Google is an ever-changing miracle of technology. Although they can be scary in the way they control so much information, as bloggers we rely on them for traffic. And traffic means money, right?
So what is to come in the next year? Will your blog still perform amazing, or are there some key factors to keep in mind? I’ll go over some things that have been confirmed by Google in their quality control papers. These are the new ranking factors and they are mostly based around expertise, authority and quality content.
2020 is the end of fake news and bad information
Or at least, that is what Google is planning for us all. They spent years trying to index the many websites out there and ranking them on some very advanced algorithms. Now, they will weed out the bogus information and look for the most relevant content, written by experts in their fields.
For you, as a blogger, this means you can no longer pretend you are a financial advisor or healthcare specialist. Blogs and websites in the YMYL-segment will have to prove their knowledge and credibility. It will be the end of the “earn 1000$ a dollar with this small investment”. And that is a good thing, as they were popping up like crazy.
Your guideline as a writer should be this: your content needs to be based on facts you can prove as an expert. Don’t rehash information just to get those affiliate commissions because eventually, your results will drop. That means that most writers will have to spend more time finding what makes their content unique and focus on delivering that in a way that is both helpful for your users and convinces Google about your expertise.
Let’s start to forget about link building
Over the years, Google has been changing the ranking factors from just having links to finding unique content and now it’s again changing to the most credible content. This means that backlinks are actually gradually losing value, with the future not looking too bright.
Those of you who were still trying to use methods that worked 10 years ago, will really have to change your approach. It is officially, completely over.
That being said, a link from a trusted website will always help you rank if your content is on point. In an ideal internet, links should be like references in a dissertation or a book. Every link pointing to you should technically prove to Google that you are an authority on the subject. So forget about adding your URL to spammy link wheels, it will have an adverse effect for sure.
My tip, again, is to create amazing and unique content. If what you write is true, eventually somebody will link to it. That way you don’t even have to spend hours trying to find a good partner, contacting them and waiting for a link to be placed. Or even worse, paying for a link.
Stop writing for Google
This is a really huge thing that keeps popping up on my Pinterest feed: 10 SEO hacks, How To Rank in Google Using Keywords, etc. Those things are all great if you want to write for a machine that is trying to filter out your content.
Have you checked those new Google snippets? Nobody is telling the search engine to use that. They just decide it, either manually or automatically. They will decide who gets the snippet and who ranks for what, no matter what you do.
Content will be more than king in 2020, as long as you write like a human, for humans. You no longer have to stuff your page with oddly placed keywords, Google has evolved beyond that. Also, those things were never fun to read, so it will hurt your income as well.
The only things you should help Google out with are your meta descriptions. Especially if you’re using WordPress, as most themes don’t offer that functionality. Luckily, there are many great plugins to help you in doing exactly that. Your meta description should also not be a keyword-stuffed, unreadable hunk of text. It should convince people to click on your website when they see it appear in the SERPs.
Pimp your About Me page
You might not like this on every site that you run, but if it’s a moneymaker, create something that shows your credibility.
This is not only for search engines, but it also helps the visitors trust you more. In the end, a well-written article is warm traffic you want to send to something that will earn you a commission.
Consider the amount of extremely similar websites out there. Why would people trust you? Perhaps you have years of experience while someone else is just rehashing content.
How will people know the difference?
Well first of all because you can prove it in your writing by adding personal pictures or giving an example that you experienced yourself. Second, if you have an About Me page that describes your expertise. Try not to lie too much, it’s the internet, someone will always call you out.
Do not take long breaks
Don’t write 20 articles and then let them just sit there forever. This might work if you are in a small niche, with little competition and using the right keywords. For most blogs and websites, you should try to find a rhythm.
This should be a pretty straight forward thing but is often overlooked. As a blogger, you have two fans: Google and your readers. Both of those are craving new content. Wait, let me rephrase that. Both of those are craving new, relevant and unique content.
Is something that was written three years ago still relevant? Maybe, depends on your topic. But perhaps someone is writing an updated version about it right now and they will just jump over you in the rankings. If you don’t seem to care about your site, then why would anyone else?
If your website is new, this is especially important. If you just write 10 articles and then want to wait for traffic, you’re screwed! You will get discouraged and that will be the end of it. A potentially beautiful idea just dies and someone will probably pick up your domain name after you drop it and turn it into something magical.
It’s, therefore, best to not burn yourself out in the first months of your website. Get to writing, but don’t push yourself to the point where you actually start to hate it. Take it easy, this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Just keep it up and the result will eventually be perfect.