• FAQs

          Search engine optimization (SEO) helps businesses drive visits to their website through organic search traffic. Given that the top organic search results receive a third of the clicks, a decline in ranking could be detrimental for your business. Implementing SEO best practices on your website will help to ensure that your web content is seen by as many potential customers as possible. The more visitors you have, the better your chances are of converting those visits into sales!

          Local search engine optimization (SEO) helps local businesses gain visibility by optimizing their local business listings for local search. A business that leverages local SEO will include its address, phone number, local opening times, and exact location in the form of a local citation. The goal is to rank for local searches which are usually performed by people in a specific geographical region looking for a business near them.

          We typically see results within the first 30 to 60 days, but when it comes to SEO, there are many factors at play. It's important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and results may not come as fast at you wish.

        • FAQs

          Digital advertising uses the internet to send advertisements to customers who are online through different websites and social media platforms like Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook.

          The price for Google Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

          The price for Social Media Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

        • FAQs

          This depends on the complexity and size of a redesign and if eCommerce is needed. On average, it takes around 14-18 weeks from the web design intensive stage to launch.

          If your website experiences the following issues: it’s not responsive on all devices, has a slow loading speed, the design appears old and tired, users don’t spend long on the site, sales are stagnant, or your business is going through a rebranding - your website needs a redesign to boost your brand awareness and sales.

          Sometimes there’s no need to rebuild a website. Minor edits, refreshing page content and images, or restructuring page layout for SEO best practices can boost traffic and sales.

        • FAQs

          Semantic search launched in 2013 with the release of Google's Hummingbird update. Since then, Google's search engine has become more complex. The integration of machine learning, with RankBrain, and NLP, with BERT, has enabled the search engine to better understand the context of a query and deliver more personalized and targeted results. Semantic SEO is the process of creating machine-readable content using structured data and linked open data to help search engines better understand your content.

          On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page SEO refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. From meta tags to page content, website structure, and HTML, on-page optimization services are focused on making your website more visible to search engines.

          Structured data refers to any organized data that conforms to a certain format, such as information in a relational database. When information is highly structured and predictable, search engines can more easily organize and display it in creative ways. Structured data involves using a piece of code that is laid out in a specific format easily understood by search engines. The search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a more dynamic way.

        • FAQs

          An SEO agency has experts in different areas of search engine optimization that may be out of the realm of your marketing team's abilities. SEO can be very complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, as search engine algorithms change it can be difficult to stay current on the latest ranking factors and strategies for improving online visibility. You will likely see a greater return on investment and better results from using a professional SEO agency than you would from tackling this on your own.

          As a digital marketing agency, SMA Marketing provides products and services in four areas: SEO, Local SEO, Digital Advertising, and Web Design

          We focus on building authentic, long-lasting relationships with our clients. We’re goal oriented and results driven and believe in doing good and making a difference in the world.

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Ranking Systems vs. Ranking Signals

ranking system versus ranking signal

Have you ever wondered how search engines rank websites? Is it based on a specific set of rules or signals, or is it a more complex ranking system? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of digital marketing, and understanding how search engines rank websites is vital for businesses and website owners. 


What’s up and welcome to Hack My Growth. Today, we’re going to be looking at the difference between ranking systems and ranking signals when it comes to Google Search algorithms and why the difference between these two things matters to SEOs. 

Google’s Update to Documented Ranking Systems

If you’ve been following anything in the SEO community lately, you might have realized through tweets or blogs you followed that Google has updated its documented ranking systems page. It removed some things from this page, like the page experience system, the mobile-friendly ranking system, the page speed system and the secure site system.

What’s more is on April 19, Google said that it was dropping page experience, saying that it was more of a concept. This has created a lot of confusion in the SEO and web development community. People are wondering, “Do these things matter? Did they ever matter? Where do these things sit today? 

I’ve always been under the impression that, yes, they matter for user experience. However, none of these systems (at least when they were called systems) played a massive role. Every time I would do a SERP study, I would notice sites with bad page experience, mediocre mobility, or sites with poor speed would still tend to rank relatively high.

This has brought some confusion to our industry, and people are looking for clarity. Because of this confusion, Google has been trying to clear things up. On April 28th, they updated their stance, saying that page experience, mobile friendliness, page speed, and secure site ranking were signals but never systems

Danny Sullivan, Search Liaison over at Google, said that “Taking them off didn’t mean that we no longer consider aspects of page experience. It just meant that these weren’t ranking systems, but instead signals used by other systems.” They are signals that other systems would use when taking into account the page or ranking factor was from that specific system. You can read more about this at SEOroundtable. They do an awesome job at covering everything that pertains to Google. 

But to me, there’s still a little bit of ambiguity with the whole deal. Let’s take a look at these different Google systems, and then I’ll show you where you can find them and read more so that you can come to conclusions of your own. 

Google’s Ranking Systems

Google has a number of ranking systems, and these are just a few of them. 

  • BERT
  • Deduplication systems
  • Exact match domain system
  • Helpful content system
  • Link analysis systems and PageRank
  • MUM
  • Neural Matching
  • Passage Ranking System
  • Product Reviews System
  • RankBrain

These are live and still running within the Google system. They have also sunset a number of older systems that they’re no longer using, and each one of these systems contains multiple signals. 

An example is the helpful content system (which Google also just recently updated documentation on) leverages a number of page experience signals. It’s looking at the experience of the page as an aspect of content being helpful. 

Some of the more advanced systems like BERT, MUM, neural matching, or RankBrain are going to focus on entity recognition and things of that nature as signals within the system. Let’s look deeper at some of these and where we can learn more about each system and the signals that are associated with them. 

Inside Google Search Central, you can click the tab called documentation, and inside the documentation will give you a broad guide to Google Search ranking systems. As you can see here, these are all the current systems. You can read more about how search works and how their ranking systems are combined with other processes so that Google can organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. That’s their “mission.” 

The guide shows the different systems – BERT and some others we talked about – and then  some that are retired. Hummingbird, Panda system, and Penguin system drove and built those systems, and the older ones have now been either upgraded or integrated into some of these other systems.

 You can learn more about BERT and the bidirectional coding representation from Transformers and the AI Google uses to understand words and concepts. You can also learn about crisis information, deduplication, exact match domain, freshness system, helpful content, and the like. Check out the guide. It can be helpful. It can also lead you down a big rabbit hole trying to understand these. You won’t get all of them, but what’s cool is you can learn more of the concepts and systems that are running to help inform search. 

We have to take all of these into account when developing a holistic SEO strategy. It doesn’t mean that you have to target these systems, but you do need to have an understanding of the systems that are running the search engines today.

Much of this is implemented using artificial intelligence, and so understanding how that artificial intelligence works and making sure that your content is machine-readable and that it works the way that it’s supposed to is very important. 

If you have any questions about this, I’ll do my best to try to answer those. I highly suggest that you check out SEOroundtable. SEO by the Sea is another great blog that I like to use in order to understand these systems better. If you have a question, please contact us. I’d love to continue this conversation with you guys. And until next time, happy marketing.

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