SEO in 2019 – What’s Working Today?

By | August 8, 2019

SEO has changed, but it’s also very much the same. Confused? Well, in this video, I’m going to show you
what’s working today and helping us grow our organic traffic exponentially. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. As I’m sure you know, there have been quite
a few algorithm updates in the past 12 months and as a result, a ton of sites were affected. Now, we only know of certain industries like
health that got hit. But the truth is that no one knows exactly
what happened except Google themselves. So for that reason, I’m not going to bother
making predictions. Instead, I’m going to show you the SEO strategies
and tips that are working right now based on our own experiences and those of
respected members in the SEO community. Let’s get to it. The first SEO tip is an obvious one, and that’s
to have a mobile optimized website. Let’s zip through this one. At the end of 2018, Google announced that
after two-years of work, over half of the pages shown in search results use mobile-first indexing. This means that Google will predominantly
use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. So long story short, if your website isn’t
mobile optimized, do it. Next up is to start with topical research. We all know what keyword research is, but
don’t confuse it with topical research. Today, more than ever, targeting individual
keywords is the wrong way to approach SEO. In our study of over 3 million search queries,
we found that on average, the number one ranking page also ranks for nearly a thousand
additional keywords. This can lead to a single page getting tens
or even hundreds of thousands of search visitors across all its keywords. My favorite example of this is an article from, which gets nearly half a million search visits each month and ranks for
around 30,000 keywords. Looking at their organic keyword rankings, you’ll
see they also rank for popular search queries like: “how to lose weight,” “best way to lose weight,”
“weight loss,” and “lose weight fast.” All of these queries are essentially looking
for the same solution to the same problem and Google recognizes this as being in the
same topical umbrella. So if you want to get more search traffic
from a single page, you’ll want to find topics that have breadth. And the easiest way to find topics with high
search traffic potential is to see what’s working for your competitors. So let’s go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and start
by entering a competitors’ domain, in this case, Next, I’ll go to the Top pages report, which
ranks their pages by the ones that generate the most search traffic. And since we’re interested in worldwide traffic,
I’ll set this filter to show traffic from all countries. For a quick eyeball test, just look at these columns: Traffic, Top keyword, and the Top keyword’s volume. Generally speaking, the greater discrepancy between
the search traffic and the top keyword’s volume, the greater the total traffic potential will be. The next tip is to build topical authority. Now, the best way to explain this is with an example. Let’s say you were building a shed in your backyard. Would you rather have a bricklayer for that
job or an architect? They both work with buildings, but their areas,
or topics of specialty, are different. The same goes for websites. Google understands which websites are
“authoritative” over a niche. For example, if we look at the top 10 results
for “best antivirus software,” you’ll see that they’re dominated by mega computer publications and antivirus companies. Now, looking at the 6th result, you’ll see
a page from Now, if you’ll look carefully, they have significantly
more links from unique websites, yet they can’t seem to penetrate the top 5 positions. After analyzing the content, one possibility is that
the other results are topically stronger websites pushing down, which covers
a wide range of topics. So how do you create topical authority in your niche? Two things: First is to get links from topically relevant
and authoritative websites. In the case of antivirus software, links from
sites like Norton, PC mag or other relevant sites would be the holy grail of relevant links. The second is to create contextual relevance
on your website through internal linking. A great strategy is to create content silos. Basically, you have a top-level page which
is usually used to rank for big head terms. You then create subtopics underneath them,
where they all link internally to each other creating relevance for users and search engines. For example, let’s say you have a website
on coffee and want to build a silo around the head term,
“coffee beans.” Let’s type that into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
as our seed. Next, I’ll go to the Phrase match report to find
keyword ideas that would make good subtopics. Now, a quick way to find subtopics is to look
at the Parent topic, which represents the broader topic or subtopic
to the target. For example, you can see that by targeting
“coffee beans” as the main keyword, you could also rank for “best coffee beans,” which would
be good to know when creating your top-level page. Subtopics to your main topic could be keywords like
“types of coffee beans” and “how to roast coffee beans.” The next technique is probably the most important
when it comes to SEO today, and that’s matching search intent. Search intent basically means the reason behind
a searcher’s query. And Google’s job is to match the best results
to any given query. So no matter how many links you have. No matter how good your technical and on-page
SEO is, if you’re not matching search intent, then you’re not going to rank. The easiest way to identify search intent
is to just Google the keyword you want to rank for, and look at the types of pages that
are ranking. These will generally fall into the 3 C’s of
search intent. Content Type Content Format and Content angle. Content type can usually be categorized into blog
posts, product, category, and landing pages. Content format applies more to blog posts
and landing pages. A few common blog formats you’ll see are “how-tos”,
step-by-step tutorials, list posts, and opinion editorials. For a landing page, that might be something
like a tool or calculator. Content angle is often depicted in the title
as the “benefit.” It’s basically your hook as to why someone
should click and read your article. Just by matching search intent alone, we’ve
seen ranking boosts from position 40 to position 6 in just 4 days. And it was also the main way we were able to rank
