Marketing Week and Euromoney Learning Solutions analyse the changes to SERP ranking criteria around content following Google’s Phantom 2 algotihym update.
Following Google’s ‘Mobilegedden’ update that focusses on mobile-optimised sites, Google will now class ‘content-driven sites’ and ‘high-quality content’ as key ranking factors.
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“Monitoring trending industry topics, creating high-quality content around them and building relationships with influencers are all time-consuming,” acknowledges Jellyfish client, Euromoney Learning Solutions’ Tony McPartlan.
“…one of the biggest challenges is finding the time and resource to keep on top of these changing patterns.” The digital marketing manager states.
With that in mind, what does Google mean by websites needing ‘higher-quality’ content?
Marketing Week and Google’s Director of Performance, Matt Bush, outlined this as content that:
- is more content rich i.e. has a higher word count, more images and / or videos
- is brand or purpose search oriented content
- has content for further up the sales funnel i.e. content for research and awareness
- contains engaging content, i.e. that keeps people on the page longer, or they click to the next article
- hasmore comprehensive and relevant wording, i.e. not just keywords but related words. An example of related words might be ‘Apple’ and ‘mobile’ if the search is for ‘iPhone6’.
For the full Searchmetrics latest Google Rank Correlation and Ranking Factors study, (which analysed 10,000 popular key words and 300,000 websites that appear in the top 30 search results), click here.
Tony McPartlan sees the change to search behaviour as an opportunity for continual evolvement of their content: “We were already focused on producing high-quality, targeted content [but] we’re redoubling our [attention] on improving trust signals like dwell time and social interactions by ensuring that all our posts are offering unique insights into the whole training and HR industry, rather than being blinkered by an entirely sales-driven approach.”
Adapting to include things that are beneficial following the new algorithm update is one thing, but what about things to avoid? Phantom 2 will look negatively upon any site that churns out how-to articles, overfills pages with keywords and relies upon optimising page titles – these tactics are simply not sophisticated enough anymore.
Google’s Matt Bush also recommends using Google Trends to take advantage of particular patterns or changes in search behaviour to stay ahead of the curve.