Have we got SEO news for you!
On Sept. 12, 2022, Google released its latest core update dictating how it establishes its search rankings. This update will take about two weeks to complete, and during that time, some websites will see big changes in their Google search rankings and visitor numbers.
Google’s September 2022 SEO Algorithm Update comes on the tail of its “helpful content update.” These renovations represent Google’s ongoing mission to make its search engine find actual helpful articles, as opposed to robotic, repetitious, key-word heavy “content” that gets real people to click and then frustrates them by going nowhere.
Long story short—and I say it all the time—you’ve got to stop trying to trick people into thinking your website is doing its job. Instead, just make a good website with good content. God. It shouldn’t be that hard.
Bad news for bots and outsourcers; good news for Deckard & Company, High Country Digital Marketing, and any other small online marketing companies that actually put the work in to make your online content the best it can be!
How does SEO work?
Basically speaking, when you type something into your search engine—in many cases, Google—the search engine returns a list of websites containing the stuff it thinks you’re looking for.
So that means a search engine has to be able to scan the content of, essentially, every website out there, categorize it, and then show it to people who search for things in those categories.
Even harder, it has to rank those websites according to which ones most match your search—which ones are most likely to contain the information you’re looking for.
SEO is stuff you put on a website that basically says to a search engine, “Hey! This website matters! It contains information related to these particular topics, and people will want to visit this website in order to see this information!”
So SEO has to include words related to the information you cover, as well as words related to your geographical location, industry, etc. (“keywords”). That information also has to be labeled clearly, and in ways that don’t mislead the reader (which is why headers and subcategories matter). And watch out for duplicated copy; that’s a no-no too. It also helps when your copy is broken up into manageable paragraphs, and includes related photographs.
SEO also means that your website has to load and run quickly, on a variety of device. Because google doesn’t want to send you to a site that technically has good information, but you never get to see it because it loads so slowly.
(Also: The more people who visit a website and spend time there, the more legit Google thinks it is. They don’t want to send you to a ghost town or a flyover site.)
Why does Google matter so much?
Google has long led the way as a search engine that returns pertinent results. That’s why it’s so popular. It’s the easiest place to go to find what you’re looking for. Simple as that.
To think about it a little more, Google trains its search engines to be able to discern complicated qualities in websites. It wants its search engines to act like humans—albeit, humans who can process a gazillion things at once—because humans are their target audience.
Imagine the alternative: You type “Bradenton web designer” into the search bar and it returns a list of architects in Sri Lanka. Not helpful!
So Google is forever making these updates to its computers and their algorithms so that they can better serve the humans who use them.
And with these latest updates, Google is specifically taking aim at the people who are more concerned with tricking their search engines than pleasing their website visitors.
What are Google’s latest updates looking for in SEO?
More than ever, Google’s latest updates have trained their search engines to look for one standout quality: Content written by real people, for real people.
Sites will see a drop in their rankings if they’re using optimization tricks, awkward keyword stuffing, or other clickbait—excuse my language—crap.
Sites will gain in the rankings if they offer in-depth topical coverage and website focus. (Writing about a slew of random topics will get you dinged.)
These updated 2022 Google algorithms can even gauge the quality of your website’s writing, especially in comparison to other sites covering similar topics.
I don’t know what you’re seeing, but I’m pretty sure I’m seeing the need for a professional website copywriter right about now. Good thing my company has one.
Your Website and the Google September 2022 Core Updates
Making and maintaining a valid, usable, competitive small-business website is full-time work—for a lot of reasons.
You need a professional web management company now more than ever.