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The continuous and dynamic evolution of Google algorithms is forcing online businesses to take immediate action to ensure high Google search engine rankings. The changes within Google also means a different approach to optimizing websites.
Google experts make a few hundred updates every year on algorithms tasked with giving precise and tailored search engine results. Experts in marketin9.com openly speak about the worrying rise in the number of updates in recent years. Most of the changes are actually unnoticeable to users and Google does not inform the media about them. Unfortunately, in many situations, the lack of official statements from the search engine mogul has applied to a number of important modifications. The strategy pursued by the American giant forces website optimizers not only to keep a finger on the pulse, but require a number of modifications to be made, which include making websites mobile friendly, linking and content building.
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The Move Towards Mobile
In recent years, the mobile trend has had the greatest impact on Google’s strategy of changing algorithms, which has been a direct result of both in the number of mobile devices sold, and traffic that is generated by users on websites on their mobile devices. Just look at the latest data on the state of the mobile market, on the Internet and social media market of the world, provided by We Are Social website.
According to the report, the number of active Internet users at the end of 2015 in just Poland was estimated to be almost 26 million (67% of population) and the number of social media users increased to 14 million of which 10 million use mobile devices. In each segment of the digital activity of Poles, analysts noted increases – the biggest in the case of the growing number of social media users. The number of smartphone owners in said report was assessed to be more than 20 million (50% of population), and tablets – 8 million (24% of population).
Having such data, Google has increased the process of modifying algorithms designed specifically for mobile users, seeking to ensure that they receive the most accurate and valuable results. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon – these and other algorithms can effectively downgrade positions in Google if a website is not mobile friendly. 2015 was marked by many significant modifications, including App indexing in February, Doorway Pages in March, “Mobilegeddon” in April, Quality Update in May, Newsworthy Content Update in June, Panda 4.2 in July, Hacked Page and Zombie Update in October, App Interstitial and Phantom 3 in November, and HTTPS in December. At the same time, In April last year, Google officially stated that mobile friendly websites will be higher in the search results than those unsuitable for smartphones and tablets.
Since mobility and responsiveness set the direction in updating algorithms, the result is a significant drop in rankings concerning websites that are not mobile friendly. As the representatives of Google inform, websites not optimized for mobile services have a chance to survive only if they have valuable content. Another important factor is the website loading speed. Through the implementation of the Accelerated Mobile Pages technology, it became possible to distinguish the site without scripts and components prolonging the loading time with AMP. There is a wawy to check the position of a website to see if it has been adapted to the requirements of mobile devices, using this Google tool https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
2016 SEO changes
Already in the first two weeks of January of 2016r, significant fluctuations were observed in the position of many websites in Google results. As semtec.pl reported, a variety of tools tracking Google rankings. SERPs noted the biggest changes from January 9th to 10th. Preliminary analysis showed that the update was connected to the assessment of the quality and validity of the content and how well it matched the website’s main topic or theme. Other large fluctuations were recorded a week later. Although they were initially associated with the next Penguin update, they were actually related to more changes in the main Google algorithm on which American giant did not provide any detailed information. This time the changes in SERP also covered branded queries.
Quite significant twists appeared at the beginning of September. According to artefakt.pl, citing information from some US portals, fluctuations are the result of changes in the main algorithm corresponding to the positions of sites in SERPs and update in the algorithm responsible for local pack. Fluctuations in website positions, according to positioners from artefakt.pl, suggested that there was an increase for domains which effective linking was implemented. On the other hand, this may indicate the awaited update aiming at Penguin webspam. We are still observing to see what the changes were and what they were aimed at.
Content Marketing x10
Regarding the construction of high quality content, despite the unquestioned popularity of content marketing, the latest research show that the implementation of this strategy still remains a challenge. Such conclusions can be drawn from the analysis of data collected this year among markets of B2C and B2B sectors by the Content Marketing Institute. They show that only 38% of marketing experts from B2C and 30% from B2B sector confirmed the effectiveness of their ongoing content marketing campaigns.
As the authors of the research say, despite its popularity, content marketing continues to be the hardest and most time-consuming marketing tactic. As experts from outbrain.com indicate, the cause may be the negligence of both the development of content and its promotion. Creating valuable, eye-catching and useful content is one thing and the other is the need to promote it among users. At the same time, with the increase of the amount of information available online, ensuring uniqueness of content is becoming more of a challenge.
Here with the help can come 10X content (ten-ex content) invented by a motivational speaker – Grant Cardone, and popularized by the founder and CEO of MOZ – Rand Fishkin. According to the definition, it is content ten times better than the content on a given topic which is available on the network at a given time. Although many marketers are cautious with this methodology, it is worth taking a closer look at this concept. It is also referred to as a skyscraper technique.
The five main steps of this formula by Fishkin are: to look deeper into the needs of target group, what really is its interest in the field, unconventional look at the problem, creating a powerful, unique and high-quality method and path for transferring information, as well as experimentation, because, as Fishkin estimated, it will take 5-10 times more effort to achieve the goal.
As for the conditions of building a 10X content campaign, the author mentions excellent means of interaction between the user and the device and designing user experience, and further, content that is a combination of high-quality and useful transmission of information that not only builds trust of the recipient, but is also pleasing in reception. It must definitely stand out from the other sources of information in the scope of interests of site visitor. Fishkin among campaign conditions also mentions usefulness in the creation of an emotional reaction as a response to the content, whether it will be joy, gratitude, amazement or admiration. Finally, it th content must remain to serve information in a unique style or through a unique expression or medium.
Striving for a high ranking position is one of the fundamental factors ensuring effectiveness. The task is not easy, because Google ensures that over 200 factors determine the webpage ranking. Given the frequency of changes in algorithms, it is important to adhere to the guidelines and strategy of Google. You should also remember that raising the ranking is also based on original and valuable content. If we set high standards in content building, it can be used as tools for finding well linked texts from your particular industry, like Ahrefs Content Explorer or BuzzSumo.