A few days ago I was at the Inbound Conference in Dublin.
At the bar after my session, a junior digital marketer asked me a really interesting question:
“What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone who’s currently learning SEO?”
My answer: always ask yourself, does this look right?
The SEO industry encourages curiosity in everything we do. Learning how things work and how things are built is an important prerequisite to unlocking a level of experience enough to effectively diagnose problems in organic search.
I’ll give you one example – indexed pages in Google Search:
Should you have 23,000 indexed pages according to the site: operator?
When you drill down by using the inurl: operator, and you find things like this, it’s a dead giveaway that there’s a problem. Repeating the search with the omitted results included yields 2,300 pages with just a single parameter value. There are many, many more.
This is a problem.
Often, SEOs forget that the best SEO tool they could start with is Google’s index. So, my answer to that question: when you’re poking around always ask, “does this look right?”.