Google’s Next Update

Clay Christeson loves peanut butter and the World Wide Web. When he’s not scouring the internet for the latest news he writes for Local Splash, a company that provides local SEO services.

Google not only plays a big role in the functionality of the internet, but the company also guides the SEO industry. Google’s anti-spam czar, Matt Cutts, has hinted there will be another major update this year to the search engine’s algorithm. This is common knowledge within the SEO world, but no one knows exactly what the update will entail.

Google has always insisted that its primary purpose is to improve the experience of the end user. The understanding of this knowledge leads many to speculate what changes might be in store. It’s a safe bet that the update will further highlight legitimate links, quality content and user experience.

Google’s Next Update

Drawing from these ideas, webmasters around the world are trying to stay afloat and keep their sites ranked where they want them to be ranked. Below I list some legitimate ways to set yourself up for the next Google update. These ideas are not certain, as none are at this point in time, but they represent some areas of improvement that can put you in position to succeed.

1. Quality content

It’s always been important to have quality content. Accurate information is what makes the internet so efficient, and lately quality content has also been a factor that Google considers when combing the web. This won’t change, and it’s a safe bet that any new update will further require websites to display and provide worthwhile material. Some quick things to avoid as you assess your site for quality:

        Duplicate content: Remove it from your site. There’s no reason to have it, particularly with an update looming. Google already penalizes websites for duplicate copy and it won’t change with a progressive update.

          Thin pages: If you have pages on your website that have minimal content, the goal should either be to remove the pages entirely or consolidate them to a select few. Pages without anything legitimate to serve the end user provide no purpose, and Google understands this. Either add some thorough content or remove the pages.

         Relevant: It seems relevancy becomes more critical each time Google releases an update. This should hold true during the next movement, and it’s important for you to understand why. Relevancy is the key to unlocking seamless search potential. If the search engines and the end users are not confused by irrelevant material, all goals are met. Be sure to make your site’s content relevant. It just makes sense for you as a person and as a webmaster.

The goal is to make the content on your site legitimate. This has been a common thread in SEO for a while now, but it’s bound to increase in importance each day that goes by. It’s always a nice reminder to clean it up and assess the true quality of your website’s content.

 2. Fundamentally sound and varied backlink portfolio

If you’re trying to tailor your website to withstand the storm of Google’s next update, it’s probably in your best interest to clean up your backlink portfolio. The backlink portfolio of a website can be compared to the foundation of a house. The links of your website show Google how your website is built, connected and represented on the web. Below are some simple warning signs that you may want to address on your site:

         Consolidated link sources: When you scan your own backlink portfolio, pretend you are Google. If over 50% of the incoming links to your site are guest posts with the anchor text “SEO provider”, you could be in trouble. Google notices patterns, both good and bad ones. It’s best to have links from, and link to, various sources.

          An abundance of keyword anchor text links: You should take notice and take action if your backlink portfolio is loaded with keyword rich anchor text links.There are rumblings that Google is going to diminish the value of keyword rich anchor texting. Even if you won’t be directly penalized retroactively, it can’t hurt to prepare for the possible transition.

          Irrelevant links: If you run a chocolate manufacturing website and you have incoming links from a sailboat company in San Diego, you should immediately remove them. Not only have you potentially been penalized already by Google’s Penguin update, you surely won’t benefit from these links going forward.

The goal is make sure your link portfolio is both multifaceted and quality. Whether it’s incorporating branded anchor text when link building or simply removing irrelevant links, any progress will help you.

Google basically has a monopoly over internet navigation in 2013. The good thing is that the company is well intentioned. Google wants the experience of the end user to be as efficient as possible. You as a webmaster should follow suit and tailor your website more to Google’s liking. After all, it will make your domain more genuine anyway.