What is Google’s Rank Brain all about?

In 2013 the world first heard about the concept of Rank Brain, which is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that Google was developing to make search engine technology smarter. It was officially put into use in 2015 and since then has been getting smarter with each and every search.

That’s the thing about AI, the more you use it, the more it learns.

Right now, Google uses hundreds of ranking singles, to determine what web pages come up when a person searches for a specific thing.

Some of these things are simple like does the search term appear in the HTML title tag? Does the search term appear in the body of the page? Does the page in question use header tags that feature the search term?

However, the three most important are PageRank, RankBrain and the content itself.

What exactly how does RankBrain work? Well from what I can gather after listening to Google talk about it, is that it is mainly used as a way to interpret the searches that people submit to find pages that might not have the exact words that were searched for.

When you search for “Apple” are you talking about Apple the technology company or are you referring to the fruit?

While Google previously had technology that could help with this problem, RankBrain does it better and it continues to get better at it each and every day, with each new search a person makes. That’s the beauty of technology that learns. The more people that use it, the more it learns to give people what they want.

A few years ago, people laughed when it was revealed that Google engineers were using romance novels to teach its artificial intelligence systems to better understand how people communicate. In all Google fed it 2,865 romance novels.

Yet when that same AI brain learned how to write its own romance novel, people were stunned. The world didn’t think it was possible that a computer could actually write fiction.

Of course, that wasn’t the goal. What they were trying to do is make a computer known for its stuff, factual style, to be more conversational.

The better we teach Google’s AI to communicate like we human’s do, the more it will know what we mean, truly mean and that means it will return better search results.

In other words, it will know instinctively if we mean by “apple”.

Something interesting to note was that RankBrain does all of its learning offline. It’s learning is done based on batches of historical searches and then learns to make predictions from those.

Once those predictions are tested and proven to return positive results, then the Google engineers push the latest version of RankBrain to the live servers and the learning process begins again.

Google processes over 40,000 searches every second of every day. That means that every day, RankBrain has an opportunity to learn over 3.5 billion things from us and be all that much smarter the next time we search.

 

Do business reviews really matter?

As an author I learned long ago the importance of a good book review on Amazon. But what about business reviews, do they really matter?

YES. Let me repeat that so you are sure to hear me — HELL YES THEY MATTER.

When you Google your business to the right your business entry comes up and that is where your reviews are shown.

lvt

Consumers see online reviews almost every time they search. So yes, they are important. But more important than most people realize.

Simply put, more reviews = more traffic from search engines.

The more positive reviews you have on both Google and Facebook, the better your SEO results will be.

Positive business reviews legitimize a business and that makes Google happy.

So how do you get them? Well according to a recent survey, 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked.

It really is that simple. When a customer is checking out, thank them for doing business with you and ask them to Google your company and post a review.

Other interesting insight from the survey about business reviews ….

  • 90 percent of consumers read just 10 reviews or fewer before they feel that they can trust a business (vs. 87 percent in 2015).
  • 32 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading one to three reviews.
  • 68 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading one to six reviews.
  • 68 percent of people say positive customer reviews make them more likely to use a local business.
  • 83 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation — if they meet their requirements (vs. 80 percent in 2015).
  • Just 16 percent of consumers surveyed said that they don’t trust online reviews (vs. 20 percent in 2015).
  • Authenticity is essential — over a quarter of consumers trust reviews more than personal recommendations only if they believe the review to be genuine.
  • After reading positive reviews, 54 percent of consumers will visit the business’s website (48 percent in 2015).
  • 19 percent will visit the business directly.
  • 17 percent will search for additional reviews about the business.

Anyway, the main point is this … if asked, approximately 70 percent of consumers will leave a review for a business.

So start asking every customer you do business with to Google your company name and then leave a review or to post a review on Facebook.

It’s great for your SEO and that will bring you even more business!

A simple review not only refers others to do business with you, but it gives you a bonus of free traffic (free advertising) from search engines.

Wouldn’t you like more customers without having to pay money in advertising to get them?

Then remember that next time a customer is in your store. Thank them for doing business with you and then ask for that review!

 

Weeding Out SEO Myths

I once had a client, bless his little heart who was absolutely obsessed with quoting things he heard about SEO from various sources and would spout them as if they were the word of God.

“Well I heard”, “So and so said”, “Didn’t you know”. These were things I heard all the time and would cringe when he would start a sentence off like that.

The bitch in me wanted to say, well if know everything, why in the world did you need to hire me?

Of course I would never say that and instead I work tirelessly with him to teach him the difference between people who talk out their ass as if they know things and about blowhards who sometimes just flat out make shit up, I can only assume for the pure pleasure of seeing how many people they can convince their lies are real.

