Trending December 2023 # Mike Grehan On Learning To Rank, Information Retrieval & The Death Of Ses # Suggested January 2024 # Top 14 Popular

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“What I’m doing with my own team now is to stop thinking about SEO and think about CEA and that’s content experience analyst. And think about the content that I need to meet me at every stage of the journey. Stop thinking about search – if it ranks, if it does all of this kind of thing… It’s hard to map that customer journey but just stop thinking about in search that I have to write compelling headlines and text has to be this. Think creatively. You normally talk about engagement in SEO and how important it is.”

“SEO pioneer, author, world-traveler and keynote speaker, Champagne connoisseur and consummate drinking partner to the global digital marketing community…”

This is how Mike Grehan describes himself in his bio, but there’s so much about Mike that more aspiring – and even seasoned – digital marketers need to know.

He has been online for 25 years and a pioneer in SEO, “the most modern industry in the world,” but Mike says he doesn’t know “if modern industry and quarter of century actually go together in the same sentence.”

A self-confessed futurist, Mike is good at knowing what’s coming next. He’s been writing about search, machine learning, and AI as early as 2005.

“Forecasting… I can look at what’s happening in research work and the scientific field, and then think how long will it take before it actually happens, before it becomes a thing.”

Through all of these roles he’s taken on, he has touched the lives of thousands of other marketers in this industry – including mine.

So in today’s edition of The Search Engine Journal Show, I talk to Mike Grehan – an SEO pro you should get to know better.

About Mike Grehan

Mike Grehan is the CMO and the Managing Director of Acronym Media.

He is also currently Chairman at SEMPO, the largest global trade association for search marketers.

Listen to this episode and get to know Mike’s interesting and valuable insights on learning how to rank, information retrieval, and the death of SES.

He also tells us why we should move away from the term “SEO”, how to achieve sustainable success in this industry, and so much more.

Show Notes

Which marketing tactics and efforts have proven to be the most impactful and brought the biggest growth to Acronym over the past 12 months? [2:03]

Is ranking for Google today significantly more complex or different? [6:21]

“Under Pressure” by Queen – a song that sums up the state of search today according to Mike. [7:59]

On HTML being an “outdated” tech and the future of the web. [10:18]

Mike shares his thoughts on the possibility of breaking up major tech companies, more regulations of Google, and more.  [12:44]

Getting in touch with Danny Sullivan in the early days of search, being one of the earliest speakers when Search Engine Strategies was getting off the ground, and eventually taking on a role at Incisive Media. [21:26]

Looking back, is there anything Mike would have changed about any decisions he’s made over the years? [32:34]

The story of how Matt Cutts’ “epic return” and then-competitor Danny Sullivan’s visit to SES San Francisco came to be. [37:52]

What led him to leave Incisive Media the night before April 1st. [44:24]

Mike’s top public speaking tips: Stop trying to be somebody else. And if you forget to say something when there’s a slide up there… the only person who knows that you didn’t do it is you. [48:04]

How does Mike stay so in tune with where all the trends are going? [55:12]

Mike talks about some of his early written pieces on search that were way ahead of its time. [59:11]

If you Mike wasn’t in search or marketing, he’d be in the music industry. [1:05:09]

The key to sustainable success in this industry: “Get out of search. We know that things start with search. We know they frequently end with search. What happens in the middle is what we need to try and figure out now.” [1:15:15]

Mike talks about how he overcome career struggles and what he learned from that experience. [1:19:12]

What is next for Mike Grehan? [1:21:31]

Links from the Episode

How to connect with Mike Grehan:

People Mentioned

To listen to this Search Engine Show: Better Know an SEO Pro Podcast with Mike Grehan:

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You're reading Mike Grehan On Learning To Rank, Information Retrieval & The Death Of Ses

Npr: Mike Daisey’s Theatrical Piece On Foxconn Workers’ Plight Is Mostly Theatrics

Marketplace and This American Life retracted their stories based on the work of Mike Daisey due to further reporting and supplemental accounts from his translator. Daisey’s one-man show relived a trip to Foxconn where he claimed, among other things, to have met “14 year olds, 13 year olds, even 12 year olds” who toiled in Apple’s sweatshops for multiple shifts at a time. He also met people deformed from working on Apple products.

Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz, who covers Asia for the news organization, did not believe what he heard—that Daisey was able to find all of this on his first six-day trip to China. He looked for Daisey’s translator, but Daisey conveniently lost the contact information. When he found Cathy Lee (above), she had no knowledge about most of the information Daisey used in his monologue.

It appears that much of Daisey’s show is fabricated from news events and stories that Apple and Foxconn already documented. To their credit, NPR got to the bottom of the story. Here is the transcript of the radio interview on This American Life:

Rob Schmitz: Cathy says you did not talk to workers who were poisoned with hexane.

Mike Daisey: That’s correct.

RS: So you lied about that? That wasn’t what you saw?

MD: I wouldn’t express it that way.

RS: How would you express it?

MD: I would say that I wanted to tell a story that captured the totality of my trip.

Ira Glass: Did you meet workers like that? Or did you just read about the issue?

MD: I met workers in, um, Hong Kong, going to Apple protests who had not been poisoned by hexane but had known people who had been, and it was a constant conversation among those workers.

IG: So you didn’t meet an actual worker who’d been poisoned by hexane.

MD: That’s correct.

Daisey was quick to respond on his blog, where he wrote:

“This American Life” has raised questions about the adaptation of AGONY/ECSTASY we created for their program. Here is my response:

I stand by my work. My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge. It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity. Certainly, the comprehensive investigations undertaken by The New York Times and a number of labor rights groups to document conditions in electronics manufacturing would seem to bear this out.

