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SEO Insights You Can Achieve Just By Googling

I read a lot. It’s part of the job, when you’re a content producer that writes for sites as varied and different as the clients of Net Profit Marketing are. You have to get to know several unique markets, and that takes some truly fun research. One of the things I’ve learned a lot about is how to use Google to produce some truly fascinating insights. Here’s a couple I stumbled on recently:

Inurl:blog SEO -Content
Set your Search tools “Any Time” dropdown to ‘Last Month,’ and type the above line into Google.  Now, in a separate window, try the same search without the “-content.” Click back and forth between those two windows for a moment and just look at the profound difference in quality between the two sets of results.

On the page where you allow the word ‘content,’ you have thought leaders like SEOMoz, KISSMetrics, and Neil Patel (Quicksprout.) On the page where you disallow the word, you have…TrafficTravis? These aren’t one-off solopreneurs here, but they definitely aren’t the kinds of well-known industry captains that you get otherwise.

So what’s the insight?  Simple: SEO is content-dependent. And that’s true. On-page SEO, off-page SEO, every single kind of SEO in the modern Internet is dependent on having top-tier content on your site, your owned media, and beyond.

SEO Black Hat -blackhatworld
In this search, comparing timeframes can give you a huge epiphany. Look at the amount of mentions all-time, vs. the amount of mentions in the last year. (You have to click on the page bar at the bottom and get to around page 13. You’ll see that Google has omitted entries very similar to the ones displayed — when I did it, I got 365.)

Compare that 365 to the, lessee…1.84 million results all-time, and you can start to get an idea of what I’m talking about. Of those 1.84 million results, 1.8399 million of them came from between February of 2014, and May of 2006 (the first occurrences of the term according to Google Trends.) In other words, 99.99% of all results came in the 8 years between 2006 and 2014 — and then in the 1 year after that, only that insanely miniscule 365 results trickled in.

So what’s the insight? Pretty obvious: Google has effectively killed black-hat SEO. And that’s true. The Panda and Penguin updates (mostly Penguin) have made black-hat SEO an almost entirely unprofitable exercise.

Basically, any time you hear someone making a claim — be it “Guest blogging is dead,” or “There’s no value in .edu backlinks,” or whatever — you can probably come up with a pretty decent Google search that will prove or disprove it for you. It’s just a matter of being clever about how you search. Good luck!

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