Google is determined in streamlining the search engine with better, relevant, and useful results. It continuously updates its algorithm around the year. Some minor algo changes do not reflect in the website rankings, whereas the core updates often prove to be devastating for a specific form of websites.
The year, 2019, started with Valentine’s core update. It primarily dealt with the content quality, user intent, and EAT – Expertise, Authority, Trust – factors of the search results. It was followed by another broad core update in March that focused on the relevance of web pages with search queries. As a conclusion, it was said to create content high in quality and relevance to search terms. The June update was also relevant to the previous one as the webmasters were not required to fix anything.
Similarly, there were core updates in August and September too that dealt with the content relevant and quality, with a focus on medical and health niches. The October and the November updates were the surprising ones as it introduced BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) and focused on page speed and links.
BERT is powered by natural language processing technology that enables the algorithm to decipher the relevant meaning of a word among multiple meanings and process the query according to its context. These updates drastically changed the way different pages were ranked against search terms. For your ease, I am sharing some of the dos and don’ts that may help you prepare your website for higher rankings.
The first-ever core update this year was valentine’s update, which mainly sees three competencies in the content that are experience, authority, and trustworthiness – EAT. This was a major breakthrough, which devalued web pages with content from unreliable sources and writers.
The EAT update is more about improving the overall quality of your quality. It is not limited to the content alone. The owners and their team members must also be knowledgeable enough to talk or write about a topic. Previously, only the scrap content was an issue, however, now it needs to be written or reviewed by a subject matter expert.
It is believed that the content you may be producing carelessly may play a significant role in readers’ decision-making, that’s why their money and life is at stake. For example, if a notice medical students’ start writing about different diseases, he or she may not have the authority to discuss such topics. Suggesting any medication may negatively affect the health of the reader.
In the same manner, the potential buyers of an online store can lose their money if the product is not what displayed in the description. Therefore, you may need to display customers’ testimonials, awards, certifications on a product page to gain trust and credibility.
Gone are the days when the writers used to create content around a keyword without looking for the intent. The recent Google update looks deeper into the text to retrieve the results that best match the user intent.
For example, if you aim to rank ‘tax consultancy services’ of a client in search engines, you may create a general page with all the relevant keywords. Such a strategy may have worked before the launch of BERT. However, sadly, it is not working anymore. According to the latest update, Google is going to value a ‘how-to article’ that talks specifically as ‘how to file an income tax return’ rather than a page.
Therefore, webmasters need to create a variety of content that solves different queries. A user who finds a useful piece of content is more likely to decide availing the services rather than the page with a cold pitch.
With the BERT update, the Google algorithm is now capable of understanding every query with the help of its multiple meanings and context. The content needs to be more consumer-centered rather than a robot friend.
In addition, Google crawlers can now understand prepositions as well. In the past, the marketers used to include exact keywords in the content with the belief that Google does not understand a few parts of speech. For example, if they would intend to rank a web page against ‘web design NYC.’
They would not dare to use prepositions to make it more clear and understandable with the fear of losing rankings. With the recent updates, they are free to use a variety of such keywords that are meaningful and real such as, ‘web design services in NYC.’ Go out of the conventional mindset of making the search bots understand a keyword in their language as they are now following the way we talk.
The on-page SEO elements may remain the ceaseless ranking factors, as they matter the most in making the algorithm understand what a page is all about. With the recent updates, it has become more significant to show the relevance of a search term with a page. For this, you need to hire professional seo company to audit the technical SEO of your web pages and ensure the addition keywords in the Meta tags and body text.
The WordPress users can keep an eye on SEO score with tools such as Yoast SEO, whereas the eCommerce websites may need dedicated tools such as Magento 2 SEO extension. This tool initiates the on-site optimization with Meta tags and continues in facilitating with product image alt tags, sitemaps creation, rich snippets, etc.
Backlinking is still a major SEO factor that describers your authority in a niche. Try to earn backlinks rather than buying it, or creating linkages with external links. Understand the importance of connecting with people, bloggers, influencers, agencies, and organizations that are relevant to your business market. Gaining links from irrelevant or generic websites may not bring you the expected results; rather it will harm your SEO rankings.
It is a common practice that the online stores create a single copy for every product page and then translate into various languages to target multi-lingual audiences. The recent updates are not finding it beneficial to display a translated version of product description to the local users. Google now requires localizing the content. One cannot communicate a product description to multi-lingual users with a single message. Every language is different and a translated version cannot suffice the needs as we are often unable to find an exact replacement of an English word in another language.
The presentation of a web page is highly important. The Google Core update in September adds presentation as another factor in SEO besides top-notch content and credibility of a website. If you are compromising the display of your web pages, you are going to lose rankings soon.
Do not ignore the page loading speed. However, the online stores are performing better on their desktop versions, but their mobile versions are not fast to load. It may also take you to consider the display of content on varying screen sizes. Contact your ecommerce development company to boost your site’s speed on all size of devices
For the bloggers and publishers, it is quite worthwhile to evaluate the presentation of the advertisement they add to a home page or a specific blog post. Do not try to show ads more than necessary. It may increase your earning but endanger the presentation.
Google will continue making changes to the algorithm. It may or may not fluctuate the rankings of your website. However, it is significant to know if you are delivering value to the end users. Is your product or publication useful and relevant to what the users are searching for. If these are not, try to work on improving the content quality by adding facts and statistics from authentic sources, and getting it reviewed by experts in the field.