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Hacking Rankbrain by Larry Kim - #SEJSummit NY


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In the not so distant future, there is a good chance all of Google’s algorithms will be powered by machine learning. What does this mean for SEO? How can brands prepare for this future? Larry Kim shares his expert opinion in this fast-paced session.

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Hacking Rankbrain by Larry Kim - #SEJSummit NY

  1. 1. HACKING RANKBRAIN: The 4 SEO Strategies You’ll Need to Survive SEO Judgment Day
  3. 3. BOOM! #SEJSummit
  4. 4. SEO JUDGEMENT DAY: Google Core Search Algorithms All Based on Machine Learning #SEJSummit
  6. 6. #SEJSummit
  7. 7. JOHN CONNOR, Leader of the SEO Rebellion in 2020. #SEJSummit
  9. 9. • Machine Learning / AI- Powered • Checks if the search results met user expectations • Make adjustments to query & rankings based on the outcome Google Search In The Future: MACHINE-LEARNING BASED #SEJSummit
  10. 10. Certain Search Verticals Like Porn?
  11. 11. Google AdWords Entirely Based on Machine Learning for Ad Targeting #SEJSummit
  12. 12. Machine Learning Systems Pretty Much EVERYWHERE #SEJSummit
  13. 13. Core Algo Changing? Validation Signals? WHO CARES! GET IN! #SEJSummit
  14. 14. if You Want Your Website Rankings To Live #SEJSummit
  15. 15. Three Random Facts ABOUT ME #SEJSummit
  16. 16. 1. Expert Drone Pilot #SEJSummit
  18. 18. 3. Built Suite of Long Tail Keyword Research Tools #SEJSummit
  19. 19. What is RankBrain?? #SEJSummit
  20. 20. Google: “RankBrain Used on Long Tail Queries” ... “Query Interpretation ... That Changes Rank” #SEJSummit
  21. 21. User Query Entered RankBrain Makes a Guess and Re-Writes The Query into Something it Recognizes (Query Interpretation) Did The Result Satisfy The User? Great. Next Time I See Queries Like This, I’ll Put This Page at the Top. Larry’s Greatly Simplified RankBrain Diagram* *Note: Not Official Google Diagram. System Doesn’t Update in Real-Time (yet). Rats. Next Time I See a Query Like This, I’ll Try Some Other Page #SEJSummit
  22. 22. Searching For RANKBRAIN #SEJSummit
  23. 23. Organic Search Ranking What’s A Good Click Through Rate for Organic Search? (Spoiler Alert: It’s in Flux)OrganicSearchClickThroughRate CTRs Trending Higher in Top Positions CTRs Trending Lower in Lower Positions #SEJSummit
  24. 24. +/- 3% Increase in Post Engagement +/- 1 Spot in Organic Position RankBrain Rewards & Penalties? #SEJSummit
  25. 25. A Simple CTR Optimization Example #SEJSummit
  26. 26. Behold The Power of CTR Optimization WHAT? Page Title CTR Rank Guerrilla Marketing: 20+ Examples & Strategies to Stand Out 1% 8 20+ Jaw-Dropping Guerrilla Marketing Examples 4.19% 5 #SEJSummit
  27. 27. Massive SEO Traffic Impact! #SEJSummit
  28. 28. Key Takeaway: ML (in General) Makes Stuff Increasingly Winner-Take-All. Larry’s RankBrain Theory: High CTR Long Tail Rankings Get *Additional* Bonus Ranking Boost #SEJSummit
  29. 29. If True, What Should SEOs Do To Prepare For RankBrain and Other ML- Enabled Algos? #SEJSummit
  30. 30. They’re Not Going To Tell You Everything… #SEJSummit
  31. 31. He’s Delusional. Do Nothing. #SEJSummit
  32. 32. We Need To Crush More Auditions. #SEJSummit
  33. 33. New ML-Algos Tougher Than Previous Ones… #SEJSummit
  34. 34. Four SEO Weapons to Survive SEO Judgement Day #SEJSummit
  35. 35. LARRY’S #1 SEO WEAPON The CTR Donkey Detector! #SEJSummit
  36. 36. WHAT’S MY ORGANIC CTR? #SEJSummit
  38. 38. What’s a Good Click Through Rate? #SEJSummit
  39. 39. CTR Study (2014) by. Philip Petrescu for Moz. #SEJSummit
  40. 40. SERP Differs Greatly By Industry #SEJSummit
  41. 41. Use Your Own Data To Plot The Average CTR for YOUR Industry! Unicorns Donkeys CTR vs. Average Position #SEJSummit
  42. 42. DONKEYS VS. UNICORNS. #SEJSummit
  43. 43. Unicorns are Up To 6x Better Than Donkeys. Avg. CTR Donkey CTRs (Bottom 10%) = 3x Worse Than Avg. Unicorn CTRs (Top 10%) = +2x Better Avg. #SEJSummit
  44. 44. DONKEYS DETECTED. How to Convert to Unicorn?? #SEJSummit
  45. 45. Larry’s #2 SEO Weapon: DONKEY TO UNICORN CONVERTER #SEJSummit
  46. 46. These SEO Title Tags All Suck: #SEJSummit
  47. 47. “SEO” Headlines are Like Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) for PPC #SEJSummit
  48. 48. Keyword Headlines Using Dynamic Keyword Insertion Do OK, Not Great Relative Frequency Average CTR Top 15% Top 5% Top 1% Relative CTR Ads without DKI Ads with DKI #SEJSummit
