search algorithms

How to Explain Quirky Search Results

Posted in search algorithms

How to Explain Quirky Search Results

This article addresses the mystery of search results that don’t make sense.  Some top ranked pages have weak backlinks and sometimes only a partial keyword match on the page. The top ranked site shouldn’t be ranked but there it is!  These are quirky SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Traditional ranking factors don’t explain why they rank. Google sometimes ranks pages number one despite their lousy links and poor SEO. I call these Quirks Mode SERPs. This article offers an explanation of why this happens. A colleague and friend, Bill Hartzer, showed me a URL and suggested...

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Understanding Google Updates

Posted in search algorithms

Understanding Google Updates

The SEO community generally perceives Google updates as targeting metrics of low quality.  Anytime a change occurs in Google’s algorithm, the change is understood through the lens of what kinds of sites lost ranking. This is a less than ideal way to understand what Google is doing. That’s why so many theories contradict each other, because they’re looking at the wrong metrics. These are the typical touchstones the SEO community focuses on to understand what an update was: low quality content low quality user experience low quality links What Google Updates Really Target The...

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How to be a Better SEO

Posted in fundamentals, search algorithms

How to be a Better SEO

This article addresses shaky SEO strategies that are promoted as important but are outdated. But more importantly, this article will show how some ideas are true or not. Building a better SEO BS Detector  will show you how to be more discerning of what you are told to believe and how to detect SEO BS when confronted with it. I believe it will make you a better search marketer. The Problem with Common Sense The problem with good ideas is that they are reasonable and make a lot sense. For thousands of years the idea that the world was flat was reasonable and made a lot of sense. That is an...

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Deep Dive: Toxic Links

Posted in search algorithms

Deep Dive: Toxic Links

The phrase Toxic Links is commonly used to describe links that can negatively affect ranking. It is 100% true that particular links can be identified as manipulative and cause a site to lose rankings. There are other kinds of links that are random, like barnacles. Many domains accumulate them, doesn’t matter if you’re Nike, they still accumulate them.  Random links do not affect a site’s ability to rank. They are background noise in the link graph. However the phrase Toxic Links is also applied to links that are not manipulative but simply low quality. There is a difference...

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Domain Authority Does Not Exist

Posted in search algorithms

Domain Authority Does Not Exist

Many people assert that the concept of Domain Authority is real. But the fact is that there is no evidence that such a thing exists.  People might shout out loud about it but what speaks the loudest is a link to a scientific citation or an academic or scientific research that supports the theory that domain authority exists. You’ll have to wait a long time though because domain authority simply does not exist as a factor in Google’s algorithm. The evidence is overwhelming that domain authority does not exist. I will show this evidence to you and I will show you what I believe is...

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Beyond 200+ Ranking Signals

Posted in search algorithms

Beyond 200+ Ranking Signals

  You may or may not be aware that the concept of 200+ ranking signals is obsolete.  Few serious SEOs believe in it. There’s a big fork sticking out of it. This article explores in detail why many of those 200+ signals do not matter and then I show you what does matter. What has replaced those 200+ ranking signals may surprise you. The concept of 200 ranking signals have been with us more or less since 2006. But Google’s algorithm has undergone massive changes during that time.  The fact that Google’s algorithms have radically changed over the past ten years underlines...

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