On 4th May 2020, Google announced that it was updating its search engine's core algorithms for the second time this year. So, what does this mean for companies engaging in online marketing activities?
What Are Google's Core Algorithm Updates?
Google uses sets of computerised rules, known as "algorithms," to organise the information that it presents to its search engine users. These algorithms help Google to identify web pages that contain content relevant to different search terms and rank these pages so that the most appropriate ones appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). The exact algorithms used are a closely-guarded secret. However, we know that regularly updated, reputable websites that contain well-crafted content tend to perform well in the SERPs. Google continually updates its algorithms to improve the accuracy and relevance of its search results.
The May 2020 Core Update
The update was completed on 18th May 2020, and many websites' SERP positions appear to have been affected. According to the Search Engine Journal, members of the search community have complained that the SERPs are now being dominated by big brands like Amazon and Etsy, as well as social media platforms such as Pinterest and Facebook. Meanwhile, the update appears to have negatively affected certain types of sites (such as music sites) and landing pages that aren't content-rich.
Some fluctuations may be due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as Google's algorithms consider user behaviour. More people have been shopping online during lockdown, which may have contributed to Amazon and Etsy's improved rankings. Meanwhile, as Search Engine Journal notes, gym websites have lost out, presumably because fewer people have been searching for them.
What Should You Do If Your Website Has Been Affected?
If you've been getting less traffic to your website recently, don't panic. There are several things that you can do. First, check your site thoroughly to ensure that it's still working correctly. Make sure that it's loading quickly and that no pages or internal links are broken. If everything's in order, your SERP rankings may have been damaged by the algorithm update.
Any changes to your website's performance may be temporary. It can take time for things to settle down after algorithm updates come into effect, and Google may make corrections or further changes soon. In the meantime, avoid the temptation to make dramatic changes to your site. Instead, employ a specialist agency, such as JDR. We can ensure that your website is search-engine friendly and develop an inbound marketing plan incorporating the latest search engine optimisation techniques.
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