August 10, 2017

What Google Wants in 2018 & Beyond

text header image states What Google Wants in 2017 and Beyond SEARCH

Let’s make this clear right here and now … this is NOT blackhat nor a shady tactic in any way.

Unlocking Google’s Code

Google is not all that complicated when you think about it, Google simply wants to match their user’s questions with the BEST available answer. Google has a set of ranking signals they use, as they want to offer up the best authority on the subject that their user typed in.

What does Google consider to be an authority?

There appears to be three parts to unlocking the code, and they are as follows:

1.) Depth of Topic

In 2013, with the introduction of Hummingbird, Google tried to do two things to improve search results:

  • Instead of simply looking at searches on the individual keyword level, this search engine tied to understand searches in terms of topics, and their user’s intent.
  • This search engine apparently is trying to make a map of all of the topics and subtopics in the world in order to understand content better.

If Google is able to create a map of all the topics and subtopics in the world, they will have a new way of understanding what quality a particular web page of content is and how likely that page is to answer whatever their user typed in to their search box. In a nutshell, this will enable Google to serve up better quality search results.

So, if you are looking to gain depth of topic then simply offer longer articles as they tend to rank better, and are more likely to fully answer Google’s user’s query. In other words, you make Google’s users happy and you will make Google very happy and Google will reward you. It is as simple as that.

Using several different keywords will help your content to rank better as Google now cares more about topic then only keywords.

Having said all of this, it is not enough to become an authority by only writing longer articles; Google is also looking for…

2.) Extent of Topic

Google wants to see that you are writing many more topics within your niche. An example might be as follows; a website designer’s website would contain long articles on website designing rules, WordPress themes, onpage SEO, keyword researching, optimization, etc.

This is better for several reasons:

  • Good for Google because they learn to trust you as an authority on your niche.
  • The more content you add to your website the better chance you have to rank in search results.

When you create more content you unlock your extent of topic. However, you still cannot simply write articles and hope they rank, which is why you need…

3.) Authority Links

Links still are a major factor in ranking a website that is not going away anytime soon. Many “experts” have been claiming that link building is dead and that couldn’t be further from the truth if they tried. What have truly died are link farms that offered low quality links which are now considered a form of spamming.

Google has done a very good job of scaring off a lot of people from using these types of businesses, virtually sending these companies out of business.

What the Data Says – Case Studies

1. Moz Case Study
a chart from Mox's website
a screen print of a statement made by Moz.com
Source: https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors

Thus Moz’s conclusion is the number one and number two ranking factors are links.

2. Backlinko Case Study
1 Million Search Results Analysis
screen print of a statement on backlinko.com site
screen print of a chart from backlinko.com
Source: http://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking

3. Stone Temple Case Studies
screen print of statement on stonetemple.com
Source: https://www.stonetemple.com/links-remain-a-very-powerful-ranking-factor-study/

4. Local SEO Guide and Places Scout Case Study
screen print of a statement made by localseoguide.com
Source: http://www.localseoguide.com/guides/2016-local-seo-ranking-factors/

In 2017, Links Are a Major Ranking Signal

Google’s Pengiun targets over optimization of anchor text and unnatural links … so don’t do this.

How to build links safely:

  • Build a variety of anchors – don’t use the same anchor text on every link
  • Build a variety of links – use different types of links, like sidebar links, citation links. Different types of links on different websites
  • High quality links (using my affiliate link) – like outreach guest posting, considered by some as the cream of the crop

Doing these three thinks will keep your website safe. Basically, good links on authority sites (using my affiliate link) will work perfectly for any website.

Ranking in 2017

Apparently, Gary Illyes has replaced Matt Cutts as Google’s new webmaster trends analyst. And it is being said that now Google no longer penalizes for spam links anymore as they have decided to just ignore them. See the screen print below of Gary’s comment to a Facebook post.

screen print of a Facebook comment
Source: https://www.facebook.com/barryschwartz/posts/10154317937755783?pnref=story

But of course, you still should take manual actions to keep your website clean from these sorts of links. Personally, I STILL submit a disavow file for any spam links discovered linking to any of my websites.

What this all means is that Google is looking for your website to become an authority and they want to see the “authority 3”:

  1. Depth of topic – Long content that answers questions fully
  2. Extent of topic – Websites that cover a market or a niche
  3. Authority links – Diversified, natural, high quality link building (using my affiliate link)

SEO truly has changed … and for the better!

How to Give Google What They Want

The strategy and execution is as follows; if you were to divide up all of the keywords in the world that you want your site to rank for, you can put them in two piles:

  1. Keywords your website is already targeting.
  2. Keywords your website is NOT ranking for … yet your competition is.

Why not tackle both?

You are most likely “sitting on a pile of gold” that you don’t even know of. There are keywords that your website is ranking for somewhere in the SERPs (search engine results page) but they are not offered at the top where 99% of the traffic is.

Example:
screen print of a chart from chitika.com
Source: https://chitika.com/google-positioning-value

This graph is of a percentage of traffic or basically the click through rate that you can get based on your Google position being that … positions on the bottom access is your site’s rank along with the percentage of Google’s traffic on the left.

