18 Sep SEO agency in Colchester
Our SEO Agency In Colchester Runs You Through Google’s Latest Algorithm Update
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a funny old thing. It’s a near-impossible beast to tame; something that causes delight and anguish in equal measures. SEO can take a business to the next level, or keep it floundering in the muddy depths of a search engine’s results pages. But let’s go back for a minute and start at the beginning. For those that don’t know, Search Engine Optimisation is the process whereby you optimise your website and your content so that it appears higher up on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
The good news is that there are some areas in which you can improve (or ‘optimise’) your website and your content to appear higher up on those pages – happy days! Right? Well, sort of. The bad news is that Google are renowned for dropping what’s known as algorithm updates; these are highly technical but boil down to the idea that what may have been deemed ‘good’ content and is ranking one day; is thrown off the face of search engines the next. It can be utterly infuriating. That’s why our SEO agency in Colchester wanted to examine the most recent of these updates, to clarify just what Google currently deems to be valuable content.
How Does Content Get Ranked?
How, then, do websites and pieces of content get ranked by Google in the first place? In layman’s terms, Google carry out ‘crawls’ through your website in an indexing process using their purpose-designed ‘spiders’. These crawlers (which are less creepy and more, well, code-y) follow a set of instructions (the algorithm) and go through a website and its content, returning information to Google per that particular algorithm’s parameters. As we’ll see shortly, these algorithms, or instructions, change on a regular basis; (Sometimes they are massive changes.) As a result, SEO specialists are constantly playing catch-up as to what Google wants to see from them. Generally speaking, though, search engines value content which displays EAT. This stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Something we tout here at our SEO agency in Colchester, is that if you can do nothing else, then make sure your content ticks these boxes.
Expertise refers to the content’s creator and their credentials – are you an expert in your field? If so, can you prove it? Authoritativeness gears around the idea of whether you’re an industry-leader or, at least, that you hold clout within your sector. It’s harder to display authoritativeness if you’re completely new to the industry as opposed to having 30 years’ worth of experience. Inexperience shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all, however, hence why we have Expertise and Trustworthiness. Trustworthiness, clearly, revolves around the idea that the content you’re putting out is reputable and legitimate.
What’s In The Most Recent Algorithm Change?
In reality, there are changes made daily to Google’s algorithms. In fact, back in 2018, they were averaging almost 10 changes per day. What people are especially interested in, however, is the major ones – the updates that tend to be named; Panda, Penguin, Possum, etc. There was even one named Fred which, it should be said, is significantly less cool than its animalistic predecessors.
May 2020 Core Update
Somewhat sadly, the major update from earlier this year has yet to be named, and is still known simply as the May 2020 Core Update. One of the things this update seemed to do more than anything else was penalise websites with ‘thin content’. Thin content is exactly what it sounds like: pages lacking real substance or content; typically, this is in terms of its word count. This all comes as part of Google’s drive towards encouraging quality content. Similarly affected were sites with a large number of duplicate meta tags, again for the same reason. If there’s duplicated content, then Google sees this as going against its EAT guidelines.
Fortunately, this is all (relatively) easily rectifiable! Ultimately, no matter how well optimised your site is, or how well structured, much of what informs how you’ll rank online comes down to the content you’re putting out there. So, make that a real emphasis. Put time into making sure that content meets Google’s guidelines.
What Can I Do?
There’s loads you can do to improve your SEO, yourself, without needing to hire in specialists, provided you have the time and energy.
In terms of on-site SEO, you want to be making sure that your website is as ‘smooth’ as possible. In practice, this means compressing down image file sizes, creating meta and ALT tags and descriptions, ensuring that your website is structured in an intuitive, easy-to-follow way, etc. You should also start creating regular content for your site. This is most easily done in the form of a weekly (or more regularly if you’re able) blog. Our SEO agency blog daily, that’s how important it is!
There are a couple of other key areas in which you can boost your website’s SEO value that don’t involve your actual site (both directly and indirectly in the form of overall brand strength).
Looking first at direct off-site SEO optimisation, then, and we’re focused on backlinks. Backlinks are links that feed back through to your website from other websites. They commonly crop up in the form of mentions in other blogs, index sites and news articles. If you can collaborate with other brands and media outlets and secure these mentions back to your website, then it’s good news. Google sees this as an indicator of your reputability, and increases your overall SEO value as a result.
The more indirect approach is by focusing on the SEO of your social media channels. When you approach a business online, it’s encouraging to see when they appear not only in the top spot of the SERP with their website, itself, but when the following results are their brand’s social channels, as well. This blanket covering of the top few results helps build a cohesive kind of brand strength that’s hard to look past.
Sound Like A Lot?
If all of this still sounds a bit like a foreign language, then don’t worry! Our SEO agency in Colchester would be more than happy to take the reins for your website; whether you’re looking to actively boost your SEO or simply maintain, we’re here to help!
Google will inevitably drop another major update just as SEO teams the world over think they’ve got this one down to a tee – it’s always the way. But until then, follow the advice and guidance, and try to appease the great Google god. Trust us, you don’t want to anger it…
So, if you’d like to find out more about our SEO agency in Colchester, then get in touch! Contact VerriBerri today on 01376 386 850, or click here.