SEO updates — keeping our eye on the (crystal) ball

SEO Crystal Ball

Your finest SEO efforts might fail at any time. The search engine rankings you anticipated don’t occur. Your top rankings abruptly decline or vanish. You are compelled to be cautious, so you turn to the most recent information regarding what Google demands. You examine the search engine’s helpful content upgrade that launched. Even while many algorithm changes are minor and sometimes go unnoticed, the well-publicized upgrade to useful content earlier this fall will prove to be significant.

On the Google Search Central Blog, it was suggested that content marketers that are SEO-focused consider the following questions:

  • Do you use a lot of automation to create content across a variety of topics?
  • Are you primarily summarizing other people’s arguments without really contributing anything?
  • Do people who read your material feel like they need to recheck their sources for more accurate information?

If you answered yes to any of these, Google will not be happy with you.

Quality is at the core of this transition. Google has always highlighted the need for websites to provide a pleasant user experience with timely, pertinent content that loads quickly. Google has consistently emphasized content quality since the Panda update, which was launched more than 10 years ago and targeted pages with little to no substance. Google Search AI is a complex code created for a very complex content environment.

Because of the sophistication of the technology, websites now frequently rank for terms that aren’t even in their content. All of these developments have been gradual. With little fanfare, Google quietly updates its search engine algorithms, making over 4,000 changes in 2021 alone. One of the aspects of the complexity of the code, looks at the authority of a site in its space. When last year I was telling everyone to avoid duplicating their show names from one season to the next, I was repeating the Google’s mantra. But, as I quickly found out, the rules didn’t apply to the customers that were leading authority in their space, and for example, an Aladdin show for 2022 was indexed even though it had Aladdin indexed twice before showing under the identical name, with near identical content.

For us mere mortals, the rules will apply. However, if you are building your site authority then there is flexibility to this September’s announcement. So, what should you do if you are not one of the sites of authority?

  • Ensure quality, relevant content is on all pages
  • FAQ about your programming, your stage, your product, or service should be added wherever possible
  • Make sure you have your program book, press release or e-book, or product manual attached in PDF and HTML versions if possible.
  • Use a lot of videos but be sure to include transcripts and captions
  • Pay attention to WCAG for accessibility

The impact of this is not yet clear but applying these will help SEO and it never hurts to prepare. By the way, if you are an ARTdynamix® customer, you already have the tools needed to make the above points reality. In fact, the tools have been available for your use since 2013. Voice search and “Near Me” search are now built into the latest version of ARTdynamix®.

Often when we inform folks that ARTdynamix® has a Press Release module, an FAQ builder, a program-book uploader, etc. that can be attached to their shows or content on demand, that is met with excitement because of the efficiency changes but it also substantial for SEO and authority. Here’s the impact: Google has been hinting at this change for a decade (especially if you can read between the lines), and now Google has made it a standard.

As a reminder, in February 2022, Google has already made the schema a mandatory of their SERP (search engine results page) rules, and now followed by the above noted content update

~Nami