Partner Bootcamp

Sim­pli­fy­ing SEO: The 6 Core Met­rics You Need To Know

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Webinar Transcript

[Down­load­able ver­sion of the tran­script, the pre­sen­ta­tion deck, and oth­er mate­ri­als are avail­able in the Resource Cen­ter].

Bernard:

Hel­lo, hel­lo, hel­lo, and wel­come every­one to the Part­ner Boot­camp series. For every­one that’s joined us in the Boost Your Busi­ness series, I just want­ed to make it clear this is an alto­geth­er dif­fer­ent webi­nar series. SEO­Re­seller wants to run you through the more tech­ni­cal ele­ments of SEO. 

So today, we are talk­ing about the core met­rics – the six core met­rics that you need to know and only the six that you need to know.

I’m Bernard San Juan III and if you guys have worked with us before then you’ll know who I am. And I’m run­ning this webi­nar today all by my lone­some and I’m an 18-year web pro­fes­sion­al, which makes me real­ly old.

And yeah, it’s exact­ly what the writ­ing says, I’ve launched over 300 web­sites – actu­al­ly, way more than that by now. I’ve man­aged over a thou­sand mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. I’m also very easy to hit up by the way, I’m bernard@seoreseller.com – short and sweet – and you can find me on LinkedIn by going to linkedin.com/bernardsanjuaniii.

So today, I’m going to be talk­ing to you about the six core met­rics on SEO. But true to our tra­di­tion, this is the shame­less plug time, ‘cause it’s always slide num­ber 3 that’s shame­less plug time. So I’m going to talk about the mock­ups and the pro­pos­al cre­ator.

If you haven’t joined us on the Boost Your Busi­ness webi­na­rs before, you may not be aware but we made teach­ing and sell­ing web design eas­i­er.

We built a mock­up and a pro­pos­al cre­ator right at the com­fort of your own dash­board. It allows you to cre­ate high-qual­i­ty designs for your prospects in min­utes. This then allows you to attach them to pro­fes­sion­al­ly made doc­u­ments like SLAs, con­tracts, quotes, and allows you to launch your web­site in no time. All you got to do is make them sign the dot­ted line. You can vis­it, you can learn more about our mock­up and pro­pos­al cre­ator by fol­low­ing the bit.ly link, which is real­ly just bit.ly/mockup-builder.

Now, let’s get on to an intro­duc­tion of what we’re cov­er­ing in this con­ver­sa­tion. What we’re talk­ing about are the six core met­rics of SEO and the best prac­tices for effec­tive opti­miza­tion. Essen­tial­ly, I guess all of you guys know if you’re not new to SEO, everybody’s aware that there are over 200 search met­rics in Google’s algo­rithm.

And you need to know the impor­tance of hav­ing search engine met­ric groups because, you don’t real­ly, it’s not prac­ti­cal for any­body to go through each met­ric through each page of their web­site. In fact, when most peo­ple talk to us, we tell them there is no true 100% opti­mized web­site. But by think­ing of the met­rics in groups, it gives you a more prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of how to lever­age these met­rics to your website’s advan­tage and to make it eas­i­er to the bots and the users – specif­i­cal­ly, the user – to get a bet­ter idea of what the con­tent on your web­site is about.

You’ll dis­cov­er what our six core met­ric groups are and the best SEO prac­tice to lever­age each met­ric. Of course, at the end of this ses­sion, I’m going to try to make it short so that we’ve got more time for Q&A because I can real­ly talk SEO, but feel free to send your ques­tions in advance by using the WebEx chat, which should be the lit­tle box on the top right of your screens.

So, let’s get start­ed. What is the sig­nif­i­cance of hav­ing six core met­rics in today’s SEO? So, we start­ed the con­ver­sa­tion because accord­ing to Mar­ket­ing Sher­pa, SEO is a 16-bil­lion-dol­lar indus­try. It’s a huge indus­try and yet, that 16-bil­lion-dol­lar indus­try is only made up of the, actu­al­ly not ten, but nine per­cent of web­sites that have mature opti­miza­tion char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Nine­ty per­cent, if not more, of the SEOs that you’ll man­age to talk to, they’re not insti­tu­tion­al­ized. They don’t have for­mal research capa­bil­i­ties. They don’t have a lab­o­ra­to­ry to play with. They don’t per­form their own research. Most of them will have learned their own SEO tech­niques com­ing from blogs or oth­er pro­fes­sion­als or oth­er sources like, for exam­ple, Moz’s White­board Fri­days or link research tools, which by the way are great resources. But we always encour­age every­one to test and ver­i­fy their own infor­ma­tion.

Now, because they haven’t done their own bouts of test­ing, a lot of peo­ple that claim to be great SEOs can’t real­ly pre­dict how their work will affect the web­site that they’re try­ing to work on and this is very dan­ger­ous, because if you can’t pre­dict it, you can’t pre­vent your­self from harm­ing the web­site that you’re try­ing to help.

And even at the point of speak­ing to you guys dur­ing this webi­nar, I’m sad to say that we still see work reports com­ing from poten­tial clients, poten­tial part­ners show­ing us out­dat­ed prac­tices that endan­ger their clients’ web­sites. I mean, we’re talk­ing about eighty per­cent blog com­ments, still auto­mat­ed social book­marks, out­dat­ed busi­ness list­ings online, and what­not.

So that’s why we’re talk­ing. We’re talk­ing because you need to under­stand what pro­fes­sion­al SEO ser­vices are about and most estab­lished orga­ni­za­tions, not just us, but you know most­ly us, but not just us have a method­ol­o­gy in place in terms of what they’re try­ing to do with their web­site and why they’re doing it that way. They’re not just copy­ing some­body else’s method­ol­o­gy; they build their own.

So again, before I talk about why deal with search engine met­rics in groups, a reminder to send in your ques­tions for the Q&A por­tion.

So, why group the search met­rics? In real­i­ty, there are over 200 met­rics to rank web­sites. If you guys have vis­it­ed Moz, Search Engine Jour­nal, Search Engine Land, all these great resources online, they will list over a hun­dred met­rics and what their esti­mat­ed effect on search engine rank­ings are for each met­ric.

For us, in-house, we have found a hun­dred twen­ty-three met­rics that have an amount of influ­ence on rank­ings. There­fore, we test­ed them and we under­stand how they can affect your rank­ings. We under­stand how they can make you vis­i­ble to your cus­tomers.

One of the things that most peo­ple fail to under­stand is that the algo­rithm is a fil­ter and if you’re a mar­keter, I strong­ly rec­om­mend you guys read up on Seth Godin. Seth Godin wrote a mile­stone book called Per­mis­sion Mar­ket­ing and the search engine algo­rithm is the ulti­mate in per­mis­sion mar­ket­ing. It only makes sure that infor­ma­tion that’s rel­e­vant to the user gets to the user. So only the best con­tent and the most user-friend­ly infor­ma­tion goes to a poten­tial cus­tomer. The algo­rithm sees all the con­tent but will not allow all the con­tent to reach the users.

Sev­er­al SEOs will comb your site through, you know, the one to two dozen met­rics they know off the top of their head and these will be the old­er school SEO met­rics and what they’ll tell you is your site is not rank­ing because your meta title’s not opti­mized. Your site is not rank­ing because you have no meta descrip­tions, your site is not rank­ing because you have no schema or because your site is slow or because your banner’s too big or because there’s no con­tent above the fold or insuf­fi­cient con­tent. What­ev­er it is, they’ll tell you that that’s why you’re not rank­ing and this is very dan­ger­ous advice.

What we like to tell our part­ners is there is no such thing as a sin­gle met­ric capa­ble of rank­ing or penal­iz­ing you. There’s just no sin­gle met­ric out there, there’s no sin­gle met­ric out there that can sin­gle-hand­ed­ly rank you or sin­gle-hand­ed­ly penal­ize you.

