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Ye Olde Blog of SEO
Feb 13
crazy SEO rant patrick coombe

Google considers these 10 SEO articles “in-depth,” do you?

Twas’ browsing the SERPs recently and reflecting upon a post I ran back when in-depth articles first came out. It’s been about a year and a half since then, and I wanted to do a brief check in on one SERP in particular I’ve been following.

Doing a quick query for “SEO” will return a number of results, and 3 in-depth articles. Expand upon those, and you’ll get 7 more (table).

I took some time last night to skim through these, noted the authors, the domain, the word count and a few other metrics.

Content Appraisal

Overall, I would have to say that these 10 articles are not an accurate representation of the keyword “SEO” or really the SEO industry in general. There have been a ton of excellent posts from small and large blogs this year, with 10s of thousands of views and 1000’s of shares and interactions.

Ok let’s take a look at this post “12 questions to ask before hiring an SEO expert” by Scott Gerber that was featured on Mashable in October of 2013.

It is approximately 1300 words, has 1.6k shares, and a dozen or so comments.

This is actually an “expert roundup” post and I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of any of these SEO’s. Not saying they are no experts, I am sure they are. But is this article really the article that we want representing the word SEO as an in-depth article?

Website Author Date Published Words
Simple SEO Tip For Small Businesses: Local Citations Joshua Steimle 11/07/2013 1300
12 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Expert Scott Gerber 10/22/2013 1290
Matt Cutts Says ‘Stop’ Guest Blogging for SEO: Here’s Everything You Need to Know Jennifer Slegg 1/22/14 3160
Press Releases Still Matter, But Not For The Reasons You Think Cheryl Conner 8/28/2013 1771
The Three Pillars Of SEO In 2013: Content, Links, And Social Media Jayson Demers 5/23/2013 2443
3 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is the Best Option For Your Mobile SEO Strategy Jay Taylor 12/26/2013 893
7 Advanced Ways to Improve Your Site’s SEO Jason Demers 9/29/2014 1252
Matt Cutts on SEO, PageRank, Spam & the Future of Google Search at Pubcon Las Vegas Jennifer Slegg 10/24/2013 1900
5 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete With Giants in SEO Jayson Demers 10/20/2014 1400
Google Destroys Rap Genius’ Search Rankings As Punishment For SEO Spam, But Resolution In Progress Josh Constine 12/25/2013 800

This just doesn’t seem right

Don’t get me wrong, Jennifer Slegg and Jayson Demers are at the top of our industry in terms of SEO bloggers. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about them at all, and I strive to be more like them.

But where are the other big names in SEO “in-depth artciles?” Where is Rand Fishkin? Cyrus Shepard? Jon Cooper? Even Matt Cutts?

Where is Rae Hoffman? Jennifer Lopez or freaking Bill Slawski? Barry Schwartz? Michael Martinez?

Hell, “Matt Cutts” appears in 2 of these titles. One of them referenced “the decay and fall of guest blogging” which in my opinion was the most popular SEO article of 2014. Why wasn’t that article algorithmically chosen to be an in-depth article?

Is it because Google really does favor big brands in the SERPs?

Maybe I don’t know how it works, and I have it all wrong. I realize that the in-depth article algorithm isn’t just a popularity contest, but it just seems as though that these articles are not accurately representing the keyword queried.

I’ve started to delve into some other broad queries such as “crime” and “nutrition” and am seeing similar themes. What are your thoughts?


About The Author

Patrick is an SEO blogger and the founder of Elite Strategies, an SEO and internet marketing agency located in Delray Beach, FL.