Reverse engineering SEO with our tool

reverse engineering google

Reverse engineering Google, why? Google is pervasive. It has progressed a lot with its grand mission of organizing “the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Most of the publicly accessible internet is now indexed by Google and with its search engine you can find answers to most questions, its maps provide in-depth information about locations and it also does a fairly good job at finding products. In fact…

The Google search engine is, arguably, the greatest AI system that has yet been built. — Nick Bostrom

I started with SEO back in 2008. Black hat SEO was still very wide spread. Over the years this has changed drastically and now it makes much more sense to think from a human perspective: if Alice is searching for something, which keywords does she use, and what pages would make her happy? As far as Google an tell, if they send Alice to a page and Alice doesn’t come back she’s happy. In web vernacular: you want your bounce rate to be low.

Google’s rule #1

The best way to understand what Google wants and how to rank in Google is to look at what Google itself says about itself.

Focus on the user and all else will follow.
Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line. Our homepage interface is clear and simple, and pages load instantly. Placement in search results is never sold to anyone, and advertising is not only clearly marked as such, it offers relevant content and is not distracting. And when we build new tools and applications, we believe they should work so well you don’t have to consider how they might have been designed differently.

If you want your website to rank well, keep this in mind. Google wants the user to find what they need. This gets us to bounce rate:

Reverse engineering Google: Bounce rate

There are several ways to get a low bounce rate:

  1. Convince the user that they have found the answer to their question
  2. Convince the user to buy the product you’re selling
  3. Or send them to a place where they find what they need, e.g. affiliate marketing

What is a backlink?

A backlink is an incoming link for your site. Backlinks are important, I’m not going to deny that. But in my experience they have been overhyped. Stay away from black hat forum spam. People are still doing it, so it works, but it’s not a way you want to build a business in the medium to long term.

The main point of backlinks is that Google knows you exist and that you are not a spammer or scammer. You can make money fighting Google by running scripts and creating utter crap content online, but you have to keep swimming to not drown. Personally I prefer to build quality websites

If you can get quality links, for example from a respectable news source or blog, that is great. But if you’ve had your site for a reasonable time, you most likely don’t need to work at all on your link profile. It’s better to concentrate on content and on-page SEO.

Reverse engineering Google: On-page SEO

On-page SEO is a much nicer game. It’s a combination of micro-optimizations and adding specific content that people will be happy with. In most cases this is far from black hat and it’s not going to change any time soon. That’s why we believe that our on-page SEO tool will in turn make you happy!

More about on page SEO

Returning visitors – in other words an anti-bounce

This is what you want even more: people coming back to your website after doing more research. This is a mighty indicator for Google. Someone visits your page after doing a google query, does some more queries to scan through content and chooses to come back to your website. This is how Google knows your content is king.

Screenshot here shows that a visitor comes back to same page through Google.

Further reading


WordPress SEO

WordPress SEO: Yoast

If you are stuck on a deserted island with only WordPress and one extension that extension would without a doubt be the Yoast SEO extension. It will help you optimize your posts and pages for your main keyword. And if you pay even for several keywords. You will still have to go to Google Webmaster Search Analytics to get a broader picture about what keywords Google thinks your page is good for – potential visitors.

The other essential extension

Redirection – Monsterinsights Google Analytics, Monster bought it from Yoast.

Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro is a keyword analysis tool that can help you a lot with your SEO campaigns. Most keyword data comes straight from Google Adwords API that gives information on used keywords, CPC bids and expected search volume. The tool also quite well analyses how your direct competition is ranking and tells you which opportunities you have.



Check it out

keyword-tool-io is an unlimited free to use keyword tool to discover relevant long tail keywords. It’s receiving its data from Google’s Adwords Keywordplanner API. Paying account also gives you access to data such as CPC and average search volume.

It’s an easy to use online tool that will give you instant access to lots of data without having to export them from Google’s Adwords.


seo keyword tool

Termexplorer is a nice keyword analysis tool that hooks straight into Google’s Adwords API. You can get a free account with 3 queries you can run a day, so you can try it out. The tool is pretty impressive listing all data from Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool.

OMfinCon Berlin 2016 recap

omfincon 2016 berlin recap

OMfinCon is Germany’s Online Marketing Finance Conference.  Last week was the second edition, I was there the first time but this time I was more serious about taking notes. Notes that I’ll recap in this blog post. It’s organized by financeAds, an excellent affiliate network entirely focused on financial advertising. Since a couple of years financeAds is also active in other European markets outside DACH, OMfinCon is almost entirely in German though. We did meet some folks from the international department of financeAds.

Online presence of banks in Germany

The conference started with a presentation by Christian Schmidt from Berlin based Digitaleffects, who gave an overview of how German banks are getting their traffic. A very in-depth overview of SEO, SEA, social media presence of banks such as Postbank, Deutsche Bank, Targo, CommerzBank and ING DiBa. Unfortunately I can’t give away much more as there was a ban on publishing anything about the presentation until mid June, when it’s probably going to appear on their blog. Great stuff if you’re in any way involved with German banks.