All search met­rics work syn­chro­nous­ly. Like iron fil­ings to a mag­net, none of the met­rics work alone. The qual­i­ty met­rics all work in sync and the qual­i­ty met­rics are the new­er ones. All con­tent met­rics or on-page met­rics, they all work togeth­er – the key­word den­si­ty, the word count, the orig­i­nal­i­ty of the con­tent, the pres­ence of the key­word above the fold, the key­word in the H1 tag – all of these work syn­chro­nous­ly with each oth­er.

Now, remem­ber­ing the met­rics in groups makes it eas­i­er to lever­age the cor­rect group of met­rics to gain results for your site. When you take a look at the search engine met­rics, SEO is a very com­pet­i­tive indus­try and by prac­tice, you have to exe­cute it com­pet­i­tive­ly.

What do I mean? If you want to be on num­ber one, you have to be as good as or bet­ter than who­ev­er is on num­ber one. And when you take a look at where you’re bet­ter or where they’re bet­ter, you have to com­pare your­selves by search met­ric group. By qual­i­ty met­rics, are they per­form­ing bet­ter than you? By off-page met­rics, are they per­form­ing bet­ter than you? By on-page met­rics, are they per­form­ing bet­ter than you? Lever­age the ones you per­form bet­ter at and try to com­pen­sate for the ones that you are nat­u­ral­ly weak at.

So, we’re going to talk about our met­ric groups and this is real­ly more of a sto­ry of Google so you know, we’re not tak­ing cred­it for it entire­ly. But I’ll go through this as if it were Google’s sto­ry. So let’s talk about Google’s first. For all of you guys that have been neti­zens for a long time and over the age of 30 because, you know, we’ll for­give the Mil­len­ni­als for not know­ing this sto­ry. They prob­a­bly weren’t online back then.

But Google was built in 1997 by Lar­ry Page and Sergey Brin and it was their post-grad paper. It used to be called Back­rub and they built it inside the main­frame of the Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty. In 1997, before Google was rolled out to the pub­lic in 1998, Lar­ry Page was sort of won­der­ing what kind of paper he should write. Should he write about bet­ter search engines or should he write about self-dri­ving cars? You know, which is why Google remains obsessed with self-dri­ving cars; it’s just the vision of the founder.

So when Google rolled out in 1998, the third met­ric that it had – and I’ll get to the first two in a bit, but I want­ed to talk about this one briefly. The third met­ric that Google launched is a met­ric called the author­i­ty group of met­rics. Inter­nal­ly to Google, this is known as PageR­ank and this is the pri­ma­ry author­i­ty algo­rithm.

What’s the best way to define PageR­ank? PageR­ank is a numer­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how pow­er­ful your web­site is. It is the dif­fer­ence in the like­li­hood of a truth being true based on who you hear it from. In short, you know, it’s Aunt May ver­sus Ellen ver­sus Oprah Win­frey. The author­i­ty lev­els on each one are all dif­fer­ent. Now, some of you guys might tell me, but oh, Google is not updat­ing PageR­ank any­more.

So I’ll cor­rect that: Google is updat­ing PageR­ank inter­nal­ly. It’s not a sig­nal that they can remove any­time soon. How­ev­er, they have pre­vent­ed SEOs from being able to use tool­bars to pick up the data, and as far as late, as late as, or sor­ry, as ear­ly as Feb­ru­ary of 2014, they stopped pub­lic access or they stopped updat­ing the pub­licly acces­si­ble PageR­ank data­base.

PageR­ank was released in 1998 and Sergey Brin was the one that coined that term. He named it after Lar­ry Page. You know it sort of makes sense, but in real­i­ty, it wasn’t named because it’s the rank of your page. It’s named because the PageR­ank algo­rithm was devel­oped by one of the founders.

Now, PageR­ank, one of the most dif­fi­cult ones to influ­ence and in fact, in real­i­ty, we tell peo­ple don’t try to opti­mize for PageR­ank, because you can’t. You can’t manip­u­late it. But you know for some more advanced ear­ly SEOs, they’ll tell you there’s a way and there is a cou­ple of tech­ni­cal ways to do it. How­ev­er, if you’re God-fear­ing, eth­i­cal, and law-abid­ing, don’t do it.

This is dif­fi­cult to influ­ence pri­mar­i­ly because some of the met­rics are nat­ur­al; they hap­pen with time. Age is a met­ric of author­i­ty and author­i­ty has to do with how pow­er­ful the vouch comes from with each web­site. Now like I was say­ing, author­i­ty was born in 1998, but when Google was born in 1997 as Back­rub, it actu­al­ly already had dou­ble the num­ber of four met­rics com­pared to its pri­ma­ry com­peti­tor, which back then was Yahoo Search Engine. Not Yahoo, but Yahoo Search Engine.

So, you don’t try to opti­mize for author­i­ty. So if you can’t opti­mize for it, why are we even talk­ing about it? Because if you got it, you should lever­age it. If you’ve got it, you should lever­age it. So I’ll give you guys a quick case study on this.

In 2013, we worked on a bank with over a hun­dred branch­es and they were try­ing to fight two much larg­er com­peti­tors and the bank in the region, one of the largest banks in the region, actu­al­ly had a PageR­ank of 5. That is tremen­dous PageR­ank.

They were try­ing to beat web­sites and domains that were younger than them. They had their domain for about 14, 15 years, which allowed it to earn a lot of author­i­ty over time. The peo­ple that they were try­ing to beat were 1–2 PageR­anks below them, which means they could lever­age their PageR­ank. So if you’ve got it, use it, use it against the com­pe­ti­tion, because we did and they wound up out­rank­ing their com­pe­ti­tion for about 60% of sim­i­lar terms.

Now let’s talk about on-page. On-page is the grand­dad­dy of all met­rics. It is the grand­dad­dy of all met­rics. Before Google, before Yahoo, the W3 cat­a­log, all of them were built foun­da­tion­al­ly against an algo­rithm called the LDA or the latent dirich­let allo­ca­tion. You guys don’t need to remem­ber that or write it down. It will not make you, you know, rich­er in the future, but suf­fice it to say the LDA is what we should refer to in layman’s terms as the key­word den­si­ty algo­rithm. It’s the key­word den­si­ty algo­rithm.

Now, the LDA is a very com­plex algo­rithm, but it works in a very ele­gant way. What it does is it tries to under­stand what the con­tent is about based on a math­e­mat­i­cal break­down of what words appear where in what fre­quen­cy. So, what words appear where in what fre­quen­cy. The rea­son key­word den­si­ty and the rea­son key­word pres­ence still mat­ters across all con­tent inside the web­site is because of the LDA and it still sits there at the core of the algo­rithm. Cur­rent­ly it’s com­ple­ment­ed by more sophis­ti­cat­ed algo­rithm, like the Caf­feine mit­i­gates it, the LSI mit­i­gates it, but the LDA is there.

It relies on the pres­ence of terms in order to iden­ti­fy rel­e­vance and this is why con­tent will always be king. Now, one impor­tant thing to real­ize when it comes to talk­ing about the LDA or the key­word den­si­ty algo­rithm, it isn’t all about the fre­quen­cy of what words appear where. In fact, the “where” is very impor­tant.

Accord­ing to the LDA, a word is more pow­er­ful – a key­word, a phrase is more pow­er­ful – the clos­er it is to the top and to the left. And that sort of makes sense, because most of the time when we talk about top­ics, the top­ic is the sub­ject and every­thing else is a pred­i­cate, right? So it fol­lows nat­ur­al human behav­ior. The LDA attrib­ut­es more weight to con­tent that’s present above the fold in the top hun­dred words to the top and to the left of the page.

So, how do we opti­mize for on-page? There are real­ly a lot of ways by the way to opti­mize for on-page and I’ll briefly men­tion some of them but I’ll get into the bul­lets first.

