS E-MAILS
Sometimes, you just need ten minutes to nurture your relations – and your business – in the right way. Annamaria Anelli focused on those e-mails you need to write in uncomfortable situations, such as replying to an important message while you are out of office, apologizing for a late reply or saying no to a potential new client because you are too busy.
Here are some good tips that you can also apply to other uncomfortable communications:
But sounds like a bad word: try to reverse its role in the phrase putting the bad news before it and the good one after. The phrase will end with a good message, that will stay up in your reader’s mind.
Use the kiss-kick-kiss technique: put a bad news between two nice ones to make its effect a little softer.
Be simple, concrete, personal: talk to your reader referring to his/her real case and suggest something to do next.
LESSON FIVE: MEASURE YOUR STORY
How can you talk about numbers, data, and metrics with those who write for a living? A hard challenge, but Paolo Zanzottera, board member of ShinyStats and co-founder of Appocrate, managed it with talking clearly and walking miles and miles on the carpet under its feet.
There were two important lessons in its talk:
Content is not king. You need to exchange it with a triumvirate: design, content, and distribution.
Buyers personas should resemble as much as possible to actual customers with all their imperfections, day-by-day struggles, hard times and so on.
LESSON SIX: BUILD AN EDITORIAL PLAN
Social media manager at BPER Banca, Valentina Fiorillo tells us how to create an editorial plan for LinkedIn; she shares the stage with Valentina Falcinelli, who worked on the strategy.
Lesson learned: you can always use simple words, even if you are a bank!
LESSON SEVEN: THE IRONIC WAY TO SAY IT
The mind behind Mentine, Nicola Bonora, has a lot to say about irony: when he shows up, most of the public laughs. Though, he said, “irony is a serious thing“. When you use an ironic statement you are building with your public an understanding based on smartness and on a common cultural background. And, in fact, he trained us with some examples and exercises to prove that irony is a combination of technique, culture, and creativity. To practice irony you can do these three things:
Start with what you know best: yourself. Using self-irony also helps you see yourself from a different perspective.
Build an apparent incongruity: use a contradiction that actually brings a deeper meaning.
Practice on puzzle solving to improve your lateral thinking.
LESSON EIGHT: KEEP THE MAGIC GOING
Magician and motivational coach, Walter left all the classroom breathless with its inspired talk. His main advice? Believe in you giving yourself the chance to go for the things you really want.
LESSON NINE: FICTIONAL NEWS AND JOKES
Alfonso Biondi, one of the most sarcastic writers of Lercio, a well-known Italian journal of fictional news, helped us understand the difference between fictional news and fake ones and shared with us some good tips to write jokes that work.
According to Alfonso…
Fictional newsare built on a paradox and bring a message. While fake news are written to be confused with real ones, fictional news will surprise you opening a new level of meaning.
In classic jokes the assumption is true, while in fictional news you sometimes don’t have any assumptions or you have a false one.
Rhythm matters: the surprise, which makes you laugh, should be at the end of a joke. It has to blow your mind away, literally!
LESSON TEN: BRANDING AND COPYWRITING
The branding expert Carlotta Silvestrini talks about what words can do for brands. What is the relation between branding and copywriting? For Carlotta, finding the right words means leveraging on values that say something unique about the brand. It’s not a case that her number one rule is:
“Read again your copy. If it works for one of your competitors, it’s not good for you.”
The founders of Associazione Italiana Copywriter, the national copywriters association, showed us the good reasons why copywriters should stand together for their rights. Word Power!
LESSON ELEVEN: WRITE AS YOU LIVE
Once copywriter, then novelist, now scent maker, Sarah McCartney has a lot of inspiring experience to share. Her rules smell good like her scents, because she deeply understands writing as a consequence of deeply understanding humans.
Be kind: make your text easy for your readers. There is no need for difficult words when you can use simpler ones. And keep your punctuation perfectly clean to make your phrases more understandable.
Understand your reader: nobody likes to be treated like a demographic data. Be real, and think about the real life of the persons you are going to meet with your words.
Give a soul to your words: if yours doesn’t fit the case, borrow the one of someone you know.
LESSON TWELVE: ORGANIZE YOUR CONTENT
If you get to this point through this long article, you have to be really interested in copywriting… so, we think that you’ll love this final tip from us. We are not focused on writing, but we think that you should… and we can stay by your side! We know your struggle when you write for blogs and websites and you are supposed to follow a lot of SEO rules, which distract you from your job. Also, we know how much time you spend on looking for images on the web and trying to connect your content with each other.
Here is why we guess you’ll love these things we can do for you:
Support your stories with images and contextual facts
Grow your traffic without freaking you out with SEO rules
Invite your readers to live a long experience on your website