Google is intent on becoming more than just the largest search engine provider. They have been constantly updating their search engine algorithm to make it an even more powerful tool for end users. The biggest of the updates released in 2013 called Hummingbird, updated their core indexing algorithm. This has changed the way search engine results are provided.
Here are five important ways this will impact webmasters and how they should respond:
1. Webmasters will no longer have access to keyword data for site visitors originating from Google
Google has been in the process of securing all organic searches conducted on its search engine. This process is intended to culminate on 14November 2013. The result will be that all keyword data will become ‘not provided’ to the webmasters who have been using it to customize their SEO strategies.
The days of lazy SEO tactics are soon coming to an end. While there are ways to get around the ‘not provided’ issue, it will soon become impossible to access this data. The only way to effectively respond to this will be for webmasters to focus on creating content that actually meets consumer needs instead of just customizing content to meet keyword rules.
2. PageRank data is no longer available
PageRank data has not been updated since February and this is causing a lot of concern amongst webmasters who have come to rely on it. There are well founded indications that Google intends to drop PageRank entirely.
Google intends to use more accurate measurement tools to determine the value of a page to the consumer. They are going to use the Authorship tool on Google+ and user reviews to determine the value of a website. Webmasters need to use Google+ Authorship to build credibility and show relevance of their content.
3. Conversational searches and Google Now
Google Now is a tool that is designed to deliver desired content in a simple and easily accessible format to the end user. Conversational searches are Google’s implementation of semantic search tools into their overall algorithm. The impact of these two is that Google search algorithm is now more keenly focused on value of content as opposed to simple compliance with SEO rules.
Webmasters would do well to abandon approaches that are focused on SEO tactics. They need to create content that provides the content that the end users desire instead. This means that they should create content that answers specific consumer questions. The best content will now be that which is user friendly and not just search engine optimized.
4. Local availability for product listings
Google’s latest local update has increased the importance of geo-location data in online business listings. They are now combining data from Google Maps, Google+ local business pages, internet business listings such as Yelp, and Google Carousel to provide better location specific search results.
Webmasters need to provide Google with the latest data on location through Google+ local business pages, internet business directories, social media, and on their own websites. It is also important that webmasters they provide updated photos for Google Carousel.