SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 53
Download to read offline
How SEO Works in 2020:
An in-depth inquiry into Google’s algorithm
Online Marketing Sydney Conference 2020
http://bit.ly/omsyd-seo
Get your copy and follow along
Bernard Huang
Co-founder at Clearscope
Partner at Mushi Labs
@bernardjhuang
bernard@clearscope.io
Bio
How Google
determines where
your content initially
ranks
A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020)
Relevant backlinks
Subject matter authority
Search Query Deserves X
User engagement signals
How Google decides
whether you rank up
or down
}
{
Technical considerations
{
Helps Google access,
understand, and crawl
content
HelpsGoogleaccesscontent
How Google decides whether
you rank up or down
A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020)
Determines where Google
initially ranks your content
}
}
}
Help Google access,
understand, and crawl
content
Technical considerations
Understand
* <title>, <h*>, alt img, etc.
* schema.org
* hreflang
Crawl
* page-load speed
* site “cleanliness” (broken links,
404s, 500s, everything not 200)
Access
* robots.txt
* sitemap.xml
* internal linking + information
architecture
Other
* mobile friendliness
* secure (https://)
Technical considerations
(+) Positive factors
+ 50 (good click-through-rate)
+ 100 (relevant backlinks)
+ 100 (subject matter expertise)
+ 200 (high user engagement)
(-) Negative factors
- ∞ (can’t crawl/access page)*
- 25 (not secure)
- 50 (slow page load)
- 100 (not mobile friendly)
How to think about technical SEO (example)
+175 total “score”
+ 525 (winner)
How to think about technical SEO (example)
+ 490
+ 465
+ 400
+ 395
HelpsGoogleaccesscontent
How Google decides whether
you rank up or down
A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020)
Determines where Google
initially ranks your content
}
}
}
How Google determines
where your content
initially ranks
Relevant backlinks
WebMD article on [keto diet]
* How “authoritative” is WebMD in general?
Example: 82
* How “authoritative” is WebMD in `health`?
Example: 94
* How “authoritative” is WebMD in `health` >
`ketosis`?
Example: 92
NY Times article on [keto diet]
* How “authoritative” is NY Times in general?
Example: 93
* How “authoritative” is NY Times in `health`?
Example: 72
* How “authoritative” is NY Times in `health` >
`ketosis`?
Example: 54
What about `health` > `ketosis` > `diets`?
Links from pages that perform well in the SERPS = highly relevant links
Backlinks + machine learning (ML) signal
Subject matter authority
https://youtu.be/mmQl6VGvX-c
Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
How does your content compare against Google’s knowledge graph?
Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
How are your other pieces of content around this subject matter performing?
Subject matter authority (your site)
Relevant backlinks + subject matter authority
Improve Google’s willingness to “seed” your content for the range of keywords
it could rank for higher in the SERPs.
What’s the range of keyword permutations you could deserve to rank for?
Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
Relevant backlinks + subject matter authority
Increase your range of keyword combinations you could rank for within a
piece of content on Google.
Why content pruning?
* say you have 10 pages talking
addressing [XXXX health benefits]
* all 10 pages pull in 10,000 organic
hits per month
* shouldn’t the next page you
publish about [XXXX health
benefits] be worth ~1,000 hits?
Why topic clustering?
* “land and expand”
* prove to Google’s algo that your
content within a subject matter is
engaging and satisfies the searcher
* makes winning another topic
within a similar category much
easier
Subject matter authority (ML signals)
HelpsGoogleaccesscontent
How Google decides whether
you rank up or down
A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020)
}
}
}
Determines where Google
initially ranks your content
[live example]
* example search query from
audience?
* Google + Google Cloud NLU
How Google decides
whether you rank up or
down
Ahrefs keyword explorer for [wine health benefits], what’s happening?
