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A lot’s happened in the past couple of months. One of the biggest events in the tech world is the release of a new version of Google’s search engine. And this release has some BIG changes that could impact how people find your website.
This week’s tech tip focuses on tuning your website to make sure that you’ve got the best possible chance of showing up in Google’s search results.
Google Search’s top priority to help people find content that’s useful to them. It’s always trawling through countless websites, gathering content and finding smarter ways to deliver the best possible content to people. In a nutshell, it wants people to keep using Google Search to find information on the internet.
So here’s how it works:
When you search for “how to replace a lightbulb in a holden commodore”, Google displays a list of pages that it thinks are relevant to you and the search phrase that you typed in.
You look at the list of search results and open the page that you think is relevant.
If you read through the article AND click to read a few more articles on the same website – then Google interprets this as “this page was relevant” AND this website delivers great content.
If however, I open another page, take a quick look and click the back button on my browser then Google interprets that as “this page was not relevant”. Too many of these and Google pushes your website lower and lower in the search rankings.
There’s waaay more to it than that but this information will help you understand what to put on your website.
Google serves content based on topics. The more specialised your content, the easier it is for Google to understand what topic your website is about.
Say you’re a movie enthusiast. You love movies so much that you want to put a website together that has everything you know about movies. You’re a smart business person because you also want to generate an income from the website.
If you start writing content about all genres of movies for the past century, plus how movies are created plus how to get into the movie scene then it’s probably going to take a long long time before Google starts to show your website in search results to do with movies.
If however, you only write content about Australia’s best drama movies since 1990 then you’re catering to a much much more specific audience. Google will soon see your website as the place to go for people who want to get information about Australian drama movies since 1990.
Google has recently released its Hummingbird search engine. This means that it gathers, interprets and shows content in a whole new way.
The old way of writing content was to write short snappy articles that you could write often and share often. The new way of writing content, since Humminbird was released, is to write long, detailed articles with lots of cross contextual content. Wikipedia is a great example of how to write long detailed articles.
So, let’s return to the example of a website that focuses on Australian drama movies. If you were to write an article on the movie “Shine” you would write the article to include the history of the movie, the plot, the main actors, the music and possibly the income that it generated.
This means that you’re going to need to put a whole lot more effort into your blog posts BUT if you play by Google’s rules and adopt this approach early then you might jump ahead of the competition.
The last point that we’ll focus on with this tech tip is your website links. A lot of website programs will automatically generate links for your blog articles. For example if you created a blog post today and it was titled One of Australia’s Favourite Movies – Shine, then the automatically generated link could be http://mywebsite.com.au/blogs/2017/01/one-of-australias-favourite-movies-shine/.
This makes it really hard for search engines to understand the importance of the post relative to other content on your website AND it makes it hard to understand the topic of the blog post.
A much better way to have the link could be http://mywebsite.com.au/movies/musicals/shine/. This tells the search engine that the blog post is in the topic of musicals and the post has something to do with the movie Shine.
Jump into the backend of your website to determine how links are displayed. If you’re using WordPress then the Yoast SEO plugin allows you to easily do this.
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