Staying on top of Google search updates is critical to any business who uses their website to organically reach new customers. Check back on this post for future updates.
Everyone knows Google is an essential part of business in 2020. Regardless of your industry or offerings, Google is where the majority of people search for local and national goods and services. Many businesses spend thousands of dollars per month on search engine optimization in hopes of ranking on the first page of Google.
What many business owners do not realize, however, is that Google is almost always updating their search algorithm to better server users. Google’s goal is to ensure the most relevant results appear for those searching online. Sometimes, these updates are large announcements and expected; other times they are implemented and are discovered by those who track their keyword ranking. Unfortunately, these updates are not always the most positive for business owners.
On August 10th, 2020 Google implemented a series of changes to their algorithm which were widely and immediately noticed in the SEO world. In this case, it seemed the updates were a negative for small business owners. Check out these comments provided courtest of SEO Roundtable:
As you can see, the change was widely unexpected and initially thought to be a major update. Less than 24 hours after this major change was noticed and reacted to, Google has announced that this was in fact “glitch” in their system, and not an update at all. As of August 11th, around 5pm EST it seems most of the changed have been reverted and rankings have restored.
SEOroundtable was one of the first agencies to notice and investigate the global change. Here’s what they had to say:
“From what we can tell, the algorithm shift has adjusted search engine rankings to have poor-quality pages gaining the top ten spots on search results. Our early research into the algorithm shifts have also uncovered that many local search results are being completely outranked by eBay, Amazon, directory listings and cloaking websites that are not only irrelevant but incredibly spammy for these types of searches.”
They went on to comment:
“From what we have analysied, the results that were ranking on page one yesterday now all seem to be sitting on page six, seven and eight of Google. Page one is mysteriously cluttered with spammy, cloaking, phishing websites. Ecommerce websites have seemed to slip in favour of forum, directory and social media listings.”
The Updates Could be Product Focused. We’re heading into the last quarter of the year faster than we all think, and that means one thing is for sure coming: the holidays and gift giving. It’s possible more weight was given to sites who are ecommerce focused like eBay and Amazon in hopes of getting users to their desired purchase faster.
The Time To Prepare Is Now. Small to medium sized businesses often have limited resources and time to invest in marketing. Solely relying on website traffic that has existed in the past because your business has been around for a long time is a poor strategy. SEO is of course important, but businesses should also leverage other means to attract new and existing customers like social media, email marketing, texting, networking, and paid advertising.
If you are committed to doing the basics consistently over a period of time, adjusting slightly as Google introduces changes and new features, an algorithm change will have less of an impact on your business.
At a minimum you should ensure the following items are addressed on a consistent basis:
• Ensure your Google My Business listing is complete, accurate, and optimized with keywords and content relevant to your business.
• Address any updates that a pending on your business listing, checking at least once per month if there are changes.
• Create at least one Google My Business post per week with relevant content and images.
• Ensure you are asking for and responding to reviews on your business listing.
• Upload new photos at least monthly to your business listing directly.
• Add one new blog or website page per month to your website.
• Pay attention to new features Google introduces, as it is likely they will have an impact on ranking in the future.
The biggest take away here is you should not spend time or effort trying to “trick” Google into ranking your business listing or website with quick fixes. Instead, if you focus on the basics, over time your business will rank better and be impacted less when updates occur.
If you have questions about SEO, your Google Business Listing, or other alternatives to SEO, we’re here to help. Contact us today to set up a free assessment.