Better Content Through NLP

“If you want natural language processing to understand that two entities in your content are closely related, move them closer together in the sentence. Move the words closer together. Reduce the clutter, reduce the fluff, reduce the number of semantic hops that a robot might have to take between one entity and another to understand the relationship, and you’ve now created content that is more readable because it’s shorter and easier to skim, but also easier for a robot to parse and understand.

Avoid jargon. Avoid marketing speak. Not to get too tautological, but the more esoteric a word is, the less commonly it’s used. That’s actually what esoteric means. What that means is the less commonly a word is used, the less likely it is that Google is going to understand its semantic relationships to other entities.”

Zero-Click Searches

“I don’t think zero-click searches are bad. There is this concept arbitrage. You should not benefit from someone wanting to know ‘What time the game starts.’ If that’s all you’ve done, ‘What time the game starts’, Google should be able to give that away for free.”

“Ignore Google’s whimsical 200 SEO signals – including speed!”

“…relevant content is number one for SEO. Speed affects User Experience (UX). Good UX then influences metrics like dwell time, bounce rate, and click through. Google interprets those as user intent.

In Google-speak, “intent” is motivation, or “relevance.”

Content is the user experience.

If you have no enthusiasm for your site topic, people will know. They will be unconvinced you’ll improve their life.”

Teare, Steve. October 2019. Ignore Google’s whimsical 200 SEO signals – including speed!.

“Our Economy Isn’t Set Up For This”

Scott Galloway discusses Amazon’s hidden costs to American society, economy, and consumers.

Selected excerpts:

“Our entire society; our roads, our hospitals, our military, is based on profitability – and that is we tax profits.

What happens when the most successful company in the world has paid in the last 10 years 1.4 billion dollars in taxes and Walmart has paid 64 billion despite the fact that Amazon added the value of Walmart in a three-month period in 2017?”

“Should [AWS] be able to funnel profits into the retail group, which we largely think of as Amazon and sets the tone for all of Amazon, [to] sell at-cost or slightly below? [Amazon retail] is being subsidized by Amazon Media Group and AWS.

When the Chinese tried to do that with steel they said ‘We’re going to roll out the international steel market and we’re going to sell steel into the US market at less-than-cost’. Back then we called it dumping – with Amazon we call it innovation.”

“Search result layout is a bigger traffic factor than rankings.”

click through rate false positive example within google search results

“…we’re looking at nearly identical queries and the same target URL in SERPs with CTR difference of 39% simply because of the presence of one special SERP feature.

This is what Google calls “good abandonment”. While it’s certainly “good” for Google’s users, “good” is not how the #1 result on this page would describe this situation.”

Petrovic, Dan. July 2019. Emerging Search Quality Signals: Clicks, Attention and Satisfaction

The Secret: Images for SEO

“We used to recommend adding an image to every article. Now we recommend adding an image to every scroll depth of every article. So there is never a point at which the visitor doesn’t see something of visual interest.

And what’s the secret to high dwell time? Content that engages the visitor quickly and keeps their attention. That means no long blocky paragraphs and lots of compelling visuals.”

Crestodina, Andy. June 2019. How Images Affect SEO: Can Adding a Diagram Really Drive Rankings?

“The Biggest Trend in SEO”

“Yes, Google is constantly changing. And yes the changes affect your traffic. But no, the biggest SEO trends don’t affect your rankings. They affect your click through rates. There’s a big difference.

Changes to the ranking algorithm are real, but the much bigger SEO trends are the “SERP features,” such as featured snippets, maps and videos. There’s just a lot more stuff showing up in search results these days.

Over time, more and more searches are “no-click” meaning the searcher’s information needs are satisfied by the SERP features. That means less traffic is flowing from Google to websites.

So this is the mega-trend in SEO: more features on search results pages and therefore a lower click-through-rate to websites.

Crestodina, Andy. March 2019. The Biggest Trend in SEO

First Link Counts Rule

“The most important conclusion that I am drawing from this experiment is that I have not found a direct way to bypass the First Link Counts Rule by using modified links (links with parameter, 301 redirects, canonicals, anchor links). At the same time, it is possible to build a website’s structure using Javascript links, thanks to which we are free from the restrictions of the First Link Counts Rule.”

Cyrek, Max. November 2018. Here’s what happened when I followed Googlebot for 3 months.

The Long Click

“Search analysis is divided into “long clicks” and “short clicks”. A long click represents a satisfied customer. A user performs a search, clicks through on a result and remains on that site for a long time. They don’t come back to the result set immediately to click on another result or to refine their query. A short click is the opposite of a long click. It occurs when a user performs a search, clicks through on a result and quickly comes back to the result set to click on an alternative result. It represents a minor failure.”

Singhal, Amit. January 2013. Google and the Future of Search. The Guardian.

“Search is a multi-site experience.

This is what search marketers must realize. You will get credit for a long click if you’re part of the long click. If you ensure that the user doesn’t return to search results, even by sending them to another site, then you’re going to be rewarded.

Stop thinking about optimizing your page and think about optimizing the search experience instead…

…it’s easy to get tunnel vision about your own site and forget [about] the search experience. It’s a bit presumptuous to think that your resource is the only resource, so providing access to other content is a great way to fulfill query intent and match the reality of multi-site search experience.”

Kohn, AJ. April 2013. Time To Long Click. Blind Five Year Old.