Bill Slawski

Bill Slawski can be found online at:

Twitter: bill_slawski


With more than 20 years of SEO experience and a Juris Doctor Degree, Bill is the foremost expert on Google’s patents as related to SEO. Bill is the Editor of SEO by the Sea, a prominent search engine optimization blog, where he is the author of over 1,000 posts.

Bill’s experience includes Fortune 500 brands and some of the largest websites in the world. Bill is a contributing author for Moz and Search Engine Land. In 2014-2016, he spoke at industry leading conferences about topics including search engine algorithms, universal and blended search, personalization in search, search and social, and duplicate content problems, structured data and schema

An evironmental search at Google

Google to Use Environmental Information in Queries

Posted @ Feb 22 2017 by Bill Slawski

At the beginning of 2015, I wrote about a patent that told us it would influence search results by media that you may have listened to before (radio, television, movies, and so on). That post was about Google Media Consumption History Patent Filed. I was reminded of that media consumption history patent by one about […]

Read more

Groundhog Update

Did the Groundhog Update Just Take Place at Google?

Posted @ Feb 07 2017 by Bill Slawski

A story that ran at Search Engine Land a few days ago informed us of a possible new Algorithm at Google: Unconfirmed Google algorithm update may be better at discounting links and spam. Before I read that post, I had just read a new Google patent, and the post reminded me of the patent. The […]

Read more


How Google May Identify Device Locations Using Magnetic Fields from AC Powerlines

Posted @ Jan 26 2017 by Bill Slawski

The Value of Knowing Location of Searchers to a Search Engine There are many reasons why it might be helpful for a search engine to know the location of a device that is performing a search, such as helping in location based searches or determining the best locations to take photographs at or identifying businesses […]

Read more

Extracted Text from Images

Google to Extract Keywords from Image Text?

Posted @ Jan 19 2017 by Bill Slawski

A couple of years ago, I asked the question, Will Google Start Reading Text in Images on the Web Soon? I was writing about a patent from Google that described how the search engine might identify documents that matched visual queries. In a slightly different approach, a newly granted patent from Google describes how the […]

Read more


Bill Slawski’s Hardest SEO Quiz You’ll Ever Take – 2017 Edition

Posted @ Jan 10 2017 by Bill Slawski

Two years ago, I created a fun little SEO quiz.  At the time, I thought some of my friends would get a kick out of it; it took off and now has over 3,000 completions – wow! Given that two years in the SEO Industry is an eternity, I thought it was time for an update. There […]

Read more


Semantic Topic Modeling for Search Queries at Google

Posted @ Dec 28 2016 by Bill Slawski

I came across some interesting papers at the Google Research pages on Topic modeling that I thought were worth sharing. One reminded me of Google’s use of co-occurrence of phrases in top ranking pages for different queries and how that could be used to better understand thematic modeling on a site. I wrote about that […]

Read more


Google’s High Quality Sites Patent

Posted @ Dec 07 2016 by Bill Slawski

You may recognize the names of one of the inventors of the patent I am writing a post about. He had one of the most talked about Google Updates named after him. It is known as Panda. A Google Blog post about Panda refers to it as the “high quality sites” update; this patent talks […]

Read more

surfing in carlsbad

Might Google Personalize Search Results Based upon Membership in Social Network Communities

Posted @ Nov 30 2016 by Bill Slawski

Might Google use information from social networks to personalize someone’s search queries and results, and improve their experience with the search engine? A patent granted to Google at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in early November describes a process that would allow for such personalization. The patent points out some potential problems that […]

Read more

mapping distance for ranking

Google to Use Distance from Mobile Location History for Ranking in Local Search

Posted @ Nov 17 2016 by Bill Slawski

Ranking factors for local search (and Google maps navigation and business listings) differ from signals that might be used in Web Search. I’ve seen suggestions that requests for driving directions to a place be a possible indication of a place that should rank highly in local search. A patent application published this week points to […]

Read more

google news headlines

Originality Replaces Geography as Ranking Signal in Google News

Posted @ Oct 28 2016 by Bill Slawski

In anticipation of this post, I ran a poll on Twitter… If I were to ask you last week, how much of a role does originality play in the ranking of news articles shown by Google in their news section, and you had answered that it wasn’t as important as other signals, you may have […]

Read more