How Google decides whether you rank up
Associations
EAT (quality)
multimedia
recency
locality
trust
ugc (reviews / photos)
+++ lots more +++
Search query deserves X
Content type
article
request a quote
product listing
features page
review / video
catalog / directory
Searcher intent
topics
subtopics
[coronavirus]
Recency & media authority
[how to surf]
Multimedia
[plumbers in sydney]
Locality & reviews
[vacuum cleaners]
Quantity & brand
[wine health benefits]
EAT & content quality
What does your search query deserve?
What does your search query deserve?
What does your search query deserve?
What does your search query deserve?
Why expertise / authority
/ trust (EAT)?
* Your money your life (YMYL)
searches have significant impact on
people’s lives
* Google’s algo looks for higher
signals of “EAT” for certain queries
* search query deserves EAT
Why content refreshes?
* topics change over time
* Google’s algo weights
“fresh/recent” content more for
certain queries
* search query deserves recency
Search query deserves X (ML signals)
Why backlinks?
* search query deserves medical
authority / domain authority
Why PR?
* search query deserves brand
Why UGC?
* search query deserves trust
Why video embeds?
* search query deserves
multimedia
Why local citations?
* search query deserves locality
Why widgets?
* search query deserves tool
Search query deserves X (ML signals)
What does your search query deserve?
“
Serve and optimize for the most
relevant associations that match
what the search query deserves.
”
Concluding the search
journey
* Google is serving a search engine
results page (SERP) that has the
highest likelihood of concluding the
search journey
✅ no additional search on google
✅ no additional click on another
search result
Leading signals
* subject matter authority (other
content you’ve produced)
* domain authority (relevant links)
* click through rate
* avg. time on page
* bounce rate
User engagement signals
User engagement signals (leading)
No clickey? No likey.
+
User engagement signals (conclude journey)
Start search journey
> [how to get rid of pimples]: 40,500
1. How to get rid of pimples ←
2. How to get rid of pimples ←
…
10. How to get rid of pimples
“Not wanted I wanted….”
Conclude search journey
> [how to get rid of pimples fast]: 22,200
1. How to get rid of pimples fast ←
2. How to get rid of pimples fast
…
10. How to get rid of pimples fast
User engagement signals (conclude journey)
User engagement signals (conclude journey)
User engagement signals (conclude journey)
User engagement signals (conclude journey)
Why single target intent
content > topic clusters?
* Topic clusters (eg. Ultimate Guide
to X) are too broad (in most cases).
* If you were searching for [how to
get rid of pimples], clicked on a
topic cluster (“Ultimate Guide to
Getting Rid of Pimples), and got the
first section that said “What is a
Pimple?” -- what would you do?
Why search intent >
keywords?
* Google is understanding searcher
journeys and doing a much better
job serving relevant content
* Search intent with little to no
monthly search volume can and
will rank for head topics
Search query deserves X (ML signals)
User engagement signals
“
Identify and create content around
the searcher intent that users
actually care about for the topics
you’re targeting.
”
[live example]
* example search query from
audience?
* search intent classification
exercise
HelpsGoogleaccesscontent
How Google decides whether
you rank up or down
A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020)
Determines where Google
initially ranks your content
}
}
}
Data-driven SEO (article)
* A step-by-step walkthrough of how
to approach SEO.
Recording of a Clearscope
kickoff call (video)
* My best practices of all the things
to consider in a content workflow
using Clearscope.
Additional resources
Clearscope (SaaS)
* Modern SEO software using NLP to
help content teams create higher
quality content (example analysis).
Programmatic SEO
(presentation)
* Yelp/Zillow SEO takes a different
approach. Best practices on
managing 1M+ URLs.
Questions?
bit.ly/omsyd-seo
bernard@clearscope.io
@bernardjhuang

