Google is shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and cutting-edge technology… or is it?

Despite what most marketers think, Google is actually fairly transparent about the way it calculates search engine results. That’s particularly true today, when we are getting more direct updates and insights from the company itself around topics like authority, originality, and content quality.

Even without direct statements from Google’s engineers, however, it’s easy to tell what the world’s biggest search engine wants. That’s because they keep telling us again and again, in the way they have altered their search algorithms through recent Penguin, panda, and Mobilegeddon updates.

In each case, Google has been practically shouting two different details into our ears:

First, That Searchers Want Accessible, Informative, and Unique Websites

The world’s most popular search engine is telling us what it wants again and again.

Google wants what its searchers want. In most cases, that’s easy access to accurate, up-to-date information with unique viewpoints.

So, adding lots of great content to your website, and making sure that it’s targeted towards a certain type of reader or searcher is important. If your website isn’t original, it doesn’t have value; and, if it’s designed to appeal to everyone, then it probably isn’t specific enough to really help individual people.

In this day and age, you have to know who your buyers are and then tailor your website and content around their needs. Otherwise, you’re just spinning your wheels online.

And Second, That Too Much Search Engine Optimization Will Get You into Trouble

From the first moment marketers realize how much potential there was in earning a top spot on Google search rankings, they started looking for ways to give themselves an advantage. Some of the tactics they’ve come up with have been more useful and effective than others, but all of them are slowly taking a backseat to quality content and good user experience.

Putting too much effort into search engine optimization – especially in the form of clunky writing and spammy inbound links – doesn’t move you any closer to either of those goals. What they may do, however, is trigger alarms within Google’s search algorithms and cause you to suffer penalties and lose search traffic at the same time.

In the eyes of Google, almost anything that’s good for searchers is good for the company itself. That means high-quality content and websites that are being grown organically, not clunky pages that load slowly and are filled to the brim with awkward keywords.

If you can remember that, you’re always going to be on the right side of the next Google algorithm update. The world’s most popular search engine is telling us what it wants again and again. Why aren’t more marketers (and their web design firms) listening to what’s being said?

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