In the first quarter of this year, Google, the world’s leading search engine, moved to a focus on websites offering high quality content as a gauge for indexing websites.
This resulted in major changes to the search results it showed, effectively eliminating the so-called “content farms” from the top page rankings. The sites most affected were those that collect content from other sources just to gain web traffic rather than those sites offering original, quality content.
When it comes to ranking on a Google search, the result placement of your website for a keyword search is key. In Google search engine results placement, the top spot normally elicits 20 to 30 percent of the clicks on that page. Those occupying the second and third spot attract some five to ten percent of the clicks.
Why did Google change its algorithm?
With the recent algorithm change, Google now focuses on high quality content that covers research, in-depth reports and analysis.
The search engine company pointed out that their goal is to provide the best experiences to web users and this benefits not only consumers but publishers committed to providing quality content as well.
In mid-June, another algorithm change was carried out by Google, one that specifically benefits sites that write original content rather than those that only copied or what they call “scraped” content from the original site. The update was Panda 2.2 that targeted scraper sites including blog scrapers.
Why Authorship Markup is Now a Key Ranking Strategy
Moving forward, Google really wants people who write web content to start using authorship markup.
What this does is tell Google that the content you write is associated with you. The content you write will show a picture of you in the search results and link through to your Google Profile. By doing so, you can really stand out in search results.
Google has since announced that you can now set up authorship for search results by verifying your email address with your Google profile. Authorship markup is further explained in this videoreleased by Google earlier this year.
By utilizing authorship markup on your website and in the content that you share, Google will give you credit as the author and, as a result, your website will rank more highly on Google.
How Can You Benefit from the Google Algorithm Changes?
If your website has been adversely impacted by the change or you are still in the process of improving your search engine rankings, there’s still time to take action to improve your website ranking.
First, re-evaluate your website and decide what content should be changed or added. Quality content is key. Ensure that the information you’re providing on your site is not only original but very useful to consumers as well.
A good way to start is by checking your analytics data to sort out the problems. Areas that you can check are the date when your traffic dropped, the sources of your traffic, including your entire channels and organic Google searches and the categories used to search for your site as well as the pages that showed a decline in traffic. From there, you can do some evaluation and comparison to determine the patterns and traffic loss.
Google’s advice to publishers and business owners to enhance their traffic on the web is to continue working on providing original content, research and authoritative information that are valuable to users.