Our eyes are always on Google’s algorithm for updates. But before we can suggest you do the same, you’ll need to understand what Google’s algorithm is. Google uses a proprietary, and many would argue genius, algorithm that helps to determine the ranking of websites on search results. The more we can understand how Google scans phrases, links, and information within a website to determine its search results and terms, the better we can optimize our own websites to have the rankings and results we want.
When users search for something, there can be tens of thousands, or even millions of results. The reason why you see results that make sense based on your search is because of Google’s algorithm. This is why many would argue (including us) that Google is by far the best and most accurate search engine. By keeping track of when Google updates their algorithm, you can also update your strategy to best play into the algorithm to make your results as successful as possible.
Google is always looking out for their users first and foremost, and rightfully so. Google updates their algorithm to help their search users find what they’re looking for, and not just what you want to force them to see through little cheats, hacks, and optimizations. So on the opposite side of the searcher, how can you, the content provider help work along with Google’s changes and benefit from them?
1. Answer questions with your content
Because of changes that have occurred during algorithm changes (including Hummingbird and Panda) Google now better understands the questions people are asking when searching terms. By answering these conversational questions with your content, your content is likely to get placed higher in search results. This doesn’t mean you need to revamp your entire blog to be all “How Tos”, but including posts that directly answer questions and aiming to solve problems with content has definitely helped others in the past. Staying aware of these updates can help you update your content strategy or update existing content to best apply to Google’s algorithm shifts.
2. Update your search keywords
In the past, algorithm updates have changed between favoring short concise keywords, and other times preferring longer keyword phrases. Staying up to date about which type of keywords are working best can help with updating tags and keywords within your site. The AdWords shake up in February 2016 is an example of Google’s algorithm updating how it handles competitive keywords.
3. Remember content is king!
At the end of the day, no matter how much attention you give the algorithm, it all relates back to the content on your site. Make sure your content answers your users questions, so when they arrive on your page via search, they are getting what they want. Make sure information is accurate with correct spelling and grammar. Make sure the title or page titles of your content reflect the content within them. Make sure to create enough info, not just a catchy headline and no content. Keep your content as unique as possible, just because a post worked well for someone else, does not mean you should replicate or copy. The lower your bounce rate, the better your SEO results. Google rewards quality sites.