I Had Dinner With Google Again - Info on Rankings

Last Update: July 29, 2018

As many of you probably have read my WA blog post from two weeks ago, I got to sit down to a fun dinner outing with my friend David who happens to be a senior programmer at Google. If you haven't read that entertaining blog, just click the link below. At that dinner it was more of a trip down memory lane when we used to develop video games.

I Had Dinner With Google Last Night

INFO ON RANKINGS

Fortunately, as I stated in the previous blog, much of what is taught here at WA falls into line with what Google expects of us who create content. However the problem is that there is still a lot of old SEO recommendations still floating around on the internet that Google doesn't even use anymore, like the keywords meta tag on pages and posts.

Things like keyword density = old and out-dated advice. If your target keyword appears in your page or post title and once more in the first or second paragraph of your content, you do not need to use it again to be ranked for that keyword. However, Google will not only use that keyword to rank you.

As I have stated many times before, your post/pages can get ranked on the first page of Google for keywords that you never even consciously used in your content. Why? The answer is in the last sentence of the above paragraph. I even created a tutorial a while back showing you how I was able to get on page 1 for keywords I never used, see below link.

How to Rank on Google Page 1 WITHOUT a Target Keyword

When I had dinner with David last night, unlike the first time, I did ask him some specific questions about SEO and rankings. What he told me, some I had already known thanks to Kyle's training and some things were news to me. I am not going to go into detail here, but I will be creating two tutorials really soon.

What I will say now will address the confusion many have when they see their newly posted content ranking high in Google, only to have it drop like a rock several days later. In short, when this happens do not panick, this is normal. Those high Google rankings you saw just after posting in most cases are not your true rankings. Those come later.


IS IT THE GOOGLE DANCE?

When I mentioned the Google Dance to David last night, he laughed. He said if you are going to dance with Google you have to let it lead. As we all should know by now Google is a search engine and its job is to offer the best results to the queries typed into its search bar. Google is always looking for fresh new content to index.

When you post a new post or page and it gets indexed, if it is well written and has a low competition keyword in its title and URL, Google will rank it highly because it is fresh new content related to that one particular keyword. But Google does not rank your content based only on your target keyword.

There are over 200 ranking factors that Google uses and one key component is called RankBrain, which uses machine learning. This is the ability for RankBrain to teach itself from data fed to it from the ranking algorithm. Prior to RankBrain you were ranked solely on the competition of your keyword. Now it is more complex.

In short RankBrain will take your target keyword query and interpret it to determine the true intent of the person using the search query. It is through this "true intent" that Google will use to determine your true rankings in the SERPs. How does RankBrain do this? By reading your entire content and match the query to relevant information.

CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT

We have all heard that Content is King and this is still true today. It is your entire content that not only will determine how much traffic you will get, but how high you will rank. Did you tthink it was your target keyword that determines your rank? Nope! Your keyword only determines the rank for that specific keyword.

When RankBrain is determining your true rankings in the SERPs it is using your entire content and how well that content is relevant to any given search query, including your target keyword. So when you post new content, within the first few days your rankings are based on Pre-RankBrain determinations.

Once RankBrain has been able to determine the true rankings, this is when you see your rankings drop. If your content is well written and answers your keyword query the best, your ranking may stay the same or even go up. But why does the ranking in most cases bounce back up eventually? Because of engagement metrics from click data.

I found a quote from Udi Manber, Google's former head of Search Quality that says, "The ranking itself is affected by click data. If we discover that, for a particular query, 80% of people click on #2 and only 10% click on #1, after a while we figure out probably, #2 is the one people want, so we will switch it."

Simply put, the more engagement your content gets from people clicking on it and even moreso by leaving comments, Google's ranking algorithm with the help of RankBrain can determine how popular your content is compared to other similar articles. The more engagement you get, the higher your rank will go.


MORE TO COME

David clued me into some other SEO information that we all should know about going forward. I have searched the WA platform for information on or similar to what David mentioned and I couldn't find any training on it, just a few blogs or mentions. This SEO advice is for upcoming changes that Google is already developing.

Much of it is already functional but as David said, a lot more needs to be rolled out after certain procedures are refined. But it is coming quickly and it has and will change SEO as we know it today. Fortunately the change will not erase what we already know but it will add to what we need to know if we want to get higher rankings.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE - Below is the link to the first of the two tutorials that I mentioned above. I just published this today July 29, 2018. The next one will be in a couple of weeks.

SEO Tips for 2018 and Beyond - Why You MUST Focus on Mobile

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Calvinator63 Premium
Rob,

It is a shame that you do not live closer to you r friend, but what you get form your dinners is absolutely priceless to the rest of us.

Thank you for sharing this information with us, I am looking forward to seeing your new tutorials on Google's ever changing ranking system.

But as long as the search engines continue to want to provide the best related content possible to the inquiring visitors' search; it will still be our responsibility to provide the most relevant material to receive that best rankings.

