What Google’s New SEO Algorithm Means to Your Website.

Google’s New SEO Algorithm Looks for This When Ranking Sites

The rules of SEO are constantly evolving.

Search engines like Google update their algorithms so frequently, and it can be dizzying to know how to get your site ranked the way you want. One thing is clear, however: keywords just aren’t enough to get you the traffic you want.

So what will give you results when it comes to SEO? According to Google’s latest algorithm, Hummingbird, you need to build sitewide trust.

Trust is the core component of Google’s relevancy-oriented search, and without it, you won’t be relevant.

Building real trust with Google isn’t easy. The smarter the system gets, the harder it can be to rank. But don’t worry just yet. There are things you can do to ensure that your site still ranks the way you want it to.

Why Google’s SEO Algorithms Matter

Google’s algorithm rules aren’t arbitrary: they have a purpose. Before you can improve your SEO ranking, you have to understand the ultimate motivation.

Google’s main goal is to deliver the most relevant search results as fast as possible.

They use deep neural networks of data to create a system that can think like the human brain, or attempt to, anyway. This approach is called “deep learning” and it’s used all across the Internet to improve user experience.

It’s ultimately an effort to help computers process information the same way humans do.

So when you search for “best website design ideas,” you get results based not only on your query, but on your search history, what other people are searching for, and what sites have content that closely resembles what the engine thinks you mean.

The smarter that the algorithms get – the more humanlike – the harder it is to “game” the system. Plugging your site with random keywords doesn’t work anymore, because Google can see through your attempt to keyword stuff.

Instead, you have to get Google to trust you. How do you do this?

In a book entitled SEO 2017: Master Search Engine OptimizationR.L. Adamslays the groundwork: You build trust with age, authority and content.

Building Trust with Age

You may think that using age as a ranking factor puts newer sites at a disadvantage, but know that with Google, age is more than a number.

Google relies on its relationship with your site over time to judge whether or not you’re trustworthy enough to list on the first few pages. Time is still a factor – the longer it knows you exist, the more likely you will be to rank – but if it sees that you produce value for visitors over time (you have heavy traffic, your site gets linked to, you produce frequent content, etc.), your relationship will improve.

For sites that have been around longer, this gives you an automatic boost to your rankings, which may come as a relief. For newer sites, or those that post less frequently, you will still have to build up your reputation over time.

Keep in mind that age doesn’t necessarily mean when you launched your site, though. Age refers to the indexed age, meaning when Google actually discovered you first. So if you had a site for a while but haven’t done anything with it until now, you will still be a baby in Google’s eyes.

Building Trust with Authority

If you don’t have age in your favor, you can also boost your ranking with authority.

In the past, you would build authority through your Google PageRank. The higher on the scale of 1-10 your site sat, the more trusted it would be. If you could link to more established (higher ranking) sites, you could boost your own score.

While Google still uses PageRank as a factor in SEO, they no longer gives public access to PageRank ratings, making it impossible to know how you actually fare. Instead, Google uses Domain Authority to determine the trustworthiness of your site.

Domain Authority is a score (100 points) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). While it’s not a direct replacement for PageRank, it does allow you to see where your site sits in the rankings.

What makes Domain Authority helpful is that it gives you a way to measure the strength of your links. You can see exactly which sites are giving you the best boosts and which links are altogether worthless for your ranking power.

A few ways to improve your Domain Authority include:

  • Optimizing your internal links – Making sure links go to relevant content, use natural anchors that make sense to users, are linked to the right keywords, etc.
  • Creating more link-worthy content – Avoiding keyword stuffing, but creating content that does link out to other sites
  • Pursuing higher quality links – Linking to trustworthy (older, more established) sources, putting your site in a directory like Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor and the Better Business Bureau, etc.
  • Running link audits – Eliminating broken or bad links as often as possible

The better links you have (the better your link profile is), the better your Domain Authority will be.

Building Trust with Content

The other thing that Google looks for when building trust is fresh, quality content.

