Google algorithm updates can be famously potent things. They can have immediate and sometimes very dramatic effects on websites. Google’s most recent major change came into effect a couple of days ago and is still rolling out, so as you can expect we’ve been on the case from the start, looking into exactly how it might affect our customer’s sites.
As of a few days ago, webmasters and SEO specialists across the world began to notice that their automated tracking tools were showing signs of a large algorithm update.
Google fine-tune its algorithms every single day, which means it rarely announces algorithm changes – even major ones! To date, it’s only released detailed information about a few of them. That means that as SEO experts, we have to work out for ourselves what’s changed.
In this case, we’ve determined that it’s probably related to Google’s longstanding Panda update. The Panda update was a major revision of Google’s systems that was first released in February 2011. Basically it looks at the quality of a website and adjusts the site’s search rankings depending on a number of factors. These can range from quality of content to loading speeds to overall user experience.
Obviously the entire Panda update is a lot more detailed than that, but those are some of the main components. It’s now been established as one of Google’s core algorithms, and it looks like this latest update means Google are making another adjustment to it.
Most of Google’s previous updates have resulted in site-wide penalties. But with this update, we’ve noticed that it’s mostly individual pages and specific keywords being targeted. This can mean that only a portion of your site’s traffic is lost, but if one of your main keywords is among those affected, you can still lose enough traffic for it to be a big problem.
To avoid this it’s vital to respond to these updates quickly. The sooner you understand them and get a strategy in place, the better off you’ll be.
And at Twentyone, that’s where we come in!
Above all else, this latest update underlines the importance of working with a digital agency. We are staffed by a team of specialists who are adept at spotting Google’s latest updates, and quickly working out how they might affect businesses just like yours.
It takes a careful eye and a great deal of practical SEO experience to identify these updates, so it can be immensely frustrating for the average website owner trying to work out why they’re losing rankings.
To give you some idea of how much your site can be affected by these updates, even a drop in rankings of just a few places can move your site from page one of Google’s search results to page two. A key fact in SEO is that the vast majority of people won’t click through to the second page of search results.
This can potentially mean a huge loss in traffic if your site is bumped to page two, which then goes onto affect your bottom line though conversions and transactions. That’s just how critical it can be.
This visibility can be recovered, but it’s a very resource intensive task. It illustrates just how useful it is to have a team of dedicated specialists always on the ball. Specialists, say, like us here at Twentyone!
We make sure we’re always acting proactively when it comes to these updates.
Not only have we got the right expertise, but we invest in platforms and software that monitor rankings and respond to these triggers as soon as they appear. We then use this information to act promptly, making sure your site complies with the latest updates. By doing this, we can help minimise the negative impacts while maximising the positive ones.
For the latest on further Google algorithm updates, make sure to follow us on Twitter: @twentyoneagency