Every single year, Google changes its search engine algorithm between 500 and 600 times. Some of those changes are massive – as we saw a few years ago, with their Panda update. Some are minor, to the point where most users wouldn’t even realized they happened to begin with.
But they are always essential, as understanding when these changes are made and what they were supposed to do can give you valuable insight into how your SEO solutions are performing and, more importantly, how they aren’t. Google has recently made a number of algorithm updates, in point of fact, that you’ll definitely want to learn more about moving forward.
Google’s Recent Changes: What to Be Aware Of
In August of 2018, Google confirmed that it rolled out an update that affected sites in the “health and wellness” vertical more than others. It’s unclear about what this update actually did (as Google tends to keep that information private in an effort to prevent people from scamming the system), but experts agree it was likely another one of their E-A-T updates. That is, “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trust.” If your site provides information on a topic as important as health and it doesn’t rank as highly as possible in those core qualities, it was likely penalized as a result.
Another recent Google update happened in late July, although the intentions of this one was far more clear. At that time, the newest version of the Chrome web browser began marking all sites that didn’t use HTTPS as “not secure” – thus dropping them in the rankings as a result. The good news is that even if your site doesn’t use HTTPS, this update appears to have been limited to searchers using the latest version of Chrome. It’s still one of the most popular browsers on the Internet, however, so this is a problem you’ll want to address sooner rather than later.
Also in July, Google finally rolled out its “mobile speed update” – a full six months after its original announcement. Speed ranking for mobile results officially became a determining factor in search results, which means that businesses with slow mobile sites were adversely affected. Don’t forget that the average person will leave your site if it takes about three seconds or more to load, as they (and Google) see this as detrimental to the overall experience that you’re offering. Once you also understand that a significant portion of searches are performed on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets – and that trend shows absolutely no signs of slowing down or reversing anytime soon – it’s easy to see why Google is making mobile speed such a high priority.
Which means that for the sake of your brand’s continued success moving forward, you need to make it a high priority, too.
If you’re eager to learn more about Google’s recent series of algorithm updates and how they may affect your SEO efforts moving forward, or if you have any additional questions that you’re looking for important answers to, please don’t hesitate to contact an Atlanta SEO Company today.