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What are Google Entities and how do we optimize for them?

November 11, 2021

Google got its start when the internet was new, and search engines used keyword spam, directories, and traffic circles. Very few websites from Google's early days still exist, and few of the remaining websites are still hot.

Google has survived by being nimble and working hard to understand the data they present to their search engine viewers. Google has changed and updated its algorithm many times to keep up with the times, and those changes now happen continuously.

One of the most significant changes was switching to an entity-based approach instead of the older keyword-based approach. Entities allowed Google to understand the data that it served instead of blindly dishing out matching strings of letters and numbers.

What are Google entities

 

What is a keyword?

Before we get into entities, let's talk a little about their older and easier to understand cousins, the keywords.

Keywords are key search terms frequently used by humans to find content. "Car Tires" and "iPhone 6 battery" are good examples.

The first search engines tried to match people's keywords with text strings inside of content. To rank content, they counted the number of times a keyword appeared in the text. In theory, this should have matched people with content that was discussing their topic of choice.

This technique had two fatal flaws. The first major flaw was that talking about a topic doesn't imply quality. Secondly, because search engines permitted low-quality content and rewarded keyword frequency, the web was a soup of useless documents filled with keyword synonyms.

Before Google, web search was so bad that it was almost useless. In the late 90s, internet providers solved the problem by creating walled gardens filled with curated content.

Google improved search with its page rank algorithm by ranking sites according to their backlinks, but this also had problems. Just like creating useless pages filled with keywords was easy money, so was creating useless documents filled with backlinks.

It was clear that something needed to be done.

What is an entity?

Introduced in Google's Hummingbird update, entities were one of many improvements that led to where we are today with the internet.

Entities are singular objects with internal attributes and can be weighed against each other using machine learning.

Each real-world noun exists as a single google entity. Each business, person, animal, plant, concept, idea, thought, or opinion exists once.

At first, this seems like a minor change. Simply shifting the data type from being a string to an object doesn't necessarily improve outcomes. But entities have been a game-changer for Google.

The real power of entities is that they can be linked together in Google's Knowledge Graph and have internal attributes. These attributes and links help Google AIs like RankBrain to understand the entity and its relationships to other entities.

How Do Entities and Keywords Work Together?

Even though Google works hard to understand search intent with entities, keywords are still powerful SEO tools. Entities and keywords currently work together to signal relevance to a particular search query.

When a person searches for something, the actual search query starts as a long-tail keyword. When I type a long-tail keyword into the search bar, that's a string of letters that Google doesn't understand but can sort, match, and count.

Google has worked hard to begin to understand these keywords, and after many years of work, hit upon entities and machine learning.

Entities are conceptual boxes that contain keywords, attributes and have weighted relationships on Google's Knowledge Graph.

Because Google understands the entities, search results are more likely to be on-topic, answer the question fully, and make better suggestions for continued content consumption.

What's the best thing about Entities?

Entities give focus to keywords and make them even more powerful. That's a strange paradox, but let me explain.

Entities allow you to focus on making good content instead of counting the number of times a specific word appears in your text. They allow you to be creative and establish yourself as an expert.

The end goal of every website is to convert. We all want our site visitors to do something. Even Wikipedia has a purpose and a dream that it intends to accomplish.

Entities work with humans, and they convert like fire. Once you understand them, you'll love them.

You don't want a whole bunch of trash leads that gum up your system and cost you money. Remember that website visitors cost some money and that bounces and pogo-sticking penalize your search engine ranking.

You want leads that will convert fast and efficiently. Entities-based SEO is the method that gets you there.

My custom shoes website will appropriately target people who are looking for youth fashion. I don't want or need horseshoes, car brakes, or gambling.

Challenges with Entities

One of the challenges with entities is that they are concepts with singular examples in the real world. Many people are named Mary, but a single name concept, "Mary," is linked to many people. Figuring out which concepts are singular has proven challenging.

Because of the challenge, Google engineers did a lot of the early work by taking information from well-organized and authoritative sources like Wikipedia. Focussing on Wikipedia left out a lot of the information in the world.

The promise is that as machine learning improves, it will make improved conceptual leaps and handle increased complexity. Eventually, machine learning will build out the knowledge graph in a much more sophisticated way than current technology allows.

What do Entities change as they improve?

As entities have improved, keywords have become more powerful. However, now keywords need to span a topic rather than simply repeating as much as possible. Thorough coverage of a long-tail keyword is the idea.

Techniques like spoke and wheel have developed. The spoke and wheel SEO strategy links primary content to long-tailed keywords. Spoke and wheel SEO thoroughly saturates a niche with content and makes the website a go-to for the content niche. Your site gets bookmarked and followed rather than relying on the SERP.

Internal and external links need to saturate your niche. SEO auditors look for opportunities to build website footprints by thoroughly saturating a niche with content, linking that content internally, and becoming a community content resource that other niche sites turn to for respected citations.

Backlinks need to come from within your niche or from extremely high DA generalist websites like news media.

A newspaper writing an article in your niche should be going to your website for authoritative citation. That's good news for your SEO.

On the other hand, a large percentage of your backlinks should be coming from websites in your niche. Google sees these as community votes for which websites have the best content.

This backlink strategy directly relates to entities because Google sees those websites as nodes and clusters in  Google’s Knowledge Graph.

Rather than having x number of links, you want to be the central hub of a cluster of nodes and the primary source that high DA websites connect to your cluster.

How do search engines use entities?

Search engines use entities to try and understand content and search intent and then match people with the content that best fits their needs.

That's also true for keywords, but the difference is that Google's AI has some understanding of what each entity means and what its place in the world is. In contrast, computers see keywords as meaningless collections of letters that can be sorted, matched, and counted.

Entities model the way the human brain works. One of Google's examples is Leonardo de Vinci. Leonardo de Vinci has the attributes of "renaissance," "painter," and "polymath," and his entity links to great painters of the renaissance and his namesake Leonardo di Caprio.

Google uses this understanding to match people's search intent with search results.

In the case of Leonardo, I might ask a search engine, "Who was Leonardo in Italy?" Google considers that I used the past tense and then looks at the weighting of Leonardo and Italy. Leonardos that have a solid connection to Italy will come before Leonardos with weak ties.

How do Entities Impact Translation and Global Content?

Entities are crucial for translation because they allow your global content to connect and let Google understand that it's all part of the same conversation.

Google uses Entities to connect concepts in different languages. The concept of red is understood widely worldwide but has different keywords depending on the language.

"Roja" in Spanish would ordinarily have a weak keyword association with "red" in English because they rarely occur together except in language textbooks.

But, because "Roja" and "red" both have strong connections to the color concept, Google understands the connection that they share.

Attributes develop Google's understanding even more because "red" and "Roja" both have the attribute "color," and both share a similar range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

How does Google use entities?

Google isn't simply a search engine company. They're also a mapping company, self-driving car company, video sharing company, social media company, and SASS company.

Because Google has its hands in many different technology areas, its uses of and interest in entities are complex.

The Youtube algorithm, for example, builds profiles of their users and content creators to try and match them up as well as possible.

Google published a paper in 2016 called Deep Neural Networks for Youtube Recommendations. They describe creating a profile of a user's watch history which predicts future videos a user will watch.

Today, Google uses the viewer's history and preferences, local audience preferences, and the recent success of a particular video. These factors are weighted to get the video suggestions.

So which Google services use entities?

Entities are similar to objects in object-oriented programming but expanded to encompass concepts used in machine learning. Because of the broad definition, entities are everywhere at Google.

The Knowledge Graph is where Google got started with entities. The knowledge graph currently receives a lot of its information from Wikipedia, but it will probably encompass every concept in the universe in the future.

Currently, the knowledge graph is a fantastic resource for presenting contextual knowledge panels and in Google Search. In the future, it will be beneficial for Google Maps, Self Driving Cars, and probably most things that Google does.

There is a lot of machine learning at Google that doesn't belong to the knowledge graph, though. That's OK because the same techniques that work with entities also work well with humans and other AI approaches.

What are Google's goals for entities?

Even though Google isn't always using entities in their product lines per se, the machine learning techniques and focus on understanding the content and searchers always apply.

Google wants to understand its customers and products. One way to look at Google's business model is that information delivery is Google's product, searchers are their customers, and ads are the price society pays for the service.

Google needs to understand the information in a profound and sophisticated way to remain the leader in the search engine market.

Google patents don't always tell us Google's plans for the future because Google doesn't ever use most of its patents. But we can see that Google is betting heavily on machine learning and AI.

Google's biggest use for entities will be understanding the world more deeply and then selling that knowledge.

Not all machine learning techniques use entities, but the semantics don't matter.

Youtube doesn't seem to be using entities per se, and Google search doesn't count them amongst the highest priorities in organic search.

And yet, an entity-based approach is still the best approach towards SEO for either Youtube or Search.

The reason is that entities and the knowledge graph are based on machine learning and closely track how humans and AI understand the world. Entities build networks of understanding and cluster your content so that it connects and yet spans a niche.

Entity-based approaches work well with humans, convert like fire, and they rank better than keyword-based strategies.

SEO is about what works

It's worth mentioning that since Rankbrain changes the algorithm continuously, there isn't a single human on the planet who knows what the algorithm is at a given moment.

Google processes maybe 60,000 -70,000 search queries per second. In the time that it takes humans to understand what the algorithm is doing, massive amounts of data have already been served.

SEO experts don't know all of the factors Google uses to build the algorithm, and nobody knows the exact weighting.

But we know what works. That's the key.

Entity-based keywords work. They build good thick data that answers relevant questions. Entity-based content becomes the pillar you use to support your entire content strategy because it performs well.

Based on community experience, SEO experts recommend an entity-based approach, and Google agrees with our general assessment.

How does Google detect entities?

Google detects Entities in many different ways. One way is to tell Google that an entity exists. However, that's not the primary way that Google finds entities.

The primary way that Google detects entities is by using nightly Wikipedia dumps. Wikipedia pages are well organized and have good tags to identify information.

Entities are fundamental to how AI understands the world, and Google is betting big.

Artificial intelligence is developing stunningly quickly. Moores law described the trend in which computational power roughly doubled every two years. AI is doubling in performance every 3.4 months.

As the AI's capability improves, new applications become possible. In other words, entities are becoming more significant monthly as Google's AI improves and develops. The ways AI will use entities is an important space to watch.

Even so, Google isn't perfect at detecting entities yet. Entities are deceptively tricky for AI because AI lacks some of the context clues we have as humans.

Google finds context to detect entities in several ways.

One way is Schema markup. If you're not using schema, you should start today. Schema's structured markup data allows you to mark data as an entity.

Another way Google develops entities is by using off-page factors. If google has high confidence that your site is about movies and movie stars, Leonardo is probably a movie star. On the other hand, Leonardo is likely an artist if your site is about renaissance artists.

Google's AI is also simply getting better at Natural Language Processing. Currently, Google’s Natural Language API is good enough to detect most people, places, and organizations but is weak at detecting objects and concepts.

