Google is the leading search engine and it’s no wonder most SEO strategies are geared towards its search rankings. Businesses have to keep their websites, web pages and social media posts in line with the frequent changes in the search’s parameters.
This is the only way to ensure that they remain not only visible but better positioned to reap the benefits of online marketing.
For this to be effective, there are some latest Google algorithm updates every webmaster should aware of. These are changes that will define your online marketing campaigns during 2019 and beyond.
Although it’s impossible to predict every single way in which updates will affect your online reach, it’s important that you learn as much as you can about each one of them.
To aid you in structuring or restructuring your SEO efforts to be in line with these web developments, here are the highlights of major Google Algorithm Updates.
1. Google Panda Update
The update was launched on February 24, 2011. In the early days before the launch, blogs and websites could do with keywords and content duplication as part of their SEO. The approach worked and rankings were easy to maintain even with underhand means like keyword stuffing.
Panda rollout has become much frequent and as of 2016 was incorporated into Google’s core algorithm. When the update hit though, low-quality sites found themselves at a disadvantage. As it stands now, the update crawls through the internet sniffing out sites whose content is thin, plagiarized, keyword-stuffed, or spam generated.
What You Should Do
To avoid the penalties like losing your rankings or having your website blacklisted, you need to employ best practices in your SEO plans. Concentrate on quality content generation that sets you apart as an expert.
Find out which keywords are ranking high in your industry and use them as the basis of your content. Keyword software like KWFinder will be handy in this. This tool gives you the chance to maintain relevant content that is visible to your prospective customers.
2. Google Penguin Update
The update has been in existence since April 24, 2012. While Panda penalizes for thin content, Penguin checks for manipulative links. Penguin has been part of Google’s core algorithm and it works in real time.
Penguin penalizes for link buying which is evident by; unnatural spikes in backlinks, anchor texts with over-optimized links, and lastly irrelevant or otherwise spammy links.
What You Should Do
Do not buy links as a means of improving your ranking. These are usually low-quality links that Penguin is sure to take note of. You can also check for toxic inbound links by using link auditing tools. Google Webmasters is one such tool that checks your website for any links that can be deemed unnatural or those that direct your visitors to fraudulent sites. Other tools that can help you achieve this include; Majestic and SEO Spyglass.
For more organic and quality link SEO, ensure your site has high quality content such that other high authority websites feel inclined to backlink to you. At the same time, your anchor texts should be spread out and diversified.
3. Google Pigeon Update
The update was launched on July 24, 2014, in the US and later in the year in UK, Australia, and Canada. Pigeon plays a role in the searches that involve Local SEO. It also aims to close the gap between local and core algorithms. The update is also responsible for search synonyms visibility and the Knowledge Graph on Google app.
What You Should Do
Invest in local SEO by listing your business on Google My Business. Be sure to capture the right keyword combination as well as NAP (Name Address and Phone number) and other data such as images, opening and closing hours, menu and so on. Getting yourself listed in local online business directories can also help in your ranking.
A different approach is by positioning your business as the go-to place for the locals. Partner with other businesses which you can collaborate with to increase local SEO.
Hosting local events, sponsoring local fairs and sports will also give you an edge over your competitors. With your name out there, the online buzz that you create acts like a validation for your website and social media platforms.
4. Google Mobilegeddon Update
Mobilegeddon is Google’s Mobile Update which was launched on April 21, 2015. It works by checking a site’s compatibility with mobile devices. With smartphones and devices accounting for almost half of all website views as of last year, the importance of this update cannot be overstated.
Here is how the update works:
If your website does not have a mobile version or it has poor mobile usability then it will be ranked lower on search engines, on the other hand, a site that is highly optimized for mobile users will top or feature high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
What You Should Do
To avoid losing out on this aspect of SEO, invest in Accelerated Mobile Pages which is a project designed to create fast mobile pages; a lightweight version of HTML page which loads very fast.
Once your website is mobile-optimized, it stands a chance of ranking high on mobile devices searches. This is in line with a mobile-first index which is being rolled out to rank web pages depending on the strength of their mobile version. Check your website’s mobile-compatibility by getting some guidelines from Google Developers.
When focusing on organic search marketing plans, it’s in the best interest of every webmaster to be aware of new algorithm updates from Google. These are changes that affect search rankings and inform new strategies and SEO techniques. Of the many updates out there, above are 4 major ones that touch on Keywords, Mobile Use, Backlinks, and Local SEO.