Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com is certainly a knowledgeable pro in the field of SEO, so when he writes an article about the importance of understanding Google, it’s our job to share it with you.

Google Algorithm Updates:  What do they mean?
Google wants to deliver quality results.  That means they have to stay ahead of “scammers and spammers” as Patel puts it.  It’s in their best self-interest to weed these sites out, because they are not really of much use to users.  They are mostly thinly-veiled sales sites, of which it’s highly unlikely that the user is really looking for.

Google has defined quality sites as those that deliver quality content.  They judge this by the number of backlinks your material receives, among other things.  Backlinks only come your way when you create content that people think is quality and want to share.

So Google doesn’t like spammy links, malware, slow loading sites and duplicate content among other things, but what does it like?   Although the specifics are vague, Google admits that over 200 factors are considered when it comes to ranking a site.  Here are a few to consider.

Social shares.  These fall into the same category as backlinks.  To Google, they provide proof of quality.

“Cornerstone Content.”  This is content that is so good, it stands the test of time.  It might be a white paper that you wrote 2 years ago that people are still downloading, or maybe a video that people are still watching despite the fact that you produced it three years ago.

Sites that are updated from a tech standpoint.  Your site should be mobile ready, it should automatically re-size for the device it’s running on, and old tech that slows down you load time should be gone.
Other things Google loves…or hates
It’s pretty easy to find out what these are by using Google Webmaster tools.  Among the things that this will help you with is Page Speed which will help you if you have load time issues.  It will also tell you have errors on your site.  404 errors are particularly annoying.

There are three other key areas of input you can receive from Webmaster Tools: search queries will tell you the number of search impressions you’ve gotten; the number of pages on your website that are indexed, and finally the message area.  Here Google will give you hints about what’s wrong with your site, so you can fix problems, before you’re penalized for them
A final opinion
Google wants you to live in a Google world.  Try logging in to one of their programs and they know who you are, they want you to share it with the world and they want you to do this with Google products.   Frankly, all companies want this; they all want to rule the world.

So I what I see for the future is those sites, companies and entities that are fully integrated with Google’s products including Google+, will be rewarded with higher search rankings.

This is fair enough I guess.  There are other search engines out there.