Get insights about how SERPs have changed recently & what Zero-Click-Searches is? Know more about how RankBrain architecture works & how it deals with the query you post & provides you with the most relevant content through Snippets, Images, Maps & Schema followed by SERPs.
You’ll even learn how to use it to generate traffic and convert potential leads.
Factors Affecting SERPs are changing & so is Page 1 in Google. Paid Ads, Maps, Featured Snippets & more such organic results are in the competition to draw the user’s attention.
With smart algorithms & exact answer to the query, we don’t even have to go through the results by clicking on them. This gave rise to a new version in the SERPs called the “zero-click searches”.
Let me explain it; Google displays the answer at the top of the SERPs, which satisfies the user’s query & he leaves the page without even clicking on any search result links. This is devastating for the content creators.
Data provided by Jumpshot observed in June that for the first time, the majority of Google searches (50.33%) ended without a click on an organic or paid search result.
Before we used to analyze & study the following to improve in the SERPs,
Search Engine Result Pages have various patterns of displaying results depending upon your queries. Starting from Paragraph Featured Snippet, List Featured Snippet, Table Featured Snippet & more. However, with an improvement in the search engine algorithm, there will be a decrease in organic clicks as mentioned above as “zero-click searches”.
So how is Google answering to the queries as exact & accurate as a human? Or sometimes even better than humans. Google tried to organize the world’s information using automation through RankBrain.
Google gladly announced in a report that RankBrain outsmarted humans by 87.5% more accurate results in guessing which pages could be right and relevant to the queries.
Google quoted,” RankBrain had an 80 percent success rate compared to the humans who guessed correctly only 70 percent of the time”. That is 13.5% less than RankBrain. So, now you know this shouldn’t be taken lightly.
In the era of Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, Google had to come up with RankBrain. It is a part of Google’s search algorithm - Hummingbird. This was published by Bloomberg and later confirmed by Google.
By now, you must be having many questions; starting from, what is Google Search Algorithm?
Google Search Algorithm as a whole has many parts, mainly Google Panda, Google Penguin, and Google Hummingbird.
This algorithm gives results in the form of PageRank (PR) which is used by Google to rank web pages in their search engine results. It was named after LarryPage, LarryPage is one of the founders of Google. PageRank is created to measure the importance and relevance of site pages. To evaluate how relevant is a website, PageRank counts the number & quality of links to the page.
Why such an algorithm is required for the Search Engine?
To achieve the tag of the best search engine & to provide its users with the best solution to their query, Google has to keep up with the trend and tactics adopted by the content generators aka webmasters.
They have to be vigilant against the black hat SEO and more of such nuances, Google has created various algorithms to keep a check on distinct parts of the website and its content just to provide the users with the best results.
Google Webmasters Observed Content Creators getting involved in Black Hat SEO:
Providing best results was the primary reason for Google, but it eventually got more concerned about the Black Hat SEO being performed by Content Creators. Content Creators in the race on appearing in the SERPs & in the top 3 results got involved in illegal tactics. Some of these are keyword stuffing, cloaking & using a private link network.
Obviously, the machine may beat a human in performance but not a strategy. Ultimately, users looking for solutions were unsatisfied with the results that appeared. Hence, Google Search Algorithm was introduced to understand the content. Webmasters at Google kept updating & punishing the websites involved in illegal tactics to get rid of irrelevant content.
Not even the most reputed FORBES could keep itself from trying hands-on Black-hat SEO:
According to a Case Study:
A link violation notice was sent to Forbes & a person appearing to be from Forbes ended up posting on Google Webmaster Central Forum asking for help regarding the issued notice. Google had traced some unnatural links in their content on their site & asked Forbes to remove them.
Google’s Matt Cutts replied in the thread itself that he had mentioned multiple times that paid links isn’t a good practice to maintain or achieve PageRank. Cutts’s solution to this issue was to remove the paid links to reverse the penalty. Back in 2011, TechCrunch announced that Forbes started removing paid links after receiving the penalty.
Hummingbird algorithm got its name from the bird itself, for being quick and accurate. So, similar to the characteristics of the bird, RankBrain generates finer and faster results.
Coming back to RankBrain, It is built on machine learning. So it no longer scans the similar keywords and presents results rather it tweaks and improvise on results.
Read further to know what is RankBrain? How does RankBrain work? And use it to enhance your quality of content not just for Google but for your readers as well.
Following are the aspects to consider if you wish to improve your impressions & CTR in the SERPs:
There is a saying, “Content is the KING”. There are certain technical points to consider in order to be the best content creator and win the SERPs. The best part is that Google isn’t biased. Moreover, it is more inclined towards providing an optimum solution to the users searching a query rather than giving any weight-age to who is uploading the content. For more information and strategies to optimize for RankBrain, check out Growmeo.
Below I have discussed RankBrain concepts to consider that will help you to gain more traction & improve your site’s image in terms of content.
1. Word2vec- Possibly plays a vital role in RankBrain Algorithm
The Google spokesperson has mentioned that RankBrain is related to word2vec in that it uses ’embeddings’ — looking at phrases in high-dimensional space to learn how they’re related to one another.
This model actually turns keywords into concepts by tweaking the actual algorithm to provide the user with the best results.
For example: Try searching for “Best Superfoods” and you will get the result of a list-feature snippet instead of a list of results to search & decide from.
