Monday, 6 June 2016
Following the Panda update, other search engines like Yahoo and Bing followed Google’s lead, and since then, search engines have continued to get better at delivering high-quality, contextually relevant search results. People, too, have become more savvy about asking for what they want. Voice and conversational search queries are more common and location-based insights have honed mobile search.
With 67 percent of the search market, Google remains king, and as search and discover tools like Knowledge Graph suggest, it’s getting increasingly more sophisticated at not only returning the richest query results, but also anticipating what someone will want to see next.
Content marketers that want to keep up need to ditch stilted practices, like worrying about how to rank for long-tail keyword phrases, and take a broader view of what’s important.
As Cyrus Shepard at Moz puts it, the difference today from years past is the shift from individual keywords to concepts: “If I search for ‘movie about tiger on boat’ Google will likely understand that I am asking about the movie Life of Pi, not about pages optimized for those specific keywords.”
When people share, like, engage with, and link to your pages from social channels, it tells search engines that those pages are ones people want to see.
Inbound links and brand buzz not only signal influence, but also suggests authority, which search engines have been working hard to establish about the content they serve up. Google Authorship is an increasingly valuable way for Google to gauge an author’s subject expertise and rank the content they produce for a site or blog accordingly. Linking pages and posts to an author’s Google+ profile shows that person’s credentials and can verify their topic authority, when set up correctly. If you find doing so confusing, you’re not alone, says Rick DeJarnette in his helpful guide for Search Engine Land. But don’t let that stop you. Pages showing Authorship markup increasingly show up at the top of search results. Bing, too, is apparently using LinkedIn to prove authorship integrity, as Sean Jackson points out in his OC/DC post. Google updates can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimization.
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