Get Found on Google Search in 2020!
We hope you enjoy this guide. We believe it will help you understand how a website gets found in Google search in 2020. We have put together some facts, our opinions, as well as some views from Google and other SEO’s. We love working in SEO, and we hope you get a sense of that by reading on. We are always excited to understand how Google works, and we try, sometimes in vain, to keep up with the various updates, trends, and challenges that could impact a website negatively.
Beyond this, Google will continue to modify, adapt, and elevate the performance of their algorithm. Their goal is always to provide the best, most useful search results for their customers. That’s right; I said “their customers” because, well, they are not your customers yet. Google will determine if your keyword-based content and web pages meet the needs of their customers. If their algorithm determines your web page and content is worthy, then you will find that keywords and pages on your website will rank. But keep in mind that what works today may not work tomorrow. Google will regularly update the search algorithm to finetune the search results. Because of this, SEOs must monitor content across our client’s websites, especially with sites we inherit from other SEO’s.
How We Think Regarding the Quality of a Website’s Content
One of the things we must do is to create articles with content based on expertise, research, and real-world observation. To do this, we must also be able to analyze a page for SEO success. For starters, we use Yoast SEO and MOZ Pro to evaluate web pages and content. I know some will prefer SEMRush, SEOAbility, or others over MOZ, but we use MOZ Pro for most of our clients, and we are relatively happy with the service.
So how do we get started? For Yoast, we make sure we have the SEO title, Meta-Description, and keyword and let it give us the analysis. For MOZ, we start by entering new clients into MOZ as a campaign. After you set everything up correctly, MOZ will crawl the whole website for issues and errors. You can also enter keywords for MOZ to track, which is incredibly useful for client tracking and reporting of SEO keyword targeting activities. However, we are not here to discuss MOZ set up steps; we are here to talk about how to get found on Google. Therefore, we’ll keep this conversation about how we use MOZ at a high level, so we do not get too far into the weeds.
Evaluating Keywords and Pages to Get Found on Google Search
When we review an existing page or new content that we want to get found on Google search, we start by assessing it by using Yoast and then MOZ’s page scoring. By doing this, we get a broad perspective of technical and contextual SEO success, as well as potential issues. However, we want to be clear on this. You should remember never to get so hyper-focused that you end up chasing the “green” light from Yoast SEO or MOZ’s 100% score. We are all competitive people. Unfortunately, that can lead to bad behavior. I know we can’t win, right? However, some of us can’t resist getting a perfect score, even if it is not the right thing to do for SEO. What I am saying is, don’t sacrifice content quality to elevate the Yoast or MOZ score. I think a lot of people get hung up here, so let’s discuss it for a minute. In my opinion, you should not be concerned about getting a perfect score, and here is an example as to why. We will sometimes find that to get a story thoroughly explained, we have to create more extensive articles, some with several thousand words. Moz will show that you can have 20 or so keywords, even if you have a 5ooo word article, you still only get around 20 words. I think it is obvious to believe that larger pieces should be able to use the keyword more naturally. I believe this is a general flaw in the way they try to mimic the algorithm, in my opinion. Yoast will give you an error that says you did not use the keyword in the first paragraph, which is frustrating, and often caused by code that exists from formatting in WYSIWYG editors. Unfortunately, Yoast includes this code when it runs its SEO evaluation.
Pro Tip: keep in mind that you are chasing MOZ and Yoast’s perceived modeling of how Google’s algorithm will view your web page. So, to be clear, Moz and Yoast will not tell you how Google sees your page, just how they think Google will examine and evaluate your page. The bottom line is that you should make your own decisions, and the more you do it, the better you’ll become at it. We suggest that you use these services as indicators because Yoast nor MOZ can duplicate what Google does through their very complex algorithms. You should also keep your expectations of these tools realistic. Having all green lights, with no SEO errors in Yoast, or a 100% score in MOZ, will not in any way mean any page will be ranked or found on Google search.
Beyond this, here is what we look at:
Keyword Focus and Page Quality
You cannot split these two things up, in our opinion. Both quality and keyword targeting are hand in hand and vital to SEO success. When we create content, we always base it on a topic, but we also like to know the target keyword upfront. This way, while we are writing about the subject, we can use the keyword most naturally, meaning the topic is understandable for pages and content, and writing includes the keyword strategically while using the keyword using natural sentence structure.
Steps for Evaluating an Existing Page
When we review existing website content, especially content, we did not create. We’ll first evaluate the effectiveness of the page content along with the keyword it is focused around. If the page, content, and keyword combination are already ranked well and found on Google search, then the next thing we evaluate is search volume. If the keyword is ranking well, and there is reasonable search volume, we will likely leave the page as is, unless we think we can improve on it. If not, we will put the page into a Content and SEO strategy review, which we call a CSR. Please note that CSR is not an industry term; it is just our term.