So, let’s say your site is the number 1 result; you will be getting about 35% of the traffic. If you are the number 2 result, your site will be getting about 16% of the traffic. Number 3, your site will be getting about 10% of the traffic, and as you can tell by this chart it goes down from there.

As you get to number 11, now your site is on page 2 of the search results and you can see how the traffic really starts dropping off. Obviously, there is a massive amount of traffic to gain by being in the number 1 to 3 positions … and if your site isn’t there then you are missing out on where most of the traffic is.

You will need to discover keywords that your website ranks for in positions 4 through to 30. Google already sees your site as a potential authority for these keywords, but you have not won … yet. By creating authority links to these pages using these keywords as anchors, you can see quicker traffic increases.

How do you find these keywords?

screen print of The HOTH tool
Source: https://www.thehoth.com/search-engine-rankings/

A simple tool that you can use to find out what keywords your website is ranking for. Once you have entered your full domain name in the text box and clicked on the start button, you will be asked for your email address. Once you’ve entered that, then you will need to scroll down the page to see the results posted. You can export your top 100 keywords by clicking on the export button (bottom left) and save the domain-organic.csv file to use in Microsoft’s Excel.

Sort the “Position” column and remember that you are looking for ranks 4 to 30. These are the posts you need to start building links to these keywords. This way, you will see your articles ranking quicker than starting from scratch.

This covers keywords that you are already targeting. Now, what about all of those keywords you’re not targeting.

Competitive Gap Analysis

There are loads of keywords that you are not targeting that will attract your perfect customer. Until doing the research, you may think you have a hold on this market. I’m betting you will be blown away by the amount of killer keywords that you were not even thinking of. Now it’s time for me to show you how to find these keywords.

First, you need to identify your direct competitors. You can do this by:

  1. ) Finding your direct competitors in search – this means anyone who is ranking for your target phrases. Then create a list of their URLs.
  2. ) Finding your indirect competitors in search – companies that are not selling the exact same product or service as you but sell to the same customers as you. You can also discover who has the best content in your industry. Then create a list of their URLs too.
  3. ) Then it’s time to use Ahref’s great tool.

screen print of Ahref.com tool
Source: https://ahrefs.com/content-gap

Make sure the “At least one of the targets should rank in top 10” is check-marked and then click on the “Show keywords” button. Then you will get a long list of keywords that all of your competitors are ranking for, and your website is not.

You will need to apply filters to your results. The first filter you will want to apply is a KD (keyword difficulty), because you don’t want to be targeting super difficult keywords. Maximum of 30 KD, though this may vary depending on how powerful your site is.

If you have an old site that is very powerful you obviously can go up. If you have a totally brand new site then you will probably want to start by targeting keywords that have a lot less keyword difficulty.

Next, you will want to do a CPC (cost per click) minimum of 1 cent or more. You only want to target keywords that people are paying money to target, so you will want to make sure they are very valuable keywords.

And third, you are going to look for keywords of at least two words in order to avoid brand names, etc. Once you have these filters set like this you will have a really great list of keywords that you are not targeting … yet.

Create a new list of these keywords and then you can sort by Volume (high usage) or you can sort by high CPC and go for really high cost click valuable keywords. This is how you get a huge list of great volume, valuable and easy to rank for keywords to target in order to become the giant in your industry.

Use these keywords to start creating longer blog content. Write 1300 words, optimize these pages for SEO, interlink your blog pages to your sales pages. This not only creates great link juice, but it also leads visitors through to become your buyers.

By using this SEO methodology of going after ALL your industry’s keywords, you are actually giving Google exactly what they want: Depth of Topic and Extent of Topic.

Can you see how this tactic will uncover all your missed opportunities?

Now that you have your researching done and you have all of the possible keyword targets, it’s time to execute the plan.

First Month

Start by building exact match links to “easy wins” (keywords that you are already targeting) or non-ranking pages PLUS be sure that you vary your links to avoid any penalties … keeping your site safe and the links looking natural. This will help you get quicker SEO results by targeting keywords your site is already ranking for because Google already likes you.

Then build your first round of content based on your top priority content gap keywords. This starts off your depth of topic and extent of topic, showing Google you are going to be that authority by unlocking that code.

Second and Third Month

Build more “easy wins” links being sure to continue to always vary your links; this will keep you moving up for your target keywords for quicker results.

Then, build links to your first round content gap pieces; this should start getting some attention paid to these pages … which should also be linked to your product or services pages.

Now you can build more content from the content gap report further increasing your extent of topic.

Fourth Month

Simply rinse and repeat!

You have a nearly unlimited list of keywords to target, so the more content and links you build, the more traffic your website will get.

Using this strategy it is truly the ideal solution. You are covering all the keywords possible in your industry, building high authority links to them, and becoming the authority in your niche or your area.

You will only be doing this to VALUABLE topics or keywords that bring actual buyers. When you do this with consistency, month over month, you will unlock the floodgates in ANY niche!

If you found this post helpful, I do hope you will be sure to share it with your friends. All comments will be greatly appreciated too.

Credit for Header: image by © Pmakin | Dreamstime.com – Search Photo

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