Google Algorithm Updates Impact SEO Tactics
Google’s next algorithm update is more about “them” and less about “you”. The search giant recognizes that when marketing shouts about the business itself, it isn’t as user friendly.
Marketers are closing watching for the latest Google Algorithm updates to Panda. What we do know, is that Google is highlighting the need for Websites to focus on content that is relevant to the user. Google doesn’t always announce internal updates and algorithm changes, but when they do, it is likely to impact your website and mobile search.
By observing algorithm fluctuations in the SERP’s in tandem with your own page rankings and staying current in communications from Google and the SEO community, it is possible to extrapolate how to update your website to improve rankings.
The Change History of Google Algorithms
October 2019 Google’s Natural Language Processing Update – BERT
What is the BERT Algorithm Update? ANSWER: It is the technology company’s neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training. BERT is the acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and is meant to help computers understand language more like you and I do. it is focusing more on what reviewers say and how trusted your brand is.
August 2018 Core Update aka Medic Update
What is the Medic Algorithm Update? ANSWER: It was a disturbance that gave some domains positive keyword visibility improvements in the UK and USA’s SERPs index, but, notably, it also found that the sector, or vertical, that experienced the most change is search results was the Health sector. Web pages types most impacted were those where the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users, called “Your Money or Your Life” pages, or YMYL.
Each year, Google search algorithm changes happen around 500 to 600 times per year, according to Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History. John Mueller indicated on the January 12th Webmaster Central Office Hours* live-stream that changes may be minor going forward after the next core algorithm update. Google intermittently introduces “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda, Google Penguin and RankBrain), which can alter search results in significant ways.
Google algorithm updates center around one thing – their first priority is to help our users find relevant trusted content more easily. There has been a lack of clarity for search engines a good percentage of the time. To meet consumer’s knowledge quest, updates to Google algorithm will reduce levels of ambiguity. Implement the latest schema structured data to help search bots understand your content better.
Google has a long history of famous algorithm updates; search index changes, and refreshes their focus to offer those who search a better experience. Thanks to the implementation of efficient algorithms, users do have many new advantages, especially on mobile, but the task to keep up for SEOs and SEMs is enormous.
Don’t Wait for a “BIG” Google Algorithm Update Announcement
In the English Google Webmaster Hangout*** on Friday, July 8, 2016, search trends analyst John Mueller stated that Google is always “improving the search results and the search algorithm”.
Question as to Next Google Algorithm Update:
“There are no confirmed big algorithm updates since January. We saw a mobile update in May, and that’s it; 2016’s been a quiet year. Is it calm before storm, or Google changed some policy? Meaning big algorithm updates; everyone is talking about big SERP fluctuations.”
John Mueller’s Response:
“We make changes all the time. So it is not the case that the engineers are taking a break for the year. They are always working on improving the search results and the search algorithm. That is not something where I’d say just because you have not seen an announcement that nothing is happening. There are always changes happening.”
Be Proactive and Current in How Algorithms Work
If you are waiting for a news breaking official announcement of the next Google algorithm update, you may miss key SEO tactic adjustments you need to be making. Algorithm changes are happening all the time. It would seem to be a safe assumption to transpose “all the time” to daily.
Google Search is continually evolving to be more assistive, to better match user intent and to offer faster responses. In my opinion, it takes the work of dedicated SEO’s and SEM experts who are staying current daily. Those who wait to make adjustments to their SEO campaigns only once algorithm updates flood the news will miss the advantages of daily monitoring and implementing adjustments.
Mueller also covered many ways to read reports in the Google Search Console to see what is happening to a site’s performance in search. Learn more from comments by John Mueller as to what Google’s web ranking factors are.
The Next Penguin Google algorithm Update
Gary Illyes offers fresh comments about the next Penguin Google algorithm update during a live Google Hangout hosted by Stone Temple Consulting on February 2, 2016.
Concerning Penguin – “We were aiming to launch Penguin in this quarter. I am not sure this will happen”. He used the example that as with every human, staff in this department has thresholds of tolerance, too. He indicated that they also have a threshold as to how often they can answer all the questions about this. “If we reach that threshold, they may not answer us anymore. They are running the experiments, but we also will not launch something we are not happy with. We want to make sure that if Penguin affects a page, we want to be sure that that page should absolutely be affected.”
