The consistent and regular updates of Google algorithms continuously shift the goal posts SEO marketers are aiming for. As a result, SEO strategies can be deflected into row Z.
Given the search engine giant has said it will continue to update algorithms that produce better search results and user-experience, marketers can expect more challenges in the future.
In the immediate, search engines are moving away from the traditional methods of ranking websites and looking for alternative methods of producing SERPs. And search is about to be turned on its head.
Points for pages
When Google dropped PageRank, it signalled an intention that individual pages will be scored rather than overall websites. This will be more beneficial for end-users, but presents a backlog of work for online businesses.
When researching, we notice a vast majority of websites do not meet the criteria of semantic search and the old system of keywords is producing poor results. For pages to rank higher they need to be optimised so they are more relevant to the search query.
A recent report in New Scientist also suggests that Google search scientists are looking at ranking webpages based on the accuracy of the information, although this has been denied by Google at this time. Pages may be tested against information stored in the Google Knowledge Vault at some point in the future.
This presents a can of worms problem which is better saved for another article, but needless to say, if Google does launch their proposed Knowledge Vault search algorithm, the amount of false and regurgitated information on the net will be worse than it already is. Will opinion pieces rank?
The functions to improve organic page rank already exist in the form of location maps for local search, product listings with descriptions, Q&A sheets and long tail keywords etc.
However, the number of paid ads (particularly on the most competitive terms) are shuffling organic results further down the page so they don’t even make the fold. Even more so on Yahoo over Google. Marketers are therefore having to find other avenues to get their content in front of an audience.
Not withstanding black-hat tactics, marketers need to have the vision and foresight of where Google algorithms will go. The focus should always be on what search engines aim to do: Provide quality content that is relevant to the search terms of end users, in an organised and logical site structure (make like a library).
Second guess algorithm changes
Marketers also need to consider what tactics other marketers are using to rank better. We have already seen how Google is prepared to take a hard stance to snuff out black hat tactics, which is why so many online businesses are penalised and lose their high rank, and why the past couple of years have been very difficult for many in SEO.
But these changes can have a knock-on effect with the way that white-hat firms conduct their business. Guest posting is a prime example of how writing for third party sites has become tougher, and even convincing clients that this can still form part of a viable outreach strategy has become more difficult as a result of this. Fear has taken a grip.
To build an online profile these days, online firms have to pay through the nose for professional writers that have contacts with established magazines that have a high trust and authority rank. Many small businesses cannot afford these type of fees.
Building an online profile and getting readers to engage with your content is the biggest challenge a small business marketer faces. Without high levels of engagement it is difficult to rank well against competing organisations that have huge marketing clout.
What will search engines do to prevent marketers from manipulating search engine results? The best practice is to stay true to tactics, have the patience to build an online profile and future-proof your clients page rank.
Move It Marketing SEO Services
Move It Marketing are a boutique digital marketing agency with a love for organic search (and in particular technical SEO). We don’t dilute our efforts by working with a large number of clients, and provide a granular service with attention to detail. If you have experienced problems with SEO on your site, get in touch and we will take a look with a view to providing you with an initial mini SEO audit free of charge.