What The &%$! Do You Want From Me? (A Journey Into Google’s Mind)
Last Update: Nov 18, 2022
CHEEKY DISCLAIMER: For those of you wishing to view my content in video format, give it a month or so, I’m sure one of the “Super Affiliates”/”Expert Trainers” will REPURPOSE my content, while adding their own twist (Hahaha!! Don’t worry guys, still love you all, and I obviously understand how the internet works - what’s mine is yours!)
You find a longtail, low-competition, super easy to rank keyword (or have you REALLY?)
You plan what you’re going to write for your article.
You write the article and publish.
Can’t see anything.
Not a sausage.
Where the hell is my article?
I thought this was an easy to rank keyword?
Why is it not even featuring on the first 100 pages of Google?
What am I doing wrong?
Let’s find out.
A Quick “I’m Ranking” Lesson First
Do you mind if I deal with the “elephant in the room” first?
Basically, I’m seeing a lot of new members stating that they’re “ranking on page one of Google”.
The usual happens, “congratulations”, “well done”, “I’m so happy for you”.
And yet, no-one actually questions this.
I’m all for “being a nice person”, and offering “encouragement”, but I also prefer to help others in a practical way.
So, here’s the deal for all new members who are stating that they’re “ranking on page one of Google” in their first month or two…
Harsh? Possibly! True? Not Definite BUT Most Likely!
Okay, the thing that I am often seeing is this:
Your keyword is “How to Make Money Online”
Your article title is
“Partha’s Super Duper Guide on How to Make Money Online”
And what do you do?
You go to Google or Jaaxy rank checker and you type in for the FOCUS KEYWORD
“Partha’s Super Duper Guide on How to Make Money Online”
And you see you’re ranking number one!!!
How many people in the world do you honestly think would search for:
“Partha’s Super Duper Guide on How to Make Money Online”
I’ll tell you.
Because the vast majority of people in the world who are searching for “How to Make Money Online” will NEVER have heard of me.
Therefore, they WILL NOT type in the COMPLETE TITLE of my article.
So, by checking your “rankings” like this, the only thing you’re doing is giving yourself false hope.
ALWAYS check ranking for articles FOR THE ACTUAL KEYWORD YOU HAVE TARGETED.
This is also why I’m a huge fan of Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools because THEY ACTUALLY TELL YOU EVERY KEYWORD THAT AN ARTICLE IS RANKING FOR.
Plus, if you’re going to check your ranking, do so in a private browser or incognito tab.
Because your “normal” Google search will provide PERSONALIZED searches based on YOUR BROWSING HISTORY (unless you have this turned off in your browser under SETTINGS).
All this means is that Google wishes to provide you with the information they believe you will be interested in.
A good way for them to determine this is how often you visit a website.
Essentially, the more often you visit a website, the more Google will feel that it is one of your “favourites”, and will therefore PLACE IT AT THE TOP OF THE SEARCH RESULTS.
How often do you visit your OWN WEBSITE?
I’m guessing 100s of times a month.
Therefore, any searches you make in Google RELATED to topics on your website, you will OFTEN (not always) be shown at the top of the search results, especially if you have searched that term BEFORE.
As I say, it doesn’t always happen, but why take the chance?
Check rankings in a PRIVATE BROWSER.
Then again, just wait, and check Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools a month or two down the line to see your REAL RANKINGS for ALL THE DIFFERENT KEYWORDS that ONE article is RANKING FOR!
Lesson Over, let’s get to the good stuff!!
Give Google What They WANT
Okay, back to the point of this blog post, “How to Give Google What They Want”.
Now, something you’ll want to get into the habit of doing after you’ve found a decent keyword is to do some “competition analysis”.
Sounds impressive, right?
Let’s just break this down into easy to understand language.
Essentially, Google is telling you what they like to see for a particular keyword by the way they place the results on page one.
Plus, I don’t care what anyone says, but domain authority and backlinks still play a MASSIVE role in ranking.
In fact, after all these recent Google updates and traffic drops that MANY, MANY, MANY people in the industry have suffered (I’ve mentioned it many times now, ONE of websites lost 90,000 visitors PER MONTH and around $7,000 in income PER MONTH - Not nice, but my biggest two websites haven’t been affected, although that’s not to say that they won’t be in the future).
