Category Archives: SEO

EAT and SEO: How to Create Content That Google Wants

This entry was posted in Content, Marketing, SEO on by .

E-A-T means Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness. It’s a significant portion of Google’s Quality Rater’s Guidelines, which give you a glimpse into the factors that the tech magnate uses to evaluate the content, the Search Engine Journal explains. Sites with low E-A-T pages need to improve the quality of the content they put out there if they have any hope of recovering from the massive drop in rankings and loss of subsequent traffic. By using E-A-T, websites undergoing penguin penalty recovery efforts can develop high-quality content, precisely the kind that Google wants.

What is E-A-T?

You already know what it stands for. However, let’s dig a little deeper. A better understanding of what E-A-T is about can help you in your quest to improve your content.

  • The author of the content should be an expert in the field or topic.
  • The author of the content should be an authority in the field.
  • The website posting the content should be trustworthy.

If your visitors see these three factors in play, then they know that they can trust your site, the Medium says. If you want your pages to recover from a Google penalty, then start paying attention to E-A-T as it involves your website pages. Improving efforts in these areas will also improve your chances of achieving SEO and content marketing success.

Why Does It Matter?

Google uses E-A-T to assess the quality of a page, or essentially, it’s value. Google has always said that providing a better user experience will get you a higher spot on the Search Engine Results Pages. Better E-A-T is a massive part of that. If you want to rank higher on the SERPs, you’ll need to improve the E-A-T of your content. With the latest Google update, E-A-T is now a significant aspect of your SEO campaigns and efforts.

How to Use E-A-T?

  • Optimize your content. Do that by showing you understand the needs of your audience thoroughly. More than traditional keyword research, you’ll need to focus on the user. What kind of queries do they have? What’s the intent behind them? Anticipate that information and optimize your content to provide your target market with what they need.
  • Improve quality. Continue to focus on building better content. Back up claims with supporting evidence. Make the content mobile-friendly to ensure easy consumer consumption and access. Provide real value by talking about topics that matter to your audience.
  • Show credentials. Your target market needs to know that s/he can trust the information on your site. Don’t be afraid to post your credentials, training, and experience. That will send trust signals to your readers. Google will also reward that by improving the rank of your pages.
  • Expand your authority. If you don’t have an influencer on staff, build the authority of your site and authors online. Get your staff’s name out there by using guest posting on leading sites. That will contribute to the outcome you want.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

The E-A-T of your content will affect your score, whatever industry or field you’re in. But there are simple ways through which to improve your content. If your current content is bad, hire pros to help you. Find an SEO marketing firm to get your content up to scratch.


What is E-A-T? (and Why It’s So Important for SEO)

This entry was posted in SEO on by .

In SEO, E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness. The term is first used in the 2014 edition of the Search Quality Guidelines. The guidelines are for evaluating the quality of webpages. E-A-T makes it easy for entrepreneurs and business owners, who are looking to put up their websites, to know what Google needs out of their sites. In the current version of the Quality Guidelines, E-A-T now appears 135 times in a 167-page report, the Business 2 Community notes. That’s just one indication of how important E-A-T has become in the SEO industry. Here’s why it matters and why it should be a significant factor in your SEO campaigns too.

Role in Updates

E-A-T plays a vital role in Google’s algorithm updates. Your Money Your Life (YMYL) sites have been drastically affected by E-A-T troubles. If your site doesn't fall under the YMYL category, you've got nothing to be afraid of. Still, it is essential to note that because e-commerce sites accept credit card information, they are considered YMYL pages. That said, E-A-T is not an algorithm, but Google’s algorithms have been updated to look for signs that determine whether they’re going over content with good or bad E-A-T. Bad E-A-T will potentially lead to a

Search for Credentials

The point of E-A-T for YMYL websites is that they require a certified expert to provide the content or work closely with people who have the proper credentials. However, outside of demanding YMYL content—which usually deals with medical, financial, shopping or legal information—expert content that complies with E-A-T standards are those that meet the needs of its audience and understand the intent behind the questions or queries they pose.

No Score and Not a Ranking Factor

Don’t worry, there is no E-A-T high score that your pages need to achieve. Google’s algorithm doesn’t assign an E-A-T score for sites. Don’t lose sleep thinking over ways to improve that score. E-A-T is also not a direct ranking factor. Google has 200 ranking factors, at the very least, which includes page speed, the use of keywords in title tags, and more. But E-A-T has an indirect impact on the rankings of your page, as the content needs to match E-A-T standards. In that way, it becomes a ranking factor.

