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How Google algorithm updates can affect SEO ranking

What is a Google algorithm update?

Google updates its search and ranking algorithm hundreds of times every year. These are mostly minor tweaks to keep up with trends and maintain optimum user experience. However, occasionally a major core update is released; significantly affecting SEO ranking and search relevance of web content. On the 8th August 2018, Danny Sullivan; Google’s search liaison confirmed on Twitter that such a core update which began on the 1st of August had been completed.

How did the latest algorithm update affect SEO ranking?

The rollout took about a week to take effect, within that time webmasters had already experienced significant fluctuations in ranking. Google insisted that there was no need to make technical changes to websites to remain relevant in the updated ranking. Claiming that new update was aimed at rewarding sites that have been under-ranked or under-appreciated rather than penalise.

The official advice from Google was to continue following webmaster guidelines, maintain high-quality content and user experience. The update did not require any local site fixing or manipulation. Tests in the webmaster community shortly after the announcement confirmed that the target of the update was neither content nor penalty driven. The best advice is to monitor the SERPs closely after such an update.

The Fred Algorithm Update

Earlier the same year, on the 8th of March, Google announced the rollout of a content-targeted core update. Dabbed the Fred Algorithm Update; it saw a significant drop in the ranking of sites with poor, low-quality content. Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed the update release via twitter and advised webmaster to adhere to Google’s webmaster guidelines to avoid severe drops in ranking.

How to improve and retain top ranking

Google continuously improves its algorithms; refining ranking and searching with frequent updates, most updates are confirmed, while others are done in secrecy. Every update is bound to affect ranking in either a drop or gain. With time, Google acknowledges improvements in site quality and awards ranking accordingly. Nevertheless, e-commerce businesses dependent on search engine marketing need to monitor these changes to maintain SEO relevance.

In 2019, we can expect more updates in Google’s algorithms. In 2018, Google shifted its focus more towards pay-per-click (PPC) marketing tools by updating the Google Ads platform. Several changes were made including the merging of different services following a constant growth in Ads revenue. It is safe to say that the trend should continue in 2019 and we expect to see more changes in paid Ads.

Noticing updates and changes on major search engines like Google means keeping a close eye on the online environment. At Epic News Media, we understand the need to keep up with SEO and PPC trends to get the most conversions out of online marketing. This is why we offer SEO and PPC solutions for your business to keep up with the times. Contact us to find out more about our web and optimisation solutions.

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