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Google’s Gary Illyes Urges SEOs to Stick to the Basics

Google’s Gary Illyes Urges SEOs to Stick to the Basics

More than once during his recent AMA on Reddit, Google’s Gary Illyes advised SEOs to stick to the basics.

In particular, that means making sites more crawlable.

A question was asked about his thoughts on the future of SEO and what will continue to play a role in ranking websites.

Illyes responded by emphatically stating that he wants to see SEOs go back to the basics.

To that end, he also recommends focusing less on updates and metrics developed by rank tracking software.

Here is Illyes’ full statement:

“i really wish SEOs went back to the basics (i.e. MAKE THAT DAMN SITE CRAWLABLE) instead of focusing on silly updates and made up terms by the rank trackers, and that they talked more with the developers of the website once done with the first part of this sentence.”

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Illyes reiterated that statement further down the thread when asked about his favorite SEO conspiracy theory.

Generally, he dislikes all conspiracy theories, because they’re evidence that SEOs are not focusing on what really matters.

In his words:

“I don’t have a favorite, they generally want me to crawl up in a corner and cry, because we don’t do a good enough job getting people to focus on the important things…


Illyes took a subtle shot at rank tracking tools at another point during the AMA.

A user asked Illyes a question and kept repeating the term “link velocity,” which Illyes was clearly not thrilled about.

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Illyes responded:

“I would love if you didn’t focus that much on links and made up terms like link velocity.”

For more insight from Google’s Gary Illyes, read the full AMA here.

Also, see these resources:


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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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