Google’s new policy rewards content over keywords

How businesses can adjust their SEO strategy

On Sept. 23, Google announced a change in how it reports user activity. This change impacts companies that depend on high web page rankings for their bottom line, and businesses will likely need to rethink their search engine optimization strategy in response to this latest development.

The most significant change is Google’s move to encrypt all user search activity except paid ads. According to Google, this provides extra protection for searchers, but it represents a dramatic change to businesses that rely on keyword activity to capture users and create leads. With encryption, businesses can no longer identify which keywords a user entered to get to their page, making it more difficult to achieve ranking by creating keyword-heavy pages.  

But the news is not all bad. Google's latest move rewards websites with good content and uses content relevance to determine a website’s overall ranking. In other words. Google is trying to deliver results to more closely match a user's behavior. By focusing on content over keywords, Google has become a much more sophisticated search engine.

So as a business looking to capture valuable web traffic, what do you do now? If you have used Google lately, you might have noticed that when you submit a search term, photos and videos are usually among the first results you see. That is because Google searches for content all over your website, including in the videos you post. Video now becomes a more important tool that you can utilize in your SEO efforts to increase your web ranking.

There are several ways video contributes to your overall ranking. Reports indicate that about 60 percent of online searches are for video, so Google prioritizes video in their search criteria. In addition, Google owns YouTube, which is the second-largest search engine in the world (after Google itself). Adding a video to your page increases your odds of appearing on Google's first page by 53 percent, according to Forrester Research.

Video and ranking

Video is shared more than any other medium, and social sharing increases page ranking. So when people share your video on Facebook and Twitter, Google takes notice and rewards you for creating shareable content.

In addition, users who visit pages with video stay longer on average, and the longer a user stays on your page, the better the ranking.

But like all marketing efforts you need a strategy. You can't just put a random video on your company web page and expect it to rise to the top. Google and your web audience are looking for great content that engages, informs and entertains the people who are searching for information. In line with your social and marketing efforts, the videos you post should be current and be updated regularly for maximum impact.

Video has always been a powerful tool to engage your audience and it continues to be a valuable addition to your website. In today’s Google-driven marketplace, video is now more then ever the right tool to have to meet Google’s latest challenge head-on.

Debbie Roy, marketing programs manager at Edify Multimedia Group, Nashua, can be reached at 603-943-5308 or through

Categories: Marketing & Advertising