#1 for the keyword “backlink checker.” If you want the details on how we were able to do this, I’ll leave a link to our video on how ranking #1 on Google is overrated, where you’ll see exactly what we did to get these fast gains in traffic and rankings. The next thing you can do is to keep your content fresh. It’s generally accepted in the SEO community
that Google uses a “freshness” factor in their ranking algorithm. If you look at the publishing history for
Ahrefs blog, you can see that we republish content,
which is represented in the dark blue bars. Now, to prove my point, I’m going to set a
couple of filters, the first being to only show pages that
have been republished. Next, I’ll set another filter to only show
pages that were published this year. And finally, I’ll set the Trends graph to show
the past 6 months of data in the table below. If you’ll look at the organic traffic graphs,
you’ll see that a good chunk of these pages had increases in organic traffic after they
were republished. And I can tell you that for all of these pages
shown here, we didn’t run any link building campaigns, nor did search intent change for these. To identify which pages you should update,
ask yourself these questions. 1. Is the page older than 6 – 12 months? If the answer is “no,” then you should give
it more time to rank. 2. Does the page have enough links to compete
against the top ranking results? If you haven’t spent time building links, yet the top ranking pages have hundreds of backlinks, then it’s more likely an authority issue over
a “freshness” one. 3. Are you matching search intent? Like I mentioned before, if you can’t match
search intent, then you probably can’t rank. 4. Did your page once have a good amount
of organic traffic, but it’s declining? If the answer is “yes,” then the last question
is going to help you make your final decision. And that’s, is your content outdated? This one is a little more subjective and requires
a bit of research and common sense. “Best of” posts are a great example of when
freshness may be an issue. For example, if you haven’t updated your 2017
guide that used to rank for “best headphones,” then it makes sense why you’re not ranking. Manufacturers are always releasing new models,
and people are looking for today’s technology. To get a better idea, just go to Google and
search for your target keyword. And if you see that a good chunk of the posts
have the current year in the titles and yours is out of date, then it’s time for a refresh. The next thing you should focus on in 2019
are links that move the needle. Not all links are created equal. And as a general rule of thumb, the harder the link is to get, the more valuable it’ll be to your SEO success. Without overcomplicating things, think of
good links in 3 layers. The more criteria it matches, the better. First is topical authority of the referring domain. Getting links from websites that are highly-related to your content will likely add more weight than ones that are wide spread. For example, if your page is on the best headphones
in 2019 and you get links from places like Cnet, Techradar, and Bose, these would be ideal
links to acquire. Compare that to a link from a travel blog
who had a one-off post where they mentioned something about shopping for headphones. When you’re prospecting for links, you can usually gauge a website’s niche by just the domain name. Second is the relevance of the link. Let’s use that example of “best headphones”
again, but this time at the page level. Getting a link from another page on the same
topic would be ideal. It’s obviously super-relevant to your content. As for the travel blogger, he or she may have
written a personal post about their travels to Spain. And as they were documenting their journey,
they happened to mention that they bought Bose QC35s because of your guide. But that doesn’t change the fact that the
topic of the post is actually about traveling to Spain. Clearly, link #1 is more relevant, and will almost
certainly provide more value to your page. Third is the referring page’s “link authority.” Google still uses PageRank today in their
ranking algorithm. In general, the more quality links a referring
page has, the more link juice it can pass on to both internal and external links on that page. An easy way to measure this is to look at the URL rating. This is an Ahrefs’ metric, which represents
the overall strength of a page’s backlink profile. And you’ll see it in numerous reports throughout
Ahrefs’ SEO toolset. The higher the UR, the more authority it can pass. If you’re looking for link building strategies
that often fulfill these requirements, then the two that I recommend are the Skyscraper
technique and guest posting. With Skyscraper style prospects you’ll often
find more mature pages where they’ve had time to get links and build PageRank. So getting links from some of these pages
can very well move the needle. And the second is guest posting, which is
great since you can handpick sites you want to get links from. We have a video on executing both of these
tactics at scale, so I’ll leave links to those in the description below. The next thing I highly recommend focusing
on is YouTube SEO. In the past year, we’ve grown our subscribers
3X and increased views by 10X. Most importantly, it’s helped us generate
thousands of new customers. Now, this video isn’t about video SEO. We’re focusing on Google SEO today so stay
with me for a second. I’m sure you’ve noticed a massive increase
in video results in Google’s search results. And the proof is in the pudding. The traffic we get from Google to our YouTube
videos has increased consistently and I don’t see it getting any smaller. By creating engaging videos with some on-page
work, we’ve been able to rank for competitive terms in Google like “SEO tutorial,” “YouTube
SEO,” and “search engine optimization.” Since Google is giving more real estate to videos,
this is something that I highly recommend tapping into if you haven’t already started. I’ll link up a video on exactly how we do
YouTube SEO to rank in both YouTube and Google, so make sure to check that out. Now, these are strategies that have been working
for us and other respected SEOs in our community. But I want to hear from you. What has or has not been working for your SEO growth? Leave a comment and make sure to like, share and subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. So keep grinding away, repeat what’s working
instead of chasing shiny tactics, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

