The ever-changing algorithms of Google keep digital marketers on their toes. Whilst the basic principles of a good website remain consistent – useful, relevant content and a great experience for visitors – it’s the details that change. Some suggest that it’s Google wielding its power, but by regularly changing its algorithm it makes sure that no website is benefitting from playing the system and remains a trusted source for users.
As smartphone technology gets smarter, we use our devices in different ways. Voice search is more popular than ever, as Siri and Cortana get better and with the introduction of devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. ComScore, an American analytics company, predicts that voice search will account for 50 percent of all searches by 2020.
To get ahead, Google is moving away from very focussed keyword messages and starting to favour broad, topic-based content, so that when users are asking a question conversationally, it can find relevant pages that cover the wider subject. The buzz phrase for this is ‘topic clusters’.
Basically, you have a page on a general subject – for example, ‘bi-fold doors’ – that’s called the pillar page. All other content, news and blog posts, with long-tail keyword phrases about bi-folds will then link to that page. It tells Google that your pillar page is the authority, and that’s where people will find the best, most relevant information.
Increased voice search will also mean that more conversational content is more likely to be found. When people speak they will ask a question whereas when they type, it will mostly be ‘key’ words. So, I might voice search ‘Where can I buy aluminium bi-fold doors for my kitchen?’, but I would probably just type ‘aluminium bi-fold doors kitchen’.
While these updates might prove challenging for some websites, the changes won’t rock the world of those who have been doing content marketing right from the off. But, it’s worth revisiting old content to check that you’re making the most of internal links and playing by Google’s new rules.