sherlock, bbc, moriarty, crown, throne,Google made a total of 15 changes to the algorithm that defines search results. While many of those changes have been minor, others have had a dramatic impact on websites and more specifically, on the content contained on the sites. With these changes, Google is forcing the SEO industry to change its focus and the way it creates content.

Keywords

One of the biggest changes is the loss of Google Analytics to study keywords and which ones were used to find particular websites. While this caused quite a stir with some SEO experts, others recognized that Google was forcing them to pay attention to the quality of the content instead of a few specific words.

Following this change was the new update, Hummingbird. It focused on more natural-sounding searches instead of keywords. While more changes will need to be made so that it works correctly every time, this update is a move towards creating search results that answer people’s questions. For instance, when you ask, “What team does Peyton Manning play with?” the top answer is the Denver Broncos. When you ask how old he is, you get the answer “37.” Users don’t have to try to come up with special words and content creators don’t have to try to match them. They just need to provide the relevant information to the users’ questions.

Page Rank

Page Rank hasn’t been updated in several months. This means SEO strategists can’t check it to see where websites are ranking. The ranking is based on how many sites link back to your website. While this can be an indicator of a site’s credibility, it has often caused many to focus on links solely to rank higher instead of focusing on the entire site and quality content.

Authorship

While having a Google+ profile is becoming more important, having an Author Rank will also become essential. While this is not a term that Google uses, many industry experts use the phrase to mean content that is associated with its author.

When you create a new piece of content, Google will associate with other pieces you have created to help determine authority on the topic. The amount of response your content receives will also play into search ranking. For example, if you write about finance and investments and have your work shared, Google will be more likely to rank a new piece written by you higher if it also focuses on the same topic.

In-depth Articles

Google has also created a new feature in its searches called In-depth articles. This provides results for a search that is more in-depth than your basic article. It is another way to rank with the search engine and it allows you to show your expertise by providing more information for the reader.

What these changes mean on the SEO side of content building is that it is about more than analytics. Google has taken away many of the tools used in the past to help websites rank high. Instead of focusing on keywords and page ranking, the strategy must be about getting to know your target audience and how to appeal to them. It will be about establishing your reputation by providing high-quality content. There are no short-cuts to greatness