BUT, a lot of these lost rankings seem to have been replaced by very poorly written articles (400 words, no images, no videos, just a page full of ads and 400 words on the keyword topic) on websites with a BIG domain authority and a LOT of RELEVANT HIGH DOMAIN AUTHORITY BACKLINKS.
Authority clearly counts (even if the content is poor).
As I say, Google actually more-or-less tells you what they want.
So, a great way to discover this is to check out the first 3 results for a particular keyword.
And I’m going to show you EXACTLY how to do this now.
Let’s Do Some Competitor Analysis
Okay, let's go to the Google Search Bar and find a keyword.
For the purposes of this blog post I’M NOT going to find a decent rankable keyword.
That’s NOT the point of this blog post, plus I have written and published a fair few blog posts around my keyword research methods, so go check them out if you haven’t already.
This blog post will show how to do some very basic competitor analysis so that YOU CAN WRITE YOUR ARTICLE & GIVE IT THE BEST CHANCE OF RANKING FOR A PARTICULAR KEYWORD.
So, I go to the google search bar and simply type in (a question phrase)
WHEN SHOULD I
And then I let Google Autosuggest do its thing.
Let’s go with the top result here of
When Should I Prune Roses
Okay, what I generally do is to check the TOP 3 results.
As I’ve mentioned before, ranking on Google PAGE ONE is great and all, but in reality you want to be ranking in one of those top three spots.
The difference in traffic can be phenomenal.
In fact, a keyword that states it has 1,000 searches a month, the difference in traffic received for that keyword (based on past research) would approximately be:
310 visitors per month for ranking NUMBER ONE
29 visitors per month for ranking NUMBER NINE
Can you see how much difference there is for getting nearer to the top of the page?
So, as I say, I want to check the TOP 3 RESULTS and this will SHOW ME WHAT GOOGLE WANTS FROM MY ARTICLE AROUND THAT KEYWORD.
So, let’s look at the FEATURED SNIPPET FIRST
The website is Gardeners World.
It has a domain authority of 60, so this is an authoritative website.
Basically, once you’re above a DA (Domain Authority) of 30 you’re into the realms of decent authority, and this simply becomes more authoritative the higher the DA number (once again, check out my previously published WA blog posts which explain how to identify the DA of websites).
Okay, back to Gardeners World.
The domain also has a total of 205,360 backlinks pointing to it (other websites that have “linked” in some way to this website).
Next, the article has been “headed and subheaded” as follows:
ONE H1 tag (the TITLE, WordPress does this AUTOMATICALLY for you, so you never have to worry about adding an H1 tag to a blog post).
It also has ONE H2 tag.
And then FOUR H3 tags.
So, this basically tells me that the article has an introduction, one MAIN answer to the query, and then 4 different ways in which the query can be answered.
For this blog post, Gardeners World has settled on:
HOW TO PRUNE ROSES (H1 tag) as the MAIN subject of the blog post.
They then have the MAIN SUBHEADING (H2 tag) which is WHEN TO PRUNE ROSES (which is the MAIN SUBJECT OF THE KEYWORD QUERY).
Then they have FOUR MINI SUBSECTIONS which focus on PARTICULAR TYPE OF ROSES.
So, their “mini subsections” (H3 tags) cover:
MODERN SHRUB & ENGLISH ROSES
RAMBLING AND SPECIES ROSES
In other words, the featured snippet article is explaining WHEN TO PRUNE ROSES (which covers the keyword query)
Then to give their readers MORE VALUE they also provide details of WHEN TO PRUNE 4 DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROSES.
So, this now tells me that there is NOT ONE SPECIFIC ANSWER, and it depends on the species of rose.
Therefore, when I write my article, I too should cover when to prune DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF ROSES.
Next, the article has 4 IMAGES, all of which are directly below the H3 tags, and one MASSIVE Featured Image.
I’m not a fan, remember I always say that you want some information ABOVE THE FOLD (what the visitor can SEE WITHOUT HAVING TO SCROLL) that shows the visitor that they are in the RIGHT PLACE, so for me, you’ll want your featured image to be RELEVANT and perhaps even have some wording to SHOW YOUR VISITORS THEY’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE IMMEDIATELY. Having part of your introduction VISIBLE ABOVE THE FOLD can also help to achieve this.
