Since the last few months, we have witnessed Google’s significant updates to its algorithm. Google’s Penguin and Hummingbird updates destroyed the age old keyword techniques and pushed people practicing traditional SEO towards adopting a more strategic approach. Accordingly, businesses in the online space are adjusting their online strategies. To survive in online world today, businesses now need to stay original, relevant and authoritative to achieve success.
Let us take a look at the algorithm changes by Google to shift a user’s focus from only page ranks to driving traffic, converting visitors and becoming an authority within their own niche.
1. Google’s new search algorithm “hummingbird” released last year understands the intent behind long-tail search queries and queries entered into natural language. This is for Google to understand the conversational search queries, it has powered the changes to semantic search and the Knowledge Graph for months to come.
2. Penguin 2.0 release specifically aimed at searching out web spam and websites using “wrong SEO techniques”.
3. Google started encrypting “search data” since 2010. Remember back when first Analytics started showing “Not provided” information. The percentage of securing search data was growing since then and in September 2013, Google finally shut off all information. The keyword tool was replaced with keyword planner which restricts a lot of information.
4. A non-existent update to Page Rank in 2013. This was last updated in February 2013. Since then, it has not been updated further therefore the information is out of date.
5. Lastly, the increasing importance of Authorship and Google + in the recent times.
Now after understanding the Google algorithm changes, let us look at 5 online strategies businesses need to adopt to rank well.
1. Create more natural links – This goes for both paid and organic. We no more need to exercise “hard optimization” to our site. Such websites now need to create natural links.
2. Do social media integration – We all are aware that social media and SEO are coming together. A company needs to have well positioned URL and high number of likes, tweets, shares, and +1s. Search engines consider these as social signals and help in positive ranking.
3. Create good quality content – A website need to have good quality and original content. In the recent times, we have seen cases where big brands with average content have been outshined by average websites with great content.
4. Create quality backlinks – Backlinks continue to hold importance. Websites with more backlinks, rank better. However, the recent changes are now concentrating on both quality and quantity of backlinks.