Google Algorithm Changes and How Your Strategy Should Adjust

The end of the year is fast approaching and with it new Google definitions of what makes a good search result. Beating the Google Algorithm is the purpose of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. The Google Algorithm is the method that the search engine uses to sort and rank search results. The placement on a search engine results page (SERP) determines the amount of exposure a business will get. If your website does not appear on the first page or results, it will not get much traffic. Niche marketing is the focus for online sales, since there is much less competition for niche rankings. However, Google constantly struggles to bump down listings that are not comprised of quality content. There are many things that are considered to determine your final rankings, and many strategies you can pursue to improve those rankings.

The first step in any SEO plan must be the design of your website. Meta tags and titles are very important, as they allow the search engine to index your site. Also, back linking is a good solid way to improve position on SERPs. If your site is linked to be other trusted sites, it looks more trustworthy to Google. Article posting can improve your score some what, providing the content is new and fresh. Google responds very poorly to duplicate content and your site could take a nose dive in the rankings if you do not provide fresh news. Buying domain names that exactly match your keyword phrase has been helpful in the past, but is no longer a good strategy. All of these tactics are well known, and many companies already exploit them.

A new thing to consider is the importance of usage data. Every time an Internet user clicks on your link from a SERP, certain information is tracked and stored. Bounce rate, click-through-rate, time on site and more are tracked by analytics programs. Google then correlates that information and uses the results when making determinations about page ranking. If Google is watching your usage data then so should you. When your bounce rates are high, it negatively affects your ranking, so focus on strategies to minimize your bounce rate. For those unfamiliar with the term bounce rate, an example would be a person clicks on your link and then immediately hits the back button and continues browsing search results. To Google, this reaction says that your site is not a good match for that keyword. Since their goal is to provide quality search results that meet the needs of Internet browsers, they will demote you based on browser response.

The only way to avoid having negative results from usage data is to provide quality web content. If your website is a product sales website make that clear on your search result. This will reduce the number of bounces. Ensure that your home page is engaging and informative. The longer people stay on your page the better it will look to Google. Place enticing links on the first page. The more people that click through, the better your eventual results.