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SEO Management

Methods and Techniques to Achieve Success

Véronique Duong

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Search engine optimization (SEO) has been my passion since 2010. I am a computer linguist engineer by trade and I became an SEO expert thanks to self-study. Today, I have made it a real profession and co-founded an international search agency in Paris. I regularly speak at events related to SEO, search and web marketing.

I decided to write a second book on SEO project management and SEO techniques covering several search engines (Google, Baidu, Yandex, Naver, etc.) in order to share and highlight a generic and broad approach to my methodology and support the large contingent of people interested in the field. I share my know-how and most of the main actions that make it possible to succeed in the rankings, the organic traffic and visibility of a site.

When I wrote my first book on SEO Baidu, I was also president of the largest SEO association in France, the “SEO Camp”. With hindsight and in response to the current issues facing the SEO business, I would like to make the latter expand simply and correctly throughout the world.

That is also why I specialize in SEO on an international scale, knowing that speaking six languages helps me a lot.

I wish to dedicate this book to my parents and sister for their daily support, my associates Steve and Benjamin from Rankwell, my friends and social circle, current and former collaborators and my SEO mates.

SEO: An Essential Traffic Channel

Search Engine Optimization is a well-known and recognized field (or sector or online marketing activity) for companies and organizations that want to succeed in their online visibility strategy. It is a complete field, where we find:

The most well-known search engines are currently Google (which has a monopoly in terms of market share in most countries) and Baidu (mainly in China). The biggest brands rely heavily on these two engines to acquire traffic or visits and carry out transactions.

In this book, we will explain the technical, semantic and link building strategies to optimize a site, from A to Z. From the tag to the conversion, we will go into detail to help companies that want to be visible online achieve their objectives. In this book, we will share concrete examples in all the chapters on technical SEO and semantic SEO because we want to share recommendations that are directly applicable in the field.

A chapter will also be devoted to SEO project management in order to allow any expert or researcher in the field of SEO to carry out the necessary optimizations on a website.

Techniques related to automatic language processing will also be explained, such as TF-IDF (a statistical measurement used to calculate a score that determines which web page would be most likely to be positioned on a particular keyword), n-grams (which are sequences of words or characters used to detect duplicate content) and named entities (which represent linguistic expressions to determine the names of places, people, organizations, etc.). The latter are also used for voice search, a popular topic for the future of search engines, which aim to become response engines.

State of the Art of SEO

1.1. The market share of search engines

Before we talk about search engine optimization (SEO), we must first focus on the market share of search engines around the world. Indeed, in the West and Asia, we are not looking for information on the same engine. In European and English-speaking countries, the most widely used engine is the American Google. In China, on the other hand, Baidu is the most widely used. At the moment, Google and Baidu are the search engines with the highest market share in the world1.


Figure 1.1. Google and Baidu worldwide market share. For a color version of this figure, see

Therefore, for these territories in the world, we must focus on Google and Baidu (and also its national competitors, such as Shenma, Qihoo 360 and Sogou). There are still other search engines for different countries in the world; here is the list:

  • – in Russia, there is Yandex, which has a fairly large market share with more than 50%2, while Google has less than 45%;
  • – in South Korea, there is Naver, which has a market share of 25–30%3 (Google possesses the majority);
  • – in Japan, there is Yahoo! Japan, a local search engine based on Bing’s results in Japanese and which has an average4 market share of about 30%, depending on the year (Google also has the remaining share of the majority in this case).

Every year, search engines evolve at faster and faster speeds. In this book, we will discuss SEO methodologies that apply to all search engines, since the different engines all have a common base: one or more bots (called crawlers or engine robots) that scan web pages, index them and then push them into search results in relation to a particular query.

1.2. Developed technologies and voice search

1.2.1. Google AMP and Baidu MIP

Since 2015, the two largest search engines in the world, Google and Baidu, have developed many technologies, such as AMP (accelerated mobile pages) at Google and MIP (mobile instant pages) at Baidu.

AMP and MIP aim to make the pages of mobile sites as fast as possible, so that they load in 3 sec maximum on smartphones and tablets.


Figure 1.2. AMP in the West, MIP in China

Google and Baidu wish to accelerate the Web, in order to take into account more and more data, to index them faster, with the objective that web pages represent the least possible use of their resources. To do this, the AMP and MIP versions of the sites are very refined: there is little JavaScript, few images and few CSS (cascading style sheets).

Figure 1.3 shows an example of a site in classic version and in AMP version5 (Google).


Figure 1.3. Classic web page versus AMP (or MIP) web page

The idea of these new HTML AMP and HTML MIP languages is to include only the essential information on smartphone users’ browsers. Advertisements, images and elements that are not important information for users are hidden or are not recalled in the mobile version in AMP or MIP.

Google focuses on AMP and is planning on deploying the technology in a major way from 2020. Baidu, for its part, announced that sites in AMP (the language developed by its American counterpart) could also be supported in their system6. The Chinese engine could then take into account both HTML versions, AMP and MIP.

1.2.2. Voice search and connected speakers

Voice search will become one of the most widely used channels in the West by 2020. We estimate that 70% of searches will be done using voice in a few years. According to a study conducted by SEMrush (a statistical tool for monitoring analytics), future searches will undergo a major change compared to current methods.

Figure 1.4 illustrates the primary representation of future search methods.


