Low Keyword Difficulty Despite Rankbrain

The data side of Search Engine Optimization has become far more confusing and, at the same time, interesting over the last few years thanks in no small part to RankBrain. Let me go ahead and say that anyone interested in learning anything shouldn’t continue reading the rest of this blog post. It is actually part of an experiment which I am currently running and I would appreciate if you wouldn’t just leave the page immediately though. Who knows if big-brother Google is watching and will spoil the experiment because everyone abandoned the article quickly. I also don’t intend to spend much time in this post opining about what I think RankBrain is how it works. Instead, I want to bring up one of the big wrenches that RankBrain throws into a popular...

Split Testing Keyword Lists – Zip Codes vs. Cities

One of the questions I received a lot in my former career as CTO of Angular Marketing was whether to use cities or zip-codes in site architecture. For example, imagine a client comes to me who runs tennis clinics across the North Carolina triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill). Should they build their website like this… http://tenniscoaches/raleigh-nc/classes or like this… http://tenniscoaches/27519/classes Well, it turns out there is a really easy way to answer this question by split-testing with Moz Keyword Explorer lists. No tags for this...

How to Build a Big-Data Cluster for memSQL 4.0 on the Cheap

So, now that memSQL has rolled out a community edition which is completely free to use, I thought I might show you an easy way to build a huge cluster for cheap that you can run memSQL on quite easily. I know it works because we have been running this in production for quite some time at GREPWords and SERPScape. There isn’t really any magic to it, just finding the best hosting company for the job. What you want is a hosting company that offers a lot of exactly what you need – multi-core, high RAM servers – with no extra perks. I think I found the perfect host for this – CloudSouth. Yes, that is an affiliate link, judge for yourself if you think the prices are amazing. They keep their prices low by simply only offering a couple of types of...

2015: The Year of Broken Link Building

Every year begins with a flood of questions to seo experts about their predictions or recommendations for the upcoming year. I am normally careful not to get involved into too many of these forays because they seem speculative or risky given Google’s penchant to change courses so quickly. When your target is moving so fast, so frequently, and seemingly erratically, it is hard to make predictions and recommendations. So, how should we proceed? One of the common responses is to give very generic, holistic tips like “build your brand”, or “users first”. While I think these are absolutely true, they don’t offer much in the way of actionable advice. Some of the lengthier responses by good SEOs do go into detail on these issues, and...

A Plea for Data

Hey folks, many of you who follow me on twitter (@rjonesx) may have noticed some discussions between myself and @authoritylabs a week or so ago. I have embarked on a new study that looks at the relationship between SERP features (places, ads, carousel, images, video, etc.) and organic click through rates. Using GWT CTR data, Google Keyword Traffic data, and Authority Labs SERP data, we can determine the actual organic traffic a SERP will return. Take for example two keywords – one gets 1000 visits a month, the other gets 400 visits a month. The second has no advertisers and no SERP features, the first has places and 10 ads. It is actually possible that the second one with less traffic volume actually delivers MORE organic traffic because of these SERP...

More on Google’s Javascript Handling

Many of you probably noticed my recent post without any substantive content. I was seeking to answer the following questions… Does Google wait for timeouts and display that content in the index? is that content searchable? How does Google handle content generated at intervals in javascript? Will Google index content that is only displayed after an action like a button click occurs? We now have some pretty solid answers to each question… Does Google wait for timeouts and display that content in the index? is that content searchable?Yes. Google does wait for timeouts and display that content in that index. That is to say, the content that was displayed after the timeout is included in the search index such that you can find it by searching Google for...