More Related Content

Recently uploaded

Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023
Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023
Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023Marketing BRANDING
 
social media optimization complete indroduction
social media optimization complete indroductionsocial media optimization complete indroduction
social media optimization complete indroductioninfoshraddha747
 
Master the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdf
Master the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdfMaster the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdf
Master the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdfHigher Education Marketing
 
A Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | Banyanbrain
A Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | BanyanbrainA Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | Banyanbrain
A Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | BanyanbrainBanyanbrain
 
Introduction to marketing Management Notes
Introduction to marketing Management NotesIntroduction to marketing Management Notes
Introduction to marketing Management NotesKiranTiwari42
 
When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...
When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...
When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...LazarinaStoyanova
 
Professional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptx
Professional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptxProfessional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptx
Professional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptxSahil Srivastava
 
Dave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO Deck
Dave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO DeckDave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO Deck
Dave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO DeckOban International
 
Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...
Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...
Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...Associazione Digital Days
 
2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local Leads
2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local Leads2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local Leads
2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local LeadsSearch Engine Journal
 
Ryanair Marketing and business development Plan
Ryanair Marketing and business development  PlanRyanair Marketing and business development  Plan
Ryanair Marketing and business development Plandrkarimsaber
 
What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?
What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?
What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?Partnercademy
 
20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialists
20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialists20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialists
20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialistsmlicam615
 
Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024
Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024
Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024Marketing BRANDING
 
Paul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdf
Paul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdfPaul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdf
Paul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdfpaul8402
 
Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...
Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...
Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...Marketing BRANDING
 
8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketing
8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketing8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketing
8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketingpshirsat
 
Understand the Key differences between SMO and SMM
Understand the Key differences between SMO and SMMUnderstand the Key differences between SMO and SMM
Understand the Key differences between SMO and SMMsearchextensionin
 
Navigating Global Markets and Strategies for Success
Navigating Global Markets and Strategies for SuccessNavigating Global Markets and Strategies for Success
Navigating Global Markets and Strategies for SuccessElizabeth Moore
 
History of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdf
History of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdfHistory of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdf
History of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdfwilliam charnock
 

Recently uploaded (20)

Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023
Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023
Agencia Marketing Branding Creative Certification Exam Google Diciembre 2023
 
social media optimization complete indroduction
social media optimization complete indroductionsocial media optimization complete indroduction
social media optimization complete indroduction
 
Master the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdf
Master the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdfMaster the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdf
Master the Art of Digital Recruitment in Asia.pdf
 
A Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | Banyanbrain
A Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | BanyanbrainA Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | Banyanbrain
A Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO | Banyanbrain
 
Introduction to marketing Management Notes
Introduction to marketing Management NotesIntroduction to marketing Management Notes
Introduction to marketing Management Notes
 
When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...
When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...
When to use Machine Learning Models in SEO and Which ones to use - Lazarina S...
 
Professional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptx
Professional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptxProfessional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptx
Professional Sales Representative by Sahil Srivastava.pptx
 
Dave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO Deck
Dave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO DeckDave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO Deck
Dave Cousin TW-BERT Good for Users, Good for SEOsBrighton SEO Deck
 
Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...
Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...
Francesco d’Angela, Service Designer di @HintoGroup- “Oltre la Frontiera Crea...
 
2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local Leads
2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local Leads2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local Leads
2024's Top PPC Tactics: Triple Your Google Ads Local Leads
 
Ryanair Marketing and business development Plan
Ryanair Marketing and business development  PlanRyanair Marketing and business development  Plan
Ryanair Marketing and business development Plan
 
What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?
What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?
What’s the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Brand Partnerships?
 
20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialists
20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialists20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialists
20 Top Social Media Tips for Peer Specialists
 
Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024
Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024
Agencia Marketing Branding Measurement Certification Google Ads Abril 2024
 
Paul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdf
Paul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdfPaul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdf
Paul Russell Confidential Resume for Fahlo.pdf
 
Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...
Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...
Agencia Marketing Branding Examen Fundamentals Digital Marketing Google Abril...
 
