Google has made five recent SEO changes that will make most content marketers, writers, and bloggers quite happy. They play to your strengths. Some users may be less happy about these changes, however.
The changes were mostly made to keep more people on Google products, which isn’t a bad idea from a business perspective, but some may find the changes effect searching negatively.
The good news is, the changes were also made so that your results would be more personal by monopolizing on the fact that people are more likely to purchase something if they know their friend also likes it.
The even better news is these changes are great for anyone who makes content for a living. I will walk you through all of the changes and help you to take advantage of them.
1) Optimize personalized search – One of the biggest changes Google has made completely changed SEO by making search results personal. The results you get for a search will be different than mine, based on factors like your browsing history, the content you create and content shared by your social circles. People are finding their content more and more through social media networks and searching less.
So how can you optimize your content for personalized search? One option is you can increase your Google+ circles. Google is actively trying to get people to sign up for Google+, and in this instance, using Google+ and connecting with more people on there helps improve your search. The more people you have in your circles, the higher relevant content will show up in your searches. This also means that your circles can see your content when they search.
2) Increase social sharing – As a content creator, getting shares on social media is a great way to get your content high in the search rankings. According to a study by branded3, the more tweets leading to a URL you can get, the higher you will appear in rankings. For example, anyone that gets over 7,500 tweets (not an easy task) will appear in the top five results almost always. This type of logic most likely also works for Facebook.
As a content creator, capitalize on social sharing and you can beat your competition in the rankings. Just make sure to make the social sharing buttons obvious so that readers can find them, encourage your readers to share and try to court others with influence in your target social circles. Interview them or offer to do guest posts. Anything to establish a connection.
3) Employ semantic keyword research – Google is improving at segmenting search results, which gives you an opportunity to rank higher in verticals. This is a surefire way to get higher conversion rates because your prospective visitors are better targeted.
To take advantage of this, you’ll need to look for “advanced search” keywords. When you search, there is a way to refine results with a tool hidden in “show search tools”. Within this advanced search tool, you can look at “related searches”. Now you have semantic options you can test for the highest search volumes. There are also ways to improve your keyword list such as Google Insights for Search, which lets you narrow keywords down via categories.
4) Play with the Panda update – Google’s Panda update finally made life hard for spammers and content farms by harshly punishing sites with low quality content. This is good for all of the content creators who put hard work into long blog posts with useful content. Google even offered questions to determine the value of your content.
5) Implement the Google Authorship Mark-up – A search marketing firm proved rich snippet will increase SERP CTR and traffic. It’s that simple. Their analytics show a 150% increase when rich snippet was implemented. You might not get results quite that good, but it’s almost certain you will benefit if you implement the Google’s authorship snippet. It can be complicated, and it is slow to show results, but if you invest now you’ll see results in the not too distant future.
All of these Google changes have radically changed the SEO game, but they have made it a wonderful moment to be a content marketer. Those that put out shoddy content are being penalized, and there are all sorts of opportunities to really get your content out there.
For a more in depth look at author rank, read Neil Patel’s article at Quick Sprout.