It took several months but by the time I finished the project we were able to get his traffic up more than 250% and improve his sales ratios drastically. And I did using real SEO techniques, not something that someone’s cousin’s brother told them. But the most important thing I taught this client was to stop listening to random people about SEO tips, especially if it’s from sites like GFY.

Which leads me to the point of this particular post … just because someone tells you something it doesn’t make it true.

I could tell you that the sky is purple and that the grass is orange but that doesn’t make it true. That’s obvious right? Yet so many people are willing to believe anything anyone tells them on the internet about SEO. Why?

I have a policy in regards to my SEO advice … if I haven’t seen it with my own eyes then it’s not true. I spend a lot of time and money researching search engine optimization and so that’s easy for me to say and obviously I can’t expect every person to do the same, but what I do want each and every one of you to remember is that just because some guy posts something on some random message board or blog, doesn’t mean it has one iota of truth to it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that just because something was true one day doesn’t mean it’s true today. So sometimes people will tell you something that really was true, but today it’s irrelevant or even worse, harmful.

Sometimes people pass on false information without even realizing they are doing it, so I’m not saying all people who tell you made up things about SEO are bad – sometimes they just don’t know better. They heard the false information elsewhere and it sounded legit to them so they passed it on.

I hear quite often that the more times someone LIKES a post you make or LIKES a Facebook LIKE button you put on you website, the better results it will get in search engines.

While it is true, social networking is a valuable part of your overall marketing plan and it does play into the big picture, especially when it comes to factors like social authority but in the end, it doesn’t matter if you get 500 likes or 5 million because Google doesn’t have access to that information so therefore they can’t use it to help or hinder your efforts.

Social networking is very important in terms of certain aspects of SEO but not everything you do on your social networking sites matter. And just so we are clear here, 417 people clicking LIKE on your website, doesn’t matter in regards to SEO. 417 people linking to your site does.

Google has said that right now they are treating Facebook and Twitter like any other website so if you create a post that has a link to your website and 417 people share it on their own timelines, that does help you because now 417 people have shared a link to your website. Now the catch to that is, it only helps you if the information posted is considered public and Google can access it. If people have their timelines set to private then it doesn’t really help you that much.

Did you know that your social networking sites have pagerank just like websites do? As I said before, that’s because Google has said they treat Facebook and Twitter like any other website. So if websites have a page rank, why wouldn’t your Facebook page as well?

My Facebook profile is a PR2 and my Twitter profile is a PR3. Vicky Vette’s twitter page is a PR5, while Sunny Leone’s is a PR4. I’m not sure why Sunny Leone’s is lower than Vicky Vette’s since she has so many more followers than Vicky Vette does but that’s how it worked out.

Public page rank is no longer available so I can’t re-run the numbers to see what they are now that Sunny Leone has passed more than a million followers on twitter. 🙁

The basic concept is the same for any other website as it is for your social networking profiles … the more people link to them, the higher page rank they will be and that means the more trust Google has in them.

Anyway the point I’m trying to make is that sometimes you just need to use your brain. If something doesn’t sound right to you, then it’s probably not true. If something does sound great, don’t just assume it is true … look into it. Talk to experts or people you know and trust and see what they think because you invest a lot of time into your website and I would hate to see you waste time working on something that didn’t do anything for you.

 

 

Let’s talk about quality traffic

Google now handles trillions of searches per year. Just ten years ago they processing about 73 billion a year. What a difference a decade can make.

  • Searches per second: Atleast 63,000
  • Searches per minutes: Atleast 3.8 million
  • Searches per hour: Atleast 228 million

So why does all of this matter to you? Because today we are going to talk about the quality of the traffic to your website.

Let’s say you run a website dedicated to Alexis Adams (like me). You want to get traffic to your site so you post video clips on tube sites, because hey, tube sites have tons of traffic, so why not, right?

Well in theory that may sound like a good idea but is it really? I mean if the point of your site is to make money, then why do you want to attract a bunch of traffic that is only looking for free porn?

People call tube traffic shit for a reason. If someone wants free porn, why would you want them at your site? You want visitors that want to spend money so that you can make money.

So what makes search engine traffic so much better?

If you are looking for a pair of red high heels, you go to Google and type in red high heels and then get your search results, right? You get what I mean? It means that the people who find your site via search engines are specifically looking for what it is you have to offer.

That makes it high quality, targeted traffic. If you provide them with exactly what they are looking for, and it’s a quality product then you have a much better chance of getting that guy to spend money at your site (or click on one of your advertisers and spending money there).

My friend runs a membership website and gets his traffic exclusively from tube sites. He currently converts at a rate of about 1:11,200. That means that out of every 11,200 visitors who visit his website from a tube site, one joins.

My porn star websites get more than 80% of all of their traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. When I send traffic over to Vivid, it converts at around 1:150 (right now – as of May 2016).