What I do is not journalism. The tools of the theater are not the same as the tools of journalism. For this reason, I regret that I allowed THIS AMERICAN LIFE to air an excerpt from my monologue. THIS AMERICAN LIFE is essentially a journalistic ­- not a theatrical ­- enterprise, and as such it operates under a different set of rules and expectations. But this is my only regret. I am proud that my work seems to have sparked a growing storm of attention and concern over the often appalling conditions under which many of the high-tech products we love so much are assembled in China.

A video interview of Daisey from earlier this year:

[vodpod id=Video.16233269&w=425&h=350&fv=launch%3D46390964%5E68529%5E402736%26amp%3Bwidth%3D420%26amp%3Bheight%3D245]

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40 Questions To Test A Data Scientist On Deep Learning


Deep Learning has made many practical applications of machine learning possible. Deep Learning breaks down tasks in a way that makes all kinds of applications possible. This skilltest was conducted to test your knowledge of deep learning concepts.

A total of 853 people registered for this skill test. The test was designed to test the conceptual knowledge of deep learning. If you are one of those who missed out on this skill test, here are the questions and solutions. You missed on the real time test, but can read this article to find out how you could have answered correctly.

Here are the leaderboard ranking for all the participants.

Overall Scores

Below are the distribution scores, they will help you evaluate your performance.

You can access the final scores here. More than 270 people participated in the skill test and the highest score obtained was 38. Here are a few statistics about the distribution.

Mean Score: 15.05

Median Score: 18

Mode Score: 0

Useful Resources

A Complete Guide on Getting Started with Deep Learning in Python

The Evolution and Core Concepts of Deep Learning & Neural Networks

Practical Guide to implementing Neural Networks in Python (using Theano)

Fundamentals of Deep Learning – Starting with Artificial Neural Network

An Introduction to Implementing Neural Networks using TensorFlow

Fine-tuning a Keras model using Theano trained Neural Network & Introduction to Transfer Learning

6 Deep Learning Applications a beginner can build in minutes (using Python)

Questions & Answers

1) The difference between deep learning and machine learning algorithms is that there is no need of feature engineering in machine learning algorithms, whereas, it is recommended to do feature engineering first and then apply deep learning.



Solution: (B)

Deep learning itself does feature engineering whereas machine learning requires manual feature engineering.

2) Which of the following is a representation learning algorithm?

A) Neural network

B) Random Forest

C) k-Nearest neighbor

D) None of the above

Solution: (A)

Neural network converts data in such a form that it would be better to solve the desired problem. This is called representation learning.

3) Which of the following option is correct for the below-mentioned techniques?

AdaGrad uses first order differentiation

L-BFGS uses second order differentiation

AdaGrad uses second order differentiation

L-BFGS uses first order differentiation

A) 1 and 2

B) 3 and 4

C) 1 and 4

D) 2 and 3

Solution: (A)

Option A is correct.


4) Increase in size of a convolutional kernel would necessarily increase the performance of a convolutional neural network. 



Solution: (B)

Kernel size is a hyperparameter and therefore by changing it we can increase or decrease performance.


Question Context 

Now you want to use this model on different dataset which has images of only Ford Mustangs (aka car) and the task is to locate the car in an image.

5) Which of the following categories would be suitable for this type of problem?

A) Fine tune only the last couple of layers and change the last layer (classification layer) to regression layer

B) Freeze all the layers except the last, re-train the last layer

C) Re-train the model for the new dataset

D) None of these

Solution: (A)


6) Suppose you have 5 convolutional kernel of size 7 x 7 with zero padding and stride 1 in the first layer of a convolutional neural network. You pass an input of dimension 224 x 224 x 3 through this layer. What are the dimensions of the data which the next layer will receive? 

A) 217 x 217 x 3

B) 217 x 217 x 8

C) 218 x 218 x 5

D) 220 x 220 x 7

Solution: (C)


7) Suppose we have a neural network with ReLU activation function. Let’s say, we replace ReLu activations by linear activations.

Would this new neural network be able to approximate an XNOR function? 

Note: The neural network was able to approximate XNOR function with activation function ReLu.

A) Yes

B) No

Solution: (B)

If ReLU activation is replaced by linear activation, the neural network loses its power to approximate non-linear function.


8) Suppose we have a 5-layer neural network which takes 3 hours to train on a GPU with 4GB VRAM. At test time, it takes 2 seconds for single data point. 

Now we change the architecture such that we add dropout after 2nd and 4th layer with rates 0.2 and 0.3 respectively.

What would be the testing time for this new architecture?

A) Less than 2 secs

B) Exactly 2 secs

C) Greater than 2 secs

D) Can’t Say

Solution: (B)

The changes is architecture when we add dropout only changes in the training, and not at test time.


9) Which of the following options can be used to reduce overfitting in deep learning models?

Add more data

Use data augmentation 

Use architecture that generalizes well

Add regularization

Reduce architectural complexity

A) 1, 2, 3

B) 1, 4, 5

C) 1, 3, 4, 5

D) All of these

Solution: (D)

All of the above techniques can be used to reduce overfitting.


10) Perplexity is a commonly used evaluation technique when applying deep learning for NLP tasks. Which of the following statement is correct?

A) Higher the perplexity the better

B) Lower the perplexity the better

Solution: (B)


11) Suppose an input to Max-Pooling layer is given above. The pooling size of neurons in the layer is (3, 3).

What would be the output of this Pooling layer?

