Learning SEO, Summer 2017

The Omni La Costa Resort

In January, I wrote a post titled, Advice Given to an Aspiring 14 Year-Old Entrepreneur Wanting to Learn SEO. I included in that post links to a number of pages that I thought might be helpful to someone learning SEO. On my walk this morning past the Omni La Costa Resort, I was thinking about it, and decided that it might not be a bad idea to create a Learning SEO category here, and provide more resources to help people who are learning SEO access some of the resources I come across that might help them understand more.

One that I was thinking might be really helpful is this video (SMX West 2016 – How Google Works: A Google Ranking Engineer’s Story) with Google Engineer Paul Haahr:

I’ve written about more than one patent that Paul Haahr co-invented, and he has had been involved in many important aspects of how Google operates. His insights into ranking at Google are eye opening.

Google keeps a careful eye upon the quality of their search results, and have human beings who review those results and provide feedback on them. These people are known as human quality raters, and they are provided a set of guidelines, which Google started sharing with the public. If you want to be an SEO, having an idea what those guidelines contain can be helpful; they can give you some ideas on what you might want to include on a web site. The most recent version of the quality rater guidelines came out May 11, 2017:

Search Quality Evaluators Guideline

Many people perform searches at Google everyday, entering many queries every second into a Google search box. Could we learn something from what they search for, and what words they use when they search? I wrote about that idea with a post about 4 years ago called How Google Might Use Query Logs to Find Locations for Entities. What if Google tried to learn even more from query logs? They have, and they wrote about what they’ve built from query log information, in a paper titled:

Biperpedia: An Ontology for Search Applications

One of the authors of that paper is Alon Halevy, who is the head of Structured Data at Google (the folks responsible for rich snippets, knowledge graphs, question answering, structured snippets, and table search at Google).

A tool that I have been using on almost every audit that I do is Screaming Frog, and if it isn’t in your toolbelt, it should be something that you should consider adding. It is really useful, and this page from Seer Interactive is helpful in learning how to use it effectively:

Screaming Frog Guide to Doing Almost Anything

Google is not the only search engine, and if you aren’t looking at what Microsoft is doing with Bing, you may be surprised.

I was surprised to see Microsoft come out with a really powerful knowledge graph that covers a lot of concepts in September of last year:

Microsoft Concept Graph Preview For Short Text Understanding

I will be keeping an eye out for other pages that I think would be good resources. If you have specific questions about SEO contact me, and I will try to add answers to them to future posts in this category (thanks!)

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