Ep 043 – What Is Wrong With Google? With Special Guest Host Carrie Forrest

Carrie Forrest

  • What you’ve done with your site?
  • How you’ve grown your site?
  • What’s the most helpful bit of advice you’ve gleaned from this show?
  • What’s your best advice?

What’s going on with Google:

  • Great video on Moz discussing how BERT works.
  • People are claiming you can’t optimize for BERT.
  • The goal of BERT is to move toward natural language processing.
    • NLP is super stupid. It doesn’t work that well.
    • In a world of NLP, keywords are dead… sort of…
    • You might call this the contextual update.
  • Context is key. The future of SEO is contextual language. It is the epitome of writing for people not Google.
  • Bert was trained on Wikipedia. It used Wikipedia to learn context. Which is interesting. I would have some criticisms of that method.
    • BERT is very bad at negation since Wikipedia doesn’t have a lot of it. Moz discusses the example of “A Robin is a…” BERT predicts “bird.” But for “A robin is not a…” BERT also predicts bird.
    • I think that Wikipedia is going to biased BERT toward a certain writing style.
  • This changes the answer box for Google. The goal is to have Google begin answering questions through natural language processing. You will see Google give you “Yes” and “No” answers. You will see Google giving you approximations.
  • For the recipe space, Google may end up overreaching. We shall see.

The Mail Facebag

Kelli Shallal – hungryhobby.net

Facebag question here! Okay this question is kind of hard to explain but hang in there with me. How do you know what your blog is ready to rank, keyword wise? I was targeting keywords 2000-5000 in search volume. But then I listened to one TOC episode where you told the blogger she needed to shoot bigger and pick higher search terms to target. How do you know when you are ready to do that? Are you going by the size of the site (aka pageviews)? Are you going by the current ranking keywords and what their competitiveness/search volume is? If so, how high do you have to be ranking? If I’m 60th (just throwing out random numbers) for a term with a search volume of 20K, am I ready to “rank” for that level of terms? So now I can target other 20K level keywords? Or do I need to wait till I have something ranks on the first page of a certain level keyword before I target that keyword? Yes, I am curious from a content planning and growth perspective. But, I also use keyword research simple for naming a recipe I’ve already decided to do. From that perspective, picking the right search volume from a set of keywords is the idea. Thank you!

Jim Cheney – uncoveringpa.com

I’ve had an issue that’s been bugging me for a while now, and no one I’ve asked has had any idea what’s going on, so I thought I’d ask here.

Sometimes (but far from all the time), when I type a keyword into Google in incognito mode, my site returns with the title of the post exactly what I typed into Google.

It is usually a keyword I’m targeting, but it’s not specifically entered anywhere outside of the main text (like Yoast) and doesn’t appear like that in the title tag or in any other the other meta data as far as I can find.

I know Google is Google and will return whatever they want, but when I see other sites that have their titles tag being used and mine isn’t, I’m afraid that this is hurting my click-through rate. Any idea how to fix it?

Also, I should add, that sometimes I can type the same keyword in a bit later and get the full title tag being used, only to have it return to displaying this way a few days later, so it’s not always repeatable for the same article at any given time.

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