In 2014, Google updated their web search algorithm several times. The new updates, named Panda and Penguin, changed the criteria by which pages would be ranked and have changed a decade’s worth of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge.
Before Penguin and Panda, webmaster and SEO professionals, among other things, used website content that was keyword rich: the words on the page contained certain keywords or phrases that a person might use in a web search. The logic, then, was to make sure a website”s content contained those keywords. At one time, it was thought the more keywords, the better.
Over the years, though, this practice was taken too far and resulted in some websites having content that was difficult to read because of the large number of keywords or keyword phrases. For Google, this meant that its users were not getting a good search experience because difficult to read websites were showing up high search result positions.
But now Google has changed how it will look at website content.
It is now looking for pages that exhibit expertise and Google will judge that by the organic content on the site. Based on the content on the pages, Google will reward websites with a higher search ranking if that content organically matches a given search. The new updates mean keywords should no longer be crammed into web content. If they are, Google will penalize those websites.
This is a great opportunity for content marketers to shine. A business is now free to write about what they know best, their core competency and by doing so, the organic content will contribute to their perceived expertise and help them in the search rankings.
Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant with Social Flair, LLC.