What Are Google Algorithm Updates And Why Should I Care?

Google and other search engine providers are constantly looking to improve their end-user experience. This is exactly why you will find they update their algorithm regularly throughout the year. 

The algorithm is typically updated hundreds of times per year. A lot of the updates that occur will go completely unnoticed. However, there are occasional significant updates that can dramatically impact overall results and the strategy to rank high within the search engines. 

Below, we will be going over more information on what these algorithm updates are and why you should care.

What Are Algorithm Updates?

An algorithm update is a term that refers to the changes to the equation that Google and other search engine providers use to effectively calculate what websites should rank within the search engine results. It refers to any change within the equation used, therefore, it could be a minor or major update. 

Google and other providers are constantly looking to tweak the way they rank websites to optimize the end-user experience. It could be something as simple as changing the importance of having a mobile-friendly site or something as complex as domain authority or backlinks.

How Often Is The Algorithm Updated?

As mentioned previously, Google and other providers are constantly pumping out updates to improve the end-users search experience and to optimize their own services. 

Therefore, you saw major overhauls that were led by the rise in mobile usage, the importance of social media, and even to improve the Google Maps experience.

Why Should I Care?

1. It Impacts Your Results

Whether you like it or not, these major algorithm updates can dramatically impact your search engine rankings. 

A lot of the major updates have directly impacted millions of rankings. This is especially true if the overhaul is something that puts your website in a poor light. 

For instance, if you didn’t inherently focus on improving the mobile optimization of your website before the update that centered around the importance of mobile optimization, you would have received a significant penalty from Google directly reflected within the rankings. After all, Google wants to ensure that they are providing their users with the best possible search engine browsing experience. 

This is why it is so important to stay abreast of the latest changes happening within the SEO industry. Otherwise, you risk falling behind and getting penalized within the rankings. 

2. Less Traffic

Search engines are the number one source of traffic for a majority of websites.

Because of this, you should care about the rankings you can achieve within the search engines for related keywords and phrases as it will have a direct impact on your number of web visits from the search engines. 

This can lead you to have to spend more money on paid traffic sources which can have a direct negative impact on your website/business’ bottom line. 

Every business will feel the negative impact of having less organic traffic flowing to their site. 

3. Long-Term Implications

Unfortunately, these updates can have long term ramifications on your site.

After getting penalized for a specific update, you risk falling behind within the rankings for a fairly significant period. 

These updates can tank your rankings over the long haul and it can take a while to recover from the penalties. This is why it is so crucial to ensure that you are spending a lot of time and energy following the changes happening within the industry. 

Major algorithm updates like Penguin and Hummingbird have had very long term implications for all webmasters as it changed the entire way Google crawled websites to ensure that high ranking websites had high-quality content.

In the end, it is very important to stay up-to-date with the latest changes happening within the SEO industry. The negative and even positive impacts of algorithm changes can have a long term impact on your site’s overall rankings. 

Therefore, you want to ensure that you are adhering to the changes and making adjustments with your search engine optimization strategies and your website’s core functionality and design to maximize your efforts. 

By staying abreast of the changes, you can put your website in the best position to achieve the highest possible rankings and to generate the most organic traffic directly to your site.

Create Great Content For Your Website The Easy Way

There is an old saying that ‘content is king’ but that is only partly true. After all, if you fill your website with poorly written content, it isn’t going to have the long term benefits you desire. Only great content will work for you now and into the future.

Why?

SEO is the process of ranking a website and the way Google ranks those sites has changed. Although it is still important to consider on-page and off-page SEO for ranking purposes, the role of content has also increased. If you aren’t writing great content for your website, you can’t hope to rank at the top.

That is why many people are wondering how to create great content and what it is that makes content great? Let’s take a look at a few of those factors.

1. Make Sure To Do Your Research

Not everyone who is writing content for a website or blog is going to be an expert on the subject. If you are unsure on any matter, make sure you verify the facts before you post anything. If someone finds an error in your content, it will cause you to lose credibility and you won’t be able to gain it back.

2. Make Sure The Grammer Is Correct

Nothing is worse than going to a professional website and reading content that is grammatically incorrect. Admittedly, not everyone is going to be a literary genius but you can use tools, such as grammarly.com to ensure that the majority of the mistakes are weeded out before you post.

3. Make it Scannable

You could write the perfect article for your website but let’s face it, nobody is going to sit and read it word for word. Very few people actually read content online, they scan it and then go back and fill in the gaps if needed.

That is why you need to make your content scannable. In essence, you are giving the people what they want and you will be rewarded for it. Use plenty of sub-headlines, bullet lists, and some pictures. If there is something critical that they need to read, make it bold or a different color.

3. Make Your Content Digestible

When you do a search on Google, click on a link, and land on a page with a huge block of text as the first paragraph, what do you do? Most people will just back out of the page, never to return again. That is bad enough but what they do next makes it worse. They choose another link on Google.

