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Acrolinx 3.0 to Offer "SEO While They Write" to Content Authors
Posted by Rebecca Ray on December 24, 2012  in the following blogs: Global Marketing, Web Globalization, Translation and Localization
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Search engine optimization (SEO) is similar to flossing one's teeth – everyone recognizes it's best done on a regular basis. However, it would be a whole lot easier if it were integrated upstream in the content creation step (see "Writing for Global Audiences," Nov10).

Currently, most companies deal with SEO in one of two ways. Some firms throw it back on their writers, instructing them to do whatever it takes to "keyword optimize" their content. However, this model doesn't guarantee consistency or tight management of the process, because it depends on individual best efforts. Other companies outsource the entire process to a specialized agency, but this usually means applying SEO tools only after content has been written. This model doesn't scale well when websites are frequently updated because the agency has to be involved each time to keep content current. Neither one of these models works well for the translation teams that must continually render SEO in multiple languages (see "Sorting Out the SEO-TM Conundrum," Jul11).

One company that has tackled this challenge head-on is Acrolinx, known for its linguistic analytics engine that integrates with authoring tools to check for readability and translatability. PG Bartlett, the company's SVP of Product Management, briefed us recently on the upcoming Acrolinx 3.0, which claims to integrate SEO tightly into the authoring workflow. Bartlett said it would move SEO upstream to where it should be and provide tools to support writers responsible for the process.

The new "SEO while you write" capability lets authors create content and optimize it for search engines at the same time. The content can reside in Word, Excel spreadsheets, web content management systems, HTML, or XML. This version offers advice on keywords chosen by the author, as well as providing alternate keywords that may be even more effective. It supplies an overall SEO score, checks for social links, and verifies that embedded images and videos are properly meta-tagged. The program is also designed to increase click-through rates by guiding authors to create content that has a higher probability of being picked up as rich snippets by search engines.

Version 3.0 ships with deep linguistic capabilities for English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Swedish. This level of support means, for example, that the Chinese version focuses its search for keywords on the middle section of a webpage where they are more apt to appear. This is in contrast to European languages where the attention is on the upper left side of the webpage.

With this SEO-enhanced version, Acrolinx aims to support web content management (WCM) providers. However, it faces two challenges:
  • The highly fragmented nature of the WCM sector will prove to be a challenge. Until it is able to sign distribution deals with content-creation software companies such as Adobe or with large-scale enterprise integrators such as IBM Global and Infosys, it will continue to depend on partner deals.
  • Acrolinx may also encounter competition from the SEO industry itself from companies such as OBAN Multilingual, Search Laboratory, or WebCertain, along with language services providers that supply specialized services for multilingual SEO. These competitors may not come from the same robust authoring background as Acrolinx, but could pose an additional threat if they collaborate with firms like Across Systems (Congree), SDL, STAR, or Tedopres
And, where there is competition, there are usually opportunities for cooperation as well, so we may see Acrolinx team up with some of these same companies to offer additional support to authors and marketers.


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Keywords: Authoring, B2B and B2C global marketing, Content source optimization, Global authoring environments, Global content management, Global websites, Localization, Multilingual search, Multilingual search engine optimization, Translation, Translation memory, Web globalization

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