Google is the most popular search engine in the world with a over two trillion searches per day. People visit the Google directory everyday looking for information, business and for entertainment. If your website is already indexed on the Google search engine maintaining a good ranking will not only provide you with website traffic, but it can also translate in to actual sales. This makes it paramount for you to maintain a properly optimised website in order to benefit from Google’s search traffic. A good website backed up with great content and optimisation is key to achieving this status, however you may want to consider carrying out a free website audit first to analyse your website and provide you with a clear idea of your actual on-page score as well as gaining some optimisation tips.
Search engine optimisation or SEO is the practice of improving the organic traffic from search engines. A lot of factors come into play in order for you to be ranked at the top of the Google search results. This includes but is not limited to domain age, keyword density, information relevance, click through rate from past searches and social media signals. Organic traffic from Google has been proven to be one of the cheapest ways for a business to acquire customers. With good SEO your website can receive quality traffic helping you to grow and sell your products and services anywhere in the world.
Google regularly applies updates to its algorithm that determines how it ranks websites on its search results pages. Google implements these changes to improve the accuracy and quality of information that its users are provided with. Such changes can and will affect your online business positively or negatively, depending on what changes have been made to the algorithm. Back in April 2012 for example, Google made changes to it's algorithm that specifically targeted keyword spamming. This update came to be known as the Penguin update. It affected a lot of websites that thought they had good SEO in place at the time, as they were possibly using spam content or keyword stuffing at the time. This update resulted in such websites losing their search engine rank position (SERP), in turn this affected traffic to their websites and as a direct consequence their bottom line. However websites such as news sites and websites promoting original content actually benefited from the update boosting their rankings and sending them higher in the search results as a result.
Losing your rank position due to such an algorithm update is akin to being penalised and it may affect your search engine visibility, website traffic and subsequently your business. If you notice a drastic change in your website ranking it may be because of such an update. The best way to find out if your rank has been affected is to monitor it with specialised software, these products can keep track of your websites performance on all the major search engines, but it is always wise to run an audit on your website first so that you can investigate and identify any possible on-page errors up front and rectify them beforehand. There are many factors that can affect website performance that may have nothing to do with a Google update, so it is always worth getting your website checked over by a qualified online marketing agency first, who would be able to identify other potential areas of concern that could be affecting your rank.
Things to look out for are structural changes in the design that may slow your site down or interfere with the usability of the site. Ensuring that your website is mobile friendly and confirming it is connected correctly to your social media accounts will help improve your social signals. Other things to consider would be the correct use of headings, page titles and ALT Tags.
To give yourself the best chances of ranking well on Google make sure you are always creating new and unique content for your website and try to ensure your website remains user friendly at all times. With these basic but essential practices and by keeping an eye on the Google updates you will have the best chance of maintaining a sustainable high rank on the search engines.#GoogleUpdate2019
Webmaster and SEO community, as well as the automated Google tracking tools, all showing strong indications of a Google algorithm ranking update in March of 2017.
The SEO industry has been watching an unconfirmed Google ranking update that seems to target more of the link quality aspects of the overall algorithm. The so called "Fred Update" a name that came from Google’s own Gary Illyes, who has suggested no doubt with his tongue in cheek that all updates are to be named “Fred. moving forward”
Out of nowhere suddenly we notice that the “black hat” SEO community have been seen to be making a lot of changes and are discussing this topic online. This could indicate that this update is a spam related algorithm update around links and the quality of such generally a good thing as this helps to screen out the bad SEOs in the market.
As you would expect, Google is very unlikely to confirm algorithm updates, but that does not stop SEO companies like ourselves reporting major shifts in the search results that could certainly represent a possible algorithm update.
Many of the automated tracking tools have also picked up significant volatility and fluctuations, which is also an indicator of a update of some kind or another being possible. This indicator along with all the industry discussions and the addition of the webmaster community complaining one the one hand about ranking declines and on the other ranking increases makes it likely that there was a Google update in our opinion.
If we hear anything official then you will be the first to know, if you want to keep yourself up to date with our posts on this subject maybe consider subscribing to the SEO Flatrate Newsletter. Currently however, we are waiting to hear if Google themselves will be making an announcement. All we have right now are the typical Google lines from John Mueller and Gary Illyes that Google makes updates all the time.
An interesting study carried out by the columnist Joy Hawkins highlighted how Google's Possum could affect your (SERP) Search Engine Results Page. We share some of Joy's data and insights below from a study she carried with BrightLocal, which compared local results before and after the update.
In the local SEO community, Google’s recent Possum update was certainly an eye opener if not a game changer. Here is what Joy had to say.
"To those of us who regularly track the search results for local businesses, it was obvious there were massive changes on September 1. The SEO community as a whole has been relatively quiet about this huge update, and I believe this is because this update primarily impacted the Local/Maps search results and not organic..
SERP trackers like MozCast and Algoroo do a fabulous job of tracking changes in the search results, but this algorithm update didn’t seem to make any massive impact in the charts. I believe that is because local queries that trigger a 3-pack are only a fraction of what these programs track. In all likelihood, the majority of the SERPs they track would not contain a 3-pack — and therefore, big changes in the 3-pack wouldn’t necessarily show on the radar.I wanted to know exactly how much of a shake-up this algorithm was when it came to just Local/Map results, so I reached out to Bright Local to track ranking for our clients. They track both organic ranking and ranking in the Local Finder (the list of local results you get when you click “more places” under the 3-pack). And our ranking reports scan daily, so it would be able to pick up any major changes, regardless of the day when it happened
I wanted to know exactly how much of a shake-up this algorithm was when it came to just Local/Map results, so I reached out to Bright Local to track ranking for our clients. They track both organic ranking and ranking in the Local Finder (the list of local results you get when you click “more places” under the 3-pack). And our ranking reports scan daily, so it would be able to pick up any major changes, regardless of the day when it happened..
What they ended up finding was that, across all the reports:
9% of the keywords had the business pop into the Local Finder when they weren’t there previously.
11% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by three or more positions.
15% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by one to two positions.
35% of the keywords showed no change in position for the business.
15% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by one to two positions.
14% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by more than three positions
In other words, 64% of keywords saw some type of change.
As we know, SERPs can change daily without an algorithm update, but the important thing to note here is the vastness of the change. For example, 34 percent of the keywords saw some type of significant change, with a “significant change” being defined as a business shifting three or more positions or a business appearing in results when previously they weren’t even listed in the top three pages (60 positions) in the Local Finder."
Although the above was collated in the US, the Possum algorithm will give hope to those businesses with listings further on down the SERP chain. We will continue monitoring the updates for you and keep you in the loop.
If you would like to hear more about our services and find out how to increase your SERP please contact the SEO Flatrate team you call or email the office we are here Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
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