Everyone who’s spent even a little bit of time studying search engine optimization (SEO) knows about the dreaded algorithm update. We’ve all heard the horror stories. Tales of how Google’s Penguin and Panda updates destroyed traffic numbers for countless websites.
In one piece published by UK News agency The Telegraph, the author explains how Google Penguin almost killed their business.
Because of stories like these, Google’s constant efforts to tweak and update its algorithm have come to be a source of dread for many. And maybe, at one point in the past, that dread was founded. However, in the modern-day, if you’re doing things properly, algorithm updates should have little effect on your traffic.
The reason for this is simple and tied largely to how search has changed in recent years. Today, Google’s focus is no longer on keyword matching or website metrics. Certainly, these still play some role in the company’s mysterious, arcane algorithms.
But more and more, Google’s focus is on one singular factor — the end user.
Google now cares less about what a searcher is typing so much as it’s focused on why they’re typing it. It wants to deliver the best, most accurate, and most valuable content to the people using its search engine. The idea is that the first page a user clicks on should be the only one they need, and should provide them with exactly what they were looking for.
You see where we’re going with this, right? Just as Google’s algorithms are focused on user intent, so too should the content you create for your website. As such, you will at minimum need to know the answer to the following questions.
- Who is your audience?
- What does your audience value?
- What is your audience interested in?
- Why is your audience interested in your brand?
- Why would your audience look for this specific page on your website?
Beyond that, the search engine marketing publication Search Engine Journal recommends a content-focused strategy with the following pillars to serve as guidance.
First, that you focus on Google’s E-A-T Standards. What this means is that you need to create deep, original content that’s presented in such a way that it’s easy to read and digest. Cover each topic with as much depth and expertise as possible, and do so in a way that’s both entertaining and engaging.
Second, you need to consider, at all times, what a user’s intent might be, and keep all content relevant to that. Consider why someone might be searching for your brand. Maybe they want to learn how to use your products. Maybe they’re interested in making a purchase.
Or maybe they’re simply doing research.
Regardless, you need to be keyed-in to both what they think and what they want. And as long as you are, as long as you create content with intent in mind, algorithm updates should present no problem for you. They’ll simply provide new opportunities for optimization, new avenues through which you can bring in leads.