8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketing
8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketing8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketing
8 distribution in rural mkts.ppt Rural Marketing
 
Understand the Key differences between SMO and SMM
Understand the Key differences between SMO and SMMUnderstand the Key differences between SMO and SMM
Understand the Key differences between SMO and SMM
 
Navigating Global Markets and Strategies for Success
Navigating Global Markets and Strategies for SuccessNavigating Global Markets and Strategies for Success
Navigating Global Markets and Strategies for Success
 
History of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdf
History of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdfHistory of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdf
History of JWT by The Knowledge Center.pdf
 

Featured

2024 State of Marketing Report – by Hubspot
2024 State of Marketing Report – by Hubspot2024 State of Marketing Report – by Hubspot
2024 State of Marketing Report – by HubspotMarius Sescu
 
Everything You Need To Know About ChatGPT
Everything You Need To Know About ChatGPTEverything You Need To Know About ChatGPT
Everything You Need To Know About ChatGPTExpeed Software
 
Product Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage Engineerings
Product Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage EngineeringsProduct Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage Engineerings
Product Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage EngineeringsPixeldarts
 
How Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental Health
How Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental HealthHow Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental Health
How Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental HealthThinkNow
 
AI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdf
AI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdfAI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdf
AI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdfmarketingartwork
 
PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024
PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024
PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024Neil Kimberley
 
Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)
Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)
Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)contently
 
How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024
How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024
How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024Albert Qian
 
Social Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie Insights
Social Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie InsightsSocial Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie Insights
Social Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie InsightsKurio // The Social Media Age(ncy)
 
Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024
Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024
Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024Search Engine Journal
 
5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summary
5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summary5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summary
5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summarySpeakerHub
 
ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd
ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd
ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd Clark Boyd
 
Getting into the tech field. what next
Getting into the tech field. what next Getting into the tech field. what next
Getting into the tech field. what next Tessa Mero
 
Google's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search Intent
Google's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search IntentGoogle's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search Intent
Google's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search IntentLily Ray
 
Time Management & Productivity - Best Practices
Time Management & Productivity -  Best PracticesTime Management & Productivity -  Best Practices
Time Management & Productivity - Best PracticesVit Horky
 
The six step guide to practical project management
The six step guide to practical project managementThe six step guide to practical project management
The six step guide to practical project managementMindGenius
 
Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...
Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...
Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...RachelPearson36
 

Featured (20)

2024 State of Marketing Report – by Hubspot
2024 State of Marketing Report – by Hubspot2024 State of Marketing Report – by Hubspot
2024 State of Marketing Report – by Hubspot
 
Everything You Need To Know About ChatGPT
Everything You Need To Know About ChatGPTEverything You Need To Know About ChatGPT
Everything You Need To Know About ChatGPT
 
Product Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage Engineerings
Product Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage EngineeringsProduct Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage Engineerings
Product Design Trends in 2024 | Teenage Engineerings
 
How Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental Health
How Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental HealthHow Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental Health
How Race, Age and Gender Shape Attitudes Towards Mental Health
 
AI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdf
AI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdfAI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdf
AI Trends in Creative Operations 2024 by Artwork Flow.pdf
 
Skeleton Culture Code
Skeleton Culture CodeSkeleton Culture Code
Skeleton Culture Code
 
PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024
PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024
PEPSICO Presentation to CAGNY Conference Feb 2024
 
Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)
Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)
Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)
 
How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024
How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024
How to Prepare For a Successful Job Search for 2024
 
Social Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie Insights
Social Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie InsightsSocial Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie Insights
Social Media Marketing Trends 2024 // The Global Indie Insights
 
Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024
Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024
Trends In Paid Search: Navigating The Digital Landscape In 2024
 
5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summary
5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summary5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summary
5 Public speaking tips from TED - Visualized summary
 
ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd
ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd
ChatGPT and the Future of Work - Clark Boyd
 
Getting into the tech field. what next
Getting into the tech field. what next Getting into the tech field. what next
Getting into the tech field. what next
 
Google's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search Intent
Google's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search IntentGoogle's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search Intent
Google's Just Not That Into You: Understanding Core Updates & Search Intent
 