Look forward to seeing the new tutorials being posted,

Calvin
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Calvin. As long as we provide quality content that helps the reader with their keyword queries, and we do not write content to please Google's ranking algorithm, we will get good rankings.
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sukumarth Premium
I have always loved reading your posts. It's great to be updated on how our pages get ranked and this RankBrain (I must admit I didn't know it) is interesting. Makes sense too. But when you said that thing about the engagement metrics from click data, I was also thinking about something - the SiteComments we have here. It's a great tool, you know, for having "inorganic" comments. I'm sure they do count as click data. My concern was this: if all the engagements are via the WA referral, will not Google screen them out from the ranking factors eventually if thousands of comments are coming via the same WA site? I hope not. But still, the concern does not go away.
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keishalina9 Premium
hi Sukumarth! ... hope all is going well for you ... fyi -- your use of the question mark reached the WA community for answer ... :)
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boomergp08 Premium
No, it does not have a negative effect on rankings because when Google looks at comments they look at the email address of the commenter.
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Kettei Premium
Thanks Rob - these tips actually seem very sensible and you have to admire Google for implementing common sense in how they calculate ranking.

AI is changing so many aspects of business and I'll be glad to see it put keyword stuffers firmly where they belong (on page 20) so those of us that actually write quality content can get seen. :D
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure. One thing is for certain, those who put too much emphasis on keyword density and do not provide quality content, Google will not reward them with any rankings near the top. The AI of RankBrain will see to that.
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ValerieJoy Premium
Google has been 'fine tuning' ever since I started my first 'WordPress' website in 2010. I'm sure they were continually changing prior to 2010 but I was using 'Kompozer' then and struggled with that so much, I didn't have time to worry about SEO etc. Thank goodness for WordPress.

And, thanks Robert for another interesting and informative post.
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boomergp08 Premium
As my friend David said, working and tweaking the algorithm is a daily task that he and the other programmers have been doing for years.

And now with the help of RankBrain, which is basically Artificial Intellegence, the job of adjusting is a bit easier but still non-stop.
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boomergp08 Premium
The first of the two training tutorials I mention above is now finished and published for those who want to learn how Google is now ranking us in 2018 and beyond. The link is below.
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fleurallen Premium
Will look at tonight - thanks!
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bpais1 Premium
Already checked it out, Rob. Superb training post!

Jim
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mbouteiller Premium
Hey Rob,

Thank you again for another interesting and helpful read. I have this bookmarked.

All this certainly makes sense and fair to all writers. Ummmm, I need more comments.

I hope you go out for more Google dinners and I wish I was there too.

I am in suspense... want to hear more from you and David.

Have a great day Rob and thank you for all your sharing of information.

Monica
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Monica. Happy you liked my post.

But I am sorry to say that there will be no more dinners with David any time soon.

He is now back in California and I am all the way over here on the East Coast in New Jersey.

But I have published the first of two training tutorials from the information I got from David.

I have included the link to this tutorial at the bottom of this post above. Enjoy!
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MBreece Premium
I am waiting anxiously for your training and more information you have gleaned from this great friendship. It reinforces my belief that everything happens for a reason. You were meant to look for bugs in his game program and build this friendship, for many reasons I am sure. Thank You
Maryann
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Maryann. I agree that when you look back at how things transpired, certain things have happened for a reason.

If you would like to read the first of two training tutorials I mention in this post, I have included the link to it at the bottom of the post above.
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GiuliaB Premium
Rob, after the first few paragraphs, I got headache, but then it all started making sense as to how Google works jointly with Rank Brain.
Your tips today, and your future training makes me think of how lucky we all are at WA to have people like you, who bring in the latest news on future changes to Google ranking. Because, would Google make those changes public when that time comes?

Giulia
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Giulia. Google does make their changes public but you have to go looking for their announcements.

They never do so with much fanfare, unless it is an urgent update that will make major changes.
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newmarketpro Premium
Thank you for the information Rob. It's nice to have man in the house that have connection with someone in Google and share this first hand information with the community.

Other than keyword density, do you think these are also 'old SEO' technique?
- Bold keyword
- Italic keyword

Really appreciate your efforts here. Looking forward to your next update.

I would think if we can write our content naturally without overly focus on specific keyword, the G algorithm will fall into place naturally.



:)
Joe
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Joe. It is funny. Back when David and I developed video games people always wanted to hang out with us because they thought of us as video game rock stars.

Now people want to hang out with David because he knows a lot about Google and some of the things they are working on that are not yet widely known. Now I see him as a Google rock star.

To answer your question... Yes. Both bold and italic keywords are old out-dated techniques. And as for my next update, I just published the first of two tutorials about an hour ago. See below.
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NWTDennis Premium
That sure is a catchy title Robert ...I Had Dinner With Google. Nothing stays the same at Google, but it's comforting that K&C&J as well as this great community will react to help us stay on the right path.

Wouldn't it be cool if Jaxxy could be upgraded to add a RankBrain like feature?
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boomergp08 Premium
Thanks Dennis. Kyle has often said that a catchy title will get more people to click on the link. It certainly does work.