As the Google NLP API develops, it will become a more significant factor in how Google detects entities.

Google search

Google Search is still where Google makes money and why you're reading blog posts about SEO. Since the Google Hummingbird update, entities have become increasingly more important to search.

Rankbrain, in particular, is one of the three top ranking factors for the SERP. RankBrain is an AI that makes continuous optimizations to the Google algorithm and then tests the optimizations to see if the results are better than before.

So far, yes, Rankbrain's optimizations are better than Google engineers can do by hand. Don't expect this to go away.

The BERT update extended Google Search's use of Natural Language Processing. Language learning is challenging and goes through stages of complexity as humans gain experience. AI goes through the same stages, so we shouldn't expect Google to understand nuance and humor yet, but that day is coming.

Are entities a ranking factor?

Entities are a ranking factor, but SEO is very complex today, and it's about more than ranking factors. Today, SEO uses best practices in public relations and high-quality content to build notability.

Let me give an example. Ranking factors for doing well in class might include doing your homework, taking notes, and arriving at class on time. These are best practices.

A student might arrive late and never take notes but still get a good grade. That might be because another factor, such as prior knowledge, picked up the slack.

If you have a massive number of people following your social media accounts, you might be able to push traffic into your site without SEO, and then your site might get featured in news reports and end up with a lot of high-quality backlinks. A terrible website could win.

Best practices work for the majority of websites. Entities are a ranking factor, but their real power is that an entity-based approach encourages best practices all the way around.

Final Thoughts

Entities are a fascinating development, and they're going to grow in importance throughout the 2020s as AI develops and begins to mature. These are still very early days for the technology and approach.

It's easy to see exciting places where Google might go with entities, indexing individual real-world objects as entities and mapping them. For example, particular banknotes passing through various people's hands might show intriguing patterns. We don't know the full potential of the technology yet.

Right now, they enable a much more refined version of keyword search, which understands intent. In addition, thick content is rewarded against its thin content competition. Entities are many technologies helping to create a world where good design and unique content are good SEO.

Key Takeaways

Remember that your SEO strategy should focus on good design and thick content. Keyword and backlink spam won't work anymore.

Current Search Engine Optimization is a combination of public relations campaigns, excellent design, and thick content.

If your site isn't getting the traffic it needs, talk to an SEO auditor. SEO auditors have the experience and knowledge to turn a decent website into a winner.

Good quality content is the most critical ranking factor in the Google algorithm. If your content is high enough in quality, it will eventually attract attention and get the backlinks that it needs to go to the top of the SERP.

That's not to say that public relations and collecting backlinks isn't essential. They are.

But genuinely amazing content has potential that backlink grinding doesn't have.

Consider Wikipedia. Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world, while the link farmers from the thin content websites of Demand Media have fallen by the wayside.

Content is king, for sure.

What kind of content is SEO-friendly?

Content needs to have several attributes to be successful. Google and website visitors look for when deciding which piece of content to use.

A high E-A-T rating: EAT is an acronym that means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Sometimes it seems like the truth is dead, but Google is pushing back hard against misinformation campaigns.

Be engaging: Experts write scientific papers with a high degree of authoritativeness. So why do they rank poorly? Because they are boring. Communicators need to blend audience engagement with expert knowledge.

Good presentation: We all know that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but publishers still spend lots of money to make engaging book jackets. Typos, ugly design, and poor writing will kill the best ideas.

Find the ranking keywords for your niche.

You need to do good keyword research.  SEO auditors use content analysis tools like Usetopic.com to find focus keywords and related topics.  These tools cost money, but they speed up the writing process by providing high-quality content ideas for new content.

Writing about topics that have high-volume keywords gives a massive potential market for your ideas. Potentially, you could be famous if your writing takes off in a big niche.

On the other hand, important niches have massive competition. Content about pets is an enormous niche, but there are an awful lot of pet owners who think a blog about dogs would be a fun hobby.

There are ways around the problem of massive competition.  Find a content strategy that works for your website and business plan.

  • You can target long-tailed keywords.
  • You can target profitable but less competitive niches.

No Relevance to the Search Intent

If you don't provide good information, someone else will. When I search for "best hotdogs in New York," I don't want to see a picture of a rat eating a hotdog in a New York subway.

My intent matters. It's fun to be surprised and see quirky material sometimes, but I'm busy and looking for something specific most of the time.

So. If you write content about the new apple silicon, make sure that it's going to find its audience, entertain them, and present relevant information.

Insufficient Information

Thin content is a problem that long plagued the internet. Sensing the danger, Google has made significant progress in pushing thick content over the past 15 years.

Today, content must be very informative and thick with information to rank well in a competitive niche.

Content must be well researched and factual. Poor quality content will get drowned because getting backlinks will be a hopeless dream. If you want to get publications and high domain authority sites to link to your content, it must be something extraordinary.

Poor Writing Quality

Poorly researched, written, and edited content just isn't going to do well. There is so much competition in competitive niches that it takes an all-out effort to secure any website traffic from the Search Engine Results Page.

Poor writing will annoy your site visitors and eliminate any chance of getting backlinks. A big part of content optimization is re-editing the content inventory you've already produced.

SEO auditors do a full content audit and make recommendations about the readability of your content.  Auditors look at trends and how your content will perform with high-volume search queries.

Website visitors are going to look at poorly written content and then bounce.

Not only does bouncing lower your conversion percentage, but it also kills your SEO.

Google can easily see what happens after a site visitor leaves the SERP. Since many searchers return to the SERP after going into another website, Google builds an accurate picture of how much time they spent with your blog post.

Pogo sticking is when a site visitor leaves your website and then pops up on the SERP a few seconds later. Then they go into your competitor's website and stay for a while. That tells Google that the competitor's website was a better content match.

You can't get good-quality backlinks with poor-quality writing.

Your writing needs to be authoritative enough for other people to link to it.

Media outlets like newspapers and television have strict requirements for the content that they show. If there are mistakes in research or copy-editing, they will media will pass on your content.

Social media and other websites in your niche will be vital factors in your backlink strategy. These sites will upvote and link to you only if your content delivers unique value to the community.

Duplicate content is poor quality because Google and your niche community will ignore it.

Duplicate content is a significant problem because Google will only choose one version to display in the search results. That means the second-best option won't be displayed at all.

Duplicate content is also useless for backlinks because nobody is going to backlink to plagiarized content. Even if you're not the one who plagiarized the content, you'll have to prove that you were the first.

The top domain authority websites already get the majority of citations and have the highest visibility. If you want to have any hope of breaking in, your content needs to be unique and say things nobody has ever said before.

What is SEO Content Analysis?

SEO Content analysis will look at your content and look for problems and opportunities. An SEO auditor will look at your content and first consider if the quality is good enough to rank on the SERP. Secondly, the auditor will look for opportunities to relink your content in a way that builds brand value.

SEO Analysis of Existing Assets

If your content isn't good enough to rank, then you have to fix that problem first. No amount of search engine optimization will solve the problem of poor content.

  • Check that your pages are long enough and that they cover the topic thoroughly.
  • Your content must say something unique that no other ranked content says.
  • The writing needs to be clean and feel like it belongs in a published magazine.
  • You should have correct meta-tags, schema markup, internal and external links, and cover a variety of keywords that matter.

Linking content to build brand value

Simply putting up your content and hoping to get somewhere is like throwing wet spaghetti at the wall. Some might stick, but you have no control, and a lot will hit the floor.

Pay attention to your metrics, and look for key insights.  By using Semrush, Google Search Console, or Ahrefs, you can drill down on your page SEO and find the golden opportunities you've been missing.

SEO auditors look to link your content together into clusters and point the content at your top money-making pages. There are a variety of strategies for linking pages, but they all come down to keeping your site visitors clicking on your content until they fall into your sales funnel.

If they fall into the sales funnel right away, great! Your SEO auditor will work to make that happen. But if not, we need to keep them engaged and progressing through the funnel.

Final Thoughts

Content is absolutely king in SEO. Backlinks and other factors won't affect poor content because today, poor content has zero chance to build up enough backlink equity to get ranked.

Building your domain authority and brand equity takes time, but it doesn't take forever. Fashions change, and older content eventually decays, making room for fresh ideas.

Make sure you're going in the right direction.

Avoid SEO issues by thinking about your user engagement and content quality.  If you take the time to sit down with an SEO auditor right from the start, you'll save money.

Fixing your mistakes and changing strategies mid-stream means that you're going to need to make your investments twice. It wastes time and staff salaries and wastes money on the content that ends up cut.

In the end, you'll end up having to create good content with good SEO to have any chance of ranking. So do yourself a favor and talk to an expert right at the start of your planning process.

What is Topical Relevance?

Topical relevance is how search engines decide whether or not a web page is relevant to a particular search query.

Search engines use many signals to determine relevance, but links, keywords, and content are the three most significant ranking factors. If your content and links suggest a high degree of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) and topical relevance, you make it to the top of the search results.

Topical Relevance SEO

Links can get you in trouble. If you are linking to content in a niche that has nothing to do with your content, it's going to lower your E-A-T and confuse Google's algorithm.

Outbound links to authoritative sites can help boost your authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Well researched and cited content is always welcome.

Backlinks from other highly regarded authorities are also well received. Both of these concepts come from academia. Citing your sources and receiving praise from noted scholars has always been important in scholarly communities.

Why is Topical Relevance Important?

It's simply not helpful to serve the correct answer to the wrong question. The inverse is also true. It's not beneficial to give the wrong answer to the right question.

Google has a couple of steps that they need to go through to decide what to serve. The most important thing to remember is that they want to make sure you're an expert in your particular topic.

Google wants to assess the Expertise, Authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of your content. Getting medical advice from Mayo Clinic is much healthier than getting advice from a supplements manufacturer.

Good SEO strategy builds your E-A-T. Today's search engine optimization is a combination of solid public relations and good web design. If you're producing fantastic content, shopping it to your niche, and have a well-designed website, you're practicing good SEO.

Topic Research vs. Keyword Research

Because of Google entities, Topic relevancy, and the need for quality backlinks from topic experts, you should be trying to match your website to high-quality topics rather than high-volume keywords.

You will still need to serve target keywords in your niche, but it's crucial to stay in your lane and grow your E-A-T. As people learn to trust you, other high domain authority websites will link to you, and your website will grow naturally. People will reach out and ask to work with you.

Don't just look for long-tail keywords. Instead, spend your time thinking about keyword clusters and content gaps in your niche. Think about ways to make your mark in a specific community.

Optimizing Content for Topics Rather Than Keywords

Instead of hunting for today's hottest keywords, you should be thinking about what exactly your readers need and want from your blog. You should consider what's ranking well on Google, but it all needs to be kept in perspective.

Topics are critical for content building these days. Keywords are acceptable, but they ignore the best strategies for building your blog as a whole.

