Why You Should Care About Google’s Recent Changes

November 2, 2016

Why You Should Care About Google’s Recent Changes

Why You Should Care About Google’s Recent Changes

Have you noticed any changes in Google search results over the last few months?

I have! Keeping up with Google’s often-shifting ranking algorithm is a must for me. I’m not one to hoard information, so here are a few insights to help you keep up with all the changes.

Penguin 4.0 (Real Time)

Let’s start with the one of the largest changes of this year, which also happens to be the most recent. You might’ve heard about the Penguin updates a few years ago. Here’s what Penguin boils down to: the update was designed to do a better job catching sites that may be blatantly “buying” backlinks to help boost rankings, authority, and trust.

Now Google has baked those changes into its core algorithm. That means they’re constantly evaluating sites that are linking to you, checking to see if those sites are spammy, or if it looks like you’re hiding that you’ve paid someone for backlinks.

Hopefully you haven’t seen a major drop in rankings and traffic from August to now, but if you have, I would venture to say that Google has associated some “spammy” links to your site and you need to disassociate yourself from them. It’s not going to be one of those fun or quick tasks, but it is a necessary one.

Let us know if you’ve noticed a drop in traffic recently, since you might have been affected by this latest update. Also, feel free to comment below with any questions you have about fixing issues related to this change.

AdWords Changes

Back in February 2016, Google AdWords switched their standard ad layout from 3 ads at the top and 5-7 ads on the right side of search results to 4 ads at the top and 2-4 ads at the bottom. This change has made the space much more competitive and expensive.

I’ve definitely noticed this change in budgets and ad rankings. Now it’s even more important to bid at the minimum to get to an average rank of 2-4. I recommend trying to get an average of 2-3, so your ads stay at the top of search results. This change is definitely showcasing Google’s move to a unified results page and increased focus on mobile experience.

Have you seen an increase in cost and competitiveness? Let us know how you’ve combated this shift toward “less is more.”

Mobile-Friendly Update, Version 2

It’s 2016 (almost 2017), you’ve probably heard over and over that mobile is key. Earlier this year, Google introduced another algorithm change to adjust rankings based on mobile-friendliness.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly or responsive, your rankings could/will be affected. You can definitely lose a few rankings because of this. So, now more than ever, make sure your site is mobile friendly!

That wasn’t too bad, was it? Hopefully you gained a little bit more understanding of Google’s changes and how it affects you. Let me know if you have any questions or learned something new!

Tell Us What You Think

How have you adapted your SEO & SEM practices to keep up with Google’s recent algorithm changes?