SEO Theory June 3, 2016 Hangout with Michael Martinez of Reflective Dynamics, Inc. and Kent Yunk of Roaring Pajamas SEO.
* Each SEO tool brings something different to the search optimization experience
* SEO tool vendors are aggressively reaching out to agencies
* How reliable is the data provided by SEO tools?
* Kent uses Advanced Web Ranking
* Running rank checking tools from your own IP address leads to Google blocking you
* AWR now handles the crawling (through multiple IP addresses)
* SEO tools sometimes use data partners to populate their dashboards
* Some SEO tools now provide auditing tools
* They are moving toward “one size fits all” products & the industry will probably shake out
* SEO tools would all go out of business if the industry adopted standards
* SEO tools are nothing but a waste of money
* Michael once made up very convincing charts with fake data
* There will never be accurate, reliable all-in-one SEO tools
* The tools need data from Bing and Google, which they cannot get
* Rankings vary widely now so even ranking reports are useless
* Google’s interpretations of user intent are often wrong
* Even Bing & Google ranking data is not very helpful
* The only useful ranking data from any source is a verifiable trend
* Some tools and people pull data from Webmaster dashboards
* Lack of standards leaves analytical methods in confusion
* Larger Websites cannot pull enough data from Bing & Google
* Data truncation and sampling destroy statistical relevance
* Daily time slicing helps with some sites but not on the most popular
* Kent has used SAS to process data when Excel is inadequate
* Google’s analytics tools don’t make any sense at all
* Search Console now allows people to aggregate query data in sets. WHY? WTF? No value.
* An SEO tool’s usefulness is based on its intention
* New Moz keyword research tool replicates Ubersuggest function without adding value
* Should you always be crawling your site? No.
* People are developing SEO tools and requirements that have no SEO value
* Crawling Websites overloads servers and ties up connections. It’s irresponsible.
* Let the client decide if you should crawl their Website.
* SEO crawlers do not “see” Websites the way Bing & Google do.
* SEO auditors should not simply follow check lists. They need to understand why they should be performing each audit task.
* If you take the job you have to fulfill the requirements & that includes using useless SEO tools if client/employer requires it.
* When more experienced SEOs recommend tools they often omit explanation of how they got extra value from the tool.
* Most people lack the background & aptitude to understand why they should use any given SEO tool.
* SEO checklists had good beginnings but have become indecipherable black box projects.
* SEO classes, all basically worthless due to lack of standards, usually provide checklists
* Real SEO standards would provide a common frame of reference for everyone to use to gauge benefits of tools & tasks.
* “Right now SEO is largely a ripoff” as an industry because it has no standards.
* Employers and clients have nothing by which to judge the quality of work performed.
* SEOs who do a lot of link research don’t get much actionable data.
* Only a spammer would send out 10,000 link outreach emails.
* Diminishing returns kill the value of link research.
* Link research tools don’t vet their data against search indexes.
* What does it mean if a search engine does not index links?
* People have different opinions of links.
* Low SEO metric values for Websites are misleading.
* “A high quality Website can have very few links pointing to it and it’s not going to rank well on a lot of these SEO metrics.”
* Google reranks search results in personalized search based on its faulty interpretations of intent
* Many SEO auditing tools use a very small subset of what is important
* On a large Website some auditing tools are helpful, such as identifying duplicate titles & meta descriptions
* Bing & Google Webmaster dashboards report duplicate elements & should be given weight over SEO tools.
* Indexation is a big problem because there are no reliable tools for checking indexation.
* Using a “site:” query is inadequate.
* Search engines don’t tell you everything they know.
* Michael’s partner Randy Ray often analyzes search referrals to landing pages
* If the search engine is not sending traffic to the page then there is something wrong with the page
* Decide how much of your time any given page is worth before trying to “save” the page
* Michael & Randy have fixed many sites hit by the Panda algorithm
* Getting rid of content may be a better use of your time if you can create new content more efficiently
* An SEO tool that provides benchmarking may be able to help you perform a gap analysis
* It comes down to how you can measure performance
* The best thing third parties can do is utilize your own data
* None do it well