Stay up-to-date on the latest topics in search engine optimization (SEO).

October 2021 Google Quality Rater Guidelines Update

The Google Quality Rater Guidelines: October 2021 Updates You Need to Know

Learn how the latest Google Quality Rater Guidelines impact your website

The Google Quality Rater Guidelines were updated in October 2021. This matters to you because these guidelines give you insight into which websites Google prefers to rank.

Google employs search quality raters who use these guidelines to review and evaluate website content for relevance, trustworthiness, and expertise.

You need to know the information and factors these human search quality raters use when looking at your website, content, reviews, and links to determine if this content provides relevant search results.

Google says this about its Quality Rater Guidelines:

These guidelines are more than 160 pages long, but if we have to boil it down to just a phrase, we like to say that Search is designed to return relevant results from the most reliable sources available.

We want you to pay attention to the bolded content in the sentence above – relevant results from the most reliable sources available.

This is exactly why you need to pay attention to and understand the latest updates to the Google Quality Rater Guidelines.

Keep reading to learn:

We get it – the Google Quality Rater Guidelines document is not an easy read. It’s long and detailed. It’s a good idea to have the link to this document available when you’re discussing website changes, content updates, and SEO with your colleagues (and us). But it’s not your job to know these guidelines inside and out – this is our job and what we do for you.

So, read this blog, but don’t sweat the details. We just want you to understand the reasons why we make the suggestions we do about your content, website design, links, and SEO.

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What You Need to Know About Google MUM

Search intent and a focus on readers is what Google MUM wants

Google Search has made updates to the Google MUM algorithm. These updates place a heightened priority on search intent, focusing on reader needs, content quality and formats, and SEO.

In this blog we give you an overview of what Google MUM is and then dive into what’s new with Google MUM and how it impacts you and your readers.

These quotes from the Google MUM announcement, underscore what the company is trying to do for people who search:

“We are bringing the latest in AI to Google’s products, giving people new ways to search and explore information in more natural and intuitive ways.

In the coming months, we’ll introduce a new way to search visually, with the ability to ask questions about what you see.

By combining images and text into a single query, we’re making it easier to search visually and express your questions in more natural ways.”

At its core, Google MUM is about making it easier for you to receive the information you want. AI means Google Search is trying to help you by suggesting related information and asking the deeper and related questions for you.

And this is exactly why you need to give your readers content that addresses their search intent. Think beyond the basic question and provide the supporting and complementary content that provides the full picture.

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What is Search Intent? Your Complete Guide to Search Intent

Learn the facts on search intent, SEO, and your search engine results

Search intent is the problem, question, or query a person wants solved. This drives the terms they enter in a search engine.

Knowing search intent or user intent is essential to optimizing your content for your users. When you know what your users are looking for, you can create content that resonates and helps them. 

Ultimately, Google’s goal is to provide your searchers with the best content that answers their questions. And you want this to be your content that Google displays at the top of the search engine results.

And this is why search intent is critical to optimizing your content for SEO and your audience. What search intent tells you is that not all keyword terms and phrases are equal.

For example, how a searcher uses the word cat in a search query determines the intent or problem and how you should be optimizing for this keyword.

If you operate a veterinarian clinic specializing in cats, you want content that meets search queries like “how do I know if my cat is sick?”, “how often should my cat be vaccinated?”, or “common cat healthy issues”. But if you sell cat toys, you want content optimized around these search queries, “why do cats like catnip?”, “best cat toys for senior cats”, or “where to buy cat toys”.

Ultimately, Google cares about search intent. If Google cares – we care – and you need to care as well.

Keep reading to learn:

  • More about why search intent is important
  • About the 4 different types of search intent
  • How to determine search intent
  • 4 search intent optimization steps

At the end of this blog, we’ve created a short 4-step search intent checklist for you. Use this whenever you’re researching keywords, writing or refreshing new content, or doing an audit of your content.

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How to Optimize for Google Featured Snippets

How to Optimize for Google Featured Snippets

Creating content optimized for Google’s featured snippets requires you to follow the basics of on-page SEO with a strategy twist.

You need to do more than standard keyword and searcher intent research. You need to do more than write clear and concise content.

To optimize for featured snippets, you need to research who is ranking for the featured snippet spots you want. To optimize for featured snippets, you need to write content that answers questions and queries.

Optimizing for featured snippets is one of the best SEO and Google search strategies available. Think of how your eyes go to the top of the search engine results page (SERP). And when you add voice search to the mix, optimizing for featured snippets only make sense.

We know that there’s a lot to think and know about when it comes to SEO, Google, search engine rankings, and getting people to read your content. Above all else, we don’t want you to be overwhelmed.

Read this blog, learn about featured snippets and how they can help you. And then contact us with your questions. We get it – there’s a lot to take in. Our goal is to share with you what we know so you can understand why we suggest what we do.

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Website and Content Quality Checklists: Four Content Self-Assessment Checklists

Website and Content Quality Checklists: Four Content Self-Assessment Checklists

The key to creating a useful and well-ranking website is the content. Your content needs to be high-quality, informative, add value, and differentiate your website from your competitors.

But how do you know if your content is ticking all these boxes (and more)?

Google has put together some excellent questions to help you assess your content quality. We have tweaked Google’s list of questions to provide you with more information and a better understanding of what quality content is.

Use these checklists to self-assess your website and to start a conversation with your colleagues about what you want, expect, and need from your website.

If you can answer Yes to each of these questions, this is a strong indicator that your website and content provide high-quality, high-value, relevant, and informative content.

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