Hub and spoke and skyscraper are practical techniques that work well with topics. Build a massive lead-generating content piece, and then link it to other pages that go into more detail in specific areas.

Keyword focus risks cannibalizing your other content or and lacks cohesion. Keyword-focused blogs also miss out on internal links, which are excellent for SEO.

Strategies for Building Topical Authority

There are many strategies for building your authority about a topic, but it all comes down to one basic rule. Build good content.

Excellent content is the only way you have any chance of getting a reporter to use you as a reference. And, other people in your genre just aren't going to link to you if they don't trust your content.

Backlinks are a vote of confidence in your content. To earn those sweet backlinks, you're first going to have to produce content worthy of them.

Stay Focused on your content.

Keyword stuffing won't work.  Instead, content marketing uses related keywords and produces relevant articles and supporting articles in a narrow niche.

You need to stay focused on your main keyword to get enough content depth.  Google is looking for how thoroughly you cover a specific keyword or keyword phrase.

Stay on topic and give your site visitors relevant information and high-quality content. Think about the search intent and then wholly satisfy it.

Figure out what this particular piece of content will be about, and then cover just that topic in as much detail as possible. Stay focussed, and make sure to write relevant articles.

Google won't rank you highly for a specific topic if it detects a more general approach. If a search query is about hamburger restaurants, then only hamburger restaurants should appear on the SERP. General knowledge about all kinds of restaurants doesn't serve the search intent well.

Do massive research on your main keyword.

It's easy to sit down, slap together 1200 words in an hour or two, and publish your new blog content. The price you will pay is when nobody comes to read your blog.

You need to do at least one hour of research for each hour you spend writing your blog post. Then, budget another hour for editing.

Instead of sitting down and putting a blog post together in one or two hours, you need to budget 8 to 12 hours for good quality content.

Good content is expensive to create, and that's because we spend that extra few hours researching, planning, and editing. But that's what it takes to get onto the first page.

Create outstanding infographics, charts, and pictures

The next step after writing amazing content is to dress it up with custom infographics, diagrams, and photographs. You're going to need art to shop your work for reporters, social media, and other blogs.

It's a lot easier to build backlinks if your infographics are trending in your niche on Reddit, for example. Reporters love to link to good infographics because they do an excellent job of explaining complex topics to the general public.

Spend the time building good content now, and then later, backlink shopping and lead generation will be much easier.

Develop Topic Clusters around relevant keywords.

Internal links can push traffic to other pages on your site as people look for more information. Wikipedia uses extensive internal linking that adds additional value to site visitors while racking up many page views.

The hub and spoke model is a popular way to build a content cluster. The hub is a general overview of a topic, with links to more specific information in the spokes.

Find relevant articles and group them.  They should share relevant keywords so that they can link together easily.

An example would be a Hub about SEO which gives a general overview of SEO best practices. This hub might then link to articles about Entities, user experience, and topical relevance.

Use Search Engines to Research Topics

Search engines suggest additional keywords to refine a user's search query with long-tailed keywords.  Keyword suggestion makes Google and Bing excellent keyword research tools.

Search engine suggestions are a quick and easy way to score well for the relevance metric in the Google search algorithm. Simply knowing the associated keywords to a particular query is a huge advantage.

Remember, Google isn't just trying to drill down on your topic but also deciding which niche to use for your case. So be careful with the suggestions, because some will be off-topic.

Use an SEO content optimization Tool.

It's always better to use a good SEO auditor when you're getting serious about fixing your website. SEO auditors pay memberships to expensive SEO auditing tools that quickly drill down on your website problems and opportunities.

Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz are excellent paid resources that SEO agencies use to optimize websites. They're expensive and require expertise to use, but in the right hands, SEO optimization tools can solve problems with a few clicks.

These tools will give you insights into the search volume and keyword difficulty that will help you target the right content markets.

One of the many tools we use at our agency is the Use topic. This tool gives robust research into the keywords, topics, and structure competitors use in your niche.

Proofread your work.

It's easy to put your work through Grammarly Premium and fix your worst spelling and grammar mistakes. Grammarly Premium should be the first thing you do when you finish writing your first draft.

When Grammarly gives you the OK, you need to take your content to the next editing stage. Go back and fix the style, look at the overall structure of the article, and start making significant edits.

Make sure that the page flows well, looks nice, and speaks in your unique voice. Make sure you use good meta tags and put in relevant links with well-thought-out anchor texts.

Then, send the whole thing through Grammarly Premium again.

Your final step needs to be checking your writing for plagiarism with Grammarly Premium, OneText, or Copyscape. You didn't plagiarize your content, but you need to know if another website already has substantially similar content.

When you're writing on-topic, using many keywords, and writing in a similar style to experts in your niche, you'll end up with places where your copy is too close to someone else's.

Don't buy backlinks.

Here's something you absolutely should not do. Buying backlinks is like buying your university degree from a guy on Fiver.

Buying backlinks isn't going to help you in the long run, and it's symptomatic of thinking that will lead to failure. It won't work, you will get caught, and then you'll get heavy penalties.

We all want to do it. Link building is challenging. There are many ways to do it legitimately, but it will take some work in most cases. Talk to your SEO auditor, and we'll get started on it with you.

There's always someone willing to sell you backlinks, but they're taking a considerable risk by selling to you, so honestly, the links will be from spam websites with low Domain Authority.

When they or you get caught, you'll drop off the SERP with a Google penalty, and you won't come back for a long time.

Dropping off the SERP for a long time is going to cost money.

Instead of buying links, use our suggestions in this blog, or just come and talk to us, and we'll walk you through it. We build our backlinks legitimately, and you can do it too.

Final Thoughts

Content creation isn't easy.  It takes a lot of time to do the research, writing good content is highly skilled work.  A good blog is an excellent marketing tool though, and worth the expense.

If you need some help, don't be afraid to ask. Talk to an SEO auditor if you're serious about building your brand and need some help setting up the website, content, and backlinks.

Website owners often overlook website structure when they think about SEO. It's not as intuitive as keywords, content, and loading speed.

But having a solid URL structure and well-thought-out content categories is very important for helping search engines and humans understand your site architecture.

Consider google's problem when crawling. The crawler is a simple program that follows links and understands them as trees. Building a website with solid categories, subcategories, H1, H2, H3, will be very easy to crawl.

Simply throwing all of your content into a pile, on the other hand, is going to be a mess for the crawler to figure out, and Google will give up and throw you down at the bottom of the rankings.

When Google gives up, you are missing out on many visitors that google would have sent your way.

On the other hand, when visitors do visit your site, you want to convert them somehow. You want to inform them, sell them something, or get them to join your cause.

SEO Content Structure

You have less than 5 seconds to convince a new site visitor to engage with your content before they leave. A standard elevator speech is 20 or 30 seconds, so you can see the problem. Web engagement and conversion must happen fast.

Web Crawlers

Google's web crawler isn't clever and won't spend a long time figuring out your website. It needs to crawl the entire web and do it fast. Google can miss parts of your page if it can't figure out where to go next.

Sitemaps help a lot, but good site structure is also critical. If Google doesn't index your page, your chances of SEO will go to zero.

Sitelinks

Good structure can also get you sitelinks. Sitelinks are google's equivalent of a full-page ad or a magazine cover. You gain massively increased space and links on the top of the search rankings and a massive boost to brand visibility.

Think about Amazon's sitelinks. They drop you right into the Amazon Prime funnel, AmazonSmile funnel, the Black Friday funnel, or the Your account Funnel. Since Amazon doesn't have to start by figuring out what you want, they can get right to work selling things to you.

These sitelinks give you targeted traffic into specific areas where customers want to go. Sitelinks shorten your conversion funnel and solve some of the initial hurdles in making a sale.

You can't request sitelinks from Google. Instead, you receive sitelinks when your website structure is straightforward for the Google algorithm to understand.

Different types of website structure

Flat Vs. Deep structure: Flat website structure means that as much content as possible is available to users without the need for menus. Older websites were often flat because of the limited available content and difficulty navigating during the early days of the internet.

A website with some structural depth is ultimately more scalable than a completely flat site because everything isn't in the same basket. You don't want to go too deep, in any case. Limit depth to as few levels as few layers as possible.

Models of website architecture

Hierarchical Model: This architecture has a tree-like structure, with the main menu, categories, and subcategories. A hierarchical structure can be beneficial to people who know the content they want and can drill down quickly.

Sequential Model: Think about a series of lessons in a school textbook. Website visitors consume this content from the beginning to the end. A sequential structure is ideal when subsequent information will rely on prior knowledge.

Matrix Model: Wikipedia has a matrix model. It relies on a  search bar and internal links to get you where you want to go. There aren't menus with categories and subcategories or a sequence between pages. Instead, a matrix structure relies on the user's prior knowledge to search and allows expansion of their understanding with internal links.

Amazon uses a Matrix Model for a lot of its content. Amazon has top and side menus that are hierarchical, but browsing through the store is primarily accomplished using search and clickable pictures.

Database Model: It's also possible to build a website structure using strong metadata tags to put suggestions in a feed for site visitors. Medium and Facebook are good examples.

SEO Optimized Website Structure

Before anyone clicks on your website, you need to think through your structure.  What topics will you cover and what kind of user experience do you want to deliver?  Who are your competitors and what's your strategy for defeating them?

You need to develop a business plan, but you also need to think about your internal linking structure and keyword research strategy.  Here are some SEO best practices to get you started.

Have a plan before you start building your website

If you're building a brand new website or making significant upgrades to your site structure, grab a pen and paper, draw a hierarchical tree, and then turn that into a wireframe. Having a solid plan is going to save a lot of time and money later.

By having a good plan, you'll end up with a good URL structure and a site that people and crawlers navigate easily.

If you've already been posting content for a while, you need to go back regularly and rethink everything. What's working and what's not working? Do you need to redesign the website completely, or will a small patch be OK for a while?

If you're just getting started with the design process, you need to think about your long-term plans and how much your website might need to scale. Make sure that it can go as far as you're willing to take it.

Make sure that your categories are complete and your subcategories are logical. It's going to be messy and expensive if you have to keep moving things around because you forgot something.

Don't have too many categories. Shoot for fewer than 7. Remember that you only have 5 seconds to convince a website visitor to stick around before they bounce.

Don't forget that individual pages have a hierarchy too.

Use H1, H2, and H3 to organize content and build an on-page tree for Googles crawlers and site visitors. Put your content into logical categories and respect the intent of headers.

H1 and H2 are not font sizes or super-bold fonts. They're used to create an easily understood hierarchical structure. H1 is only for the main title, H2 is for categories, and H3 is for subcategories.

Don't build your structure too deep.

More than three levels of organization end up being messy and counterproductive. The general rule is don't go more than three levels deep when you build your organizational hierarchy. Subcategories and H3 are as deep as you should go in organizing your information.

Make sure your most important pages are at the top of the site hierarchy where they will see the most use. The top navigation menu is an excellent place to put your blog, pricing, and the product or service categories you want to convert. Less is more. Keep it simple.

