Content is king
You may have heard the remark that “content is king” when it comes to websites and search rankings. It has been the doctrine of SEO experts for several years and virtually all of the most recent Google algorithm changes seem to have promoted this idea further. However, what you may not be aware of is just how sophisticated Google’s algorithm and their little robots have become over the past few years.
SEO for the Google algorithm and the Google bots
Yes, there are things called Google bots (short for robots) and they roam/crawl around the internet, jumping from link to link, to index web pages. The information they collect is used to rank web pages in relation to search queries. Google now “crawls” websites much more frequently than ever before and the information that is analyzed is examined to a much greater degree. Your goal? Make it easy for your site to be accessed by Google’s bots and have the right content in place that satisfies both your website visitors and Google’s algorithm.
What sort of content is Google looking for?
It is no longer just about including keywords within the content and in strategic areas (near the top of the article). Google’s robots can and do detect and analyze much more than that. In addition to recognizing the HTML formatting, the keyword phrases and checking for duplicate content, they also consider things like:
· Reading Level
· Sentence Structure
· Text Length
· Text Formatting
· Text vs. Images
· Related Keywords & Phrases
Know your audience
These are incredible advancements to think that Google has the ability to consider things such as the reading level of your content. And it gets even more sophisticated. They aren’t just looking for a uniform reading level. They are looking for a reading level that matches the search query. For example, if you are searching for something like “nanotubes boost genetic engineering,” Google expects the most relevant and informative pages to have a high reading level, certain technical data and will consider that when choosing which results to show. For a search query that is more generic and accessible to the masses such as “best sneakers,” Google expects the reading level for those pages to be average or maybe below average for the general public.
Also, Google will evaluate a search query based upon whether the most relevant results should contain less text and more videos or images. A search for “Yellowstone geysers” may trigger Google to return results that include pages with videos or images as the highest ranking results.
A "family" of keywords
Google has branched out when it comes to analyzing the actual words on the page as well. Keywords are important, but Google is no longer a stickler when it comes to considering only those words on a page that match exactly (or very closely) the search query. They also consider whether other words and phrases generally used in conjunction with a specific topic appear. For example, a search for “best whole grain cereals” may have Google looking for pages that not only have similar phrases within the content, but also things such as “calories”, “sugars”, “protein”, “fiber” and may even go so far as to expect to see a specific amount of fiber listed in order to be considered one of the “best whole grain cereals.”
Words might not be enough
If you are a mortgage company, Google might expect to see a mortgage calculator tool on a webpage in order to return a high ranking for a phrase such as “mortgage rate calculator.” The actual words within in the content might not be enough. The tool might need to exist on the site.
Where to begin?
This might make you feel as if blogging for your company’s website is now more complicated than ever. Actually, it may be simpler than ever before. Why? Because you are the expert. You know how to answer the looming questions of your customers, clients and prospects. All of these upgrades by Google are to enhance the user experience and reward those that provide the most relevant information on a specific search or topic. You have more on your side now to compete with those who are only seeking to “pull out all the SEO tricks.” It isn’t about tricks. It is about being relevant and answering questions with your content. You are the perfect person for that job!