Today’s question is a fun one, and it comes from Tristan Perry in Cardiff in the United Kingdom.
Tristan asks, Hey Matt, at PubCon you said that SEOs shouldn’t “chase the algorithm,” and instead consider where Google might be headed in the future.Hence, my slightly cheeky question is where is Google heading in the future?
Well, the second part of what I said that PubCon is that Google is trying to figure out what users want.
And so rather than you as an SEO chasing after Google, and Google chasing after what users want, if you chase directly after what users want, then both you and Google are trying to get to the top of the same mountain in some sense.
We’re both trying to figure out what users like, and that’s the ideal sweet spot where we’re pursuing the exact same sort of things that you’re trying to bake into your website.
So, for example, look at the things that people are complaining about.If people are complaining to Google that they don’t like content farms or article banks or whatever it is that they’re saying, oh Google, I really don’t like this.
We listen to that feedback as well and we try to figure out OK, if people really don’t like that, how do we write an algorithm that’s going to return better content according to what our users are looking for?
So we’re trying to suss out exactly what it is our users would like to have in the search results.
Maybe they’re complaining because one side is showing up too often in the top , and so they want more diversity.So we’ll write an algorithm to sort of say in our web search results, how do we encode more diversity?
So the thing to look for is try to get your finger on the pulse in terms of what users are unhappy about, what they want to see in Google, what they’re complaining about, because those are the exact same pieces of feedback that we’re listening to, even if we don’t always talk about it outside of Google.
And so as a result, if you’re able to assess OK, this is what Google’s trying to change in order to be something that users like more, then you can provide those sorts of services or that functionality in your website.
And that’s the sort of thing where now instead of chasing after the last algorithm and trying to respond to each individual update, you’ll be sitting at the top that mountain, hopefully whenever Googlebot crests, and we’ll find you right there.
Quick Answer: Find out what users want