Google Update’s Impact on SEO
Updates to Google’s Caffeine engine mean that traditional SEO tactics are becoming less and less effective. Google is now putting a larger emphasis on “New or changing content.”
This means that if two sites get the exact same SEO optimization and they both are on the same subject the site that has more content and more frequent updates will be shown above the more stagnant site in search results.
Further, Google is changing how it determines and weights keywords. Google now completely 100% IGNORES keywords in the META tags (you read that right). Instead of relying on meta-data, Google infers relevant keywords from the page’s copy. It also takes into account the rest of the surrounding copy, the other pages on your site, and which pages are viewed most.
This means that if your site is all about oranges and you write one post about apples then the apples post will not get very high in keyword searches because the rest of your site is about Oranges. This may be a way to combat some “black hat” SEO tactics out there which try to create false relevancy.
Traffic, Backlinks & The New Role of PPC in SEO
Another change is that the amount of traffic you get on your site impacts your rankings on Google. High traffic sites will generally be put before low traffic sites. This means that pay-per-click advertising can impact your site ranking in a more immediate fashion than before.
Finally, Google’s new ranking system takes a new approach to weighting inbound links and the relevancy of their origin. Each link that goes to your site is factored into your “pageRank” If the linking site has a high page rank it will help yours as well (think of it as a trickle-down effect. Good SEO, high profile, “big dog” websites are generally considered to have good content, if you are part of their content you by extension are considered good).
What this all means:
Social media will be a big help. Not only is inbound traffic from social media sites “good’ link traffic from highly ranked sites, but if you include a “tweet ticker” style piece in your website it can count as content updates in Google’s eyes.
Blogging is now more valuable than ever. Not only are blogs good content updates, but smartly crafted blogs will help Google choose and reinforce your core keywords.
Paid advertising (Facebook ads, AdWords, etc…) is a more appealing and efficient tactic than ever before. If you can get a good traffic boost through pay-per-click methods not only will you reap the intrinsic benefits of directed advertising but you will be contributing in a positive way to the factors which affect your search rank on Google.
While all these changes are important to take into consideration, none of them will work if you don’t first have a good SEO foundation to build on top of. SEO is a strategy and no single tactic can manage the job alone.