If you aren’t already aware of search engines’ ever-changing search and ranking algorithms, you should especially take note of the latest Google Algorithm shake-up. Every so often, they keep SEO professionals on their toes and make changes without informing users. Thankfully, most of the time changes are only small and thus don’t noticeably affect search rankings. However, last month’s change came as a surprise, worrying businesses and SEO experts alike.
The unconfirmed change caused many rankings to fluctuate, with the main effects marked during the week of 5th to 9th March. Many SEO professionals observed and thought a change had likely been made, however no update was provided by Google. Soon enough, Google announced the changes made, which include both small and broad updates. Whether your website witnessed improvements with ranking or not, most found the update wasn’t link-related but rather regarding content.
What is the Google Algorithm Update?
One obvious change was the rise and fall of rich snippets. The websites that previously improved their quality were provided with rich snippets, however this made other sites lose them too. Observing these differences means you may have to optimise your website to remain high on rankings. Additionally, in the past, one of the main focuses for achieving high traffic relied on other areas. However, the recent update means you need to deliver high quality content, which will result in higher traffic numbers if done properly.
For example, blogs (like this one) will be a much more important factor in the SEO world. You will find your main source of traffic are users interested in fresh, relevant content; though don’t forget to focus on user accessibility. Keeping this in mind, there are luckily many ways to remain on search indexes and stay updated with Google.
How to Combat It
Firstly, you must listen to your users and collate what makes their experience on your website matter. Listening to their opinions as much as possible, acknowledging and correcting any issues, can benefit you and your website in the long term. If a user experience is valuable and interesting, this will be reflected in your website’s performance, and it will then contribute to more positive rankings on Google.
Moreover, you should take advantage of the auditing tools available. Such tools supply detailed information surrounding impressions, engagements and search ranking. Furthermore, if you know how to look, they inform you of what’s possibly failing you and your website. Not only this, but it helps to gather vital data for Meta data, images, content, links and pages. This, in turn, supports website improvements and helps when providing clients with reports.
One other problem websites may have faced with the recent algorithm update is the use of Ads. It is not necessarily a bad thing to have advertisements included, but including intrusive ones affects user experience. So, carrying out a review of ad placement may be a good idea, especially if you want to stay above your competitors.
To review, it seems Google is aiming for 2018 to shape an even higher quality of service for its users; providing the best results that are informative and relevant to each user’s search. However, SEO is constantly evolving and this is only one update, so keep your eyes wide open and be prepared for more to come.