This is something known as pogo-sticking and it is very bad for your SEO. It sends a signal to Google that your website doesn’t have what the people want and Google is all about the user experience.

Keep your paragraphs short, perhaps only 2 or 3 sentences each. You should also try to break things up in a logical way so that the article flows from one paragraph to the next.

4. Get to the Point

One of the problems that many websites have with their content is that they just don’t get to the point. It’s hard enough to get people to look beyond your title, let alone to read beyond the first paragraph.

Give them a taste of what they will get in the article right away. Don’t mince words, get to the point and then stay on point.

When you do this, it is known as greasing the chute. Typically, your call to action (buy, join, leave email, etc) is at or near the bottom of the page. You want to let your content take them by the hand and pull them down through the article to the conclusion.

5. Hire a Writer

One other thing to consider is hiring a writer. It may take some footwork on your part to find a quality writer but once you have them, they will be a valuable resource.

Don’t expect to find the perfect writer on your first try. Sometimes, you will find a dud first. Keep up the effort and before you know it, you will have quality content on demand.

You can then let them work on your website and spend the time you save working on your business.

Top 7 Ranking Factors For Google’s Search Engine

If you have been doing your homework on SEO, you may have heard that Google utilizes more than 200 factors to decide which sites show up on the top of the search results pages.

While this is true, not all these factors are equal.

Ideally, search engine optimization is a very dynamic field that keeps evolving day by day and so, it’s imperative to keep up with the changes the search giant makes to their algorithm.

In this post, we are going to explain the most primary Google ranking factors that you absolutely should know about in order to optimize better for higher rankings.

1. Content is Still King

When it comes to publishing content, it’s quality and length are the most important features to consider. Content that will rank you high needs to be in-depth, covering a huge spectrum of your niche.

It must ideally provide real value to the users and ideally incorporate engaging or interesting visual content in order to complement what you’ve written.

Bear in mind that quality beats quantity and so, it’s important to focus on quality and not the word count.

As for the length, there’s no clear rule of thumb as to the right word count. That is because it varies depending on the subject. However, according to analysis, longer and more comprehensive posts tend to get higher rankings on Google.

2. Backlinks

Backlinks have been and will continue to be one of the primary ranking factors on Google. The more high quality links you have from authoritative sites, the higher your chances of ranking high on the search engine.

It’s imperative to pay attention to your backlink profile, particularly with the recent Google Penguin update which filtered and cleaned websites with low-quality backlinks.

3. Freshness

The search engine’s Freshness Algorithm has been a real game-changer for the past decade and has had a huge impact during that period. If you are a prominent publisher with a lot of old content, that doesn’t rank, updating it could have a significant impact.

The search engine, Google, is usually biased to new content as with many search results, it ensures that some of them are up to date results.

The freshness algorithm is updated much faster than other chief algorithms. By updating old content on your site, you are bound to see a substantial change as it will rank much faster.

4. Website Security

One of the better-known search engine ranking factors is website security. A site that’s SSL secured and serves links as HTTPS tends to be favored over any other non-secure website. And by favoring in this case, we mean that when all other things are equal, a site that’s HTTPS enabled will rank higher than one which isn’t.

If your site isn’t HTTPS yet, this is one of the primary tasks to handle.

5. Optimizing For Technical SEO

This is another very important ranking factor. If the search engine can’t access your site properly, you should not expect much when it comes to rankings. The manner in which Google works can be grouped into 3 primary stages:

  1. Discovery
  2. Crawling & Indexing
  3. Ranking
  • In the discovery stage, the search engine finds all publicly available web pages.
  • On the crawling stage, they extract the required information from the site and then place it into their index of websites.
  • From there the ranking algorithm determines where exactly the site should be placed in the search results.

It is your responsibility to make sure that the search engine crawlers can find your site easily and that you assist them in completing this task as quickly as possible. This is best referred to as Technical SEO.

You can achieve this by:

  • Optimizing robots.txt, which is a file that gives the bots instructions on the web pages they can crawl.
  • Finding and fixing crawl errors.
  • Optimizing the XML sitemap, which is a list of all web pages the search engine should be aware of.

6. Mobile Friendliness

This is another factor that’s well known to affect ranking on Google in this smartphone driven age. Mobile searches nowadays make up more than 60% of the total searches made on the search engine every month.

If your website is not optimized for mobile, it will not show up on the top search results and this instantly reduces your chances of getting any mobile traffic.

7. Speed

For over a decade, speed has been a well-known factor when it comes to ranking on Google. Having a fast loading site is good for users and nobody likes a loading or laggy experience. In fact, if your website loads for more than 5 seconds, most of your visitors will just go to another website.

To ensure that your site loading speeds are optimal:

  • Utilize a caching plugin
  • Optimize and compress your images
  • Upgrade your site’s software to the latest version
  • If you’re on WordPress, use the latest PHP version.

This list is not comprehensive, but it discusses the fundamental factors of ranking high on Google