Rhinoplasty Plano SEO experiment in 2020

Feb 19th 2020 | Schieler Mew | Technical SEO

Takeaway: It is important to understand how Google views your keyword, phrase, or topic as a whole before attempting to rank a website or page for it; in this case Rhinoplasty Plano. This will allow you better success in your technical strategies for optimization of search, rather than going through multiple iterations. 

In 2018, Steven Kangs Facebook group called “SEO Signals Labs” held a 30 day SERP rank challenge where contestants were given the task of ranking a website for the keyword phrase “Rhinoplasty Plano”.

The results were astonishing to most in the SEO community as they realized the contest exposes a weakness in Google’s algorithm, due to one of the top competitors, Kyle Roof, ranking his entry website with only the use of Lorem Ipsum text.

Note: More can be found from Roger Montti about the SEO experiment Rhinoplasty Plano at Search Engine Journal

Almost two years later, after analyzing what we now know about entities, search phrases and topical alignment – we can ascertain upon re-examination that there was most likely never a weakness in Google’s algorithm, just an opportune advantage for optimizers of search engines.

Allow us to explain.

Understanding the search intent of Rhinoplasty Plano

In 2018, Google was most likely only breaking ground on topical understanding and entities. It takes a very large database and a lot of computing power to discern how certain words, ideas and even concepts connect to one another from the standpoint of indexation.

Thus, it has always been easier for Google to understand prepositional phrases with the ability to truncate prepositions. 

What does this mean and how does it apply to Rhinoplasty Plano.

Let’s do a little experiment.

Head over to Google right now and type the following queries, one after another:

– Rhinoplasty In Plano
– Rhinoplasty Plano
– Rhinoplasty Near Plano
– Where to Find Rhinoplasty in Plano
– Best Rhinoplasty in Plano

Did you notice anything? Maybe that all of the searches came back exactly the same regardless of the prepositional phrasing? That, in, near, best, where and find did not make a difference and the only thing that changed was possibly the map section?

This is our first clue into what Google is ascertaining about this particular search and it speaks very loudly, but what is it?

Well, it’s letting us know that regardless of the phraseology, it’s algorithms have determined through artificial intelligence and the monitoring of user behavior that the intent of the search is exactly the same.

Now if we want to compare our sample data, we can begin to change the query a bit, but not too much. Let’s try the same test in different cities.

Head over to Google right now and type the following queries, one after another:

– Rhinoplasty In New York
– Rhinoplasty New York
– Rhinoplasty Near New York
– Where to Find Rhinoplasty in New York
– Best Rhinoplasty in New York

What did you notice this time? Was it that, more or less Google acted the exact same way as it did above for Rhinoplasty Plano? That the SERP ordering is almost identical? That’s also what we saw.

Again, this is just another clue that is indicating to us as SEO’s that Google has an understanding of what the searchers intent is, and it’s SERP return is actually being rather consistent for this keyword.

Let’s do another little experiment with entities. Thanks to Robert Portillo’s (later learned credit goes to Bill Slawski) great advice I overheard him giving in SEO Signals Labs, we know we can ascertain what Google is associating as entities from the image section in Google.

When we go through our prepositional phrases again, mentioned above, we see that the entities don’t really change no matter how we word our query.

Let’s take this a step further again however and move away from Rhinoplasty in Cities, and try different searches. This will allow us to see how Google treats other phrases, keywords and the intent or logic behind them.

Does Rhinoplasty Plano have the same results as other entities?

Head over to Google right now and type the following queries, one after another:

– Web Design In Tucson
– Web Design Tucson
– Web Design Near Tucson
– Where to Find Web Design in Tucson
– Best Web Design in Tucson

Note: You can repeat this small experiment over and over again to begin to understand how Google is picking up queries across the world and in certain niches. There is a lot of insight to be gained just by looking to Google directly, and not just for Rhinoplasty Plano.

Again, we ask – are you seeing what we’re seeing? Restructuring in the SERP ordering with different ordering priority based on the search query.

Yet, another valuable hint. For whatever reason, Google has determined that the intent has changed for the subject of Web Design (Tucson) with different prepositional phrasing.

When we head over to image search, as discussed above, to understand how Google is viewing the queries as entities, we also get different results.

What we can conclude to this point is that Rhinoplasty Plano and all of it’s variations has been determined to have the same intent from Google’s rank-brain algorithm for that entity or set of search phrases.

But this still leaves the question: how were two SEO’s able to rank their websites in 30 days to the top of Google for the query “Rhinoplasty Plano”.

The answer lies in one commonality – each website used an EMD, also known as an exact match domain.

I know what you’re going to say, and it’s that EMD’s are dead right? That this can’t possibly be the contributing factor because Google has killed off EMD’s. Haven’t they?

In our anecdotal experiences EMD’s were not killed off and Google did not implement any sort of algorithm that would have done this. What did change however was Googles understanding of most (yes most) queries.

However, upon simple tests conducted for Rhinoplasty Plano in the SERP, with the keyword and phrases themselves, we can see that there was no change in intent for this keyword from variance to variance.

Because we can see that there was not, what happened here is what most SEO’s would expect to happen. The domain name fulfilled the search intent to an amount that Google deemed was necessary to index it into the SERP for the query of “Rhinoplasty Plano”.

In other circumstances where the domain did not contain an exact match, it is my belief as an SEO it would of not been as easy nor even possible – especially with Lorem Ipsum text.

So where does that leave us?

SEO Tip! On some queries, content is a lower weighted signal because the searchers intent is not informational. It could be navigational or transactional. Google refers to this as “Do, Know or Go” searches. Rhinoplasty Plano is purely transactional or navigational.

Rhinoplasty Plano SEO Conclusion

As Roger Montti stated “Nobody can truly know why a site is ranking, only Google knows for sure”, and this couldn’t be anymore true.

When performing these tests above we are attempting to understand what Google or Rank brain is doing, without any absolute clarity other than our own ability to discern the possibilities.

While there could be 100 other factors why these two websites were able to rank how they did, to me the one that sticks out the most is that they were not only EMD’s, they fulfilled one-hundred-percent of the search intent at the domain level based on what Google thinks the searchers intent is, and that the content on the website it’s self only matters as it pertains to that intent. 

This is why it is incredibly important for us as SEO’s to thoroughly attempt to understand how search engines work and to use that to our advantage for clients.

While the world may never know why Rhinoplasty Plano ranks with Lorem Ipsum, we can always try to Google it.


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