Do you think you know what Google wants? Think again! Hint: it has something to do with quality… [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]
Google is by far the biggest search engine in the world.
Imagine just how many searches are being conducted on it every day…
… every hour…
… every minute…
… every second.
With billions of online users visiting Google to search for different kinds of information, how does Google know what articles it should place on top of its search results?
Before answering that question, let’s first identify what Google’s goal is.
No need to think too far. We all know Google is a business. Therefore, it’s goal is…
To make more money!
So, how does Google manage to meet that goal?
Aside from the fees it collects from Google Drive upgrades, Chromecast, and other efforts, Google’s “biggest moneymaker” by far is ad revenue.
In order to earn that revenue, Google works hard to serve its users.
By delivering the information that they want and need.
You might ask, “How could Google possibly do that? It’s only an engine, it can’t understand us!”
Yes, you’re right. Google is a search engine…
… but it’s an engine that gets more efficient as time goes by.
As mentioned in the book titled, “Think Like Google” by SEO writer and CEO of Gerencer Creative, Inc., Tom Gerencer, there are some factors Google looks at to give what online users want:
Try typing in the words, “How to Write Like A Pro” on Google.
What do you notice on the top 10 search results?
The words, “Write,” “Like A Pro,” “Pro,” and “Write Like A Pro” are bolded, right?
That’s what you call keywords.
Every time you search for something on Google, the search engine looks for the keywords you need and displays articles with the most number of those words.
However, since more people began to understand this mechanic, some copywriters started “stuffing in those words like crazy” just so they could outperform other articles.
What’s the result of that?
Keywords can’t be used solely anymore in identifying which articles really serve the user’s needs the best.
Then, Google started to refine its system. It still uses keywords to identify good quality content but there’s another factor as well…
Dwell time is the measure of how long you spend reading through an article or web page.
Using our “How to Write Like A Pro” example, perhaps you clicked on the top 1 article on your search results.
As you start reading the content, you realize it’s a really good write-up so you spend about 15 minutes reading until the bottom of the page.
Is Google aware of that?
It definitely is!
Google knows how long you stay―or not stay―on a certain web page. It is capable of observing users’ online behaviors.
Every time another user clicks on the same article you clicked and spends some time on it, Google floats that article a little higher on the search results.
It’s predictable what the opposite of this scenario is.
If Google sees that an article is usually abandoned by many users, it will put that article lower on the search results.
In 2011, Duane Forrester, Senior Project Manager for search engine Bing at the time, said this:
“Your goal should be that when a visitor lands on your page, the content answers all of their needs, encouraging their next action to remain with you. If your content does not encourage them to remain with you, they will leave. The search engines can get a sense of this by watching the dwell time. The time between when a user clicks on our search result and when they come back from your website tells a potential story. A minute or two is good as it can easily indicate the visitor consumed your content. Less than a couple of seconds can be viewed as a poor result. And while that’s not the only factor we review when helping to determine quality, it’s a signal we watch.”
See how search engines like Google and Bing are taking quality content assessment to the next level?
“Wisdom of Crowds”
According to American journalist James Surowiecki, “wisdom of crowds” means large groups of people are often smarter than individuals or experts.
It’s like following the concept, “Majority wins.”
How does Google apply this concept in its algorithm?
By analyzing these things: Click rate, open rate, and view rate, combined with the number of keywords in your article and how much time people spend reading it.
For a clearer picture, think of Google as a voting booth.
Once you click on an online article and spend time reading through it, it’s as if you’re voting for that article.
If others are also “voting” for that article, awesome!
That means Google will rank it higher on the search results.
So… how does Google’s algorithm relate to content writing?
As a copywriter, if you want your copies to be the first ones readers see on their search results, you have to understand them and serve them through the content you write.
Don’t settle for click-bait tactics.
Make your content as informative as possible.
Write in an engaging and conversational tone.
When they read through your copy and realize that it answers the questions they have or gives the information they need, chances are:
– They’ll acknowledge your authority and credibility in the field.
– They’ll keep coming back to your site to read other articles you publish.
– They’ll drive traffic to your site.
Plus, you also get what you want for your articles as well―a higher rank on search results!
As mentioned by Tom Gerencer, Google works harder every day to improve how it chooses the best articles users want and need.
It is coming up with more efficient ways to assess quality content.
It keeps rolling up updates to get closer to its goal.
So, if you want to keep up with Google’s standards and not be swept away in the vast sea of online content, don’t just get too caught up with SEO, keywords, dwell time, rank, etc.
Focus as well on what Google is focusing on.
What is that?
Serving the readers―and earning money in the process.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”
Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?
In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.
However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!
When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…
…to get people to remember.
Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.
And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!
Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.
Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.
Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.
Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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