Search engine optimization (SEO) has been around for almost as long as search engines.
SEO has become an important part of business in the years since, with a variety of SEO strategies informing website design. What some companies do not realize, however, is that the algorithms used by search engines such as Google are updated and adjusted over time to provide improvements for their users. If your website is designed around old SEO strategies then you may find that the strategies you’ve used are out of date.
In 2019 alone, Google made multiple changes to its search algorithms that can have a significant impact on SEO strategies. If your company hasn’t updated its site and SEO strategies recently, it may be time to look at how search has changed to make sure that your SEO hasn’t become obsolete.
Core Search Updates
During 2019, Google released several updates to its core search functions.
This isn’t unusual, as Google performs at least two to three of these updates every year, but in 2019 there were a number of websites that saw visitor fluctuations as a result of the changes. Updates such as these are designed with end user in mind, adjusting algorithms to create more accurate search results and prevent abuses to search functions that allow so-called black-hat SEO to prosper. As a result of the number of issues that some sites had with these updates, it’s possible that your company was affected as well.
Google Discover Implementation
On the plus side, Google also provided a rollout to Google Discover (previously known as Google Feed) that could help boost your company in its listings.
Google Discover uses a user’s own interactions and preferences to customize results, which in turn provides you with ways to better target your ideal demographic. By focusing your SEO efforts in such a way to make your site more appealing to that demographic you can greatly increase the likelihood of appearing in Google Discover results even if you face heavy competition in standard web searches.
Enhanced Search Results
Another big positive for businesses is the focus that Google is placing on structured data through enhanced search results.
By providing content that highlights your company’s products and using markup-focused design to make your content traffic-friendly then you significantly increase the likelihood that your content will be featured at the top of the search page to provide relevant information for searchers. Using structured data guidelines to focus on brand awareness can also help when trying to make sure that your site is the first one to appear when users search for your company or brand.
Google rolled out a few changes to the mobile experience as well in 2019, including the option to return to the search position after viewing a site from mobile devices and flagging sites for mobile-first indexing.
This latter point is especially important as it indicates that the majority of your visitors come from mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile and your SEO efforts don’t take mobile visitors into consideration, then it’s definitely time for an SEO overhaul.
Site Diversity Updates
One other change to search that you should be aware of is Google’s Site Diversity update that rolled out in June.
This update helps to ensure that users won’t see more than two pages from the same site in the top results for any search. While this won’t affect every search as the Google algorithm may decide that there are more than two relevant results in some cases, it’s important to know about this since it can significantly affect your SEO focus moving forward.
Updating Your SEO
These points only touch on some of the 3,600+ changes that Google has made to its search engine within the last year.
While some of those changes were minor, others can have a big effect on how visitors find your company’s website. If you have experienced a shift in web traffic and weren’t sure why, exploring some of these changes in greater depth and adjusting your SEO strategies to account for the new Google search options is definitely in order.