It is important to recognize the significant amount of time that is required to come up with algorithms, their updates, and knowing in advance how they will impact searches. The conception time that goes into something like the Penguin Algorithm is alone considerable, and then comes along the time for tweaks. Determining what is needed for improvements involves massive amounts of research and testing to fine-tune the Penguin Algorithm. Only then do they take additional updates live. “Sometimes fine-tuning can take way more time prior to launching,” added Illyes.
Google Bot of Panda Algorithm Measures Quality Content of Site
Your site is evaluated on how user-focused its content is. A voice for Google stated in a recent SEM Post, “Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.”
Webmasters can learn much from these new insights about Google’s Panda algorithm. While Google has formally taken a more silent approach to revealing their search algorithms, these recent statements were quite revealing. Google is being more open about newer Panda-related information that often SEO experts need and it is leaning more heavily on its Google Assistant platform.
The fresh takeaways from Google spokesman about the Panda algorithm point to SEO tactics that one can take immediate action on. Foremost, review your web content to understand where duplicate content, low content or content that needs to be rewritten to become more “user” focused. By increasing the quality value of your current content, you will be better aligned with the Panda algorithm.
It’s not about a site’s backlinks, it’s as much about mobile-friendliness, (while important) and it’s not centered on whether or not you are on an HTTPS domain. It is becoming very clear: the Panda algorithm is seeking top-quality content to serve up in SERPs. Expect to see weak web content that is considered quite spammy in nature or is otherwise rated lower than your competition to be less favored in rankings.
Google is Focusing on the User Experience
Eric Enge, owner of Stone Temple Consulting says, ”For Google it is very important the first result you click on makes you happy.”*** User satisfaction with the quality of search results and your business revenue is directly tied together.
Being the best result and winning the query is only one aspect; you want your web content to make that individual who just landed on your website happy. If you have a solution to the search query, then you want to reward the viewers once they arrive on your site with an excellent user experience.
“The fact is that very few Google staff themselves know very much about the search ranking algorithms. Google guards this information very carefully and doles it out among its staff on a ‘need to know’ basis. It is possible to gain valuable insights into the most likely ways the search algos behave, from both experiences of a long career and intensive research and testing. That’s what you pay an experienced SEO for”, states Enge.
The beautiful thing about earned SEO is that the person who conducts the search is the initiator. They know what they want, but what is the change that is the only thing that they need? Your web content should not only be the best answer, but it should show that you also understand what else they need. YIf you offer the whole user question, they don’t need to click back to find more answers from someone else.
Just telling a viewer to reach out to you to connect is not engaging them.Try to give the answer(s) right “NOW”.
Featuring User-Friendly Sites
Many previous Google algorithm updates have negatively impacted numerous reputable sites. Search marketers must learn how to better optimize their pages with each update to avoid losing rankings. Considering that 67.60 percent of clicks go to the top five SERP positions, even a slight position drop because of an algorithm update can have massive impact your earned traffic, conversions, and ultimately revenue.
With users maximizing use of digital platforms, user experience (UX) web design jumps top-of-mind for every marketer, particularly as it correlates to mobile and eCommerce sites. According to Adobe, if your website’s content is not well-optimized for being user- centered, 79% of users will search for some else’s site to make a purchase. Markets seek SEO consultants to manage their SEO and we are keeping up with how algorithm updates shape reaching the end user best. This means it is essential to know (1) what users want to find on your site, but (2) how easy it is for Google Bot to match their query to you.
It is important to ground your SEO optimization decisions first and foremost on ideal solutions for the visitors of your site. They are the principal consumers of your web content and are using search engines to discover you. Equally important is how well your Google Business Listing optimization is. Over concentrating on specific SEO adjustments for the purpose of gaining in organic rankings of search engines may not deliver your desired outcome. Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best content forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your final consumers are your people who visit your website, not search engines. Each Google algorithm update – to varying degrees – is focused on giving users better results. Where website fail to do this, the tech giant relies more on updated Google Business Profiles.