Before the introduction of RankBrain, instead of giving you the result directly, it would have searched for all the sites matching with the content having the keywords exactly as you had typed.
What to learn & implement:
As RankBrain is powered by AI & has its own intelligence now, it understands your query better than a human with the huge database & smart algorithm. It can compare similar keywords.
In other words, rather than just targeting some specific keywords to appear in the SERPs isn’t enough. As a matter of priority, you have to keep the relevant content above anything and everything.
Points to consider:
Create the best solution for queries regarding your niche.
Don’t dwell on technical points but first, get your basics all in line.
2. Click-Through Rate (CTR): Role of Title and Description:
Here in terms of leveraging the rank considering the quality of content, organic CTR plays a vital role. However, using GoogleAds also improves CTR but that is more concerned with generating traffic & leads. So how to win at Organic CTR? Read Further:
What to learn & implement:
Work on a TITLE that entices your readers to click on it:
Add emotion: Use words like ‘Your, You, & We’ so they feel connected from the first look at your site’s content as if it is written for them to read.
Add Figures & Stats: For example, as “78% People Believed….” or “Top 4 Tools for Enhancing Customer Experience”. It has a psychological effect, as people get an idea from the figure in the title mentioned; as how many points they’ll have to read.
Avoid title tag truncation: After 50-60 characters, Google starts clipping title tags so try to keep your title simple & apt. Take the help of SERPSim if needed.
Factors to consider for DESCRIPTION:
Add emotion: Better if you put up custom content using an HTML meta description tag or it will be a paragraph taken from your content on the page. Use words that make them feel connected as mentioned in the title section above.
Make it interesting, if possible. People like to read something that makes them think & makes them happy. Any content, when put up using funny examples, is interesting to read & people share whatever they find amusing. Your way to reach a higher audience is to connect with them.
According to Brian Dean, a smart way to top the organic results is to Analyze the content of Paid Ads and copy phrases & keywords from it.
There will always be some brands in the same industry as you are and with a good budget, they take over the organic results using GoogleAds.
3) Bounce Rate & POGO Sticking:
Bounce Rate: The user leaving just after opening your first page and not digging in for more information. Clearly shows your page lacks relevant content.
POGO Sticking: Let’s say you searched a query & there you got numerous results, the first three links in search results, out of which you opened the first two and bounced back and then spent a good amount of time on third. This back-n-forth actions on websites by you is referred to as POGO sticking. This scenario ultimately promotes the third page and demotes others because obviously if people are spending more time they are finding it more relevant to read.
What to learn & implement:
Both bounce rate & POGO Sticking are related to lack of a solution against what the user is searching for.
Points to consider:
Start it with powerful words & make it interesting
The introduction should be apt & brief about what you are discussing.
Use infographics or images
Use examples to keep the user from bouncing back.
4. Dwell Time Improvement - The time spent on your page:
The overview should be apt & clear, convey what exactly are you offering. It shouldn’t be vague & stretching much. Make it clear and upfront, finish it as soon as possible and come to the content and kick-off.
Later publish long & In-depth content covering all queries related to the same topic and finally conclude. It is all about offering more than the user/consumer is looking for, which puts you a notch up in the competition. A user looking for “What is SEO?” might even get to learn, Why to use SEO & How to implement SEO as well.
Content should be broken into chunks. Improves readability & they end up spending enough time to improve the dwell time i.e. the time spent by the user on your page. This plays a vital role in improving your rank in the SERPs.
What to learn & implement:
Dwell time can be improved only if you are providing the user relevant solution to his queries.
Using synonyms rather than targeting specific keywords helps work better with RankBrain. For example, user experience, customer experience, consumer experience all convey the same meaning.
Use keywords that mean the same and it will help you appear & rank in the SERPs for more keywords.
6. Strategies that you can implement to make an impact on the SERPs & create Brand Awareness:
Social Network: For brand awareness use Facebook Ads. Social Network plays an important role in connecting with users as everyone is connected through it. They might not come directly to your site but using the social network to bring them to your site is a smart strategy. Share your content on every channel you have an account on & having a decent audience is a cherry on the cake.
Data collection: This part comes after you have prepared case studies and you wish to collect data(emails). Offer free e-Books and collected emails in return.
Content Blitz: According to Brian Dean, it helped him in getting more subscribers & traffic just sprung up on his website. Ultimately, his articles rocked to spot one. It refers to the releasing and publishing of a lot of content in a short period of time. It proves to be powerful in comparison to gradually releasing the content in chunks throughout the year.
You can begin with the above-mentioned strategies. Google Algorithms isn’t easy to understand. Moreover, they keep updating and improving, so even if you adopt some black hat SEO techniques, it won’t help you in the long run. Nothing compares to the gravity of having relevant content. There are many more aspects that matter. Stay tuned for more.
Hope this helps. And would love to hear from you if you wish to add something to this.
Jay Purohit wins at comprehending tough concepts & putting them like butter on the bread for you to relish. Loves to explore. He is a Digital Marketing Professional at Acquire with a keen interest in reading, researching & sharing insights about trends with you in the field of Search Engine Optimization & Customer Experience.
Apart from trying to perform the above-mentioned tasks well,
A good span of time; in Sports, Travelling, & Photography he dwells.