Does Not Resolve SEO Issues

Simply addressing E-A-T problems isn’t going to make your site’s SEO performance any better. For the results to be successful, you need to update your SEO strategy. If your pages have taken a hit from the algorithm updates, E-A-T is just another area you need to check and consider. That means you shouldn’t focus all your attention on these areas. An overall upgrade will benefit your site’s SEO performance more than focusing on just a few problem areas. Think about addressing user experience issues and working on improving the architecture of your pages to reduce technical SEO troubles. To improve penguin penalty recovery efforts, hire the services of a competent SEO company to help your business.

What You Need to Know Before You Pay for SEO Services

This entry was posted in Marketing, SEO on by .

Hire affordable SEO service to help you boost your site’s ranking on the SERPs. This article offers sound advice on how to hire a reliable team of SEO experts.


What You Need to Know Before You Pay for SEO Services


Poor online visibility can kill your business. If your website isn’t even showing up on the top pages of the SERPs, that makes it harder for potential customers to find their way to you. Improve your online presence by hiring experts who have the tools and technical expertise to improve your site’s ranking.

Fix Your Product/Service

Before you hire a team for affordable SEO service, check to make sure your product or service isn’t the problem. No matter how good the SEO firm is, if you’re marketing a bad product or service, that’s not going to do much to help your numbers. Ask yourself if your product/service offers a winning solution to the market. If it doesn’t, work on this first before you hire SEO pros.

Get a Client List

Secure the services of a reputable SEO company. Get a list of current and past clients for references. Reach out to the names on the list to get a better idea of the firm. Were their experiences with the SEO team positive? Use that information to narrow down the field.

Ask How

Find out what types of methods they’ll use. Discuss them in detail, the Digital Doughnut says. They should know how to explain the strategies and must have no problem going through the steps with you. If they can’t tell you how they’ll drive up your site’s ranking, much less how they can hit SEO goals, that’s a problem. If they tell you they’ll get your pages ranked in a month, that’s an unrealistic timeframe. Go elsewhere.

Get Measurable Results

Anything that can be tracked can be measured. That means you get data that you can use to improve your business. If you’re hiring an SEO consultant, find one that focuses on the ROI. The team must know where the conversions are coming from. Is it from your paid, search, or social media channels?

Look Beyond Quantity

Link building is an important part of your SEO strategy. But an excellent consultant knows enough to look beyond the links and takes the time to work on other aspects of your site, such as its loading time, on-page optimization content, user experience, and more, the Business Collective says.

Get Multiple Streams of Traffic

One of the best things about hiring a team of experts is that you get to leverage their industry experience to help your organization succeed. That’s good news, especially when you consider the many platforms that big companies utilize to market their products or services. From SEO to social media pages, it takes a digital marketing professional to keep track of all the guidelines, developments, and best practices for each channel. If you’ve got your hands full running the day-to-day operations of your business, it makes sense to get pros. If your SEO team isn’t offering to create multiple streams of traffic for you, you’ll miss out on a lot. Keep looking until you find a team that has the experience and know-how to create those additional sources of traffic.

10 Ways to Turn Your Rehab Marketing Ideas Into Success

This entry was posted in Advertising, Local, Marketing, SEO on by .

Improve your drug rehab marketing plan. This article offers ten ways to help you increase your admission numbers.


10 Ways to Turn Your Rehab Marketing Ideas into Success


The U.S. currently faces a massive drug addiction problem. More and more rehabilitation centers have popped up to meet increasing demands for treatment as a result. If you already run a rehab facility but find your treatment center struggling because of low admission numbers, you’ll need help. Here are ten ways to turn your marketing ideas into a surefire way to get a steady flow of clients.


Improve admission numbers to your facility by establishing a solid online presence. Develop a content-rich website with SEO as part of your drug rehab marketing strategy. That will optimize your site, so you’ll have more site and foot traffic.

Post on Social Media

Don’t ignore social media. Use the platform to post relevant information, one that will help your target audience. You can also use your social media pages to communicate with potential clients, the Entrepreneur says.

Write a Blog
Blogs increase visitors to your pages, which give you more potential clients, USA Today says. The platform is also ideal for creating content on drug rehabilitation. Optimizing your posts will improve your visibility on the SERPs.

