Bruce Clay and Virginia Nussey Discuss Recent Changes To Search Engines

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In the past year, a lot has been done to Google’s search algorithm that has almost entirely changed the landscape of modern SEO and search visibility. No longer will blackhat link building strategies work to boost page rank, rather, the focus now lies almost exclusively on content and end user experience.

Thankfully, Bruce Clay and Virginia Nussey of Bruce Clay, Inc. stopped by Search Engine Journal to talk more in depth about the recent changes to search engines and SEO, and offer their expert insights into how to adapt to a changing online environment.

In the first segment of the video interview, Bruce talks a little bit about how certain features such as ratings systems can factor into a site’s ranking, which eventually leads him into describing how Google looks at structured data to identify quality content and assign search priority to a webpage.

“You can highlight all kinds of data,” he explained, “not just dates, not just events, but there’s a lot of stuff that they’re extending. The fundamental purpose of this is to allow the user who does the query to gain as much information as they possibly can right there in the search results, often bypassing the need to even go to a website, and that, I think, is really going to be the risk we as website owners all face. If we give enough information to Google, and Google is able to represent that in search results, the number of visitors to our websites will diminish.”

Obviously, this poses a risk to all website owners, but also places even more emphasis on the importance of search rankings. If users aren’t even going to visit a page after searching for information, it’s highly unlikely that they will dig deeper than the first page of search results.

“It’s a two-edged sword,” Bruce exclaims, “right now, I want to perform better in the search results and I want the people that see it to see me as more of an expert and answer more of their questions, I really want to do all of these good things, but at the same time I recognize that if I give Google all of this information, Google doesn’t need me anymore.”

The inherent challenge that Google’s latest changes represents is that, they are essentially taking information from websites and repurposing it for users so that they don’t have to leave the search results page. Obviously this is a huge dilemma that webpage owners face because it means that the more information they put out there, the fewer visitors they will get in the future because Google is slowly eliminating the need to visit those sites. While this may improve the end user experience, it also provides website owners with a massive problem in regards to the future of their sites.

For more information about these changes, tune into the full video at the top of the page.


Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands FRSA is an entrepreneur, investor, business advisor and speaker. Newlands is also an adviser to the Draper Nexus Network of Things Fund that invests in IOT companies. He advises entrepreneurs and start-ups on various subjects from funding to growth strategies. Newlands received a Bachelor of Laws and he is qualified as a Lawyer. He gained his Green Card by being recognized by the US government as an “alien of extraordinary ability.” Newlands is the author of “Online Marketing: A User’s Manual” published by John Wiley & Sons. Murray regularly contributes to Forbes and Entrepreneur. Murray co-authored Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals with Bruce Clay. Murray runs the agency Influence People based in Palo Alto.
Murray Newlands
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  • Victor Pan

    I can verify. Data highlighter mark-up does get processed by Google – this allowed me to get a lot of stuff done without getting a developer involved, and nice looking SERPS were popping out. This brings optimization to a whole new level because some things you can ask Google to index and mark-up in their database without cluttering your page with mark-up, others you can manually add them to each page.

  • James Bull

    Maybe I’m missing something here? If all a website visitor was ever going to do was find some information and then leave again, what material difference does it make to the website owner if the same visitor finds the information they need in the search results page?

    There may be fewer visitors, but the bounce rate should be lower too. I’m interested to know why this is a cause for concern.

  • Aditya

    I think Bruce has a point that if you give all the information as structured data to Google and they display’s everything on the Search page itself, user might not visit the website. But, i believe that if someone is looking for some specific information which they find on our website(in Search results) , they would still like to visit those websites and find more information rather than just leave the search results like that. This also means that relevant/structured data results will have more chances to top SERP than others.