So first of all, opti­mize your meta titles, right? Opti­mize your meta titles – this is very, very, very easy to do. Lim­it it to 68 char­ac­ters, not 512 pix­els because we’re not robots. We can’t see pix­els. We can opti­mize for word counts. In order for your meta title to not ellipses, lim­it it to 68 char­ac­ters. When­ev­er you can, try to make sure that your key­word and your brand are present in the meta title.

For best prac­tices, what we like to tell peo­ple is if you are not a house­hold name, if you’re still try­ing to prove your­selves as a brand, make sure that you fol­low a for­mu­la that says key phrase, pipe, brand or you could also do and if you’re a house­hold name by now, do brand, pipe, key­word, so it’s rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple. And try to make your meta title as clear and as attrac­tive as pos­si­ble to your cus­tomers and when­ev­er pos­si­ble, don’t dupli­cate them. Do not dupli­cate your meta titles.

One SEO best prac­tice is to sup­port your con­tent with sup­port­ing con­tent. What do I mean? If I’m cre­at­ing a page about, about choco­late, I would sup­port that page with dark choco­late, milk choco­late, choco­late for kids, choco­late with nuts, and so on and so forth. Those would be sup­port­ing top­ics; those would be sep­a­rate pages. Those sep­a­rate pages can­not car­ry the same meta title as the orig­i­nal page or else I’m con­fus­ing the bot and I’m con­fus­ing the users, so make them unique and make them valu­able to a user.

Now let’s talk meta descrip­tion and there’s a lot of debate about whether the meta descrip­tion holds val­ue as an opti­miza­tion ele­ment. And for us, it does, because the meta descrip­tion is the sin­gle, most pow­er­ful click-through dri­ver for your site. It may not be a pow­er­ful rank­ing dri­ver, but it is a sig­nif­i­cant­ly pow­er­ful click-through dri­ver and click-through, as you will dis­cov­er lat­er, is a rank­ing met­ric.

Opti­mize your head­ers and your con­tent. One of the things that we like to preach to every­one: con­tent is the sin­gle most pow­er­ful met­ric on your site. Con­tent is the sin­gle most pow­er­ful met­ric on your site. Your head­ers are impor­tant because again, accord­ing to the LDA, if a word appears to the top and to the left, it car­ries more pow­er and head­ers typ­i­cal­ly appear to the top and to the left. And there­fore, your H1 tag, which is the one that appears most to the top and most to the left becomes the most impor­tant head­er tag. Insert the key­words where pos­si­ble and where read­able.

Insert the key­words in the top hun­dred words and above the fold where you can. Where you can’t put them, let’s say you have to com­pro­mise between read­abil­i­ty and algo­rith­mic opti­miza­tion. Please pri­or­i­tize read­abil­i­ty, because one of Google’s rules is build­ing con­tent for the user.

Now, insert mul­ti­ple con­tent for­mats – and I’ve got a great case study to show you guys on this.

Why should you insert mul­ti­ple con­tent for­mats? A lot of you may have heard the cur­rent web being referred to as Web 2.0 and most of the time when you talk to an SEO, you tell them Web 2.0 they’re think­ing Tum­blr, Stum­ble­Upon, Blog­ger, Blogspot, Wee­bly, and all these places that offer free blogs. It’s true that these sites are a great rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Web 2.0, but they are not Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is the user’s web. It’s enabled by HTML5 and it allows non-pro­gram­mers to inter­face with a web­site and change the face of the web­site with­out writ­ing a sin­gle page of code. This is what Web 2.0 is. It allows you to drag and drop images, files onto a web page. It allows you to extract files, drag and drop ele­ments from a web page onto your desk­top. All those capa­bil­i­ties are Web 2.0 – the web becom­ing more friend­ly to users.

Now, why should you build mul­ti­ple con­tent for­mats and take advan­tage of Web 2.0? Because Google con­sid­ers mul­ti­ple con­tent for­mats as a sign of trust, and trust is eas­i­ly mea­sured by how fre­quent­ly Google decides to index your web­site. Let’s go to the case study.

So, this is what we call the 70-site test. In 2011, 2012, I would guess prob­a­bly more 2012, we cre­at­ed about 70 web­sites. Out of the 70 web­sites, we kept 10 for con­trol and then we did Group A and Group B. Remem­ber, we seg­re­gat­ed the remain­ing 60 and then we seg­re­gat­ed them.

Group A was giv­en opti­mized con­tent and Group B had opti­mized con­tent and we insert­ed images with alt char­ac­ter­is­tics. Group A, with vary­ing PageR­ank, by the way, and it was still read­able way back in 2012, had a mean index of greater than 10 days. While Group B, with two con­tent for­mats and opti­mized con­tent was index­ing between 7–10 days, which means Group B is what we were look­ing for.

So we pro­ceed fur­ther with the exper­i­ment and we take Group B and we seg­re­gate it into two. We took group C, which wound up as the con­trol group and then Group D was opti­mized for con­tent, images, and then we insert­ed videos. When three con­tent for­mats exist­ed on the page, all the sites – and I mean all the sites – began index­ing with a mean of four to sev­en days. Not a sin­gle one of them indexed longer than 7 days, even the PageR­ank N/A sites.

Now, of course that’s what we were run­ning after, so we took Group D and we seg­re­gat­ed it some more. Group X became the con­trol group from D and Group Y was opti­mized for con­tent, images, social badges, a map inte­gra­tion, and the index became greater – the index became less than three days. Now, less than three days index­ing for a PR N/A site was tremen­dous­ly amaz­ing, espe­cial­ly in 2011–2012.

So, as a last ditch effort, we cre­at­ed one more test – the last ditch – and what we tried to do was see how do ads influ­ence con­tent on a site. Will it cause Google to trust the page more or trust the page less? Just to stay on the safe side, we used Google Ad place­ments on it, but of course, unfor­tu­nate­ly at the time, Top Heavy came out and so the web­sites start­ed index­ing in more than four days, so scrap the last ditch idea and the final selec­tion was web­sites with mul­ti­ple con­tent for­mats index faster one to three days. And one to three days is a lot of trust from the algo­rithm.

Now, I’ll move on onto on-page and again I want to remind every­one: feel free to send in your ques­tions at any point in time.

Let’s talk about off-page. So, remem­ber 1997 Back­rub. In 1997, almost all search engines were cre­at­ed equal – Lycos, Yahoo, AltaVista, if you guys are old enough to remem­ber that, AskJeeves, because it wasn’t Ask, it was AskJeeves back then.

They all made use of the LDA, but when Google rolled out in 1998, it had one more group of met­rics more than all of its com­peti­tors. It had the off-page group of met­rics. The off-page group of met­rics are actu­al­ly invent­ed by Google. In fact, the term back­link was coined by Lar­ry Page. What he real­ized was the most impor­tant pages, the pages that were most valu­able to him as a human being eval­u­at­ing a web­site seem to also be vouched for by oth­er web­sites on the World Wide Web. And so he thought of writ­ing an algo­rithm that took a look at how many vouch­es you had across the World Wide Web. How many web­sites were talk­ing about you and turned it into a met­ric. So, the off-page group of met­rics is real­ly just how many peo­ple talk about you online – and the more chat­ter, the more pop­u­lar you are. Now, this does not pre­clude who’s talk­ing about you.

Now, let’s take two exam­ples. While I can’t see you, you guys are gonna have to be hon­est with your­selves. Who among you guys have read Twi­light? Raise your hands. Okay, so I can’t see you but I’m hop­ing you guys are hon­est with your­selves. I’m actu­al­ly rais­ing my hands. I read Twi­light under duress from a female friend. So, I’m famil­iar with Stephe­nie Meyer’s writ­ing and, in my opin­ion, in my per­son­al opin­ion, and unfor­tu­nate­ly a lot of peo­ple in the acad­eme agree with me, Stephe­nie Meyer’s writ­ing isn’t very good, but there’s a lot of dis­agree­ment there because while I may, while I may dis­agree that she’s a great writer, she does have not one, not two, but three best­sellers. There­fore, the pop­u­lar­i­ty met­ric works in her favor. It doesn’t mat­ter what I think or what the on-page thinks about her. She has a lot of vouch­es, because a lot of peo­ple bought her book.

