Decoding Google’s Top Secret Search Algorithm
If you ask 10 different marketing professionals how to rank highly on Google’s search engine results pages (“SERPs”), you’ll get 10 different answers. While this lack of consensus makes the marketing industry look extremely fragmented, the phenomenon has a good reason for existing. Blame Google.
You see, Google’s search algorithm is an extremely complex mathematical formula which draws on over 200 variables. It uses these variables to meticulously rank websites; to decide who the “kings of the keyword castle” are.
And they won’t even throw a bone to us marketers. The height of their transparency took place when they released an extremely basic guide to SEO, which told us nothing we didn’t already know.
More usefully, digital marketing professionals get to hear an occasional enlightening speech or blog post from Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam. But he’s now on extended leave, so we’ve been left to our own devices!
So How Can We Gain Insight into Google’s Search Algorithm?
So, without any real insight from the horse’s mouth, how is the marketing profession supposed to make informed decisions about how to structure our websites and content for SEO? Well, one option would be to take Germany’s lead and amend their law to force Google to publish its algorithm. But realistically, the odds of this law passing are about as good as earth suddenly being invaded by aliens.
Another alternative would be to assemble a bunch of math geeks and have them crack the google code, a la Imitation Game. This method has been tried, and with some success. Members of the academic community in America banded together to create a mock search engine, which tried to perfectly mimic the result Google gives. Even then, the math geniuses could only get the same results as Google in 8 out of 10 cases, and they only looked at 17 of Google’s 200+ factors.
With the above options exhausted, our only choice is to consult the experts. In a world of search engine uncertainty, the Rand Fishkins and Neil Patels of the world can act as our guiding lights. They live and breathe search engine optimisation, and have likely racked up the 10,000 hours that you need to become an expert in any field.
But even if you know who the experts are, it requires a tremendous amount of research to find the right online content. Which is where I come in. Below, I’ve listed out my favourite articles, ebooks and blog postings about 5 of the most important SEO topics.
Search Engine Optimisation Resources
1. Cache-all Guides for SEO
Moz.com: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
Hubspot.com: Introduction to Search Engine Optimization
Iboxseo.com: Create the Page Google Will Love
Backlinko.com: Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List
Google.com: Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide
2. How to Undertake Keyword Research
Hubspot.com: Detailed Keyword Tips
Contentmarketinginstitute.com: 12 Tips for Keyword Selection
Bruceclay.com: How to Do Keyword Research
3. How to get SEO Mileage out of Old Content
Hubspot.com: The Complete Guide to Republishing Old Content
Inboundnow.com: 4 Ways to Optimize Your Old Blog Posts Today
Profitblitz.com: 10 Ways to Get More Out of Your Old Blog Posts
4. Re-designing Your Website with SEO in Mind
Searchenginejournal.com: How to Avoid SEO Disaster During a Website Redesign
Ituhagroup.com: Utilizing SEO throughout the Website Design Process
5. Answering Prospects Questions for SEO
Hubspot.com: How to Use Keyword Tools to Brainstorm Blog Topics
Outbrain.com: 6 Tips for Creating a Thought Leadership B2B Strategy
What are your favourite blogs, articles and eBooks about search engine optimisation?