Semalt Shares 5 SEO Requirements Of Yandex And Google That Need To Be Fulfilled On The Site In The Near Future
Are you developing a site and promoting it to the best positions in search results? Are you following the requirements of search engine algorithms? What you should pay attention to in this year on the site; we will consider 5 important factors for the site from the latest trends.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure) is a protocol that ensures security and confidentiality when exchanging information between a website and a user's device. For example, it allows you to protect the data that a user provides in web forms to place an order or subscribe to updates.
The traffic of regular HTTP-pages is not encrypted, their data can be read by any of the servers through which they pass on the way to the website server. If the visited web page is protected by HTTPS, all data is encrypted, so information about the user's activity on this website is available only to himself and the website.
A secure SSL connection
Websites using a secure connection are ranked better by search engines. Back in 2014, Google announced that a secure SSL connection would be the official signal for ranking websites. In September 2015, a Google spokesperson confirmed that HTTPS offers an advantage when choosing between two equal search results. And in late 2015, Google announced that the HTTPS version of the page would now be indexed by default. This means that if the site has HTTP pages, Google will try to find their equivalent in the HTTPS format and, if there is one, the search engine will index the HTTPS version and show these pages in search results.
How to switch to the HTTPS protocol?
If you decide to switch to the HTTPS protocol, use strong security certificates for this. SSL certificate is an electronic document confirming the degree of reliability of the site. An SSL certificate is required to use SSL on the server. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a cryptographic protocol that provides secure data transmission over the Internet. You can get an SSL certificate from certification authorities, as a rule, for a fee or use free options.
Points to remember
Changing the site protocol from HTTP to HTTPS is considered a site transfer with a URL change. This action may temporarily affect traffic accounting. When a site is moved, its position in the search results may change, as search engine robots perform crawling and indexing of web pages again. The speed with which search engine robots re-index pages depends on the speed of the servers, the number of addresses, and other factors. To speed up this process, you can submit your sitemap. Read about migrating sites to HTTPS on help pages for search engines such as Google Webmaster Tools.
When ranking a site, the use of this protocol is regarded as a positive factor, so it is advisable to start using HTTPS.
2. Design Responsiveness
Responsive sites are sites whose pages are adjusted to the resolution and screen size of the user. Since 2015, Google has officially taken into account mobile compatibility as one of the site's ranking factors in mobile search. And in 2016, Google in its official blog announced the update of the mobile-friendly algorithm. Since then, this factor will have a greater impact on the ranking of sites in mobile search results.
Yandex has also been marking pages adapted for the mobile search for a long time in mobile search results with a special tag "mobile version" when searching from mobile devices. Obviously, the search engine will continue to give preference in ranking on mobile devices to sites with a mobile version.
Then users do not have to increase the font and constantly scroll the page left and right. Secondly, the site should not contain elements that do not work on popular mobile platforms. Such elements include, in particular, flash movies.
The criteria for receiving a tag from Yandex
The criteria for receiving a tag from Yandex at the moment, for example, are:
- pages that adjust to the resolution and screen size and have the same URL for all devices;
- pages with separate mobile URLs like m.site.ru (desktop URLs site.ru).
Also, the pages:
- must not contain Flash or Silver light (HTML 5 must be used instead);
- the content of the pages should not go beyond the screen horizontally;
- it is necessary that the viewport attribute is configured on the site to correctly define the viewport from mobile phones.
You can easily check the responsiveness of the site on the Google page: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
The ways to optimize an asset for mobile
One of the easiest ways to optimize an asset for mobile devices is to change the site theme to responsive. Responsive design will allow the template to automatically adjust to any screen size. You can use ready-made responsive templates or order the development of an adaptive template for your site.
Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that the optimization of an already working site and the implementation of an adaptive layout on it is a rather complicated process and cannot be fully automatic, since any page of the site may contain code that interferes with adaptation (fixed width of table columns, images with inscribed width parameter, etc.). In this case, you need to check every page of your site.
3 - Improved Behavioral Factors
Behavioral factors are additional signals by which search engines evaluate the practical value and usefulness of the page for the user. Search engines have consistently emphasized the importance of behavioral factors in site ranking algorithms lately.
The behavioral factors include a set of criteria:
- time spent by the user on the site;
- viewing depth;
- bounce rate;
- the ratio of returns to the site to the total number of conversions.
Time spent by the user on the site
Time on the site is calculated as the difference in time between the first and last event in the visit (events include page views, clicks on external links, downloads of files and achievement of goals). It's simple for search robots: the more time on the site, the better. It is believed that the longer a visitor stays on the site, the more interesting the site is, which means more relevant to his requests.
It is the number of page views of the site during one user visit. This behavioral factor characterizes not only the interest of visitors in the content, but also the quality of navigation and links between pages. To evaluate the indicator, we analyze the statistics: exit pages, the number of landing page views and take measures to increase the indicator.
The bounce rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who have viewed less than two pages on a site to the total number of visitors. The lower the bounce rate of the site, the better it is in the eyes of search engines. The bounce rate varies depending on the topic and features of the site.
Way to improve the behavioral characteristics of a site
The surest way to improve the behavioral characteristics of a site is to make it interesting and useful for users. There are many ways to do this.
Improving the usability of the site
The term "usability" has become a part of the everyday life of site owners and developers. It is believed that the more user-friendly a site is (that is, the higher its usability), the better its internal behavioral factors, and vice versa: the more inconvenient the site, the worse they are. Using usability analysis and analytical data, relying on your own feelings and customer feedback, conducting a comparative analysis of competitors, you can improve the site itself and, accordingly, improve behavioral factors.