Your internal linking should make sense to a casual observer. People will leave if it's too difficult to find your content.

Keep the header simple.

You have 5 seconds to get your foot in the door.

The header should be used for your main navigation and contain your main categories. There's not much else that you want up there.

When people visit your site, you have to engage your customers and get them into your sales funnel within 5 seconds. Whatever you want people to do, they need to figure it out right away.

If you load fancy graphics, you've probably already wasted 3 seconds, so you have 2 seconds remaining.

From an SEO perspective, if people leave right away, you get penalized. Google wants to send people where they want to go. If people decide that your site isn't it, Google will find another website that visitors will like better.

Breadcrumbs are awesome.

Breadcrumbs maybe haven't been getting enough love lately. Many websites have decided against breadcrumbs to keep the design simple.

They are helpful, though, and if it makes sense for your website, you should consider them.

Breadcrumbs force you to be more organized in designing your website and are helpful for site navigation. And, they work exceptionally well for e-commerce, sales, and information websites.

Use the pillar and cluster method for internal linking.

Find your strongest, highest converting content and link your other content to it. The internal links pointing to a particular page will help Google find that page and feature it. Pillar and Cluster is a clue to Google about where visitors can find the best site experiences.

It's always a good idea to link your blog articles to the best money-generating parts of your website. Discussing a great product and then linking to the product in your store is a good site design.

Add Schema markup to your HTML.

Schema helps the search engine return helpful information. Although people tend to select the higher-ranked search results in Google searches, that's not necessarily true. If your SERP pitch is much stronger than the higher-ranking website, you might be able to steal some traffic and gain some ground.

When Google understands your content better, that also makes Google happier, and we can easily predict a day when Schema markup will become required for SEO.

It's also straightforward; there's just no real reason not to do it.

Go to Google's Structured Data Markup tool to get started.

Create parent pages for each of your categories.

Similar to the pillar and cluster method, you should be creating parent pages for your categories. A parent page is a page higher in the hierarchy with links to the lower category pages.

Suppose that you have a category for shoes containing subcategories for boots and women's shoes. You should create a page for shoes that then links to boots and women's shoes. The structure allows each menu item and submenu item to be a link and more straightforward for Google to follow.

  1. Blogs should have an easy-to-understand brand.

Site visitors won't spend much effort trying to understand you as a person or as a brand. You need to make sure that they can simplify your brand down to a concise statement.

Similarly, your blog posts should fit into one blog category, have a clear message, and have a simple keyword strategy. It's surprising how often people start ranting in a blog post.

Keep in mind that when people land on your blog from the SERP, they have a particular intent in mind. If you do an excellent job of filling that specific intent, your blog will have a much better shot at taking off.

An easy-to-understand brand doesn't mean that you need a keyword-rich domain name. The best domain names are simply the brand name, but second-order brands can use their name with one or two keywords.  Anandtech.comford.com, and Netflix.com are good examples of what I mean.

Create a site map for your website.

A sitemap is a document that tells search engines how to crawl your website.  Humans don't usually use sitemaps for website navigation, but they're SEO-friendly.

Sitemaps are quick and easy to make using Google's XML sitemap generator tool. This is low-hanging fruit for improving your SEO.

Especially if your website is new, a sitemap will help Google find and index your site changes quickly. Quickly indexing your website can be especially important if your information is time-sensitive.

It's easy to think that Google knows everything, but even the computers at Google have a limited crawling budget. If you don't help them out, it might take them a few days to find your content.

Google doesn't find all of the content on the web. Many pages aren't indexed because that content has a robots.txt file instructing Google not to index that page.

In addition, some links don't work well, or a particular website design quirk confuses the crawler. Search engine crawlers are fast and efficient. They're not particularly smart.

Whatever the reason, your site map will serve as a backup plan to help you get indexed faster and more thoroughly.

Check out other websites. Especially your competition.

There's a significant Communication theory called expectation violations theory. This theory talks about the problem of doing things in unexpected ways.

People have expectations about how websites work. They go to Apple.com and Amazon.com. Make sure your website fits into the mold so that people can understand it.

If you go out and start doing things in a radically new way, it needs to be 10x better than the old way. Otherwise, you will get feedback about your "weird" and "strange" designs.

You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Just make your content better.

Websites in the same niche tend to look similar. In underserved niches like plumbing, it might be a good idea to put in a more modern design, even if your customers' websites are stuck in 2007.

Still, if you're going to compete against Amazon, you should copy them in every way you can. Look for the people in your niche that know what they're doing.

You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Just make your content better.

Design for humans, not bots.

It's crucial to be SEO friendly, but ultimately, humans visit your website and buy your products. Focussing on the people will result in better conversion rates, less bouncing, and, finally, higher search rankings.

There's a natural tendency to design everything around the idea of an unlimited number of site visitors coming in from Google. More traffic will equal more sales.

That's true to some extent, but you should focus on making the site visitors that you do get happy. Convert the people who walk through the door instead of worrying about building a bigger door.

Google has a vast but limited amount of traffic to pass around. It's in Google's best interest to pass it out to websites that serve the site visitors well. That's Google's job.

Google updates the google search algorithm constantly, and it's always with one goal in mind. Google wants its users to have the best experience possible.

The Footer is not for keyword spam.

The footer is way down at the bottom, where nobody goes. Since nobody goes there, you shouldn't put much in the footer.

The best use of the footer is to give your site visitors an option to go to one of your other content pages, credit a content creator, or put legal notices and disclaimers.

The footer is not a place for keyword spam. Nobody reads the footer, so Google pretty much ignores it.

Final words

Search Engine Optimization and web development are specialized fields where things change fast. You need to update your website and take care of it constantly.

Updating the design is a continual maintenance task that you need to do regularly. Links get broken with time, and tactics that worked two years ago just don't anymore.

If you want to rank well, you will need professional web designers and SEO auditors to build a clean website for your content.

Professionals will do a great job, and ultimately you're going to see a lot more traffic and higher sales conversions.

Creating high-quality content is only the first step in ranking on the front page of the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). You also need the community to recognize your high quality by linking to your page.

These inbound links are called backlinks, and Google has confirmed that they are one of the top three most important ranking factors. Unlike content quality and Rankbrain, backlinks give Google evidence that community authorities trust and like your content.

In the old days, Google's based its algorithm on the total number of links. Today, search engine rankings are determined much more carefully, using more than 200 different factors.

The most important factors are good quality backlinks, high-quality content, and Google's AI, RankBrain. Build an excellent website, fill it with the best content in your niche, and then publicize your work.

Reach out and show your value to websites with high E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). These websites have a high Domain Authority.  Their DA then rubs off on you when they link to your content.

Establishing your website as a pillar of E-A-T is a long and hard road, but it's worth it in the end. Earning trust is difficult, but it will keep you at the top of the search rankings.

Here's how to build high-quality backlinks.

Backlinking Stratagies

You need a strong topical relevance.

You must get links from high-quality websites in your genre. Google will look at your website's topic and see if your backlinks are coming from topic experts.

Think about it this way. A law professor who recommends a particular attorney for an award is a high-quality vote of confidence. A law professor is not a high-quality vote of confidence for a sushi restaurant.

Editorially placed links are the only way.

It's also crucial that links are placed naturally and for good reasons. Paying someone for backlinks or linking to yourself using a partner website damages your trustworthiness.

Getting links from major institutions and news outlets is SEO gold. Look for natural opportunities to get links. A contractor who works on a local landmark can request a link in the government and regional news that attributes the work to them.

There are also grey hat SEO techniques such as scholarship schemes and amateur sports team endorsements, which are frowned upon but are allowed for community benefits. These techniques can still get you in trouble if you abuse them or if Google decides to a crack down in the future.

What are the differences between Follow vs. NoFollow links?

A Followed link means that Google should consider the link as a valid, editorially placed link. These transfer PageRank and link the Domain Authority of the two websites.

Difference Between DoFollow and NoFollow Links

There are many cases where another website might technically have a link to your website but not wish to or be able to endorse your Domain Authority, however.

  • Rel= "sponsored" means that a link is an advertisement that was paid for by an advertiser. While webmasters are responsible for the quality of ads on their pages, ads don't count as high-quality backlinks.
  • Rel= "nofollow" means that google should not crawl the link and should not associate the two sites because of it.
  • Rel= "UGC" means that links come from user-generated content such as social media, forums, or comment sections. Social Media influencers can push a lot of traffic to a site but aren't a direct source of good SEO unless their websites are in your genre and place editorial links on their websites.

Tesla linking to your website will give you Domain Authority, but Elon Musk's Twitter feed won't. However, if Elon mentions you, it will drive massive traffic and news reports, which will often link to your website.

You need many unique referring domains.

Focus on getting links from many different websites rather than only a few. Dozens of links from CNN are great, but links from dozens of major news outlets are much more powerful.

Consider the fact that it's harder to game a system where many different reporters and web admins must endorse your website.

When you think through the problem from Google's perspective, you can see why they're looking for multiple references.

Natural Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text that links are anchored onto.

Google looks at anchor text to help decide what the linked websites are about, so a good linking text is helpful. However, using optimized anchor text with excessive keywords violates Google's guidelines and can get you hit with a significant penalty.

Google looks for a natural mix of anchor text without apparent efforts to game the system.

Manual link building builds brand equity.

Placing your links in guest blogs or social media can attract penalties unless you use the Rel= "no follow" tag. On the other hand, linking to your content can indirectly influence link growth.

Elon Musk can't directly link to Tesla or Space X without a no-follow tag, but his Twitter feed drives traffic and news reports. So if he mentions his companies, other people will make the editorial decision to link to him. Win.

Persuing good public and media relations strategies has indirect benefits for your SEO. Just be careful to allow other people to make the ultimate decision about linking to you.

Earned links are the best.

Nowadays, everything Apple does earns them tons of press and links. Steve Jobs was famous for doing media and public relations personally and often, however.

Giving speeches, appearing on TV, and helping reporters with their stories are all good ways to build your links and public persona. Give lectures at conferences, do meet and greets, and make yourself available to writers.

Anything that gets you mentioned in the press or on someone else's blog is fantastic, as long as they make the link choice editorially. Keep in mind that links from experts in your niche count more than links from unrelated niches.

Paid links aren't always bad SEO.

Paid Links are bad SEO, except when they're not. Directly paying for a link will typically get you low-quality links and will get a Google penalty if you get caught.

You also have to consider that the links will usually be from websites with low Domain Authority and other topics.

Sponsored content is excellent, and Google themselves serves sponsored content on their websites. It can earn you public notoriety and brand authority which indirectly can build your link profile.

Just use a nofollow or sponsored tag for sponsored content.

These are some excellent quick-win linking strategies.

An outstanding public relations team will ensure they take advantage of the low effort, high reward link-building tactics. It would help if you took the low-hanging, easy wins because your competition surely will.

Fix broken internal and external links.