Short presentations of Financial companies in Germany

More presentations were given by financiel companies in Germany. One of the most promising companies and presentations in this field was Zinspilot, which makes it convenient to get higher interest rates (up to 1,66%) on savings by moving your saving accounts to other EU countries (so you still have the €100.000 guarantee on deposits). The interesting part is that your money is managed through their interface, so you actually don’t have to deal directly with banks in other countries yourself.

Other presentations included

  • Finreach also does exciting things in the field of changing your bank account. This is surely going to be big in Germany if they can hold up to their claim of making it possible to change your bank account within 10 minutes.
  • Verivox. This is another comparison affiliate program in Germany for finances. We Will definitely sign up for some projects we do.
  • Cashboard is another robo advisor company.
  • NetzSieger is a product-rating company.
  • SparWelt is another startup related to saving accounts.
  • Urlaubspiraten had an interesting presentation. I didn’t know Holiday Pirates was actually a German company. They also launched a new site targeted at flights only: Flynder.
  • Tradimo is a platform to learn trading, a side project from Poker Strategy.
  • Guidants is yet another trading course platform.

There was a whole bunch more of presentions such as Adigma (email marketing since more than a decade), Ad4mat (display ads), Romintrex (multichannel retargeting) and Seguras (insurance lead gen).

Contentking SEO workshop

contentking seo workshop omfincon
Contentking SEO workshop (c) financeAds 2016

Nicolas Sacotte gave an excellent in-depth presentation: Wie trete ich die Reise an? About the current state of SEO. Ranking factors have drastically changed over the past years, Nicolas mentioned the Google Dance from the past, and even in the past months things are moving quickly. From a broader perspective it looks like search itself is changing heavily, with people moving towards tools like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home or just YouTube searches. https will soon be quite important, when Google will add warnings to all non https sites. Also AMP is picking up.

One big change is that from link building it’s moving towards link earning. Meaning that make sure your content is so unique or good enough that you actually will start receiving links, without you actually creating or buying them. This is considered a much safer strategy in order not to get web-spam penalties by Google or other search engines.

What do you need for a serious SEO project?

  • SEO tools
  • Money
  • Concrete goals
  • Concept/strategy
  • Experts
  • Willingness to learn
  • Personal network
  • Partner network
  • Continuous learning concept
  • Knowhow, experience
  • Courage, creativity

Some SEO tools they recommend

  • sistrix
  • search metrics
  • linkresearchtools with detox module
  • Besides the ubiquitous Google Analytics it can be interesting to try out Yandex Metrica
  • homemade tools, based on APIs

Facebook Ads

Another workshop about Facebook Ads was given by Jan Stronghöner. He shared some of newest insights about this very popular platform for ads. Some of the takeaways included:

  • The 20% text limitation has been dropped.
  • Another takeaway: use Facebook in US English to get the newest features.
  • Definitely set up the FB pixel to track conversion properly.

Lunch, dinner and the venue

Lunch was excellent, dinner was a bit too meaty but the 16:00 Kuchen was amazing so I was already way too full to eat anything. Of course drinks and food allowed for great networking and I ran into some great new people and some nice people I had already met the year before. And then there are always some people you only find out about afterwards, such as Nadine who’s running this vegan blog.

The event was located at the Kulturbrauerei, which was the same as last year, and excellent as always. Funny enough I was there the week before already because of a Techstars event that I attended with my fintech startup (in 7 words: we provide virtual bank accounts to exporters), about which I ended up speaking more about than my affiliate marketing activities (which are more passive than active).

If you’re doing anything related financial affiliate marketing in Germany, or you’re planning to, you have to show up next year! (Well, only if you understand German well enough to follow in-depth presentations.)

Photos of the conference are (c) (c) financeAds, used with permission.

Google Webmaster SEO Tools that work

google webmaster seo tools

It’s one of the best tools out there: Google Webmaster Tools. But it’s a beast that is not easily understood. With our own Google Webmaster SEO Tools we give you direct insights into identifying what are the most important data. We provide you an automated way to directly know what’s next on your to do.

Google Webmaster holds the key to actionable SEO

When Google moved to secure search in October 2011, it was a blow to publishers.

Most keywords used to land on a page were not passed into Google Analytics and GA suddenly became quite useless for SEO. Google Webmaster has filled this gap but even among web professionals there is not much knowledge about how to properly use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO.

Rankshaper SEO tools

With the Search Analytics of Google Webmaster you can actually get a lot more data than what you can find with any frontend analytics tool. Anything on your own site can only sgoogle webmaster tools for seohow you the tip of the iceberg. After all it’s only the clicks that get to your site. You will not see the impressions without clicks. Over the past years we have found that on-page optimisation can have amazing effects on rankings and traffic.

With our SEO tool you pick a page, and then it shows you precisely which keywords are getting you clicks and impressions, but more importantly, it shows you how those keywords are integrated on your page. It’s a bit like the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress on steroids, which then works for any website.