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March 3, 2016

How Google Works: A Google Ranking Engineer’s Story #SMX

Google's Gary Illyes, Paul Haahr

Google Software Engineer Paul Haahr has been at Google for more than 14 years. For two of them, he shared an office with Matt Cutts. He’s taking the SMX West 2016 stage to share how Google works from a Google engineer’s perspective – or, at least, share as much as he can in 30 minutes. After, Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes will join him onstage and the two will field questions from the SMX audience with Search Engine Land Editor Danny Sullivan moderating. Read the liveblog of this can’t-miss session!




Google Analytics Power Reporting for SEO & SEM – #SMX Liveblog

Andrew Garberson session on Google Analytics

You’re using Google Analytics, but, as the SMX West audience just learned from speaker Andrew Garberson, you’re merely scratching the surface of the tool’s usefulness in your work life.

First, a story. Your 80-year-old neighbor gives you a call and says that he wants to buy an electric car. He mostly just drives to the grocery store and around town, and everyone agrees he should probably stop riding around town on his bike.

You think of a list criteria for a good car for him: safe, efficient, a good warranty. He drives home in a Tesla, and yes, this meets all the criteria, but it’s a little more than that. It goes 0-60 in 2.8 seconds.

Google Analytics is like the Tesla. It’s a sports car and we’re driving it like we’ve got the emergency brake on. Let’s drive it like the high performance machine it is.

Read more




March 2, 2016

RankBrain: What Do We Know About Google’s Machine-Learning System? #SMX

Marcus Tober, Eric Enge, Danny Sullivan

SEO is very tactical. We always try to look behind the curtain of Google’s algorithms. So, it’s no surprise that we all want to know more about RankBrain, Google’s machine learning system that they confirmed out of the blue in October 2015 was “the third most important ranking signal” in their algorithm.

In this SMX West session, we’ll learn about RankBrain based on studies done by the speakers: Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics and Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting. They’ll present findings as well as the implications for SEO.

Read the liveblog to find out about RankBrain.




March 1, 2016

Doing What Matters for SEO & Google in 2016 – Googler Maile Ohye at #SMX

Maile Ohye on stage at SMX West 2016

A favorite Googler and SMX presenter, Maile Ohye, senior developer programs engineer at Google Inc. (@maileohye), explains that in 2004 and 2005, Matt Cutts used to say that search engines are chasing the user. In other words, the engine wants to serve the user first and then everything else (rankings, results pages) follow. A problem occurs when when websites then chase the search engines.

An alternative view is when search engines and websites both chase the user, but this is oversimplified. Today she suggests a cultural shift to serving the customer, not the user.

Read about how that all plays out in real life in this liveblog SMX West coverage of Doing What Matters for SEO & Google in 2016.




Googler Speaks Out about Manual Actions at #SMX

google danny sullivan juan felipe rincon

There are two kinds of actions that can come from Google — an automatic “action” where the algorithm makes a decision on how a page should rank, and a manual action. With a manual action, a human being at Google has come across a page and decided it needs to be addressed.

Juan Felipe Rincon from Google’s manual actions team answers the SMX West 2016 audience’s burning questions on manual actions in a live talk with Marketing Land and Search Engine Land Editor Danny Sullivan. Discover Rincon’s answers!




Keynote: The Future Of Search #SMX

What's the future of search_

You’re tuned in to the BCI blog where we’re liveblogging SMX West all week. This is the show’s opening keynote, a demo-heavy presentation by Behshad Behzadi, Principal Engineer, Google Zurich.

Behzadi is the director of conversational search. Danny Sullivan says that Behzadi previously did this presentation at SMX London, and it was a mind-blowing presentation into what’s possible with conversational search. Behzadi has been at Google for 10 years, the first 7 years working on ranking, and the last 3 years working on future tech including Now on Tap.

For what Behshad Behzadi explains is the future of search, including voice search and Now on Tap, read this opening keynote of SMX West.




February 26, 2016

VIDEO: Googlers Take Us Behind the Scenes of the Google Dance #SMX

Gary Illyes Google

Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West 2016 is happening next week, and we’re anticipating the return of the first Google Dance since 2008! SMX West is a digital marketing conference held each year in San Jose, and the dance is a party held on Google’s Mountain View campus for the conference’s attendees.

We invited Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes — one of the most-anticipated speakers slated to take the SMX stage — to join us for a special Hangout on Air. Illyes and Search Quality Analyst Nathan Johns were integral in bringing back the Google Dance, and both took a few minutes to tell us what to expect from the fete in a light-hearted Hangout.

Go behind the scenes of the Google Dance in this video!




February 25, 2016

How Google Removing Right-Side Ads from SERPs Affects Organic SEO

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Late last week, Google announced that they were dramatically changing the layout of their SERPs by removing right-side ads from the page. At the same time, they added an extra ad to the top of the fold for “highly commercial queries” and three text ads to the bottom of the SERPs. This eliminates the number of paid ads for certain types of SERPs from as many as 11 to a maximum of seven.

There has been much speculation on what impact this will have in the PPC world, but what do these changes mean for SEOs who are more concerned with organic rankings?

Should SEOs be changing their tactics in light of the SERP shakeup? Or is it business as usual? There certainly seems to be a general consensus that organic SEO is the loser with all of these changes, but I’m not so sure that that is the case.

Read How Google Removing Right-Side Ads from SERPs Effects Organic SEO.




February 4, 2016

Considering Google AMP for SEO? Why Accelerated Mobile Pages Is Not the Speed Solution for Every Business

considering accelerated mobile pages?

Google is pushing AMP hard right now.

“At State of Search in Dallas, Gary Illyes from Google revealed what the next big thing for 2016 would be, and it is AMP, also known as Accelerated Mobile Pages. And he said they will be pushing it aggressively in 2016.” —Jennifer Slegg, TheSEMPost.com

Typically, when Google says “this is important and you should do this,” the SEO community jumps to it – especially with today’s focus on mobile SEO.

But AMP is NOT for everyone. Let’s be clear on who AMP is for and the limitations it poses to every other business.

Read the advantages, drawbacks and technical requirements of Google AMP in “Considering Google AMP for SEO?




February 2, 2016

What Should You Expect from a Search Engine?

Bing-Duane-Forrester

Maybe the question is, why should you expect anything?

The truth is, inside an engine is a busy place. I spent nearly six years representing a search engine to the SEO industry and I can tell you that, contrary to many search engine optimization conspiracy theories, neither Bing nor Google have designs on harming businesses. Both do have profit motives, however, just like you do.

Updates happen because … pause for drum roll … something undesirable is happening!

Read more from Duane Forrester in “What Should You Expect from a Search Engine?”




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