How To Use Google’s Latest Updates To Maintain Your Rankings Advantage Over Competitors

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is an aspect of digital marketing that probably sparks more debate, discussion, and disagreements than any other. Given that the search engines do not publish the exact means by which they calculate rankings, it means SEO experts, agencies, and others trying to improve their rankings have to rely on not so much guesswork but more an evidence-based approach. What we mean by that is the improvement of a website’s rankings takes the form of a series of individual optimisations, with each one monitored to determine if their implementation has had a positive or negative impact on rankings. What complicates matters further is that Google, which is by far the dominant and most influential search engine, will regularly alter its ranking algorithms and create updates that can impact SEO to an extent ranging from minor adjustments being required to wholesale, whereby the entire rankings landscape changes. When the latter occurs, it has not been unusual to see entire websites and/or online businesses disappear from search results. Thankfully, Google’s updates more recently, whilst important, have not ripped up the SEO ‘manual’ completely. Nevertheless, they still require those who rely on SEO for online traffic to take heed and make the necessary changes to protect or enhance their rankings. As for what the most recent Google updates have been, here are the most important of them. Core Algorithm Updates 2023 Google’s algorithm is effectively how they evaluate and then rank not only websites but every page that every website online has. The fact that it does so almost instantly each time a search is entered has to be admired.

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How To Create A 7-Stage SEO Roadmap For Better Search Engine Rankings

If you wish to acquire organic traffic for your business’s website, then the main way you will be able to achieve that aim is by using SEO. SEO could be carried out by yourself, an employee, or by an SEO agency that you hire. Whichever option you choose, you must be aware of the process that needs to be followed from the outset, as to miss any step or do them out of order, can compromise the success of your SEO campaign. To make that process easier to understand, we have created a 7-stage SEO roadmap, which highlights the 7 main areas which must be actioned if your SEO campaign is to have any chance of succeeding. Establish Your Main Objectives Without a target to hit you will have no idea if your SEO is working so this is why the first stage of your journey is to set your main objectives. These will be influenced by the type and size of your business, and what your main priorities are. Your SEO campaign could be designed to generate leads, gain email subscribers, or simply generate free traffic to your website, and in each case will determine the specific tasks that need to be completed. Carry Out Keyword Research One of the best explanations we have heard for those who feel overwhelmed by starting an SEO campaign is simply to imagine it as dozens, or even hundreds, of mini-competitions with each competition revolving around an individual keyword. It is an excellent description because each keyword that you want to rank for is looked at in isolation by Google. So, your second task is to identify and then research the difficulty of each of the keywords you wish to compete for. Conduct Competitor Analysis Part of this stage will be done during your keyword research when you ascertain which keywords your main competitors are ranking for. In addition, other aspects of your competition you want to be assessing are where they get their backlinks from, what types of content they are publishing, and how well their website is designed with reference to user experience. Bear in mind, the goal is not to copy them but to advance upon and better what they are doing to rank well.

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Why Having Your Main Keyword in Your Domain Can Help Rank Your Website

The question, ‘What’s in a name?’ gets used in many contexts, but when we are discussing SEO, it normally refers to the domain name of a website. In particular, the biggest debate surrounds whether you should use one or more of your main keywords in your domain name. Several years ago, the answer would have been a resounding ‘Yes’ because having an exact match keyword in a domain name carried a lot of weight in Google’s ranking algorithm. Where this caused a problem for Google was a plethora of websites, many of them spammy, springing up using exact match domains, getting a good ranking, but offering little else in terms of relative or quality content. Google soon realised this was bringing the quality of their search results down, and so they acted. In 2012 their algorithm was altered so that the spammy sites we mentioned did not benefit from their keyword domain. This also impacted some sites that would be regarded as not spammy, and since then there has been some confusion about whether having a keyword or exact match domain helps or hinders. There have been several case studies and lots of comprehensive SEO testing to establish whether keywords in domain names make any difference to ranking. Whilst there are some variances on the scale, it is generally agreed that it can be positive, but with several caveats. The first of these is that the number of keywords in a domain name that will influence a website’s ranking is limited, especially when compared to other factors like backlinks. It could tip the balance if all other factors were equally compared to another website, but it is not going to jump you from the bottom to the top of page one on Google. Other evidence from the research shows that merely having your top keyword phrase in your domain is of no use without other SEO factors being in place. This includes all the on-page and on-site optimisation that must take place on any website that the owner hopes to be ranked highly.

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4 Steps To Fix A Drop In Your Rankings

As soon as they sense a drop in their ranking many business owners panic and think that they are on the slippery slope to page 5 of Google. Thankfully, in most cases the situation is temporary, and even if the drop is sustained, there will be an explanation for it. What it will mean is carrying out some simple checks to determine why the ranking drop happened. Some of those checks will involve using SEO research tools so it might mean you need to employ an SEO consultant or agency to carry them out. Here is a guide to 4 of those checks that can be made in order to find the culprit and reverse the drop. #1 Is Your Website In Full Working Order? It is astonishing that many business owners do not look in on their website on a regular basis, and so if anything happens to go wrong on it, they do not become aware of this until their rankings start going south. There are some really basic things you need to check such as the expiry dates of your domain registration or your hosting. Yes, it does happen that a website disappears from rankings because the business owner forgot to renew their hosting service or their domain. Also, check if your hosting company is having any problems or outages. While most hosting services will be up well over 99.5% of the time, it could be that 0.5% downtime that is the issue.

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Google’s Top 10 Ranking Factors

It is hardly surprising that many website owners who do their own SEO often feel like their head is spinning trying to keep up with Google’s ranking factors. Truth be told, many seasoned SEO experts often feel the same way. Well, hopefully, we will not make you feel too dizzy as we highlight Google’s top 10 ranking factors for 2020. #1 Content still rules as Google continues to reward websites that publish quality content over those that produce sub-standard content. #2 Mobile over desktop is how the world has moved in terms of consuming online content and that is why Google now indexes mobile sites first. That means if your website is not mobile optimised its ranking is going to continually drop #3 Page load speed has become more important due to mobile indexing and it means that websites that load quickly have a distinct advantage over clunky websites that take ages to load. #4 Freshness is a ranking factor that many are blissfully unaware of, so their old, stagnant content does nothing for their ranking. If, instead, they updated it, and even included the present year, Google will look upon it a lot more favourably.

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