For at least the foreseeable future, the world of search engine optimisation is going to be governed by one ruler – Google. Looking back at the progress the search engine giant has made over the past 10 years, they’ve made some astonishing developments which have helped their algorithm to determine what is and isn’t good content. Through this, Google users have received an increasingly convenient and relevant service.
It’s developments like Penguin 4.0 that mean there’s no sense in looking at the present day for your real estate SEO efforts – you should be looking to the future of Google and general technological development. If you can do this, you’ll really get the jump on the competition.
Google’s competition are watching closely
Google have built their empire on being able to provide people with the best service possible, crushing other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re down and out forever.
In exchange for being offered simplicity and convenience by Google, a large percentage of people are willing to part with significant amounts of their personal data. Although many people are fine with this exchange, there are also blindly oblivious to the fact that their data is being sold on for a profit.
With the constantly increasing stringency of data privacy laws, if another company can find a way to finance a better search engine without mass-collecting user information, then we could see Google topple.
The following, however, can be assumed fairly safely:
The way Google works makes sense
If you look at the basic level of how Google works, such as not ranking a forum site with thousands of automated comments, then it’s pretty clear that the way Google works is logical.
When new search algorithm updates are released, SEO professionals worldwide break down the code, run tests, and generally try to figure out what exactly has changed. The basis of it, however, is that top ranking spots in search results shouldn’t be rewarded to people who know how to play the system. They should be awarded to those who put effort into creating content that their audiences find useful. For this reason, the algorithm also tries to focus on content that might be very well written, but isn’t necessarily the best optimised.
The future possibilities for content ranking are endless
Here’s where the looking to the future part comes in. There are several online metrics that could well be part of the search algorithm, but aren’t made clear by Google. Take ‘dwell time’ for example. Dwell time is defined by how long a person spends on a certain page of your website and, understandably, this could be a pretty good indicator of whether content is quality or not.
Google, however, haven’t actually released a formal statement acknowledging or denying the importance of dwell time in search rankings. The general rule of thumb regarding it, though, is that if it isn’t already a part of the algorithm, it could well be in the future.
If it could be a future ranking signal, prepare for it
Any forward-thinking SEO marketing professional will always put themselves in the situation of preparing for the future with regards to rankings. If you had’ve told a Google engineer 10 years ago that one day, they’d be able to teach a computer to determine the semantic relevance of certain words and phrases, they probably would have laughed at you and shown you the door.
Nowadays, that’s exactly what the Hummingbird update does – it looks at the meaning behind words in order to give great content the attention it deserves. All those who had already been providing thought-provoking and relevant content were rewarded and those who had been keyword stuffing were taken down a few notches.
Think about it this way – no matter how the Google search algorithm changes, the signals that indicate quality content won’t. They’re already out there, whether they’re being used or not. Whether it be blog posts or video, focus your agency’s efforts on creating high-quality content and search ranking will follow.