Nearly every digital marketer in today’s society utilizes Google as a primary form of advertisement. With more than 6.5 billion searches being made each day, the need to rank well on Google’s search results page is imperative.
Whether you are optimizing a website to rank well on its own, or spending a few dollars through Google AdWords, the changes coming to Google’s algorithm will have a significant effect on those advertising efforts.
Most Recent Update
Google continually updates its algorithm to show the most relevant results to users as possible. The latest update arrived on August 19th.
There is never one single cause of an algorithm adjustment. Instead, the adjustment is meant to target many different areas in order to improve overall quality of the search results displayed by Google.
Glenn Gabe, columnist for Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch, investigated the algorithm change and gave his opinions on how he thought it would affect marketers. According to Gabe, Google advertisers should avoid:
- Use of Deceptive Advertising: deploying deceptive, aggressive, or disruptive advertising can be detrimental to a site’s quality. Instead, gear your site toward the user and their needs. Do not bombard them with full-screen ads and site redirects.
- Broken User Interface Elements: We have all had an experience where we click on a link and receive some sort of “404 error: Page Not Found” message. Make sure that your site works properly and does not contain any of these pesky UI flaws.
- Low Query-Based Relevance: This element should be obvious. If a search term does not apply to your site, then it should not be ranking well for that term. Google’s goal is to provide the user with exactly what they are looking for. If your site isn’t helpful to the user, then it’s as good as gone from the top search results list.
Gabe suggests using the following methods to improve advertisements in the wake of the algorithm update:
- Category (Tag-like) Pages: WordPress sites often include the option of adding a category and various tag to each page. Gabe noticed that even some sites that showed an overall downward trend since the algorithm update still had positive numbers to report for these category pages.
- Full, Quality Content: Try to fill your site with all of the best information possible. This does not mean that you need to write pages and pages of content, it just means that you need to clearly state what you can do for the consumer and why you can do it best.
- Open User Experience: Allowing users to add their own comments to content on your site is a great way to add value. This may be in the form of a review or an actual comment on a certain post or news article.
Google has also shown an increased interest in the prominence of local businesses on their search results page. After all, a restaurant located in New York City will prove of little use to a young woman in Seattle looking for a bit to eat after work.
As Google begins to favor local establishments, it becomes more and more important for all kinds of businesses to make sure that their location is conveniently and correctly displayed across various platforms. For example, you will want to make sure that the address you have listed on Facebook perfectly matches the one listed on Yelp.
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