So, once more a subject I have previously discussed, if you’re not already well-known or famous in your niche, GET RID OF YOUR MASSIVE HEADER IMAGES - this is the first thing visitors will see and it DOESN’T ANSWER THEIR QUESTION.
Trust me, about 70-80% of your visitors will leave the blog post within 2-3 seconds because THEY CAN’T SEE WHAT THEY WANT.
Okay, finally, the blog post has a total of 1,072 words.
So, nothing amazing, just simple facts and straight to the point.
You’ll also note that the blog post has internal links going to other articles on this website.
This gives visitors MORE RELEVANT INFORMATION if they’re looking to dig into this subject deeper.
Let’s look at the next ranking article for this keyword, the NUMBER ONE ranking article (don’t forget that a FEATURED SNIPPET is often referred to as GOOGLE RANKING POSITION ZERO).
Okay, Number One ranking article is written by GARDEN DESIGN.
Interestingly, its domain authority and backlink profile is greater, therefore it may not be as RELEVANT TO THE QUERY as the article at the top of the page.
GARDEN DESIGN is DA61 and has 452,270 backlinks.
Their article has ONE H1 tag (the title)
FOUR H2 tags (their subheadings)
ONE H3 tag (a mini subsection)
The subheadings are (H2 tags):
WHAT YOU’LL NEED (so this covers the equipment required to prune roses, so something to think about adding to my blog post on this keyword)
WHEN TO PRUNE ROSES (This article covers the different times to prune roses based on the AREA/ZONE and the SEASON of the year).
8 BASIC PRUNING STEPS (this is a step-by-step guide explaining HOW to prune roses)
Then you’ll notice a coloured block of content which links to ANOTHER WEBSITE on a similar subject.
In effect, this may well be a block of content which CONTAINS AN AFFILIATE LINK if people want to buy their rose seeds, etc.
Back to the H2 tags
So, you can create something like this yourself by going through the PEOPLE ALSO ASK section.
Basically, when answering the query “When Should I Prune Roses?” think of what OTHER QUESTIONS YOUR READER MAY HAVE.
This blog posts also discusses other rose varieties too including:
KNOCK OUT ROSES
The final “mini subsection” is a VIDEO which shows How to Prune Roses.
You can actually work out WHY this article is ranking below the other one.
This second article written by GARDEN DESIGN focuses much more on HOW rather than WHEN SHOULD.
Plus, the second article has 1,897 words.
So, the second article has MORE WORDS, a GREATER DOMAIN AUTHORITY, and MORE BACKLINKS
The reason it ranks BELOW the other article is that it is NOT AS RELEVANT TO THE SEED KEYWORD.
Article number one clearly FOCUSES ON ANSWERING THE QUERY.
Article number two has answered the query, but in a short section, while the rest of the article focuses MORE ON HOW TO PRUNE ROSE.
Remember what I always say, ANSWER THE QUESTION/QUERY.
Now, while article number two HAS DONE THIS, realistically they have done it in about 300-400 words, while the VAST MAJORITY OF THEIR ARTICLE IS ON A DIFFERENT QUERY.
Those 300-400 words are still good enough to tank very high, but just not good enough to claim the Featured Snippet.
You would then do exactly the same for the next (3rd) ranking article.
I won’t do that now, but I’ll give you the quick details here:
The article ranking 3rd on the page (so actually Google Position TWO - just to confuse you, LOL) is
DA71 and has 2,007 words.
So, a HIGHER AUTHORITY, MORE WORDS IN THE BLOG POST
A LOWER RANKING
Therefore, we can assume that article number 3 is LESS RELEVANT to THE ACTUAL SEARCH QUERY than the two articles ranking above it.
Are you starting to see how it can be possible to outrank high authority websites?
Are you starting to see how the number of words in an article doesn’t really make any difference?
Stick to the point people, and answer the query posed in your keyword.