Follow the News

If your facility has a presence on the site, use that to follow news and other developments in the field. Building a relationship with other drug rehab experts on LinkedIn also gets you more recommendations to your center.

Put Up Success Stories

People go to your site looking for help. They want to get better. Talking about success stories gives them the reassurance that things will work out, and that recovery—though difficult—is possible.

Know Your Audience

Build your content around your audience. Determine the content they respond to. Putting a personal touch to your messaging will help, along with offering insights into the facility or posting about the different treatments you offer.

Find the Reviews

Know what your clients think and say about your rehab facility. Get a Google alert on the name of your rehab center. You’ll likely come across a negative review or two. Don’t delete, though. You could do more harm than good. Instead, respond to the person. That will leave a good impression on potential clients.

Encourage Positive Reviews

The best way to kill the negative reviews is to encourage clients who’ve had a wonderful experience with you to write glowing, positive feedback. That will overpower the negative reviews.

Look at Your Competition

Evaluate the SEO strategy that your competitor is studying. Is the facility more successful than yours? Find out what they’re doing that you aren’t. Apply what works to your marketing strategies. For instance, are they making videos? Consumption of video content is growing. Improve your digital marketing strategy by including video content.

Hire Pros

Don’t forget to hire an experienced SEO marketing company. Get a team of digital experts to help you make all these steps happen. With their assistance, you can create a successful plan to market your rehab center. Use strategies that big companies rely on. From social media to SEO, find the right team to help you get started.

How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

This entry was posted in Advertising, Local, SEO on by .

Are you having trouble getting your business on the first page of Google? Google Local Optimization may be a good alternative in the meantime.


How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business Listing


SEO is a tough nut to crack for most people. However, if you have a local business, you can use Google My Business listing to enhance your visibility on Google. When a person searches for a service, a map and top three nearest listings will pop up. Those three listings contain information such as contacts, directions, services, opening and closing time, and reviews from other customers.


With all this information on your screen, the customer has enough to decide or visit your website. Google Local Optimization using these tips is the only way to ensure your business is among the three listings that a customer in your area will see first.


  1. Complete your profile

If you have already claimed or initiated your business listing on GMB, you must complete all the required information. Filling in each field accurately will help customers find you quickly and give you more favor on Google ranking.


  1. Add keywords to the description

GMB gives you 750 characters to describe your business and win customer's hearts. Make good use of them by saying all the important things. However, you should also use relevant keywords that will help with ranking and make you appear on more searches. Give the most pertinent information in the first 250 words because that is what will appear on the knowledge card.


  1. Choose a relevant category

When listing your business, it is essential to choose one primary category for your business. Categories help customers to find you quickly, and it narrows down the choices. You can narrow down the options by picking several secondary categories.


  1. Add many photos

Did you know that customers are more likely to visit a business that has photos listed? However, you need to regularly update your gallery with amazing images that speak well of your business. If you own a restaurant, post pictures of happy people dining and having fun. You can also have plated dishes and staff photos. You can also add videos to your photo gallery if they are necessary to showcase the experience.


  1. Collect customer reviews

Customers trust the opinion of other customers and their experiences. You should seek customer reviews from your friends and loyal customers and list them on GMB. Additionally, make sure you answer your customer’s comments and complaints. People need to trust your business and you as a person with their money and feel that you care.


  1. Make good use of posts

Recently, Google added another feature called posts. You can post any events, press releases, or any information you want to get out there on GMB. The idea is to blow your competition out of the waters by standing out and attracting more leads. You can also post entertaining videos here or any video where you are answering questions to customers.


Businesses that have a complete and accurate Google My Business Listing enjoy 70% more location visits and 50% more sales. When you optimize your GMB listing, your business appears on more searches, including Google maps, and list finder and your visibility increases.

chain link

Is Link Building the Key to SEO or Is it a Scam?

This entry was posted in SEO on by .

If there’s one thing the internet can agree on, it’s that link building is a hot topic in SEO for 2019. But is it still the infamous key to rising in the SERPs, or is it an outdated technique that can lose the authority of your website?

The frustrating answer is: It’s both! While everyone is arguing about whether link building is a pot of gold or a death-trap, they’re asking the wrong question altogether. Link building is a great technique that can launch you higher in search engine rankings, increase the authority of your website, and draw organic traffic—but it can also launch you into a pit of Google penalties if you do it inauthentically.

