How Google's 2020 Updates Will Affect Your SEO Optimization
SEO is a dynamic and evolving process. Recent changes in Google's algorithm mean that to fully optimize practices, you need expert guidance in snippets, parallel tracking, bid strategies, and E-A-T. Read on to discover how.
To begin with, let’s ask the question that is on many minds. Does SEO still matter in 2020?
Almost every day, there’s a new tactic that’s supposed to be the best thing for businesses online. This makes it look as though SEO is a traditional and old-fashioned way of doing things.
To set the record straight, the answer to the question is simply: yes, SEO still does matter.
However, it’s the way it is used that is important. You need to adapt to shifting parameters and a changed mindset for success.
Changes in the Google Algorithm
Google makes several algorithm changes that affect SEO. To keep SEO relevant and effective, you should have some knowledge of the updates that Google makes in its algorithm.
For example, in 2019, Google updated its search function to incorporate natural language processing. What this meant was that it now understood search queries in terms of context, and not just the words used.
So, websites that published content matching what users were actually searching for could now rank higher. It’s about understanding the reason for the search, and not only specific keywords.
Every year, Google makes changes in its algorithm, some of which are major and some minor. In 2018, there were a staggering 3,234 updates, almost 9 per day, on average. That's more than 8 times the number of updates in 2009.
In 2020, too, there have been important updates. A knowledge of these, and how to use them, is essential for SEO.
Google’s 2020 Updates
Let’s take a look at some of this year’s updates to make your search rankings more effective.
Targeting featured snippets
In June, Google announced some interesting changes in the snippets feature. Basically, Google will now take users to the relevant text on the web page for some featured snippets results.
This won’t be for all snippets. Only for those in which Google is fairly certain of directing uses to the content straightaway.
The good news is that for the publisher, there’s no special markup needed or anything further to be done. It happens automatically.
Another feature is that Google is now highlighting the text. If a user clicks on a featured snippet, it will take him or her directly to the site with the relevant text highlighted.
This could potentially be a new way to track user visits to a site from snippets, with the use of changed URL parameters.
In essence, it could mean that Google referrals can be more accurately tracked.
Parallel tracking for video campaigns
Google is planning to make parallel tracking mandatory for all its Google Ads video campaigns. This is expected to improve mobile site speeds. It brings visitors to the landing page and measures the ad click in the background.
According to Google: “On average, we’ve seen that advertisers who adopt parallel tracking have reduced page load time by up to 5 seconds.” This is significant because they say that even a one-second increase in page load time can decrease conversions by 20%.
To take advantage of this feature, you should check with a click measurement provider to make sure your system is compatible with it.
Feeds for app campaigns
This feature is designed for more relevant and helpful ad experiences. You could already be using feeds: lists of products which group attributes together.
App campaigns, meanwhile, promote your app across Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, Gmail, and other such apps and mobile websites.
Now, you can show images of popular items as ads on apps and sites.
Shortly, retail advertisers in Google Merchant Center can also show image ads in places like the canvas below YouTube TrueView.
Easier onboarding for new users as well as effective scalability are the other changes here. Used properly, these enhanced feeds can be powerful tools to attract consumers.
Impression share bid strategy
This update follows from Google’s 2019 announcement that Target Search Page Location and Target Outranking Share bid strategies would no longer be available for new campaigns.
There will be an automatic transition to Target impression share bidding instead.
This automatically sets bids so you can achieve your Impression Share goal across all campaigns on the Google network.
Depending on your objectives, you will need to define the placement of the ad, bid limits, and bid share. You can do this is either as a one-off strategy for a single campaign or as a portfolio strategy across several campaigns.
The automated and refined nature of this process makes it easier to place ads for pre-defined parameters.
New EAT guidelines
In 2015, Google released its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines that revealed just how it looks at web pages in order to differentiate high-quality from low-quality content.
A key factor in this is E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
Expertise refers to the creators of the content, and whether they have the right credentials.
Authoritativeness refers to whether the site and creator are recognized authorities, accepted as good sources of information.
And trustworthiness refers to the aspect of being trusted to provide honest and accurate information.
Google’s algorithms have various ways of measuring this, and lack of E-A-T makes it very hard to rank. Reviews, mentions, and expert bloggers are some ways to rise in E-A-T.
The 2020 update broadens and deepens the E-A-T yardstick. Chances are it will measure aspects like new content, quality improvements, and credentials. Search intent, backlinks, and personal branding will also play large roles.
To take advantage of this, you need the help of SEO experts who are experienced in not just the basic factors such as keywords but also can make significant quality improvements.
Summing Up the Role of SEO
You may have been an early adopter of SEO. Or you could just be discovering its benefits. Either way, you can be sure that it is still a large driver of traffic and leads to your website.
It’s important to keep abreast of the latest updates and seek professional advice on how to rise in rankings.
Expert SEO analysts will be able to devise strategies that combine the latest algorithm updates with tried-and-tested optimization techniques so that you can meet online objectives with ease.
How Uplers Can Help
At Uplers, our teams have the knowledge, experience, and capability to come up with SEO campaigns that will help you achieve your goals.
Whether it’s a start-up or an established business, we have an impressive track record of collaborative and competitive excellence.
Get in touch with us, and we’ll gladly share what we’ve done for other companies, and what we can do for you.