It’s an Interesting Time for SEO
Welcome back to the TM blog! This edition is the start of a new series on how SEO is changing business.
Each post in this new series will be a short burst of information on:
- What Google has done,
- What’s speculated to come,
- and “if” Google confirms an update.
Plus, I’ll also throw in relevant search news! For the most part, I felt like we needed to keep clients and friends updated on what we see and the actions we are taking. It’s still early in August, and we already have a branded “Medic” update to hit sites with medical content. Effects in SERPS seem to be favoring local businesses.
Hang on! Summer isn’t over yet.
Google Summer Updates 2018
How often does Google update their algorithms? Let’s start by going back to April 2018.
Google confirmed that it released a core algorithm update in mid-April. SERP updates happen several times a year. There are usually no particular recipes for fixing position drops.
As always, the number one suggestion is to have a fast loading and secure website. You should create great, relevant content with good information and page descriptions for eCommerce purposes. Then, let visitors “do” as they want to on your site. Be helpful, be real.
July Speed Update Effects Mobile
Page load speed confirmed as a ranking factor for mobile search in July. According to Google, the early July Speed Update only affects slow mobile websites. So, what do you take away?
Your website needs to be responsive if it’s not already and user-friendly. Google has said for a few years now that mobile speed is super important. Think about markets out of the USA, like Latin and Middle America. Wifi is becoming more regular in many places like this, so cell minutes are becoming more affordable… as is data and many use a mobile device to search. Android dominates markets with many devices running at OS. It also has everything Google integrated. So, they will be favorable.
Remember, Google collects data from everything. They move in directions beneficial to shareholders; Google is a for-profit entity. Keep that in mind.
Hello August, Hello SEO Quality Update
Google officially confirmed that it has released a major search quality update. According to their statement, the update is not focused on demoting bad content. It focused on providing more relevant results.
Also, nationwide search results are changing to favor local SEO listings and businesses. As a reminder, your Google profile tracks all you do, including searches and history. This data you provide Google curates future searches.
Pro Tip: Go incognito on your web browser. Do some comparative searches and try a VPN, so you can see other location results for SERPs.
In diet, nutrition, or medical advice areas? Take a careful look at the Google Search Guidelines: Search Engine Optimization Guidelines.
My Summary: Google is adjusting trust factors based on their internal safety score.
- Think EAT – Expertise, Authoritativeness, & Trust
- Who is the content, are they authoritative, and who is the content written by?
- Are others commenting or contributing? What are their authority in the segment or topical vertical?
If you don’t have a number of these signals over time you probably are not getting the SERP juice you want.
Danny Sullivan of Google confirmed the update rolling out. Then he later expressed the typical “provide quality content.” See the continuous theme here? Remember content is text, white papers, photos, video, and other updates. If you are not going to invest here then, Google has Ads you can buy for placement! (you pay either way buddy)
4 Huge Google Ads Updates
This one is kinda cool but let’s see how it plays out (I’m always skeptical).
- Google Ads text ads can now have up to three headlines and two descriptions. Google Ads rolled out to users. Advertisers can now add an additional headline and description to text ads.
- Google has also expanded the number of characters in a description to 90 characters. This means text ads can now contain as many characters as responsive search ads. Apparently, this will be available to advertisers in late August 2018.
- In further news, responsive search ads are rolling out to more advertisers. What was once in Beta to a limited group of advertisers is now releasing to the public in September 2018.
- Responsive search ads use machine learning to dynamically ads to users’ queries. Now, advertisers can provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines. Google will test different combinations of the headlines and descriptions. AI will learn which performs best for various search queries. (the robots are taking over!)
Are mobile speed and website responsiveness factors you need to consider?
Yep, I’ve said it for 3+ years now. You’d better check your website to see how you fair. As a reminder, we do offer simple audits and technical SEO site audits. These audits provide actionable insights to make corrections and help gain an edge.
If you’re ready to get started, contact us today!