5 things I’ve learned about SEO Yesterday

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by Tony Guo

*My expertise is in Pay Per Click. SEO is fun but it’s more of a hobby than a job. SEO helps keep my PPC skill set sharp. This is a short primer to a future white paper.

1. Words Matter: Include the words: YOU; NOW; NEW; and FREE as much as you can. However over-saturation creates an unnatural voice which leads to confusion. As an experiment, I wrote 3 articles on avoiding counterfeit trading cards: first person, second person, and third person. The first person (I) article had 97 views; the second person (YOU) article had 312 views; the third person (He/She) article had only 22 views. The articles were written to mirror each other. The images used and upload time were the same.

2. CTR Matter LOTS. Click Through Rates are not just a PPC factor to determine ad quality, they also determine your organic ranking. Google has stated higher CTR = higher relevancy = higher ranking. Search engines have come to the logical conclusion that if a searcher clicks a link, the link is more relevant and should be moved (or remain) on top.

3. Broad Match > Exact Match. Now this may be controversial, but I do all my research using Broad Match. And I run out all my PPC campaigns using Broad Match (initially). Exact Match is not what is used to be. It appears Google is focused on the intent of the searcher rather than the exact keywords they are searching for. Plus Broad Match allows you to build a search query. In SEO, when I choose a narrow topic but writing using broad match terms, it has greatly increased views.

4. Hummingbird is MEAN. Hummingbird was the biggest change in the Google search algorithm because it rewrote everything. Google no longer ranks web-pages. Instead they rank entities. Hummingbird will take search queries and find matching documents in the Google entity database. Hummingbird scrapes the web for information as well as off-site SCEHEMA references (i.e. Wiki, Ratings, Reviews, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc). Using factoids (many random pieces of information), Hummingbird makes an entity for you. Therefore WebMaster Tools is very important since you can check errors with it.

5. Pigeons are LOCAL. Pigeon is like a local version of Hummingbird. Enhanced listings (the one where you use a Google photographer) have tremendous SEO value. Maps are important (if you have Free parking put it in your map listing). Reviews on Wiki, Forums, Blogs, G+, Yelp matter A LOT. Most of local traffic will be mobile, therefore you have to design for mobile. It’s worth it.

Anyways I’ll add a lot more later when its not 2am in the morning. I promise. 🙂