Featuring Google Mobile-Friendly Sites
Mobilegeddon hype may once again leap into news with the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project progressing in quarter 1 of 2016. Google’s mobile-friendly ranking factor is anticipated to be a big player in the next algorithm update. Adding schema structured data today in preparation for the mobile-friendly world is expected to affect mobile searches globally. This can have a significant impact on SERP results, while providing better and more relevant data to satisfy users. We expect to see that any business site that has not previously focused on getting their site mobile-friendly will find this a greater push to take the dive into mobile.
Google continues to repeat the message that it will be expanding use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. Therefore, it makes sense that any Google algorithm update coming shortly will be in preparation for the release of AMP in Q1 of 2016.
Last week some webmasters and publishers of news articles received notifications via the Google Search Console indicating that they would benefit by to making AMP (accelerated mobile pages) for their news site. For news-oriented websites, it is worth noting the message’s wording: “might benefit from enhanced exposure on Google Search” by implementing AMP guidelines. Whatever algorithm changes are ahead, Google is clearly urging news type websites to prepare. Basic requirements to be in the Google News Carousel on mobile include implementing structured data, and going SSL or TLS 1.2.
Prepare web pages now to be more user-friendly for mobile experiences. Google suggests that being AMP ready will dramatically influence whether or not a mobile user performing organic queries will find your content fast enough to be winning search.
There are some limitations in the algorithm. Basically, this includes:
Did an algorithm update sneak up on you?
• AMP only impacts search on mobile devices.
• AMP applies to singular web pages, not to entire websites
What you can do to prepare for algorithm updates:
• Make high-value, usable content and the user experience your top priorities.
• Build a high-quality link profile and a full-throttle social strategy.
• Scour your site for any past black- or gray-hat SEO tactics; if GoogleBot hasn’t called them out yet, it will in time.
• Check your website using the Mobile Friendly Google Test Tool
• Set-up routine Website Status Checks via the Google Search Console
• Stay informed on algorithm updates and make changes quickly when you know how to improve.
• Identify reliable sources for SEO happening and follow new postings closely.
Responsive: A Lesson from Past Google Algorithm Updates
We have learned from past Google algorithm updates, that responsive websites are favored. Think of the many billions of crawls Googlebot does per day (for free). A website that makes it easier to do this job saves the search engines on resources. “Rather than crawling multiple sites, the Googlebot can go to one place which increases efficiency and helps Google index more content. It also helps Google’s algorithms more accurately assign indexing properties to a piece of content without needing to check two places”, observed Hubspot** on April 15, 2016.
Google Panda Algorithm Update
The overarching view is Google’s Panda algorithm update is about finding content that matches the search query.
How often does your Google Search Console Search Analytics reveal the odd keywords individuals search for? When search engines can “read” what your content is about, the bots can better serve up quality content is to deliver on users’ expectations. Webmasters and SEO consultants are responsible to know if a search is repeatedly bringing potential customers to a specific page and whether or not that page delivers content that viewers find rewarding. If they do, that builds brand trust.
The Panda Algo Guide: is helpful to identify content where the search query isn’t quite matching what’s on-page. It states: “If you believe your site is affected by the Panda algorithm, in Search Console’s Search Analytics feature you can identify the queries which lead to pages that provide overly vague information or don’t seem to satisfy the user need for a query.
Businesses that wonder about a fallout from Google algorithm updates should be proactive. Learn if your site is matching up popular queries with correlating content to match user expectations. While of less concern for sites confident that they not impacted by Panda, it’s good to stay up with site audits and reading data, and observing if those “odd” keywords show up too frequently.
Google provides the manual action viewer within Webmaster Tools; this is a tool to see what manual penalties a site has or may have incurred after an algorithm update. In recent years, webmasters have repeated asked John Mueller for an automated action viewer to respond to site penalties. Here is one hangout on the topic at 38 minutes and 36 seconds into the video back on Nov 3, 2014.