So which sounds better to you 1:150 or 1:11,200?

So now don’t you think it’s time to start learning more about SEO? While it’s not easy to get a lot of search engine traffic, it’s worth getting every single visitor you can from Google.

Google officially ends all public PageRank

In 2014 I wrote about the end of Page Rank … well, make that public page rank. It was the final time Google would update Page Rank in a way that would allow us, the public to know what a site, any site’s page rank was.

That of course didn’t mean Page Rank was dead. In fact it’s the most important part of search engine rankings with Google. The only thing that was going away at that time, was the public’s knowledge of the updates.

Fast forward two years and they’ve finally put the final nail in the coffin. Now not only do they no longer update page rank publicly, they are now resetting all public page ranks from their past records to zero.

For the last two years I could look up the page rank of a site and it would return the page rank as of the last 2014 update. But as of now, that’s no longer the case as every site was set at zero.

If you aren’t familiar with what page rank is, you need to be. Because if you want to improve your SEO you need to understand how important it is to your website.

PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank was named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google.

PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.

The idea is that information on the web could be ordered in a hierarchy by “link popularity”: a page is ranked higher as there are more links to it.

This removal of public PageRank scores isn’t a surprise. Google told us they would be removing PageRank scores from the Google Toolbars last month … and now my friends, it seems to be gone forever.

The problem with this is, Google PageRank is a tool that someone could use to measure the success of their SEO efforts. It was also something you could use to set your advertising rates as well as your resale value of your website. In the past, a PR9 website would be worth WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY more than a PR2 website. Now though, people can’t use that metric to value their website and this makes things a little more complicated when trying to buy and sell websites.

Sure people call still look at things like their MOZ or Alexa rankings but those can be manipulated and aren’t always all that accurate.

It’s for this reason that people are sad to see the end of public PageRank.

 

 

Goodbye PageRank …. Hello Secret PageRank

For awhile now people have been speculating the end of Google’s PageRank system. This week Google’s John Mueller said Google probably won’t update Toolbar PageRank ever again. But does that really mean PageRank is gone forever? Not hardly. In fact, we have already been told time and again that Google uses an internal version of PageRank and their entire search engine is built around it.

First let’s define it. PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank was named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites. PageRank was developed at Stanford University by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996 as part of a research project about a new kind of search engine. Sergey Brin had the idea that information on the web could be ordered in a hierarchy by “link popularity”: a page is ranked higher as there are more links to it.

So do you really think they are going to ditch something named after the founder of Google as well as the system that their entire search system is built around? Of course not! Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t pay close enough to what Google engineers have been telling us for years.

So why ditch the toolbar PageRank then? You know, the little PR0 – PR10 system we normal folks used to judge the value of our website on? Simply put, because far to many people were using Toolbar PageRank to try and abuse the system and manipulate search results. Instead of focusing on quality, unique content (which Google wants you to focus on) people obsessed about getting more links. So for them the easiest way to combat that is to ditch the public version of the product.

Not much is known about the internal version of the PageRank system but some rumors and tiny tidbits of information have leaked over the years. Unlike what we know as the toolbar pagerank system which is updated a few times a year, Google’s private PageRank is updated at least once every week (possibly as much as twice a week).

The old toolbar PageRank system was based on a 0 to 10 point system so for example a website could be a PR0 up to a PR10. But the Google internal or secret version is said to be up to a point system of 0 to 200 and can include any number in between. So for example, a site could be 43.00 or 93.19. Heck in theory a site could even be .00001 or 99.062247.

We really don’t know what the PageRank of a given site is at any given moment but what we do know is that it changes often. How often varies depending on who you ask. Some say every 7 days, while others say twice in a week, while others say it could change just slightly every single day. The current theory by most experts at this time is that the Google “secret” PageRank is updated once a week. Google is in a constant state of flux. It’s spiders never sleep. It is not only out there indexing all those new pages that appear each and every day but also all the changes to the current pages that are already in its database. We know that its spider does a quick sweep daily but then it will come back and do a more in depth one later on if it finds changes, and some say it is those more serious sweeps of a site is what plays into the secret PageRank update. But again we really don’t know for sure.

Like the toolbar PageRank the internal Google PageRank system is said to be based on total backlinks as well as the authority of those backlinks. So basically from what the rumors are, the internal PageRank system as Google worked just like the other version when it comes to getting backlinks. The more you have the better, but a single link from a higher PageRank’d website means more than a bunch of links from a lesser PageRank’d website. That’s exactly how it worked before and that’s exactly how it still works now. The only difference is, now you have no freaking clue what your Google PageRank is and that’s just the Google spam team likes it.

