Now I’ve had a fair amount of time to work out the new algorithm I think I have a fairly good idea what has changed, why and what we can all do about it.
Quality, Not Quantity
Google is trying to push for quality content and not landing pages. Google want people to actually read and engage with the content, and for that reason I would say that the Bounce Rate, Click Through Rates & Time on page are all metrics which are being watched closely. Google don’t directly tell people this, but it has been mentioned before.
Better quality content = More clicks. It makes a lot of sense – but if your a content writer it doesn’t mean you have to write the same amount – 1 quality article is better than 10 articles written by a copy writer.
Google do not want you dominating the same products on different pages anymore and is giving preference to one page with all of the information. This also a lot of sense
With the latest update they’ve been watching the keyword cannibalism – effectively using the same keyword in two places, it could be two sites or two pages or posts, this causes Google an issue when indexing because it’s not sure which page to index and rank.
Key Tip: Do not sell any type of similar products on another site (even if it’s a new IP, etc) they will find out and it will cause you problems. If you are, I would not touch it until there was an issue.
Keywords become LESS important
Yup, you heard it first. Keywords are less important – Google is focusing on the content – keywords should be mentioned but they are being mentioned far less then before. 1-2 keywords maximum which fit within the content is more then enough.
Google is now being smart and not taking your keywords and analysing the content and the site as a whole. Google Business is now a massive factor – they are also cutting down on virtual addresses as they want actual companies.
Google are also looking at combining pages – they do not think that having multiple pages for the same keyword is relevant or useful to a user. I’ve noticed this doesn’t happen in all cases (if the content is significantly different).
UI/ UX & Content
If you were a customer, looking at most “news” pages would make you u-turn at 100 miles per hour. Google have started to drum it into peoples head (first with mobile) that UX and UI is really important. And it will effect your SEO.
An example page in the “new” format:
URL does not contain full keyword and tries to rank for multiple phrases instead of different pages.
After the H1, you will note – that keyword is not mentioned again, purposely. I would also say if you have a couple of copywriters that bang out 4-5 articles a week on top 5 “X” then they need to completely re-adjust the SEO strategy.
There is no SEO value in articles unless it will attract readers. Also, that way you get to re-market to them. Win-win. Just remember it hardly rocket science – look at #1-10 are doing and look for the similarities.
For the haters ….. Please note, this is with zero backlinks.
Core Algorithm Main Points
- Landing Pages / Content Pages
Focused and to the point – pages are performing well with less content now. 400-500 words works well and keep keywords to a minimum. I’ve seen pages rank with the keyword mentioned once in the content. Google Business is absolutely essential now and is becoming, I would say, the biggest factor in ranking in a specific locality.
- Images / Videos / UX
Google has a preference towards images and videos – basically content that is relevant to the user rather than just lots of “SEO” text.
- Title Tags, H1’s and H2’s
Google is oddly pushing up sites which don’t directly have the keyword in the title – for example “Cleaning Companies Bath” should now be “Expert Cleaning Companies Bath” or “Award Winning Cleaning Company Bath”. Again, this is to do with Google pushing content which is focused at the user, rather than SEO.
Thoughts? Please comment