Correlation the SEO Way. Maybe Not?

April 11, 2018

Here is a fact about Hollywood: They love to boil movies down to a formula and regurgitate every movie into said formula over and over again. Some examples are Disney animated films, superhero films prior to the Disney Marvel franchise, and the Roman/Greek epics circa mid-twentieth century. Instead of focusing on how to tell a good story, Hollywood focuses on the auxiliary components like location, actors, and special effects.

Micheal Martinez from SEO Theory recently wrote, “Google Correlation Studies Are Sham Search Engine Optimization” and expressed that trying to learn anything from Google correlation studies is worthless. It is like Hollywood trying to develop a formula that delivers absolutely nothing. Martinez explains that Google changes it search rankings based on an algorithm. That algorithm is updated in real time from Google’s search index, so trying to create a formula to guarantee top hits is useless:

“The illusion of the power of correlation studies was driven by the popularity of one or two well-known “SEO” blogs — but I don’t want to single anyone out because, frankly, this problem didn’t arise due to the popularity of anyone’s blog. This problem arose because people in the SEO industry are too gullible and willing to accept any bullshit that is embedded in a Power Point presentation or infographic. That is, 100% of us put too much credence into presentation and insufficient analysis into methodology. I can’t exclude myself from that — not because I have ever believed any of these “correlation does not equal causation (wink wink)” arguments but because I find it too easy to point to what someone else says and use that as a reference for something I want to believe. I catch myself doing this all the time.”

There is not a reliable way to track and measure Google’s algorithm data. The only people who know that information are Google employees and they are not about to share their secrets. It is smart to be aware of SEO practices to develop good content, just do not follow them religiously.

Whitney Grace, April 11, 2018


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