Nothing lasts forever. Remember VHS tapes and Woolies pick & mix? It’s the same in the blogging universe: Google publishes a new update and in less than a day, blows your most recent blogging strategy out of the water. Reader preferences also evolve with time. One minute everyone is searching for payday loans and the next, they want information on climate change. It’s your job to stay on top of the latest trends, search terms, and more.
Before you slump over your desk in a fit of depression – who has time to keep up with all this?! – fear not, we have the facts for you. So, grab a coffee and read on.
Google’s BERT Update
Google is not the only search engine, but it wields the most influence. For this reason, it’s essential to stay on top of Google’s updates.
The BERT update, which was rolled out for English language queries in October 2019, will likely have a huge impact over the next year.
BERT is an acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. In simple terms, BERT pays close attention to the subtle nuances of search queries, such as prepositions (to, of, at, etc.) It uses them to provide more relevant results.
BERT will work in conjunction with RankBrain, Google’s first stab at an AI search algorithm. In terms of blogging, it’s important because you no longer need to use precise search phrases to rank.
Instead of using sometimes unnatural search phrases, such as “pizza restaurant NYC”, you can use the individual components of the key phrase more naturally in a sentence for the same SEO value. For example: “Look for the best-rated pizza restaurant reviews in NYC for a great dining experience”.
Naturally, BERT is probably going to have the largest impact on blogging in 2020, so ignore it at your peril.
Other blogging trends to pay attention to include:
Here at Ink Elves, we’ve already noticed a move towards long-form content.
There was a time when a 300-word post was the norm, but not anymore. Now, clients want 1000+ words, and often 2000+ words. In our opinion, this is a good thing.
Longer content allows the writer to deliver a more in-depth piece of work. Instead of skipping over the details in favour of a general overview, the writer can discuss topics in greater detail and really dig deep. It’s better for the reader, who is more likely to stay on-page for longer. It also encourages search engines to give the page a boost.
Happy reader = happy search engine. Everyone’s a winner!
Back to Basics
It’s also a good idea to back up your assertions with facts and link out to reputable sources. Again, this improves the reader’s experience and helps to establish trust (thus earning you another gold star from Google).
If you quote stats, facts, and figures, find the original source and link to it. There is an awful lot of crap floating around online; don’t add to it. Publishing inaccurate material helps no-one, least of all you.
Roll With It in 2020
Now is an excellent time to review your blogging strategy.
- Can you improve your content?
- Can you write longer articles?
- Can you make your posts more appealing, for example, by adding better quality images or embedded video content?
Make a point of regularly reviewing your blogging strategy. Keep on top of the latest SEO updates. Subscribe to SEO sites such as searchengineland and moz. If something is in the air, these sites are usually the first to let their readers know.
Focus on your writing process. Put as much care and attention into your writing as possible. The better quality posts you publish, the easier it will be to rank. And if your writing isn’t the best, hire us to produce some top quality posts!
Contact us today if you want to give your blog a serious boost in 2020. Our Ink Elves are ready to meet the challenge!