Read the press releases from Google regarding its search algorithm updates and you’ll quickly learn that search engines are paying more attention to things like content currency, searcher intent, engagement, and link authority. These factors come up repeatedly when evaluating the different ways that search rankings are now being calculated. Amidst these are an even bigger message that Google is trying to get across… and one that often, marketers do not recognize.
Listening to Google is a good idea, and not just because it can send you thousands of visits each day. The engineers who run the search engine are also at the forefront of new technology and behavioral research. They can see data and trends the rest of us can’t.
Here are a few things they keep telling us:
Google Wants What Searchers Want
Google has gained its status as the web’s most-visited portal because it recognizes real-life individuals are on the hunt for content that is unique, specific, informative, and up-to-date. They want search results that are personalized to their own needs and preferences.
Knowing that search users have these preferences, Google is prioritizing them in its search results. That way, it can keep people coming back, instead of using a different search engine and losing out on viewership and ad revenue.
Google Hates What Searchers Hate
If each algorithm update is about giving searchers what they want, it is also about giving users less of what they hate. And we all know what searchers hate: web pages that load slowly, broken links, scraped content, and information that’s irrelevant or out-of-date. Google is starting to tweak its formulas in ways that punish websites with these problems, or ignore them altogether.
Searchers hate any result that provides them with a low-quality experience. Anything that makes your website less usable or visitor-friendly is going to hurt your search engine rankings, as well.
Looking Back Won’t Get You Ahead
Despite Google’s advice, and common sense, lots of business owners and marketers are desperately clinging to ideas that used to work but don’t any longer. Rather than update their tactics to adjust to the times, they are doubling down keyword stuffing, link farming, and copied content, making things worse for themselves in the process.
It’s time to listen to Google. If you want your website to stand out – with search engine spiders or actual customers – you need fresh, relevant content, current technology and none of the old SEO tricks that harm your credibility.
About Adrienne: As President of Atlantic Webworks, Adrienne Cregar Jandler works closely with clients to develop a strategy for building their brands across multiple channels – from their websites, to social media and traditional media.