In an attempt to make helpful, relevant content easily accessible to its audience, Google is frequently monitoring and updating its algorithm. Its most recent update comes after data showing that a large percentage of consumers have begun using TikTok over Google as their search engine of choice. In an attempt to compete, the new update aims to prioritise helpful content that searchers want to see, and websites who do not concisely answer the necessary questions will be punished and fail to rank highly on the results page as a result.🤯
If you are unsure at any stage, feel free to give a shout to us and Our Marketing Specialists will be happy to walk you through these tech-terms!
So, who will be affected by this new update?
To put it simply, websites which Google deem overly verbose and contain irrelevant information are likely to see their rankings drop significantly over the next few months. For example, a web page answering the question ‘how much would you weigh on the moon?’ is likely to be punished if the answer is embedded in some long text with lots of irrelevant information. Websites containing customer reviews are also likely to be affected as they are not deemed to add any new information and it is recommended that including unique, helpful information and highlighting the USP of the product/services will provide your site with some value.
As digital advertisers, should we panic?
Whilst this update is still very new and its true impact on SEO remains to be seen, when creating new content and conducting an SEO audit on older content, it is definitely worth bearing in mind. The rankings of many sites are predicted to significantly drop as a result of this new algorithm and in some instances, they already have. It is also worth noting that Google analyses your whole website and if they deem a large number of pages to be written for SEO it will negatively impact those which are not. It is therefore important to stay ahead of the curve and alter your SEO strategy to accommodate this new update.
How can we adapt our SEO strategy accordingly?
Google’s search liaison Danny Sullivan has reiterated that the main purpose of the update is to prioritise helpful content written with people in mind, over irrelevant content that ranked highly on previous algorithms due to an effective SEO strategy. His main advice to marketers was to avoid writing content for the search engine and focus solely on the target audience ensuring the content contains important, relevant information that avoids clickbait.
Here are a few other tips and tricks from our experts to help you create people first content that will rank highly following Google’s new update:
- Ensure the content is original and if possible, provides new research, analysis and information. Go above and beyond to make this content useful and unique, potentially including some first hand photos/ videos.
- Provide a concise, comprehensive description of the topic where all necessary information is included and easy to find. A good way to achieve this is to include headings and subheadings. Not only does this enhance user experience, but it helps signal to the search engine what your content is about and your rankings will increase as a result.
- Provide information that goes beyond the obvious, something interesting and new that most readers are unlikely to know. With this new update, Google is very hot on making sure the content is useful to searchers so use your expertise, do a little extra research and include some obscure information that is not common knowledge.
- Avoid any headlines that are clickbait. This includes headlines that claim to promote an answer when there isn’t one, such as an article title claiming to know the release date of a popular film or TV show when this date has not yet been released.
- Create content you would want to consume. During the writing and editing stage consider whether or not you would recommend or bookmark this webpage were you to find it online. If not, how would you change it so that you would?
- Avoid copying other sources word for word and include your own take on these findings to create more original content which Google deems to be of value.
- Ensure the content is presented in a way that is deemed trustworthy. If used, cite any sources, mention if the content’s author is an expert in the content’s topic etc.
- Avoid writing to a particular word count because you have heard that Google will favour your content as a result. It won’t. Whilst historically, long form content helped search engines determine the topic of the article, technological advancements have made this much more achievable on shorter pieces. Once again, this alteration is designed to further fulfil searcher needs. A customer looking to purchase a new drill does not want to sift through articles detailing what a drill is, the different types of drills and how to use them. Instead, a short article explaining the properties and USP of a specific drill would be preferable.
But what if Google deems your website as being built for a search engine? Is recovery possible?
The short answer is yes but it will be hard work. In order to rank at all you will have to identify problem areas and either remove them from your website or rectify them by following the steps above. It is also worth taking a look at competitor pages that have continued to rank highly despite the update to gain a good understanding of the kind of content Google is looking for and adapt yours accordingly.
Here at Lambourn we understand that keeping up to date with frequent updates and adapting your SEO strategy accordingly can be both difficult and time-consuming. Our experts are devoted to helping Irish SMEs enhance their digital presence in whatever way they can and can help you devise to reach your audience.