It is good to know that what is being taught here at WA is pretty much what Google is looking for us to do with our website content. Just provide informative and conversational content.

During my first dinner with David he mentioned how Googlebot has become self-aware and after dinner last night I figured out that he was talking about the RankBrain AI and its relationship to Googlebot.
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JAustin66 Premium
Robert,

Love you dinners with Google posts. You are very complete yet to the point in your text. It is always good to have a "regular" person interpret what an programmer has to say. They are all so detailed, which makes them so valuable at what they do, but, it can be lost on us more "big picture" types.

I shall be looking forward tot you trainings, thank you for sharing.
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boomergp08 Premium
The one big important factor that I used to look for when I had to interview people to become a video game tester was, how articulate, detailed, thorough and simple can they explain a problem they encountered while playing a video game.

If a person cannot describe a complex situation in a simplistic way and yet be thorough in their explanation, they are not a good candidate to become a video game tester. Being really good at playing video games is not important.

Having nearly 30 years of experience approaching the explanation of complex situations and making them easier to understand, takes time and an attention to detail. This is why the majority of my tutorials are well thought out and simply explained.
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keishalina9 Premium
... hey, here's an idea for you... this was dinner #2 and another most helpful, informative session -- how about a regular series ... you know something like a syndicated show... this would give you a wonderful venue to connect regularly with your friend for chats & helpful hints for success... maybe monthly or bi-weekly or so... whatever works... (i did studio tv productions for awhile) ... hey, maybe even a 'talk show' so to speak... just some food for thought... all the best, cheerio... :)
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you but last night was the last night I will be having dinner with David for at least a few more years. Plus I wouldn't want to always pick his brain for info every time we meet.

You see, I live on the East Coast of the U.S. in NJ just minutes outside of New York City. David lives on the West Coast of the U.S. in Mountainview, CA.
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julesnp Premium
Hi Robert,
Very informative Post.
Thanks for sharing and looking forward to your future posts on the subject.
Have a great day.
Jules
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boomergp08 Premium
It was my pleasure Jules to share this information with you and the community. You have a great day too.
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ecomtom Premium
Thanks Boomer. Looking forward to your trainings. Tom
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Tom. The first one will be coming soon.
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RiaBatista Premium
Good to know. Can't wait for your next post.
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boomergp08 Premium
The first tutorial should be done in a day or two.
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WendaSue Premium
Thank you so much for the information. I look forward to your training. We are always learning new things. :)
All the best,
Wendi
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Wendi. It is true that we are always learning new things, which is why I wanted to ask David some SEO questions. Better to hear it from someone in Google than someone from the outside.
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luziaS Premium
Thank you for the information. I appreciate it.
Waenly!
LuziaS
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure LuziaS to share this information.
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MikaelM Premium
very interesting Rob. Looking forward to see your upcoming trainings.

Thanks,
Mikael
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Mikael. I should have the first one done in a day or two.
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crystalcl Premium
Very informative, thank you and am looking forward to the SEO trainings ahead...
Crystal
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Crystal. I should have the easier one done in a day or two. The more in depth one will take a little bit longer.
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DianneBee Premium
Good to know.

I've mentioned here before, my best ranking blog is one I wrote before I ever heard about keywords or ranking. I just wrote it, almost every day for a year.

Maybe I'll go back to that method...

But will look for your next posts!
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boomergp08 Premium
The reason it is probably ranking so well is because it contains information written in a conversational tone.

Every time you hear Kyle and others say to write your content naturally, that means to just write your content without worrying about using keywords.

Like I keep saying, Google does not rank your content based solely on your keyword. You get ranked for the entirety of your content.
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bpais1 Premium
Great stuff, Rob. I am the sponge ready to soak up all the Google info you can glean from your buddy.

Looking forward to the training!

Jim
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you Jim. The first tutorial will be done sooner because it is mostly information I have known already.

However the second tutorial is all new stuff, and the information in the first tutorial will be needed to implement the SEO factors in the second tutorial.

Plus I have a lot of notes that I took last night sitting in my iPad. I want to make sure I can relay that info in an easy as possible way so all can understand it.
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Sammy-B Premium
I like your dinners with Google, Rob, as we get treated to a really nice dessert - some delicious information.
Thanks for sharing, Rob!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Beate. I am glad you like the dessert menu. lol
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sgaitan1101 Premium
Great advice and info!
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you. Happy you liked it.
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AlenkaV Premium
Thank you for sharing the GoogleLatest with us!
What a cliffhanger - can't wait for the next post!
Best,
Alenka
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Alenka. There was just too much information to share in this blog post, so I will be creating two separate tutorials.
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baritonetom Premium
Wonderful information. I look forward to your coming posts.
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you. I hope to be posting again in the coming days.
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skmorrow Premium
This is great, thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to your training.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Steve. I hope to get the easier tutorial done in a day or two. The more in depth one may take a week.

I want to make sure it is clear enough from the notes I was taking last night at dinner.
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SeasideFunk Premium
Excited to hear more! Thank you!!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. I should have the first of the two tutorials done within the next day or two.
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