It’s not about whether you’re link building or not—it’s all about how you’re link building.

So, how can you link build effectively and authentically to get the most out of it for your business?

Let’s talk about how link building has changed in search

It’s Not a Numbers Game Anymore.

In fact, it’s not a game at all, and Google has made that very clear this past year. When Google’s PageRank Algorithm first put a value on the number of times another page linked to a site, all hell broke loose. Black hat link building techniques like linking in spammy comments and on third-party website link farms spread like a disease until Google did some serious soul searching and released a few updates like Google Penguin. Now the focus has veered sharply from quantity to quality with an emphasis on authentic links that logically refer to similar content that has validity, authority, and originality.

The websites that were boosted from these “cheats” years ago are now feeling the harmful effects of Google penalties. And now there’s no longer a way to “play” Google. If you’re going to link build, you need to use quality links—without any shortcuts, and this takes more time and specialized knowledge.

Link building is still in Google’s top 3 ranking considerations for site quality. There’s no question that link building can get you more search engine traffic, but only if you take the time to do it right. If you think link-building is a scam, in a way you’re right, because if you’re not taking the time to do it authentically or ensuring that you hire someone qualified to do it well, it sure can be.

Step Up What the Links Are Going To

Even if you make a deal with someone to link to your content in an informed and relevant way, if your content isn’t good, it’s not only a waste of everyone’s time, but it can ultimately be damaging to your site.

Ensure that your content is original, serves a purpose, and provides quality sources of information—whether it’s directly from you or through links to other authoritative sites.

The best types of content are those that are evergreen, meaning that they are timeless and will be linked to and borrowed from again and again—especially if you return to your content periodically to clean it up and keep it relevant.

Images, diagrams, info graphs, charts and other visual-oriented pieces of content are bound to get plenty of backlinks—because they take time, energy, and content knowledge to produce.

List posts (also known as listicles) also do very well because they cater to common search phrases.

People are also having a lot of success with original research, data, opinions pieces, and all-inclusive guides. While it was once thought that readers had a short attention span, requiring short content, longer content that is logically organized to be easily searchable is now performing well.

 How You’re Linking Matters

It’s also important to pay attention to how you’re linking to content and how others are linking to yours. Editorially based links, meaning those that are embedded within content as opposed to “unnatural” links that are placed in headers or footers are always preferred. Additionally, your anchor text and co-occurrences matter.

Anchor text is the text that actually links out, and it’s important that it’s relent to the content being linked to—but not so relevant that it’s absolutely verbatim. The link at the beginning of this paragraph is editorial, but the anchor text is pretty obvious—we only linked out a definition. Ideally, you want to integrate your links to be more meaningful.

Co-occurrences are the words and phrases that appear around your link that Google also pays attention to. For example, the entire paragraph above explaining anchor text in more detail would qualify as co-occurrence.

Pay attention to linking in ways that are meaningful and well-integrated—don’t just link out to other sources for the sake of it. Beyond linking to authoritative sites with high quality content, you should also try to link to others in your industry and related industries because this has a higher relevance.

 Network, Don’t Outsource

Speaking of relevance, link building is done best when overlapped with networking. Businesses often like to do this through guest posting or guest blogging, but just like link building, this can be great or terrible depending on how it’s done.

Guest posting is an arrangement you make with another publisher where they publish your content, you publish theirs, or some combination thereof. This can be dangerous because ultimately your content reflects your business, and if the people writing it aren’t well-informed it can have a negative effect on the reputation of your brand. This can also include hiring freelancers or otherwise outsourcing your content.

However, guest posting can be an excellent opportunity for building alliances and partnerships with like-minded businesses that can be mutually beneficial. Additionally, it may not be practical for your small business to write all of its own content.

Ultimately, you want to make sure that your content is still yours and you take ownership of it. If you allow another business or individual to contribute, ensure that you are still involved in the process and that they are putting in the time and research to do good work.

Consider making real life links with businesses that have things in common with yours but are not direct competitors. You can link to each other’s content, guest post, and refer clients to benefit you both.

Links Matter, but They Aren’t Everything

Obviously, we believe that link building is a very important aspect of a sound SEO strategy—but that being said, it shouldn’t be the only aspect. Depending on your industry, link building may not even be useful for your site at all.

