Google has long ago turned from just a big player in the fields of IT and big data into an entity that single-handedly changes the rules according to which the entire world operates. Modern life in all its spheres is so dependent on the Internet, and the Internet is so dependent on Google’s search algorithms that every change in them means that millions of SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, copywriters have to change the ways they work, and the ripple goes further, effectively encompassing the entire Earth. In this article, we will enumerate some of these changes that literally shook the world.
1. How to Deal with “Not Provided”?
In 2011, Google suddenly announced that it wasn’t going to pass search terms to website owners if the search was made on secure Google page. Instead, in Google Analytics it will show as a keyword (not provided). However, sites using Google AdWords continue to receive full keyword data, which means that Google, understandably, is not so much concerned with maintaining people’s privacy as with creating beneficial market conditions for itself. There are ways to bypass these limitations and get some understanding of the data that is being withheld, but it was still a very noticeable hit against SEO.
2. How to Use Guest Posting?
One of the primary concerns of Google is to make sure that websites that are actually helpful for the user get priority over those that are using tricks to get high positions in search results. One of the actions taken by the company in this direction was coming down on guest blogging in 2014. Before the famous post by Matt Cutts, guest posting was one of the most popular SEO methods, to the point that poor-quality and near-identical guest posts were much more common than the useful ones. Changes in Google algorithms destroyed this model. Guest blogging got better, but not in the form it used to exist – now it is more about quality than quantity.
3. How to Work with Hummingbird?
Hummingbird is the name of a brand new search algorithm Google uses since September 2013, called this way for its speed and precision. Its primary feature is that it does a much better job at understanding the meaning behind the words – it looks at the entire query rather than individual words, takes context into account and strives to give better search ranking to pages that match the meaning of the entire query rather than just of a few words. On a practical side, it is yet another step to establishing the priority of content.
4. How to Choose the Size?
Compared to the situation a few years ago, longer articles (over 1,000 words) show better results than the shorter ones. The reason is that they contain more words and images to be ranked for, tend to contain more useful information, get shared on social media more often and in general, are considered to be the “meat” of the Internet rather than just click bait. Thus Google motivates people to create big, content-heavy pages and prefers them to short articles that exist for the sole purpose of containing a few keywords.
5. How to Enhance User Experience?
When all is said and done, Google considers improving user experience to be its job. If a user finds what he looks for among the first 2-3 search results, it is good user experience. If not, something has to be changed. Therefore, all the changes it makes are aimed in this direction: there will be new ways to distinguish websites that are relevant, that offer quality content, that provide something unique.
Love it or hate it, but Google does shape the way we search and, in the long run, how today’s business is done – and those who want to succeed have to take this fact to heart.