Now, the oth­er exam­ple is Michael Bay. And again, if you guys are Trans­form­ers fans, please raise your hands and be hon­est with your­selves. I’m rais­ing my hands; I’m a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big Trans­form­ers fan and I’ve nev­er wit­nessed such hor­ri­ble butcher­ing of a brand I love when I was 9 years old. Now, while I dis­agree with how Michael Bay inter­prets the Trans­form­ers fran­chise, you guys know what dis­agrees with me? Not one, not two, not four, but five block­busters, right? So the guy has off-page on his side. It doesn’t mat­ter what I think. And even if let’s say I was an aca­d­e­m­ic, even if I was an aca­d­e­m­ic, cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er, or I took up film, it doesn’t mat­ter what my opin­ion is. Pub­lic opin­ion stands with him and there­fore, Michael Bay is a sig­nif­i­cant per­son in the film indus­try, because he’s got proven results and peo­ple, you know, watch his movies.

So, let’s talk off-page best prac­tices. The best prac­tices for off-page real­ly are about you get­ting men­tioned online. Whether we like it or not, that’s how the Google algo­rithm works and that’s how most search engines work now. They look for vouch­es of you online.

Now, off-page is not this sim­ple. It isn’t three things to do in order for you to improve your dig­i­tal foot­print, because the unique C‑classes mat­ter, the unique phys­i­cal servers mat­ter, the pow­er of the web­site that vouch­es for you mat­ters. Whether you’re site-wide or unique to a page mat­ters, whether you’re a side­bar link or body con­tent maters.

So, off-page has a lot of met­rics, but the most action­able items for you to do is first off, improve your con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Cre­ate com­pelling con­tent that res­onates with your audi­ence. Cre­ate com­pelling con­tent that res­onates with your audi­ence.

A lot of you guys that are on this webi­nar are on this webi­nar because you’re part of our newslet­ter list. Now, some of you guys may have noticed that we’ve been send­ing out newslet­ters on case stud­ies that we’ve done. It is not the first time that we’ve done, that we’ve done newslet­ter mar­ket­ing or that we’ve cre­at­ed con­tent or that we’ve blogged about it or any­thing. But when we start­ed writ­ing case stud­ies, it res­onat­ed with our audi­ence. It pro­duced more traf­fic on any sin­gle day than we’ve ever seen and pro­duces more unique vis­its than we’ve ever done from any mar­ket­ing prac­tice.

So it was amaz­ing; it was a big eye-open­er for us, because for us, that was an a‑ha moment. A‑ha, our clients like case stud­ies. They like to see how the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of SEO works on a busi­ness. So, cre­ate com­pelling con­tent that res­onates with your audi­ence.

Next is get your client’s busi­ness on rel­e­vant busi­ness list­ings. This one is so easy and I’m always sur­prised at how many peo­ple don’t do it. When­ev­er we take a look at a web­site, we see how many vouch­es it has online. But more than that, we specif­i­cal­ly look for busi­ness list­ings, because we look for name, address, phone num­ber con­sis­ten­cy. And 90% of the time, on the sites we work on, no rel­e­vant busi­ness list­ings. Either that or unclaimed busi­ness list­ings, mean­ing some­thing that the busi­ness list­ings put there them­selves. The client did not act on, sor­ry – the cus­tomer did not act on opti­miz­ing their pres­ence online. But this is such an easy win. Yelp, yel­low pages, Google My Busi­ness, even a Face­book fan page all allow unique C‑class links to point to your site. It is link build­ing in its most legit way. Right?

The oth­er is if you’re real­ly good at opti­miz­ing a YouTube chan­nel, for exam­ple, opti­mize for that. Make sure that you build on your clients’ online pres­ence. Put them on social media. Make sure they’ve got a fan page and make sure that the fan page is linked to the site. Remem­ber: Google can’t see activ­i­ties that hap­pen in Face­book. They, uh, don’t talk well to each oth­er because, you know, they’re sort of com­pet­ing on search. But, any social activ­i­ty that is present on the web­site or vis­i­ble on the web­site is vis­i­ble to Google. So, put them on social media. You are able to earn a link for your­self.

The next one is, does your brand, does your cus­tomer, does your client have a YouTube chan­nel? It’s such a shame that, you know, in the descrip­tion, you actu­al­ly are able to point a link back to your­self, which is a vouch because nobody wants the web­site inside YouTube servers except YouTube. So it’s anoth­er C‑class refer­ral, and more than that, a lot of peo­ple don’t uti­lize the cards. When a YouTube video plays, you have the abil­i­ty to insert these lit­tle pop­ups, these lit­tle snip­pets that appear. And those are the YouTube cards. You are able to put a link in those and a lot of peo­ple have not lever­aged that.

And then of course, improve your client’s brand men­tion not just as a key­word. Help them mar­ket them­selves, help them present them­selves as lead­ers in their indus­try or as thought lead­ers and help them get their brand rec­og­nized. Ped­dle cre­ative con­tent, sophis­ti­cat­ed con­tent, fun­ny con­tent on their behalf and get them men­tioned every­where else.

So I’ll give you guys an exam­ple of this. A cou­ple of weeks ago Dan Petro­vic was here in Mani­la and he joined us for the SEO sum­mit and he did this real­ly great, he did this, this, this real­ly great study. He ran a Google sur­vey about what char­ac­ter­is­tics like about men and in the sur­vey, what won was the eyes, the smile, the chest, and the arms. And just to make it more inter­est­ing, right after you fill out the sur­vey, you go to a page where there was a local celebri­ty with a heat map on it.

Mean­ing, he was track­ing whether peo­ple were telling the truth in terms of what they vot­ed for on their sur­veys. It was con­tro­ver­sial. Dan got pub­lished local­ly on local print and he got pub­lished online by the local media. Excel­lent way to get your­selves known, a great way to earn a link. So, improve your con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, cre­ate com­pelling con­tent that res­onates with your audi­ence, get your clients’ busi­ness on rel­e­vant busi­ness list­ings, and estab­lish your client’s online pres­ence – excel­lent ways to work on off-page.

Now let’s talk about the behav­ior met­ric. You can’t direct­ly con­trol this met­ric, but you can see what hap­pens inside ana­lyt­ics. What you do have is the abil­i­ty to inter­vene in this met­ric. So, this is about how users inter­act with your clients’ web­sites when they’re search­ing.

In 2001–2002, we start­ed work­ing with the Urchin com­pa­ny and they start­ed using web ana­lyt­ics. Since then, Google has since bought Urchin and it is now what you know as Google Ana­lyt­ics. In Google Ana­lyt­ics, your site is mea­sured against sev­er­al met­rics: vis­its, bounces, exits, ses­sions, repeats, uniques, CTR – no, not in a, actu­al­ly yeah, you do see aver­age CTR in ana­lyt­ics. Out of all the behav­ioral met­rics, the most impor­tant one is CTR, because CTR hap­pens at the SERP lev­el. It hap­pens at the search lev­el. It doesn’t even hap­pen inside the site.

So, what do you do in order to mit­i­gate? In order for you to earn more vis­i­tors, avoid more bounces, avoid exits, cre­ate more ses­sions, get more repeat cus­tomers, and get them to refer new unique vis­its to your site. Plan your site archi­tec­ture. Make your site as shal­low as you can. A lot of peo­ple don’t seem to know that you lose 74% of users past the third click. Make your sites as shal­low as you can and make all the most per­ti­nent infor­ma­tion avail­able in three clicks or less. Opti­mize your meta descrip­tions and show­case your client’s brand name and val­ue propo­si­tion clear­ly. Attract them to come to the site. The meta descrip­tion is a CTR device with no equal. And then of course, lis­ten to your users.