Anyway, from doing this competitor research I know have the following information:
I need to discuss WHEN TO PRUNE ROSES FOR
Different varieties such as modern shrub, english roses, bush roses, rambling roses, climbing roses, rose hips, and knock out roses.
The TOOLS & EQUIPMENT required to get the job done.
I should also discuss when to prune roses in different countries, different zones, and even the different seasons.
So, I went to Wikipedia to find out more about this information.
I can see that the main two articles ranking for this keyword query have 4 images.
And one of the articles has a video, but it is NOT RELATED to WHEN to prune roses, but rather HOW to prune roses.
So, if I can find a YouTube video that discusses WHEN, then I’m already doing better than the other articles ranking at the top of page one.
I note that both articles have a fair few internal links to other RELEVANT (but slightly different) articles on their website.
I note that one of the websites also has an external (affiliate link), so if I can find something RELEVANT BUT ON A DIFFERENT TOPIC to WHEN should I prune roses then I can link to an EXTERNAL WEBSITE.
Perhaps, I can link to an affiliate program that provides “rose growing equipment” (whatever that is!!! Can you tell that I’m not really a gardener? LOL).
Next, I can see that one of the high ranking websites has an FAQ section, so perhaps I can include the same at the bottom of my article, and use the People Also Ask section to do this).
It’s also interesting to note that the top two ranking articles BOTH have FIVE subheadings and mini subsections.
Therefore, my article will ALSO have 5 different subheadings/sections
Finally, even though I’ve said it doesn’t really matter, I can see that the top three rankings articles for this query have
Realistically, to cover ALL the subjects I’ve mentioned above my article is easily going to be over 1,000 words.
And if I want to “mirror” the articles that Google LIKES and has ranked, I guess anywhere in-between 1,000-2,000 words is fine.
Can you see that I’ve gone quite broad on the word count here?
This takes the pressure of as I’m not aiming for anything specific, so I just write until I have ANSWERED THE INITIAL QUESTION
Use the information that I have found within the 3 top ranking articles (subheadings, topics of conversation, FAQs, images, videos, etc.).
How many words that takes, WHO CARES. But, I can work out that it’s going to be longer than the first article (1,072 words), as I have additional information I wish to cover.
I now know what GOOGLE WANTS, so let’s go and give it to them.
So, there you go!
A little bit of KEYWORD COMPETITION ANALYSIS.
FINDING OUT WHAT GOOGLE LIKES AND IS RANKING FOR A PARTICULAR KEYWORD.
Now, what you’ll notice by doing this is that you can actually STRUCTURE YOUR ARTICLE beforehand.
So, you know exactly what you need to cover.
You know approximately how many words it’s going to be.
You know how many subheadings GOOGLE LIKES.
You know how many images and videos the top ranking articles have.
You know that GOOGLE LIKES additional information (internal and external links, FAQ section).
So, what you waiting for Tiger?
Go get to analysing your keywords, the competition, and especially the TOP 3 RESULTS.
You now know what GOOGLE LIKES & EXACTLY HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR ARTICLE & EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO WRITE ABOUT.
How simple is that?
Thank You For Reading
Good morning Partha,
Thank you for another excellent article, as usual! I hope you're doing well.
I'm glad that you mentioned about the ranking on page 1 that I regularly see on the platform. I do sometimes mention it to people, but I don't often receive a response. As you mention, it's not good to disappoint, but we have to be honest with ourselves. I also mention checking in a private browser.
Google search console is a really great tool, it really does give the user some great information.
I really appreciate your detailed article Partha, you definitely know your stuff! I put you on the same wavelength as my Webmaster in the US, who is very knowledgeable and helpful!
Have a great Sunday.
I tried explaining to this newbie, who's been here six weeks, that it's impossible for him, as a brand new site, to rank on Google's first page following the low-hanging fruit keywords in Jaaxy. He kept bragging and mansplaining to me how he ranked and would rank quickly for the keyword he was using. He cheated by using his keywords, duh. I can see that a mile away. I saw the same thing you saw. I do not trust his credibility. Let him brag. I believe in evidence. He did not prove it with a screenshot, so I rest my case.
I am with you, Partha. I agree. I wrote some critical notes and saved this blog for further reading. I am working on my site. My new site has a demo theme. I have to clean up and remove everything, then get it going. I will follow this method.
