It’s been a year this week since Google released their most recent version of the Search Quality Rater Guidelines, the Holy Bible of SEO content marketing standards and source of many stomach ulcers for marketing professionals. Given the guidelines’ anniversary, and the recent rollout of Google’s BERT successor MUM, it’s an excellent time to consider how the newest guidelines should affect your SEO efforts—or if they even should at all.
You’ve no doubt brushed up against these new best practice rules in your SEO content marketing endeavors, even if you didn’t realize it. With each new update, it seems Google pushes their guidelines closer and closer to a “common sense” understanding of search, as their machine-learning tools grow increasingly capable of parsing human language. That’s a good thing for marketers and content creators like you and me, because it means we can spend more time writing great content about our areas of expertise, and less time worrying about click-think and fiddling with the back-end of Google Analytics.
But, the machine isn’t perfect yet, and until it is, optimizing content to land on page one of Google’s SERP (search engine results page) will be an incredibly important part of any digital marketing strategy. Given this necessity and the time we’ve had to sit with these updates, here are three key SEO content marketing takeaways from the 2020 Search Quality Rater Guidelines you might have missed: