Google search algorithm is a system that enables the instant creation of query lists. The search engine considers many factors to rank the web pages according to their relevance.
Years ago, there were a dozen algorithm changes yearly. But now, Google performs thousands of updates that impact the search engine result pages (SERPs).
SEO professionals and webmasters should be aware of the changes occurring to keep the websites on the top.
In this article, we’ll look through the main Google SEO updates of the past and find a way to adjust to the forecasted changes.
Whatever the update involves, there are three main questions one needs to answer to keep (and improve!) their position on the list:
- What are the current Google Algorithms, and what is going to change about them?
- What SEO areas will the new update impact?
- What actions can I perform as an SEO expert or a webmaster to keep the site’s ranking?
Let’s zoom into each question.
The Previous Google Updates and Their Essence
Before explaining the upcoming changes, let’s briefly review the main google SEO algorithms:
Fred – an unconfirmed update that took place in March 2017. Though there weren’t any apparent regularities, it changed; since 2017, “Fred” has become the name for any website quality algorithm.
Intrusive Interstitials Update – the algorithm that filters the pop-up ads and other intrusive interstitials. Its main goal is to improve the mobile user experience. But of course, webmasters found ways to bypass the algorithm and keep taking advantage of non-intrusive interstitials.
Mobilegeddon – the update that divided all the pages to “mobile-friendly” and “mobile not friendly” and cut off the second type of pages from the query list.
RankBrain – a revolutionary update that applied the likely user intent to all the search queries.
Panda – one of the most famous SEO algorithms – is distinguishing the unique and high-quality content by considering human quality ratings.
Penguin – another well-known google search algorithm update – fights against spam content and tricky link-building tactics.
Hummingbird – the algorithm that provides contextual search results instead of precise results only (as it had been before).
Pigeon – changed the query list according to the parameters of location. The local businesses with a sufficient amount of organic traffic on their websites came to the top. The algorithm enhanced many signals from Google Search and Google Maps to reward small businesses and stores nearby.
Payday is the algorithm targeting websites with lots of spam and shady content to make the query list safer. It filters out high percent loans, game websites, or abandoned content.
Exact Match Domain – also known as a shortened EMD – helped eliminate low-quality content with accurate matching search results.
Page Layout Algorithm – dropped down the websites with embedded ads at the top. A page that forced the users to scroll down lost its place on the list as an unhelpful one.
Let’s summarise all the efforts Google is taking by its regular algorithm updates. Their main goal to create the query list with high-quality, helpful content only. Mobile version becomes a priority, as most website visitors enter the pages from mobile devices. And so, the eternal competition between SEO tools and Google Algorithms keeps going.
What’s Google Going to Take into Consideration Next?
The update is coming up in May 2021. It’s going to change the SERPs dramatically by ranking them according to page experience.
Page experience is also a new term. It’s a collective name for all the aspects of the experience users get from the interaction with the website.
The main parameters of page experience are:
- Load speed – the time needed to load the main content on the page. The pages with more than 30-second load speed lose their positions in the rating.
- Interactivity takes into consideration the previous visitors’ activity on the page. Its main index is the time when the user makes the first click or tap on the page.
- Visual stability is the advantage of web pages without manipulative moving content, which could cause an accidental tap leading to undesirable consequences for the visitor.
Why the New Updates Are Worth Your Attention
In brief, if you ignore all and every Google algorithm update, your website could soon considerably drop in the rankings.
We’ll expand upon this.
Algorithms are not evil, and they never want businesses to lose their income. But Google’s priority is to make people’s website interaction experience easier and more enjoyable.
The announcement about the algorithm changes aims to allow raising the quality of page experience. Without paying attention to its indicators, your site may fall low and lose traffic no matter how valuable its information is. Good enough on-page user experience is an understandable quality requirement–and a must–so it impacts your brand’s reputation directly. Yes, slow page loading is frustrating, and a sloppy or overly dynamic design is confusing. Many annoying ads make you tap “exit” before reading the information. Making the website just a store also is not a long-term business solution. Ultimately, your returning customers would prefer to have some relevant content to watch or read, i.e., other buyers’ feedback about the product, comparisons, unpacking videos, product maintenance, or best usage tips.
As a business owner, you’ve already invested in SEO and content for your online points of contact. So, losing traffic and your place in the ranking because you haven’t prepared for the update seems a waste. It’s much more time and cost-efficient to check how your website corresponds to the new estimation criteria and improve the lacking areas. Trust us, recovering lost traffic and rankings is a much more difficult task.
Steps for Keeping (and Improving) Your Place in Google Query List
- Use the right metrics and analytical tools for your website tech audit.
Google gives all the necessary explanations about:
- Cumulative Layout Shift measuring visual stability
- Largest Contentful Paint measuring loading speed
- First Input Delay measuring interactivity
- Perform the audit of your site, considering its suitability to mobile devices and page speed.
- Optimize the mobile search. Visual elements matter here, as the page should look attractive on small screens of mobile devices.
- Improve the speed of page loading. Reducing the number of HTTP requests and asynchronous file loading can be helpful here.
- Customize the call to action on your website. Understanding the frame of mind of your target audience will help to create attractive CTA elements. Ignoring such customization will leave the button with no attention and no effect.
- Describe every image on your page with a specific piece of code called Alt Text.
- Make great content for your website. The quality and the relevance of the information you provide have never been so crucial.
Search engines are increasingly adopting human logic. The forecasting changes in Google Search algorithms illustrate this trend and dictate the new rules. You should perform both tech and quality changes on your website to keep it on the top of the rating. While business owners keep struggling to retain the customers’ attention, user experience in page interaction increasingly improves.
Want to have a professional SEO audit of your website? Contact us to improve your website’s ranking, identify the traffic and lead generating keywords for your business, and create high-quality content outlines, attractive pages, and best-performing posts.