Google confirms March update was about Relevancy
Precursor About Subject Matter
On April 6, during a Google Webmaster Hangout, John Mueller from Google confirmed that the algorithm update on March 7 did not necessarily target websites that were low quality. Instead, it focused on content relevance. In other words, any website rankings that were affected by the update are not necessarily low quality.
Regardless of how great the quality is, a lot of websites will lose relevance over the course of time. According to Mueller, the best way to make a website more relevant is to get constructive feedback from users. Additionally, important questions should be raised regarding Google’s ability to crawl and index all of the content properly.
An Important Case Study
In the past, when one searched “online shopping”, he or she would receive results regarding websites that sold items that range from clothing and accessories to electronics and even groceries and food. In other words, a wide plethora of categories ranked under these inclusive keywords. Pages used to rank high regardless of their exact category within the online shopping sphere.
Google realized that most searchers of these keywords clicked on links that had to do with clothing, accessories, and electronics. Only a minority would use this query to order groceries and food. To put things simply, Google started to track user behaviour to see what keywords were being searched and where those keywords were leading to. Using this study, Google revamped its entire system.
As seen in the screenshot above, specific suggestions presented by autocomplete entail clothes, shoes, and electronics with no sight of groceries, food, and so on. This means that websites based on groceries and food are now much lower in the ranks. That is because Google started to categorize keywords based on user relevance, so user signals are now a major hitter in the SEO (search engine optimization) world.
User Signals to Lookout For
- Bounce rate. Although Google has not necessarily confirmed this, SEO experts claim that Google pays attention to user interactions and their journey throughout a website as a ranking factor.
- CTR known as clickthrough rate, this determines the likelihood of your link getting clicked once presented on Google search results page. This will rank your website compared to other websites within the same query.
- Dwell time. This is the time that the user takes to explore a website organically before returning to the search results page. A short dwell time indicates that the user was not satisfied by the website’s content when it comes to finding an answer to his or her question and so he or she had to resort to another website.
Chain Reaction: The King of Relevance
Here, at Chain Reaction, we have developed our own test using generic keywords such as “online shopping” and discovered that Google has already booked them. Clothes, shoes, and electronics websites have overtaken grocery and food websites in the realm of Google rankings. Refer back to the Google autocomplete screenshot to reaffirm said claim.