Larry Kim: “Come with Me if You Want to Live”

Larry Kim gave five SEO strategies to survive SEO Judgement Day. How does he know all this? John Connor sent him back in time. And thank goodness he did. “Time travel is very tricky,” Larry said.

Basically when algorithms change, all the work you’ve put in is gone. BOOM! Millions of websites have been affected by algorithm changes in the past few years. So then what?

Google is based on heuristic algorithms. Everything is transitioning to a system powered by artificial intelligence, and Google isn’t alone. Machine learning systems are everywhere. RankBrain is the notion that query interpretation that changes rank. That means when someone searches for something, the search engine guesses what you’re looking for. Then the system determines if that was the right answer. What was the dwell time? Did the searcher click and bounce back? Did the searcher skip over the results? Or was that top result something the searcher clicked on and stayed on?

The definition of a “good” click-through-rate is changing. CTRs for the first couple results are trending higher, and the lower results are trending higher.

So what can marketers do? “Crush your auditions,” Larry said. Make searchers want to stay.

To do that, start by identify your donkeys. “It’s very difficult to know what your click-through-rate is for organic search,” Larry said. Download your query data and plot it against averages for your industry. Identify the low performers – your donkeys.

If you focus on those donkeys, you don’t have much to lose, but you could have a lot to gain. “You’re minimizing your risk because it was garbage to begin with,” Larry said.

From there, test. Try at least 10 different headlines. Test those headlines through AdWords. You can do that in cheaper markets, too, outside of the United States. Pick the winner and go with that. You can also test drive headlines on Facebook, because the same emotions that cause people to click a headline on a SERP will cause people to share something on Facebook.

  • How are unicorns pages born? They’re born of emotion. Emotion causes use to click and to share.’

Advertising affects organic traffic.

If you follow these tips, your brand will avoid Judgment Day. The presentation over, Larry awarded the audience with a “mission complete.”

“Come with me if you want to live,” Larry said. “I’ve always wanted to say that.”

Connect with Larry