When you write content for your website, 30% is what you write and 70% is how people respond to it.
Good content resonates with your audience. It could be educative, edgy, intriguing, entertaining, or even provocative. But whatever it chooses to be, the writer needs to understand who is on the receiving end of the experience. When it is crisp, easy to navigate, decluttered, precise, and, most importantly, useful, you will find readers or researchers are attracted to you and loyal. But this blog is about another audience that businesses tend to overlook but is actually quite imperative to the success of your content’s reach. And ultimately reach is the flight that takes you to your destination.
What are we talking about? Googlebot and search engine spiders that crawl every chink in your website content to determine its usefulness and relevance. So apart from flesh-and-blood visitors, you need to be impressing Googlebot while it indexes your site in order to get bumped up the rank listing and put in front of readers looking for what you have to offer.
Search engines aren’t asinine enough to fall for pages merely stuffed with keywords and relevant phrases. They can differentiate good copy from bad copy by gauging the natural flow, intuitiveness and intelligence of the content. Carefully constructed content with high SERP rankings are rewarded much the same way good content is shared, liked, linked, visited repeatedly by readers, and can potentially convert.
It’s a well-guarded secret how Google reads, but a few indexing algorithms have surfaced. And that’s what we will be discussing here in relation to what it means for your website and marketing.
How google reads:
- Phrase-based indexing and synonyms
The movement of language is organic and fluid. Google has become adept at understanding this and spotting common phrases and their alternatives. Content relying on keyword density and term frequency consigns itself to a stiff, difficult and unnatural read. Google is inclement towards this. Instead it crawls the web to create groups of meaningful words that appear together. For example, ‘Nilgiris,’ ‘hill stations,’ ‘cold climate’ and ‘Coonoor.’
Having gone through soooo much information, Googlebot can recognise the frequency of occurrence of similar terms and phrases, and see how they relate to each other. This helps it determine the relevance of the overall content to a search term. So apart from recognising the relation between the terms ‘pants’ and ‘trousers,’ it can also recognise more sophisticated relationships like ‘dhoti pants,’ ‘Tarun Tahiliani’ and ‘Lakmé Fashion Week Winter.’
Search engines use Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency to find the number of times a term/phrase occurs in a document in relation to the total number of documents in which it occurs to determine the importance of the phrase. It is inversely proportionate: the more frequently the phrase occurs the less importance it is attributed. This weeds out jargon filled meaningless content that revolves around keywords.
What this means for your website content
For those putting content into a website, the basics still apply. You can’t cut corners with original content, meaningful Alt attributes, title tags, and individual structures for each page. But additionally bear in mind that the content also needs to flow naturally.
The more content you have, the more Googlebot has to index. So you fare better in searches. Moreover adding longer, more descriptive and engaging content works better, too, because, given how search engines are keyed in to synonyms and alternate phrases, you don’t have to worry so much about variety.
Since search engines are familiar with co-occurrence, they know when content isn’t natural but has suffered from keyword turgidity, and scourge it.
Google’s fascination with artificial intelligence and richness in algorithm capital, makes it read almost like human being, rather than a series of linked servers. And each year the advances in its development make it take a harder look at the quality of the content it trawls. To respond and keep up with this progress, content writers need to put out impressive, informative and insusceptible content that doesn’t take a hammering from Googlebot.
So get going the right way with your content if you want Google to jet shove you along to the top of its viewing list!