Google rule #3: build for the user. Apply lay­out changes based on how users behave on your site. If you are real­iz­ing that they become cold past half the scroll lev­el of your page, put all valu­able infor­ma­tion at the top. If you’re real­iz­ing, let’s say you were sell­ing floor­ing and you’re sell­ing hard­wood, lam­i­nate, engi­neered wood, and then tiles, and what you’re real­iz­ing by installing a heat map on your page is that most peo­ple that go to your site click on tiles. Do not insist on putting the tiles to the right. Make it acces­si­ble to your user by adjust­ing to their pref­er­ences. If major­i­ty of your users need tiles, move it to the left. This is what users are look­ing for.

So, plan your site archi­tec­ture, make your clicks shal­low, don’t lose 74% of your users. Same is true for your shop­ping cart. Don’t make your shop­ping carts dif­fi­cult to use by mak­ing them use more than three clicks to close or else you will lose a lot of sales. Opti­mize your meta descrip­tions because this is a sig­nif­i­cant­ly pow­er­ful CTR tool. Apply lay­out changes on your site based on your user behav­ior and remem­ber: build for your user.

Now, one more tip is if you’ve got the search con­sole or Google Web­mas­ter Tools installed on your site – and you should, if you don’t – if you want to know what to opti­mize for, Google tells you flat out what it is. Google tells you, hey site own­er, hey web­mas­ter, I pre­sent­ed you as a search result x thou­sand times. Out of the x thou­sand times I pre­sent­ed you, here are the queries that I pre­sent­ed you for and here are the num­ber of times peo­ple clicked on you.

If you’re see­ing you’re get­ting sev­er­al hun­dred impres­sions for a spe­cif­ic term that’s rel­e­vant to you but no one is click­ing, you may want to opti­mize your meta descrip­tion in order to encour­age bet­ter click. A meta descrip­tion is like the trail­er to a movie, you know, it can cre­ate com­mit­ment on the spot if it’s real­ly, real­ly good. So, this is the behav­ior group of met­rics and you know, it’s a mouth­ful. I could talk to you guys for eight hours just on this met­ric alone.

Let’s move for­ward – the qual­i­ty group of met­rics. The qual­i­ty group of met­rics are the most mod­ern of all the met­rics. They’re the most mod­ern of all the met­rics. The first algo­rithm to intro­duce this in a major way was the Pan­da, which rolled out in 2011.

Now, unlike all the oth­er met­rics that we’ve talked about so far, the qual­i­ty met­ric is an on-page reg­u­lat­ing algo­rithm. You know, it doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly give you an addi­tion­al score. It says whether you deserve all your entire on-page score or should it deduct half a per­cent, two per­cent, or three per­cent, or should it aug­ment that.

Now the beau­ty of the on-page algo­rithm is it tells us how smart the web is becom­ing. This is about con­tent orig­i­nal­i­ty, the mobile com­pat­i­bil­i­ty of your site, and what kind of mobile com­pat­i­bil­i­ty you cre­at­ed – are you client-serv­ing, are you M‑dot, or are you a respon­sive web­site? They all impact search dif­fer­ent­ly.

What about socia­bil­i­ty? Socia­bil­i­ty is your website’s abil­i­ty with users on a social lev­el, the inte­gra­tion of the like, the inte­gra­tion of fol­low, the abil­i­ty to share con­tent. One piece of con­tent that is very pow­er­ful, that could sit on your web­site is called user gen­er­at­ed con­tent and that’s when users engage your con­tent. They drop com­ments, they agree, they dis­agree, they make an opin­ion, they engage you. They are very pow­er­ful pieces of con­tent and all of that go to the socia­bil­i­ty met­ric.

What about the secu­ri­ty of your site? Do you have an SSL cer­tifi­cate tied to your web­site? Do you redi­rect prop­er­ly to https? The user-friend­li­ness of your web­site, are you acces­si­ble across mul­ti­ple plat­forms? Do users see ele­ments where the eye looks for them?

Also, con­tent qual­i­ty. Is your con­tent orig­i­nal or did you just rip it off of some­where? Is your con­tent orig­i­nal? Is it valu­able? Does it exist in mul­ti­ple con­tent for­mats on your web page? And then trust sig­nals on your web­site, a BBB badge that is linked to your BBB page.

So, one of the things I like to remind peo­ple is when you put your clients on your site, when you put your trust badges on your site, where you are cer­ti­fied, which asso­ci­a­tions you’re with, they don’t real­ly mat­ter if they’re just images; Google estab­lish­es pri­ma­ry rela­tion­ships via the exis­tence of a link. Don’t be afraid to point a nofol­low link to BBB, to your Google My Busi­ness page where you get reviewed. If you’ve got a Shopi­fy page, point it there. If you’ve got a Bizrate page, point it there. But wher­ev­er you are reviewed, point it there.

So, what do you do to apply qual­i­ty met­rics to your site? A cou­ple of quick wins is, you know, apply an SSL cer­tifi­cate to your site, there­fore mak­ing it https. Build your site using a mobile-friend­ly frame­work.

Don’t try to rein­vent the wheel. A lot of Word­Press themes that cost forty to forty-nine dol­lars are already mobile respon­sive and a lot of them are fast. Use mod­ern code. Make sure that your web­sites express them­selves in HTML5 and that they don’t express them­selves in HTML4, you know, font col­or is real­ly very, very old school HTML. You don’t need to use that code any­more. Allow for social sig­nals and inter­ac­tion, don’t be self­ish with your web­site. Google appre­ci­ates non-self-serv­ing web­sites more than it does self-serv­ing web­sites.

Make your con­tent orig­i­nal, worth­while, and val­ue-adding. Make sure that neu­rons do not com­mit sui­cide when they read your con­tent. Imple­ment rich media on your web­site. Lever­age Web 2.0. Lever­age HTML5 where you have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to include rich media on your page, include rich media.

I mean, just take a look at the case study we showed you, right? Again, 70 web­sites that had three to four more con­tent for­mats index in one to three days. That is tremen­dous. Apply trust sig­nals and badges and remem­ber trust sig­nals and badges must have an accom­pa­ny­ing link. And then link to your reviews. Don’t try to cheat the algo­rithm by putting a review schema on your site and then just mak­ing up reviews. It doesn’t work like that.

Search engines are very smart that con­tent doesn’t mat­ter unless it can’t be ver­i­fied on a third-par­ty site that isn’t yours, where users can freely com­ment. Okay, now, one more thing to men­tion about the qual­i­ty group of met­rics. Unlike all the oth­er met­rics we’ve talked about so far, the qual­i­ty group of met­rics can actu­al­ly be lever­aged to give you a boost every two to three weeks. If you guys go to Moz.com and we agree, in fact Moz says, the Pan­da crawls the web every month.

Based on our expe­ri­ence, we see the qual­i­ty group of met­rics rescore you about every two to three weeks. If you guys need a lit­tle boost in vis­i­bil­i­ty, a lit­tle boost in rank­ings, opti­mize for one of these ele­ments and you will see grad­ual increas­es every two to three weeks post-imple­men­ta­tion against your web­site.

Now, let’s move on to trust. This one is also a reg­u­lat­ing algo­rithm but it reg­u­lates off-page. Trust is gen­er­al­ly known as the Pen­guin. Now, one of the things I need to men­tion about the Pan­da and the Pen­guin: these two algo­rithms are very unique. Nev­er in the his­to­ry of Google has an algo­rithm been devel­oped to penal­ize web­sites. All the oth­er pre­vi­ous algo­rithms – May­day, yeah, May­day, Caf­feine, the Brandy, Flori­da – all of these pre­vi­ous algo­rithms were meant to reward web­sites that com­ply to the met­rics that they intro­duce to the algo­rithm.

