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April 28, 2012, 4:36 am UTC
In the recent months, Google has brought a sea change in its algorithm to weed out websites that have been tricking its system to gain higher ranking, and subsequently souring the searchers’ experience. The new change is not only geared towards giving a better experience to its searchers, but it also focuses on leveling the playing field and honoring the content creators.
Before these changes were implemented, people and businesses with deep pocket used to buy all kinds of links from different types of link networks and achieve higher ranking. These black hatters, or so they would be addressed in the SEO community, used to leave behind the honest businessmen in the race to page one of Google, but not any more. The new changes will help searchers also, as they will get more relevant results for their search queries. Now the question is what are those three key changes that will help searchers as well as honest marketers?
Including social signals in its ranking is the first major change Google brought to its algorithm. Inclusion of social signals in the ranking factor – rather, the way social signals has started to replace the traditional link profile of a website – is going to have a significant impact on the ranking of the website in Google.
By considering a share, a comment, or a like as a vote of confidence, Google has reinforced its dictum that good content is the one thatentertains, engages, and persuades humans and not machines or bots.
Design and usability
Another major change that Google brought into its algorithm is called Google Instant Previews. Before this change came along, it was not possible for searchers to sample the listings in the search result before actually visiting the website, and every time they clicked on a wrong link, they wasted their time. This was something not acceptable to Google, so it has added a new feature, Google Instant Previews, to its search listing. Now users can sample the listing and see how the website looks, and in some cases, where their searched terms appear on the website.
After this change, it has become pertinent for website owners to think creatively about design of the website and overall usability as well as about keyword placement.
For years, everyone has been parroting “Content is the King” maxim without, as parrot would, understanding the real meaning of the phrase. This led to thousands of poorly written websites and thousand others with spun content. It was heyday for content factories, where people slaved for websites, which no one read, and which at best littered filth on the Internet.
Google Panda Update undid all this and delisted, at least dropped ranking, of websites with poorly written content. It is still doing the same, as Panda was not on-time affair. It is very much active today as well. Now a website cannot rely on low-quality content and hope to succeed.
The cumulative effect of above three changes in the search algorithm is a better search experience for end users. It also means that now one cannot buy one’s way back to Google’s first page by buying thousands and thousands of links. By bringing these changes Google has created a win-win situation for everyone.
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