I Had Dinner With Google Again - Info on Rankings

Last Update: Mar 16, 2019

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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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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

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Recent Comments


Thank you for the information. I appreciate it.

My pleasure LuziaS to share this information.

very interesting Rob. Looking forward to see your upcoming trainings.


You are welcome Mikael. I should have the first one done in a day or two.

Very informative, thank you and am looking forward to the SEO trainings ahead...

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.

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!

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.

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!


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.

I like your dinners with Google, Rob, as we get treated to a really nice dessert - some delicious information.
Thanks for sharing, Rob!

You are welcome Beate. I am glad you like the dessert menu. lol

Great advice and info!

Thank you. Happy you liked it.

Thank you for sharing the GoogleLatest with us!
What a cliffhanger - can't wait for the next post!

You are welcome Alenka. There was just too much information to share in this blog post, so I will be creating two separate tutorials.

This is great, thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to your training.

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.

Excited to hear more! Thank you!!

You are welcome. I should have the first of the two tutorials done within the next day or two.

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