Getting to (Near) Real-time with Your SEO

Analytics, Social Media
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Real-time search engine optimization is not about trying to rank in what are known as the niche “real-time search engines” (e.g. Twitter Search, Scoopler, Tweetmeme), since these engines command such a small silver of the total market share for search. Thus, when practicing “real-time” SEO, one’s attention must be placed squarely on Google (and secondarily on Yahoo and Bing of course).

Trying to get to real-time with your Google SEO efforts is an elusive goal to say the least. True, Google has advanced to the point that it can index and rank a new page in minutes, but this cannot (and should not) be relied upon, nor can the resulting rank be expected to be stable. Google often folds Google News and/or Google Blog Search results into its web search results via a “onebox” — providing yet another, “back door” way of getting into Google’s main web results fast. But for a vast number of queries, such oneboxes do not appear.

Here’s the rub: you have to run your experiments serially. After all, there is only one Google and you must wait for your website changes or additions to appear in the search results. Thus, there can be no “multivariate testing” with SEO. Your web pages must be crawled, indexed, and evaluated — and it must be done before the content can rank. And all this takes time. That’s not to say you shouldn’t strive for as real-time as possible.

With the help of large scale automation, rapid feedback and numerous iterations — you can get to NEAR real-time with your optimization efforts. Learn how.

  • Making your CMS malleable and your internal linking structure fluid — to drive continuous improvement through your website
  • Using past performance as a predictor of future performance
  • Leveraging third-party tools and tools supplied by the search engines themselves for rapid feedback
  • Applying data from one engine to inform decisions on actions to take with regards to another engine
  • Crawler activity as a bellwether before your SEO work is reflected in the results
  • Anticipating which keywords are high performers before you have the tracking data to back it up
  • Feeding your Long Tail SEO keyword list fast — by utilizing Google AdWords “broad match” and the 10,000 per campaign maximum for negative keywords
  • Automating the evaluation of your SEO and the application of optimizations — to scale across even the largest of sites
Photo of Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer

The Art of SEO

Stephan is the founder of SEO firm Netconcepts, acquired in January 2010 by Covario.

Stephan is the inventor of the automated pay-for-performance natural search technology platform GravityStream, now re-branded as Organic Search Optimizer, which powers the natural search channel for online retailers such as Cabela’s, Northern Tool, Campmor and Woolrich.

In addition, Stephan is an author of The Art of SEO, published in October 2009 by O’Reilly and co-authored by Eric Enge, Rand Fishkin and Jessie Stricchiola. He is a Senior Contributor to Practical Ecommerce and to, a monthly columnist on Search Engine Land, and a regular contributor to Multichannel Merchant magazine. He’s also contributed to DM News, Catalog Age, Catalog Success, Building Online Business, Unlimited, and NZ Marketing magazine, among others.

Stephan is a frequent conference speaker on SEO and other online marketing topics for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), American Marketing Association (AMA),, Internet Retailer, SMX, IncisiveMedia (Search Engine Strategies), O’Reilly/TechWeb, PubCon, ECMOD, IQPC and IIR. His hundreds of speaking gigs have taken him around the globe – everywhere from Berlin, London, Toronto, Santiago, and Auckland, to New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and places in between.

Stephan is an avid blogger. He blogs primarily on his own blog – Stephan Spencer’s Scatterings. But his posts can also be found on Searchlight (part of the CNET Blog Network), Blog, Natural Search Blog,, MarketingProfs Daily Fix, Changes for Good, and Google, I Suggest….

He holds an M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Lorenzo dell'Uva
Lorenzo dell'Uva
12/02/2009 6:47am EST

Wonderful session, inspiring and very detailed, thanks a lot!

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