What is it about Google’s search engine algorithm updates that keeps professional web designers and content writers on their digital toes?
Simply put, recent Google’s algorithm updates target “webspam”, which is a catch-all term used to describe methods of generating artificial content and backlinks to a website in an effort to game the organic search engine rankings. Google is on a never-ending quest to deliver the best, most relevant organic search engine results to its users. Since the search engine influence so many purchase decisions, businesses invest hundreds of millions of dollars annually in third party consulting services in an attempt to improve their search engine visibility. If you are reading the blog on this website, you are probably already know that these services are referred to as ‘search engine optimization‘ or SEO. Good SEO can significantly improve your rankings while bad SEO can be devastating.
Not only does Google constantly change the way it ranks websites, the company also changes the rules of SEO, many of which are outlined in Google’s webmaster guidelines, in terms of what is allowed and prohibited. Businesses owners try to walk a fine line between doing extra work to improve their ranking potential and doing SEO work that is prohibited, or could some day be prohibited or penalized.
As a rule, digital marketing and creative agencies should stay up to date and follow SEO best practices such as those outlined on “Definitive Guide to Penquin Friendly SEO,” a post on Search Engine Journal; the overview includes a few basic considerations such as:
1. Stop working on…
One of the areas that site owners and bossiness owners need to refocus on are their keywords. Business owners need to make sure they don’t stuff a list of keywords up in the page title “instead of making it descriptive or using your brand name.” Duplicate & spammy content is strictly out as well as poorly written and low quality ‘filler’ content. Your goal should be to target and limit each page to specific keywords and then make sue that the content on the corresponding page is well-written.
Inexperience web designer still design a websites entirely around Search Engines and this is getting small businesses into trouble. What’s needed is an eye for content that will connect with users with the express purpose of engaging them.
2. Focus on…
Social media signal are more important than ever. The search engines not only want you to invest in creating new quality content, they want to see that your audience is reading and rating the content as well. Getting social votes, like and shares signals to Google that your content is of high quality and give search engine another reason to rank your site or page higher than a competing site. Be sure to incorporate those “social badges” and vote buttons to get your readers to share websites and blogs easily—an ideal way to discover ambassadors for your brand.
3. And don’t forget…
Page load times, browser compatible and mobile viewing experience all contribute to user experience. In many cases, Google can track the time spent on your site and the bounce rate (ie, the people that click to you site and immediately leave and / or do not click on to another page on your website). Your website is one of your company’s most important assets – maybe the most important asset – so avoid the temptation to cut corners by creating a great looking website that is a nightmare ‘under the hood’.