In February 2011, Google released Panda, a search results ranking algorithm aimed at improving the quality of search results offered. While Panda can be helpful to searches, its introduction challenged web content providers to keep up with the many changes involved. Google continues to tweak its search results algorithms, and web writers respond by learning all they can to keep quality web pages at the top of search results. Here are some SEO tips for optimizing content for Google’s algorithm changes.
Content is King in SEO
In the past, web page designers could gain more favorable search results by using alt tags, meta tags, and header descriptions. But Google’s algorithm changes base search results on quality page content. This can be a good thing for the writer: instead of struggling to learn the latest keyword-stuffing trick, just write clearly and in a way that ensures customers coming to your site can easily find information that is beneficial to them.
Content Matters for Images, Too
In image searches, Google is now considering more than just whether an image is relevant – they’re determining whether the image’s source page has a high quality as well. Spam protection on image search results has been improved. See tip #1: web page content matters for all searches; those for images as well as for those for text.
Backlinking is Important in SEO
Backlinks, or links to your website from other sites, have always been important in determining page rank. However, Google’s latest tweak states “boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as relevant, so we are putting less emphasis on these. The result is more relevant titles that are specific to the page’s content.”
In simple terms, this means that links listed in blogrolls, headers, and footers will no longer fare as well in Google rankings. Paid links will also suffer. When you link to another site, be sure your anchor text is descriptive and relevant.
Google’s Algorithm says, “Fresher = Better”
We’ve all clicked on a search result, only to find information that is old and outdated. Google is attempting to remedy this by favoring newer content in search results, saying that 35% of searches will be affected by this update. You can help your site compete by commenting, blogging, or updating content frequently.
Google Likes Rich Snippets
Google likes informative rich snippets, the little blurbs that come up in search results after a result’s title. Rich snippets offer customers at-a-glance information about prices, ratings, and reviews of a product, and are particularly useful for pages promoting shopping, recipes, and reviews. Google offers a rich snippets tutorial to help you take advantage of this SEO tool for your web pages, since it ranks pages with rich snippets higher than those without.
Keeping up with Google’s frequent algorithm changes can seem like a full-time job. But with some research, you can keep your website near the top of the search results. Or, you can make it easy on yourself by hiring professional web writers like those at My Web Writers to produce top-notch content for your website.