Bill Slawski

Bill Slawski can be found online at:

Twitter: bill_slawski



With more than 23 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 1,200 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 2014-2019, 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

Conversational queries

Conversational Search Queries at Google (Context from Previous Sessions)

Posted @ Apr 04 2019 by Bill Slawski

If you remember when the Hummingbird Update was announced at Google’s 15th birthday, they also displayed how they were responding to conversational search, and understanding pronouns in previous queries from query sessions. I wrote about them doing that in a post titled Searching with Pronouns: What are they? Co-references in Followup Queries Google has been […]

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User Click through Rates

User Click Through Rates and Search Result Rankings at Google

Posted @ Mar 18 2019 by Bill Slawski

Does Google Use User Click Through Rates and User Behavior to Influence Search Result Rankings? We’ve been told many times by Google Spokespeople that Google does not involve user click-through rates in ranking documents in search results because they are too noisy, and for other reasons. And yet, a new patent has been granted from […]

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Entity Normalization

Entity Normalization As Part of Google’s Knowledge Graph

Posted @ Mar 08 2019 by Bill Slawski

Entity Normalization Was Developed as Part of Google’s Annotation Framework Googlebot crawls the web and collects information about facts it finds. It started doing this as part of a project at Google under the name, the Annotation Framework, for Google’s Fact Repository, which was the precursor to Google’s Knowledge Graph. Some of the ideas that […]

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Annotation Text and Anchor Text

Add to Your Style Guide Annotation Text: A New Anchor Text Approach

Posted @ Feb 22 2019 by Bill Slawski

Running a Style Guide One thing I’ve run across and have recommended in the past has been the use of a style guide. I first heard the concept at a University that I was doing SEO for. The Dean of the School didn’t like one phrase, and insisted on another, which was one of our […]

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Entity Extractions and Attributes

Google Shows Us How It Uses Entity Extractions for Knowledge Graphs

Posted @ Feb 14 2019 by Bill Slawski

Google May use entity extractions, entity classes, entity properties, and Association Scores from Pages to Build Knowledge Graphs When Google introduce the Knowledge Graph in 2012, it told us that it was going to start focusing upon things and not strings. That process is maturing, and we have a chance to watch Google learn how […]

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questions and answer passages

Does Google Use Schema to Write Answer Passages for Featured Snippets?

Posted @ Jan 24 2019 by Bill Slawski

There hasn’t been an answer to this question about featured snippets until now, with the granting of a patent that says that an answer passage might be selected based upon a score that show that there is structured data (such as schema) and unstructured data (such as prose passages) to provide an answer. Google was […]

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An original author

Reranking Content Based on Content from an Original Author

Posted @ Dec 10 2018 by Bill Slawski

A Poll I Ran on Twitter About Rankings of Content I ran a poll on Twitter, asking if an original author posted a blog post to their own site, and then posted the same post to an online magazine, which version would end up ranking higher? I gave choices of the original author’s site, the […]

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Bill Slawski’s Hardest SEO Quiz You’ll Ever Take – 2018 Edition

Posted @ Dec 04 2018 by Bill Slawski

Welcome to the hardest SEO quiz you will ever take (the 2018 edition.) Good luck and no cheating! 🙂

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Predictions based on query intent

How Google Might Predict Query Intent Using Contextual Histories

Posted @ Nov 28 2018 by Bill Slawski

Understanding the Query Intent Behind Searches A taxonomy of web search (pdf) by Andrea Broder tells us about the differences between informational, transactional, and navigational queries. Those are good distinctions to know about when optimizing pages for query terms. Do you expect to be teaching people about a concept or topic? If so, you are […]

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Il Duomo Milan

Structured Entity Information in Search Results

Posted @ Nov 19 2018 by Bill Slawski

I had a chance to visit Milan, Italy last week, and talk about SEO at the SMXL Milan Conference. My presentation for the Conference is attached to this post, and in it, I talked about how I introduced entities into a site I was working on back in 2005, and how Google has been working […]

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