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SEO: Tips to improve your rankings from Google’s VP of Search

When Google’s VP of Search shares ranking insights and product updates, we listen.

Hyung-Jin Kim recently shared valuable bits about Google’s algorithm at SMX Next, plus what you should do to satisfy user search intent.

Search Engine Journal shared some takeaways, so let’s cover the most important ones:

E-A-T is everything. Yes, that sounds like something Kevin Malone from The Office would say, but Hyung-Jin revealed that expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is Google’s “main evaluation template for any website.”

In other words, quality content is—and always should be—your number one focus.

Firsthand experience and “overall quality of the web” are priorities. Google isn’t only working to improve individual websites.

A huge pillar of its mission is improving overall web quality, like reducing content farms and other tactics that worsen the search experience.

Your website needs to show real experience with the content in hand. For instance, if you review a product, it’s important to show you’ve actually spent some time with it and tested it out, instead of regurgitating what’s already online.

Algorithms are getting better and results are becoming more empathetic. Thanks to “deep neural networks,” Google is starting to better understand users’ needs for specific searches.

In the past, searching for “jewelry for work” would show jobs related to jewelry, while now the word “for” distinguishes intent, i.e., searching for work-appropriate jewelry.

Also, it’s important for rankings themselves to reflect user intent. For example, googling “depression” could be a sign that a user needs help, not just information about depression.

And in the future, Hyung-Jin said “Multisearch,” or the ability to combine image and text queries, could lead to a significant shift in SEO… so pay attention to this feature.

That’s pretty much it. We’ll end with Hyung-Jin’s message that “SEOs, Google, and webmasters should work together to improve the internet.”

This could be a plea for SEOs to recognize that the algorithm isn’t “against them,” but they too should adapt and work in a partnership to improve the experience for their users.

Sounds like a happy ending to us.

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