Chapter 1

Enterprise SEO: It's Bigger Than Search

What do Walmart, Exxon Mobil and Apple have in common?

Currently, all are listed as the top three companies on the Fortune 500. Three companies that deal with completely different products and share little in common besides large-scale budgets that allow their teams to work with the best tools in the market. In theory, this allows enterprise companies like these the ability to react to algorithm updates, but in reality wide scale changes often take months for these types of companies to implement.

They surely need the best tools and strategies to keep and improve their Organic Search positions. This need is even more apparent when we consider that Walmart currently has 26,100,000 pages indexed in Google. Ever since Walmart launched their website, Google has been through more than 100 major updates and several smaller updates and tests each day. Some of the major updates we have seen from Google include:

Panda – Targeted sites with thin content or content that doesn’t have utility for users.

Penguin – Dealt with spammy external linking. Tried to kill black hat SEO.

Hummingbird – Started considering the context of the content and how words are blended together.

Google has not only changed how most websites are built, but also how we create content. And this is actually great. Instead of focusing on keywords, people now create content with their audience in mind. The old idea of SEO content has died, and a smarter type, a more resourceful and strategic one, that fits into the marketing mix better has emerged.

Dealing strategically with small websites is one thing. But large websites (10,000,000+ pages), also need to be optimized and large-scale technical solutions need to be put in place to ensure the SEO strategies are agile.

Whether working with in-house or agency partners, your SEO team needs to know the ins and outs of enterprise companies and how to implement SEO solutions that scale.

What Makes Your Company an Enterprise?

Revenue: Over $1 Billion in Annual Revenue

Location: Several Offices Nationally & Internationally

High CapEx: High

Online Technology: Includes Advanced Features, Security and
Guaranteed Up-Time

How is Enterprise SEO Different
From ‘Regular’ SEO?

Because of the large digital footprint and technology scale, enterprise companies need SEO solutions that are versatile, advanced, can work over long periods of time and across various use cases. Changes made to websites have to go through multiple stakeholders and get
buy-in; Success in one area will need to be rolled out across the larger organization.

Here are some of the things enterprise SEO considers:

✓ Large-Scale Site Architecture

✓ Multiple Lines of Business

✓ Multiple Content and Product Teams

✓ Multiple Stakeholders and Business Goals

✓ Siloed Public Relations and Media Efforts

✓ Strict Brand Guidelines

All of these factors play a huge role in how enterprise SEO must be approached. The stakes are higher and the technology and CMS type should help inform the capabilities that these companies have in terms of SEO.

The right team will be highly skilled and have years of experience working with similar-sized companies. They will have faced challenges like multiple content management systems, server-side rendering, duplicate content, complex site architectures, and malware attacks and will still be able to optimize and wield their expertise like the scrappy SEOs they are.

But, Optimize for What Exactly?

Search engines are moving toward a holistic place of user experience and satisfaction. The changes search engines make on a consistent basis puts an emphasis on improvements that benefit the end user: the searcher. Though there is little insight into how these algorithms work and how a webmaster can roll out contextual relevance across a large site of numerous pages, there is a lot of available knowledge SEOs can work with to understand what to focus on when optimizing.

Currently, there is an ample amount of research on semantic understanding and how to write and optimize content around words and phrases that are relevant to a topic . Our Founder and Managing Director Mike King discussed Technical Content Optimization at SearchLove Boston in 2019. In this, Mike King discussed the importance of LDA, TF-IDF and entity salience to better understand the semantic relationship between words and phrases.

Latent dirichlet allocation, or LDA for short, is an algorithm that allows you to model topics in a set of web pages and map keywords to each topic. This helps identify what the content is actually about based on these keywords.

TF-IDF (term frequency-inverse document frequency) is used to understand the relationship between keywords and phrases. It helps improve your content and ensure you are using as many phrases in your topic universe as possible.

Entity salience goes a step further than TF-IDF to help Search Engines better understand the relationship between a given person, place or thing (anything in a given document that is well defined and distinct) and other entities used. This gives more context around the relevance of a page for SERP rankings.

Does Google Rank Content?

The “set of rules” followed by Google’s human consultants to evaluate websites and SERPs is simple: “Remember that the first step of page quality rating is to understand the true purpose of the page.”

To make it easier, SEOs just need to remember to E-A-T. E-A-T is an acronym, a framework, and a factor in Google’s search algorithm that benefits pages that demonstrate: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

GOOGLE E-A-T IS ALL ABOUT QUALITY CONTENT AND PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF MISINFORMATION

Expertise:
The expertise of the creator of the Main Content. Does this content understand the search and answer what people are looking for? Was this content written by someone considered an expert in the space?

Authoritativeness:
The authoritativeness of the creator of the Main Content, the Main Content itself, and the website. Are you a good source? Do people mention or link to your website?

Trustworthiness:
The trustworthiness of the creator of the Main Content, the Main Content itself, and the website. Being a trustworthy expert and source means people can trust you to provide honest, true information that is accurate.

Read our in-depth analysis on Google E-A-T.

See it in Action:

When a specialized law firm was hit by a Panda update and lost more than 40% of their Organic Search traffic. Our team at iPulllRank was able to put together a comprehensive plan of action to remedy these losses. Prior to the losses, we’d delivered a Site Audit that laid out specific recommendations to help guide the firm in the right direction. The same issues we highlighted during our initial audit were those that ultimately proved to be those that led to penalty so we were prepared to quickly execute a comprehensive plan to remedy the loss. While the site did not lack content, the low-quality nature of its content was causing its rankings to be penalized.

By performing an in-depth content audit, iPullRank put forth a robust content strategy that included positioning the firm as the authority on trademark law. After keyword research and targeting, we created a series of infographics and Ebooks targeted toward beginner businesses and
startups
. When it was all said and done, and the new content deployed, we were able to increase lead conversions by more than 500% year over year.

New Emphasis on Content

With E-A-T as a guideline, quality content becomes the name of the game. Metrics, like inbound links, are not the straightforward indicators they once were.

This emphasis on quality has left many in the industry working to define what quality truly means, what useful content is, or what bad content is and what companies can do to avoid making it.

Enterprise companies have an advantage with more resources to create high-quality, search-driven content. And it doesn’t end with Search.

Content has extended beyond Owned properties to social media and email. A strong communications strategy is now essential, and pulling together all of the disparate pieces can aid larger sites in gaining a competitive advantage.

Enterprise Companies Can
Leverage This Shift By:

• Developing persona-driven content strategies

• Using always-on and campaign-based content streams

• Developing centralized content governance models

• Optimizing plans based on content performance

• Creating a content ecosystem and lifecycle