How to have difficult conversations
How to have difficult conversations How to have difficult conversations
How to have difficult conversations
 
Introduction to Data Science
Introduction to Data ScienceIntroduction to Data Science
Introduction to Data Science
 
Time Management & Productivity - Best Practices
Time Management & Productivity -  Best PracticesTime Management & Productivity -  Best Practices
Time Management & Productivity - Best Practices
 
The six step guide to practical project management
The six step guide to practical project managementThe six step guide to practical project management
The six step guide to practical project management
 
Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...
Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...
Beginners Guide to TikTok for Search - Rachel Pearson - We are Tilt __ Bright...
 

How SEO works in 2020: An in-depth inquiry into Google's algorithm

  • 1. How SEO Works in 2020: An in-depth inquiry into Google’s algorithm Online Marketing Sydney Conference 2020
  • 3. Bernard Huang Co-founder at Clearscope Partner at Mushi Labs @bernardjhuang bernard@clearscope.io Bio
  • 4. How Google determines where your content initially ranks A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020) Relevant backlinks Subject matter authority Search Query Deserves X User engagement signals How Google decides whether you rank up or down } { Technical considerations { Helps Google access, understand, and crawl content
  • 5. HelpsGoogleaccesscontent How Google decides whether you rank up or down A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020) Determines where Google initially ranks your content } } }
  • 8. Understand * <title>, <h*>, alt img, etc. * schema.org * hreflang Crawl * page-load speed * site “cleanliness” (broken links, 404s, 500s, everything not 200) Access * robots.txt * sitemap.xml * internal linking + information architecture Other * mobile friendliness * secure (https://) Technical considerations
  • 9. (+) Positive factors + 50 (good click-through-rate) + 100 (relevant backlinks) + 100 (subject matter expertise) + 200 (high user engagement) (-) Negative factors - ∞ (can’t crawl/access page)* - 25 (not secure) - 50 (slow page load) - 100 (not mobile friendly) How to think about technical SEO (example) +175 total “score”
  • 10. + 525 (winner) How to think about technical SEO (example) + 490 + 465 + 400 + 395
  • 11. HelpsGoogleaccesscontent How Google decides whether you rank up or down A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020) Determines where Google initially ranks your content } } }
  • 12. How Google determines where your content initially ranks
  • 13. Relevant backlinks WebMD article on [keto diet] * How “authoritative” is WebMD in general? Example: 82 * How “authoritative” is WebMD in `health`? Example: 94 * How “authoritative” is WebMD in `health` > `ketosis`? Example: 92 NY Times article on [keto diet] * How “authoritative” is NY Times in general? Example: 93 * How “authoritative” is NY Times in `health`? Example: 72 * How “authoritative” is NY Times in `health` > `ketosis`? Example: 54 What about `health` > `ketosis` > `diets`?
  • 14. Links from pages that perform well in the SERPS = highly relevant links Backlinks + machine learning (ML) signal
  • 16. Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
  • 17. Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
  • 18. How does your content compare against Google’s knowledge graph? Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
  • 19. How are your other pieces of content around this subject matter performing? Subject matter authority (your site)
  • 20. Relevant backlinks + subject matter authority Improve Google’s willingness to “seed” your content for the range of keywords it could rank for higher in the SERPs.
  • 21. What’s the range of keyword permutations you could deserve to rank for? Subject matter authority (knowledge graph)
  • 22. Relevant backlinks + subject matter authority Increase your range of keyword combinations you could rank for within a piece of content on Google.
  • 23. Why content pruning? * say you have 10 pages talking addressing [XXXX health benefits] * all 10 pages pull in 10,000 organic hits per month * shouldn’t the next page you publish about [XXXX health benefits] be worth ~1,000 hits? Why topic clustering? * “land and expand” * prove to Google’s algo that your content within a subject matter is engaging and satisfies the searcher * makes winning another topic within a similar category much easier Subject matter authority (ML signals)