Other organic SEO factors like your time on-site, bounce rate, and click-through rate shouldn’t be neglected. Ultimately, all of these factors together work in tandem to prove to Google that your website is user-friendly, valuable, and authoritative.

 If you’re interested in improving your website’s search traffic, get in touch with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs.

Organic SEO Services: Why Do They Matter?

This entry was posted in Advertising, Local, Marketing, SEO on by .

Organic SEO continues to be an important part of your digital marketing efforts. If you haven’t been doing what you can to invest in organic SEO campaigns, you’re missing out. Here’s why it’s important for your business.

What are Organic SEO Services?

Organic search engine optimization strategies focus on using content building, backlinking, and link building to get genuine results. While companies can resort to paid search that uses Pay Per Click or PPC, which gives immediate results, organic search is the long game. If you want successful marketing efforts, you’ll need to build your business with organic SEO.


Delivers Relevant Content


Organic search engine optimization campaigns still get the most traffic. People go online whenever they need to find a service or product. If you want to improve your sales, you’ll want to capture as much traffic as you can. With paid traffic only accounting for about 10 percent of overall total traffic, organic SEO continues to outperform paid marketing efforts and results.


Works Well with Paid Search


To achieve results, it’s smart not to limit your marketing options. If you want your company to rank higher on the SERPs, use both organic and paid search. Paid search boosts your page rankings, which is a must for any new or young business in the marketplace. All the while, you can use organic search to build your reputation and brand. When your organic SEO campaigns start to drive more traffic and improve your conversion rates, you can ease up on your paid marketing ads. By that point, your brand will already have a loyal consumer base, one that keeps a steady stream of business to your door.


Lends Better Control Over the Environment


When you use social media platforms, you’re at the mercy of the channel. If they decide to stop showing the views or segment the algorithm, that has a profound effect on your bottom line and campaigns. When you have a website, though, you will still be subjected to rules. If you have any violations, your pages will be hit with a Google penalty. The difference between that and social media platforms is that many of the violations are easy to fix. Once you’ve corrected the issue and Google recrawls your site, the issue will resolve itself.


Builds Consumer Loyalty


Organic SEO means you’ve succeeded in building your company’s brand and reputation. For the lucky ones, this means gaining customers for life. That’s a goal that every business wants to achieve. If you’ve ever wondered what made people want to watch a film a more than a hundred times (we’re looking at you, Endgame) or what made people queue up whenever a certain company (named after a fruit) released a new phone, that’s the power of consumer loyalty. Organic SEO is perfect for connecting with customers and improving customer engagement.


Getting Help


If you want to see how organic search can help your business, look for an organic SEO company to help you. Do your homework and look for a team of pros with the proper credentials. Their assistance will ensure long-term customer relationships while increasing your overall returns.

The 5-Step Process for Smart Local SEO Pricing

This entry was posted in Local, SEO on by .

Search engine optimization helps your business and bottom line. But before you enjoy the benefits of organic SEO campaigns, you’ll need to find a service provider. With plenty of companies that offer a slew of local SEO packages, it can be tough to find the right one. Here's a 5-step process, though, that takes the stress and confusion out of the hiring experience for you.

Assess Your Site

Before you can tell if you’re getting the best search engine optimization campaigns, you’ll need to identify the needs of your site and business first. Is poor website design driving your customers away? Do you need better content? Is your content old, non-existent, and in need of monthly updates? Once you’re clear about the services that your pages require, finding the right pricing model is easier.


Explore Your Options

Check out the different packages. Some companies charge by the hour. Others have a set rate for specific projects. Some businesses have a monthly retainer fee. Think about how often you want to update your site pages. Do you have a special project or requests in mind? Once you’re aware of your options, you can choose the right plan with ease.


Consider Your Budget

How much will it cost you? Is it within your price point? Does the firm charge for one-time setup charges? Be sure to ask about the fees. A reputable SEO firm will be upfront about its charges. If there are unexplained bills or charges, terminate that arrangement and walk away. Keep looking until you find a company with better pricing.


Look Out for Signs

A reliable SEO firm sends the final pricing only after someone from the team has audited your site. That means they’ve assessed the extent of the work that needs to be done, what strategies will work, and how to go about it. If the firm sends you a quote within minutes, without even taking the time to check out your pages and find out what they need, that’s a red flag. Don’t be fooled into thinking that’s standard. If your search engine optimization experts don’t audit the site, that casts doubt on their experience, credibility, and whether or not they plan to deliver the results they promised.