A) 3

B) 5

C) 5.5

D) 7

Solution: (D)

Max pooling works as follows, it first takes the input using the pooling size we defined, and gives out the highest activated input.


12) Suppose there is a neural network with the below configuration. 

If we remove the ReLU layers, we can still use this neural network to model non-linear functions.



Solution: (B)


13) Deep learning can be applied to which of the following NLP tasks?

A) Machine translation

B) Sentiment analysis

C) Question Answering system

D) All of the above

Solution: (D)

Deep learning can be applied to all of the above-mentioned NLP tasks.


14) Scenario 1: You are given data of the map of Arcadia city, with aerial photographs of the city and its outskirts. The task is to segment the areas into industrial land, farmland and natural landmarks like river, mountains, etc.

Deep learning can be applied to Scenario 1 but not Scenario 2.



Solution: (B)

Scenario 1 is on Euclidean data and scenario 2 is on Graphical data. Deep learning can be applied to both types of data.


15) Which of the following is a data augmentation technique used in image recognition tasks?

Horizontal flipping

Random cropping

Random scaling

Color jittering

Random translation

Random shearing

A) 1, 2, 4

B) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

C) 1, 3, 5, 6

D) All of these

Solution: (D)


16) Given an n-character word, we want to predict which character would be the n+1th character in the sequence. For example, our input is “predictio” (which is a 9 character word) and we have to predict what would be the 10th character.

Which neural network architecture would be suitable to complete this task?

A) Fully-Connected Neural Network

B) Convolutional Neural Network

C) Recurrent Neural Network

D) Restricted Boltzmann Machine

Solution: (C)

Recurrent neural network works best for sequential data. Therefore, it would be best for the task.


17) What is generally the sequence followed when building a neural network architecture for semantic segmentation for image?

A) Convolutional network on input and deconvolutional network on output

B) Deconvolutional network on input and convolutional network on output

Solution: (A)


18) Sigmoid was the most commonly used activation function in neural network, until an issue was identified. The issue is that when the gradients are too large in positive or negative direction, the resulting gradients coming out of the activation function get squashed. This is called saturation of the neuron.

That is why ReLU function was proposed, which kept the gradients same as before in the positive direction.

A ReLU unit in neural network never gets saturated.



Solution: (B)

ReLU can get saturated too. This can be on the negative side of x-axis.


19) What is the relationship between dropout rate and regularization?

Note: we have defined dropout rate as the probability of keeping a neuron active?

A) Higher the dropout rate, higher is the regularization

B) Higher the dropout rate, lower is the regularization

Solution: (B)

Higher dropout rate says that more neurons are active. So there would be less regularization.


20) What is the technical difference between vanilla backpropagation algorithm and backpropagation through time (BPTT) algorithm?

A) Unlike backprop, in BPTT we sum up gradients for corresponding weight for each time step

B) Unlike backprop, in BPTT we subtract gradients for corresponding weight for each time step

Solution: (A)

BPTT is used in context of recurrent neural networks. It works by summing up gradients for each time step


21) Exploding gradient problem is an issue in training deep networks where the gradient getS so large that the loss goes to an infinitely high value and then explodes.

What is the probable approach when dealing with “Exploding Gradient” problem in RNNs?

A) Use modified architectures like LSTM and GRUs

B) Gradient clipping

C) Dropout

D) None of these

Solution: (B)

To deal with exploding gradient problem, it’s best to threshold the gradient values at a specific point. This is called gradient clipping.


22) There are many types of gradient descent algorithms. Two of the most notable ones are l-BFGS and SGD. l-BFGS is a second order gradient descent technique whereas SGD is a first order gradient descent technique.

In which of the following scenarios would you prefer l-BFGS over SGD?

Data is sparse

Number of parameters of neural network are small

A) Both 1 and 2

B) Only 1

C) Only 2

D) None of these

Solution: (A)

l-BFGS works best for both of the scenarios.


23) Which of the following is not a direct prediction technique for NLP tasks?

A) Recurrent Neural Network

B) Skip-gram model


D) Convolutional neural network

Solution: (C)


24) Which of the following would be the best for a non-continuous objective during optimization in deep neural net?



C) AdaGrad

D) Subgradient method

Solution: (D)

Other optimization algorithms might fail on non-continuous objectives, but sub-gradient method would not.


25) Which of the following is correct?

Dropout randomly masks the input weights to a neuron

Dropconnect randomly masks both input and output weights to a neuron

A) 1 is True and 2 is False

B) 1 is False and 2 is True

C) Both 1 and 2 are True

D) Both 1 and 2 are False

Solution: (D)

In dropout, neurons are dropped; whereas in dropconnect; connections are dropped. So both input and output weights will be rendered in useless, i.e. both will be dropped for a neuron. Whereas in dropconnect, only one of them should be dropped


26) While training a neural network for image recognition task, we plot the graph of training error and validation error for debugging.

What is the best place in the graph for early stopping?

A) A

B) B

C) C

D) D

Solution: (C)

You would “early stop” where the model is most generalized. Therefore option C is correct.


27) Research is going on to solve image inpainting problems using computer vision with deep learning. For this, which loss function would be appropriate for computing the pixel-wise region to be inpainted?

Image inpainting is one of those problems which requires human expertise for solving it. It is particularly useful to repair damaged photos or videos. Below is an example of input and output of an image inpainting example.

A) Euclidean loss

B) Negative-log Likelihood loss

C) Any of the above

Solution: (C)

Both A and B can be used as a loss function for image inpainting problem.