Links break for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes people make mistakes when they link to your content, and other times the link gets broken when you change your URL.

You should make sure that all of the links to your content work and that there aren't any broken links. It's way easier to fix a broken link than earn a fresh one. A good SEO auditor will check all of your links to make sure that they work.

Once you've identified a broken link, reach out to the linking webmaster and point out the error. Broken links are poor SEO for them, too, so they'll usually be happy to repair the link.

If the problem is with deleted content on your website, either put the original content back up at the same URL, redirect the link to suitable content, or ask for an updated link to fresh content.

Follow up with brand mentions that don't link to your content.

It would be best if you tried to get yourself into the press as often as possible. Press mentions won't always include a link to your content, but it's good journalistic practice for reporters to do it.

Since it's good practice for them, you can email them and mention that adding your link to the brand mention adds value to their customers. They're busy, and things happen, so you won't always get the link. But, for the price of a few emails, businesses can get many links this way.

Find customer and partner links.

Suppliers and customers often link to their business partners. These are easy links, and since they're usually in the same industry as you, they can transfer a lot of domain authority.

Remember, you only need one link per Domain, so push to get it somewhere from your partners, customers, and suppliers. Here are some ideas.

  • When you do significant work for someone, they might write a blog post about their new setup.
  • When you buy something, suppliers might brag about their big sales.
  • Retail customers can help you with a 5-star review on Google, Yelp, or Trip Advisor.
  • B2B customers can help by doing a write-up of your service on their blog.
  • Review influencers are great. Grant them access to your product or project, with the understanding that they will do a write-up. Granting access is fine, but you can't pay them or control their editorial decisions.

One thing to note: don't make enemies. Customer complaints are a red flag to Google. You need to do what it takes to satisfy your customers and ensure that they don't give bad reviews. If you get a bad review, reach out to them, make it right, and request an edited review.

Association and Membership Links.

It's almost always healthy to join industry associations. If you're a member of the Chamber of Commerce or a professional association, find out if they showcase and link to their members. If you're not already listed, they'll be happy to fix it for you.

Look for high-quality associations to join. You don't even need an endorsement, simply an acknowledgment from them that you exist.

Donate Money and Time to worthy causes.

Donating money is a gray area, but it's still allowed. Doing some work for your community is an excellent way to be a positive corporate citizen and get local press. If the organization has a blog, offer any assistance possible to the writer.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  •  A politician might mention you if you host a small rally for them.
  • Your local government might list businesses that get involved.
  • Scholarships for students might include a backlink somewhere, such as in the application information.
  • Youth organizations might link to their sponsors.
  • Places of worship might link to corporate sponsors.
  • Local schools and police departments might mention donated equipment.
  • Festival sponsors might get linked in the local press and blogs about the festival. Check if the festival organizers have a website and blog.

Claim your unattributed work and get some backlinks.

You can request an attribution if you've created images and other people have uploaded them to their website. Most people would be happy to give you credit rather than risking a takedown notice.

Search for your images in Google, and send website owners a nice email wherever you find your work. Be friendly and tell them that you're happy they are using your work. Ask them for help.

Requesting attribution is possible in any situation where someone might be using your work for free. Coursework that you upload or someone's paraphrasing of your blog should get you attributions and links.

Reddit, Quora, and Forums are good for business.

These are non-follow links, but that doesn't mean that they won't get you good backlinks.

Any publicity is good publicity. If you increase your public profile, other bloggers and journalists might pick up your story and give you attribution.

Not all traffic has to come from Google either. Social media and forums are a fantastic way to pick up traffic from other sources than the search engine.

Sponsored Blog Posts aren't dead after all.

The same rules that apply to forums and social media also apply to sponsored and guest blog posts. You need to apply a nofollow relation to your post, but the additional publicity might get you more traffic.

Advertizers pay for sponsored blog posts, so the rules about editorial control apply. You can't buy reviews or backlinks. You can donate to charity to receive backlinks. So, there's that.

Google cracked down on guest posting a few years ago because it's you recommending yourself. Recommending yourself is worthless.

There are still lots of reasons to guest blog. You can promote your new book or company's products and build your public persona with a new audience. Publicizing yourself everywhere is an excellent life strategy.

Internal linking

Optimizing your internal links also improves your SEO. Internal links distribute PageRank throughout your site, improving the ranking of all your posts. If you create hot content that blows up and goes to the first rank in a hot topic, distributing that link equity and Page Authority to your other pages will also help them rank.

Internal linking is entirely under your control. You simply need to design your site well and enforce good practices with anyone creating content for your site.

Often, internal linking becomes a problem as a site grows, but the original design fails to scale well. Spending the money to redesign your site and fix broken internal links will pay off with increased traffic, though.

Old SEO Tactics That Still Work

Google closely monitors these SEO tactics because of the problems that they've caused in the past. That doesn't mean that they're useless. It just means that you need to use them in ways that benefit Google's search customers.

A good link-building campaign will use all of these link-building strategies but will be careful to do it in the right way.

Keep in mind that Google's website will only exist as long as they take care of their customers. Google search has been a mainstay of the internet for so long that we sometimes forget that Google is just as vulnerable as anyone else if they don't do their jobs. Google needs to find the best possible search results, or they'll get taken out by Bing and their other competitors.

Directories still exist.

Before the internet, phone books and library card catalogs were state-of-the-art search engines. When the internet boomed in the late 1990s, a few entrepreneurs got rich, digitizing these old-school search tools.

Today, we use search engines like Google, and these old directories appear quaint and even spammy. But they do exist in a few legitimate places.

Chambers of Commerce often have directories of their member businesses, and some organizations explicitly endorse members. The American Kennel Club promotes good dog breeders and provides contact information so that breeders can find mates for their dogs.

Directories like these are fine, but links on someone's spam website are just going to get you in trouble.

Guest blogging isn't dead.

Guest blogging is a great tactic to publicize yourself and get some traffic. It's not a way to build SEO. You need to use a rel= "no follow" tag in your link.

To be clear, you should guest blog. Building your profile and getting traffic and social media followers is worth money.

Google is important, but it's not the only power in the world. Spend some or a lot of your marketing time and money outside of SEO.

Press Releases and Content Syndication are fundamental.

Putting your link in a press release and sending it to publications hoping to get published is like guest blogging on a massive, syndicated scale.

Pitch your stories to the press. Reporters need to cite their sources, and they will link to you as a citation. You can also get traffic just from the link, and it helps build your profile.

Even though Google will ignore your press release link spam, media organizations are massively influential and have high domain authority.

Reporters are constantly looking for quotes, images, and data that they can cite in their stories. Becoming a resource for reporters is an excellent way to earn yourself some respect and love.

The problems and benefits with guest blogging still apply. You can't serve as a witness of your character and skills.

But yes. Use public relations and pitch stories to the press. Get yourself on TV and AMA on Reddit. Google SEO isn't the only way to get publicity and site traffic.

Infographics add value to a reporter's story, and they take a long time to produce. Reporters are busy and don't have time, so they will appreciate the help.

Just make sure that your infographics and data support a good story for a reporter. Try to answer questions like:

  1. What story does this tell?
  2. Who would want to tell that story?
  3. Is this an interesting angle on a story?
  4. Does this add value to a story?

Data is valuable and takes time to produce.

Data is extremely valuable to reporters and content publishers. Conducting surveys or digging through surveys to find story angles is doing a lot of a reporter's job for them. That's going to get you published if you find some helpful content.

Writing the whole story yourself is considered sponsored or guest blogging content, but if you can create infographics or charts that show your information, that can earn a few links.

Try to create a piece of content that compellingly tells the story. Writers ultimately need to write excellent content, and that content needs to engage readers.

Blog Comments and Forum Posts are a possibility sometimes.

Blog comments aren't the dumpster fire where you advertise Viagra. Even so, don't be afraid to answer someone's question and then link to your more complete answer in your blog. Be careful, use it judiciously, and don't annoy everyone by being a spammer.

Connect with your Community.

If your service adds genuine and unique value to your niche, that can be newsworthy all by itself.

Connect to the people who are interested in your niche. Those people could be customers, clients, suppliers, or competitors. Join organizations and take advantage of the community platforms. Some of these platforms will include links.

Doing competitor backlink analysis can identify opportunities. A competitor might have found an excellent opportunity for unique content.

Reviewing a supplier's products can earn you a link on their website. Everyone needs testimonials, and legitimate testimonials need citations. Getting reviewed yourself is also a great way to build your profile and get a backlink.

The Skyscraper Technique is old-school done in a new way.

Naming this the skyscraper technique is a bit dramatic, but it's solid advice. You'll get more link opportunities if you build best-in-the-world content and share it with people in that exact niche.

  1. Look for content that's previously performed well.
  2. Do the same topic but better in every way.
  3. Reach out to people who linked to the original content.

Writing great content and then publicizing it is pretty basic advice, but sometimes it's easy to forget. We see this all the time in marketing. Trucks sell well in the USA, so we should build a better truck and sell it to truck owners. Sure.

Outreach campaigns are good marketing.

Conducting an outreach campaign is marketing, and you're going to need to do some cold calling. Sending emails and making pitches isn't always fun, but that's the job.

It helps to have a great product. Pitching good content is easier because it's easier for you to be passionate about your creation and because customers will be more receptive.

You can sell anything if you're passionate, however. Keep knocking on doors and never lose your energy and optimism.

The number of backlinks is essential, but you're going to need to build your backlink profile by casting your net wide and connecting widely with all of the members of your niche.

Find your market and pitch to warm leads.

On the other hand, pitching to the right person is even better than having a great product. I have a guaranteed way for you to lose money. There's statistically no way you're walking out of here whole. Who wants to sign up?

Gamblers.

There are enthusiasts for every niche in the world. Find those niches by doing competitor analysis. Look for the backlinks that your competitors have, and those are your warm leads.

At the same time, look at your competitor's content and find out which content is doing the best. The content might do well for many reasons, but it can give you insights into the type of content that does well.

There are tools to help with backlink analysis.

Doing backlink analysis is a lot easier when you use a good backlink checker. Semrush makes some widely used tools, but they're pricy unless you do SEO auditing for a living. Ahrefs makes an excellent SEO tool that does a lot of the same work, but it's even more expensive. Moz is much cheaper and perfect for smaller SEO tasks.

Moz also gives access to many of its tools for free and is an excellent community resource. They have developed proprietary metrics like Domain Authority, Spam Score, and Page Authority used throughout the SEO community. Moz is honestly a perfect example of earning backlinks by doing excellent work for a community.

Google also publishes free tools like site explorer. Site Explorer is excellent, but Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz make tools that dramatically speed up the process.

Link analysis tools are tools used by professionals. Dropping $999 per month on a tool isn't usually a wise investment unless you do this work every day.

Final Thoughts

Doing an SEO audit is serious work, and the tools are expensive. SEO auditing is a field where it makes sense to invest in a professional.

