In the topsy turvy world of search engine optimisation, there is one constant – Google will update their algorithm. Over the last couple of months in particular, there have been a constant stream of updates to Google’s search brain, giving SEO specialists plenty to ponder as they update their client’s sites and make sure they keep hitting the top of the search results. Below is a brief summary of some of those changes, and what they might mean for your website.
Way back in March of this year Google announced that after over a year of testing they were ready to start migrating sites over to the ‘mobile first’ search ranking. Initially they started with a smaller number of sites – those that followed the mobile first best practices well, but over the last month or so we have seen all our clients sites be pulled into that mobile first indexing. If you have a Google Search Console account for your site, you should have received a notification saying your site was now being looked at on ‘mobile first’ when it comes to search results, and if you haven’t got that Search Console account, it’s probably fair to assume that your site is now included.
What that means for everyone with a live website is that having a well optimised mobile site is increasingly important now. While your desktop site will still be adding to your site’s ‘search juice’, your mobile site is now a big priority. So – if you haven’t got a responsive or mobile site yet – get one now. In fact – contact us and we’ll help you build one!
In July, Google announced another update that shows the importance of having a well optimised mobile site. The July change focusses on a site’s speed – so the quicker you can get your site going the better. Initially, the change is only going to affect the mobile search rankings of the slowest sites on the web, but beware that this update is going to expand out to all sites.
The ‘Medic’ Core Update
The final big change which has come in the last few months was a broad core update to Google in August. As always, Google never tells us exactly what an update like this changes, so there is a little bit of educated guess work that goes on in the search engine community. From the data that has been shared, it looks like the update has mainly affected “Your Money, Your Life” sites – basically those sites that give medicinal and financial advice. That said, a few e-commerce, educational and automotive sites also took a bit of a hit. The big focus seems to have been on trustworthiness – with the new update pushing those sites it deems more trustworthy up the rankings.
Practically, the biggest thing to be done here is just to monitor what has happened to your site. If you’ve stayed reasonably steady in the results, then the update probably hasn’t affected you. However, if you have taken a hit and are in one of those industries we mentioned above, you need to sit down and give your site a solid appraisal. Think about best search engine practices, but also have a think about why Google may not find your site trustworthy.
All in all it’s been a big few months for search engine changes and updates. These updates serve as a good reminder of the benefit of at the very least monitoring your search results, but more importantly optimising your site and being responsive to any changes.
Remember to get in touch with us if you have any questions about search engine optimisation.