A) Sum of squared error with respect to inputs

B) Sum of squared error with respect to weights

C) Sum of squared error with respect to outputs

D) None of the above

Solution: (C)

29) Mini-Batch sizes when defining a neural network are preferred to be multiple of 2’s such as 256 or 512. What is the reason behind it?

A) Gradient descent optimizes best when you use an even number

B) Parallelization of neural network is best when the memory is used optimally

C) Losses are erratic when you don’t use an even number

D) None of these

Solution: (B)


30) Xavier initialization is most commonly used to initialize the weights of a neural network. Below is given the formula for initialization.

If weights at the start are small, then signals reaching the end will be too tiny.

If weights at the start are too large, signals reaching the end will be too large.

Weights from Xavier’s init are drawn from the Gaussian distribution.

Xavier’s init helps reduce vanishing gradient problem.

Xavier’s init is used to help the input signals reach deep into the network. Which of the following statements are true?

A) 1, 2, 4

B) 2, 3, 4

C) 1, 3, 4

D) 1, 2, 3

E) 1, 2, 3, 4

Solution: (D)

All of the above statements are true.


31) As the length of sentence increases, it becomes harder for a neural translation machine to perform as sentence meaning is represented by a fixed dimensional vector. To solve this, which of the following could we do?

A) Use recursive units instead of recurrent

B)Use attention mechanism

C) Use character level translation

D) None of these

Solution: (B)

32) A recurrent neural network can be unfolded into a full-connected neural network with infinite length.



Solution: (A)

Recurrent neuron can be thought of as a neuron sequence of infinite length of time steps.


33) Which of the following is a bottleneck for deep learning algorithm?

A) Data related to the problem

B) CPU to GPU communication

C) GPU memory

D) All of the above

Solution: (D)

Along with having the knowledge of how to apply deep learning algorithms, you should also know the implementation details. Therefore you should know that all the above mentioned problems are a bottleneck for deep learning algorithm.


34) Dropout is a regularization technique used especially in the context of deep learning. It works as following, in one iteration we first randomly choose neurons in the layers and masks them. Then this network is trained and optimized in the same iteration. In the next iteration, another set of randomly chosen neurons are selected and masked and the training continues.

A) Affine layer

B) Convolutional layer

C) RNN layer

D) None of these

Solution: (C)

Dropout does not work well with recurrent layer. You would have to modify dropout technique a bit to get good results.


35) Suppose your task is to predict the next few notes of song when you are given the preceding segment of the song.

For example:

The input given to you is an image depicting the music symbols as given below,

Your required output is an image of succeeding symbols.

Which architecture of neural network would be better suited to solve the problem?

A) End-to-End fully connected neural network

B) Convolutional neural network followed by recurrent units

C) Neural Turing Machine

D) None of these

Solution: (B)

CNN work best on image recognition problems, whereas RNN works best on sequence prediction. Here you would have to use best of both worlds!


36) When deriving a memory cell in memory networks, we choose to read values as vector values instead of scalars. Which type of addressing would this entail?

A) Content-based addressing

B) Location-based addressing

Solution: (A)

A) Affine layer

B) Strided convolutional layer

C) Fractional strided convolutional layer

D) ReLU layer

Solution: (C)

Option C is correct. Go through this link.


Question Context 38-40

GRU is a special type of Recurrent Neural Networks proposed to overcome the difficulties of classical RNNs. This is the paper in which they were proposed: “On the Properties of Neural Machine Translation: Encoder–Decoder Approaches. Read the full paper here. 

38) Which of the following statements is true with respect to GRU?

Units with short-term dependencies have reset gate very active.

Units with long-term dependencies have update gate very active

A) Only 1

B) Only 2

C) None of them

D) Both 1 and 2

Solution: (D)


39) If calculation of reset gate in GRU unit is close to 0, which of the following would occur?

A) Previous hidden state would be ignored

B) Previous hidden state would be not be ignored

Solution: (A)


40) If calculation of update gate in GRU unit is close to 1, which of the following would occur? 

A) Forgets the information for future time steps

B) Copies the information through many time steps

Solution: (B)


End Notes

If you missed out on this competition, make sure you complete in the ones coming up shortly. We are giving cash prizes worth $10,000+ during the month of April 2023.

If you have any questions or doubts feel free to post them below.

Check out all the upcoming skilltests here.


Difference Between Information And Data

What is Data?

Data is a raw and unorganized fact that required to be processed to make it meaningful. Data can be simple at the same time unorganized unless it is organized. Generally, data comprises facts, observations, perceptions numbers, characters, symbols, image, etc.

Data is always interpreted, by a human or machine, to derive meaning. So, data is meaningless. Data contains numbers, statements, and characters in a raw form.

What is Information?

Information is a set of data which is processed in a meaningful way according to the given requirement. Information is processed, structured, or presented in a given context to make it meaningful and useful.

It is processed data which includes data that possess context, relevance, and purpose. It also involves manipulation of raw data.

Information assigns meaning and improves the reliability of the data. It helps to ensure undesirability and reduces uncertainty. So, when the data is transformed into information, it never has any useless details.


Data is a raw and unorganized fact that is required to be processed to make it meaningful whereas Information is a set of data that is processed in a meaningful way according to the given requirement.

Data does not have any specific purpose whereas Information carries a meaning that has been assigned by interpreting data.

Data alone has no significance while Information is significant by itself.

Data never depends on Information while Information is dependent on Data.

Data measured in bits and bytes, on the other hand, Information is measured in meaningful units like time, quantity, etc.

Data can be structured, tabular data, graph, data tree whereas Information is language, ideas, and thoughts based on the given data.