Do Your Homework

Find out which companies offer affordable and effective SEO marketing. Search marketing campaigns do a lot to improve your site’s rankings and visibility. If you want to expand your consumer base or you have a hard time connecting with your target market, search campaigns improve your image. If you have poor consumer engagement, SEO also helps by getting your brand character and personality across to your market segment, which builds awareness and increases engagement.


Choosing a Model

Think about these considerations before you make your decision. Knowing what you need, the options available to you, and what to look out for will help you pick the SEO agency with a pricing model that best suits you. With a reputable agency, you can stay on budget while you achieve your marketing goals.

Let’s Talk Google Updates: November 2019

This entry was posted in SEO on by .

On November 7th Google shook things up in the SEO world. There is substantial evidence that an unannounced update is underway. This update has been affecting websites across a wide range of industries.

Most reports have come from webmasters in the USA who run affiliate sites and have observed changes in the travel, food, and health sectors. SEO experts have described the update as “aggressive” and comparisons have been made in terms of size and scope to the ranking changes that occurred following the first Penguin Update in 2012.

Google Confirms Several Updates in November

 Google has commented on the speculation of a November update via Twitter. They confirmed that several updates were made to the Google Search algorithm during this period and will change regularly. The only way that businesses can attend to this new update is to create outstanding content.

Google also states that it is not specific niches or industries that are affected by updates, but certain types of search query that are answered differently. However, there is likely considerable overlap here and there’s not always a clear distinction between the two.

In the past, some SEOs promoted the idea that Google was targeting medical sites. They were wrong but the “Medic Update” name has stayed to remind the SEO industry that Google does not target specific industries. This update has affected publishers from all niches and affects a wide range of site topics.

2019 Updates

Each year, Google makes hundreds of changes to search. In 2018, they reported an incredible 3,234 updates — an average of almost 9 per day, and more than 8 times the number of updates in 2009. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a major algorithmic update (such as Panda and Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways. Here are the biggest Google updates we saw this year:

What SEOs and Webmasters Think

Many of the reported traffic drops are in excess of 30 percent! Here are a selection of viewpoints and tweets from the community:

How to React to Google’s November Update

Google’s recommendation for webmasters and SEO’s whose websites have been affected by a Google Update is as follows: “We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can.” When auditing a website, Google suggests considering questions regarding the following four aspects:

  • Content & Quality: Does the website offer original, high-quality content that isn’t just copied from somewhere? Are the page title and description appealing and do they reflect the content? If you were a webmaster, would you share the content with friends?
  • Expertise: Is the content trustworthy? Does the page contain errors? Would you, as a webmaster arriving at the page via Google search, trust the website you find?
  • Presentation & Production: Does the content seem to be well researched and well produced – or does it seem to be mass-produced fodder? Are there too many ads? Does the page load appropriately on all devices?
  • Competitive comparison: Does the website offer added value when compared with its competitors? Does the content fulfil the user’s expectations?

A good place for webmasters to start is to try and answer these questions as honestly as possible – and compare their website alongside their competition, with a particular focus on the quality of the content they are offering.

SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can boost your Google rankings.


What Do I Need to Know About Google's New Algorithm Update, BERT?

What Do I Need to Know About Google’s New Algorithm Update, BERT?

This entry was posted in SEO on by .

Google has announced its latest search algorithm update– BERT. The update was just rolled out at the end of October and is forecasted to affect about 10% of queries.

In the world of search updates, where algorithm changes are often more subtle, an update that affects such a large percentage of queries is a pretty big deal. BERT is the biggest update Google has made to its search algorithm in the last 5 years—since Google released RankBrain—but that’s no reason to be nervous about it.

Previous Google updates such as core, Panda, and Penguin were specifically designed to improve search quality indirectly by counteracting black hat methods that attempted to abuse the algorithm in order to gain a higher search engine ranking. Alternatively, BERT is aimed at improving search quality directly—by helping Google interpret search language.

This update specifically targets longer, more controversial (in other words human) queries, that most often include long-tail keywords—which don’t make up most searches. It also targets featured snippets in search.