Yep, I know exactly who you're talking about.
Now, here's something, the problem with people who are not that intelligent, BUT THINK THEY ARE, that also lack humility and sincerity, is that they typically leave a trail, from which is quite obvious that they are lying and don't know what they're talking about.
The fact that this person has TWO completely different "start dates" for their internet makerting career, three years apart, shows that something's not right.
The fact that this person has "apparently" been in this business for either 16 or 19 years, and yet after going through JUST the first 10 lessons of Bootcamp training (and nothing against Kyle or the training by me saying this), and then they say they "have learned so many things they never knew before"...
You've been in this business for at least 16 YEARS and yet you "learned so many new things" from the "FIRST 10 LESSONS"?????
Please explain to me what the hell you've been doing for those previous 16 years!!!
To be honest, I very, very rarely dislike someone, and I always give people more than one chance, but I see absolutely NOTHING postive about this person.
This will make you laugh:
I mentioned to Old Fluff the other day that often we as people tend to dislike other people because subconsciously the things that annoy us about them are often negative traits about OURSELF!!!
We both commented that ths person is arrogant, opinionated, and talks far too much for their own good!!
That'll be ME then!!!!
I've also checked the person's website, and every article is VERY BROAD, there is now way on this EARTH that ANYTHING on that website will rank for AT LEAST 24 months!!
Plus, this person seems focused on "sharing their knowledge", in fact I started to refer to them as "Mr. SEO 2010", as the information they provide is laughable!!!
Oh well, I give them about 6 months, and if they don't completely change their attitude to LIFE IN GENERAL, well they're never going to achieve much ever.
You hit the nail on on the head. I do not need to say anything more. Let them find out the hard way. Meanwhile we continue to focus on the teaching tools you taught that work. That's the bottom line.
Pretty awesome, as usual!
The way you put your ideas into words... is almost exquisite!
A true GIFT!
Even though "part of this" seemed like a super detailed text REPURPOSED Version of a PP Video Class from earlier this week! 😎
Cheers to your truly helpful content!
Cheers Pedro, appreciate it.
That's actually a Good Thing!!
It's shows that the Premium Plus Expert Trainer and I are on the same page, always great to know, LOL.
Ah, experts, now I see. But you are not that PP, you are the other PP (Prince Partha), this is what confused me. So how could you have repurposed the class as he says? Still confused.
Earlier this week I assisted live to a class where Eric talked about types of keywords, keyword research, checking the competition in the Serps, etc.... All that before writing the content,
So that was my reply to
@ParthaB and his disclaimer!
In other words... Just messing around with the Prince! 😈
I actually KNEW you were going to say Eric.
And personally I believe that Eric and I are very much on the same page... we're both "learners" and "doers".
We see something, study it more in-depth, actually TAKE ACTION and then work on refining the process!!
No wonder you placed him #1...
... Maybe I was just compelled by how you organized your Expert Trainers List!
Thank you for this, Partha!
I know you've touched on this before, but with Google's helpful content update, how important is it to have the exact keyword in the intro, subheading and conclusion?
I know it's important to answer the question and write for our readers, so I'm wondering if having exact keywords is still relevant, if we are writing on the subject.
I have to be 100% honest and say I don't know, as at the moment it's difficult to know EXACTLY what Google wants. She's like a hormonal teenager!!! LOL!!
So, while you wait things out you continue doing the things you always were, but with more focus on humanizing it.
This is also why I think it's great if your keyword is a question, as you can make that the majority of your TITLE.
Let's look at an example.
Your keyword is
Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?
Now, take that keyword and paste it into the google search bar and press enter.
Then place your cursor anywhere in the middle of that sentence (Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?) in the Google Search Bar.
This will reveal relevant and related searchers.
Quite often you'll see shorterned version of the question.
So, let's say
Dog Stares at Me
This is actually the type of keyword that a keyword tool, such as Jaaxy, would give you.
In effect, you could almost say that this is my target keyword.
However, I found the question keyword
Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?
due to the way I do keyword research.
It's likely I went to the Google Search Bar and typed in:
Why Does Dog
And then I just let Autosuggest & Alphabet Soup do it's thing.