Now you have less and less people out there buying and selling links because they don’t *SEE* the value. It’s no longer right in front of their face. It’s not to say that value is no longer there, but most people want to SEE what they are paying for so since they can’t do that anymore, the buying links market has really started to take a huge nosedive and no doubt the fine folks over at Google couldn’t be happier about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true

I was once given some very valuable advice, that literally changed the way I approached everything I do in business. The advice was “just because someone said something, doesn’t make it true”. And that most especially applies to the web and SEO.

Even if the person in question is a so called expert. There are any of a variety of reasons why you shouldn’t always believe everything you here.

  • Sometimes people lie. Most especially in our business.
  • Sometimes people heard it from someone else and they heard it wrong or are perhaps missing part of the information.
  • Sometimes the information has changed. So what they told you may have been true before that isn’t the case anymore.
  • Sometimes people are just jackasses and they feel better about themselves if they tell you something you believe. Even if they didn’t really know the answer but hey it sounded good, right?
  • Sometimes information may be true for them for one reason or another, but may not be true for you.

When I stopped taking everything everyone told me at face value, especially in terms of SEO and started doing the research myself I was blown away at the little insightful tidbits that would come to me.

When people tell me things like “but everybody says”, I just smile and say thank you. Because to me it doesn’t really matter what “everybody” says.  I like to do the research and find out for myself. Maybe in the end “everybody” was right about whatever it was I am researching but in the process of trying new things, I could stumble upon something else all together, something I might not have found had I had no been doing the work myself.

It was recently revealed that a so called industry marketing expert that people like XBIZ put on panels to speak and educate the rest of us poor dumb folk, did all of his research by seeing what others had to say. So when his clients hired him to do work or ask him about marketing he would simply relay advice he learned from others.

Kind of sad huh? I mean who is to say that advice is legit? And companies like XBIZ put him on panels and invite him to host seminars to teach the rest of us. Seriously? I can’t tell you how much I lost respect for XBIZ over that one. But that’s another story for another day.

Sometimes you just can’t go with what other people tell you. Just because someone says the sky is purple, doesn’t make it so. Even if that person telling you is a leading industry expert with their own website and everything.

I’m not saying you don’t need to include what other people say as part of your own research. Heck I attend SEO and marketing classes all the time, still, even after being around since 1996. I’m just saying, don’t take everything everyone says as gospel. Unless you have done the research yourself or have seen it with your own eyes, don’t believe it.

Some experts may tell you that the best color for a join page is pink and purple. And hey, maybe for them that really is true. But how do you really know that is true for you, unless you test it out for yourself. Maybe your traffic is quite different than theirs and as a result black and red works better for you. Maybe pink and purple really is the best color, but the point is, you won’t ever really know unless you test it out for yourself.

Stop just taking people’s words for things.

Stop listening to these dumb asses that companies like XBIZ.com promotes as experts and puts on their panels. Because trust me when I say, they are no more than expert then you or my left toe are. They only got on the panel as an expert because they asked to be so or in some cases paid for that spot.

Of course it’s okay to look to others when you need help but just remember you don’t have to believe everything people tell you. Even if it sounds totally legit, take anything that anyone in our industry says with the grain of salt.

Example … someone told me they were THE leading expert in SEO. Now if you think about that statement, that’s some pretty big claim. He said he could help me with one of my sites for just a little bit of money, which turned out to be $10,000. He sent me a list of computer generated stats about the problems with the site in question to make it seem like he knew what he was talking about.

So I said, okay show me one of your sites. Since you are such an expert, surely you can show me something you’ve done before. He said something like how his client list is confidential but how in the past he has worked for this company and that company and I could ask this guy from GFY or xbiz or that guy because he knows him.

I wrote him back. So let me get this straight. You claim to be the leading expert in SEO and you don’t have a single website for yourself? Why would you not use this knowledge you have for yourself and make millions? I get you are busy with helping others but I mean come on? Who in their right mind would pass up on the millions of dollars you could be making if you were truly such an expert?

He wrote me back. Because I care about my clients more than I do myself. I just don’t have the time to spend on my own stuff.

Well that leads me to two points. #1 If you are so busy how in the world would you have time for little ‘ole me and #2 if you were making your clients so much money with your services how could not a single one of them snap you up and bring you on full time? That just doesn’t seem logical to me.

Much to no ones surprise, he stopped emailing me. LOL

Now here is the important part of this story. This person is promoted in our industry as an “expert” and he has all his little buddies on the industry message boards saying just as much.

If a person were to take what he said at face value they would be out a lot of money because the only thing he seems to really know how to do is setup email lists and copy and paste a bunch of reports from various SEO tools websites. He claims to have a waiting list that is months long and yet he somehow still has the time to spend hours a day on various industry message boards instead of actually doing any work for those supposed clients.

So consider today’s boring and long post a lesson learned in life  …

Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true