When you publish quality content on a regular basis, you give Google more opportunities to index your site for links as well as for targeted keywords (yes, keywords still matter).

Frequently adding content, like blogs or articles, allows you to optimize the article with pertinent keywords that can attract visitors to your site, and provides you additional ways to link to authoritative sources and higher ranking sites.

The trick is that your content has to deliver genuine value. In the past, Google’s algorithms would look at the number and frequency of keywords being used throughout the content on your site to determine relevancy.

But the trouble with this is that Google’s new algorithms actually punish keyword stuffing. Instead, the algorithm looks for specific keywords or keyphrases (even “natural language” search phrases and questions) that fall into the content naturally.

In other words, the keywords have to make sense in context – and yes, Google can tell.

This means that for content to help you build your credibility, it has to:

  • Be popular enough to attract traffic
  • Include relevant keywords naturally
  • Provide enough value that users share and save it
  • Include meta tags, title tags and descriptions
  • Be published frequently

The good news is that you can publish as much content as you want, as long as it’s high-quality. This can be one of the best strategies for newer sites looking to rank higher in SERPs, since Google will still build a relationship with your content even if you haven’t been around for long enough to have age or link authority.

Final Thoughts

If you want to create a site that ranks under Google’s new SEO algorithm, you have to focus on building a relationship with Google and steer clear of smarmy tactics like keyword stuffing or over-linking.

Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Google thinks and acts more like a human when it processes your site, meaning that, in a way, it’s judging what you have out there.

In order to make sure it trusts your content, you want to produce content that offers value for searchers, build natural links and relationships with other high-ranking sites, and stick around long enough for Google to see you.

Ask us what we can do to help.  It’s easier than you think.

This is How Top Bloggers Get 90% of Their Traffic

Get your SEO strategy figured out, then go crazy creating content.

This is How Top Bloggers Get 90% of Their Traffic

Image credit: lechatnoir | Getty Images

Related: 3 Essential Tools to Utilize When Starting a Company Blog

Social networks, for example, can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog. But they are not the most dominant force out there. Similarly, advertising on social networks can be effective, but only for the length of time you are running them and shelling out cash. It’s yet another machine which, with rare exceptions, does not compound upon its success. This is why the vast majority of top bloggers, even those spending a lot of time promoting themselves on social media, will tell you that social media is not where they get the majority of their traffic from.

An influencer in this space who knows this all too well, Darren Rowse, runs ProBlogger, a website with a huge following that teaches bloggers how to create and grow their blog. I heard him speak to this issue of — where bloggers get traffic — on his podcast, so I reached out to him to get more detail.

“Most bloggers that I talk with admit to focusing most of their promotional efforts on social media,” he said. “However, when you dig into where most established bloggers get the majority of their actual traffic, the answer I often hear is from Google. It seems to me that many bloggers are overlooking one of the biggest and most lucrative sources of traffic: search. The lure of viral traffic from social is strong but if bloggers put a little bit of time each day into their search strategy instead, I believe they would be far more successful.”

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is really the only traffic-driving force that has the potential to one day cross the bell-curve and work passively in your favor. The chances of someone stumbling across your social post from a year ago and sharing it with their audience, for example, is highly unlikely. And yet year-old blog posts constantly find their way to the top of search queries and continue to bring in big ticket traffic for websites that understand the value of quality content.

For example, according to a study by Hubspot, “66 percent of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. Similarly, a report by Ascend2 stated, “72 percent of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic.”

Marketing and SEO expert Neil Patel attributes his blog’s 206 percent traffic increase to the art of search engine optimization and the effectiveness of creating valuable content for the web.

So, what are the steps to creating content with an SEO strategy in mind?

1. Start with relevant keywords, and search for the low-hanging fruit.

You need a firm grasp on what people in your industry or niche are searching for in order to create successful content. A few ways you can do this:

  • Use Google’s keyword planner, or a tool like Ubersuggest.
  • Search keywords on Quora, and look for what questions people are asking.
  • Do a few web searches with those related keywords to see who is currently dominating the first two pages of search.

