What Features Matter Most for SEO Success

Posted on: 4th May 2019
seo success

Recently, Google improved the algorithms it uses to promote search engine optimization and relies more heavily on human quality raters now. With all these changes to quality, core concepts, and authority, the SEO course has forever been altered. The old methods of generating content for a quick ranking bump in search engines is over. You can use this tactic to get where you need to be quickly, but it doesn’t result in a long-term or sustainable performance.

The days of lower-quality ghostwriting to produce new blogs and articles for content freshness sake is gone. Along with such, search engine optimizers can’t rely on repurposing the information that’s already found online. It’s not sustainable or effective as a content strategy, even if you do cite your sources.

Within the new landscape, website optimizers need to learn about Google’s latest changes and the rules that regard authority and quality content. It’s also essential to learn what you must do to ensure that you are seen as a trustworthy source of information or products.

Most Significant Changes of Rankings and Evaluations of Websites

In 2018, Google decided to focus more on analyzing the trustworthiness and quality of domains and web pages. In the past, it was easy to make small changes to the well-known rank factors, such as adding improved internal links or adjusting the title tags, which would have been seen as an improvement to the performance of the SEO structure. It worked for websites that weren’t considered authority figures on the subject on which they wrote.

However, these quick on-page optimizing tactics no longer work and aren’t sufficient to reach the top positions on the search results page, especially if your website has other issues that are related to trust and quality. Google now hones in on the credibility and reputation of the website and the creators of the content you use. It also focuses more on the user’s experience, such as the ability to switch to mobile-first indexing and utilizing page speed updates frequently.

Steps to Take with the Algorithm Change If Traffic Drops Are Experienced

The first thing to do is look at any off- and on-site issues that are related to trust and quality if you see a significant traffic drop because of the algorithm changes. Professionals can analyze the pages that got hit or determine if the issue is site-wide. This allows them to see what sections contain trustworthiness, expertise, and authoritativeness issues or determine if the entire domain’s authority was questioned. These professionals can also look at content on these pages compared to your competitors. They always ask if it answers the search queries with the right page structure, vocabulary, and citations.

Professionals also take note of the organic footprint of your website. Many times, you find duplicate, thin, and low-quality pages in your index that should be removed or merged. Google also suggests that you look up website or content creator reviews but exclude the results found from the questionable website. You may see external issues relating to that client’s trustworthiness that should be resolved.

Google Search Quality Guidelines: How Close to Follow Them

The Search Quality Rater Guide is a helpful resource when analyzing affected pages or websites. It can also answer questions about what Google considers high-quality content. Though Google did claim that the guideline recommendations do not affect rankings, the information in that guide can provide you with a long-term marketing strategy that is sure to please the Google gods as it makes more changes and improvements to the algorithm.

Along with such, the algorithm is focused on behaving like a human while analyzing the quality of a website. Though it’s probably obvious to optimizers now, these updated guidelines state that the old-fashioned techniques, such as auto-generating content, keyword stuffing, and writing low-quality content to get done quickly aren’t appropriate or sustainable strategies for good results.

AI and Machine Learning: How They Impact Ranking Algorithms

Much of the algorithm updates for Google focuses on machine learning advancements. The rater guidelines still determine where it wants the algorithm to go, and humans are the best judge of what high-quality content is and isn’t, at least for the time being. There’s still more work to do before algorithms catch up to human judgement.

Machine learning does help the process go quicker and is more scaleable now than before. Even though there have been significant fluctuations in searches with some sites falling and rising after every algorithm update, it does indicate that algorithms can miss its mark and still have a long way to go.

Upcoming Changes

With the trends as they are, it seems that Google and other search engines are focusing on the reputation of the content creators and website itself more than anything else. It’s harder to rank well if you don’t have experience or have mediocre content, so it’s likely to take longer and require more effort to be successful with your SEO campaign.