Keeping Up SEO Evolution
Keeping Up With SEO Evolution
What lies in the future of SEO? And how can you adapt your SEO strategy to suit the ways people are searching and the evolving artificial intelligences behind the search engines?
Local Search Is Becoming More Local
Wearable devices like the Apple Watch have been flagged by Forbes as the reason why local searches are going to become even more local. This is compounded by Google’s local indexes growing. The first step is making sure your site is in the Google Local search index. Getting the attention of Local Guides and positive reviews by them can help you in this area. SEO strategies that put you on ultra-local search results like restaurants in your neighborhood, in addition to restaurants associated with your zip code or city, help as well.
Video Content Can Help You Trump Weak Written Content
Quality content isn’t dependant on word count, especially if your site includes quality images that keep readers on the page longer than if they just read the short and simple instructions. Video content can boost your site’s rankings, especially if it engages viewers and teaches them more than a few confusing images. You can boost the SEO of these videos by adding transcripts to the descriptions of the videos, and viewers will appreciate close captioning of the video.
Ask Siri About Your SEO
Digital assistants periodically land in the news when they give bizarre answers to casual queries. The more serious news is that more people are searching for information and services via digital assistants like Siri or Cortana. Your search engine optimization strategy for results via digital assistants needs the same local SEO strategy as required for mobile users searching for local services. However, coming up in the search engine optimization for the digital assistant requires matching the more conversational and less specific SEO needed for a local search in a smart phone. For example, someone looking for dinner options while on a walk will search for restaurants in the neighborhood, while someone querying Siri will ask for a specific type of restaurant near them. The local SEO strategy also shifts with the use of digital assistants. Someone walking along with a smart watch will search for restaurants in a two block radius or in a certain neighborhood. Someone asking Siri for restaurants while driving is more likely to base the search on intersections, cross streets or highway exits.
Intention Is Becoming Everything
Google’s artificial intelligence is learning to puzzle out the intent of various searches. And they are yielding results based on what it thinks the person wants, not the website that has the greatest keyword or search term density.
Search engines measure the website’s quality relative to the person’s intent by the post-click activity. It doesn’t just measure how many people go to the website after the site comes up in the search engine results page, but also how long they stay. If too many people visit your number one site and leave within sixty seconds, your first place ranking will be lost.
Latent Semantic Indexing
Latent semantic indexing or LSI refers to search engines comparing the text of your content against natural language examples. While the presence of keywords is still used to determine if your content matches a searcher’s criteria, your site loses points for words used in an unnatural way.
LSI keywords or semantic keywords are crucial in the 2015 and 2016 Google updates. Use of the main key search terms is important, but use of related terms identified by LSI is necessary to make certain Google recognizes that your content is related to someone’s search. For example, when someone uses the abbreviation PS, Google doesn’t know immediately if RS stands for Remote Sensing, Room Service, Request to Send or an abbreviation in place of real and then a cussword. RS in conjunction with antennas and sensors clearly refers to remote sensing. The abbreviation RS among text about hotels and trips probably means room service. RS and India means rupees. In this regard, LSI helps ensure that relevant content is brought up by comparing the search terms to its context.
What does this mean for your SEO strategy? Using a key word 3% of the time won’t cause you to get a top spot in the search results anymore; it has to be complimented by related search terms and synonyms for the search rankings to be as high as you want. But don’t do it too much, or you’ll get labeled as spammy and get penalized by Google algorithm.
The best solution is to include LSI key words along with the main keywords in an SEO friendly way but not so many that it is enough to get you penalized. It may take trial and error with editing the text to get the right density of both LSI keywords and main keywords. Where possible, put main keywords and LSI keywords in the same sentence or side by side (assuming you can make it sound natural). Text about PS image size will more clearly be related to Photoshop queries than “the image size in PS”. And text like “the image size in software applications like PS” won’t rank nearly as well compared to the others. Their proximity helps signal relevancy, but using them can boost your SEO results in related searches for those terms as well. If you can use the keywords and LSI terms in natural language queries like those issued to Siri, you have an SEO strategy that hits all of the new trends in user searches.
If you don’t know the related keywords to use in your content, you can do a search on your keywords and see what related searches come up. Or use the Google Keyword Planner and note the related synonyms associated with your key search term.
To get the most bang for your buck, also use the key search term and LSI keywords in the title of your content and webpage description. Don’t forget to add the LSI keywords to permalinks and header tags, too.
Artificial Intelligence Knows When It Meets Its Inferior Match
Plagiarism checking is becoming standard, with search engines penalizing scraped content and barely reworded plagiarized text. The artificial intelligence behind the search engines is now smart enough to recognize machine spun text, primarily due to its poor semantics.
The irony of the logic behind the LSI that can identify poorly worded text created by machines is that it can also flag poorly translated articles and badly written copy, especially if you used a template to create it and dropped in product names or the service provider into the template used for the web page.