Google RankBrain Algorithm Update
RankBrain introduced advanced machine learning into Google’s search algorithm. Previously, the algorithm depends more on artificial intelligence. What that means is that the algorithm responded to influences from users, trends, queries, as well as additional sources of input. Google representatives explained the RankBrain algorithm was engaged in processing a “very large fraction” of the search volume it receives. RankBrain can be described as a learning system in that information is fed back into the search algorithm. This data assists in the Google Bot becoming more intuitive and “savvy”.
Google is dedicated to improving user quality over reducing spammy content or pushy sales copy. The algorithm update intends to increase the quality of searches by rewarding long-form content with better answers. If a news article title suggests that it announce something important, then Google wants to make sure that the article content has authority, cogency, and a thorough coverage on the topic; it wants to ensure that when the user gets to the winning page in SERPs, that it talks about the topic at hand.
Google’s Mobile First Algorithm
Audit your site to ensure that every page and all forms of your structured markup are correctly implemented and showing up in mobile SERPs. Google’s algorithms align with the escalating demand for mobile search due to the increasing percentage of users coming from mobile devices. Google is fully committed to developing its algorithms to quickly and correctly rank the mobile content that is served up.
According to the November 04, 2016 post titled Mobile-first Indexing on the Google Webmaster blog, “This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher”.
This official source of news on algorithms, crawling, and Google indexing typically provides alerts but not the specific date of algorithm updates. The search giants algorithms “continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices”.
“Google is hatching another algorithmic update that could reshape how we think about mobile websites.” – Jayson DeMers on Forbes
Google Penguin Algorithm Update
Google’s Gary Illyes gave clues at SMX East that the next Penguin algorithm update should be real-time. Webmasters will find reduced wait time for results when a link is removed or disavowed. Websites will be able to recover from a Penguin penalty much quicker. For SEO experts, following the influences of these Google updates can help in understanding swings in page rankings and organic website traffic. To ultimately improve search engine optimization, every business needs someone at the helm who can interpret major algorithmic changes that impact search.
As a reminder, all SEO tactics should center on the goal of meeting consumer needs versus the business owner attempting to manipulate search.
How to Build Trust as News Article Author
1. Provide your author name
2. Develop your author profile
3. Define words explains concepts clearly
4. Bookend your news article with a concise intro and summary
5. Provide valuable sources to additional relevant information
6. Covers multiple sub-topics readers want on your topic
7. Use copy terms that adhere to your niche standard best practices
8. Keep pagination to a minimum so each page focuses on one topic
9. Google looks for citations referencing the Post
Signals Panda Algorithm May Care About
1. Structured data contact information for easy access
2. Standard and secure payment methods
3. No hidden web content to manipulate search engines
4. No obscuring promotions that scream buy now
5. Clean and simple page design
6. Positive language and user focused content
7. Reference links to non-commercial or well-known Websites
8. Service and product claims that are genuine and non-boastful
9. The text is easy for viewers and GoogleBot to comprehend intent
How Search Bots Determine Valuable Content
1. If page content well organization
2. Does the copy provide more details readers want
3. Is the information original and validated
4. Use of unique idiom phrases or keywords that are more extensive and accurate
5. Do you provide illustrations, charts, supportive quotes or images for visual searches?
6. Easier flow of text for the viewer and marked up with structure data for search
7. Minimal duplicate content on page
8. Minimal or no pagination
9. Google measures all of your web documents for freshness
Google Explains Algorithms
“You want the answer, not trillions of webpages. Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want”, states Google. Google’s algorithms are complex and depend on “more than 200 unique signals or clues” that make up their best guess as to the intent of the search query. Google also offers a few of the sources that generate the signals they draw from. On the How Search Works page, we are told it includes such items as “the terms on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank”. After little said about PageRank for some time, it fascinates me to find a link here to stanford.edu page titled: The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine
There is a stunning amount of research and evaluation that goes into Google algorithm updates. We are told that 665 improvements to search launched in 2012 alone. My take on what is most central in those changes would be universal results, and quick answers, and more accurately deciphering user intent.
Keep your SEO Campaigns “Algorithm Update Proactive”
While algorithms do change, Google’s core search intent has not. It remains consistent today with what was stated February 24, 2011: “This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time”. Digital Marketers must keep in view that focusing on quality content and the end user experience is the top approach to ensure your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing campaigns are update proactive rather than update reactive.