SEO auditors have experience and have a proven history of getting excellent results. You can learn to do it yourself, but an expert will do a better job and save you money by doing it faster.

Look for an SEO Auditor that can show you a solid SEO strategy built on high-quality techniques. The SEO auditor should have a detailed understanding of Google's algorithm and focus on getting you high-quality links.

Avoid black-hat SEO,low-quality content, and spammy links. Do SEO the right way, and you'll be building a business that lasts.

In the old days, SEO was all about keywords and backlinks. The internet was an ugly jungle of spammy websites that optimized search engine traffic while destroying human useability.

Realizing the danger, Google took action and started refusing to rank websites that don't follow design best practices. Page speed, bounce rate, and UI became critical metrics for SEO success.

Today, the Google algorithms are updated continuously to prioritize user experience and excellent content in the google search results. Modern SEO strategies focus on web design and Google's content metrics.

User Experience and SEO are the same things.

Google wants thick, rich content that oozes Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT). Content must be lightning-fast, simple for both humans and AI to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices.

There are over 200 ranking factors that go into Google uses as signals to decide where to rank a page. These are mostly secret, but Google has confirmed that the top 3 are:

  1. World-class content: Your content must dominate in terms of EAT, length, completeness, and UX. There can't be any mistakes if you want to rank on the first page.
  2. Rank Brain (Googles AI): RankBrain constantly slightly adjusts weighting on ranking factors and grades the results against real-world data.
  3. Backlinks: Links from high EAT websites and community members in your niche are heavily weighted, so SEO involves classic public relations. Google's strategy makes sure that the community is getting what they want and that top-ranked websites are endorsed by people who know what they are talking about.

So yes, content is king. But everyone knows that the queen runs the house, and that's true in SEO. Getting ranked on the first page of the search engine results requires investment in UX design.

Page load time, mobile friendliness, and ease of navigation are the differentiators that decide who wins and loses.

It's kind of like being an athlete at the Olympics. Content gets you to the games, but UX gets you to the medals podium.

Page Load time

Google tries to hit load times of one-half of a second.

Studies have shown that by the time you've hit 3 seconds, you've already lost one-third of your traffic. This lost traffic adds to your bounce rate, which lowers your SERP ranking.

Googles Load TIme Field Data Metrics

Googles Load TIme Field Data Metrics

1. First contextual Paint: FCP is the point when your browser renders the first content. The first content could be text, images, or non-white canvas. To increase your FCP score, you need to get something on the screen fast.

Users are more likely to stick around if they see something happening.

FCP is a crucial signal to visitors to stick around another half-second for their content to finish loading.

2. Largest Contful Paint: LCP refers to the time it takes for the largest piece of content to load. LCP is the primary metric that Google uses to measure website speed.

Even though this is the primary speed metric, Google also measures site visitor pogo-sticking and bounce rate. It's critical that each visitor that Google sends you sticks around and converts.

3. Cumulative Layout Shift: CLS is the ugly movement that page elements can make as they load. Google will lower your ranking if things move around because of janky coding. You need to code your website correctly so that elements know where they are supposed to end up.

4. First Input Delay: FID measures the delay between a user's website interaction and when the website begins to fulfill the request.

But wait, there's more! Google's Lab data Load Time metrics.

1. Speed Index: SI measures how long it takes above the fold visual elements to load. Above the fold elements is the part of a website that you first see before you scroll down. The analogy is the front half of a newspaper's front page.

2. Time to Interactive: TTI measures the time it takes for your website to become interactive and functional. To be clear, this is when your website is durably interactive. Cheating by making the content temporarily interactive won't work.

3. Total Blocking Time: TBT is very similar to TTI. It measures the time when a website is blocked from user interaction. TBT is calculated as the time between First Contentful Paint and Time to Interactive.

Page Load Speed Optimization

Page load speed is critical, but how you do it is also essential. Janky shortcuts will get you in trouble later with Cumulative Layout Shift and broken site elements.

Using Web design best practices will result in the best possible optimization. Good, fresh design equals good SEO.

Here are some things you can do to help optimize an older or under-performing website.

How Page Speed Effect SEO and Ranking

Choose a good WebHost

Your choice of web host will depend on what your goals are.

Shared hosting is cheap but isn't optimal unless your site is small and limited in distribution. Shared hosting might make sense if you're a local business or institution and can't scale your website to a national level.

Many businesses simply can't and don't need to scale on the web. Hospitals, construction contractors, schools, and local governments can afford to make you wait a couple of seconds. (Keep it below 3 seconds, though!)

Even the smallest websites should still be designed well and practice good security. But if your child's elementary school website loads a little slow in the afternoon, it'll probably be fine.

VPS Hosting is more predictable than shared hosting, and it's still very affordable for businesses and institutions. VPS works by logically separating system resources so that each website on the shared server can't interfere with other websites. VPS is a good solution if you have a small website and shared hosting doesn't provide the stability you need.

Dedicated server hosting makes sense for more extensive regional distribution. Dedicated server hosting will optimize your speed if you already know that you don't need to scale globally.

Dedicated server hosting makes sense sometimes, but generally, if shared hosting doesn't serve your needs, you should probably be considering cloud hosting.

Cloud hosting costs more to get started but makes sense if you are scaling up. AWS, Microsoft, and other cloud providers can scale to handle any conceivable load, and you only have to pay for the infrastructure you use. The stability and scalability make cloud hosting a must-have for many medium and large websites.

Enable Compression

File compression reduces the size of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files.  Gzip is free and widely used.

Optimize images

Don't use Gzip on image files. Use photo compression software instead.

Ensure that your photos sizes are under control and appropriate for the content you are trying to serve. High-resolution images aren't necessary in all cases.

Make sure that photos are in the correct format too. JPEG works well with complex images like photos, while PNG is appropriate if your image has 16 or fewer colors.

Use a CSS Sprites template and download your UI elements all at once as one large image. That will save you from making lots of micro requests that can slow performance to a crawl.

Include the trailing slash

It's easy to forget to add a trailing slash to your links. Trailing slashes tell the browser to stop looking for additional directories.

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Good, commented code with proper whitespace and variable names is critical for human readability, but it's slightly slower than ugly, minimal code.

Use a preprocessor to optimize the code for machine readability before uploading it to the live server. Google recommends that you use CSSNano and UglifyJS.

Reduce redirects

There are all kinds of legitimate reasons why you might need to redirect traffic. Correctly redirected traffic won't hurt your SEO but will slow you down.

Sometimes you need to redirect to migrate links from deleted content into your new content. You should also request that the link points to your latest content to shorten redirect chains.

Remove render-blocking JavaScript

Google suggests that you avoid putting JavaScript into places where it will block your rendering because rendering will pause while the JavaScript executes.

If possible, execute Javascripts after rendering. If you have a script that needs to run in the middle of rendering, keep it short and inline the javascript file contents.

Leverage browser caching

Leverage your site visitor's browser cache to store image files, stylesheets, and Javascript files. Browser cache reduces data usage and transfer costs and can dramatically improve loading times for subsequent visits. Caching for up to a year is appropriate if you have static assets that rarely change, like your logo.

Improve server response time

Locating your server near your customers and optimizing the server architecture for speed will dramatically improve your results.

Make sure you aren't making a lot of slow database queries or running bloated code.

Use a content distribution network.

Content Distribution Networks are modern website hosting options like AWS, where your site is stored and delivered from local servers at locations worldwide.

Your website should deliver content from servers close to your viewers. Some websites only serve a limited geographical area so that they can get away with a local server.

Make sure that you've optimized for mobile search.

Having a mobile responsive design is critical.  Google won't put your website onto Search Engine Results Page unless you have a mobile version of your website.

Google looks to make sure that your  site’s navigation, fonts, and user interface are optimized for a great mobile experience.

Final thoughts

Clean, optimized code is critical for site speed. Talk to an SEO auditor about your site design and code, especially if it's been a while since you've updated your website.

Search engine optimization agencies are also digital marketing agencies.  SEO auditors consider every part of the website, including user engagement metrics, UI design, and core web vitals.

Best practices and site design change very quickly, so it pays to talk to an expert specializing in SEO web development.

How do search engines work?

The worldwide web consists of billions of web pages linked together with HTML links. It's so complicated that even millions of experts can't do a good job sorting it by hand.

Since we can't do it by hand, we use software and artificial intelligence to go through every link, find webpages, sort the webpages, and then display the results in a way that makes sense to humans.

Crawling: Everything starts with a program called a crawler. The crawler goes through billions of web pages and looks at the content and links to other web pages.

  • Content keywords: Search engines find keywords that suggest what the content on a webpage might be about. A website about cupcakes might include cupcakes, frosting, flour, delicious, easy, and chocolate.
    1. Don't overstuff your content with keywords. Use them naturally so that a human can read your text.
    2. Overstuffing your content with keywords will destroy your website by increasing pogo-sticking and possibly getting a google penalty. It won't work. At best, Google will ignore your keyword spam.
    3. Using keywords naturally allows Google to build good entities, which will get your site to the top of the SERP.
  • Google entities: Computers see keywords as meaningless strings of letters that can be counted and sorted. Since 2012's Google Hummingbird announcement, Google has switched tactics and increasingly uses machine learning and Knowledge Graph to understand website content and create content objects called entities.
    1. Google entities are objects that have sub-attributes.
    2. Google entities link to other entities. Those links have logical weighting according to relevance.
    3. Building customer first, helpful content and UI is the only way to dominate.
  • Links: The crawler crawls through links, indexing each page as it goes. Inbound links are called backlinks. There are three basic things to remember.
    1.  Good backlinks come from high authority websites like major news outlets and experts like award-winning industry gurus. Build good inbound links by practicing good public relations. Give information to reporters to build their stories, and offer your link as a source citation.
    2. Bad backlinks are a mixed bag, but they come from yourself, scammers, and anyone trying to sell you an easy solution to getting more links. An SEO audit will look for poor-quality links to disavow.
    3. Broken backlinks can't be indexed, so if you have an excellent inbound link that's broken, you need to get an SEO audit, find it, and fix that broken link.

Indexing: Search engines build an index of the pages they have crawled. The index is a directory that the search engine can use to display the most relevant links.

  • Make sure your content pages are indexed. If you don't know, get an SEO audit and find out.
  • Make sure that you aren't using up your crawl budget on non-content pages that might even get the crawler stuck.
  • Look for problems with your robots.txt, noindex, and redirects.
  • Find duplicate content someone might have stolen from you on the web. Google will only show one version of duplicate content.

Serving Search Results: Google looks for the highest quality results and then ranks them for the SERP. The Search Engine Results Page includes paid ads, organic results, People Also Ask, and the Knowledge Panel.

  •  Rank one and two of the organic search results get half of the traffic. Everyone else eats the leftovers.
  • Webpages in a featured snippet won't appear in organic listings. Regardless, landing in the featured snippet is an excellent result.
  • People Also Ask (PAA) and the Knowledge Panel are excellent. Try to get content into the PAA.

