There have been a lot of changes this year in SEO, notably the Panda update focussing on the quality of website content writing. The panda filter aims to establish the quality of a web page by its content. As well as checking for spelling, grammatical errors and a whole host of other parameters it look s at who the author of the piece is and tries to judge whether or not they are a credible/authority on this subject.
It does this by relying heavily on social media and profile pages which create a complete online picture of this author. In essence, it is cleverly verifying who the person is to bring an end to search engine spam and duplicate content.
On June the 6th, Google announced the adoption of the author mark-up. This mark-up is meant to help searchers identify high quality, authoritative content. ‘Authors and publishers with rel tags are becoming the new trusted seeds.’ These tags mark the content as yours.
Profiles in Google+ are connected to the authors’ content. It verifies through the rel=”me” tag in the profile who the author is and how active they are in Google+ (and in other social networks). The more the author participates and content is shared through social media, the more authoritative they will be considered to be. Therefore content by this author is trusted.
On the 4th November Google launched the Freshness Update or Caffeine 2 which has meant that Google now gives more preference to fresh/new content.
‘Search results are best when they’re fresh. Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent. If you search for Olympics you probably want information about next summer’s upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics. This impacts roughly 35% of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness.’
If fresher content is more relevant to searchers, not only must we create great content, we also need new content to continue ranking well.
The way Google ranks pages is changing; it seems that they are moving away from looking at backlinks as they are too easily manipulated. In fact some experts predict that algorithm changes in 2012 will mean the end of backlinks as a ranking factor. The focus is on quality websites, quality content and social media presence.
What Does this Mean?
Blogs – I may have said this before but a good blog should be a key part of your search marketing strategy – Google favours fresh web content. If you don’t have time to do it yourself…you could always take a look at my blog writing service.
Social Media – You must have a social media presence. Start by creating full profiles on all the main sites.
Authors – Create an author profile on your website and make use of author tags.
Web Content – Make sure that all your web content is top-notch! The quality of your content will not only impact on your website rankings, it will affect user experience and your conversion rates. As a freelance website copywriter, I can cater to all your content needs and I don’t charge expensive agency prices.
Written by Heather Griffiths