For those of us in SEO (or aspiring to be), there are a lot of little details that fill our days. Server architecture, 301 redirects, 404 errors, title tags, and various other things. Sometimes, we forget to sit back and figure out what it all means. Add to that the fact that most SEOs were never trained, but just picked things up “on the job,” and it’s no surprise that most SEOs don’t really know how search engines work. When’s the last time you sat down and considered how search engines (like Google) really work? For me, it was last month, while writing the post about a recent Google Webmaster Hangout and the information about link disavowal that came out of it. But before that, I think it honestly had been 8 or 10 years since I’d really thought about it. So let’s fix that. Here is a high level explanation of how one search engine (Google) works. While the terminology and order of operations may change slightly, Bing and Yahoo use a similar … [Read more...] about How Search Engines Work — Really!
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We tallied all of the likes, favorites, shares, clicks, retweets and so on for every single social post across the Search Engine Land Facebook and Twitter communities over the past 12 months. Out of the top 10 most socially engaging stories across those communities - 20 stories in total - only ONE was not about Google. (Even the honorable mention in the Twitter roundup was from the Google Dance earlier this year during SMX West. It literally was our 7th most popular tweet of 2016. Scroll down and have a watch. You'll see why.) From AdWords updates to algorithm changes, the arrival of Expanded Text Ads to the sunsetting of PageRank score… there was a lot going on with the Big G this year. Let's take a look back at the issues and announcements that scored the most social engagement across the board. (Catch up with all of our Search Engine Land Year In Review stories, while you're at it!) Search Engine Land's Most Social Tweets Of 2016 1. Google officially throttling Keyword Planner data … [Read more...] about Search Engine Land’s most engaging stories of 2016: A whole lotta Google
While 2015 saw some significant and exciting new developments in search, marketers this year were seemingly less reactive and more proactive — a sign of a maturing industry. Rather than scrambling to adapt to the latest algorithm change or rushing to implement the newest trend, readers instead gravitated towards high-level thought pieces and detailed, tactical how-tos. This is evident in the fact that many of the most popular columns in 2015 were focused on getting the fundamentals right. Where do I get started with local SEO? How can I build links in an ethical manner to avoid penalties? What’s the best way to manage my AdWords campaigns? How do I optimize video content on YouTube? These are all questions that were addressed by our top columns on Search Engine Land this year. And despite 2015 arguably being the true “year of mobile” in search — we lived through Mobilegeddon and we saw mobile searches overtake desktop searches on Google — only one of … [Read more...] about Search Engine Land’s Top 10 Columns Of 2015
When Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said earlier this year that webmasters should “try to avoid” link building for SEO, many took this as a clear and unambiguous sign that link building as a practice was done for. As search engines continue to crack down on spammy and manipulative links, quite a number of search marketers have begun to forgo link building altogether (often in favor of content marketing), fearing that the tactic is simply too risky. But the fact remains that links are the most important off-page signal for search engine rankings, and strategic link acquisition is therefore critical for effective search engine optimization. For SEO efforts to reach their full potential, businesses and online marketers simply cannot opt out of link building. It’s no surprise, then, that readers were very interested in how to build links in a safe and white-hat manner — and Neil Patel’s piece on how to do just that earned top honors within the … [Read more...] about Search Engine Land’s 10 Top Link Week Columns Of 2015
Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for any business with an online presence — but for those that serve a specific geographical area, it’s crucial. While the basic tenets of traditional SEO do indeed apply to local businesses, the fact is that local search is its own beast, and it requires a particular set of skills. Optimizing a local business website for search engines requires some additional work that goes beyond traditional SEO, and our readers took a particular interest in tactical pieces this year, from how to do local content marketing to how to structure local landing pages. Matthew Barby’s comprehensive guide to local SEO was by far the most widely read local search column on Search Engine Land in 2015, serving as both an excellent starting point for newbies and a handy refresher for veterans in the space. Google threw local search marketers for a loop earlier this year when it made some changes to how local results are displayed, getting rid of … [Read more...] about Search Engine Land’s Top 10 Local Search Columns Of 2015