84 thoughts on “SEO in 2019 – What’s Working Today?

  1. Ahrefs Post author

    Which SEO strategies are working for you in 2019?

  2. Anthony Eneje Post author

    Amazing, thank you for these info , much appreciated

  3. Alhaj Talukdar Post author

    I was waiting for your video.
    Finally I got it.
    Thank you

  4. Sam Samo Post author

    WOW! A great summary in 12 minute so many important points. A question: When a directory has good ranking for the most of the pages inside, example mydomain com/abc all the pages under abc have good ranking, and I want to target a "special keyword+city" shoud I make an another directory like "local" and make the pages there or its better to have those pages also under "/abc", which all pages are also related to the theme for the new local pages? I thought to have it under "/abc" is better since all backlink and traffic go to the "/abc" I think the directory value matter for google, am I right?

  5. Bostjan Tanko Post author

    Great tips Sam. You probably already know, but just FYI: Google Announced – Starting July 1, all new sites will be indexed using Google’s mobile-first indexing!

  6. Creativity Viral Post author

    Nice, you always give fresh tips on what works right now.

  7. Piyush Yadav - Exact Blogging Post author

    Amazing Information

  8. mohit yadav Post author

    Want things works for you on steroids mode follow Sam oh and #ahref really works 😃😃

  9. Aryan Khan Post author

    1) Should We target single Niche in single domain or we can target Multiple niches in single domain(content base website)
    2) If we are running a Ecom. store. So, should we targeted every product in single site or need to create different sites for every single product category.

  10. Carolina Avila Coral Post author

    My site has many visitors, but it has a few external links. Other sites of the same topic doesn't create a link to my site, they copy my posts

  11. Eduardo Campos Post author

    A video about what's not working anymore would be useful as well.

