Nothing upends a digital marketing strategy like a Google algorithm update. Even a little tweak could deeply affect your site’s page ranking. Digital marketers, however, should accept these as a fact of life. It’s difficult to predict what Google might churn out in an update. However, marketers should be ready and willing to change accordingly to push up in the ranks.
Google unleashed several major updates last year, some that affected certain industries quite widely. For example, the Google Medic update overhauled rankings for so-called “Your Money Your Life” sites that focused on nutrition and health topics. The weight of these updates would be felt mostly this year as sites adapt to the changes and beta testing periods end.
Despite the dead a Google algorithm update can bring, digital marketers can overcome it and perhaps even get ahead of the curve. To stay on top of the rankings this year, do the following:
Create the Top Quality Content Overall
Google now prioritises the quality of content more than ever. There are two main features great content embody, according to Google. The first is relevance, and the second is credibility. Marketers should create content in accordance with these principles, and backed up by a great SEO strategy.
The relevance of content refers mainly to how well content fits the search terms and key phrases it is optimised with. If your web page gets returned as a result for a particular key phrase, the users who did the search should be highly likely to click on your page. Google uses this metric to determine whether your content is correctly optimised.
That means all your content should be highly optimised, but in the right way. Doing this right requires a lot of technical expertise. Therefore, it’s recommended to hire a professional SEO company to create and optimise the content your site needs.
Credible Content Rules
The other factor—authority—is becoming highly relevant in recent years. The recent data breach scandals haven’t reached online search. Regardless, Google highly values that websites that show up on search are legitimate. The company does this by evaluating the authority of a web page or an article.
A website can gain authority by first presenting accurate information. Boosting authority requires cleaning up thee backlink database and chasing after excellent referrals. These are time consuming, but ultimately necessary for better page ranks. Remember, Google would always prioritise an authoritative website over an optimised one.
What Matters is User Intent
Google’s algorithm is annually updated to churn out better and more precise results. In recent years, advances in artificial intelligence have remarkably changed the world’s most used search algorithm. The secret sauce of Google really depends on one thing: user intent.
The search engine giant has always focused on delivering searches based on exactly what the user intended when he or she types a phrase into the search bar. If you have been using Google for a while, you will notice how this has come about. For example, in the very early days of the algorithm, Google was heavily keyword based. You could access a vast trove of web pages that were optimised with a keyword or two.
The problem with keyword-based approach was that websites could easily game it by stuffing content with keywords. Therefore, a user could get a completely unrelated search result just because the web page was optimised.
It’s easy to notice that the Google algorithm has vastly improved since then. Now when you type in a keyword, you can get a list of search results that largely matches your intention. To emphasize the point, when a user Googled a doctor in a particular city about a decade ago, it provided a list of webpages optimised for that keyword.
When you do the same search again now, you would see Google Map results on top for doctors near you. The online search results are largely of directories for doctors of a particular kind. That means Google’s search engine now understands that when you search for a doctor in a city, you are search for a list of practises to choose from. You are not looking for random medical sites optimised for that keyword.
Google’s algorithms in the past year mainly improved search results to match what users want. That’s what the much talked-about Medic update did. It’s also weeding out bad sites, especially the ones hawking dubious information and links. Digital marketers should be well aware of these facts when optimising pages in the future.
Rather than worry about algorithm updates, consider what matters to Google when it comes to good search. If your content is credible and matches user intent as described above, you will be winning Google search this year.