Many SEO specialists point out that high bounce rates are often associated with a lack of easy navigation on the site. Navigation includes the site menu, sitemap, competent linking, auxiliary widgets, etc. The main rule is that there should be no "dead ends" on the site, the visitor should always have options to continue, go to other pages. This is especially important for landing pages. To increase the conversion of the site, it is necessary to carefully think over and plan the user paths on the site.
Reducing the loading time of website pages
Every extra second during site loading removes visitors from viewing it. People love fast sites and search engines prefer them too.
Increasing the information content and usefulness of the site
The better the content, the more of it, the more useful and informative it is, the more interesting. The higher the likelihood that the site will be liked by the visitor. Collect the maximum information on the site on its subject. Share your professional experience, give advice to visitors, ask for their opinion.
Improving the appearance of the site
This does not mean design for the sake of design, useless embellishments and other tinsel. The design should correspond to the theme of the site, take into account the actions of visitors on the site and not interfere with the perception of the content.
Integration of a unique tool into the site
Link visitors to the site - develop a unique tool that only you have on your site. You will see that the number of returning visitors every time more and more. For example, a website is useful where you can see a map of the depths of water or calculate the cost of installing a plastic window.
The behavior of visitors on the page
Improving behavioral factors should start by studying the behavior of visitors on the page. For this, there are special analysis tools: a click map, a scrolling map and a webviewer (recording of mouse movements), which Yandex provides free of charge within the Yandex.Metrica service. Analyze the heatmap for your landing page. Use all the tools available to understand why a visitor takes a short click and returns to the search. There can be many reasons - from poor usability to incomplete or low-quality content.
4 - Microdata
Microdata is a standard for semantic optimization. The purpose of semantic markup is to make information on the Internet more structured and to make it easier for search engines and special programs to extract and process information for its convenient presentation in search results.
Micro-markup is performed by adding special tags to the HTML-code of the page, in which various useful information is placed, and allows robots to more accurately define and structure information on site pages. The types of micro-markup depend on the types of tasks and the types of sites on which the representations formed by the micro-markup are broadcast.
The markup happens directly in the HTML-code of the pages using special attributes and does not require the creation of separate export files. Common dictionaries:
- Open Graph
The most popular is Schema.org - the standard for semantic markup of data on the web.
How to check the micro-markup of the site
You can check the micro-markup of the site, for example, using the services Yandex Webmaster or Google for webmasters. Using a custom validator, you can check the markup to make sure that search engines are retrieving the data adequately.
Micro-markup indicates to search robots the information that should be processed. This allows for improved page relevance for search engine robots and users. There is no exact confirmation of the dependence of micro-markup on site ranking. But micro-markup is a reliable tool that allows you to make a resource more structured and customer-oriented from the point of view of users and search robots. Using semantic markup, you can improve, for example, the presentation of a site snippet in search results and increase the CTR accordingly.
Markup allows you to make a resource more visible to users in search results. First of all, the presence of micro format or micro data on the page is reflected in the snippet (description) that accompanies the link to the site in the search results. The snippet of such a site contains a more complete description of the page, the main sections of the site, the price range of goods, images, addresses, phone numbers, ratings, and so on. Do not forget that a snippet is a kind of ad and an optimized snippet attracts more visitors to the site.
Semantic content markup
Semantic content markup is used by various services and allows you to generate special snippets for pages with such markup: for products, for recipes, for films, for creative works, for questions and answers, for videos and images, for data about the organization and its address, for reviews etc.
5 - Content Uniqueness
The Internet is turning into a dump for copy-paste and search engines, naturally, are trying to fight this. Search engines are improving every day more and more, focusing on the interests of users. The uniqueness of the content ensures good indexing of the site, indicates to the users the value of information, goods or services, and also improves the overall perception of the brand.
No one knows for sure what factors search engines take into account when ranking sites. Therefore, it is best to focus on creating the most interesting and useful website. It is noticed that search engines love sites that are constantly updated, so many SEOs recommend regularly publishing new materials. At the same time, if you copy-paste and publish low-quality content that is of no value to users, then such a tactic can do more harm than good. Search engines will consider a site to be of poor quality if most of its content is copied from other sources or if the site contains pages with duplicate or similar content.
Search engine algorithms and uniqueness of the content
Search engine algorithms are aimed at providing users with the most useful information. In its Webmaster Guidelines, Google writes: "Some webmasters try to rank their sites and get users to them by creating verbose pages with little to no original content".
Google will take action on domains that are trying to be overrated by showing copied or automatically generated template pages that are not of interest to users. Some webmasters prefer to copy content from more popular sites without paying attention to the relevance and uniqueness of this content and believe that increasing the volume of pages will improve the site's rank in the long-term.
The content itself, even if copied from the most popular and high-quality sites, will not be of value to users, if your site does not provide additional materials or opportunities to work with it. Better to take the time and create original content that will make your site stand out from the crowd. This will attract repeat visitors and ensure relevant Google searches.
Duplicate content may appear on the site and not intentionally due to duplication of pages by the control system or the output of identical blocks on the pages of the site. As a rule, in this case, the aim is not to mislead the user.
Do not just use the technical uniqueness of the site, which is determined by the mechanisms of search engines, - base your content on the actual needs of site visitors. When creating informational texts, it is important to collect as much useful information as possible, arrange articles better than those of competitors and add unique details there that are not found on other resources. Study the interests and needs of the audience, analyze behavioral factors, try new content options: an attentive attitude to the audience will provide responsive attention to the web resource of users and search engines.
However, you should not go to the extreme and think that the uniqueness of the text is the main value of the site, which has the greatest impact on the promotion of the site in the TOP. If earlier search robots evaluated the uniqueness of content in the first place, now this aspect is becoming additional. The behavioral factors, which I wrote about above, come to the fore. Remember the main thing: the content must have value for the audience of your site. And don't forget about the complex development of the site.