Duplicate content across the web can be an issue. If your marketing team is republishing posts, press releases, news stories, or Ad product descriptions across multiple sites, then your web pages are will struggle to gain visibility in Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages). Expect that future Google Algorithm Updates will address duplicate content issues more given its dedication to serve up a positive user experience. It can better match search queries with purchase intent and serve up product carousel featured snippets.
SEO Audit to Prepare for Google’s Core Algorithm Update
Is your website ready for the next big update in Google’s search algorithm? We can help!
Our SEO Website audits discover potential issues ahead of time on your website. This may include problem with ‘duplicate’, ‘thin’ and ‘boilerplate’ content. We also provide clear instructions that are easy to follow on how to fix findings to recover from Google penalties or algorithm changes.
If digital marketing changes, whether in a minor or major way, in the Google algorithm update, chances are your SEO tactics need refreshing to grow your ability to connect with audiences. As Marketers are given new means to make your content more relevant to consumers, you need someone who has your big picture. We love what we do and know the tried and true course, the latest maps technology, and SEO techniques. We can be the team who keeps the goal of revenue in center focus, regardless of your new products and services.
Google’s recent core algorithm changes centered on rewarding high-quality content created by superb websites around the world; they do know what on-page changes you make to gain better content for consumers.
5 SEO Tactics to Proactively Embrace Algorithm Changes:
1. Providing better content that centers more on the consumer; make it easier for search engines to read that content by using structured data markup.
2. Optimizing your site with solutions for the user. Please your viewers with a positive experience and provide the detail they need (searched for). Reduce lengthy page speed, load times and confusing UX experiences.
3. Prepare your website for more mobile searches and buyers on mobile device.
4. Build relations back links that validate your site. Focus on high-quality, credible sites for listings and postings, and only give outbound link to worthy content.
5. Understand the process. It is a healthy part of SEO and the Internet maturing that Google updates happen. How well your website complies with new conditions matters.
Digital marketing will continue paramount as a top means of revenue; it will reward businesses that focus less on PageRank and more on what buyers want. Marketers that adjust their digital strategies to center on users will reduce possible risk associated with Google algorithm updates. Instead, intentionally build your data graph by using dataset search and take more market share by being ahead of those who straggle along before complying.
Once you have completed the above steps to manage your website for future Google updates, remember that this is an on-going process of testing of your website and its performance. Whenever you tweak your site, audit each web page and ensure that every link works as it should. Also, see that all website pages load properly and fast for mobile users.
WordPress Has No Influence
Some rumors across the web design industry speculate that Google algorithms have a inclined bias towards WordPress powered content management systems. While WordPress blogs and CMSs are suited to be search engine friendly with the use of plugins, and that eases GoogleBot’s task to consume web content, the talk if un-based. No algorithm exits that strives to rank a specific site on the premise of it being built in WordPress.
Google’s John Mueller stated on Twitter that, “WordPress is a great CMS & works well in search, but our algorithms don’t explicitly check for any particular CMS.”
“If you have many pages of similar content your site, Google might have trouble choosing the page you want to rank, and it might dilute your capability to rank for what you do what to rank for.” – Hobo Web
“With such a Knowledge Graph, was it not inevitable that Google would eventually find a way to utilize this information with an algorithm that deciphers the context of all the words in a query rather than homing in on a few key words therein?” – Kissmetrics
“Google punishes old manipulative SEO tactics like ‘unnatural backlinks’ – so you will want to disavow these links to protect your site from negative SEO attacks and punitive algorithms (like the upcoming Google Penguin algorithm). – www.hobo-web.co.uk
“Google’s RankBrain caused a boost in Google’s special SERP Features that resulted in a significant increase in the number of SERPs containing Related Search, as well as a quality improvement in the average word count of Related Search phrases.” – RankRanger on Google Algorithm Updates History
We offer the SEO tactics businesses of all sizes and types need. We’ll offer you our top strategies for earning trust with potential consumers. Ready for fresh ideas on how to improve your website? Contact us today to Proactively Prepare for Google’s Algorithm Update