WHY FINDING THE BEST PIZZA IN
TOWN IS EASY
The £10 Note
People you know will happily exchange a £10
note for two fivers. But can’t tell you whose
picture is on the back.
Trust underpins our transactions in real life and
we need to replicate this online.
Trust is also a central component of the ‘new’
Thanks to the semantic search I can type:
‘Where’s the best pizza in town’, and get the
result on the following slide.
Or I can type: ‘Marketing Agencies in Exeter’
and get the result on the next slide.
Google is anticipating what I might want to
know. And it can understand the context of my
SEO Used to be Easy(ish)
• Identify your highest volume keywords
• Use them often (and exactly)
• Get links (ideally with keywords in anchor
• Refresh your content regularly
• EVEN SO – PAGE 1 RANKINGS WERE HARD TO
GET without paying money to somebody
We used to want more links – now we need
Instead of crude keyword matching we need
semantically rich content.
OLD Style SEO was Inwardly Focused
• Talk about yourself and pack in the keywords
• Obsessed with structuring your site for spiders
rather than humans
• Led to over-segmentation of content and
‘New’ SEO is Different
THESE CANNOT BE FAKED
Face the Facts
You may never get on page 1 for popular search
terms without paying
There are fewer places up for grabs and large
But don’t panic – the ‘concept’ of page 1 is
becoming less meaningful
What Google Wants
To deliver the most RELEVANT, TRUSTED, and
USEFUL answers to QUESTIONS created in
Synonyms, Context and Meaning
• ‘Apple’ could mean a number of things.
• The rest of my content tells Google what sort it is.
• Google treats SEO ‘Specialist’, ‘Expert’ and
• ‘Trademark’ and ‘trade mark’ are treated the
same in SERPs
• We don’t have to be obsessed with exactly how
the most popular search terms are written
• THINGS NOT STRINGS
The Knowledge Graph
• Plots links between data ‘entities’
• Delivers answers implied by the search.
• Pulls multiple sources of information, location
data, reviews and displays them in search
• It’s how you find great pizza and Leonardo’s
Google Search is Personalised
One result on the following SERP is based
entirely on my social media connections. Can
you spot which one?
NETWORKS MATTER MORE
Another example of personalised search. What
happens when I type ‘business’ into the search
Google tries to predict what I’m searching for.
I may never get to type the keyword I might
The next slide shows what happens when I’m
Back to that TRUST Word
• Is your brand trusted?
• Are you recognised as a topical authority?
• Did you EARN your links the hard way?
When Reputation was Everything
• We used to find the
best people by asking.
• No reputation meant
• Google is now
attempting to do this
on a massive scale.
How Does Google Measure Trust?
• Click through rate and pogo-sticking (bouncing
straight back to the search results from your
• Earned links, in-content citations, shares
• Content depth, richness and quality
• Topical authority and consistency
Google ‘Rewards’ Rich Content (Real
• Client’s rankings were trashed by a penguin
• Within 6 months main keywords
outperformed pre-penalty levels.
• Now ranks on page 1 for multiple terms
including ones where they were outside top
• Content was not keyword focused!
Good Content Always Has Value
• Lead nurturing
• Converting traffic into enquiries and sales
• Pre qualification of leads
• Differentiation – if you create the content that
only you could have created.
Things to carry on doing
• Research high value keywords (not necessarily
• Use keywords, site structure and internal links to
• Earn backlinks
• Use intelligent keyword variations
• Understand and answer the questions your
customers are asking
• Google Business page and reviews
Things to stop doing
• Over using keywords
• Focusing on Google at the expense of user
needs and experience
• ‘Acquiring’ low value links from dodgy sources
• Publishing mediocre or thin content (web
pages, blogs, ebooks etc)
• Talking about yourself
The FRIEND Process
• FIX your online presence
• REACH OUT to prospects, advocates, influencers
• INVESTIGATE the questions ‘customers’ are really
• EDUCATE, entertain and inspire
• NEXT – plot the pathway to becoming a customer
• DEVELOP and refine
GOOD content is not enough
Want to know more?
• Read Google Semantic Search by David
• Follow accounts: Moz, Rand Fishkin, Eric Enge,
Stone Temple Consulting, Brian Dean, David
Kutcher, David Amerland.
A Final Thought
People don’t visit your website
to read about what you do!