Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a robust topic, so let’s lay out some ground rules on how to best understand how search engines work and how they rank your website on search results.
For starters, organic results on Google are derived from a program called Hummingbird. For many years, the overall algorithm didn’t have a formal name until mid 2013. At this time, Google gave their baby a name (finally!) – naming it Hummingbird.
Hummingbird has over 200 ranking signals to decide which website get’s listed on Google. What’s more, Hummingbird contains other segments of more familiar name is the SEO world such as Panda, Penguin and Payday designed to fight pesky time consuming spam, Pigeon designed to improve local search results, Top Heavy designed to demote ad-heavy pages (competing against Google), Mobile Friendly designed to reward mobile-friendly pages (did someone say accelerated mobile pages) and Pirate designed to fight copyright infringement – nobody likes a copier – except maybe artists 😛
Another component to Hummingbird is Google’s machine learning algorithm – enter RankBrain.
Here’s to rub with RankBran – even Google engineers are having a hard time explaining how Google works anymore.
Since RankBrain uses Machine learning over human engineers, these same engineers are no longer 100% certain how search results are displaying on Google.
What’s the solution? Lots of A/B testing and industry experience.
If you hire a SEO consultant with limited experience, you’re throwing away money.
You need to hire a company with a track record of success and a firm understanding of information technology and algorithms.
No longer can an SEO guess and get lucky. SEO is far too technical and analytical to get lucky.