Learning SEO, Summer 2017

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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 article links to quite a few pages that I thought might be helpful to someone studying SEO. On my walk this morning past the Omni La Costa Resort, I was considering it, and decided that it may not be a bad idea to make a Learning SEO class here, and provide more funds to help those who are studying SEO access some of these resources I come across that may 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:

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I’ve written about more than 1 patent that Paul Haahr co-invented, and he has had been involved in several critical areas 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 examine those outcomes and provide feedback on them. These individuals are known as human quality raters, and they are provided a set of guidelines, which Google started sharing with the general public. If you want to be an SEO, having an idea what these guidelines contain can be helpful; they can give you a few ideas on what you may want to include on a web site. The most recent version of the Superior rater guidelines came out May 11, 2017:

Search Quality Evaluators Guideline

Lots of folks perform searches at Google everyday, entering many questions every second to a Google search box. Can 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 have 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’s the head of Structured Data in Google (the folks responsible for rich snippets, knowledge graphs, question answering, structured snippets, and table search at Google).

A tool I have been using on almost every audit that I do is Screaming Frog, and when it isn’t on your toolbelt, it needs to 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 isn’t the only search engine, and if you aren’t looking at what Microsoft is doing with Bing, you might be surprised.

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

Microsoft Concept Graph Preview For Short Text Understanding

I’ll be keeping a look out for other pages that I think would be great resources. If you have specific questions about SEO contact me, and I will attempt to add answers to them to future posts in this class (thanks!)

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