Google makes so many updates every year.
In fact, they are refining their search algorithm daily to improve and refine their search results.
Some changes are barely noticeable but others, like the one we have just had in August, has made a huge difference to some websites rankings. In fact, this is the biggest core algorithmic rollout this year according to Google.
For those of you that do not know what a core update is. It’s a change to the core algorithm. The algorithm has between 200-500 variables that go into determining the value of a web page and therefore where it will sit on the results. A core update affects the most important variables. We do not know which ones ( because Google never details its secrets regarding an algorithm change) but we can generally take an educated guess based on what websites were affected and which ones survived.
The team here at SEO Sydney Experts believes that the health sector was affected quite heavily. This has resulted in the algorithmic update being labelled the Google Medic update. Other sectors that seem to be affected were: vehicles, personal care, hobbies & leisure, entertainment, electronics & sports to name but a few. You can delve deeper into Googles latest change here at Rank Ranger who have gone into this in greater detail.
There are a few on-page factors that Google is watching and these include:
Website speed – is the website loading quickly? There are far too many websites that still take ages to load and are therefore deemed by Google as offering its users a ‘poor experience’. The best way to measure this is to open your website and time how long it takes for the home page to load. If it’s more than 3 seconds this is definitely an issue.
Content and on-site linking – this has been documented heavily where Google wants to see the quality of on-page content and how your site links internally. Poor on-page copy is one of the worst things you can have on your site. Google will devalue your sites score if the content is poorly written or is too thin.
Mobile-first Index – this means that Google will display results from your mobile site for both mobile and desktop versions in its featured snippets. This can be quite confusing so it’s best to give me a call to go over this. For more information from more geeks at Search Engine Land, you can read this. Or, you can read the on-page SEO cheat sheet I have just written on this blog.
Google has stressed that if your site has been impacted there is not much you can do about this. Meaning they have identified your site and it might be penalised for a while. Obviously, we disagree and if you can see that your site has been adversely affected we would love to hear from you. You have to remember that the first thing you should not do is panic. Keep a cool head as it may be a quick fix and your rankings might be restored in a matter of days.
We have seen algorithm changes come and go and have been able to help many businesses survive this and in many cases get them out of a Google penalty.