Data Vs. Information

Parameters Data Information

Description Qualitative Or QuantitativeVariables which helps to develop ideas or conclusions. It is a group of data which carries news and meaning.

Etymology Data comes from a Latin word, datum, which means “To give something.” Over a time “data” has become the plural of datum. Information word has old French and middle English origins. It has referred to the “act of informing.”. It is mostly used for education or other known communication.

Format Data is in the form of numbers, letters, or a set of characters. Ideas and inferences

Represented in It can be structured, tabular data, graph, data tree, etc. Language, ideas, andthoughts based on the given data.

Meaning Data does not have any specific purpose. It carries meaning that has been assigned by interpreting data.

Interrelation Information that is collected Information that is processed.

Feature Data is a single unit and is raw. It alone doesn’t have any meaning. Information is the product and group of data which jointly carry a logical meaning.

Dependence It never depends on Information It depended on Data.

Measuring unit Measured in bits and bytes. Measured in meaningful units like time, quantity, etc.

Support for Decision making It can’t be used for decision making It is widely used for decision making.

Contains Unprocessed raw factors Processed in a meaningful way

Knowledge level It is low-level knowledge. It is the second level of knowledge.

Characteristic Data is the property of an organization and is not available for sale to the public. Information is available for sale to the public.

Dependency Data depends upon the sources for collecting data. Information depends upon data.

Example Ticket sales on a band on tour. Sales report by region and venue. It gives information which venue is profitable for that business.

Significance Data alone has no signifiance. Information is significant by itself.

Meaning Data is based on records and observations and, which are stored in computers or remembered by a person. Information is considered more reliable than data. It helps the researcher to conduct a proper analysis.

Usefulness The data collected by the researcher, may or may not be useful. Information is useful and valuable as it is readily available to the researcher for use.

Dependency Data is never designed to the specific need of the user. Information is always specific to the requirements and expectations because all the irrelevant facts and figures are removed, during the transformation process.

DIKW (Data Information Knowledge Wisdom)

DIKW is the model used for discussion of data, information, knowledge, wisdom and their interrelationships. It represents structural or functional relationships between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.


New Google Mortgage Information Search

Google announced they are rolling out a mortgage information search product. The new service will show in mobile searches.

Google Mortgage Information Search for Mobile

Google’s new service is a collaboration with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The CFPB is a United States government organization that regulates the consumer financial products and services.

The new mortgage search tool is available in mobile.

According to the CFPBs About Us page:

with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions.”

Google is partnering with the U.S. government to provide information that is meant to benefit consumers.

Google Mortgage Information Search

The tool has a tabbed interface. It currently only shows in mobile devices. General mortgage related keywords trigger the new mortgage search engine results page.

The new search feature can be seen as a way to funnel users from high level mortgage related search queries to more specific information, but not necessarily to more specific websites.

Screenshot of Tabbed Interface of Google’s Mortgage Information Search Four Ads Above Mortgage Tools

Screenshot of a Google search ad above the mortgage information tools:

The search results are beneath Google’s mortgage search tools.  But you have to scroll past multiple mortgage related Google features before you get to two search results that in my case was from the same domain.

Then that’s followed by FAQs that have no links to the website of origin.

Did Google “Borrow” Content Without Attribution?

One of the FAQs has content that appears to have been sourced from chúng tôi But there is no link to the source of the information or any other attribution.

It’s possible that BankRate is not the original source of that content. But a search for a snippet of that phrase shows BankRate as the likeliest source.

One Section from Google’s Mortgage Search FAQ: Screenshot from a chúng tôi Page:

The page is visible here.

How does Google’s Mortgage Search Work?

Google’s new mortgage information search provides multiple choices for finding more information about mortgages.

The information is designed to funnel consumers from every point of their mortgage research journey.

According to Google:

list of relevant documents and helpful tips from the CFPB. “

What is Google Mortgage Information Search?

The mortgage information search offers the following tools:

Mortgage calculator

Mortgage rate tool

Step by step mortgage tool

Videos with How-to and 101 level information

Mortgage Calculator Keyword

The mortgage calculator keyword phrase drives traffic to Google’s information search tool.

While Google previously had featured their own calculator, this change may represent a greater disruption in the mortgage calculator search engine results pages (SERPs).

The new mortgage information feature pushes organic listings further down the page.

Mortgage Related Videos

The mortgage related videos seem to be focused on how-to and beginner level information.  Those seeking to gain traffic via videos may do well to focus on that kind of video.

Disruption in Mobile Mortgage SERPs

This may cause disruption in the mobile SERPs for mortgage related keywords. This does not currently affect the desktop SERPs.

The disruption appears to be on general high level type keywords.

A search for Mortgage Rates will trigger the tool. A search Mortgage Rates Massachusetts will also trigger the tool.

But more granular searches like Mortgage Rates Northampton Massachusetts or Mortgage Rates Charlotte North Carolina do not trigger Google’s mortgage information search tool.

So it looks like local related and granular keywords will not trigger the tool.

Those seeking to pick up mortgage related traffic may want to consider pivoting to more granular keyword phrases.

What’s Next from Google?

Does this tool signal the future of Google search?

It’s possible that something like this might pop up in other finance and Your Money or Your Life related topics, where a complicated topic needs a more comprehensive approach.


Read Google’s announcement here:

Find Helpful Information on the Mortgage Process in Search

CFPB About Us Page

7 Best (Really Free) Keyword Rank Checker Tools

A rank checker tool is a specialized software or online service used to identify the current ranking positions of keywords on search engine results pages. Keyword rank checker tools use algorithms to determine where specific keywords appear in the ranking. This allows users to obtain real-time and historical ranking data.

