If you have a small business with a small SEO team, then the amount of effort you put in to get your new website to outrank large competitors is high.

A comprehensive understanding of what SEO is and how it works can give your business compounding returns over several years or even decades!

But since SEO is often influenced by the changing trends, the results are not always permanent.

Human behaviour drives search engines to tweak their algorithms and ranking factors to improve search results and user experience (UX).

For instance, Google plans to prioritise the mobile version of a website for search engine ranking, especially since most web users use mobile devices to access the internet.

Because of this, high-ranking websites that weren’t optimised for mobile browsers were severely hit and slumped in their ranks.

A few other instances of disruptive algorithm updates include:

  • Panda update – Prioritised content creation
  • Penguin update – Discouraged spammy link-building tactics
  • Florida update – Tackled keyword stuffing practices
  • Hummingbird update – Core algorithm update that sought to improve the usability
  • Pigeon update – Aimed at improving local search

So, how can SEO teams in micro and small companies worldwide predict upcoming algorithm updates and shield themselves from any potential penalties by search engines?

SEO Life Hack: Study Google search patents

SEO Life Hack: Study Google search patents

As SEO specialists, business owners, team leaders, and digital marketers, we always look for tricks that help a brand future-proof itself against unpredicted and disruptive search engine algorithm updates.

Fortunately, there is a way forward! By scrutinising Google’s search patents, marketing teams can guard their websites and keep them ready to tackle any disruptive algorithm tweaks.

Google regularly comes up with innovations, some minuscule and some monumental, which gets patented. Some of these patents may even be centred around algorithm updates.

But the entire process, from filing for a patent to the technology being implemented, takes several months or even a few years, thus giving SEO teams ample time to work on their websites.

While not all patents live to see the light of day, there are some that businesses can’t afford to take lightly.

Tweak Your SEO Strategy with these Latest Google Patents

Expert reviews will boost your local SEO

Tweak Your SEO Strategy with these Latest Google Patents

The paper titled “Identifying local experts for local search” points towards an algorithm shift that would prioritise reviews of local experts on a business’s Google My Business (GMB) page over other reviews.

This means having a lot of reviews on a GMB page isn’t going to cut it. The reviewer’s “authority” is also a determining factor to rank highly in local search results.

What should you do?

To improve your website’s SEO performance, try strategies like incentivising reviews with special offers and coupon codes. If your business received poor reviews from authoritative sources, the next best action plan is to serve the critiques better and encourage them to give a new review.

Voice search-friendly content ranks

Voice search-friendly content ranks

The number of smart speakers per house continues to increase all around the world.

As virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa become more capable and personified, more users use speech or voice to interact with search engines rather than typing out their queries.

This means Google seems to be working on algorithm updates that rank websites based on the most voice search-friendly content.

Two patents that stand out are:

What should you do?

To optimise your website around such patents, SEO and content teams should create and distribute content that sounds conversational and has several question phrases.

Context is important in communication

Context is Important in Ccommunication

A single word can have multiple meanings in a language.  The meaning varies depending on the speaker’s location, origin, circumstance, and other factors. This is what you call ‘context.’

A Google search engine user might be looking for one thing but find completely irrelevant results at times — if the search engine fails to identify the context and intent of the search query.

In recent years, Google filed several patents to address this issue. Some of them are:

What should you do?

SEO teams can future-proof businesses by generating new content and updating the old content in terms of tonality and semantics. Using more synonyms is another way to define the context.

Pro tip: For local search and local SEO, use appropriate colloquialisms and regional phrases.

Ready to amp up your SEO game?

Found that valuable? If you want to read up on more Google search patents, head over to Google Patents and type in a search phrase. 

SEO was a breeze in the past. But now, search engines are getting more complicated than ever as they prioritise multiple factors like UX, content standards, voice search friendliness, site speed, site security, and more!

To retain and boost your search engine ranking, your business needs to stay up to date with all the latest SEO trendsLearn more optimisation tips, tricks, and insights here.