EdgyLabs attended a webinar hosted by Andy Crestodina and the Vertical Measures team to present you with five SEO facts of which you’ve never heard.
What is the Goal of SEO?
The goal of SEO is to increase the likelihood of your content reaching the highest ranking on a search engine platform (typically Google). With that comes views and user engagement, and, if you’re selling something, customer conversion.
Although many people boast various strategies for improving domain rank, today we’ll be taking a look at advice from both Andy Crestodina (who has over 16 years experience in SEO) and experts from Google itself.
Five Facts to Explain Semantic SEO:
Fact 1: Google Operates Through Semantic Relationships
Fundamentally, Google categorizes user searches by their intent – not by “mega topics” alone (i.e: “shoes”, “sports”, “women’s clothes” ). To find semantically linked phrases for your keyword(s) compile phrase lists using keyword.io, Google’s Related Search box, and SEMRush.
Fact 2: New Technology Means Users Search With “Natural Language”
With the advent of voice recognition AI technologies (see: Siri, Cortana, Alexa, etc.) online searches are reflecting a more conversational tone. The development of these technologies directly influences semantic SEO.
Including both a complete question and a complete (detailed) answer at the top of your page may secure you the Google Knowledge box. Having this position equates to a #0 Rank (AKA it’s even better than the #1 domain rank position in terms of visibility).
Fact 3: Google Doesn’t Care About Bounce Rates
Google RankBrain studies user interaction signals based on something Crestodina dubs “the long click.”
Crestodina’s research shows there is no correlation between bouncebacks and overall domain rank. Instead, overall time spent on a page directly correlates with rank.
Fact 4: Links Alone Won’t Help Your Semantic SEO
Networking is significantly more powerful than either self-promotion or linking to other sites.
Link value only exists when it serves to establish (hopefully reciprocal) relationships and connects users to content. That means the best way to increase your rank is by collaborating with content creators (i.e: journalists, authors, researchers, producers, bloggers, etc.) at live events and Mastermind groups or through sites like Slack.
Fact 5: SEO is NOT About “Tricking” Robots
Search engines typically use highly complex AI and human Quality Raters to determine domain rankings.
SEO best practices revolve around the accumulation “long tail” (keyword phrase) traffic that builds over time. This is done through interpersonal collaboration, in-depth research, and user-focused optimization.
The top guidelines every SEO “hacker” should know are:
- Keep your content front and center
- Make your site expert, authoritative, and trustworthy (EAT)
- Highly meet the expectations of your audience
- Integrate keywords in meaningful ways
And remember: semantic relationships drive searches, time on page matters more than bounce rates, users search with natural language, personal connections are powerful, and SEO specialists work with search engines–not against them.