While hundreds of free and paid tools are available to help with SEO, not all of them are created equal, and selecting one is certainly difficult. Following is a handpicked list of Top Keyword Rank Checker tools, with their popular features, pros, cons, key specs, and website links.

Best Rank Checker

Name Best for Free Trial Key Features Link

SEO PowerSuite Keyword Research and Rank Tracking Lifetime Basic Free Plan • Local SEO Learn More

Ahrefs Free for Ahrefs Webmaster Tools • Get SEO metrics for pages and all keywords. Learn More

Semrush Best for Technical SEO 7 days • Link Building Learn More

Serpstat Collecting International Data 7 days • Valued Added Tools. Learn More

SE Ranking Small Businesses 14 days • Competitive pricing Learn More

1) SEO PowerSuite – Best For Keyword Research and Rank Tracking


Rank Tracking: SEO PowerSuite’s Rank Tracker lets you track keywords’ performance across various search engines, including niche-specific ones. You can also monitor SERP changes and discover opportunities for improvement.

Keyword Research: SEO PowerSuite offers you 20+ keyword research methods.

Keyword Grouping: Group your keywords based on semantic relatedness and map them on relevant landing pages to refine your content strategy.

Competitor Research: SEO PowerSuite’s tools allow you to discover your competitors’ keywords, backlinks, and on-page SEO elements.

On-page and technical SEO: WebSite Auditor by SEO PowerSuite lets you optimize your site’s meta elements, linking structure, Core Web Vitals, and optimize your pages’ content based on top SERP performers.

Local SEO: SEO PowerSuite lets you optimize your website for local search (address can be as specific as a street). You can also track local keywords’ performance and find local competitors.

Link Building Options: SEO PowerSuite’s SEO SpyGlass can help you find backlink prospects based on competitive analysis, while Link Assistant can collect link-building opportunities based on the preferences you specify.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Covers all aspects of SEO Learning curve may be steep for new users

Provides clear field data

20+ keyword research methods all in one place

Regular updates and new features

Affordable pricing

Best customer support team ever

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: Pricing starts at $50 (all 4 tools included; charged yearly)

How to Get it Free

You can download SEO PowerSuite free here and use it for as long as you want

Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO software suite covering keyword research, backlink analysis, competitor research, content creation, rank tracking, and more. With Ahrefs you can improve your website and get more traffic. Freemium version is available.


Keyword Research: Easily check the keywords that you rank for and how you compare against competitors.

SEO Health: The tool can monitor 100+ SEO health issue. It also gives you detailed steps to fix those issues.

SEO Metrics: Get SEO metrics for pages and all keywords.

Link Building: Check your inbound and outbound link profiles and get actionable insights. It also detects broken links and classifies them as nofollow, UGC, sponsored. Unlike, GSC you will see all your backlinks and not just Top 1000.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Most exhaustive backlink data Could be pricey

Comprehensive Site Audit Features

Robust Content Explorer

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (freemium version)

3) Semrush – Best For Technical SEO

Semrush is a SaaS platform that provides users with online visibility management. It comes with more than 50 solutions, tools, and add-ons covering the entire online visibility management spectrum. These solutions include search, content, market research, social media, and data covering over 140 countries. The tool also comes with seamless integration with Google and task management platforms.

Key Features:

Keyword Research: Semrush provides users with six comprehensive keyword research tools.

On-page SEO: The On-page SEO tools enable you to optimize your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and image alt text. These tools are a Site Audit tool, On-Page SEO Checker, and Log File Analyzer.

Local SEO: This feature provides you with insights into optimizing your website for local search. Semrush has four tools for this, 1) Listing Management, 2) Position Tracking, 3) On-Page SEO Checker, and 4) Social Media Toolkit.

Rank Tracking: The Rank Tracking tool enables you to track your website’s progress in the SERPs and discover new opportunities. There are three tools in this feature category: 1) Position Tracking, 2) Sensor, and 3) Ranks tool.

Competitor SEO Analysis: Semrush provides users with five tools for competitor SEO analysis. These include Organic Research, Keyword Gap, Backlink Analytics, Backlink Gap, and My Reports.

Link Building: Semrush has five tools for link building. These are the Backlink Analytics, Backlink Audit Tool, Backlink Gap, Bulk Backlink Analysis, and Link Building Tool.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Over 50 online visibility management solutions. The feature set can be overwhelming for new users.

Fair pricing when you consider the wide range of features.

Available in 12 languages.

Upgrades that include Semruch Trends, Agency Growth Kit, and ImpactHero.

Detailed documentation.

Live chat and call support.

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: Pricing starts at $119 per user per month after the free trial.

How to Get it Free

Start your risk-free 7-day free Semrush trial right here.

You can cancel or upgrade your subscription at any time within 7 days.

4) Serpstat – Best For Collecting International Data

Serpstat is a web-based SEO platform and a free keyword rank checker tool. It offers users the ability to track their website ranking for specific keywords in over 100 countries. Serpstat gathers its data from an extensive base that includes 230 Google bases and 9 Yandex bases. This feature makes it an ideal source for international SEO research. The platform also includes competitor analysis, site audit, and keyword research features.

Key Features:

Domain analysis, Keyword research, URL analysis, and Backlink analysis: Serpstat offers powerful tools for researching and analyzing aspects of a website’s SEO performance, including domain authority and ranking, keyword trends, related keywords, backlinks, and more.