But in 2011 and in 2012, Google changed all that by intro­duc­ing the Pan­da and the Pen­guin. The Pan­da actu­al­ly will penal­ize you and leaves a nice love let­ter inside your search con­sole. The Pen­guin though, is, again, equal­ly unique. Aside from the fact that it will penal­ize you, the Pen­guin will actu­al­ly penal­ize you for retroac­tive work. Mean­ing, if you at one point in time once upon a time, hired a real­ly bad SEO and didn’t both­er to cor­rect his work, if the Pen­guin sees an attempt to manip­u­late your dig­i­tal foot­print, your back­links, you have bot links, you will get penal­ized.

So, trust is an off-page reg­u­lat­ing algo­rithm and it hap­pens nat­u­ral­ly over time. It takes a look at the C‑class dis­tri­b­u­tions of your links, the PageR­ank dis­tri­b­u­tion of your links, the con­tex­tu­al dis­tri­b­u­tion of your links. All of these are trust sig­nals. Don’t try to manip­u­late this, don’t try to opti­mize for trust.

What you can do is avoid the prac­tices that get you in trou­ble against this met­ric. It’s easy to spot. If Google detects a par­tial, a par­tial match met­ric against your, or a par­tial match warn­ing against your site, it’s telling you the back­links that point to your site don’t fol­low a nat­ur­al dis­tri­b­u­tion. And so they leave a love let­ter and some­times Google will tell you, you don’t need to do any­thing yet. We’re inves­ti­gat­ing whether it looks like these links are con­trived or they’ll tell you a‑ha, we caught you buy­ing links, you’re penal­ized.

Don’t hire cheap SEO ser­vices. Trust only experts, peo­ple that can talk to you at the lev­el I’m talk­ing to you now.

Build thought lead­er­ship, this is where you lever­age your exper­tise. Get peo­ple to nat­u­ral­ly ask for your con­tent. Don’t buy links. Most peo­ple that sell links still do it in a very bad way that’s very easy for Google and oth­er search engines to spot. Don’t buy your links; earn them and then bal­ance your dig­i­tal foot­print.

I’ll give you guys a quick sto­ry on this: we had a client that had trou­ble try­ing to opti­mize for his brand because if you took a look at his back­link dis­tri­b­u­tion, his exact match anchor texts was extreme­ly high. When we took a look why, it’s because he formed a part­ner­ship with anoth­er com­pa­ny and the com­pa­ny decid­ed to point the link to him using an exact match term, do-fol­low in the foot­er.

Now of course we didn’t tell him “sev­er your rela­tion­ship with this client,” but tell them if that’s the way you’re going to point the link, can we just get a body link instead or can you set those links on your foot­er to no-fol­low, the ones that point to us, espe­cial­ly since the link was earned through a com­mer­cial rela­tion­ship.

Remem­ber: Google doesn’t say it’s for­bid­den to earn a link with a com­mer­cial rela­tion­ship. They just say that it is uneth­i­cal to earn the PageR­ank or the pow­er from that link if it was acquired com­mer­cial­ly. So, bal­ance your dig­i­tal foot­print, don’t break the trust sig­nals. That way, you don’t receive penal­ties inside your search con­sole.

Now before I wrap up and get on to the ques­tion and answer, four of Google’s gold­en rules.

Google’s mantra is don’t be evil. I’m not sure if you guys have seen enough Google lit­er­a­ture out there, but the Google mantra, the Google mod­el is don’t be evil. Right? It’s, uh, how much more can you say, right? That’s pret­ty ambi­tious.

Google rule num­ber two though, is you searched and you found what you were look­ing for. This is Google’s mod­el. This is their mis­sion, this is what the core of their busi­ness is. Google’s core busi­ness is search. There­fore, they only stay on top of that game by giv­ing rel­e­vant results over and over and over again con­sis­tent­ly to their users because Google rule num­ber 2 is you search and you find what you’re look­ing for as a user.

Rule num­ber 3: build for the user. Google has been preach­ing this a long time and until they rolled out algo­rithms that penal­ize web­sites, no one would build for the user. Build for your users. Build for your users, don’t build for your bots, don’t opti­mize for search engine bots. The search engines are get­ting very, very smart. They are begin­ning to under­stand the con­tent on your site.

One of the met­rics that we didn’t touch on ear­li­er, which is part of the on-page group of met­rics is LSI or the latent seman­tic index. And what this means is the search engine attempts to read and com­pre­hend the con­tent on your site with­out you stuff­ing it with key­words. It doesn’t need a lot of help in terms of fig­ur­ing out whether con­tent is unique and valu­able or not. Build for your users, from nav­i­ga­tion, design, con­tent, site archi­tec­ture, every­thing.

Now, Google rule num­ber 4: don’t game the algo­rithm. Do not attempt to build a link just for the sake of pass­ing PageR­ank. And if you game the algo­rithm, well we all sort of know what hap­pens, but don’t game the algo­rithm.

All of the rules in the Google Web­mas­ter qual­i­ty guide­lines are cov­ered by these four sacred rules. If you guys com­ply to these, if you guys fol­low them, then you’re already on your way to becom­ing a more rel­e­vant brand.

Now, for our part­ners, the guys that already have access to our dash­board, we built Sim­pli­fy­ing SEO: The Six Core Met­rics You Need to Know. This is now in a down­load­able PDF train­ing guide inside the dash­board, just fol­low the bit.ly link, which is bit.ly/coremetricsguide and we will now pro­ceed to the Q&A ses­sion.

So if you guys have ques­tions, feel free to type it inside the search box. You could also sched­ule a call with us by fol­low­ing the bit.ly link here. Ask for Tim or William. These guys are ter­rif­ic. They will sound near­ly as awe­some as I will. They know almost every­thing I do. Of course they don’t have 18 years of expe­ri­ence, you know, they’re rel­a­tive­ly young and I’m rel­a­tive­ly old. Those are our num­bers, feel free to call us. And if you guys by the way email info@seoreseller.com, I may not respond to you per­son­al­ly, but I promise you I see each and every email that goes into that mail­box.

So we’ve got the first ques­tion and it says: I noticed in the dash­board SEO­Re­seller will build links each month for a client. How were they able to get con­tent and links post­ed on the third-par­ty site that links back to my client’s web­site?

Okay, so great ques­tion. So when we build links, when we acquire links for your clients’ web­sites, we pro­duce con­tent for them and then we build part­ner­ships with pub­lish­ing part­ners and there are three. Before we decid­ed to part­ner with these groups, we mea­sured their web­site for trust flow, cita­tion flow, have they ever been penal­ized before, do they actu­al­ly car­ry any PageR­ank, and so on and so forth. It’s a whole slew of met­rics, but they need to be able to pass very strin­gent guides in order for us to treat them as a part­ner.

Now, part of the arrange­ment with these part­ners is when we pro­duce con­tent, they put them on their niche prop­er­ties that are rel­e­vant to where that con­tent is need­ed. And there are also very strin­gent rules, we can’t point oodles of links. And every now and then, some of the pub­li­ca­tions will not allow dofol­low links and the dis­tri­b­u­tion of dofol­low and nofol­low links is per­fect­ly nat­ur­al. So that’s how we formed those part­ner­ships and that’s how we acquire those links and that’s how we pub­lish them. I hope that answered the ques­tion. If not, feel free to send a fol­low-up ques­tion.

Next one, how do I know when my client’s web­site has author­i­ty? Is there a tool I can use to ana­lyze author­i­ty?

So the answer is yes and yes. In spite of the fact that the last pub­lic update of PageR­ank was done in 2014, you should be able to see if there is any resid­ual PageR­ank on your client’s web­site by just doing, you know, PageR­ank domain and then you’re going to get to see third-par­ty tools that made a scrape of the last PageR­ank report of your site. That’s one.

