They say that the world changes every 4 years: fashion trends, presidents, and especially technology. Google (every millennial’s go-to) is fully aware of these changes, especially those that take place on the internet. In fact, it’s actually one step ahead. Google’s search algorithms (mathematical procedures the program takes to resolve search queries) change every year.
Whatever kept your website ranked in the top 10 of search results may change within the next year, so it’s important that you stay on top of it.
RankBrain, the new artificial intelligence (AI) incorporated into Google Search, has buckled down on not only finding specific phrases, but also synonyms, in which it learns from previous searches and teaches itself. This is remarkable, yet only a tip of the iceberg. According to Searchengineland.com, RankBrain is only a small portion of the configuration. Google’s search algorithm consists of over 200 signals. One of the signals, called the “Panda” algorithm, focuses on the quality of a website. This consists of spelling errors, duplicate content, length of articles, and consistency in topics. Another signal, called the “Penguin Update,” is used to monitor and catch pages that consist of spam. Many of us are already familiar with the other signals, such as a website being mobile-friendly, having high ratings, and interlinking with other major websites. Any tech-wiz can figure these out individually, but once Google Search calculates all of these signals and formulas, they turn into thousands of variations that are hard to solve (and Google is keeping this information top secret).
Just like we watch the news or scroll through social media to stay informed, we can do the same for the search engine. Moz.com keeps a timeline of major changes in Google’s search algorithm each year. You can also monitor your website’s Google Analytics page to track and compare the changes in clicks, page visits and other relevant data. (And if you don’t have or know how to use Google Analytics, we’ll be glad to help you!)
Update your Website
This is a must. Our cars and houses need occasional maintenance to look and perform effectively….websites are no different. How often should you update your website? It depends on the necessity of your business or company. Maybe your business has grown and client outreach has expanded to different areas, or your company logo and branding has changed. The content (keywords, headlines, descriptions, etc.) must be altered and edited in order to maintain its search results. Also take into account technical functionality and advancements. For example, Adobe Flash is no longer supported on web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. For the thousands of websites that were built on or contained many animations and videos through the flash software, their websites were no longer viewable. Issues with visibility means a decrease in clicks and page visitation.
Keeping up with the search algorithm requires work, but is definitely worth it in the long run. Remember, your website is the online presence of your business, and you want it to perform well!
Need help in tracking your website’s performance? Too busy to monitor its progress and/or trouble areas? Our team will gladly assist you. Contact us today to learn more about our monthly SEO plans