Figure 1.4. Evolution of search methods and device use (image source: Kalicube)

From 2020, the majority of us will be carrying out voice searches using speakers, such as Google Home, and we will use computers much less than before.


Figure 1.5. Google Home

According to statistics and studies, there were more than 1 billion voice searches carried out in January 20187. That is why our way of making recommendations or giving SEO recommendations must also adapt and change. We need to focus on featured snippets, knowledge graphs, local referencing with Google My Business, rich cards, rich snippets,8 etc. has launched a tagging system for content for voice searches, with a structured data tag called Speakable. Its syntax is as follows:

< !DOCTYPE html>


<head rel="home" href="/" itemid="" itemscope itemtype=">

<title>Example showing complex structures in HTML head</title>

<meta itemprop="cssSelector" content=".title" />

<meta itemprop="xpath" content="/html/body/h3" />



<h1 class="title">Complex Microdata in HTML head</h1>




Here are some recommendations proposed by Google for the Speakable tag:

  • – it is not necessary to insert the tag in complete content, but rather on certain precise and specific points that explain the general idea well;
  • - do not insert this tag on content that could create confusion when it is vocalized: photo caption, content source, geolocation, etc.;
  • – the content can be of two to three sentences (or 20–30 sec of audio content, once vocalized).

At the time of writing, Speakable is only available for U.S. English in the United States, but Google mentions that other language-country pairs should follow soon, depending on the success of this new possibility.

This tag is also only valid for sites included in Google News at the moment. Therefore, for a French site in the classic search part, the use of Speakable is not possible at the moment, but it is necessary to monitor its evolution in the years to come.

Figure 1.6 illustrates the trend of Google Home searches worldwide over the past 5 years (knowing that Google Home has been on the market since March 2016).


Figure 1.6. Evolving interest in Google Home

We notice that there is an interest in Google Home and that there are search peaks during the end of year holidays (because Internet users certainly use it to look for gifts).

In China and Asia, Internet users are already much less likely to be on computers and more likely to be connected to mobiles. With voice speakers like Baidu’s Xiaoyu (小鱼在家) and Alibaba’s Tmall Genie X1, voice search figures are likely to increase rapidly as well.


Figure 1.7. Speaker with Baidu Xiaoyu Zaijia display

Figure 1.8 shows the search trend for Baidu Xiaoyu, the voice speaker of China’s leading search engine.


Figure 1.8. Evolution of interest in Baidu Xiaoyu

In China, we clearly see that Internet users have a real interest in voice search: we are talking about 400 searches per day on the Baidu Xiaoyu speaker. When we compare it with Google Home, on a range covering all countries and over the last 5 years, the latter does not demonstrate such large results.

If a company wants to do SEO in China using Baidu, it is necessary to think about voice search now.

On Google, we have search results at the very top of the results page (also called SERP [Search Engine Results Page]), which are called “featured snippets”. These results are also considered to be classified as “zero position” or “0 position”. These are what are spoken by Google Home.

Figure 1.9 shows an example of a featured snippet on the definition of the term language engineering.


Figure 1.9. Example of a framed zero/featured snippet position at the beginning of the result page

It is now necessary to optimize web pages with techniques that allow sites to move up to position 0, so that Internet users can hear the answers to their questions asked orally.

In Chapters 3 and 4, we will come back to this case and explain how human–machine communication works at the moment, and how we can move to position 0 or featured snippet.

Since 2015, Google and Baidu have been carrying out regular research and projects. We have detailed the major projects for the coming years, projects that will have a concrete impact on society. Voice search will reach a large number of people in today’s society and we must prepare for it now. Mobile-friendly web pages will also have a direct impact on everyone’s daily life.

If we have sites that load faster on mobile phones, we can access information faster and also save time in the long term.

Google is still preparing projects on Progressive Web Apps and Instant Apps and launching new algorithms, such as Rankbrain (a semantic web and artificial intelligence algorithm that aims to provide more relevant search results for users, through semantic analysis and a network of more advanced semantic relationships). For its part, Baidu is working on several subjects: artificial intelligence applied to autonomous vehicles, voice speakers, MIP pages, etc.

The objective of this book is to outline the basic information on all search engines, and especially to teach a methodology for the management of SEO projects.

Our first goal is to explain concretely how to manage an SEO project and how to make sure that the web pages of a site are relevant for search engines, so that they generate organic traffic, and eventually conversions or transactions.

In Chapter 2, we will explain step by step how to manage an SEO project, then we will discuss technical SEO and semantic SEO in the following two chapters respectively.

  1. 1 “Google et Baidu, les deux géants de la recherche sur Internet”, available at:
  2. 2 “Yandex, les parts de marché russe en hausse!”, available at:
  3. 3 “The most popular South Korean search engines”, available at:
  4. 4 “Most Popular Search Engines in Japan: Google Japan vs Yahoo! Japan”, available at:
  5. 5 “Google et sa nouvelle règle AMP contre les utilisations abusives!”, available at:
  6. 6 “Baidu becomes Google’s biggest ally in mobile page speed”, available at:
  7. 7 “15 chiffres sur la recherche vocale qui interpellent”, available at:
  8. 8 Rich snippets: these are search results enriched with stars (reviews), product prices, event dates, or any element that can complement a search result in search engines.