Everyone knows Google’s updates pop up frequently. They are what marketers fear the worst…What will the new updates focus on? Who will be affected? How will it change the search engine results page? Will my page lose its ranking?
These are all questions which business owners and marketers are fearful of. Sure, Google updates its algorithm to provide the best and most relevant search results for its queries. Unfortunately, some of these updates may affect websites and damage their rankings.
There’s another problem: Google doesn’t usually announce its updates. And there are 500 to 600 updates every year! Only erratic shifts in SERPs may suggest that your website was affected by these updates, but you never really know exactly who the culprit was. You can only guess that a recent update has changed your rankings. However, in this uncertain SEO world, one thing is for certain: you must always pay attention to any news related to search engines, SERPs and everything in-between. Acting ignorant will not get you anywhere, and in SEO, getting a second chance is rare.
Instead of speculating about updates, you should focus on creating a healthy marketing campaign that gets results. Monitor the campaign carefully and pay attention to what the experts have to say.
Google’s latest major update is Fred, and has caused a lot of buzz among business owners and digital marketers. Launched sometime in March, Fred has caused a massive stir in SERPs. A lot of websites crashed, and a lot of them reached new heights. Almost 90 percent of keywords shifted their rankings immensely since March, and changed how marketers approach their campaigns.
Google’s response confirmed that its recent major update, Fred, was aimed at websites which rely heavily on ads, banners and are filled with poor content. It basically weeded out websites which are focused on making money instead of bringing value to readers.
Recovering from Fred’s setback can be difficult, but there are some things you can do. Obviously, you’ll have to prune your backlinks, as they usually damage your rankings, especially when their origin is poor. Also, focus on getting your content up to date. Get rid of spammy articles, blatant sale copy and overall poor content. The same goes for advertisements and banners: get rid of anything that is too much. Google hates websites that are overwhelmed with ads and reek of poor content.
Keeping your backlinks clean
Fred has reconfirmed how backlinks should be like. Instead of going for thousands of backlinks to suspicious, low ranking websites, you should focus on getting a few backlinks from established sources. Chasing thousands of poor links can get more risky and less productive, with each new Google update, so pay attention. Your best bet is to target a healthy mix of links to your website, as naturally as possible. You should work on providing value to readers and making them happy, instead of only wanting to turn a quick profit.
Mobile First Index
Although not launched yet, Mobile First Index is already creating a lot of buzz in the SEO world. It’s expected to be a major Google update, similar to Panda and Penguin, but focused primarily on mobile search. Google has talked about the importance of mobile design for years, but their mobile search function has not evolved tremendously. Consequently, we expect that the new update will focus on mobile search and everyone should be prepared for it. Get your mobile website verified for mobile search quality, and most importantly, get your responsive design ready as quickly as possible.
Google has always said that it places users’ experience above everything else. Their updates are just reminders of what they focus on: bringing quality result pages to queries. And that’s what you should focus on, as well. Make sure you do provide quality for your readers. That’s how you reach the top positions in SERPs.