Advanced SEO Techniques: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Google Algorithm, Ranking Factors, Indexing and Crawling Budget
Advanced SEO Techniques
Search Engine Optimization is constantly changing. Google keeps updating and refining its algorithm to fulfill its ultimate goal- which is to provide accurate results to satisfy the user’s search queries.
While these changes are quite beneficial for users, businesses experience tough competition to rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). To certify rankings, websites are required to employ advanced SEO techniques.
What is advanced SEO?
Advanced SEO refers to the search engine optimization approaches that necessitate the need for expert knowledge. This method focuses on every element to ensure complete abidance to Google’s requirements.
So, if you are looking for an advanced SEO checklist, the following guide can help you out.
As stated earlier, Google’s primary objective is to provide users with the most accurate search results. Therefore, the most important factor that every SEO expert must consider is user intent.
User intent is an understanding of the information that a user desires to find. Essentially, every query made in the search engine has one of the following four intents:
Informational searches are aimed to learn more about a particular topic. For instance, searches such as, “gift ideas for mother’s day”, or “ banana bread recipe” would fall in this category.
Navigational searches are directed to find specific websites. An example of this would be a user typing “DIY Furniture YouTube”.
Transactional searches are made with the intention to order or purchase a product or a service. Examples of this would be “buy t-shirts online” or “best restaurants near me”.
Commercial searches are made by users who wish to buy a product/service but require more information first. These queries typically involve comparisons. For instance, a user may type “ iPhone X vs iPhone 12 Pro”.
From an SEO perspective, it is imperative to identify user intent and frame the content in a way that it is satisfied. This will be comprehensively elaborated later in the guide.
Google’s Algorithm and Ranking Factors
In order to understand advanced SEO, you must have a fundamental understanding of Google’s algorithms and ranking factors. As of now, Google has more than two hundred ranking factors that play a significant role in where your website is displayed in the SERPs. Although, the ten most important ranking ones are:
- High-quality content
- Backlink strategy
- Search intent
- Website loading speed
- Domain authority
- Keyword optimization
- Website structure
- Website security
- User experience
The preceding factors play a role in where your website ranks in accordance with a certain keyword.
Essentially, RankBrain, which is a new addition to Google’s algorithm, is also considered one of the most important ranking factors. RankBrain is a machine-learning algorithm that determines the website’s usefulness by studying user searches and behaviour.
For instance, if a user searches, “top restaurants near me” and clicks on the third result, Google will deem the third website to be more useful. Similarly, if the user clicks on the first result and leaves the page almost instantaneously, Google will take note of the domain’s increasing bounce rate. This would result in a drop in rankings.
Taking that into consideration, it is imperative to have a detailed understanding of Google’s ranking factors, as well as its algorithm.
Crawling and Indexing
A search engine gathers an understanding of your website by crawling on the page. In doing so, it picks up the relevant keywords and links. If a link is picked up, the bots are directed to that page, which is then crawled as well.
Conversely, indexing is a process that enables your website to become visible to the public via the SERPs. If the website or a page is not indexed, users will not be able to find it through the search engine, even if the right keywords are added.
If the website is not indexed, users would be able to access it by typing in the URL, however, the pages will not show in the SERPs, which would ultimately decrease traffic and diminish sales.
It is important to note that Google does not crawl pages that have a no-index directive. Additionally, the directive must be visible to Google. In case the page is blocked by robots.txt file, login pages or other such things, the page may become indexed without Google visiting it.
How to Index Properly?
- Disable the crawling by using no-index tags on pages that you wish to hide. Make sure that a no-index tag is not added to a page blocked by robots.txt. In the case of the latter, the page would become indexed.
- Make use of structured data.
What is a crawl budget?
Crawl budget is the number of pages that Google crawls and indexes on a website within a specified time frame. This means that if the number of pages exceeds the budget, the leftover pages will not be indexed by Google. There are a few things that can maximize your crawl budget, such as the following:
- Optimize website’s speed
- Employ internal linking
- Create a flat website architecture
- Stay away from orphan pages
- Avoid duplicate content
What factors negatively influence the crawl budget?
- Low-quality content
- Duplicate content on the website
- Soft error pages and hacked pages
- Faceted navigation
- Session identifiers
- Several spaces and proxies
Publishing and indexing posts
For streamlined SEO, it is extremely important to regularly publish posts. This is because more posts provide more content, which ultimately increases the likelihood of visibility.
Taking that into account, it is important to publish new content at least four times a week. According to a study conducted by HubSpot, websites with more than four posts a week experienced 450 per cent more leads in contrast to their competitors.
Therefore, it is recommended to publish content as much as possible. For this purpose, most SEO experts create a publishing schedule to ensure regular content updates. It is further beneficial to update the content at a fixed time, as the readers would gauge an idea of when to visit your page.
Although it is recommended to publish evergreen content, this is not always possible. For instance, if you have featured a guide on ‘fashion trends 2021’, the same guide may not be applicable in the next year. Therefore, once the content is published, you can update it to make it more relevant.
In order to assess what pages require an update, you can check the following elements:
- Pages that accumulate low traffic or have a low click-through rate (CTR), while featuring high volume keywords would need to be revamped.
- Blogs with outdated information
- Posts with improper backlinks.
All in all, advanced SEO requires strategic techniques and attention to detail. You can hire SEO Shines to look after all your search engine optimization needs.