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Are the first things you learnt about SEO still true?

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From the Distilled Live meetup on 2 February 2017.

A guide to how we shouldn't take received SEO best practices for granted, and how we can double check received wisdom with empirical evidence.

Published in: Marketing
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Are the first things you learnt about SEO still true?

  1. 1. Are the first things you learnt about SEO still true? Sam Nemzer
  2. 2. Set up laptop NBED image
  3. 3. Title tags should be 50-60 characters
  4. 4. Title tags should be 50-60 characters https://moz.com/blog/new-title-tag-guidelines-preview-tool
  5. 5. Titles over 60 characters will be truncated
  6. 6. The data
  7. 7. Things change over time
  8. 8. Things change over time
  9. 9. Titles are getting longer
  10. 10. Why are titles getting longer?
  11. 11. The distribution is getting wider
  12. 12. Why are title lengths varying more?
  13. 13. 2014
  14. 14. Titles are now breaking on whole words
  15. 15. It’s not about what I found
  16. 16. It’s about questioning received ideas
  17. 17. 3 SEO “facts” we take for granted
  18. 18. 1. GA gives you accurate user data 2. Rank tracking tools will tell you your rankings for given keywords 3. Google is smart enough to do your legwork for you
  19. 19. 1. GA gives you accurate user data 2. Rank tracking tools will tell you your rankings for given keywords 3. Google is smart enough to do your legwork for you
  20. 20. A user is not a user
  21. 21. A session is not a session
  22. 22. Your traffic might not actually be from your website
  23. 23. dis.tl/capper-measure
  24. 24. https://pagefair.com/blog/2017/adblockreport/ Adblock is killing your analytics data
  25. 25. Solution: Corroborate with another data source (Server log-based analytics)
  26. 26. 1. GA gives you accurate user data 2. Rank tracking tools will tell you your rankings for given keywords 3. Google is smart enough to do your legwork for you
  27. 27. Exact agreement 19%of the time Average difference 5.3 positions
  28. 28. Exact agreement 21%of the time Average difference 6.9positions
  29. 29. Exact agreement 22%of the time Average difference 4.5positions
  30. 30. Rank Tracking does serve a purpose
  31. 31. Useful for tracking trends over time and aggregate, top-level data
  32. 32. Just don’t read too much into the specifics
  33. 33. Corroborate with multiple sources where possible
  34. 34. 1. GA gives you accurate user data 2. Rank tracking tools will tell you your rankings for given keywords 3. Google is smart enough to do your legwork for you
  35. 35. We used to think that we need to optimise a page for every possible keyword
  36. 36. Now we think that exact keywords don’t matter - Google will work things out…
  37. 37. I did some research... dis.tl/keyword-synonyms 10 sets of 10 close synonym keywords
  38. 38. I did some research... dis.tl/keyword-synonyms 10 sets of 10 close synonym keywords On average only 60% of results are shared between top 10 results
  39. 39. Not the solution: Stuff your page with every possible variation of a keyword
  40. 40. The solution: Understand the subtle differences in intent between variations, and make your pages satisfy that intent
  41. 41. Honesty time: Most of what I found out will be wrong or irrelevant in 6 months
  42. 42. It’s not about what I learnt. It’s about encouraging you to do it for yourself.
  43. 43. Thanks

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