Search engine optimization, SEO, has gone through another major shift recently. The fact that Google has changed its search algorithm again is not surprising, but the shift in the way it organizes and represents data is. Here are a few SEO tips for small business owners to best take advantage of these changes.
Knowledge Engine vs Search Engine
Let’s look at the conceptual changes first. In the past, search results were displayed according to a set of criteria (the search algorithm) that depended in large part on the targeted keywords and phrases listed on the web pages in combination with other (often keyword related) factors such as incoming links, content etc. Google’s new approach, semantic search, is not about listing the 10 best pages for you to open to find the answer to your question. It is about providing your THE ANSWER. Part of the way this is now being done is with the Knowledge Graph.
The answer to my question “How was old leonardo da vinci when he died?” was not only answered directly at the top of the page in large font, but it was expanded upon on the right side of the page.
The grammatical error did not faze Google, and when the question was changed to “how old is leonardo da vinci?” the answer was 561 years, the age he would be today.
This is incredible.
Google has gone from being a search engine to a knowledge engine and that is changing everything.
What You Need to Know About the New SEO
When you change the way you think about how Google presents information online, you start to think about how you present information online as well. In my opinion, this is the key SEO tip you need to help you get the most out of this exciting new world of search.
1. Your Reputation Counts. Let me say that again because it is that important. Your Reputation Counts.
There are more than a dozen terms, tactics and strategies that describe different aspects that you need to manage such as authorship, relevance, authority, authenticity, competence, experience, relationships, honesty… but they all boil down to the same thing: your reputation.
We’re going back to basics. Google is going to present the best answer to the searched question. It is going to decide what that best answer is based on the relevance, authority and reputation of the information. It is going to determine the relevance, authority and reputation of the information based on how the online community has interacted with it. Is the organization that produced the content seen as experts in their field? Is the information relevant? Do they have credentials? Plenty of conversation around the topic, the company or its people?
This is obviously a very simplified overview of the changes taking place in search. The takeaway from this post is not that the shift in SEO is that different from a practical standpoint. Content still counts (good, relevant content); links still matter (built through a great online reputation and position of authority); and you still need to have your brand or website talked about. The difference is in the way you think about how you promote yourself, your company or your brand.
Questions? Not sure where to start? Maybe it is time for an SEO Audit? Give us a call: 778-475-3392 or toll free 888-414-5463. We’d love to hear from you.