If I had a penny for every time I’d heard that in my career, I’d be on a sabbatical travelling like Matt Cutts. When we discuss SEO we are generally talking about Google. I would assume that 95% of your traffic comes from a Google SERP and all SEO discussion relates to this. Nobody knows what is in the Google algorithm! Again, please pass me my suitcase.
Any digital strategist worth their salt can give you a list of ALL 200 Google algorithm ‘signals’. The much bigger question is how you use them.
To understand SEO truly, you need to understand the bigger picture and its nuances. Global brand product development, customer retention, competitive advantage, UX…these are the elements you need to consider. Technical knowledge is a given. It’s the extra knowledge that sets you apart as an ‘expert’.
Google’s algorithm is made up of 200 signals. These signals are fed back to the Google product (the SERP) and your position is determined by your score vs your competitors score. Some signals are very strong and have a greater effect on your overall score, some are very weak and have less of an effect.
Google spends billions of dollars retaining its market share against Bing and Yahoo. Refining its product. Improving its relevance. Keeping the customer satisfied. Bearing this in mind, once you take care of the 200 signals, you get your page to number 1 on the SERP (the easy bit) you should have a strategy in place to keep it there.
So here’s the important bit if you want to retain that spot. You need to ensure that your bounce rate for that page does not drop. The difference between you and your competitor at number 2 may be minute. This year Google will be raising the signal weight of ‘pogo sticking’ and ‘dwell time’ (remember Google owns the worlds most used analytics system). To protect its product, be truly relevant, and most of all give the customer what they need first time every time – retaining its competitive advantage and UX will become paramount.