Codename: Project Owl

June 28, 2017

Codename: Project Owl. This title may sound like a top-secret spy mission, but it’s actually the name for the series of updates Google is making to its search engine. These changes are to combat the rise of “fake news,” a concept that came under scrutiny after the recent election. Ultimately, Google wants to ensure accuracy and avoid disseminating biased information.

The undertaking will involve multiple steps. The first is obtaining user feedback—search suggestions and featured snippets will have new feedback forms to make it easier to flag unhelpful or offensive content. Another is to assess the authoritative quality of pages. In other words, more “authoritative” or quality/trusted/current pages will have higher ranking in search results. While these steps alone may not ensure complete accuracy and exclusion of invalid information, Project Owl is meant to help improve the Google algorithms in determining sources that aren’t trustworthy or appropriate.

Luckily, these changes shouldn’t affect search engine optimization, for the most part. As long as your content does not fall under the category of “fake news,” there isn’t much adjustment needed. Like before, the safest way to continue to build your website’s reputation is by following the organic methods of developing site quality, also called white hat methods. Here are some tips to improve your site’s SEO performance using white hat methods:

  1. Use original content and cite any content that isn’t.
  2. Improve the quality of content: make it current, make it comprehensible and make sure it is grammatically correct.
  3. Strive for multi-platform capability and consistency across them.
  4. Include various media on your site.
  5. Use social media to your advantage

Project Owl is meant to improve search experience, though it may take years to fully implement. If you want to improve or maintain your search engine marketing, KSA&D can provide professional assistance in SEO. Contact us to learn more! Your site will be better equipped to deal with the changes from Project Owl; not to mention, working with us can be a real hoot!

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