It’s no secret. The online world is changing. And it’s changing faster than we think. Gone are the days of old-school dial ups and offsite server backups. Today, the online world is a myriad of social platforms, wireless connections and synchronised backups onto a seemingly mythical cloud. And with a world wide web of information literally at our fingertips, more and more online users are demanding the right information at the right time delivered quicker and easier than ever before.
In this increasingly connected world, it’s not surprising that Google makes hundreds of changes to its search algorithm ever year in a bid to improve our online experience. Most of these changes are minor and have very little impact on a website. But every now and then, Google unleashes a major update that sends shockwaves through the online ranking world.
Handling Google Updates
In a world where websites live and die by their online rankings, a kung fu Panda update or core algorithm change can see you slipping through the ranks. For SEO specialists or anyone trying to outrank their competition, managing the Google Zoo is a full time job. By the time you get your head around one change, Google hits you with the next. And 2016 is sure to be no different, as Google has already confirmed a Core Search Ranking Update took place earlier this year. So in a constantly evolving, ever-changing online world, how do you survive a future of never-ending Google updates?
- Don’t skimp on quality content – great content is not rocket science. It tells customers exactly what they need to know, and exactly what they need to do. It’s informative, engaging and original. Copy and paste from another website (or from your own) and you’re sure to see your rankings slip through the cracks.
- Speed matters – it’s all about loading time. If your website takes too long to load, there is a plethora of other pages just waiting for a user to click. And since slow loading pages lead to poor user experience, chances are your rankings will suffer too.
- Update your social media status – social media platforms are great for driving quality traffic to your site. But more importantly, they act as external links on your website. Which means you need to take care of your social status, so that your social status can take care of your online performance.
- The key to keywords – keyword stuffing is a big no-no. Not only does force-feeding keywords in to content create poor content and a shoddy user experience, but trying to rank for everything means you’re more than likely going to rank for nothing.
- Link with care – while too few links effect optimisation, too many links lead users on an online journey with no hope of return. Links should build authority and provide users with extra information if they would like it. Link farming is probably the worst thing you could do as Google updates are designed to weed out spammy links and poor SEO practices.
While handling Google updates may seem simple enough, a number of websites fail to keep good SEO housekeeping in check. Sure there are technical fixes you may need to implement, but the bottom line is that Google is constantly innovating for user experience and so should you.