How does Google lead the SEO dance?

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For several years now, Google has been the most used search engine in the world: every second, more than 63,000 searches are launched by Internet users. In France, it accounts for more than 90% of the market share. (Very) they lag far behind Bing, Yahoo, and others. In other words, if you want to give your site a good visibility, it is necessary to follow the SEO rules of the Mountain View giant.

To rank web pages, Google uses not one algorithm, but several that are updated regularly. The location of your site depends entirely on these programs designed to improve the relevance of search results. The first link that appears on the results page has a click-through rate (or CTR, for CTR) – the ratio between the number of clicks on the link and the number of times it was viewed – about 31.7%. On the other hand, the CTR drops to 0.78% for a second page link. So good natural references are essential if you want to generate traffic on your site.

How do you improve your site? By applying basic SEO (search engine optimization) rules, so Google’s indexing bots can better interpret site content. For starters, it should be relevant and of high quality. Note that in 2021, the most popular sites are Larousse and Le Petit Robert dictionaries. And this is not without reason: the content of these sites is especially rich and satisfies a real need (here, look for definitions). These are the first criteria that must be met in order to “seduce” Google bots.

A battery of algorithms to scan your web pages

Content relevance has been critical since August 1, 2018, when Google launched a new version of its core update algorithm, dubbed “Medic”. Since this change, the “EAT” (Experience, Authority, and Trust) standards have become very important, particularly for sites in the health field and more broadly for “Your Money Your Life” (YMYL) type content – which relates to health, finance or security, and therefore can be They have a great influence on the internet user who consults them.

The Panda algorithm, in place since 2011, is responsible for evaluating the quality of a page based on its content, but also via the behavior of Internet users when encountering this page (especially if they quickly leave the page to return to the results page, which means that the content was not satisfactory). Another algorithm will prefer fresh content, another algorithm is responsible for deleting any page of results that contains a link to an illegal download, etc.

The Colibri algorithm, active since 2013, should also be taken into account: its goal is to provide the most relevant results for complex queries. Concretely, it uses synonymous analogy and semantic analysis to understand the hidden intent behind the query. In other words, it can interpret a keyword or series of keywords in a specific question. Thus, it is necessary to work on the semantics of your content by making sure that your keywords are enriched with “satellite” terms (so as to form key expressions, based on the “long tail” principle).

Also of note is the recent implementation of Passage Ranking, which provides the ability to index a specific section of a page rather than the page as a whole. This indexing option determines which paragraphs respond to specific queries. Well-researched titles, as well as secondary keywords, will make the most of this algorithm.

‘User-friendly’ and ‘Mobile First’ pages among the SEO trends of 2022

As you understand, good content on a well-organized page (title, sub-headings, paragraphs) – including correctly filled tags and relevant internal and external links – will allow you to put the possibilities on your side.

Keywords should be used in titles, especially at the beginning of the text. They should be chosen wisely, matching the requests made by Internet users during their search. Concretely, your site should provide answers to frequently asked questions about your content… and Google should know it! Note that while 300 words is the minimum content, the trend is for longer content: Pages with more than 2,000, or even 3,000 words, will rank better because they are more likely to meet Google’s EAT standards. associated with quality.

Note that form is just as important as substance. Responsive design is essential today: Mobile-first indexing evaluates pages from its mobile version – so non-compliant pages will be penalized for positioning. Page load speed is also an important criterion for a good reference (beware of the size and resolution of the images used!), as well as interactivity and visual stability – three parameters that Google brings together under the terms of Core Web Vitals.

Google recommends a loading time of less than 2.5 seconds. interaction, or First entry delay (FID), indicates the time it takes a user to interact with the page once it is fully viewed. According to Google, FID should be less than 100ms (which is very fast); Menus, buttons, links, search fields, or a form must “jump into the eyes of users”. Finally, the visual stability of a page refers to the stability of the various elements that make up it during its presentation. There’s nothing more annoying than clicking a button or a hypertext link, which turns into inserting an ad in the next second (Google bots don’t like that either).

Also, be careful not to abuse SEO techniques too much (via many artificial links pointing back to the site, for example): Penguin’s algorithm continues to monitor the grain and penalizes all “over-optimized” sites. Likewise, another algorithm is responsible for penalizing any redundant ads. Does this army of algorithms scare you? Don’t lose your heart though! If you follow the SEO rules literally, you will undoubtedly be rewarded. But it will take patience: It usually takes several months before you reap the benefits of natural references.

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