Google Webmaster Guidelines have been around for years. It provides guidelines on how you can optimize your website so that they are optimally found by search engines. Though a bit outdated, it has managed to break the dos and don’ts of SEO.
And now, Google Webmaster Guidelines is replaced with a new tool – Google Search Essentials.
Google Search Essentials lays down a whole new set of requirements for you to do well with SEO. They are much more in-depth, say clearly about what is approved and what is disapproved, and have specifics to help you exceed in your Digital Presence.
Here are the key takeaways:
- Creating reliable and people-first content
The purpose of the ranking is to provide informative and relevant content to the audience. Primarily created to benefit people, the Guidelines are to ensure that the criteria are met.
Creating people-first content is simply ensuring that the content is for people, and not to manipulate the Google rankings. Your content needs to hold value in the reader’s time and energy.
Before publishing any content, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the content well researched and cites all relevant sources?
- Is the content a substantial or a comprehensive piece of work?
- Does it contain insightful analysis and information that is beyond obvious?
- Is it worthy of being bookmarked as a page or getting shared on social media?
- Does the page title/heading provide a summary of the following piece of content?
Talking about its effectiveness on SEO, it works best with a people-first approach.
- Automated Content
The influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on every sector and content generation is no exception. It is a good source to get a head start on the topic, but to entirely rely on AI tools is different. AI content is generated through the already present information on the web, which means that there is nothing new, or valuable, and the user metrics won’t be great. The content can bounce away and get lost in the billion websites on the search engine.
Google is not asking you to say no AI tools, it, however, wants you to keep a few things in check:
- Content should make sense and not just have confusing keywords to be able to be ranked
- Before publishing an AI generated content, make sure to read it carefully and correct any grammatical, paraphrasing, or similar errors
- Content should be high in quality. No matter the length of the content or choice of subject, quality is important and should be a top priority
- Do not combine different web page results and make your own content. Instead, find ways to ensure it adds value and remains intact from plagiarism.
There are different ways by which content can be written:
- Write it yourself
- Hire a freelancer
- Use an AI tool
But, if AI is your go-to content generator, you might want to hire someone to modify the generated content. Why? For the following reasons:
- Most AI generated content is short and crisp. Whereas a detailed explanation of the subject will add more value to the reader.
- Have a personal touch. Detailed content where readers can come across real-life experiences related to the subject is bound to capture their attention. For an AI though, it’s hard to capture the right emotions to be able to tell and engage in a story.
- Updated content. Again, AI will gather information from the web and present a version of what is already there on the internet. To provide a fresh perspective to your content, you’ll need somebody to edit it accordingly.
- Speak to the reader. There’s no doubt that interactive content, where first-person language is used garners more views and interests than content that barely sparks emotions. Make sure to provide a personality to your content, and add human value to it.
Google Search Essentials keeps track of original vs AI generated content. It is to ensure that originality is maintained and upholds the value of a people-first approach.
- Type of Content
Gen Z, Millennials, or just Social Media users in general – all have one thing in common and that is the attention span, which is also reducing with time. According to the American Psychological Association, less than 20% of teenagers read a book, magazine, or newspaper on a daily basis. Yet more than 80% say they use social media daily.
And it’s not difficult to guess that the most preferred form of content is VIDEO. In fact, Google senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan told Fortune that almost “40% of young people when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.”
Adapting to the demands of the new generation, Google has introduced YouTube Shorts which has garnered over 1.5 Billion views since its launch. Google is also making this content available at the top of search results.
How can you utilize its potential?
To begin with, ensure that you are creating different forms of content for your website and that Google is able to classify and index the same. Depending on the type of content you are producing, keep these code guidelines for images and for videos respectively. Remember, the future of SEO isn’t just text-based anymore, and videos will play an essential role in uplifting your digital presence.
- Local SEO
The most important guideline is to ensure that the keywords placed in your content have a strategic location, i.e. to ensure they are placed in sentences relevant to them and are not stuffed to gain ranking. Following up with it, ensure that the keywords impart information to the reader and are easy to understand in reference to the content. Along with it, ensure that:
- Words and Phrases are not repeated for the purpose of ranking
- There are no phone numbers without a substantial value
- The content is not stuffed with City or Region name, that the webpage is trying to rank for
- No content or paragraph is added that is irrelevant to the entire content being published and is there just for the purpose of ranking
Since a lot of companies serve in multiple locations it becomes necessary that they make their customers aware of their presence. However, stuffing the locations in every content produced is not the solution to it. That being said, if you want to provide more than one location in content, ensure that they are adding value to the copy.
The key is to deliver more value and impart knowledge through your published content.
Though the Google Search Essentials are the revamped Google Webmaster Guidelines, it’s not difficult to comprehend and follow. Majority of what is there is already with you, but what additional you need to keep in mind is enlisted here for your ready reference.
- You cannot solely rely on AI based content. It needs human input to be able to grasp the audience’s attention and add value to their lives.
- SEO is moving on from text-based content to now relying on videos and other formats. Make sure to keep up with the trend.
- Keyword stuffing won’t take you to the top. Only original, well-researched, and well-presented content will – be it long form, short form, video, graphic, or GIFs.
Now that you’re familiar with the Essentials, let’s begin your SEO journey with Technians?