Search engine rankings can make or break a business. And to top it off, search algorithms are ever-changing, making it more challenging for businesses to get and stay ahead of online competitors. Maintaining optimal search rankings, however, requires expertise and experience, something only search engine optimisation or SEO content services can provide. Yet, many businesses still choose to grapple with this challenge on their own, despite in-house limitations.
As search algorithms evolve, so should your SEO strategy, that is if you want your brand to take the lead and grab one of those coveted top positions in search rankings. And if you’re not sure why this is so important, the top three Google search results monopolise organic engagement, getting 54.4% of all clicks! (Backlinko)
In this article, we’ll explore a strategic approach to maintaining a competitive edge through the intricacies of search engine dynamics. We’ll also examine the benefits of SEO outsourcing, providing essential tips on unlocking the potential for sustained online growth.
Understanding Search Algorithms
From keywords to user experience, there are various key factors behind effective SEO. The challenge, however, lies in the constant flux of algorithms. Major players like Google and Bing dictate the rules of search results, which are constantly changed or updated. This makes having a basic understanding of search engine algorithms crucial for website ranking success.
So What Are Algorithms Anyway?
An algorithm is a sophisticated set of systems designed to extract information from its search index and provide optimal results for a given query. Utilising a blend of algorithms and various ranking criteria, the search engine ensures webpages, ordered by relevance, are provided on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Search Engines like Google roll out thousands of algorithm updates annually. The impact of these updates can be minor, but from time to time, core updates can drastically affect search rankings. Bouncing back from algorithm updates can be difficult and take time, but all is not lost. This is where certain SEO tactics can be implemented, like utilising SEO content services to update existing web content.
But before we dive into how SEO and content outsourcing can help pivot after being hit by an update, let’s take a brief look at the most notable updates over the past few years.
Google Panda Update
In 2011, Google introduced the Panda update, a significant algorithmic improvement affecting nearly 12% of queries. Panda’s focus on content quality and uniqueness paved the way for subsequent updates, setting a precedent for the SEO community.
It wasn’t long before the E-A-T principles (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) became the lodestar for marketers, emphasising the importance of credibility and substance in content.
The Penguin update, first known as the “webspam algorithm update,” of 2012 marked a strategic response to manipulative link-building and link spam, integrating penalties into Google’s core algorithm.
The following year, the Hummingbird update brought a total rewrite of the algorithm, enabling Google to understand conversational search queries better. This subtle yet transformative change affected a staggering 90% of searches, underlining the importance of user intent in search results.
In 2015, Mobilegeddon mandated mobile-friendliness, a cultural shift that aligned with the rise of smartphones. This update wasn’t a cataclysm but a necessary evolution toward a better user experience. Its update in 2016 reinforced the importance of mobile-friendly pages, setting a tone for the industry’s future.
The Quality Update & RankBrain
The Quality Update in 2015 aimed to demote low-quality content, emphasising Google’s commitment to providing trustworthy and authoritative results. Around the same time, RankBrain, a machine learning system, emerged as a pre-screening mechanism, revolutionising search by understanding user intent beyond keywords.
The Helpful Content Update
The Helpful Content Update, introduced in 2022 and later reinforced in 2023, further shifted the focus toward user-centric content. This update prioritises content that adds unique value, replacing some of the E-A-T guidance with actionable advice on creating helpful content.
Amid these updates, Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines evolved with the introduction of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). This multi-dimensional approach highlights the importance of user experience alongside established E-A-T principles.
Other notable algorithm updates include:
- Big Daddy
- Freshness Algorithm
- Page Layout Algorithm
- Venice Update
- EMD (Exact Match Domain)
The Challenge of Keeping Up With SEO Algorithms
Keeping up with the rapid evolution of SEO demands more than just a basic understanding. It requires a continuous grasp of evolving trends, algorithmic intricacies, and SEO best practices.
Limited resources and expertise, however, often form the crux of in-house SEO struggles. With in-house teams often wearing multiple hats, staying ahead becomes an immense task. Moreover, seeing SEO results can often take six to 12 months to reflect. These are just some of the reasons so many organisations tend to put SEO on the back burner.
What many businesses don’t realise, though, is that the consequences of falling behind in SEO efforts extend far beyond the confines of the marketing department.
The Effect of Neglecting SEO
As search engines prioritise fresh, relevant content and user-centric experiences, stagnant SEO strategies can diminish online presence.
A decline in organic traffic, the lifeblood of online visibility, can significantly affect lead generation, especially since more than half of all website traffic comes from organic searches. (Bright Edge) This, in turn, inflicts a tangible blow on revenue streams.
The challenge, therefore, is not just in mastering the nuances of SEO, but in sustaining a dynamic strategy that can weather constant change.
Maintaining Your Rank: Future-Proofing Your SEO Strategy Through Content Outsourcing
In an age where visibility is synonymous with success, businesses unable to keep pace risk not only fading into the digital background but also witnessing a decline in their bottom line.
Keeping up with algorithm updates requires a keen eye on what’s trending. So, to help you boost your marketing efforts, here are the three top rising SEO trends to consider incorporating in your SEO outsourcing strategy:
- Voice search and mobile optimisation
- Content quality and relevance
- Integration of AI and machine learning into SEO strategies
The Rise of Mobile Voice Search
The importance of mobile optimisation cannot be overstated, as smartphones become the primary vessels for digital exploration. According to Backlinko, 65% of consumers between the ages of 25 and 49 use voice search daily, with almost half of internet users utilising voice search to research products.
So, as more users shift toward voice-activated searches, businesses need to tailor content to match the conversational nature of mobile search queries.
The Rise of Google’s E-E-A-T Algorithm
Simultaneously, the importance of content quality and relevance continues to surge. The E-E-A-T algorithm (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is the discerning judge of online content. Content creators must embody expertise and experience in their field, establish authoritativeness through credible sources, and cultivate trustworthiness in every digital interaction.
As search engines increasingly prioritise valuable, user-centric content, it’s imperative that businesses create material that not only caters to search algorithms but resonates with their audience. But, if you find your in-house resources are already stretched thin, SEO content writing services may be the way to go.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Lastly, integrating AI and machine learning into SEO is a paradigm shift changing how we create and consume digital information. Search engines are becoming smarter, understanding user intent with greater precision. Businesses that leverage AI-driven insights and tools for content optimisation will have a strategic advantage in delivering what users seek.
For example, keyword and ranking data derived from SEO industry leaders like Ahrefs and SEMrush can significantly boost your SEO web content, producing more efficient results.
Future-proofing your SEO strategy involves not only adapting to trends but embracing them. One way to do this is through content outsourcing.
SEO Outsourcing Solutions to Algorithmic Shifts
Adapting to SEO algorithmic changes is both a strategic imperative and a survival skill. The path to recovery from algorithmic hits involves a multifaceted approach, including enhancing content quality, ensuring mobile-friendliness, and aligning strategies with evolving user expectations.
Each update is an opportunity to refine strategies, embrace innovation, prioritise user satisfaction, and solidify your presence in the ever-competitive online space.
So, as we continue hurtling through the digital age, one thing remains certain – the only constant is change. And the savvy marketer is the one who pivots and adapts to these algorithm updates rather than resists change.
So, if your in-house resources and SEO know-how are limited, book a demo to discover how blackbear’s SEO content writing services can help you ride the next algorithm wave to digital success!