Changes to the Google Algorithm
Whilst the inner complexities of the Google Algorithm is shrouded in mystery, we do know that it is constantly being updated to produce search results that are as closely aligned with user intent as possible. You should be making frequent updates to your website in accordance with these changes.
Google’s advancements in natural language processing (NLP) – the technology they use to understand what users are searching for and what the content of a page is about – is a good example. Now that NLP can understand your content more deeply, writing it is less about quick and easy tricks (e.g. cramming in an exact keyword as many times as possible into your content). It is now more about writing unique and valuable content for users. For instance, Google’s NLP algorithms are now smart enough to understand synonyms and various other related terms.
In more recent times, Google’s introduction of Passage Ranking in 2021 now means that your content can more easily rank for separate queries. As with NLP advancements, this should directly inform the way that you write and structure your content. For example, there is an opportunity to focus on related question-based keywords in H2s and H3s to rank for other keywords beyond your primary keyword.
Outdated content on your website is another big reason why you may need an SEO audit. Your content needs to be useful and relevant otherwise it will be effectively ignored by Google. In 2016, the web was made up of around 130 individual trillion pages, whereas the Google Search index only contained hundreds of billions of web pages, a comparatively small percentage of the overall tally. In other words, Google is smart and it will filter out what it deems no longer relevant.
There are various reasons why outdated content could negatively affect your SEO efforts:
- New information on the topic may become available, displacing yours
- The competition around a certain keyword could grow
- Your content could be left with broken links
That is why the process of updating old content is so beloved by SEO professionals around the world!