SEO can be intimidating for business owners, but it is vitally important to remember that Google won’t pay directly for organic rankings; therefore, to increase traffic organically it is wise to hire a reputable SEO expert who will assist in increasing rankings on Google and driving growth of traffic through organic means.
Be wary of SEOs who offer “gimmick” solutions such as link popularity schemes or private blog networks; such practices could result in Google penalizing your search ranking and creating havoc with search rankings.
Google’s search algorithm is complex and ever-evolving, striving to return the most helpful results for each query based on various ranking factors like keywords, content quality and website structure – as well as taking into account user intent and location.
Being familiar with how an algorithm operates is key for SEO. While some hints can provide insight into what’s driving changes to it, the most crucial element is keeping up-to-date with updates announced through blog posts or Google Search Central – these updates could have significant impacts on SERP rankings and could prove crucial in driving SERP rankings higher.
Google’s algorithm relies on three main elements to work: crawling, indexing and serving search results. To do this, its automated programs visit Web pages and download their text, images and video files before storing this data in an enormous database. Next, their search algorithms analyze this downloaded information against user searches to match up results with those most relevant to each SERP listing – meaning pages with more pertinent info will rank higher on SERP results pages.
While Google’s algorithm may change over time, its core functions remain constant. What differs is how the algorithm weighs factors and signals to determine where sites rank in SERPs.
Example of what an algorithm considers: It takes into account such things as the scope and intent of a search query, including whether or not it’s broad or specific; searcher intent (for general or product information); language preference of searchers and more.
The algorithm also prioritizes websites that offer users a positive user experience, including fast load times, mobile-friendliness and HTTPS security. Furthermore, this algorithm strives to remove intrusive interstitials while making sure duplicate content does not appear in SERPs.
Google keeps this information closely guarded and only shares it when absolutely necessary with its employees, but experienced SEOs can gain valuable insight into likely ways that search algorithms may behave from their experiences as well as from communication from Google and other sources.
Every year, Google makes thousands of updates to its search algorithm. Most are minor tweaks that don’t have significant impacts on ranking pages; but every so often – known as core updates – there may be one with far reaching effects for SEO.
Each core update changes the formula by which Google ranks web pages indexed by it; pages which previously ranked high may now rank lower after an update has taken effect. Core updates also alter how alternative listings appear on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), such as People Also Asked listings, featured snippets and Knowledge Graph panels.
The Core Update made the biggest impactful difference by rewarding websites that prioritize answering searcher intent over sites simply trying to rank for any keyword they can. Furthermore, it sought to discredit websites designed solely to manipulate search results using “black hat” techniques.
An additional major change was the introduction of local search features in search results pages (SERPs). This feature allows searchers to quickly and efficiently find results that most closely meet their location and search intent, becoming an integral component of Google search experience. It has proven tremendously popular and is now an integral component of their experience.
Other updates included the rollout of mobile-first indexing, which rewards websites that make their content accessible across devices. This marks a substantial change to how Google evaluates search quality – it had previously relied heavily on how well a site performed on desktop computers alone to judge search quality.
2022’s final major update, Helpful Content, was intended to deter spammy reviews while rewarding sites that provide useful information and value to their users. While most websites will benefit from this update, some may experience massive ranking fluctuations; those experiencing these should take note that improving user relevancy should help their content regain prominence on search results pages.
Marketers and content creators need to stay abreast of Google updates. To stay abreast, marketers and content creators should regularly monitor the official search ranking update page so they know when a core algorithm change has taken place and regularly inspect their own sites to ensure users enjoy optimal user experiences.
Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is a pay-per-click advertising service offered by Google that allows businesses to bid on keywords to place their ads at the top or bottom of search results pages. Cost per clicks depends on competition for each keyword as well as quality of an ad, with demographic or geographical targeting options for more effective targeting of advertisements. Google Ads can be combined with SEO techniques in order to increase brand recognition and drive more website traffic.
Some individuals fear that paying for ads will negatively impact their organic search rankings, but this is simply not true. Google has confirmed many times that paid ads do not negatively affect organic search performance – though that does not necessarily imply there is no correlation between the two systems.
However, it is essential to remember that paid and organic search rankings are separate systems with their own goals and should never influence one another. Doing so would result in less useful results and poorer user experiences – something Google does not wish for.
SEO investments can be an excellent long-term solution that can lead to higher search rankings in due time, but often take months or even years before showing any tangible return on their investment. As a result, some businesses may choose to supplement their SEO efforts with Google Ads in order to get instantaneous exposure for their brand.
Google Ads’ biggest advantage lies in its measurable results, such as clicks and conversions, that allow you to assess whether your investment is working as intended. Plus, you can easily change your ads at any time to reach new audiences or promote an offer or seasonal sale.
Google Ads also makes it easy to test various keyword phrases to see which ones work best for your business. For instance, if a particular search term produces lots of clicks but no conversions, perhaps switching it out. Leveraging Google Ads as a testing platform to test keywords will save time and money by quickly identifying which ones are the most successful for your company.
People trust Google to deliver accurate, safe, and useful search results when they conduct searches. Recognizing that people make important decisions based on what they read in search results, Google invests heavily in its algorithms to ensure searchers see information they can trust. As its algorithm continues to adapt through core updates and micro-adjustments, one of the key components Google considers when ranking content is its Trustworthiness score – Google uses the E-A-T (Experience, Authority and Trustworthiness) evaluation criteria as part of its quality guidelines to evaluate levels of expertise on a topic area as well as author authority of author and overall trustworthiness of websites/pages they contain.
Contrary to keywords, which serve to draw visitors in to your content, the E-A-T guidelines don’t directly impact how your page ranks in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but rather impact how trustworthy your content is perceived by Google’s search engine. Instead, they are intended to assist content producers in creating high-quality pieces tailored specifically towards audience needs and interests.
While the E-A-T guidelines have long been around, their popularity gained significant traction following Google’s “Medic Update,” or simply known as the medic update in August 2018. This update to their algorithm placed greater emphasis on E-A-T criteria than previously.
E-A-T criteria can be difficult to assess objectively. For instance, medical websites must be written by accredited doctors; however, experts in their fields can write about what living with certain conditions is like or share personal stories from personal experience.
As you evaluate your own content, pose these questions to determine its trustworthiness. To get an objective assessment, ask trusted individuals outside of your business for honest opinions of it. Ultimately, focus on providing meaningful and helpful content to your target audience while building trust over time – this will earn Google’s approval and improve SEO rankings.