— August 16, 2018
How Google Algorithm Changes Will Affect Your Websites
As the latest Google algorithm updates roll out this month many are concerned whether their website ranking will be the same?
It’s important first to recognize that keyword research and SEO are not dead. These are just evolving into a new era driven by mobile and voice search technology.
A few years ago Google was the main focus for gaining visibility in search, but social media and technology have both had a heavy influence as conversations and user actions take center stage.
According to Hubspot, most people conduct search from their mobile devices with 19 percent using AI such as SIRI to get information.
Modern search is based on the most commonly asked questions and phrases. This means that tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush are still important to include in your marketing research. More and more the focus is starting to be on lifestyle and health related issues, which is why many are referring to the latest change as the “medic update.”
User intent is the dominating factor in search, whether this is on Google or social media. As you evaluate your website it’s important to consider what type of user experience you are offering and whether your content is of value to your community.
The new rollout doesn’t focus on one country — this is a global update. As Google pointed out in a March tweet, “As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded….”
In the past websites needed to include key terms that related to their target market, but now the shift to responsive design has taken precedence. This means that a landing page is not easily accessed or read on a mobile device could decrease in ranking and visibility.
Keywords should still be included on pages and posts, however; they need to be relevant to the topic, and spread throughout in a natural, organic way. A downward trend of the use of backlinks has been steadily growing over the last few years, and it is expected that this will continue.
Social signals are still an important element when it comes to attracting a brand audience as well as gaining new subscribers, but these do not affect your search engine ranking specifically. Currently there is a not much we can do in regards to updating or changing our own websites; however, I do recommend the following checkups if you want to stay to date and increase visibility:
- Eliminate any errors, duplicate links, images, etc.
- Make sure you have a responsive design
- Place your social media icons in prominent positions to encourage social sharing
- Publish at least once a week with fresh, remarkable content
- Include video and visual content in your blog posts
- Set up an FAQ page on your website
- Remain active on places like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google Plus
- Reach out to your subscribers with valuable emails that offer helpful information and incentives
As we move forward into the latest update the focus needs to be on the interests of consumers, especially as their behavior dictates which websites are gaining the most traction on Google. Keywords will continue to be an important reference in your content and on your website, but no longer have the impact that they used to have on your search engine rankings. A strong social media presence is still an important element to attracting new visitors and as well as connecting with your audience through live online events, email, and on mobile through SMS messaging and live chat.