  12. Aamir Khan Post author

    very useful information.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Shanto Post author

    Thanks for sharing this awesome video Sam! BTW, Spelling Mistake at 3:54 (ANITVIRUS)

  14. James Scott Post author

    Excellent Sam 👍 those tips should snap the needle! 🚀 thanks 🙏🏻

  15. VS Programmers Post author

    Brand queries and direct traffic are giving boost to my google rankings.

  16. pradeep balachandran Post author

    Can u make free trial instead of 7 dollars for 7 days hard to give even try how it works

  17. Olivier Alcouffe Post author

    Where can I get your Tshirt! Love Ahref 🥰

  18. Warren Wheeler Post author

    Great video Sam, shared it in my fb group 👌

  19. simulanis seo Post author

    My keyword is (Virtual reality rank top 10 ) rank only India why not ranking virtual reality World Wide

  20. Gaming Gajju Post author

    Hii Sam,

    I write article on full forms like "seo full form"

    So how can i engage with user to increase time on my site.

    Because they only want to know full form..

  21. PENETRATOR3000 Post author

    Can anyone explain me, how to create these content silos? Im not pretty sure, how should I understand that. It's just for example, a blog post with one main keyword, and bunch of samantic similar keywords? Or its some kind of posts structure?

  22. Abhishek yadav Post author

    Hey Sam! Amazing video with so many knowledge bombs! Thank you! One Question, is it recommended to change the published date of the article to the current while republishing the article?

  23. chirag artani Post author

    Hello, Sam! 🙏
    Saw Video after long time, these tips are really helpful and very easy to understand. Appreciate your work and tips 🙂 💫 #sharemore 👀

  24. MK Shaikh Post author

    very nice sir.
    sir, how should I measure my Business category going Up or Down?
    like my business is Laptop repairing business and how can I check Laptop Repairing Business going Up or Down with using Keywords research? I am fresher plz plz plz help me.

  25. maruthi Baddi Post author

    Bro Is it ok to download images from shutterstock without paying with watermark for blog? Or else use creative common from Google images?  Plzzzz do reply sir

  26. PCMATE - HOW TO Post author

    All those BS tricks. Why don't you tell that buying backlinks is the only thing that works?

  27. Mellenix Post author

    When you republish your content are you just updating your main date or adding a republished date to the page?

  28. Willie DeJarnette Marketer DNA Post author

    Powerful teaching. This really helped me.

  29. The top 10's top 10 videos out of the world Post author

    How to be an expert in seo from scretch i want to learn it from where should i start ?

  30. Sargam tiwari Post author

    Hello Sam Oh,
    As you know that most of the strategies are not working for health websites because of Florida 2.0 and other updates which has come last year…can you please make a vedio on how to build strategy for healthcare/pharma websites.

  31. ja55mck Post author

    Interesting. I get what you are saying about refreshing content….have you guys got any tips on how to do that? I'm presuming just changing the publish date wont do it?

  32. Barton Interactive Post author

    After going through many hours (over years) of Moz training (specifically on focusing on a specific keyword phrase on top pages), switching gears to focusing more on topics feels a little daunting… but also less greasy. Happy to hear this and looking forward to trying this new approach.

  33. Mayank Tripathi Post author

    Hello please tell more about republish content step by step

  34. Post author

    Nice tips! I really need to kick it into gear on my programming blog

  35. Milan Novotný Post author

    I love to hear about discovery feed seo 🙂 For bigger websites it can be very good source of traffic.

  36. Adrian Graphics & Marketing Post author

    Great job man, keep it up. I'm just getting into content creation for my own business instead of clients. This is some great inspiration for ne as a digital marketing trainer and speaker.

  37. alno1 Post author

    This video was so valuable!! Any chance I can find the same info in printable form?

  38. Arc Post author

    Clearly your target audience for this video was just subscribers, but dont worry I wont be back.

  39. Just Me Can Do It Post author

    Great thanks. How to contact for an assistance

  40. Daniel Kim Post author

    will all of this work if you run an online magazine that covers many different topics and can't possibly beat others through topics?

