This interview was conducted by Semrush blog contributor Hardik Oza.
If you have spent some time in the search industry, then you have probably heard the name Dan Petrovic (a.k.a. Dejan SEO). Dan is the managing director of Dejan SEO. He is well-known in the SEO community for his research and experiments.
I spoke with Dan recently and asked him five questions.
Question: You’re spending a lot of time on research and experiments. What methodology do you use for experiments?
Answer: Lately, I’ve been testing a variety of Google’s behaviors. The results of one of those tests has already been published.
Typically, I set up a parent resource that links to its children or vice versa, depending on the type of behavior I’m examining. One of those pages tends to be the actual experiment while others act as a control group. There is an exception to this in cases where I examine result ordering for which I must employ all of the test pages. In some instances, it is necessary to flow PageRank to my test pages; this is to boost crawling and indexing mainly, but sometimes I’ve used it to test ranking influence as well.
When dealing with a lot of pages, I employ my experiment tracking script which outputs raw data as well as charts such as this one:
Visualizations of experiments help me understand SERP movements at a glance.
Q: Where do you see SEO heading in the future?
A: SEO will become a skill within the digital marketing industry, and we’ll see fewer pure SEO companies out there and more digital agencies.
Q: What is the biggest change you expect from Google in 2015?
A: Mobile. Also, mobile. And maybe some more mobile.
For some reason, Googlers have been pushing mobile site topics quite aggressively over the last 12 months. It seems odd they’d all start at once. This is something that’s coming from top as a direction. Perhaps it has something to do with Google becoming a carrier.
Q: According to you, what are the major Google ranking factors?
A: Links combined with on-site keywords. That said, QDF scenario relies on quicker signals, including a website’s reputation (citations, links, etc.) combined with social signals.
Q: What is your SEO super power?
A: I am quite creative. When faced with a boring topic, I can make it interesting. Here’s an example of something I did as a skin care product linkbait.
We presented ladies with this guy:
We didn’t tell them we tracked the clicks using CrazyEgg heat maps (not your typical use of their technology). The result was the following heat map with sharing options: