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Ranking Elements of the Future

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Rand's presentation from SMX Advanced on the ranking elements that may be used by search engines in years ahead.

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  • I note with interest slide 25, the company dropdowns, i hadn't noticed them before because they dont appear on google.com.au but they do on google.com so it seems that they haven't been rolled out globally.
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  • Awesome! Thanks Rand!
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Ranking Elements of the Future

  1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com Ranking Signals of the Future A look at what inputs search engines may adopt in the future and how it impacts the marketing we do today.
  2. Find These Slides Online at: bit.ly/futuresignals
  3. #1 Usage Data of Pages and Sites
  4. 10,000 visits/day +50% growth last 6 months 3.7 pages/session 3 visits/unique user/month 6,000 visits/day -10% growth last 6 months 1.2 pages/session 1.4 visits/unique user/month
  5. Maybe I should send searchers to the page w/ the greater visitor loyalty & engagement.
  6. Patent, Analysis on SEO by the Sea
  7. Ha!
  8. This type of ranking input could be behind the strong performance of popular brand sites on queries where classic SEO elements are lacking Poor keyword targeting, crap relevance, few links, but the sites probably have stronger traffic/engagement than the competition.
  9. Via Searchmetrics’Ranking Factors Click-Through-Rate showed a 0.67 correlation This May Explainthe High Correlationof CTR w/ Rankings
  10. #2 Accuracy vs. Popularity of Information
  11. Nailed It! Rank ‘em high, boys.
  12. As Google’s research showed, PageRank and accuracy of information have a poor correlation on the web.
  13. By looking at multiple sets of data across sites & pages, an algorithm could determine the consistency of accuracy shown by a site.
  14. Paper from Google Researchers, Analysis by NPR
  15. Consistently accurate facts could raise a site’s rankings, especially in areas (like health) where Google weights accuracy more heavily. Less likely to rank. More likely to rank.
  16. #3 Query Structure as an Anchor-Text-Like Signal
  17. Many searchers using query structures in a particular fashion could connect brands and modifiers to keywords
  18. Looks familiar
  19. Popular searches around a brand could indicate associations that manifest in ranking inputs.
  20. That ranking might be at partially, causal, rather than mere coincidence.
  21. #4 Brands as Entities, Entities as Answers
  22. More and more brands are becoming entries in Google’s Knowledge Graph
  23. IMO, these brand dropdowns suggest an implicit bias toward accumulating brand associations and showing them off to searchers
  24. In many competitive SERPs, there seems to be a correlation between brand dropdowns and ranking higher.
  25. Some brands get so tightly connected to keywords, they become nearly analogous with the query
  26. Suggest also shows us brand queries that earn strong connections to URLs
  27. Even some generic queries bring back branded domain suggestions
  28. an experiment! Let’s try
  29. Call Out Your Answer: What site would you expect to see when you searched for this?
  30. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Weird.
  31. Call Out Your Answer: What site would you expect to see when you searched for this?
  32. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup.
  33. Call Out Your Answer: What site would you expect to see when you searched for this?
  34. Maybe? Yup. Yup. Yup. Maybe?
  35. Call Out Your Answer: What site would you expect to see when you searched for this?
  36. Maybe? Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup.
  37. Best Way to Rank in 2018? “Yup.”Find a way to be the first on everyone’s mind.
  38. #5 Tracing the Visit Path to an Answer
  39. Problem-solving on the web often looks something like this: Broad search Narrower search Even narrower search Website visit Website visit Brand search Social validation Highly-specific search Type-in/direct visit Completion of Task
  40. Google wants to do this: Broad search All the sites (or answers) you probably would have visited/sought along that path Completion of Task
  41. If Google sees that many people who perform these types of queries:
  42. Eventually end their queries on the topic after visiting: The Ramen Rater
  43. They might use the clickstream data to help rank that site higher, even if it doesn’t have traditional ranking signals
  44. They’re definitely getting and storing it.
  45. Google was just granted an interesting patent that suggested a similar process Patent Application from Google, Analysis by Bill Slawski
  46. #6 Weighting Elements of User Experience
  47. Patent Application from Google, Analysis on SEOByTheSea Ever since Panda, Google’s been trying to surface not just quality content, but “high quality websites.”
  48. If they aren’t already doing it, Google’s at least thinking about how to measure UX and rank sites that do it better, higher.
  49. #7 Replacing Flawed Humans w/ Deep Learning Machines
  50. Jeff Dean’s Slides on Deep Learning Are a Must Read for SEOs
  51. Google’s Deep Learning system studied YouTube clips and eventually invented its own classification/concept of “cats”
  52. Replace YouTube with the Web and cats with any given search query, and it’s not hard to imagine Google creating a deep learning ranking algorithm
  53. Google knows there’s two, but based on my footprint, it biases to the one matching my behavior, past queries, geography, etc.
  54. In the future, even Google’s search quality engineers may have no idea why something ranks or whether they’re using a particular factor in the ranking algorithm. The machine will simply ask “what algorithm produces results that searchers engage with best?” then make it.
  55. strange path… Google seems to be going down a
  56. Total searchers, number of searchers, & searches per searcher are all going up Via RKG’s Quarterly Digital Marketing Report
  57. Is Google sacrificing ad impressions to make searchers happier?
  58. Are they willing to take away queries that provide revenue? These searches could have created revenue, but Google’s pre-empting w/ direct navigation to URLs
  59. I am too. Skeptical?
  60. IMO, Google’s thinking long term. They want addicted searchers providing data about themselves so they can charge more per ad unit. Via Search Engine Land
  61. Via RKG Report Facebook has shown Google that more data about users yields more dollars per impression and click.
  62. I think Google will chase better UX to almost any extent in order to keep searchers & get data, even at the cost of their existing model. Almost unreal that Google does this w/o AirBnB paying for an ad. Via Tom Anthony’s Post
  63. Google will chase better UX to almost any extent in order to keep searchers & get data, even at the cost of their existing model My Guess:
  64. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com bit.ly/futuresignals

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