Whether it be named Panda or Penguin, the New Google algorithm is mainly about improving user experience. And if we forget about Google for a while, and just think about what makes a website relevant and engaging to end users, we have solved half the Google Puzzle. The remaining half is about coming up with natural ways to make our website popular, which can be a tricky one, but will be revealed in the next blog post 😉
So what makes a website relevant to end users? Let me take up an example to illustrate this :
Let us say you are looking for a romantic weekend getaway around melbourne, you will probably type a keyword like “romantic weekend getaway melbourne”. you click on the first result on Google and it is about a variety of weekend getaways but not romantic and not in melbourne, you will click away from the website. Yes, it is the weekend and I am searching for a romantic getaway 😉 Now, even if the website did offer romantic getaways in melbourne, but if this did not come across on the search results page, you will most likely not even click on the website despite its good rankings.
A relevant result is one which matches the queries that end users are searching for. In making your website relevant to the end users, you are helping Google to provide a better experience to the searchers and in return Google rewards you with a higher ranking.
An engaging result is one which invites the visitor to explore the website further and interact with it by either subscribing, making an inquiry, purchasing a product or even browsing through several pages of the website. Good website engagement is more about making subtle suggestions to explore or take the next step. It is persuasive but not over the top.
Why did Google make changes to it’s algorithm. My take on this is that this has been a result of the manipulative techniques used by the SEO Cowboys, who stuffed keywords in headers, footers and all places in beween 😉 , made irrelevant links just to make the Google Spider believe that they are popular, spun articles to create hundreds of versions, wrote press releases when there was no news. The result was a frustrating user experience and Google had to act to stop this carnage. I sincerely believe that this should have been done much sooner than later!
A trusted Google SEO company should not just have a checklist of things to get a website ranking on top results on Google, but help create relevance and engagement. After all Google does not buy your product, the end user does!