How Google Search Engine Works So Fast

What kinds of issues does Google usually target with its algorithm updates?

Google algorithm updates happen several times a day, and Rankbrain, Google's AI, updates the search weighting continuously. Game-changing broad core algorithm updates roll out several times a year.

Google is constantly searching for ways to ensure that high-quality content makes it to the top of the rankings for search queries. Each update has winners and losers, but Google algorithm changes have massively improved the customer experience over the long term.

Black hat SEO is constantly looking for ways to beat the system, and Google is continually looking for ways to shut down low-quality content and webmasters who game the system. Sometimes a minor update will hit a particular SEO technique hard.

Here are some of the biggest Google Broad Core Algorithm Updates in history.

  • Fred - targetted thin, ad-heavy content
  • Intrusive Interstitials Update - targetted popup ads
  • Mobilegeddon - targetted mobile-unfriendly content
  • Rankbrain - added machine learning software as one of the top 3 SERP ranking metrics
  • Panda - targetted thin, sloppy, ad-bloated, and dishonest or untrustworthy content
  • Penguin - targetted black hat link building techniques
  • Hummingbird - switched Google SEO from keywords to entities
  • Pigeon - put additional focus on local search results
  • Payday - targetted black hat SEO industries like high-interest payday loans, casinos, and debt consolidation
  • EMD - targetted Exact Match Domain names with poor quality, thin content.
  • Google Page Layout Algorithm - targetted pages with too many above the fold advertisements
  • Medic Update - targetted pages that have low EAT ratings, especially medical information. Google now looks for trained professionals whose advice reflects the dominant scientific consensus.
  • Page Experience Update - increased the importance of HTTPS, mobile usability, site security, and Core Web Vitals (loading speed)
  • BERT With the BERT update, Google began to use a new machine learning technique called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers in English language searches.
  • Product Reviews Update - Google prioritizes product reviews with deep original research over thin content covering multiple products.

Google Update Cat Meme

How to Succeed With Google's Algorithm

Create Informative Content

High-quality content is the most significant Google ranking factor. Google is laser-focused on the user experience so that internet usage and ad revenues will continue to grow.

The content that works today is thick with details, authoritative, and complete.

Google's acronym is E-A-T. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are critical, especially for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life pages), such as medical information.

Local businesses can improve their E-A-T by paying attention to customer reviews on YELP, Google, and TripAdvisor. Offer yourself to reporters for interviews, and associate yourself with major institutions.

Increase Page Security

HTTPS is much safer and more secure than HTTP. To run HTTPS on your website, you will need an SSL certificate.

Google penalizes insecure websites in several ways.

  1. Sites without an SSL certificate will be blocked and labeled "Not Secure" by default in Google chrome.
  2. Google also uses HTTPS as a ranking signal when deciding where to rank sites on the SERP.

Improve Site Navigation

Optimize your site navigation and make sure that your design is up to date. If your site is challenging to navigate by humans or crawlers, you will increase pogo-sticking and site rank.

Pogo sticking means that site visitors will come to your site and then immediately leave. Studies have shown that searchers make their decision in only 5 seconds. So, make those 5 seconds count.

Site visitors also leave if the site UI is confusing. Site visitors learn how to use the internet from sites at the top of the Google Rankings.

If your site's design is out-of-date, the unfamiliar visual clues and UI will confuse your website visitors.

Don't confuse site visitors. Use a fresh design that they know and understand. Here are some tips to help you optimize your website UI.

  • Use consistent UI and navigation. Site visitors lose patience if they can't figure out where to go and how to get there. Fresh designs will use a top menu bar that doesn't change from page to page.
  • Use clear categories and subcategories. Categories and subcategories must be visually separated and well defined. The copywriting should be clear and easily understood.
  • Use clickable links for navigation elements. Every heading element needs to be a clickable link, even if they have subheadings. Make your interface intuitive rather than creative.
  • Use accurate navigation titles. Use clear and precise language to make navigation easier. Save your creativity for the website content.
  • Ensure every clickable image has ALT text. Every image should have alt text, but alt text is essential if the image is also a link.
  • Ensure your search feature works. Difficult to find or poorly optimized site searches will cost you massive internal traffic, especially for a large website.

Don't Over-Optimize

Optimization is good, but don't take it too far. Don't ruin your user experience to get better SEO.

Google's algorithm and updates are a secret, but the intent is clear. Google will destroy your SERP ranking if you are gaming the system.

  • Use relevant keywords. Keywords that are irrelevant to your site content risk getting you a Google penalty and will result in organic penalties when your customers leave right away.
    1. You will get site visitors who leave right away when they realize the trick. Site visitors that leave right away are pogo-sticking, which is a significant metric that Google tracks.
    2. Build your web pages around a suitable google entity, not a collection of good keywords. Hamburgers and french fries have a much stronger link than hamburgers and cosmetics.
    3. Remember that you're looking for conversions and clicks, not site visitors. Irrelevant keywords don't convert. If someone is looking for hamburgers, but you sell toothbrushes, how will that traffic help you?
  • Don't use keyword-rich anchors for internal links.  Google is looking for exact match keyword-stuffed internal links. If the link is your site name, that's fine, but otherwise, it's best to dilute the keywords in the anchor by using a sentence fragment.
  • Use deep links as often as possible. The idea is that your links should point to content rather than web pages. Linking to something that Niel Patel said is better than linking to Niel Patel's top-level domain. Think about how you cite a source in a school paper. Send your readers to the exact page in the correct book, rather than telling them the right book and telling them to figure it out themselves.
  • Use H1, H2, and H3 correctly.  Each page has one H1. That should be obvious, and it allows Google to build a picture of your site like a tree. If you try to overoptimize and create multiple H1's, Google won't be happy.
  • Link to High Domain Authority sites. Linking to Low Domain Authority sites puts you at risk of being labeled a link spammer. Even bad websites sometimes have good content, but a good rule is to treat outbound links as recommendations. Send your website visitors to good websites.
  • Use a sensible brand for your URL. The top websites consistently build a brand rather than using keyword-dense URLs. Tom'sHardware, Anandtech, and Techspot are fine, but Bestpcadvice is trying too hard. Good names often have one keyword, but they also have a non-keyword element. Apple Computer, Ford Motor Company, WarnerMedia, and Linus Tech Tips are good examples.
  • The Footer. The footer doesn't convert. Google knows that and ignores it. If you put keyword spam in the footer, you could get a penalty for black hat SEO but certainly won't rank higher. The footer is helpful when it includes site navigation, legally mandated statements, and disclaimers.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Using keywords naturally is fantastic. Good content often has lots of keywords because it's talking about things that people care about, and it's doing it using natural language.

Keywords stuffing is when you try to game the system by putting every possible keyword into your content. Here's what google has to say about it.

Do your keyword research carefully. Make sure you're talking about naturally-linked topics and that your site visitors genuinely want to read about those topics.

Using a keyword multiple times isn't a problem, as long as it's diluted with lots of good content and the language flows naturally. If you optimize your content for humans, you'll be OK.

Avoid Duplicate Content

Google will only show one version of duplicate content. That's a problem if you duplicate content across multiple pages of your website or if your content shows up on other websites.

SEO experts have found three problems that search engines have with duplicate content:

  1. Google doesn't know which version to index.
  2. Google doesn't know whether to combine the link metrics or separate them.
  3. Google doesn't know which version to put on the SERP.

Scrapers that steal your content are a problem, but there are other common ways that webmasters can get duplicate content.

  1. URL variations. If your website has multiple versions like HTTP vs. HTTPS, this will create duplicate content. Watch out for mobile vs. PC, e-commerce, www.example.com vs. example.com, and printer-only versions.
  2. Scraped content. If a website steals your content and reposts it, that website can dilute your link equity.
  3. Product information. Product information copied from a manufacturer's description will be on your competitor's websites.

Duplicate content can be avoided and fixed. Self-referential rel=canonical links can stop scrapers from stealing credit for your content. Websites with internal link consistency and good site structure are easier to navigate. Google Search Console and Copyscape are two commonly used tools used to find duplicate content.

Decrease Site Load Time

Nobody wants to sit around and wait for your website to load. According to Google, even without a Google ranking penalty, you lose massive traffic if you are too slow.

Page loads should be less than 1 second to keep bounce rates as low as possible. By 3 seconds, bounce rates are up to 32%, while 5 second load times lose 90% of their traffic.

Google does penalize long load times. The exact time that causes a penalty is secret, but Google does say that they try to keep their own load time below half a second.

Google puts a lot of information and graphics into their Youtube, Google Images, and SERP pages. Those are good places to start when thinking about Google's philosophy about speed.

Content is still king. If you need to load something, go for it. But,  make sure that content worth is potentially losing massive amounts of traffic over.

Boost User Engagement

If your website users bounce right out, Google will see this and lower your ranking in the organic search results. Google wants to send traffic to sites that will make Google customers happy. So, Google rewards sites that convert the traffic that they get.

As a business, you also need to make the most of the traffic that you do get. If customers aren't happy and don't convert, the answer isn't simply asking Google for more leads.

Good businesses take care of their customers. That means giving them the content that they want and maximizing their time on your site.

Audit Your Inbound Links

Backlinks are essential for Search Engine Optimization. You want as many good-quality links as possible. The higher the EAT of the website that links to you, the higher your page will rank.

Low EAT websites will destroy your SERP ranking, especially if you have many low-quality backlinks.

Google will look at the ratio of good to poor-quality links when deciding whether or not to penalize your page. Earning more high-quality links is an excellent way to keep yourself out of trouble.

If your webpage is already in trouble, you need to audit your links and disavow them. Disavowing needs to be done carefully to avoid throwing away good backlinks, and it requires painstaking work.

Optimize for Mobile

More than half of all searches come from mobile devices, and Google wants to make sure that they are pointing to sites that will give good mobile experiences.

The Mobilegeddon update in 2015 buried websites with poor mobile experiences. If you don't optimize for mobile, your site won't rank anymore.

Google Algorithm FAQs

Which algorithm does Google's search engine use?

The Google algorithm is a combination of over 200 factors that influence SERP. The algorithm updates several times per day.

One of the top three factors is Rankbrain, Google's machine learning software. Rankbrain updates and changes the algorithm continuously.

What is an SEO algorithm?

Search Engines use algorithms to sort search results to provide the best possible answer to search questions.

SEO experts have many years of experience and education that they use to find website problems.

How do you analyze SEO?

SEO experts know what Google expects and wants from websites. They optimize websites for the best customer experience and search ranking.

By analyzing the more than 200 factors which influence SERP, SEO experts troubleshoot your website and recommend solutions. A good user experience and good content is good SEO.

Do all search engines use Google?

No. Google does 90% of all English web searches, but other companies make search engines. The list includes Microsoft (Bing), Yahoo, Baidu, and DuckDuckGo.

How does Google sort search results?

