If a powerful wizard appeared to an overworked SEO in a dream and granted them a wish, they’d most likely request one thing: To know Google’s actual ranking formula.
We don’t know all of Google’s ranking factors. But luckily, the company has recently developed a polling mechanism that makes those requirements much more obvious.
But what are these satisfaction polls that are appearing in the SERPs? Can they help you improve your rankings?
In this post, we’ll explain:
- Google’s recent satisfaction polls
- Why this new SERP feature will change the way we do search engine optimization
What Are the New Google Satisfaction Polls?
If you’ve been browsing Google on your phone recently, you’ve probably come across an image similar to the one above.
If you return to the SERPs after clicking on a result, Google will show you a satisfaction poll below the result you visited.
The poll will include the question: “How easy was it to find what you wanted on this site?”. Plus, you’ll have 5 options to choose from, ranging from “very easy” to “very difficult”.
This simple question changes everything and it’s important to understand why. The thing is, Google has started asking for user feedback on whether certain results provide answers easily enough.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen surveys like this. Back in 2012 Search Engine Journal noted the emergence of feedback forms in search results. But these older forms were quite different.
These forms asked users for their overall satisfaction in relation to the entire search results listing. In other words, it aimed to understand how satisfied users were with the search results they received.
Google satisfaction survey forms are also placed directly on your website after submitting your URL to Google Surveys. The default questions are free, with paid custom questions.
In summary, Google has been using satisfaction forms for a long time. And, in some cases, website owners had to request them if they wanted direct user feedback.
In contrast, the new satisfaction polls are automatic and are intended to exclusively check how easy it is to access information.
Google Satisfaction Polls As Rank Factors: What’s New?
Google’s new satisfaction polls ask you about a specific article: the article you just read. And not just anything: the question is about “ease”. The question is “how easy was it to find what you wanted on the site?”
Clearly, ease to access key information is something that Google prioritizes. And this changes a lot of what we thought we knew about SEO.
What does Google care about when ranking content in the SERPs? Now we begin to see that Google places great importance on the ease of finding relevant answers, which you may have been overlooking.
We can now say that we know some of Google’s cards. And, in fact, it’s not casual for Google to be showing these polls on mobile devices.
Not only do mobile users make up a substantial portion of search activity. But Google knows that mobile users usually want easy solutions to specific problems, and to get them at speed. That’s the whole rationale behind accelerated mobile pages.
But we need to define “ease” in order to use it as a criterion for future SEO efforts. Let’s move forward with that.
What Google Satisfaction Polls Mean By “Easy” Answers
Now that we’ve seen the importance of “ease” for Google, we should define what an “easy answer” would be.
In our view, a good answer would be “easy to find”, something that is easily accessible. In other words, your content should give fast answers.
This reshapes “classic” SEO strategies that focus on writing lengthy content and filling it with subtopics and keywords.
In light of these polls, the obsession with certain user metrics (especially time on page) should take a back seat. Maybe your users aren’t spending time on your page because they’re happy, but because they’re not finding what they’re looking for.
These satisfaction polls also hint at what Google prioritizes when featuring content on answer boxes. What is an answer box if not a prize for those sites that meet Google’s quality standards?
It’s no longer about time on page. Google has different priorities.
- Provides quick answers
- It’s relevant and in-depth, but designed for scannability
- Has a tone that’s effective, to-the-point, and accessible
Pro tip: Consider adding a TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read”) or Frequently Asked Questions to your content, to answer key user questions in a concise way.
How Google Satisfaction Polls Will Change SEO: Some Key Examples
Google’s emphasis on easy and quick answers is already changing the SERPs. In this section, we share some interesting examples.
In affiliate marketing, Google’s new “easy” standard has sparked a revolution. Let’s dive into an example.
A user searching for “best wireless routers” is looking for wireless router reviews before deciding which one to buy. Here’s the first result for that query. Spoiler: It meets Google’s new “easy” standard:
This article has a 40-word introduction before the first affiliate links show up.
However, there are some important factors worth mentioning:
- PCMag is an old domain with millions of backlinks
- PCMag has a Domain Rating of 91/100
- The website’s full of in-depth, lengthy, and high-quality original content
In the following example, you’ll see that some of these “easy” results have been featured in answer boxes.
Check out the following example and see if you can catch the pattern:
This health post on Forbes.com covers “the best multivitamins for women in 2022”. What can we expect from Forbes? Let’s take a look at the body of the post:
The article has a precise introduction, including some key contextual information. And when you scroll below, you immediately find a product carousel. Each product card includes:
- Key nutrients
This is a great example of what Google wants. This result is interactive, direct, and actionable.
Let’s see one more example of a different kind. Remember that these are design and content innovations that come from a new way of conceiving SEO.
Take a look at the search results for “best city cars 2022”. The first result you’ll find comes from Carwow:
This post provides a detailed and necessary introduction, something that no user would reject. And then it lists out the key information the user wants.
This post is:
We’ve only seen a few cases where this new standard is applied, but it’s surely going to spread to the rest of the Internet. It’s time to embrace the value of ease.
Easy Answers Aren’t Enough to Win at SEO
In this post, we explained what Google’s new satisfaction polls mean for doing SEO in 2022 and 2023.
Providing relevant and easily accessible answers to users’ questions is a must. But it’s not enough to rank well.
Staying in control over redirects, indexing issues, and meta descriptions is known to be a sophisticated technical task that can consume a lot of our time. Especially as your website grows. And the larger your site, the more costly a technical mistake can be. But don’t worry, SEORadar has you covered.
SEORadar is a technical SEO tool that detects changes to your website’s code before they have a negative impact on your rankings.
In addition, its notification mechanism is highly flexible, so you can choose which items you want to track and which notifications to prioritize. SEORadar is fully customizable and adapts to your SEO goals.