These days, search engines are changing from one day to the next, and search marketing industry insiders have made it part of their jobs to keep up. But what about the general public—will any of these changes have any real effect on your website? The answer: you betcha.
It was a busy summer for SEO, and if you blinked, you may have missed the changes. You’ve probably been keeping up with the “non- .com revolution”, with the launch of Google’s abc.xyc causing quite the stir. But, site owners should be just as interested in the recent Google algorithm changes, and what they mean for you. Let’s review!
Although social media as a ranking influencer has been gaining steam for many years, it’s never been so important to SEO. This week, after experimenting with including Tweets within search results for quite some time, Google has officially started integrating Twitter results within its SERPs.
Google has been preaching the mobile-friendly gospel for quite some time, but its launch of the mobile-friendly search update is huge for site owners. If you haven’t updated your site to be mobile-friendly (good user experience, loads fast), then you better start now. Google even has a tool to help. As usual with Google’s algorithm changes, it can be hard to attribute rankings drops solely to that particular change. However, many non-mobile-friendly sites are now reporting that they have disappeared from the first page of search results, both in mobile and desktop rankings.
Google has officially come out and given a statement that all TLDs are treated equal. A .com will not be given preference to another TLD within search results.
The Google Panda algorithm change officially launched back in 2011, and Google has been rolling out new iterations of it ever since then. It’s a very important algorithm change, and in basic terms, it addresses websites with spammy, duplicate content. So, make sure you’re focusing on original, high-quality, and fresh content.
User-behavior (especially click-through rate) has always been important. And, not just for site visitors, but Google has also always taken it into consideration (just check out this patent). But now, it should be a vital part of your site strategy. Aspects that can effect CTR include snippet quality (how does your site render in the search results?), site authority, relevance to a searcher’s query, and personalization.
Although another official page speed algorithm change hasn’t been made this summer, it’s most definitely worth noting that many industry sites are proclaiming that page speed is now one of the top ranking factors. Although the speed of a website has become increasingly more important over the past few years, it has never been described as one of the absolute most important ranking factors. That’s now changing. So, if your site is lacking in the speed department, test it with the Google’s set of PageSpeed tools ASAP.
There have been several other updates within the industry—such as the end of Google authorship results—but those listed above are most pertinent for site owners all over the world. And, for a great read on the latest updates in search engine ranking factors, check out this article.
It’s a turbulent time within SEO, and it has never been so important to keep up!