SEO: What you need to know!
SEO is always changing. Keeping at the forefront of the industry helps us to maintain rankings and get ahead of the curve. Though you may be aware of major updates like Panda and Hummingbird, smaller changes are constantly trickling out. With all the work being done across the whole of the web, new correlations and changes are always being discovered. Here are just a few of the SEO updates we’ve been on top of.
Google Local Search Guideline Updates
A recent addition to the Google metric list is prominence. Googles states it as thus,
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Prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.
Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.
Prominence is a slightly nebulous metric, but as with most industries they more better known the place the better. Increasing your range can be valuable, and prominence includes links, articles, and directories. This means the more mentions you can accumulate from users (via reviews, mentions in social media, etc.) the better. A great way to actively create back-links and become a community fixture is through local event sponsorship and community outreach/engagement efforts.
Penalizations for Bad SEO Practices
We only use white hat and above board tactics. That’s because Google frequently penalizes the rankings of those who do not. This can result in the loss of rankings that may take months or longer to reverse, assuming the damage can be undone. According to Search Engine Land Google recently sent out this notice to offending sites (none of which were ours).
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If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to the affected portions of your site. Actions that affect your whole site are listed under Site-wide matches. Actions that affect only part of your site and/or some incoming links to your site are listed under Partial matches.
Even though link buying has been an underhanded, noticeable offense for quite some time, there’s a reason Google is sending out this warning—companies still do it. Unscrupulous SEO companies will buy links that may provide a short term boost (long enough to say, “Look how well we did for you!”) right before getting caught. The profits made from a short term boost never compare to those lost from a penalized website. Penalties can mean tanked rankings, and doing 1000 times the initial work to dig out of a hole.
Read em and E-A-T
With the latest release of the search quality evaluation guidelines, further emphasis has been placed on content. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. All of these are important in establishing high quality pages that users find useful.
Fully Meet Mobilization
Metrics are even more important when it comes to mobile phones. Not only does a site have to look good and work quickly, but it must provide maximum information for minimal effort. That makes organization and information a cornerstone of mobile content. Having a solid page can benefit rankings on both desktop and mobile systems, ensuring you get your site in front of the most eyes and potential users.
The wind of change
Though it may be comfortable to settle into a routine in the real world, in a digital landscape it simply isn’t an option. New updates both minor and major are always being rolled out, and Google will always seek to maintain their position as the world’s leading search engine. This can only be accomplished by continually looking for ways to improve their product. That means instituting rules that ensure users see the best of what the internet has to offer and their queries get answered as directly as possible.
We’ll keep at the forefront of SEO so you don’t have to. Until next time.