If, after we do the review, we can see that a page is not getting found in search, we look at retooling the content to increase its quality. When we look at content quality, we are looking for relativeness of the information on the page, its context, and the page content.
The Biggest Things to Focus On
The page should have useful and meaningful content. If it reads like a collection of keywords, readers will pick it up as garbage, and you are never going to get found on Google. You should include useful graphics, infographics, videos, highlights, and images, especially if they will help convey the message.
Evaluate Readability and Reader Delight Helps to Get Found On Google Search
Readability is a term often tied to reading scores. We don’t use Yoast readability scores that force you to write content to get a reading score of 80 or whatever number some “Expert” says. We look at it more practically and simply. We think an excellent way to evaluate readability is to read an article out loud. This practice is simple, and it gives you unique insights into how people will perceive or enjoy your writing.
You should also remember that if you are the content creator, you can miss errors and issues because you are impartial. Therefore, it can sometimes be a good idea to get someone else to read it to you out loud. By doing this, you’ll quickly be able to discern how your writing sounds in someone else’s head. If you have no one else willing to read an article for you, just record yourself reading it. Sometimes listening to a recording can help you fix composition issues.
Effectiveness of SEO to Get Found On Google Search Results
As we said earlier, if a page or keyword is getting found, and is getting traffic, we’ll probably leave it alone. When that’s not true, we go into full CSR evaluation mode. Our review approach will typically go back to our overall SEO strategy for the client. We map every website page to its primary keyword or key phrase and keep them in a spreadsheet. By doing this, we can quickly go back and see every page and keyword combination, so we do not duplicate our efforts or target a keyword more than once.
Understanding our overall strategy – Quality, Content, Topics, and Keywords
We start with keyword research using Google Keyword Planner and Google SERP results. Based on our research efforts and strategy, we will set up and maintain a list of keywords we plan to target at some point. By using this practice, we can stay on point with the strategy during content review and creation. It also provides a list of researched keywords in our plan that we can use when we choose to retool existing content. Keep in mind; you don’t always have to create new content; you can also retool old content to target suitable keywords. Read this article to learn How Long a Blog Post Should Be.
Content Quality is Key to Get Found on Google Search!
Your content should be mostly original information, reporting, research, tips, and or analysis. It should always provide a complete, comprehensive description of the topic, including insightful analysis or information that is beyond obvious. Avoid copying or rewriting source articles. Instead, you should always provide substantial additional value and originality versus any existing material from other websites.
The headline/title should provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content and should not be exaggerated or shocking. Create content that you would want to bookmark, share, or recommend because you ultimately want your content to referenced (linked) by other professional sources such as magazines, Wikipedia, or other professional reference sites.
Always present dependable content and information that makes you want to trust it.
- Use outbound links to an author page or a site’s About page to identify sourcing of information, evidence of expertise by linking to the author’s professional background (or that of the sites publisher). According to Google, they may confirm links and their importance, so they recommend linking to an author page or a site’s About page. What I would ask Google is, what about the actual source page for the information or research?
The content should convey the impression that it is trusted or at least recognized as an authority on a given topic.
SEO Content writers need to leverage research or reach out to a subject matter expert or reliable enthusiast who knows the topic and can help create the content when possible. Content should always be free of easily verified, factual errors.
Expertise and What Google Calls EAT.
No, we are not talking about a snack. We are talking about Google’s process to determine the expertise level of a website’s author. Enter the Google Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT) program. This program helps determine a website’s value as a professional reference. According to this latest guidance, Google says, “quality raters evaluate EAT when determining how well different sites and pages provide the information they are seeking. Googles EAT raters want to know that someone searching on Google would have a reasonable experience on your website and that their question or need was satisfied. If a rater believes this to be true, that site will earn a high level of EAT.”
Understanding E.A.T. Will Help You Get Found On Google Search
Understanding the purpose of a page is where Google starts. Websites or web pages without substance or offering any real benefit to a searcher is going to rank very low. Pages deemed to spread hate, harm, or may otherwise deceive or misinform users will get the lowest rating. EAT content profoundly impacts websites that focus on topics relevant to your money, or your life should always be trustable, especially for issues relating to your money or your life.
When the issue relates to your money or your life, the raters will look more heavily at the trustworthiness of the website creator. We aren’t talking about the web developer or designer; we are talking about the company owner or the primary contributor of expertise. They evaluate this by looking at the creator, the content on the website, as well as the website itself. Always remember that every category of every topic will have some websites that scored high for EAT. Even web sites focused on humor, forums, Q&A, fashion, and even quilt making are all going to have high EAT representation.
