by Patrick Chemoul
Who wants to rank better on Google search results? Everyone.
Have you ever wondered what’s common in the websites that rank first?
They have more content and more links to their sites, but that’s not the key to rank better.
The key to rank better is to understand Google’s search algorithm.
Because it’s not about how a hack works. It is also about why it works? How often to use an SEO tactic and when to stop using it?
Knowing techniques is not enough when the algorithm changes now and then.
So instead of learning the hacks, every SEO expert should learn how Google’s algorithm works.
And this is what this SEO Expert Guide is all about.
What you’ll get if you read till the end?
In this post, you’ll learn:
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Understanding the Google algorithm is ROCKET SCIENCE.
However, understanding the purpose of the algorithm is not. In fact, it’s simple. In the search engine’s own words, it is to “sort through hundreds of billions of webpages in our Search index to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second, and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.” See, not rocket science.
But still what is it and how does it work?
Well, to understand the Google algorithm, you need to understand computer algorithms. A computer algorithm is a program to make a computer do anything. Such a program tells the computer to do a task as per your instructions, step by step, to produce desired results. In other words it is a step by step method that your computer follows to solve a problem.
The Google algorithm is like all computer programs but more complex and sophisticated.
Since it handles over 63,000 searches every second taking care of over 200 ranking factors and presenting you the most relevant information, it needs to be.
The most important feature of the Google algorithm is the company’s proprietary software, PageRank. This determines where each search result shows on the search engine’s return page.
Since the algorithm is Google’s secret program, no one exactly knows how it works? However, SEO experts know that the algorithm assigns a numerical value to every search result based on internal and external links and type of content it has. Also, taking into account around 200 other ranking factors such as a domain name, a website’s age, keywords, quality of the links.
You won’t google it if you don’t get what you get from it: THE FASTEST RELEVANT RESULTS. That’s why it keeps on changing its algorithm to keep you searching and maintain its own number 1 ranking.
The least you can get is save yourself from being penalized by a Google algorithm.
And the most is: You can rank better if you understand the SEO benefits of the algorithm.
Here are four quick SEO benefits of Google algorithm that every expert will ask you to seize.
1. Keep in mind Google’s pro-people pledge
Understand that Google says it wants “to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second, and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.” If your site has relevant and useful information. Your readers will spend some time consuming that, and this will tell Google: This is a good guy and deserves a higher rank on search pages. But if the algorithm sends 213 searchers to your website each day, and each of those 213 searchers leave your site within a few seconds, it will tell Google: This is not a good guy and deserves a lower rank.
Do: Try to help your readers and the algorithm will help you rank better.
Don’t: Don’t stuff your site with irrelevant and useless information. It will turn your readers off and increase your bounce rate. Higher bounce rate will affect your ranking.
Example: When you search for SEO Expert in Los Angeles, Google shows this site on the first number. Because it knows: “Patrick helps people with their SEO needs.”
2. Understand the depth of the in-depth content
Before Google’s Panda update, thin content often ranked highly. Websites filled with low-quality content stuffed with keywords were among the toppers. But not anymore. The Panda changed that because it wasn’t helping the searchers but the content farms. Sites that generate low-quality content. Now, the algorithm gives preference to in-depth pieces of content that help searchers with their real-life queries. Such pieces include authoritative blog posts, infographics, standout opinion pieces, how-to-content, original research pieces, podcasts, and videos.
Do: Publish in-depth pieces of content that educate or solve your readers’ real-life problems.
Don’t: Don’t post meaningless, irrelevant, and short pieces of content. Also, don’t post content stuffed with keywords.
Example: Check out CEO of Express Writers, Julia McCoy’s post, “7 Content Types That Gain the Most Engagement & Links” for Search Engine Journal.
3. Take advantage of fresh content
The Google algorithm gives your webpage a score every time you publish a fresh piece of content. This freshness score decreases as the content wears out. This means keeping everything else constant; a website with fresh content will always rank higher than a website with old content. Therefore, it is important that you update your blog or site regularly. However, you shouldn’t try to increase your site’s freshness score with irrelevant and useless content. [Bonus Tip: Create video content because, by this year, the video traffic on the internet will account for 80% of all consumer traffic.]
