Google updates. SEO. Internet marketing. We get asked a lot of questions, and there is a lot of multi-faceted information to take in. We’re breaking down some of the most important updates and general things to know about Google as it pertains to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for the layman. Let’s hit some basics first:
First, Google is by far the most used search engine. Somewhere between 70-75% of search engine use is on Google.
Second, just because a website exists, doesn’t mean people will find it. Google (or Bing, Yahoo, etc.) uses it’s own algorithms to determine how it ranks results when people search for something online.
8 Google Updates of 2016
Google looks at KW entities (keywords AND their relevant, related terms) before anything else. You need to have a Keyword Entity Strategy.
The content on a website must be researched and planned. Words matter in a more technical way than many people realize. It’s not as simple as picking a KW (keyword) and saying it a thousand times on a site. Actually, that would be a really, really bad idea.
Penguin 4.0 now includes REAL TIME updates as part of their core algorithm.
Google’s most recent major update (Sept. 2016, previously Oct. 2014) finally refreshes the data it gathers about websites while constantly crawling and indexing without major time lags. Previously, this was done slowly, likely every several weeks or months.
Google has moved to a MOBILE-FIRST index. So if your site is not mobile-friendly, Google will probably place your site at the bottom of the crawl list for relevant terms.
Big, clunky websites that are not optimized for mobile devices will hurt you. Mobile usage is huge, and still rising. Don’t ignore it. Google isn’t.
Schema markup is more important than ever with the roll out of Google’s Rich Cards in place of Rich Snippets.
Rich Cards are the new search result format you’ve seen at the top of the page of results. Schema markup is the structured data (think reviews, prices, etc.) that we’re telling Google to pay attention to so it’s included in Rich Card results.
Google no longer offers easy search volume metrics in their KW Planner. The good news: there are plenty of other great search metrics tools out there. Shoot us an email – let’s talk!
Researching what KW’s to target is critical to the overall plan for getting a site to rank. Google may no longer provide a tool for this, but that’s okay. We have other great options.
The Search Results Column has now increased. Featured snippets, local packs, and Adwords are all impacted.
Have you noticed the changes in the types and appearances of search results you see? Google has changed a lot in this area forcing marketers to adapt their strategies to secure the best results. We think Google likes to watch the minions scramble.
Google’s result title length has increased and can now hold more characters. From ~55 characters up to ~77 characters with variances depending on what characters are used.
More opportunity to say what you need to say! This is good. Make it count.
Google is pushing for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). So the mobile page load speed matters now more than ever. Mobile page load is expected to be around 1 second or even less.
This relates to #3 above. Making a point to optimize for mobile is no longer optional. Some web designers are even now designing for mobile first, then desktop. Whatever the approach, the result needs to be the same: a fast, curated mobile experience.
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