Seek Out Snippets
In related news, you may also notice that when you search Google, little tidbits of information float up to the top: Search for a baseball team, for example, and their current record and recent games will appear first. These are called “rich snippets,” a form of structured information that can get your content to the top of search results.
David Erickson, publisher of the e-Strategy blog, says, “Webmasters should take a look at their search results and those of their competitors to see if any of the listed sites are accompanied by rich snippets. If so, I'd take a look at the type of structured information being included in those results and see if you can include such information on your own site. If you're using WordPress, there are often plug-ins available that help ease the formatting of such information.”
Publish More Than You Think You Should
The days of weekly updates are over. Google is increasingly favoring fresh content, and that means publishing not just daily but multiple times per day if possible. Nicholas E. Kinports, Digital Strategy Lead of lonelybrand, says, “Digital marketers should create and stick to an editorial calendar that provides for new content several times per day that is unique and industry-focused. That content should be woven throughout Web and app pages to create a dynamic ecosystem.”
This makes logical sense in the Twitter era, says Josh Gross, SEO specialist with Coalition Technologies, who adds, “A website that more frequently updates its content is likely to be more relevant then a website that only makes periodic updates.”
Google Gets in the Shopping Game
Google Shopping has long been a small yet significant way for merchants to drive traffic directly to their products without having to buy an ad. That’s about to change: Google Shopping is going pay-for-play (via a system much like AdWords), which means that the days of free product links are coming to an end. It’s too early to say how expensive this might end up being, but for now, says Jeff Soukotta, Founder of Adaptise, e-commerce site operators should prepare to become familiar with the changes and start thinking about budgets.
In the quest to make websites more feature-filled and social, website operators often saddle their sites with scripts and plug-ins that take their toll on how quickly the site loads. A slow site isn’t a monumental thing, but users hate sites that won’t load. As a consequence, Google is increasingly becoming interested in the topic, and it’s likely to play a more important role in rankings down the line. As Tom Hughes-Croucher, Principal of Jetpacks for Dinosaurs, sums it up, “In effect, Google isn't just looking for the most keywords per landing page, it is looking for the best landing page experience for users.”