According to Google’s Vice President of Search, Pandu Nayak:

“At Google’s core, Search is understanding the language we use. And by applying BERT models to both rankings and featured snippets in search, we’re able to understand and do a much better job helping everyone find useful information in their search results. When it comes to ranking search results, BERT will help search better understand 1 in 10 searches in the U.S. in English.

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. And as a result, you can search in a way that feels natural for you.”

What does BERT Mean to You?

Google has always claimed that there is nothing you can do to address algorithm updates, but especially with BERT they have insisted that it’s focused on interpreting natural language in search content as opposed to rearranging google rankings or inflicting penalties. While it is said to affect 10% of searches, it’s mostly aimed at long tail keywords and snippets, which at first glance should be a pretty small change.

Since BERT is a complex update to Google’s hardware, it’s possible that this is a test rollout before the algorithm is applied more broadly.

Even if you do drop in search rankings for a long tail query that sends you 10 visits per day from Google searches, it will be a lot less noticeable than dropping in rankings for a short tail query that sends you 1,000 visits per day.

But overall, you shouldn’t expect to see negatives in your search traffic due to BERT. If you are negatively affected, it will more likely be indirectly related to your competitors getting SEO boosts from their quality longform content getting picked up by the new algorithm.

However, some sources have indicated significant dips in traffic, although it cannot be confirmed that BERT is at fault—for example, the New York Times.

Something else to take away from this update is that as Google better understands the content of searches made in conversational English, keyword density will become less and less important in SEO. As always, but especially moving forward in the wake of BERT, place your SEO focus on content quality and targeting specific topics and questions with longtail keywords rather than keyword stuffing.

What Does BERT look like?

Google some very helpful examples of BERT in action to get a better idea of how it will affect search rankings.

The image below shows the search term “do estheticians stand a lot at work”. Initially, the search term and the Google result were matched on a keyword basis. The keyword from the query “stand” was matched with “stand-alone”, resulting in some irrelevant content. But with BERT, Google understands that the word “stand” is related to physically standing.

Google search for "do estheticians sand a lot at work"

Before Bert, the top result would probably be how US citizens can travel to Brazil without a visa.

The search wasn’t about US people going to Brazil, it was about people from Brazil traveling to the US.

We can see that the result after the Bert update is much more relevant.

Google search for "2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa"

BERT is applied to 1 in 10 searches in order to offer better information. Some types of queries that are affected include:

  • Longer searches
  • Conversational queries
  • Longtail keywords with prepositions (‘from’, ‘to’, ‘on’) that affect the meaning

Google also made changes to featured snippets. For example, if you searched for “parking on a hill with no curb”, Google used to place too much emphasis on the word “curb” and not enough emphasis on the word “no”.

Google search of "parking on a hill with no curb"

That’s a big difference… and you can see that in the results.

A Focus on Targeting Informational Keywords

There are three types of queries people usually make when performing a search:

  1. Informational
  2. Navigational
  3. Transactional

An informational query is like someone looking to grow a garden. They aren’t sure how so they may search for “how to garden”.

And once they perform the search, they may find a solution to this query, such as different gardening techniques. From there, they may search for more information about this specific type of gardening they’ve read about, using a navigational query such as “Organic Gardening”.

Once they find more information about their navigational query, they then may perform a transactional search query, such as “The Organic Gardening Book”.

Google’s BERT update seems to be mainly impacting top-of-the-funnel keywords, which are usually informational related keywords.

Winning With BERT

The best way to make sure you “win” with this update is to have content that answers the questions of your target audience. There is never a way to “win” a Google update, as Google has been telling us for years, but your best long-term strategy is lots of quality, conversationally worded content. Another great strategy is specificity—which can be achieved by using long tail, informational keywords.

Creating content is the easiest way to rank for informational related keywords which are targeted by BERT. This should be achieved with a combination of quality and quantity. While a lot of longer-form content ranks well on Google, the algorithm is focused on quality, and it’s crucial to not forget that word count is useless if it’s not intentional and meaningful.

SEO targeted towards frequent head terms that can be interpreted in a million different ways in the hopes of getting search hits will indeed get you long content—but it probably won’t be quality, and it will probably increase your bounce rate when searchers come to your site and leave because Google thought you could answer their questions when you couldn’t.

Alternatively, focusing on long-tail key words will ensure that although your search traffic may decrease, your visitors will indeed find the information they were looking for on your website—and Google will see that.

SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can boost your Google rankings.