Google’s and all other search engines’ goal is to provide the information their users search for. And they are doing everything they can to achieve this, which resulted in the many animal-related algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, and the most recent Hummingbird. What they are actually doing is improving their methods of identifying whether the content the sites offer corresponds to what their searchers need. This puts quality content among the three pillars of SEO, together with inbound, also known as incoming or backlinks, and social media.
In the quality guidelines Google clearly states there’s no room for tricks in the ranking game anymore, and that now everyone’s focus should be on high-quality content, and not on the keywords. Before these algorithm changes SEO had become a game with tricks that you either know, or don’t, that can help you improve your ranking without providing any real value to readers, or doing any marketing at all. Now, that is all gone. In the words of those who set the rules, to optimize your blog for search you need to: “Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.”
How Is Search Changing?
Despite all these changes and how they reflect over the work of many bloggers and website owners, search engines aren’t trying to make our lives harder. They are in the business of providing answers to people’s questions. Search is their business and the results are their products, – all they are doing is trying to improve their product, so based on the context of our previous searches, location, interests, and other factors, they can better intuit what we are looking for.
Keywords were useful before, but now they are more of a barrier because people started misusing them to the point where they don’t even reliably tell Google what the page is about. Search is constantly improving, as well as searchers (user) experience, and that’s all because of the technology development. Just as an example, before when you weren’t sure what a certain word means you had to visit an online dictionary and look up the word, and now you can just type in the term in the search bar followed by ‘definition’, and you’ll get it highlighted in the search results. One day, not so far from now, we won’t even have to type but we’ll speak directly to our devices. Check out the video below showing the evolution of Google search.
To keep up with this all other search engines will also continue improving so they can provide better results for their users, which means they will all continue to refine their ability to find the best, most relevant and useful content for their searchers. So if you want to show up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) your best shot is to create only high quality content for your blog and provide the richest experience for your readers.
What Is Quality Content?
When publishing your blog content, at the same time you submit information to search engines that they should give to their searchers. Since Google dominates this market, quality content is what Google decides is worth sharing further. And they say it’s content that’s interesting and entertaining, answers real people’s questions, or helps them do or find something. It’s kind of content that people talk about online and in real life, that they want to share with their friends and social circles, that they quote, and link to.
Create that kind of content on your blog and you’ll be way ahead any future algorithm update, ranking well with Google and your users. Find your unique selling point, distinguish yourself from the rest in your niche, and always bring value to your readers. Think how you act as a searcher, and know that that’s what most web users expect these days: quality, relevant and easily digestible content that will answer their needs.
Leave your comments below if you want to tell us your opinion on quality content and the SEO-connection.