Search engine optimisation or SEO has been ruling the roost for a decade now, even though social media and mobile apps have been trying to overthrow its supremacy. It has been constantly evolving and penetrating into deeper realms of marketing to become an advanced methodology that ranks a website higher up on the search engine results page (SERP). From being a mystery to most marketers who deemed it irrelevant, it has morphed into a money-spinning strategy that assures high return on investment.
With the global internet usage reaching 46.8% in 2017, the world has literally shifted online, and Smartphones are paving the way for further diffusion. Consequently, the expenditure on SEO has also increased and the future ahead looks brighter than expected. With the popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Baidu updating their algorithms and SERP displays often, the job of a digital marketing agency has become all the more prominent. Innovative and cutting-edge technologies are revolutionising the digital scenario and SEO is following suit.
Though it is challenging to predict what the coming months will be dishing out, there are certain elements which will play a vital role in search engine optimisation. Here is what our Gold Coast SEO genius thinks will be making waves in the Search Engine industry.
The July 24th update of Google Adwords which changed the brand name to Google Ads has been making a lot of people anxious. The good news is that the new Google marketing platform will be an amalgamation of DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360. While the features and network will remain the same, the new Google Ad manager will help advertisers of all sizes to choose the right solutions to create more valuable ads and engaging user experiences for consumers across devices.
It will benefit small businesses to quickly get started with advertising on Google and generate better results. Google Ads will have additional features like automation and machine learning while the Google Ad Manager platform will help marketers reach customers via a variety of platforms like Apple News, AMP, apps, TV, Live streams and more. The digital marketing agency will have a little less to worry about as the Google Marketing Platform will allow the use of both analytics and ads together for improved results, reporting and understanding. It will make it possible to purchase, measure, and optimise digital media and user experience on one platform.
The guideline changes are announced by Google every year to help businesses and marketers understand how they evaluate the ranking and what kind of information are they looking for. The two metrics of evaluation E-A-T and Y-M-Y-L can help businesses to create better websites. E-A-T expands to Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. The high ranking pages possess high E-A-T levels while low ranking pages are far behind. For a high E-A-T score, a website must possess ample content on the relevant topic which satisfies the needs of the user.
The site must be highly regarded for the information it provides and should have sufficient auxiliary information under sections like About Us and Contact Us. The navigation should be intuitive, and the content should be regularly updated and edited. The expertise of the content depends on the subject matter of the website. If the site is related to medical information, financial advice or high-quality hobby pages, then it must have knowledgeable and credible content.
The second metrics Y-M-Y-L stands for ‘your money or your life’ and comprises those pages which can affect the income, happiness and life of the user. These are the pages which Google wants to be written by experts such as financial or tax information, legal facts, medical data, financial transaction, and any piece of information with a low level of E-A-T which can prove to be dangerous for the users. So Google prefers the highest quality of content for ranking of these pages. Undoubtedly, both the measures point towards the need of subject matter experts and that is why marketers need to hire quality writers to rank higher on the SERPs.
The August 1, 2018 Google Algorithm update has created a buzz in the industry circles with the rankings dropping drastically for specific sites and going up for others. The change has affected both the map listings and the organic search results of mainly Y-M-Y-L sites. However, the impact of the change may be broader than what is being witnessed upfront. Most of the sites that were hit belong to the diet, nutrition and medical device segment. Additionally, businesses that are operating in multiple locations experienced a drop in favour of smaller local businesses.
The overview of the change suggests that there is a greater emphasis on the T in the E-A-T for Y-M-Y-L sites that saw a drop in their rankings. The data shows that sites which had no info on their ‘About Us’ page witnessed a tumble. This means that there is a greater need for displaying a business’s expertise and authority in its domain through information about its experience, its people, its awards, its policies etc.
Plus, all the articles on the website should be credited to a credible author along with an author bio to make them trustworthy. Websites selling harmful or vague products were pushed down as well as those with any negative feedback in the market toppled over. Thus the impetus is on giving higher ranking to sites that are trustworthy, possess high-quality content, hold a high reputation in the market and are selling credible and safe products. They must have positive reviews from consumers as well.
With mobile web browsing accounting for 51.3% against the 48.7% recorded for desktop surfing in 2016, the smartphones have surpassed their bulkier counterparts. Unsurprisingly, Google is showing more love to websites that are mobile-friendly as the primary traffic is coming from mobile phones. Online shopping and banking are being carried out on mobile phones which are handy and available on the move.
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open source initiative which reduces the loading time considerably since data suggests that users abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Though it is not yet officially a ranking factor, AMP content is getting higher visibility in mobile search results. Thus businesses must push to create AMP content before it is too late.
The day is not far away when the AI will overtake search to provide more precise results. It will understand the patterns and offer customised results. The first step towards this was taken when Google announced that RankBrain is among the top three factors for search ranking.
It would mean that there will be no place for black hat SEO in the industry and businesses will have to concentrate on creating more user-friendly, engaging and informative content. The future will be focussed on giving preference to quality content which provides a tailored user experience.
Some of these are already a part of the SEO practices, and a few will become a reality pretty soon. Thus it is essential for the marketers to contemplate where they are today and what they need to do to improve their search results and cope with the changes being sent across by the search engine giant Google.