So, for this keyword(s) Here's how I would structure my title and the beginning of my introduction.
Why Does My Dog Stare At Me? (5 Pooch-Gawking Facts)
I have to share this with you, but I actually find it quite unnerving when my dog stares at me.
Now, don't get me wrong, we both clearly adore each other.
However, for some unknown reason, my little Kyle (Hahaha!! Sorry!) will just sit there glaring at me.
So here, I haven't used the EXACT QUESTION KEYWORD IN THE INTRODUCTION, but it is OBVIOUS when read in conjunction with the TITLE.
In effect, I have used the QUESTION KEYWORD that I found when doing my ORIGINAL AUTOSUGGEST RESEACH AND I have also used the "RELATED & RELEVANT" KEYWORD I found when I CLICKED THE CURSOR IN THE SEARCH BAR.
That's just HOW I WOULD DO IT.
There will be MILLIONS who disagree with me, and say that you have to use the EXACT keyword, and some people will even say you have to include any STOP WORDS (a, the, is, are), in both the title and the "first 160 characters"
They would also probably say that my title is too long.
But, if I did all that, this is what things would look like.
Why Does My Dog Stares at Me?
So, you want to why does my dog stares at me?
Well, it just so happens....
I'm going to take a wild guess (and that's all it is really... but based on a little bit of experience) and say that in 2022, BOTH Google and your readers would prefer option 1.
Hahahahahaha!!! Did I just waffle on for ages while avoiding the actual question? LOL!!
I forgot to say that in my "option 1" example you'll notice that I've also used relevant words/phrases too, I guess that many people would refer to these as "LSI keywords", but this solidifies what the article is about without using EXACT keywords.
Pooch = dog
gawking = stare
glaring = stare
my little Kyle = dog
So, these in addition to my title and first paragraph really drives homw to Google the TPOIC of the article.
Google can then decide which various keywords they'll rak you for (this is also why you'll often rank for keywords that you hadn't considered before).
PP, your comment to Jenny28 reminds me of Portent Idea Generator. I decided to play with this search the title “wacky affiates,” (this is your term for WA). Different ideas pop up with some hilarious titles for a blog post that Google won't recognize.
Here are some titles: Haha funny
Darth Vader’s Guide to Wacky Affiliates (this matches you haha evil grin)
How Wacky Affiliates Saved the World (how about that- haha)
What the Experts Prince Partha and Old Fluff are Saying About Wacky Affiliates ( I just had to stick that in haha)
12 Myths Prince Partha Uncovered About Wacky Affiliates
Discover How to Fight the Rock Using Wacky Affiliates Without You Needing a Lawyer.
All.of this is from Portent Idea Generator. Some of those are so funny 😄 . Would Google rank those? She would be 😡 mad eh?
See more comments
I HOPE that’s me you’re referencing in your cheeky disclaimer cuz I’ve thrown lotssssss of love your way mentioning you and your insight in my expert classes 😂 I’ve even taken the time in classes to show how to use the smart search to find your WA blog posts so they can deep dive further so YOU’RE WELCOME hahaha
But seriously, just like you I’ve seen many of the “hey I’m ranking at #1 on google” posts, and for the most part I’ll bite my tongue, cuz, hey, it’s not totally impossible, right… buuuut if they do happen to show a screenshot and it’s clearly visible that their google search was, in fact, the EXACT URL of their post instead of their focus keyword, wellllllll, I’ll politely explain that’s not how it all works.
Another solid post with lots of great insight Partha. 👍🏼 Look for it in my new upcoming Expert Class series “ What The &%$! Do You Want From Me, Google? ” hahaha 😎👍🏼💯
SCROLL Eric, Scroll my brother!!!
I've given you a HUGE amount of Love in the replies to a couple of comments!!
I believe it was Pedro.
Something along the lines of "The reason that a lot of what Eric and I say is similar is because I think we're both on the same page. Both Learners and Doers. So, we're always coming up with different ways of doing things and we typically appreciate someone else who's also on-point".
I'm gonna upgrade to PP on BF JUST to heckle you!!! LOL!!
Cheers Man (I'm a BIG fan!!!)
Haha nothing but love brotha!