Important Changes in Google that Affect Search Engine Optimization
2019 has been so far a year with many important changes for Google. Many of these changes happen unnoticed, but that doesn;t mean they don’t affect search engine optimization and other core elements in digital marketing. In this article we will highlight some of those changes that may have not had notoriety for the massive audience and see their impact in SEO. All indicates that the future of search tends to turn the focus less in search itself.
A New Way to Conceive Queries and Search Engine Optimization
In fact, this is not that new. In 2018 Google announced a major change in the way they conceive search and thus, search engine optimization. The major search engine was created under these basic principles:
- Focus on serving the user’s need of information
- Provide the best quality, most relevant results as fast as possible.
- Use an algorithmic approach.
- Test every change thoughtfully, using quality rating guidelines to define search goals.
This still means that you as a marketer should keep on putting user experience is first, provide an accurate and relevant answer, have a basic understanding of algorithms and meet Google’s quality rating guidelines. However, Google also added some new principles that drastically affected the way we conceive search and SEO. These principles can be counted in three major shifts:
From Answers to Journeys
The focus is not short-term answers anymore but bigger, ongoing projects. For this reason Google is adding new features:
- Activity cards show previous pages and queries
- Content can be added to collections and tabs that suggest what to learn about next according to the user’s search history.
- A Topic layer added to the Knowledge Graph. This allows Google to feature content suggestions for specific topics that always remain current.
Queryless Ways to Provide Information
Google is not trying to just provide an answer but actually predict it; looking to help users before they even make a query. Google Discover is fundamental in this matter. It’s also essential at the moment of including not just fresh but evergreen content. The most drastic change this brings to SEO is that more traditional search content will become feed content.
From Text to Visual
Another important change is the way written information is enhanced with audiovisual capabilities. Google is introducing features like algorithmically generated AMP Stories and video compilations. They show caption text with relevant information like age and remarkable events in people’s lives.
Search also shows new featured videos created to show an overview on relevant topics. Google also updated Image search to prioritize images on pages with relevant content. So pages where the images is central to the content and of course are relevant to it have a greater chance to rank. Captions and suggested searches have been added too. Another important update is the creation and implementation of Google Lens. This feature allows users to perform visual search based on objects that Google’s AI detect in the image.
All these changes certainly affect search. Still, we need to understand that although their impact is significant, they don’t happen overnight. Staying at current, taking them in consideration and act consequently can keep your business afloat and avoid major catastrophes.
Google Discover and Google Assistant
Google Discover is a content recommendation engine. It suggests content across the internet based on a user’s search history and behaviors. In October 2018 Google added this feature to their homepage and made a major update on it. Such update included:
- More images and videos
- Topic headers to categorize feed results
- Evergreen content, not just fresh content
- A toggle to feature more or less content similar to a recommendation.
- Recommendations tailored to every user’s level of expertise with a certain topic
On the other hand, Google Assistant was initially implemented in 2017 as some sort of upgrade to Google Now. Eventually, this feature grew and became increasingly influential in the way users interact with the internet. Just like Google Now, Google Assistant can search the web, schedule events, show Google account info and adjust device settings. Still, the most significant difference is the ability to engage in two-way conversations. This allows users to get answers without even looking at the search results.
Search Engine Optimization Experts at Your Service
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