Now, you can’t always trust that because Google updates PageR­ank fre­quent­ly. So, this is when you start using DADA, Moz trust, um, I guess you could also use Sem­per Pow­er Sem­per Trust, and you can also use Majes­tics trust flow and cita­tion flow. What these met­rics try to do is they try to give you a good guessti­mate. It is their esti­ma­tion of the author­i­ty of your web­site. It is them cre­at­ing their own algo­rithm, their own met­ric that tries to mea­sure the author­i­ta­tive­ness of the site.

From what we’ve stud­ied, it seems that the trust met­rics across all these dif­fer­ent tools align very close­ly with PageR­ank. So you can use those tools to fig­ure out, did your PageR­ank most like­ly increase or decrease in the eyes of Google? You can use Moz or Sem­per, which are link research tools or Majes­tic to fig­ure out if you are becom­ing more author­i­ta­tive or less author­i­ta­tive.

Next ques­tion: do you think it’s good to do SEO and dis­play adver­tis­ing?

Yes, amen, yes I do, yes I do. I’m a big believ­er in this. SEO is very momen­tum-dri­ven. If your site is par­tic­u­lar­ly new, there’s no way you will rule the first page above the fold. Unless you live in the Philip­pines, because here it’s very easy to opti­mize for stuff and nobody has matured opti­miza­tion char­ac­ter­isitcs, but that’s beside the point.

SEO is momen­tum-dri­ven, but that doesn’t mean your web­site doesn’t need traf­fic now. It does. And I wouldn’t just say dis­play adver­tis­ing, I would also say, you know, if you’re going to do Google AdWords, do the search net­work and the dis­play net­work at the same time. The pur­pos­es are entire­ly dif­fer­ent. Inside the search net­work, when some­one is doing a search, you can become more vis­i­ble and dri­ve instant traf­fic to your site. By using the dis­play net­work, you’re able to tar­get spe­cif­ic demo­graph­ics to see your ad but what I real­ly love about the dis­play net­work is the remar­ket­ing capa­bil­i­ty, your abil­i­ty to leave a sticky mes­sage and fol­low a user around wher­ev­er they go until they are ready to buy. So we don’t try to hound our users that go to SEO­Re­seller for more than 30 days and then you know we also like to change the ads, but I think it’s an extreme­ly good idea to exer­cise opti­miza­tion prac­tices, organ­ic opti­miza­tion prac­tices on your site and make use of Google AdWords at the same time.

The next ques­tion is: what’s the dif­fer­ence between index­ing and crawl­ing?

Wow, okay, great ques­tion. This one, rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple. Crawl­ing is a func­tion of the bot and index­ing is a func­tion of the search engine. Index­ing is when a copy of your site is made on the site. Crawl­ing is when the search engine scans your web­site. When the crawler scans your web­site, I’m not sure if you guys have noticed, but a great way to prac­tice crawl­ing ver­sus index­ing is if you guys type in site, colon, and then your domain and you know the actu­al num­ber of pages on your site, try to take a look at how many results Google will find. And if it match­es the actu­al num­ber of pages on your site. They do not always match.

Now, where there’s a do-fol­low link, the bots are com­pelled to fol­low all do-fol­low links, mean­ing all your pages are inter­con­nect­ed. Google’s bot will fol­low all of them, there­fore you can get com­plete­ly crawled. But Google may not con­sid­er all your pages valu­able and it will only index, it will only keep a copy of the most valu­able pages on your site. And that’s why it’ll nev­er be one is to one, even if you force-fetch and ren­der your pages.

Google deter­mines what the qual­i­ty of the pages and if it is deserv­ing of being seen by a user. Until it is, Google keeps it off the index, because, I mean, let’s face it, in spite of Google becom­ing this pow­er­ful, there are still phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions in terms of resources, right? So they have to keep the most valu­able pieces of infor­ma­tion and present those to users.

The next one is a rel­a­tive­ly easy ques­tion, and it says: how long does it take to see results from SEO?

And this one is like real­ly wow, there’s a lot of ways to answer that, because I could ask, I could equal­ly ask: are you try­ing to do local SEO or just pure­ly SEO on a nation­al lev­el? Are you, where are you locat­ed? Are you in the Philip­pines, New Zealand, Aus­tralia, the US, the UK, it sort of depends on where you are.

Because we’re talk­ing to a West­ern audi­ence, I’m going to say what we usu­al­ly say: about six months, rough­ly. You could see some great results in three months by the way. In fact, for us, the most com­pelling results are seen with­in the first 60 days.

Under the assump­tion the part­ner and the cus­tomer imple­ment all our rec­om­men­da­tions, the most dras­tic results hap­pen two to three weeks after the on-page is imple­ment­ed. That’s when we see the strongest results for SEO, but max­i­mum results can typ­i­cal­ly be seen some­where with­in the sixth month.

Now, if you’re in the Philip­pines, you’ll see it in about 30 days, again, because you’re com­pet­ing with you know, not mature web­sites. Same thing with New Zealand, because we got a great part­ner in New Zealand and we work on hun­dreds of cam­paigns for them also. They are also imma­ture in terms of opti­miza­tion char­ac­ter­is­tics. There­fore, if you opti­mize a site, chances are, there’s a huge chance you’re the first per­son in that ver­ti­cal, in that niche, opti­miz­ing your web­site for that audi­ence and there­fore it’s pret­ty easy to earn first page rank­ings in those regions. Mid­dle East is also still easy in the Eng­lish lan­guage. WE have not tried to opti­mize Ara­bic. When we do, I’ll let you guys know. It’ll prob­a­bly be an entire webi­nar.

Mov­ing on is: what’s the biggest change you’ve seen in SEO dur­ing 2016? Oh wow. Uh, this one is a lit­tle tough. So, it might be a mouth­ful, so it’s a sto­ry. 

At the start of the year, we observed that old­er school met­rics seem to be par­tic­u­lar­ly pow­er­ful and when I say old­er school met­ric, I’m talk­ing about key­word den­si­ty and author­i­ty. How the age of the domain seems to affect search­es a lot.

In 2014, LSI was par­tic­u­lar­ly pow­er­ful, almost all through­out the year. But in 2016, it seems that the old­er school met­rics are very per­va­sive. Back­links don’t seem to be as pow­er­ful through 2016 and in the last few, in the last two months actu­al­ly, it’s been crazy. Sites that we didn’t expect to appear in blend­ed results start­ed appear­ing in blend­ed results and sites that were deeply entrenched inside the local snack pack start­ed dis­ap­pear­ing. These are big changes, because for some rea­son, what Google used as sig­nals, so what Google used as sig­nals in order to put you in the snack pack before obvi­ous­ly had changed because we had sites that weren’t appear­ing in the snack pack appear in the snack pack and sites that appeared, that dom­i­nat­ed the snack pack dis­ap­peared from it. In fact, this is still a big top­ic of research inter­nal­ly in the office, but there have been a few changes in SEO in 2016.

What is the next ques­tion? Okay, so next one is we have two sim­i­lar ques­tions: what do you think is the future of SEO and do you think there will be a job in that busi­ness? Wow, so who­ev­er asked this ques­tion, you should fly over, we should sit down for cof­fee, because you and I could sit in Star­bucks for like four days, eight hours a day and I still wouldn’t be done.

So let me try to answer this in sequence. What do I think the future of SEO is, the future of SEO are the search engines antic­i­pat­ing what you need. When Siri came out, I per­son­al­ly thought Apple remained ahead of the search race, because Siri is a learn­ing AI. She’s not an algo­rithm, she’s an AI, or he, because now he can be British, is extreme­ly intel­li­gent, learn the nuances of your speech, learn your pat­terns, and it just got bet­ter and bet­ter and bet­ter. But then Siri got rel­e­gat­ed from being strong AI to weak AI and now Google has a sig­nif­i­cant­ly stronger AI.

I’m not sure if you guys played with the Google app, the one that you can dic­tate to. It’s amaz­ing. I tried to play with it in dif­fer­ent accents and it picks me up all the time. It knows what I’m say­ing, it under­stands the con­text of what I’m say­ing. But more than that, I think the more users use search engines, the more the search engine learns to under­stand your behav­ior and then learns to antic­i­pate what you need.