  49. 49. Keyword-y Headlines Less Likely To Be UnicornsRelative Frequency Top 5% Ads without DKI Ads with DKI Top 1% Relative CTR #SEJSummit#SEJSummit
  50. 50. Larry’s Unicorn Research Lab #SEJSummit
  51. 51. Leverage Emotional Triggers I Know Now Why You Cry… #SEJSummit
  52. 52. The Top 9 Emotions That Make People Click Like Crazy: Step 1: Pick One of These Emotional Triggers • Laughter • Amusement • Curiosity • Awe • Anger • Fear • Joy • Empathy • Sadness #SEJSummit
  53. 53. Step 2. Write Headline Copy From Perspective of One of These Personas The Bearer of Bad News The Hero/Villai n The Comedian The Feel Good Friend #SEJSummit
  54. 54. 3. Use This Title Template Commonly Employed By ‘Viral’ Articles Format List post, quiz, Infographic Emotional Hook Emotional word or superlative Content Type Images, quotes, pictures, facts Topic Love, cats, dogs, fitness, health, Donald Trump 5 AWESOME SEO STRATEGIES TO DEFEAT RANKBRAIN #SEJSummit
  55. 55. Unicorn Headlines = Top 10% Odds of Finding Unicorn = 1:10 So Test 10 Different Headlines #SEJSummit
  56. 56. Quiz: How Many Headlines Do You See Here? #SEJSummit
  57. 57. It’s the Same Headline with Different Capitalization, Punctuation Are We Learning Yet?? #SEJSummit
  58. 58. You Need 10 *Different* Headlines! How to Spot the Unicorn? #SEJSummit
  59. 59. Use AdWords to Test Headlines #SEJSummit
  60. 60. • Identify Donkeys (Bottom 10%) • Write 10 Different Headlines • Test 10 Ads on AdWords • Replace Old Headline With Winner Larry’s Donkey to Unicorn Converter: Summary #SEJSummit
  61. 61. The Same Emotions That Make People to Share Things Cause High CTR. #SEJSummit
  62. 62. elative Search CTR vs. Facebook Post Engagement Rat #SEJSummit
  63. 63. We’ve Got RankBrain By The Balls #SEJSummit
  64. 64. They Have a Back-Up System… #SEJSummit
  65. 65. We’ve Got Rankbrain By The Balls Seems to Have a Back-Up System… We’re Gonna Need Bigger Guns.. #SEJSummit
  66. 66. LARRY’S #3 SEO WEAPON Engagement Rate Unicorn/Donkey Detector #SEJSummit
  67. 67. Bounce Rate vs. Organic Position Pass: Bounce Rate Low Enough Fail: Bounce Rate Too High #SEJSummit
  68. 68. We Know Google Measures Dwell Time #SEJSummit
  69. 69. “Back” On Mobile Triggers “People Also Search For” #SEJSummit
  70. 70. Time on Site vs. Organic Position PASS: Good Enough Time On Site Fail: Time on Site not Good Enough #SEJSummit
  71. 71. Key Takeaway: “Task Completion Rates” Used To Validate CTR #SEJSummit
  72. 72. Engagement Rate Donkey Detector
  73. 73. Search Conversion Rate Distribution Median: 2.35% Top 25%: 5.31% and Above Top 10%: 11.45% and Above SHAREOFALLACCOUNTS SEARCH CONVERSION RATE. (WordStream Customer Data – Not Official Google Data) What’s a Good Conversion Rate? #SEJSummit
  74. 74. How to Turn Conversion Rate Donkeys into Unicorns? #SEJSummit
  75. 75. Wait.. Advertising Impacts Organic CTR and Conversion Rates?? #SEJSummit
  76. 76. Brand Affinity DRAMATICALLY Impacts CONVERSION RATES (+2-3x!) #SEJSummit
  77. 77. Brand Affinity DRAMATICALLY Impacts CTR (+2-3x!) #SEJSummit
  78. 78. Larry’s #4 SEO Weapo FACEBOOK ADS and Google Display Network #SEJSummit
  79. 79. Time Travel to Past: Before Users Do Searches #SEJSummit#SEJSummit
  80. 80. Interests Targeting #SEJSummit
  81. 81. Demographic Targeting #SEJSummit
  82. 82. Custom Affinity Audiences in Google Display Network #SEJSummit
  83. 83. Time Travel to FUTURE: Ensure Subsequent Searches Go Your Way #SEJSummit
  84. 84. RankBrain Terminated Now What? #SEJSummit
  85. 85. Mission Complet e #SEJSummit
  86. 86. What Does it All Mean? #SEJSummit
  87. 87. Old SEO Tactics Clearly Don’t Work Anymore #SEJSummit
  88. 88. Don’t Just Wait for RankBrain & ML-Algos. #SEJSummit
  89. 89. Better CTR & Conversion Rates -> More Clicks & Conversions. Improved CTR & CVR -> Better Rankings. Better Rankings -> Even more clicks and Virtuous Cycle of Unicorn Land:
  90. 90. Terrible CTR & Engagement Rates -> Less Clicks, Leads, Sales, etc. Crappy User Engagement -> Terrible Rankings. Terrible Rankings -> Even Fewer Clicks & Sales. Vs. Death Spiral of RankBrain and Other ML- Algos #SEJSummit
  91. 91. How Marketing REALLY Works STEP 1: Promote Inspirational / Memorable Content about Your Brand to your Target Market STEP 2: People See The Ad, But Don’t Necessarily Take Action Right Away. (But Become Biased) STEP 3: Later when the Need Arises, People either: Do a Branded Search for Your Stuff Do Un-Branded Search but Biased Towards Clicking & Buying From You. #SEJSummit
  92. 92. Be a Unicorn in a Sea of Donkeys #SEJSummit
  93. 93. Thank You, SEJ Summit! #SEJSummit