How Do You Beat The New Google Update?
By Matt Hale
If you haven’t read the first part of this article then – Click here to read the Google Sky is Falling.
So a quick brief on Google is that from their point of view, every update is to improve the quality of the search results for its customers.
Google simply wants to have the best websites at the top of the search results.
So it is time to think like a big company, a brand – a business that wants to dominate their niche.
The message has been the same for many years from Google, they have beat the same drum over and over again.
Quality content, quality experience, and be a trusted authority on the subject.
The latest Google algorithm update – the 12th March Core Update, follows the same beats of drum.
So let’s start at the beginning…
What this means is the content on your website is exactly what the user is looking for. Google is a reading machine, but it can’t tell what is good content and what is bad content.
However, what it can do is measure and record what a user does on your website.
- Do they stay on your website longer than they stayed on your competitors websites?
- Do they interact with your website by clicking around, watching videos or reading the content?
- Do they fill out a form or press the contact us?
- Do they look at other parts of your website like your blog, about us or other services/products?
All these things Google can see with its analytics that you installed on your website. They are all strong indicators of a good user experience.
The thing is Google has been preaching quality content for a long while now, and if you ask people in the SEO industry if quality content was critical.
They would say not really because they have been able to rank on Google with less than good content, and using lots of hacks to get to the top.
But now we have the artificial intelligence taking over, this is where quality content will come into play a lot more. Simply because it can split test websites quicker and more efficiently than what a man made algorithm can.
The artificial intelligence can test things that a human would never think about testing, it will come to its own conclusions based on the millions of experiments it can do.
Like I said in the last article, some of these conclusions may be the same as Google’s but others will be different from Google’s conclusions.
This is where it gets interesting because being able to split test different websites, the artificial intelligence can easily see what content its users like best and what experience users prefer to have with different keywords, and then move websites rankings appropriately.
So for example, if it found users liked to watch videos for a certain search term, it may put some videos at the top of the search results, and it will rank websites that have more videos on their pages.
On top of this though it will be constantly split testing against its own conclusions, so it will sometimes put a website that has different content – may be more images for example.
The reason is that it wants to constantly prove itself right or prove itself wrong, so it is always giving it users exactly what they want.
If it found for example that users were having a better experience on a website with lots of images and fewer videos, then it would keep placing that website and others similar to it in higher positions.
But this is a difficult uphill battle and is not a great strategy to follow. It’s a risky strategy to go against the grain of what Google’s users want for different search terms.
So the best content and experience strategy, is to do something similar to what is ranking at the top of Google. If they have 3 videos on the page, then you put 3 or 4 videos on the page. If they have 1500 words on their page then you should have about 1500 words on your page.
You need to think about ways that you can get a customer to interact with your website because this tells Google people like it. So things like buttons to click, videos to watch, engaging content to read (so they scroll down the page), and forms to fill out. All these things will tell Google that people are getting a good answer to their search.
Google is showing you what it thinks is the best way to answer a search from its users, you simply just have to look at the top 3 – The answer is in plain sight.
There was an update late last year called by the SEO world the Medic Update. It was called that because the websites that people saw being affected first were health and medical websites.
To Google these type of niches where it is important to have 100% accuracy by a highly trusted source are the websites they have the strictest rules for.
So it is natural that any update targets these types of niches first.
So this is what they did, and some big health websites dropped in rankings because they wasn’t meeting the new criteria for what they wanted at the top of Google for these search terms.
The types of things they were rewarding were things like
Does the website have proper onpage optimisation because a professional company would have great onpage optimisation?
All these basic foundational things are a sign of high quality to Google and a website that is investing in doing all this correctly are more likely to be a better website to send their users to.
Does the website have trusted and respected people within the company?
For example, does this doctors website have an about us page with the professional doctors listed on that page.
Also does this about us page link out to the personal sites like Linkedin and Facebook where it says the same information.
Can these experts be found around the internet on similar websites talking about what they are an expert in.
Can these experts be contacted i.e. are their email address or phone number directly on the website.
This is new, this is a big change.
Google is not only looking at how good your content is, but also who is writing that content.
The point of all this is that it was experimenting on its health niche and others similar to it. The latest update will most likely be following the lead of this experiment.
So it is important to have people of significance writing on your website, who have their own personal brand across the internet on other trusted related websites.
This is something that will give you a massive advantage over your competitors who are not doing this.
The Sky is Still Up But It Has Changed Colour
So there you have it, as I said in the last article – nothing has truly changed in terms of what Google wants.
What has changed is they are now capable more than ever of taking your rankings away in a split second if it finds a better alternative.
At the end of the day, it comes down to
- Giving a great customer experience on your website
- Having a well optimized website
- Having a brand that is across the internet showing expertise on your niche
- Having better content that answers the users search better than your competitors
- Constantly be updating and improving all of this to stay on top
- Having accountability by having real people being easy to contact