This is the second post this month (first one was - Steps to Better SEO for Job Adverts) giving tips on getting the most out of the search engines. Below covers our opinion on what you need to be doing next to maximise your careers site…
The good folk from Google are preparing to make a major change to the results we get when searching, and that’s going to have a big impact on how your career site needs to be structured. As always, the Google lab will keep us guessing, but Matt Cutts, head of search gave a few clues as to what to expect at the recent #SXSW festival in Austin. This will mean results will be based on semantic search, enabling the Googlebot to better understand the meanings and relationship between words, reading whole text rather than sections of it.
From what I can see from all the noise, there are 3 key changes you need to make to be ready.
1: Content is taking over from SEO
The Googlebots that crawl for content will be discounting the previously important key-words, and will be discounting loaded content. Where it was enough (from an SEO point of view anyway) to duplicate the keywords throughout a page, the new algorithm will downgrade these pages, instead looking for synonyms and “like” words, taking a semantic approach to ranking content, rewarding good writing. That’s good news for readers, who want to find readable content on a topic rather than SEO loaded posts. Check your pages to avoid duplication of words, and get the synonym lists out to rewrite your copy. Think synonym not keyword.
2: Definitions and direct answers
Google have already coughed that they are going to be placing a lot more importance on direct answers and definitions, rather than the current algorithm. Where asking a question will more or less definitely take you to Wiki or Yahoo answers. Google want to take you to the expert with the best answer or source of reference, and you want to position yourself as that expert.
On career sites this means adding frequently asked questions and answers, ask an expert pages and community forums. This type of content will increase your ranking, and give better answers to job seekers. This also means that those sites that make a real effort to provide quality information that will help job seekers and site visitors, and that’s a good move in my book.
3: Relevant content
Google are looking to reward relevant content that matches the site description and about page, and content that readers stick with. Bounce rate and analytics will play a part, as well as factoring in who you are connected to, and what they are looking at. Relevance will be key in ranking, which places content back as king.
For those of you who have always been more concerned with content over SEO, this will prove a beneficial change. It’s important to check your site against the new criteria and use the opportunity to give it an overhaul. Right now, linking between other sites is important. It’s expected that links will remain important, but multiple links will be discounted, and if the ranking of the link pages drop, then the knock on effect will be a drop in your own rankings. Don’t rely on links to keep you ranked!
Just my thoughts, but it’s going to be interesting.
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