The google algorithm sorts search results using over 200 factors. The algorithm updates several times per day. One of the top three factors is Rankbrain, Google's machine learning software. Rankbrain updates and changes the algorithm continuously.

What is a search algorithm?

The Google search algorithm is a large and complex mathematical formula that considers over 200 factors when deciding the best search rank for a web page.

How do search engines understand context?

Google uses AI and machine learning to build the Knowledge Graph. The AI organizes information into entities that have sub-attributes, relationships, and connections. Those relationships and attributes can be weighted and understood by AI.

Hamburger is related to french fries, Mcdonalds, fast food, and calories. Hamburger also has the attributes of calories, delicious, fast food, and American. Some relationships are stronger than others, which google's AI sees as connection weights.

Which search engine is the best after Google?

It's hard to say. In most of the world, Google has the dominant market share because it's fast and gives good results. Yahoo has long been popular in Japan, while Baidu is popular in China. DuckDuckGo focuses on privacy. Bing is Microsoft's search engine.

How is Google's search algorithm so fast?

Some of the most brilliant people in the world have spent the last 20 years making sure Google stays several steps ahead of the competition.

What is Google's current algorithm?

SEO experts have many years of experience with Google search, but only Google knows the exact algorithm. Actually, because Rankbrain continuously updates the algorithm, nobody is exactly sure what the algorithm is at any particular moment.

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Phasellus pretium tempus mi. Nulla facilisi. Sed sollicitudin at sem et cursus. Duis id efficitur purus. Proin vestibulum orci dui, vitae sodales sapien accumsan quis. Pellentesque porttitor maximus urna tempus commodo. Donec ultricies facilisis nunc eget lobortis. Maecenas ut nisi metus.

Quisque nibh

Placerat ut felis a, scelerisque imperdiet tortor. Maecenas sed ligula faucibus, accumsan neque id, iaculis erat. Donec maximus tempus ultrices. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Ut consectetur leo dui, tempus facilisis mauris pretium quis. Pellentesque ac eleifend ex, a pharetra massa. Sed leo tellus, tempor ac nunc tincidunt, rhoncus finibus felis. Ut eget sodales metus, et laoreet est.

Aenean eu placerat

Sed laoreet placerat diam at lobortis. Pellentesque pharetra, quam sed consectetur consectetur, turpis nulla condimentum ipsum, sit amet varius mauris magna ut eros. Nam in scelerisque neque. Suspendisse porta velit semper leo venenatis dapibus. Pellentesque vitae augue id lacus ullamcorper hendrerit. Integer id condimentum enim, id ultrices libero. Phasellus pretium tempus mi. Nulla facilisi. Sed sollicitudin at sem et cursus. Duis id efficitur purus. Proin vestibulum orci dui, vitae sodales sapien accumsan quis. Pellentesque porttitor maximus urna tempus commodo. Donec ultricies facilisis nunc eget lobortis. Maecenas ut nisi metus.

Cras a eu leo

Ornare vestibulum interdum vitae velit. Aliquam non tincidunt augue, a lacinia felis. Donec sem sem, pretium id convallis in, consectetur non orci. Mauris malesuada sem enim, ac finibus enim molestie quis. Duis eleifend malesuada lacus cursus ultricies. Nulla non mauris venenatis, laoreet turpis non, luctus risus. Mauris fringilla vulputate volutpat. Morbi ac dui sagittis, pretium ante vel, varius nibh. Nullam cursus eros lorem, a sagittis erat auctor ac. Curabitur fringilla, quam quis commodo laoreet, justo nibh placerat magna, eu blandit eros tortor eget lectus. Nam iaculis risus sit amet quam eleifend sagittis. Donec justo tortor, sagittis eu elit nec, fringilla ornare nunc. Curabitur at orci id tortor hendrerit auctor in ut risus. Morbi non pharetra augue.

Nullam molestie lacus ac ante tempor, eget aliquet ipsum scelerisque. Mauris faucibus faucibus est. Mauris vel consectetur sem. Curabitur id quam pellentesque, consectetur lacus non, pharetra ex. Quisque nibh neque, placerat ut felis a, scelerisque imperdiet tortor.

Maecenas sed ligula faucibus, accumsan neque id, iaculis erat. Donec maximus tempus ultrices. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Ut consectetur leo dui, tempus facilisis mauris pretium quis. Pellentesque ac eleifend ex, a pharetra massa. Sed leo tellus, tempor ac nunc tincidunt, rhoncus finibus felis. Ut eget sodales metus, et laoreet est.

1. Aenean placerat

Sed laoreet placerat diam at lobortis. Pellentesque pharetra, quam sed consectetur consectetur, turpis nulla condimentum ipsum, sit amet varius mauris magna ut eros. Nam in scelerisque neque. Suspendisse porta velit semper leo venenatis dapibus. Pellentesque vitae augue id lacus ullamcorper hendrerit. Integer id condimentum enim, id ultrices libero.

Phasellus pretium tempus mi. Nulla facilisi. Sed sollicitudin at sem et cursus. Duis id efficitur purus. Proin vestibulum orci dui, vitae sodales sapien accumsan quis.

2. Pellentesque porttitor

Maximus urna tempus commodo. Donec ultricies facilisis nunc eget lobortis. Maecenas ut nisi metus. Cras a ex eu leo ornare vestibulum interdum vitae velit. Aliquam non tincidunt augue, a lacinia felis. Donec sem sem, pretium id convallis in, consectetur non orci.

Mauris malesuada sem enim, ac finibus enim molestie quis. Duis eleifend malesuada lacus cursus ultricies. Nulla non mauris venenatis, laoreet turpis non, luctus risus. Mauris fringilla vulputate volutpat.

3. Morbi a sagittis

Pretium ante vel, varius nibh. Nullam cursus eros lorem, a sagittis erat auctor ac. Curabitur fringilla, quam quis commodo laoreet, justo nibh placerat magna, eu blandit eros tortor eget lectus. Nam iaculis risus sit amet quam eleifend sagittis.

Donec justo tortor, sagittis eu elit nec, fringilla ornare nunc. Curabitur at orci id tortor hendrerit auctor in ut risus. Morbi non pharetra augue.

Quisque nibh neque, placerat ut felis a, scelerisque imperdiet tortor. Maecenas sed ligula faucibus, accumsan neque id, iaculis erat. Donec maximus tempus ultrices. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas.

Ut consectetur leo dui, tempus facilisis mauris pretium quis. Pellentesque ac eleifend ex, a pharetra massa. Sed leo tellus, tempor ac nunc tincidunt, rhoncus finibus felis. Ut eget sodales metus, et laoreet est.

Aenean eu placerat arcu. Sed laoreet placerat diam at lobortis. Pellentesque pharetra, quam sed consectetur consectetur, turpis nulla condimentum ipsum, sit amet varius mauris magna ut eros.

Nam in scelerisque neque. Suspendisse porta velit semper leo venenatis dapibus.

Pellentesque vitae augue id lacus ullamcorper hendrerit. Integer id condimentum enim, id ultrices libero. Phasellus pretium tempus mi. Nulla facilisi. Sed sollicitudin at sem et cursus. Duis id efficitur purus. Proin vestibulum orci dui, vitae sodales sapien accumsan quis. Pellentesque porttitor maximus urna tempus commodo. Donec ultricies facilisis nunc eget lobortis.

Maecenas ut nisi metus

Cras a ex eu leo ornare vestibulum interdum vitae velit. Aliquam non tincidunt augue, a lacinia felis. Donec sem sem, pretium id convallis in, consectetur non orci. Mauris malesuada sem enim, ac finibus enim molestie quis. Duis eleifend malesuada lacus cursus ultricies. Nulla non mauris venenatis, laoreet turpis non, luctus risus. Mauris fringilla vulputate volutpat.

Morbi ac dui sagittis, pretium ante vel, varius nibh. Nullam cursus eros lorem, a sagittis erat auctor ac. Curabitur fringilla, quam quis commodo laoreet, justo nibh placerat magna, eu blandit eros tortor eget lectus. Nam iaculis risus sit amet quam eleifend sagittis. Donec justo tortor, sagittis eu elit nec, fringilla ornare nunc. Curabitur at orci id tortor hendrerit auctor in ut risus. Morbi non pharetra augue.

Ut suscipit, tellus id venenatis cursus, urna urna bibendum leo, vitae ullamcorper enim nibh eleifend ex. Nunc porta libero justo, volutpat gravida elit pharetra vel. Cras tempus volutpat mauris, nec egestas nisl accumsan quis. Mauris ut nibh at ligula mollis finibus. Sed et enim id justo facilisis gravida. Vivamus rhoncus sodales lorem id vestibulum.

Nullam molestie lacus ac ante tempor, eget aliquet ipsum scelerisque. Mauris faucibus faucibus est. Mauris vel consectetur sem. Curabitur id quam pellentesque, consectetur lacus non, pharetra ex. Quisque nibh neque, placerat ut felis a, scelerisque imperdiet tortor.

Maecenas sed ligula faucibus, accumsan neque id, iaculis erat. Donec maximus tempus ultrices. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Ut consectetur leo dui, tempus facilisis mauris pretium quis. Pellentesque ac eleifend ex, a pharetra massa. Sed leo tellus, tempor ac nunc tincidunt, rhoncus finibus felis. Ut eget sodales metus, et laoreet est.

Aenean eu placerat arcu. Sed laoreet placerat diam at lobortis. Pellentesque pharetra, quam sed consectetur consectetur, turpis nulla condimentum ipsum, sit amet varius mauris magna ut eros. Nam in scelerisque neque. Suspendisse porta velit semper leo venenatis dapibus.

Pellentesque vitae augue id lacus ullamcorper hendrerit. Integer id condimentum enim, id ultrices libero. Phasellus pretium tempus mi. Nulla facilisi. Sed sollicitudin at sem et cursus. Duis id efficitur purus. Proin vestibulum orci dui, vitae sodales sapien accumsan quis. Pellentesque porttitor maximus urna tempus commodo. Donec ultricies facilisis nunc eget lobortis. Maecenas ut nisi metus.

Cras a ex eu leo ornare vestibulum interdum vitae velit. Aliquam non tincidunt augue, a lacinia felis. Donec sem sem, pretium id convallis in, consectetur non orci. Mauris malesuada sem enim, ac finibus enim molestie quis. Duis eleifend malesuada lacus cursus ultricies. Nulla non mauris venenatis, laoreet turpis non, luctus risus. Mauris fringilla vulputate volutpat.

Morbi ac dui sagittis, pretium ante vel, varius nibh. Nullam cursus eros lorem, a sagittis erat auctor ac. Curabitur fringilla, quam quis commodo laoreet, justo nibh placerat magna, eu blandit eros tortor eget lectus. Nam iaculis risus sit amet quam eleifend sagittis. Donec justo tortor, sagittis eu elit nec, fringilla ornare nunc. Curabitur at orci id tortor hendrerit auctor in ut risus. Morbi non pharetra augue.

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