Most of the times, newbies get a site to Rank because Google regularly updates itself, giving one criteria more importance over the other. This causes “I am feeling lucky” phenomena, where Google ranks a super new site in the top search results. This is the reason why there are so many “SEO Experts” out there. These experts can’t string together few English sentences and can’t spell for life 🙂 Anyways, Google’s Algorithm does update itself many times a year, and if your SEO strategy optimizes for features or website ranking patterns rather than Answering Real Queries. Your SEO Company needs to provide ROBUST SEO that stands the test of algorithm changes. I doubt many of these experts even plan for this at all!
Also, I hate to say it business owners, SEO is a ongoing cost, not one time cost! We had a potential customer saying to us “I will pay for 3 months and I need to Rank 1, if it takes 4 months I won’t be able to pay”. And this was a real business with good revenue (a dentistry). But I understand where he was coming from, he has been burnt too many times by SEO companies who have sales people on minimum wages or commission sales, they pretty much say anything to get the sales (I have been part of many such floors). It is also one of the reasons I have decided to change directions from Enterprise software development to Small Business Technology Solutions, to help SMB’s in a hostile technology environment.
Ok, so back to the Question, Can you beat Machine Learning of Google?
The answer is the difference in goals, timing and customers.
If Google’s Machine learning does a poor job of showing the right ad for the right customers at the right time, then it will lose money. The system has a clear function driven by the goal of making money and machine learning systems can be used when they can work with an objective function to optimize. The total “search space” is also much much smaller.
The search ranking system has a very subjective goal – user happiness. CTR, query volume etc. are very inexact metrics for this goal, especially on the fringes (query terms that are low volume/ volatile). While much of the decision-making can be automated, there are still lots of decisions that need human intuition. Also, when Machine Learning makes decisions, you can’t tell why exactly it made that decision. It’s almost like betting, it keeps you guessing, some win and some loose, but the house (Google) always wins.
To tell whether site A better than site B for topic X with limited behavioral data is still a very hard problem. It degenerates into lots of little messy rules and exceptions that tries to impose a fragile structure onto human knowledge.
An interesting question is whether the Google search index (and associated semantic structures) catching up (in size and robustness) to the subset of the corpus of human knowledge that people are interested in and searching for?
Anyways, so, question is whether you realize that this is a never ending game and at some point, you will be caught, because all this time you were trying to game Google, but Google is always going to be smarter than you because it is setting all the rules. Don’t forget to tell your SEO company to give you the logins of your assets, unless you were locked into a weird contract.
Say hi if you are in San Diego Area, Call 619 655 6567 or reach out to [email protected] for any questions.