- Medical advice should come from people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise and accreditation, such as an MD, dentist, chiropractor, surgeon, and so on.
- News sources will have high EAT when they come from sources with journalistic integrity and professionalism. Being factually accurate and having content presented truthfully helps the reader have a better idea of different events or discoveries. News sources typically have sound editorial policies and a robust review process.
- Scientific topics need to be from people or organizations with appropriate scientific expertise. The information should also be tied directly to well known scientific peer-reviewed consensus.
- Financial, legal, and tax advice should also come from trustworthy, knowledgable sources that maintain and update their content regularly.
- Advice sites that advise on various topics, such as home buying or parenting, should come from an expert and from experienced sources users know they can trust.
- Hobbies like golf, photography, or learning how to play the guitar, also require expertise.
Our Interpretation of How EAT Works Within Google
Our interpretation is that there is a team of reviewers who analyze search terms related to EAT. However, they don’t rank or penalize your website or webpage. Their job is to provide feedback to update the algorithm to provide better search results. One of our old clients (we used to work with, but their budget was too small for us) sent this from their current SEO and asked for our thoughts on it. “One of the most significant changes Google has implemented are human auditors. Every website online will be reviewed by an auditor and rated /scored from low to high based on a rigorous set of guidelines. Google is looking to weed out a large number of websites that are published by your everyday person claiming to be a guru. I feel this is ultimately a good change but certainly an adjustment.”
The SEO provided them a fundamentally inaccurate synopsis, in our opinion. First off, when they say Google will review every website, we know this is complete nonsense. There are 1.7 billion websites on Google, so we are pretty sure every website online will not be reviewed by a person. Second, Google is not trying to weed out everyday people who are posing as a guru, and fundamentally, Google does not work this way. Google is always trying to provide search results that are the most relevant. Some less authoritative websites may see their search results decrease if the way they create content or prove their expertise gets caught up in an algorithm change resulting from Google reviewing different professional service search terms. EAT’s primary focus is on services or products that deal with your money or your life. So, a bank would need to prove a high level of EAT. However, someone who is selling crafts is not affected quite as much or maybe even at all.
EAT General Content Requirements
- Content should have no spelling or stylistic issues.
- The content should be well-produced and not sloppy or hastily constructed.
- Google strongly recommends that the content be original, and they have recently said this, “content should not be mass-produced, or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites. Because of this, some individual pages or sites may not get a proper level of attention or care.”
- Avoid excess or intrusive ads that distract from or interfere with the main content.
- The content should display correctly and especially useable on mobile devices.
- Content should always provide substantial value in comparison to other pages that get found on Google search results. By serving the genuine interest of visitors to the web site, you have a better shot at ranking in search results. The truth is, poor-quality content gets ignored; only the best content will rank.
Google Updates – How Does Google Announce Updates?
Google announces updates that SEOs need to be aware of through the Google Search Liaison Twitter account. Google has used this account to communicate algorithm updates for several years now. To support this, Google recently announced a “broad core algorithm update.” The notice said that it was going to be released that day.
Google has a transparency policy regarding communicating algorithm updates and recently started giving early pre-release announcements for Core Updates. They are trying to remove the wild conspiracy theories and speculation in the SEO community when Google releases an update. There is usually a lot of feedback from rank tracking blogs and services. Within days, we all start hearing about the wins of new traffic or the horror stories of a drop in search rank and traffic. Google does not always let us know if they are releasing an update, and they have had to confirm updates after they received feedback.
Google said this about communicating with SEO experts regarding updates to Google algorithms.
“Some have asked if we had an update to Google Search last week. We did, actually, several upgrades, just as we have several updates in any given week regularly in this thread, a reminder of when and why we provide specific guidance about particular updates. Sometimes, one specific update might be broadly noticeable. We share about those when we feel there is actionable guidance for content owners. For example, when our Speed Update happened, we gave months of advanced notice and advice. Broad core updates are often broadly noticeable. That’s why we have shared about them since last year and even preannounce them, plus provide the actionable guidance that there’s usually nothing to “fix” and emphasize instead having great content. Again, we have updates that happen all the time in Google Search. If we don’t share about them, there is no particular actionable guidance to follow nor changes to make other than to keep focused on great content as we’ve advised generally.”
Conclusion on Google Communication and How to Get Found On Google Search
As with any change, Google will always offer the same advice. They recommend assessing the quality of your content if your search results drop.