  41. DIRK WERTHMANN Post author

    Good Video. Missing a bit structured data

  42. Antoine Jeffries Post author

    This is probably the best and most clear cut strategy for me I've heard in the few years I spent researching SEO. Clear cut common sense tactics I struggle with developing SEO blog post but this tutorial seems to make a bunch of sense.

  43. dipankar choudhury Post author

    Really this was an awesome video. No promotion only knowledge!!! Must watch video.

  44. Anri de Beer Post author

    your site sucks. charging for a trial. where have you ever…

  45. Neville Bezzina Post author

    3:56 what's anitvirus software ^^

  46. Kickboxing Underground Post author

    Wow, a very solid video on SEO. I like your style: rich content and no time wasting! However, I'm also very discouraged bc even though I have the world's best program for kickboxing at home, I realize I don't have the time or skills necessary to make my website successful. I did not really understand what was involved until watching your video.

  47. Hemant Latawa Webcreations Post author

    Best Video…. Already following so many task / steps Thanks A lot !

  48. Abhishek Thakur Post author

    Sir I want to know in SEO task like – Bookmarking, profile creation, business listing is useful in 2019 for creating backlinks?

  49. まっちゃー Post author


  50. fatima arshad Post author

    can you make a long detailed SEO course for beginners to advanced , please

  51. Nick Freund Post author

    You have a lot of great contributions and I have subscribed to you. How important is it to get a good backlink to your website compared to keyword optimization? I had a domain authority of 25 before the MOZ update and now only 15 on my website

    In the google analysis, but I have noticed no noticeable impact so far, but it does not go up: – / I will follow the next few days your tips and am covered how will affect in the coming months 🙂 Best regards from Germany, Nick Freund

  52. Andrew Rulnick Post author

    Exponential growth, and domination sounds like an exaggeration friend. I'm afraid at where you're pulling some of these stats from, would love to know where your getting this data. ZzzZZZzz, the shed analogy is bad. Ugh links… Yak. Content silos ugh I'm dying. Please stop pushing waste of time strategies, look everybody gets it that Google understands synonyms and predictive search intent, or personalized search results and recommendations. Videos like these are why I'm out if the public space, let's take something really simple and overcomplicate it… Oh damn, links yuck. Google Search Analysts and product managers have said repeatedly the backlinks don't matter… And they don't. I've said this about SEO practices for over a decade. Please stop spreading fake news and perpetuating SEO myths!

  53. Andrew Rulnick Post author

    Was waiting for a link juice phrase, thought you almost made it without and there it was at the end, yak…

  54. information technology Post author

    Sir I need traffic for my blog


  55. Submersed24 Post author

    I really don't trust google… they are starting to censor things out of people's ability to search by placing their politics before others

  56. Kateryna Zakhozha Post author

    Hello Sam! thanks again 🙂 A quick question.. Plagiarism, how much it affects the SEO score?

  57. Cherie Villariez Post author

    Great video Sam, easy to understand video for someone like me who want to learn SEO.

  58. Riazuddin Jeelani Post author

    Hey Sam,

    How would I add website description or keywords like this in Ahrefs? –

  59. SoCal Water Damage & Remediation Services Post author

    I like the “ANITVIRUS” hmmm. Lol. Good video homeslice 👍🏽

  60. Eskimoz Post author

    Super merci pour ce contenu à consommer sans modération.

  61. Rajveer Singh Solanki Post author

    It's good to make tier backlinks?

  62. iclal eroglu Post author

    3 months in and "narrow down your niche" just made sense today.

  63. Elizabeth Ashe Post author

    Your awesome! Such great clear concise information. Love your user name. 😊

  64. Dante Sinistra Post author

    Great video, thanks Sam.
    Everyone can understand your presentation, ingenuity is in simplicity. Cheers

  65. Jason Gray Post author

    Fantastic video! Thanks for the help, as someone in a new SEO position these videos have helped so much!

  66. Sander Van Der Poel Post author

    The bleeps with the part of search intent scared the sh't out of my cats, lol


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