The biggest update to Google's search algorithm since 2005, codenamed "Google Caffeine" in set to go live in the coming days. Google Caffeine is poised to shake up the SEO industry with a number of new algorithm innovations. Most importantly, it will be much faster than the current Google search, will rely more on keyword strings in your content, and will elevate real-time search to a position of much greater importance.
The new emphasis on real-time search results will mean that many sites that consistently ranked near the top of the search results page will take a hit. This will give savvy webmasters who understand the dynamic environment of real-time social media an excellent opportunity to significantly boost their Google rankings.
Here is a brief rundown of what we know about Google Caffeine and SEO:
Speed Will Matter More
If you're hosting your business website on a cheap $5.95/month unlimited hosting account, now might be the time to upgrade. The time it takes for pages on your website to load is now an important ranking factor on Google. Studies have repeatedly shown that improving your page loading speed results in increased user retention, more conversions and lower costs in the long run.
To make things easy, Google has provided a new Site Performance diagnostic tool in their Google Webmaster Accounts
. In addition to a using fast host, you can improve the loading speed of your pages by:
Fresh Content Is King
- Writing clean HTML and CSS code
- Compressing your image files so they load faster
- Using a CMS program that enables page caching
With the new Caffeine update fresh, well-written content will be more important than ever. Established businesses with static websites will drop in the search rankings and more engaged businesses with active blogs will take their place. Google has to continually innovate and update their search algorithm to stay ahead of the spammers that try to cheat their way to the top of search results. This update will be one more nail in the coffin of "black hat" SEO spammers and will reward webmasters that provide fresh, meaningful and original content in their specific niche.
To take advantage of real-time search results and give your website a solid boost, here are some ideas:
Backlinks Are Still Paramount
- Publish regular content like blog posts, press releases and company news on your website. You should try to add fresh content at least 2-3 times a week.
- Encourage interaction on your website through comments, social bookmarking and social media links.
- To take advantage of real-time search, post important new product or service announcements on your blog and on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The Google Caffeine update will not make any major changes to Google's off-page factors, so quality and relevant backlinks will continue to be the most important ranking factor. The only difference is that links and references from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will be elevated in their importance. To increase backlinks, the focus should be more on spending the necessary time to create engaging and informative content which will have the best potential to spread virally on social networks.
So, in order to take advantage of Google's new Caffeine update you should have a regularly updated blog, test your page loading speed in Google's Webmaster Tools to pinpoint page elements that are slowing things down and develop a strong backlink strategy that targets the viral potential of social media networks.