  • 24. HelpsGoogleaccesscontent How Google decides whether you rank up or down A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020) } } } Determines where Google initially ranks your content
  • 25. [live example] * example search query from audience? * Google + Google Cloud NLU
  • 26. How Google decides whether you rank up or down
  • 27. Ahrefs keyword explorer for [wine health benefits], what’s happening? How Google decides whether you rank up
  • 28. Associations EAT (quality) multimedia recency locality trust ugc (reviews / photos) +++ lots more +++ Search query deserves X Content type article request a quote product listing features page review / video catalog / directory Searcher intent topics subtopics
  • 33. [wine health benefits] EAT & content quality
  • 34. What does your search query deserve?
  • 35. What does your search query deserve?
  • 36. What does your search query deserve?
  • 37. What does your search query deserve?
  • 38. Why expertise / authority / trust (EAT)? * Your money your life (YMYL) searches have significant impact on people’s lives * Google’s algo looks for higher signals of “EAT” for certain queries * search query deserves EAT Why content refreshes? * topics change over time * Google’s algo weights “fresh/recent” content more for certain queries * search query deserves recency Search query deserves X (ML signals)
  • 39. Why backlinks? * search query deserves medical authority / domain authority Why PR? * search query deserves brand Why UGC? * search query deserves trust Why video embeds? * search query deserves multimedia Why local citations? * search query deserves locality Why widgets? * search query deserves tool Search query deserves X (ML signals)
  • 40. What does your search query deserve? “ Serve and optimize for the most relevant associations that match what the search query deserves. ”
  • 41. Concluding the search journey * Google is serving a search engine results page (SERP) that has the highest likelihood of concluding the search journey ✅ no additional search on google ✅ no additional click on another search result Leading signals * subject matter authority (other content you’ve produced) * domain authority (relevant links) * click through rate * avg. time on page * bounce rate User engagement signals
  • 42. User engagement signals (leading) No clickey? No likey.
  • 43. + User engagement signals (conclude journey)
  • 44. Start search journey > [how to get rid of pimples]: 40,500 1. How to get rid of pimples ← 2. How to get rid of pimples ← … 10. How to get rid of pimples “Not wanted I wanted….” Conclude search journey > [how to get rid of pimples fast]: 22,200 1. How to get rid of pimples fast ← 2. How to get rid of pimples fast … 10. How to get rid of pimples fast User engagement signals (conclude journey)
  • 45. User engagement signals (conclude journey)
  • 46. User engagement signals (conclude journey)
  • 47. User engagement signals (conclude journey)
  • 48. Why single target intent content > topic clusters? * Topic clusters (eg. Ultimate Guide to X) are too broad (in most cases). * If you were searching for [how to get rid of pimples], clicked on a topic cluster (“Ultimate Guide to Getting Rid of Pimples), and got the first section that said “What is a Pimple?” -- what would you do? Why search intent > keywords? * Google is understanding searcher journeys and doing a much better job serving relevant content * Search intent with little to no monthly search volume can and will rank for head topics Search query deserves X (ML signals)
  • 49. User engagement signals “ Identify and create content around the searcher intent that users actually care about for the topics you’re targeting. ”
  • 50. [live example] * example search query from audience? * search intent classification exercise
  • 51. HelpsGoogleaccesscontent How Google decides whether you rank up or down A simplified view on Google’s algo (2020) Determines where Google initially ranks your content } } }
  • 52. Data-driven SEO (article) * A step-by-step walkthrough of how to approach SEO. Recording of a Clearscope kickoff call (video) * My best practices of all the things to consider in a content workflow using Clearscope. Additional resources Clearscope (SaaS) * Modern SEO software using NLP to help content teams create higher quality content (example analysis). Programmatic SEO (presentation) * Yelp/Zillow SEO takes a different approach. Best practices on managing 1M+ URLs.