Google Ranking Algorithm Changes – August 2018
On 1st August 2018, Google announced and released a search algorithm update, which led to a large number of companies and SEO communities reporting of fluctuations within their search rankings and traffic.
This week we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains the same as in March, as we covered here: https://t.co/uPlEdSLHoX
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) August 1, 2018
This was first picked up by our online rank checker, AWRCloud, which had detected fluctuations from the algorithm update since 1st August.
So which SEO techniques were penalised, and which were rewarded?
Google has been vague in the past with the exact changes they make, which is also the case with the latest algorithm change. However, the SEO community has been in talk about this and have highlighted some of the key ranking factors:
⦁ Mobile-first index
⦁ Site speed
But the question you’re probably asking is:
How can you stay at the top?
Make sure your website is mobile friendly:
Whilst having either a responsive or mobile friendly site has always been a given, it’s now more essential than ever and you may receive a harsher penalty if your website isn’t; this could include either your current search rankings plummeting or you not being able to rank for your brand name.
To make sure your website is mobile friendly, you should avoid your mobile site covering up content. Try to include only the most important information and relevant text to be indexed for mobile-first. You should also try to include application forms, phone numbers, call-out buttons, e.t.c.
Google has always wanted to promote pages that load faster, as this gets users to the desired information as quickly as possible, giving them the best user experience. After all, if there were two websites, where you knew one took 1 second to load and the other 20 seconds, which one would you pick? It’s a no-brainer.
Luckily, Google PageSpeed Insights is here to help; it will highlight some things that you can improve on your website when it comes to loading speed. Some of these are fairly technical, however it also covers the basics, such as having a good amount of bandwidth for hosting and to make sure pages aren’t filled with heavy videos and uncompressed images (which should be made below 100kb where possible).
If you’re using WordPress, an alternative plugin you can use, LiteSpeed, can offer fast and effective routes to improve file compression and other issues surrounding page speed.
Content is dominant in the world of search engine ranking and Google has adopted the policy of E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness). Your content should contain benefits to the user, but also proof of your expertise and reliability in that area. Your content should be enticing and contain copy that people actually searching for and want to read, instead of content that has been added just for the sake of SEO. A good way you can find some relevant content titles, is to look through suggested questions prompted during a Google search query.
This pie chart from SearchEngineLand shows the percentages from each sector that were impacted by the algorithm update.
A tip for businesses in the health sector which have been affected by this recent algorithm change, is to use content that includes professionals within the sector or tools. An example of this would either be a health calculator, or a form built into the page. Within each piece of content, you should try to include your brand (where possible) and how it relates to your customers.
Here at Website Success, we have an in-house marketing team who specialise in SEO, so if you have any further questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01243 888555, contact us through our contact page or pop in to our Chichester-based offices.
Thank you for reading!