(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)
Hi, I’m Graeme, and I want to talk to you today about pattern matching and SEO. I’ve been quite interested in pattern matching as a concept over the past year or so, mainly from the point of view of Google’s search product being built upon pattern matching technology.
So when considering a web page from the point of view of what you can do proactively to help increase the usability of that page and drive conversions and from the point of view of visibility, of increasing the ranking position for that page with the ultimate end being to drive more people to the site who are going to convert more, I think there’s a number of angles that we can use pattern matching to help improve our pages. Then SEO is certainly taking on a defensive aspect from the point of view of ensuring your site doesn’t receive any kind of action from Google, whether it’s a manual penalty or whether it’s an algorithmic review. Ultimately, both are going to cause massive loss in organic traffic, which means less visitors, less conversions, and potentially more cost in that you’ll need to find other channels that require investment in to grow, to offset what you’ve lost.
So in terms of on page, I think we need to look at what we’re trying to target on the page and consider the themes and the keywords, the related phrases and look at those as hints to a pattern matching tool. We need to be giving as many hints — actually hints is a rubbish word — signals is a much better word. We need to be giving as many signals of relevance to a pattern matching tool as possible if we’re going to stand a chance of increasing our visibility through better rankings.
So you may start off with a theme before you actually find a keyword. But looking at the themes and what those subsets or subtopics or related themes is going to help to build out that page, because there is going to be merit in referencing those, and it may even give you ideas of more content that you can create on the site and build your site’s scope of relevance by having more content about more relevant things.
Google’s index is growing at such a rate that it’s getting more and more complex, and the pattern matching is a means of being able to get through that index quicker. The ultimate aim is that pattern match or the faith [they’re putting in it] is that the pattern matching is going to return a really good result for that user that’s using the search engine.
So if you have a keyword, make sure you’re looking at the related keywords, and I think that the auto suggest function in Google and the related terms at the bottom or related phrases at the bottom of the search engine result page are a great indicator of where you can take a keyword and then make sure that page is an authority on that particular keyword by referencing those other related terms. That keyword is going to exist in the past tense as well. It’s going to exist with different kind of appendages as well. So taking that approach is going to ensure that your page of content has a lot of signals for a pattern matching tool to come in, not the least that keyword as well. But that keyword needs to be seen as one big tick, but not all the boxes being ticked as well.
Defensively, as I said before, search engines now need to be ensured against from actions that are going to cripple your site. So you can think of pattern matching when you’re analysing the backlink profile of your site and looking for that kind of non-existent network of backlinks that are going to be harmful. They may not have any real relation to each other. However, looking in the domain links or SEO, those domains may not have any real relation to each other, but they will from a pattern matching point of view, because the likelier it is that those domains exist just for a link to live on. There’s no real user benefit of those domains and subsequently of those links, and, as a result, your site, your domain is going to be affected by having that relationship established via a link. So pattern matching comes into this again from the point of view of ensuring your site from any search engine action.
You can take this a step further, from a proactive point of view, off page, and that’s by using things like the site colon operator, related colon operator, looking for how the link graph or how the link graph might look in terms of where your site needs to relate to another domain by achieving a backlink and paying close attention to those related sites. Then within those sites, the pages that have the most kind of relevance to the particular theme or keyword that you’re targeting is going to give you the opportunity to reach out and build a relationship that’s going to end up with a backlink. Keep scaling that and you are going to be beefing up your own page signals with this authority that’s coming from relevant, authoritative of sites. The end result is going to be that the index is going to have this picture of your particular page that shows that on the page you’re talking about all the right things, and off the page you’ve got great links from authoritative, relevant sites saying that this page is a great asset. The end result is going to be better rankings.
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