I think the future of search is very antic­i­pa­to­ry in nature. Part of it would be the pres­ence of more vir­tu­al-assis­tive devices out there. And I think SEO, I got to ask this in the SEO Sum­mit this year, uh, when do I think SEO will become obso­lete? And my answer was when the web becomes per­fect, because this is real­ly what SEOs do and now I’ll pull a quote from Sam Nam. If you guys don’t know him, Sam Nam was the vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for the Dig­i­tal Room. Awe­some, awe­some guy. I’ll have him for a con­ver­sa­tion tomor­row, actu­al­ly. And Sam said, a good SEO’s job is to make the web a bet­ter place. And in my opin­ion, I think that’s what SEOs do, they make the web a bet­ter place. So do I think there will be a job in that busi­ness, yes, because as long as the web con­tin­ues to evolve, we will always con­tin­ue to move away from it being per­fect and there will always be a job for peo­ple who need to be respon­si­ble for mak­ing the web a bet­ter place, you know for web­site own­ers and for web­site users and for Inter­net users in gen­er­al.

The next one is: does SEO have a future? It seems like every­thing above the fold is ad-dri­ven. What do I tell clients who ask me this ques­tion? So, yes, SEO does have a future, but if your clients tell you, it seems like every­thing above the fold is ad-dri­ven, what do I tell my clients? You have to tell them that SEO is an invest­ment in free traf­fic, because that is essen­tial­ly what it does.

Accord­ing to Mar­ket­ing Sher­pa, the ROI of SEO and we will per­son­al­ly vouch for this because this is what we’ve seen with our end clients, SEO has a 20-fac­tor return on invest­ment. It has that capa­bil­i­ty because you invest in your on-page once, you opti­mize your on-page once, you opti­mize your web­site once, and that qual­i­ty score that on-page score is yours for­ev­er. Right, it takes a while for you to lose above the fold rank­ings on page one. And while you’re there, it is free traf­fic.

Now, what I strong­ly dis­cour­age peo­ple from when they sell SEO is don’t try to encour­age, don’t try to sell SEO and encour­age SEO as just, you know, link build­ing for­ev­er. It’s not link build­ing for­ev­er. In fact, we don’t link build for­ev­er. Some of our clients for the first time have to do a con­sul­ta­tion with us for 30 to 60 days and then we will always go back to on-page on a peri­od­ic basis. Every three to six month, we will do a revis­it to see do we have oppor­tu­ni­ties? What does the search con­sole tell us? There­fore, SEO is high­ly con­sul­ta­tive and high­ly on-page in nature and high­ly qual­i­ty in nature.

So, will your clients get seen on the first page giv­en that there are so many Google ads? Yes, they will. Google is extreme­ly smart, by the way. They have no inter­est in mak­ing the first page entire­ly ad-dri­ven, because the day they do that is the day they give all their mar­ket share to Bing.

Google is all about pro­vid­ing great val­ue to users and they’re intel­li­gent about this. Google specif­i­cal­ly seg­re­gates what’s a user and what’s a cus­tomer and they always try to bal­ance out the agen­da between those two. Google is rel­e­vant not because of the cus­tomers. They’re prof­itable because of the cus­tomers. But they’re rel­e­vant because of the sheer vol­ume of users that use them as a resource. One hun­dred bil­lion search­es every month.

So the next one is, oh this is inter­est­ing: what’s your take on info­graph­ics? How can it impact an SEO cam­paign strat­e­gy? So, info­graph­ics are great, espe­cial­ly if you post them on the right places with the link com­ing back to you because you can get either direct vis­its com­ing from them or refer­ral vis­its depend­ing on where you pub­lish them. It is anoth­er type of link, because it’s not just anoth­er anchor text link point­ing back to your web­site. And from what I’ve seen, when info­graph­ics are con­tro­ver­sial or awe­some at sim­pli­fy­ing com­plex infor­ma­tion into some­thing sim­ple, they’re great at dri­ving traf­fic to a site. So, that’s how it can impact your SEO cam­paign strat­e­gy. You don’t only look at it as a link resource, you also look at it as a refer­ral traf­fic dri­ver.

Okay, next one. I’ll take the last two ques­tions because we’re actu­al­ly out of time, so I thank every­body for keep­ing up with me for the minute that I overex­tend­ed.

How do you keep up with the ever-chang­ing algo­rithm which Google serves? We do research. We own over 700 web­sites, we run tests on them. We encour­age our employ­ees to run their own web­sites, run their own tests on them. We spend thou­sands of dol­lars try­ing to fig­ure out what the algo­rithm likes and dis­likes and we change our method­ol­o­gy accord­ing­ly and that’s how we keep up with it. That’s why we’re say­ing stay away from cheap SEOs. I know that we say that we’re not the cheap­est provider all the time, but again, there’s a rea­son for that, right? That research costs mon­ey. Fig­ur­ing out, doing tri­al and error, test­ing – all of these take resources. And apply­ing a safe method­ol­o­gy, one that doesn’t get your clients in trou­ble but does dri­ve results is not some­thing that hap­pens for free. So we don’t have, you know, six web­mas­ters that crawl the web and look for blogs that this is valu­able. We actu­al­ly only vouch for meth­ods that we’ve test­ed our­selves.

The last one, or the last ques­tion I’ll take: my client’s rank­ings have decreased. How do I see what’s the prob­lem? My provider is being very eva­sive. Oh wow, awe­some.

A: talk to us. No com­mit­ments. We won’t bill you for it, we always per­form a pre-intake audit to find out if a web­site is in trou­ble. Talk to Tim. Give him the URL, have him per­form a pre-intake audit for you. If it’s a sim­ple prob­lem, we’ll find it very quick­ly. The pre-intake audit takes 35 min­utes to do, but this is an entire­ly dif­fer­ent webi­nar and maybe I should intro­duce it.

So how do you find out why your rank­ings are drop­ping? When our employ­ees do an audit, they do an audit from five per­spec­tives. In the same way that we have six met­ric groups, we have five audit groups. The audit groups are oth­ers your site look like inside the index, what does your on-page look like? What does your dig­i­tal foot­print look like? Do you have any trust vio­la­tions? And the last one is, we take a look: do you have mature on-page char­ac­ter­is­tics? We fil­ter through those one by one by one by one by one and by doing it a lot, our SEOs are actu­al­ly able to fig­ure out what’s wrong with a web­site.

They’re intu­itive­ly, because they see it hun­dreds of times every month, you know, they take a look at the site and most of the time, about 80% of the time, fig­ure out what’s wrong in about 15 min­utes and then it will take them about an hour to cre­ate a doc­u­ment. But, they’re tak­ing about 15 min­utes to fig­ure out what’s wrong in a web­site, but if you’re inter­est­ed in get­ting help but there’s no pro­fes­sion­al in house, we’re not a char­i­ty, but we do offer val­ue first. And if you’re, if you want to see what we’re made of, we can do a pre-intake audit against the site. Give us a call and ring up and ask Tim or ask for Tim. Give us the URL and we can do a pre-intake audit.

In my opin­ion, no provider should be eva­sive. Trans­paren­cy is not one of our core val­ues, it’s like integri­ty. It has to be a giv­en. So your provider can­not be eva­sive. Nobody should do a song and dance num­ber on SEO.

And with that, I thank every­body. These were awe­some, whoo! Chal­leng­ing ques­tions, but I real­ly, real­ly, real­ly enjoyed it. If any of you guys hap­pen to be in the Philip­pines, pop into the office, give us a ring, ask for our address. But you know, pop into the office and I’ll take you out for cof­fee and I can talk about SEO to the wazoo.

But thank you very much, you guys have our num­bers and again I look at that mail­box every day. This is Bernard, I’m sign­ing off. I’m sign­ing off the webi­nar and I appre­ci­ate you being here.

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