Once you have a sense of what people are searching for surrounding your area of expertise or interest, you can start to cater your content toward the keywords that are not as competitive. For example, ranking on the first page for “social media” is going to be much harder than if you were to try rank for something more targeted like “real estate social media strategy.”

Related: Why You Should Republish Old Blog Content

2. Create long-form content for better searchability.

Marketers often talk about how today’s online readers have short attention spans, but I don’t buy this for a minute. Readers don’t hate long form content, they hate bad content. They hate bad content even more when it’s long. If the content is great content, then they want even more of it.

A study by Buzzsumo found that long-form content between 3,000 and 10,000 words ended up performing the best online. In fact, according to the study, “There are 16 times more content with less than 1,000 words than there were content with 2,000+ words.”

What this means is that trying to stand out with short-form content in a world of saturated short-form content is extremely difficult. However, if you come in wielding long-form, keyword specific, valuable content, you are far more likely to rise to the top of the rankings and accumulate more organic search traffic. Just make sure it’s great content people actually want to read.

3. Establish a network of backlinks from other websites.

If understanding the landscape is step one, and creating valuable content is step two, then step three is expanding your reach and having other blogs and websites point to your website via backlinks. According to Hubspot, “Companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links.”

Here are a few ways you can get websites and content publishers to link back to your content:

  • Reach out via email to relevant content publishers in your space or market, and let them know about your content piece. Ask them if it’s a good fit for their audience, and if so, to feel free to share it.
  • Create a similar piece of content for another website, and link back to your own content as an added resource or reference.
  • Quote or otherwise include relevant content creators in your space in your content, and when you publish it, tag them in your social media posts with the article. Do you think they’ll share it? Of course they will!

The key is to get what you’ve created in front of the right people, whether that’s through email outreach, social media or even good old fashioned networking.

Related: How Real Marketers Create Backlinks That Matter

With SEO there’s bad news, and there’s good news. The bad news is that SEO is a long-term strategy, which means you’ll need to do a lot of work for a long time to get consistently great results. The good news is that because it’s a long-term strategy, most of your competitors won’t focus on it, and then you win.

 

From: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/290894

What Is Google’s New Event Search Feature And Why Does It Matter?

Jayson DeMersJayson DeMers , CONTRIBUTOR
I de-mystify SEO and online marketing for business owners.

 

What Is Google’s New Event Search Feature And Why Does It Matter? – Image Source: Pexels.com

Google has never been a company to rest on its laurels. Over the past two decades, the search engine giant has continued surprising, delighting, and serving its users with new features, layouts, and inner workings. Not all of these features have been successful, but it’s never long before a disliked feature is improved, replaced, or modified.

Recently, much of Google’s focus has been on improving experiences for mobile users—and by that, I’m referring both to users relying on mobile devices like smartphones, and users who need fast, on-the-go information. Event search is the latest new mobile feature, rolled out by Google earlier this month, and it’s worth considering both as a new SEO strategy and as a signal for what’s coming next.

How Event Search Will Work

In the Google search app, event searches take over when Google detects that a user is looking for an event. For example, the basic “events near me” triggers the event search, but specific queries, like “jazz concerts” also bring up relevant results. Rather than seeing a conventional search engine results page (SERP) layout, users then see a list of events relevant to their query, with the option to filter or reorder results based on a specific date, or by qualifiers like “today,” “tomorrow,” and “next week.”

After clicking on an event in the list, Google will display information for how to attend, such as linking a user to a ticket purchasing app or showing an RSVP option.

Supported Sites (and How to Get Involved)

So where is Google getting the information for these events, and how can you be a part of it?

Before launch, Google worked with a number of event sites to coordinate correct markup and listings for each respective enterprise. At launch, event search was displaying results from Meetup, Yext, Vividseats, Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, Jambase, LiveNation, Bookmyshow.com, StubHub, Bandsintown, Eventful, and a handful of others. It plans to add support for even more ticket and event apps in the next several weeks and months.

