As spammers find ways to manipulate and leverage search engine algorithms, SEO becomes an increasingly difficult endeavor. To rank well in search engines five years ago, search engine marketers needed only to publish a piece of content (as short as 250 words), submit the URL to a handful of directories, and reap the benefits. Two years ago, this strategy still had an impact, though it began showing diminishing returns. Today, after Google’s recent content-based algorithm update dubbed ‘Panda’, the search giant took aim at content writers engaging in this practice because it results in a proliferation of ‘thin’ content.
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Depending on the website and your own mindset, search algorithm updates represent either a threat, or an opportunity to gain new and interested visitors. In regard to Google, recent changes to its algorithm and results pages have placed greater emphasis on video content – on both desktop and mobile.
As the Web grows and Internet user behaviors change, Google’s understanding of what is important must also change as well. The search engine updates its algorithm almost daily and works to return the most relevant results to its users for a given query. Additionally, because of spammy content infiltrating search results, what returns as a relevant result today may not do so tomorrow.
While certain algorithm updates receive more fanfare than others (e.g., the recent “Farmer / Panda” Update), Google is said to manipulate its search results more than ten times per week. These updates reflect what users expect to see in search results, and also how information circulates the Web.
One of the most effective ways to rank on the first page of search results is content creation – adding information related to your business or service offerings to get more of your targeted keywords littered across your site. Larger, more robust sites tend to rank higher compared to smaller sites, and additional content helps expand a website’s size and grows the number of pages indexed. For the average consumer looking for information online, larger sites provide greater context for the topic and are more helpful and relevant for a given query.
Google’s Q3 earnings have sparked a lot of debate and speculation from the online marketing community, calling Google out as a “one-trick pony,” only able to capitalize on its most valuable product, AdWords. While their numbers point to a dependency on its advertising network, Google is pursuing new and innovative ventures to help increase revenue and potentially diversify its revenue stream. What Google is going after most aggressively is the mobile search market.