Rank Tracker: Its rank tracking feature allows you to monitor your website or content’s performance in search results pages over time. You can track your site’s rank historically and in real-time, making it easy to check keyword ranking trends.

Batch analysis: Serpstat’s batch analysis feature allows you to check the rankings of thousands of keywords at once. This feature makes it a convenient tool for researching keywords for large-scale keyword projects.

Site audit: The platform’s site audit tool helps users identify and troubleshoot potential SEO issues on a website, such as broken links and missing tags.

Keyword trends, Keyword clustering, and Text analysis: Serpstat offers additional tools to help users gain deeper insights into their website’s performance and target audience. These features include keyword trends, clustering, and text analysis tools that help you better understand your site visitors’ needs and interests.

Custom reports: The tool includes a customizable reporting feature, allowing you to create custom reports in PDF or excel format.

Task lists: Serpstat’s task list feature allows you to organize and track your SEO tasks in one place. This is a helpful tool for keeping track of your progress on various projects.

Serpstat API: The platform provides access to its data via an API, making it easy to integrate Serpstat into third-party applications and systems.

Value-Added Tools: This tool also comes with powerful value-added tools that include Search Engines Storm, Indexing inspection, URL submission, Search engine IP, a Browser extension, Serpstat for Google Sheets, Serpstat for Google Data Studio, and Serpstat for R.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Credit system available where you only for actual usage. Stats sometimes lack detail and can be a bit generic.

Robust keyword research and ranking analysis features.

In-depth backlink analysis.

A clean, elegant dashboard.

Excellent customer support team available via phone, email, and live chat.

A comprehensive Help Center with a Knowledgebase and Learning Academy.

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: Pricing starts at $69 Per Month after the free trial.

How to Get it Free

Sign-up for a 7-day free trial.

You can cancel or upgrade at any time before the expiry of 7 days.

5) SE Ranking – Best For Small Businesses

SE Ranking is a free keyword rank checker that offers a wide range of features for both SEO beginners and experts, making it a good option for small businesses. This program includes a complete suite of tools for keyword discovery and grouping, website assessment, keyword position checker, monitoring, research, backlink tracking, competitor study, automated professional reporting, and much more.

Aside from basic SEO tools, the system also includes several extra features, including White Label, Social Media Management, and a Marketing Module.

Key Features:

Keyword Rank Tracker: The keyword rank tracker lets you track your website’s progress in SERPs for up to 20,000 keywords (depending on your package). You can also set up a rank checker to run automatically on a schedule.

Keyword Research: This keyword research tool helps you find profitable, high-traffic keywords that you can rank for.

Backlink Checker: The backlink checker lets you check where your competitors’ links are coming from and what kind of link authority they have.

Competitive Research: This competitive research tool gives you an overview of your competition, including their backlink profile, Rankings, and more.

Website Audit: SE Ranking’s website audit tool scans your website for technical SEO issues that could keep you from ranking higher in search engine results.

Page Changes Monitor: The page changes monitor keeps track of all the changes made to your website’s pages to see what’s been changed easily and when.

Marketing Plan: The marketing plan tool helps you create a customized marketing plan for your business. Start with a list of things you should do at the outset of the project. For example, registering a domain name and implementing a tracking system.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Online pricing calculator to help you buy exactly what you need. The dashboard is a bit cluttered.

One of the few SEO tools with a Marketing Plan.

Free data migration with annual subscriptions.

Competitive pricing.

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: Pricing starts at $39 per month after the free trial.

How to Get it Free

Begin your free 14-day free trial.

You can also request a live demo at any time before you upgrade.

You can cancel at no cost at any time within 14 days.

6) Moz – Best Overall keyword rank checker

Moz is an SEO platform that offers a complete suite of tools to help businesses with several SEO tasks – everything from keyword research to link building to on-page optimization. This free tool allows you to check the Page Authority (PA), Domain Authority (DA), and Spam Score of any website or webpage. The vendor created PA and DA metrics which quickly became the defacto industry standard to determine a website’s authority in search engine results.

Key Features:

MozBar: The MozBar is a free toolbar. Once you install the browser extension, this bar docks at the top or bottom of your browser, you can then view the PA, DA, and Spam Score of any website or webpage you visit.

Link Explorer: The Link Explorer allows you to explore over 40 trillion links, 718 million root domains, and 7 trillion pages to identify backlinks, Domain Authority, anchor text, spam score, and much more.

Keyword Explorer: With this feature, you can discover keyword opportunities and estimated search volume from Moz’s 500 million keywords index.

Compare Keyword Rankings: You can use the Competitive Research tool to compare the keyword ranking of your website or webpages to your competitors.

Domain Analysis: With Moz, you get a report of the most competitive SEO metrics, such as Domain Authority, top pages, ranking keywords, and more.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

It helps the user to identify which links may negatively impact their website’s ranking. The monthly price is on the high end, especially for small businesses

The extensive index provides accurate keyword and backlink data. Moz can be overwhelming for beginners with all of the available features and data.

Fast servers that rarely have any lag.

Good support that offers a personalized walkthrough.

A Moz Academy complete with courses and certifications.

Google Analytics integration.

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: $99 per month after the first month’s free trial.

How to Get it Free

Start your risk-free 30-day Moz free trial.

You can cancel your subscription at any time within 30 days.

You can also upgrade at any time during the free trial at no additional cost.

7) Accuranker – Best For Competitor Analysis

Accuranker is one of the most widely used free keyword rank checker tools. This tool is designed specifically to help enterprise-level businesses analyze their competitors and use this information to optimize their websites.

