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Why modern SEO needs to focus on relevance

Posted By: Jason

Google's most recent algorithm update targeted relevance, and how this affected a website could depend on a huge range of factors. The most simple factor though, as vague as it may be, is 'relevance'. How do you define relevance? Well, for many websites it is easy: what is your niche? What is your industry? And does your website make that industry clear? If you run a pet supply store, then your content will likely be related entirely to pets and animals. You probably have content that covers pet products, but you might also have content that informs users on proper ways to groom, for example, or on the best ways to ensure the well-being of an animal. This content is all relevant. If you run a larger site though, with a cross-niche 'focus', then you may struggle. A B2B site with content covering a range of business services - from printers to software - might struggle to ensure it is relevant in every area. As a result, this sort of site may well have seen shifts in its ranking over the last few months. Google's latest algorithm update was launched at the beginning of March, and a site like the one mentioned here could well have been impacted. Whether that impact is positive or negative will be harder to say. If that same site sold both printers and software, then it is possible that one or the other might suffer in the SERPs. If printers are more valuable to that site than software, then it is highly likely that one will be favoured above the other. In this example then, a negative impact on printer traffic would be more damaging than a negative impact on software traffic.

But what can be done?

If you have seen this kind of change, then it is important to assess your site. What is the extent of the change? Which parts of your site have been affected? And what do you think you could do? Often the first instinct is to try and fix the page that has seen a drop in ranking. Though this might sometimes work, it might not in this case. If your site has been impacted by a relevance update, then the best thing to do is to ensure that your site is relevant in the right areas. If you have to choose between software and printers, make sure you choose the one that will be better for your business. If printers are more valuable, that might be a clear choice, but remember that sometimes volume trumps value per product. Assess the change, assess the impact, and make sure you understand exactly what has happened, before deciding what to do next. If your site is more relevant for software, then maybe it is software that you should focus on in the future. For information on eCommerce, WordPress or SEO services, contact us at Lexel today.