AppNet Client News Mar 6 2014
There’s a HUGE Question Circling the Internet: Is SEO Dead?
The QUICK answer is “No”, but it HAS CHANGED!
Google Term Updates
- Top Heavy
- Authorship Shake-Up
- Penguin (several versions)
- Panda (several versions)
- “Multi-Week” Algorithm
- Panda Dance
- Google Payday
If those terms mean nothing to you, they are just SOME of the MANY named Google Algorithm updates that have changed the ways that Google ranks websites since 2012. Oh and there are MANY more. In fact, Google is now reportedly tweaking their “ranking math” nearly TWICE A DAY. The MAJOR updates shown above though are significant.
Since this post is written purely for AppNet clients (although others will no doubt find and read it), we’re going to tone down the techo-babble and get right to the nature of the changes.
Whenever Google updates its algorithms or, as in the case of the most recent Hummingbird algorithm, introduces a brand-new one, there is much concern over whether it has killed SEO.
Hummingbird has, at least according to Google, improved search results already and it looks likely that it will improve mobile search and voice search for users too. While it is a new algorithm and is being billed as the biggest algorithmic change in 12 years, it is really just an evolution.
How it affects Your website...
While a ton of web developers are complaining that Google is purposely killing SEO, we firmly believe that is far from the truth. Far from killing SEO, it has served to ensure that those willing to put the effort in will get their just rewards. However THEREIN lies the reason for the inclusion into our AppNet Client Newsletter.
Most SEO is built on insuring that your website and ours has the CONTENT (or pages) to support the search term that we want to get ranked for. Rankings = Traffic = Customers. So the more content you have on your website, the more likely you’ll be ranked for the hundreds of search terms that your website should be ranked for. We actually posted a BLOG on that subject for the masses – but it’s worth reading for our clients as well. Click here> Is Being Ranked in the Top Ten Good Enough?
The crux of that post and other Google updates is that it is no longer GOOD ENOUGH to be ranked in the top ten for a search term or two. You have to be found for dozens or hundreds of search terms for your website to be productive. A great case in point is our OWN AppNet.com website. Like most of you, we are in competition with tens of thousands of other companies for business. In our case if we want to pickup clients from Atlanta, Georgia – we have to be found for approximately 300 search terms that relate to Atlanta and design, website design, web development and so on.
Since it isn’t feasible for us to be found NUMBER ONE for any or all of those terms, we have to work to get found for AS MANY as possible.
Now multiply that for any and every other city. In our case, we know that we have to be found ENOUGH to generate about 8K-10K visitors per month to get 3-4 new clients a week. To do that we have to do SOMETHING constructive to our own website nearly every single day.
GONE ARE THE DAYS when you can simply put up a website and not touch it for years, months or in some cases even weeks and days. Luckily for most of our clients, your industry and coverage areas are more defined than ours in that we have to compete nationally. However, there’s MUCH competition for your business and coverage area – even if it is more defined.
So while SEO or Search Engine Optimization is NOT dead, it has VASTLY changed. Much credit is now given to websites that are more content rich (more pages), more RESPONSIVE (meaning to show well on all devices like iPhones, SmartPhones, iPads, etc) and LINKED TO more.
OH, THERE'S SO MUCH MORE...
There isn’t enough space on this one page to cover 10% of the Google changes within the last year, and we’ll save a bunch of those for future newsletters – but one that I DO want to cover today is the critical ingredient of WHO AUTHORS your pages. (Who builds your pages, etc.)
This is NEW Google tweak on an OLD bit of knowledge. Believe it or not, it MATTER WHO builds your website. One of Google’s 2013 updates was an AUTHORSHIP UPDATE.
It has long been known that Google considers the authority of a page, and even the authority of a page author, to be extremely important. With even greater emphasis to be placed on page content, authority will become even more relevant and pertinent.
The Hummingbird will help ensure that Google delivers users to the most appropriate page of a website, rather than to a home page or top level page. As such, every single page should be closely targeted to potential visitors. Not only will this help improve conversion rates as part of a conversion rate optimization campaign but it may also help to drive traffic to the pages of a website via Google results too.
Tooting Our Own Horn…
Okay Someone Else was Doing the Bragging for Us
As you can see – we were recently awarded with the March 2014 “Best Web Development” award from BestWestDesignAgencies.com and also “Best in Search” for March 2014 from TopSEOs.com. These are both unpaid, unsolicited commendations from two of the most respected rating and referral agencies nationwide.
TopSeos seeks out the leading firms in the industry through a rigorous evaluation criteria that includes:
- Competitive advantage
- Superior services and pricing
- Customer and technical support
- Response to client problems
- Innovations that set it apart from the competition
- Overall efficiency
- Overall performance
Google is Concentrating More on Quality
Google has long bemoaned poor quality sites and has advocated the introduction and use of high quality content on websites. Hummingbird can be seen as another step by the search giant to ensure that they offer the best pages in their search results.
Website owners need to ensure that their website is built on quality. This is not only beneficial to search optimization campaigns but to online business in general. Conversions will increase, bounce rates drop, and average sales value will also rise. For the business owner this represents an opportunity to ensure that they make the most of every single website visitor while the market will benefit from naturally generated links and a greater authority rating in the eyes of Google.
NOW EVEN GOOGLE ANALYTICS WON'T TELL YOU ALL YOUR KEYWORDS
We told you there was more. We know that MOST of our clients do not check their website data that often.
Another HUGE change in Google is AGAIN due to the Hummingbird update. NOW where what you type in, the keyword that users type in may be actually sort of rewritten in certain ways by Google. We’re seeing more and more instances of Google returning results that don’t actually contain all of the keywords you type in. It will be pretty close. But if you’re tracking this keyword and it’s being sort of rewritten or triggering different results by Google, it makes it slightly less valuable to be reporting on every week.
In fact, if you’ll look at your Google Organic Keyword data you’re likely to see that Google isn’t reporting some 70-80% of the keywords your site was found for! So it is VITAL to insure that your content is directing traffic and converting to call and emails.So you and I can keep measuring those keywords, but let’s say goodbye to those individual keyword reports.
In closing, it is VITAL to ensure that your website is built on new design platforms AND that you keep an active bit of growth going on with your website, whether you do it yourself, have someone on your staff do it – or work with AppNet to do it for you.
That’s All for today guys…