Ranking on Google Search

Master Google Search and take charge of your online destiny. (work in progress)

Google Mobile-First Indexing

Google's has shifted to mobile-first indexing, where it looks primarily at mobile content, rather than desktop, when deciding how to rank results. Google has stated it sees more mobile searches than desktop searches on a daily basis, as people increasingly use their smartphones to search for answers.

It's a Mobile First World

This change to mobile first reflects the fact that now the majority of users access Google Search using a mobile device.

Google's Web Crawler

Googlebot is the generic name for Google's web crawler. Googlebot is the general name for two different types of crawlers: a desktop crawler that simulates a user on desktop, and a mobile crawler that simulates a user on a mobile device.

The Googlebot

Google's main crawler is called Googlebot. It's actually two different types of crawlers: one for desktop crawler that simulates a user on desktop, and a mobile crawler that simulates a user on a mobile device. A web 'crawler' automatically discovers and scans websites by following links from one webpage to another.

The Smart Phone Bot

The Googlebot now primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent going forward and uses the mobile version of a websites content for indexing and ranking. Before now, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page's content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user's query.

From Google

Mobile-first indexing is about how we gather content, not about how content is ranked. Content gathered by mobile-first indexing has no ranking advantage over mobile content that’s not yet gathered this way or desktop content.

A Mobile First Optimised Website

A site with rich and unique content should be your focus. This helps a webpage rank higher in search results.

Create a mobile-friendly website

We must make sure both your both mobile and desktop site versions have the same content. But most importantly the mobile-friendly site is easy to view and use on a mobile device.

The site does not require users to pinch or zoom to read the content and is readable and immediately usable. A mobile friendly site means visitors can have a good experience on your site from their mobile device.

Make your site blazing fast

A site that loads in under 3 seconds, and has a fast to respond interfaces. 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Test you sites page speed and site speed using Googles page speed test tool.

Make your site engaging

Engaging - An engaging website experience is one that goes beyond functional. How do we do this? We strive to make the whole experience delightful - amusing, diverting, enjoyable, entertaining, fun, pleasurable.

Quality over quantity

Quality outweighs quantity with Google’s recent algorithm updates. So keep this in mind and produce better content that actual matters to people reading it.

Produce unique content

Making sure your site has rich and unique content should be your focus. This helps a webpage rank higher in search results. But also make sure both your both mobile and desktop site versions have the same content.
79% of people say they’re more likely to revisit and/or share a mobile site if it is easy to use.

The BERT Search Algorithm Update

Google’s latest BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) search algorithm better understands natural language. Google rolled out BERT on September 25th 2019.

One Giant Leap for Search

BERT is the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.

Building on Google Rank Brain

The BERT algorithm update builds upon RankBrain, Google’s first artificial intelligence method for understanding queries released in 2015. BERT it is now an additional method for understanding content and queries. When Google thinks a query can be better understood with the help of BERT, Google will use that in addition to RankBrain.

BERT better understands nuances

BERT understands the nuances and context of words in searches better and matches those queries with more relevant results.

BERT takes prepositions into account

Google is now taking prepositions like “for” or “to” into account to add more meaning to search queries. Google is always about better understanding the searcher’s query and matching it to more relevant results. Google says "Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you."

More relevancy to featured snippets results

The BERT update algorithm update also brings more relevancy to featured snippets results, those convenient, quick, and easy answers you get on the first search results page.
BERT is a neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training. The BERT technology enables anyone to train their own state-of-the-art question answering system.

BERT and your SEO Strategy

We can expect Bert to become more sophisticated over time and gain a better understanding of what people are really looking for. So we need a winning SEO strategy that will stand the test of time.

Write create great content

Focus on creating content that is fundamentally great, unique, useful, and compelling. To accomplish this create highly specific content around a topic, an be sure to answer a searcher’s question as quickly as possible. This equates to real value. And that's what it's all about.

Be specific

Ranking content on Google is in essence about answering the searches question better than your competitors. We don't need to create monster articles. We just need to make sure we are answering questions well. And if we can, better than anyone else.

Don't ignore long-tail phrases

Creating content around very specific long-tail phrases is a winning strategy. Particularly if you are just starting out. You don't have to produce super detailed 10,000-word articles. Just focus on answering very specific questions you can see people have and that you are able to answer better than anyone else.

Keep writing and optimising content for humans

Keep writing and optimising content for humans, just like we always do. Quality content and backlinks are still the name of the game. And there’s no sign of that changing. Focus on increasing the credibility of your content using accurate, detailed information, accomplished by author data and credible citations.

Keep link building

Keep increasing the number and quality of inbound links to your website, as this will contribute to increases in the sties search engine rankings.
Google says "by applying BERT models to both ranking and featured snippets in Search, we’re able to do a much better job helping you find useful information"

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