Do: Post fresh content. Repurpose your email copies and newsletters to create in-depth content.
Don’t: Don’t deceive the Google algorithm. Avoid publishing irrelevant and keyword stuffed content.
Example: Check out Neil Patel’s’ blog here. He writes one post per week.
4. Behave like a Brand
Branding is not a ranking factor. But it impacts SEO in every niche. SEO consultants recommended investing in branding because people buy from the one they know. They buy from brands they have a positive association with.17% of your anchor text should be brand names.
Do: Focus on building quality links that help your brand improve its relevance online.
Don’t: Avoid over-optimization. It will ruin your website’s ability to rank because no one wants to read posts stuffed with keywords or brand names.
Example: Look at Vinci Hair Clinic Los Angeles. They rank on the first page against “Best Hair Clinics In L.A.”
According to the SISTRIX, “an algorithmic penalty is the sanctioning of a website by one of Google’s algorithms.” This happens when your site breaks a Google rule and you lose rank. Since it is algorithmic and happens automatically when Google tinkers with its software. You can’t lift it through submitting a reconsideration request. The best you can do is learn how to prevent one.
Here are five quick things you can do to prevent Google’s algorithmic penalties:
1. Follow Google’s guidelines
Always keep in mind, GOOGLE RUNS THE SEO world. The search world is designed and controlled by Google. Do exactly what it says you to do or else face the consequences. The simplest strategy around is creating useful and relevant content for your audience and avoiding gimmicky SEO practices.
2. Do regular content auditing
Content auditing does sound a lot like financial auditing, but it’s not. It is just a fancy term for testing your website’s content. In the simplest sense, it is knowing which content is doing well and which is not. Also, what your competitors are doing and what you should do to improve your content strategy. Getting rid of spammy content is also a part content audit.
3. Keep yourself up to date with Google’s algorithms
SEO hacks don’t go a long way. On the other hand, learning and keeping yourself updated with Google’s algorithm will help you adhere to its guidelines. Not only this will help you improve your ranking but also enable you to prevent algorithmic penalties.
4. Keep creating in-depth content
In SEO everyone knows: Content is King. But still, not everyone kneels to it. Knowledge is not enough. You need to practice it. If you are not creating in-depth content, start doing it today. It will help you in every imaginable way.
5. Change your SEO consultant
Not all SEO experts are experts. If your SEO consultant is involved in spamming, cloaking, stuffing, etc. it’s time to change your consultant. Hire an experienced professional with a good knowledge of Google algorithms. When hiring an SEO consultant don’t fall for the one who promises overnight success with the top 5 search results on Google or YouTube. Instead, ask for his experience, check out his success rate and test his knowledge of AI.
[I know it’s getting long. That’s why I will be quick on this one.]
Google’s June 2019 Core Update was “nothing special or particular big” according to Danny Sullivan of Google. But SEO experts believe the algorithm update shook up the internet again. SEO data shows this actually was a fairly significant update, so significant that CryptoCoinsNews (CCN) announced its closure on June 10th, following the release.
There is a lot of discussion on this update. Some believe it’s a reversal of March 2019 update and others think Google is just experimenting with its SEO algorithm and there is nothing you can do to fix it.
Here’s what you can do if the update has affected your site: a) Identify and fix the losing pages and keywords, b) Fix old pages, c) Create new content, d) Diversify your website traffic by adding content to a related niche.
In this post, we have learned that: You can’t master everything about the Google algorithm but sure you can understand its purpose and use it to rank better. Take advantage of in-depth fresh content and build your brand.
Also: You can prevent Google’s algorithmic penalties by following the search engine’s guidelines, doing regular content auditing, keeping up to date with the algorithm’s changes, creating great content and/or by changing your SEO consultant.
Plus: You can deal with Google’s June 2019 update by identifying and fixing the losing pages and keywords on your website. By fixing the old pages and creating new content. And by diversifying your website traffic and adding content to some related niches.