However, you don’t have to wait for Google to reach out to you to make sure your organization’s events are listed in event search results. In fact, all you have to do to see your event listed is mark it up using standard Schema markup protocols—with a few new rules. Google has a handy guide for developers looking to mark up their site’s events, and it’s simple to follow. You’ll need to properly categorize your event, include all the specific information Google requests, create a unique URL for your event, and be careful not to mislabel an event (especially if it takes place over multiple days).

Marking up your events feeds that information to Google, so it can consider those events for relevant searches made by its users. Depending on how your site is currently set up and what types of events you host, it shouldn’t take long to make the change.

The Increasing Shift to Here and Now

One of the most important takeaways from this change by Google is that it marks another step in the search world to favoring the here and now. Mobile devices sparked a new revolution in moment- and place-focused optimization, and Google keeps pushing for better features. For example, Google overhauled the design and functionality of its local search results to favor users with mobile devices searching for immediate needs while they’re on the go. It has also introduced accelerated mobile pages (AMPs), which are designed to load as quickly as possible for mobile users who need fast information.

The rise in popularity of live video and in-the-moment social media updates also demonstrates users’ interest in seeing more content that’s relevant to their immediate interests. By coordinating content based on proximity to users’ location and proximity to present time, Google is moving forward in new dimensions of “relevance,” and users are demanding more instantly gratifying results.

Is It Worth Optimizing For?

Ignoring the paradigm shift toward immediate gratification for a moment, let’s consider whether it’s “worth it” for businesses to optimize for Google event search. If your business or organization coordinates most of its events through EventBrite, Ticketmaster, or similar sites, your events are likely already optimized for search. You won’t have to change anything to get your events listed. However, if you list your events mostly through your own site, and you host events regularly, it’s imperative that you adopt the latest markup standards so that people can easily find your events when searching for them.

However, even if your organization doesn’t host many events, it’s still in your best interest to mark up your event data whenever it comes up. Employing Schema microformatting is a best practice for all sites, as it makes it possible for your content to be featured in a rich snippet, and properly “understood” by Google’s search crawlers.

Looking to the Future

As you consider how to update your SEO strategy from here, make sure you consider the rise in importance of “here and now” content. Showcasing local events, getting involved in the community, and catering to users’ immediate needs with content and resources is, in my mind, one of the best ways to future-proof your SEO strategy.

It’s likely that Google will continue releasing new features that cater to demanding mobile users over the next several years, so make sure your business stays ahead of the curve.

Google Gives A Ranking Boost To Secure HTTPS/SSL Sites

google-ssl-https-secure

Google Gives Secure Sites A Ranking Boost

Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — will give you a minor ranking boost.

Google says this gives websites a small ranking benefit, only counting as a “very lightweight signal” within the overall ranking algorithm. In fact, Google said this carries “less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” Based on their tests, Google says it has an impact on “fewer than 1% of global queries” but said they “may decide to strengthen” the signal because they want to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

Google also said based on their tests for the past few months, the HTTPS signal showed “positive results” in terms of relevancy and ranking in Google’s search results.

As you may remember, at SMX West, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, said he’d love to make SSL a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Well, less than five months after that announcement, and while he is on an extended leave, Google is making it a reality.

SEO Concerns With Going HTTPS

Should you be concerned when switching from your HTTP to HTTPS site for SEO purposes? Not so much. Google has been telling webmasters it is safe to do so for years. But you need to take the proper steps to ensure your traffic doesn’t suffer. That means make sure to communicate to Google that you moved your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Google promises to release more documentation in the future, but for now has provided the following tips:

  • Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Check out our site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.

Google has also updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them.

One last thing: You will want to make sure to track your HTTP to HTTPS migration carefully in your analytics software and within Google Webmaster Tools.

Postscript: Google webmaster trends analyst John Mueller is also answering some questions about the change here on Google+.

Spearhead Multimedia offers multiple choices for SSL Certificates.  Get yours here today.

From http://searchengineland.com 

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