Google is constantly updating their core search algorithms to optimize user experience. What does this mean for your business? It means you need to stay on top of the game in order to stay on top of the results page. With over 3.5 billion searches per day from Google alone, ranking highly on search engines is more important than ever.
Are you all caught up with the latest Google updates? Below are the major changes for Spring 2018.
The Maccabees Update
The unofficially named ‘Maccabees’ update provides several small changes to Google’s search algorithms that add up to a significant update. Most prominently, thin content (filler content without substance; used to increase word count/key words) was a major factor for lower rankings. Websites, articles and blogs with thin content are seen as non-authoritative links and will rank lower on the page as a result. Some businesses with especially weak copy dropped an entire page on the SERP (search engine results page)! There are other smaller tweaks too, such as increased emphasis on using legitimate links and avoiding black hat SEO.
Using shady link-building will only decrease your business’s search results, and flag your future posts if you get caught too many times. Make sure you replace ‘fluff’ with quality content and only link to authoritative sources you can trust.
Page Speed Ranking
This one won’t go live until June 2018, but it’s important to start optimizing your website(s) now. Page speed, while still a factor now, will see a serious overhaul in importance. People are much more likely to leave your site quickly if the pages are slow to load. Improving your load speed time will, in-turn, improve your standing on Google’s SERP. This is especially true on mobile, as Google has rolled out two new tools to help users monitor their mobile page speed (shown below).
These tests will be vital once the update goes live, so businesses are encouraged to get familiar with them before June. Don’t sleep on this update or you may find your website slipping in the rankings.
Google AdWords Changes
Google has also rolled out new changes to its AdWords system—most significantly, to the Keywords Planner. The old system was difficult to navigate and not very user-friendly. Now, workflows in the new Keywords Planner are more streamlined than the old version, and the design now matches the new AdWords interface. You can see the best example of the change right from the start screen.
While the old version had multiple options and links, the new start screen makes things simpler: “Find new keywords” and “Get metrics and forecasts for your keywords” are now the only two options available. This allows users to get down to the most useful important information quicker and more effectively. Check out this great article that goes into more detail on the update:
Smaller AdWords Changes:
Metrics and analytics are easier to view for mobile, forecasting options are easier to use, and users now have increased control of re-marketing campaigns, including the ability to block or hide other ads, and even opt out of a current campaign. Also, advertisers can now spend twice the daily AdWords budget as before (November 2017 update). This update mainly benefits Google, Facebook and big businesses who can afford a larger daily ad spend.
Does your website need a little spring cleaning after these Google updates? Design Extensions would be glad to help! We make it a priority stay informed on the latest search engine updates and SEO practices. Contact us today if you’re interested.