What Google’s changes mean for inbound marketing success

Google changes its search algorithms between 500 to 600 times a year to keep searches relevant and competitive, according to Google (1). The largest change came in Google’s algorithm between January and February. Google now focuses on high-quality content based on websites with content that contains more images, details and multimedia displays, according to Forbes (2). This core algorithm update is unrelated to Google’s primary core algorithms, Panda and Penguin. However, all the algorithms combined translate to a new search engine system that focuses on quality over quantity.

This multimedia change has had a large impact on digital marketing already and what tactics B2Bs should take going forward with campaigns. Here are the impacts Google’s January and February algorithm changes will have on inbound marketing campaigns in 2016:

1. Focused meta descriptions for multimedia
Google’s newest algorithm change focuses on Web pages with images, videos, responsive Web design and high-quality content marketing. All images and videos posted on a website must contain keywords and a meta description that categorizes the media into various buckets. In 2016, these tags and descriptions will become more necessary to fill out so the search engine can find a piece. For example, a B2B video production company may have found in months past that its video tags were not showing up in search engines. With Google’s newest changes, videos and images on the company’s website will be easier to find by keyword, raising the page higher in search rankings.

2. Level of content detail
B2B websites that do not offer unique content in comparison to competitors will rank lower in Google search engine results pages. This is because the Google algorithm is capable of tracking how long a user spends on a site engaging with the content, according to Search Metrics (3). Furthermore, content that is long-form and relevant to the user’s needs is valued more highly than pages that focus strictly on keywords or key terms. For example, two competing websites may feature articles on how to boost SEO. If one of the pages is shorter and full of old information, Google will rank that page lower in search results. The website with longer, more relevant content and higher user engagement will rank more favorably in 2016.

3. User-intent focus
Users will typically search for a website knowing what result they want to receive. For example, a B2B financial business may Google itself to know how it ranks in SERPs. Likewise, that same B2B will look for a business partner that meets its qualification needs. The user has the intent of finding a website that matches their exact Google search description. This is known as a user-intent focus for a page, an essential part of the inbound marketing phase when a lead is researching your company’s benefits. Make sure that the content on your website and your web design shows the target audience what they’re searching for.

4. Mobile priority
As more changes take place in Google’s algorithms, it is important to take notice of other algorithms that will affect your campaigns. In May 2016, Google plans on releasing a mobile-friendly algorithm that was previously announced in 2015, according to Search Engine Land (4). The algorithm is expected to give priority to pages that have mobile-optimized pages and will impact mobile marketing efforts. To prepare for this update, make sure your Web page is fully responsive to all mobile devices by May of 2016.

5. Black hat SEO penalization
It is no secret that black hat SEO tactics are undesirable for B2Bs to use. Tactics such as keyword stuffing, redirect pages, doorway pages, hidden keywords in backgrounds and link manipulation will now be more punishable by Google by sending the page further back in SERPs, according to Forbes (5). One way to prevent this is by using white hat SEO tactics and focusing on long-form, high-value content such as detailed articles, videos and infographics.

6. Engaging digital content
While editorials and long-form blogs are still useful, video content that is specific and relevant to a user’s needs will hold priority in 2016. B2Bs should consider starting video blogs or podcasts to engage audiences and connect on a personal level. This medium will also raise ranks under Google’s new algorithm while providing valuable branded content for the company. These content campaigns should then be pushed on social media to increase inbound marketing engagement.

It is important for all B2Bs to understand the implications of Google’s newest algorithm changes and its focus on higher-quality content. B2Bs can stay on top of algorithm news by using a trusted B2B marketing agency or subscribing to Google’s newsletters today.

(1). Google Inside Search: Algorithms
(2). What Just Changed In Google’s Core Ranking Algorithm?
(3). Google Core Update 2016: Analysis of Winners and Losers
(4). Google to boost mobile-friendly algorithm this May
(5). 25 Black Hat Techniques That Are Killing Your SEO

Sheila Kloefkorn (1031 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world’s largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.