Its key features include website auditing, tracking keywords, link monitoring, and reporting. In addition, it offers free and paid features, making it a cost-effective choice for businesses of all sizes.

Key Features:

Free ‘Google Grump’ Rating Checker: Accuranker’s free ‘Google Grump’ rating checker allows you to quickly and easily see unrest in Google’s ranking algorithm. The ‘grumpier’ the rating, the greater the ranking fluctuations. It comes with filters to track changes by country or device. In addition, users can sign up for email alerts to get updates on Google’s ‘mood.’

Instant On-Demand Updates: Accuranker’s platform provides instant on-demand updates, so you can always get the most up-to-date data.

SERP History: This feature allows you to track the progress of your website’s rankings over time. You can easily see how your site’s performance has evolved and make changes to respond accordingly.

In-Depth Competitor Analysis and Ranking: Accuranker offers a comprehensive suite of tools to analyze your competitor’s SEO performance in depth.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Comprehensive keyword tracking and reporting features. Mobile and desktop keywords separately count towards your keyword limit.

Detailed backlink analysis tools.

Intuitive, simple user interface.

A gentle learning curve for novice SEO users.

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: Pricing starts at $109 Per Month after the free trial.

How to Get it Free

You can access the 14-day free trial.

You can also cancel at any time within 14-days at no cost.

8) Authority Labs – Best For Local SEO

Authority Labs is a keyword rank checker tool that enables you to track your site’s progress in the SERPs daily. The tool also provides detailed reporting on your competitor’s SEO performance, including their keyword rankings, backlink profile, and more.

Many SEO tools don’t show any ‘Not Provided’ keywords that come in Google Analytics reports. However, sometimes they might be the most important keywords. Authority Labs comes with unique “Now Provided” reports that help customers identify new targeting opportunities.

In addition, the local SEO feature provides you with location-specific rank tracking data. This includes the city and zip code, desktop, mobile, tablet rankings, and GPS location data.

Key Features:

Keyword Tracking: Authority Labs tracks your keywords in the SERPs daily. The tool offers you with detailed reports on your progress in the SERPs.

Mobile Specific: The tool enables you to track your site’s mobile rankings separately from your desktop rankings.

Local SEO: The local SEO feature provides detailed reports of your local rankings in the SERPs.

Competitive Analysis: The competitive analysis feature enables you to track your competitors’ rankings and progress in the SERPs.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Robust local SEO feature. Weak project planning/organization features.

Detailed keyword reports.

Mobile-specific rankings.

“Not Provided” Reports.

Competitive analysis.

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: Pricing starts at $49 per month after the free trial (No credit card needed)

How to Get it Free

Sign up for Authority Labs’ for 14-day free trial.

Upgrade or cancel at any time within 14 days.

9) Advanced Web Ranking – Best For Digital Agencies & In-House SEO

Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) offers a suite of tools to help businesses with keyword research, backlink analysis, rank tracking, and more. The tool is currently used by over 350 digital marketing agencies and has more than 24 000 customers in more than 170 countries.

Key features:

Google SERP Features: The Google SERP Features tool allows you to see the incidence of SERP Features gathered from millions of online queries.

Wattspeed: With the Wattspeed feature, you can track your website’s speed and performance. It also allows you to analyze both real user and synthetic data to help you identify opportunities.

Google Algorithm Changes: The Google Algorithm Changes tool enables you to track when there have been changes to the Google algorithm. This feature can help you understand why your website’s traffic or rankings might have changed

Search Demand Trends: This tool allows you to see how the demand for a particular keyword has changed over time.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Wattspeed feature to analyze your site’s performance. It could do with better documentation.

Google Algorithm Changes feature. The interface can be a bit overwhelming for beginners.

See search-demand trends for better targeting.

It is fairly priced for the features it offers.

Key Specs:

Monthly Fee: $49 per month after the free trial.

How to Get it Free

Start your free 30-day trial.

You can cancel the trial at any time at no cost. You can also upgrade to a paid plan.

Frequently Asked Questions ❓ What is a keyword rank checker?

A keyword rank checker, also known as a website rank checker, allows you to track the progress of your website’s ranking for specific keywords over time. It is essentially a Google rank checker and a vital tool for any SEO campaign, as it allows you to monitor your progress and identify any potential issues early on. Rank checkers work by crawling the web and collecting data on where your website appears for each keyword.

This data is then analyzed and presented in an easy-to-understand format, typically as a line graph. While there are many different free SEO tools to check your keyword rank, it is important to find one that offers comprehensive features.

🏅 What are some of the best free rank checking tools?

Website ranking information is helpful for businesses and web admins who are trying to optimize their website or content for higher placement in search engine results. Some of the best free rank checking tools include:

SEO PowerSuite




SE Ranking



❗ How to Select an SEO Ranking Checker for my Business?

There are a few things to consider when choosing an SEO ranking checker for your business.

The size of your business: If you have a large website with many pages and keywords, you will need a more comprehensive rank checker tool that can handle this amount of data.

Your budget: There are both free and paid rank checkers available. While the free options may be sufficient for small businesses, larger businesses may need to invest in a paid tool.

Your level of expertise: If you are new to SEO, you may want to choose a rank checker with a user-friendly interface and helpful documentation, such as Moz or SE Ranking.

🌟 How To Use Our Keyword Rank Checker?

To use most of the keyword rank checkers listed above, simply enter your website URL and the keywords you wish to track in the area provided. The tool will then analyze your website’s position in Google search results for each keyword and display the results in an easy-to-understand format. You can use this data to monitor your SEO progress and identify potential issues.

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