It was the most amazing search training I’ve attended to date, and the fact that you are trained by Bruce Clay himself is very cool. Anyone interested in truly understanding how SEO works should think about attending his SEO training.
Here are a few tips that I picked up that I wanted to share:
1. Google has 200 + factors to its algorithm. Each piece of the algorithm has a different weight. The search community is only aware of the impact of a few of the on-the-page elements.
2. 86% of people click on the natural results (vs. paid). Only 48% of people who are searching even SEE the paid ads. (That’s seeing the ads, not clicking on them). Paid Search advertising has a 20-50% fraud rate (which means that advertisers are paying for clicks that are not legitimate).
3. The search results don’t act like you think they do. In Google, only 2 spots are allowed in any search result for one company (the second result is indented). So for “cisco routers”, cisco.com actually takes up the first 152 spots in the results, but is only shown twice. The #3 slot is securityfocus.com, but that actually means that securityfocus.com is in slot 153. If securityfocus.com doesn’t know that they are really in slot 153 instead of 152, they would waste a lot of time getting to that #2 slot.
4. The way you structure your website with internal links matter. One part of the algorithm is PageRank (Google’s determination of the value of a page), and while your homepage might have a lot of people linking to it and a high PageRank, you need to effectively distribute that PageRank to your internal pages through a strategic linking structure to make sure your internal pages effectively rank in search results.
5. The _ character is read by Google as an extra character, not a word divider, and it’s better to use – in file names.
6. Your website’s placement in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) really makes a difference. I had realized that pages beyond result #15 are basically non-existent for searchers, but Bruce Clay has a 50% increase in volume if he’s ranked in the #4 slot vs. the #6 slot.
7. Google is about to roll out behavioral search. Which means that Google will determine the searchers intent (research vs. shopping) and will display results appropriately. It will show sites with more longer word count for research intent queries, and sites with less text and bullet use for shopping intent. Which means if you have a shopping site with too much text, you have less of a chance of appearing in the top 15 for a shopping intent query. There is a 4x increase in the Clickthrough Rate of a search ad if you target for behavioral search.
Fascinating stuff, huh?