Understanding the Recent Google Algorithm Change

September 8, 2016

By September 8, 2016insights

Google changes its algorithm every day. Many of them are small changes that make incremental differences in how the search engine operates. However, every once in a while, they algorithm updates create significant change with large scale ramifications for search engine marketers.

According to research collected from Glenn Gab at G-Squared Interactive one such update occurred in June of this year.

Google produced a series of updates that could significantly change your ranking results. While the information is still coming in, the updates most likely deal with the Google Panda updates.

Google Panda is a set of algorithm changes to increase the quality of your website search engine strategies. This includes, but is not limited to content quality, user experience, ads on page, and navigation among other quality factors.

To help you understand more about how these changes could affect your search traffic, we discuss in detail below how to maintains your rank despite the changes.

5 Google Algorithm Changes and How They Affect Your Rank

  1. Bury Content Below Sponsored Posts- Many news sites today generate the bulk of their income from sponsors. Therefore, it is not surprising that many companies place the bulk of their native sponsored posts above content.

However, Google decided this is not in the best interest of their users, and is reducing the rank of sites that use such methods for generating conversions.

In essence, do not place your sponsored content in front of free content for your consumers. Google’s research indicated that consumers did not like it, and took it upon themselves to slap companies who use this strategy.

  1. Overabundance of Ads– Speaking of sponsors, have you gone to a website that seems to have more ads than content. Usually if you click through an Outbrain ad at the bottom of a blog post to another site you find ad-laden listicles (Top X Ways To… or X Celebrities Who…). Every number is part of a slideshow of ads.

Maneuvering through each page is lick a mouse juggling act as you do your best to avoid clicking the ads, and find the one little piece of content per page.

These companies do this, because their entire revenue model is ad-based. Therefore, having 10 ads for every 3 lines of content makes sense to them.

Not so to ordinary humans who find these articles more hassle than they are worth, and usually result in larger bounce rates.

It is no surprise therefore that Google decided to punish these sites for Panda-like problems in quality.

  1. Low Content Value– Google repeatedly stated how the quality of content matters. In a recent interview with Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, stated bluntly that in terms of ranking signals next to RankBrain, “It’s content and links pointing to your site.”

While this seems like an obvious answer to most search marketers, the answer was rather straightforward and blunt considering how often Google strives to avoid answering those questions.

In that vein, the recent Google algorithm changes punished Q&A sites that have a lot of pages with little or irrelevant content.

The only thing worse than thin content is generic content. Too many sites provide information that is so generic and similar to other articles that they almost become rewrites of rewrites of rewrites of content.

Quality is not a matter of just the amount, but also the originality and usefulness of the content. Like your mother said, if you do not have anything useful to say, don’t say anything at all.

  1. Indexing Issues– If you had any problems with your site being index or some type of corruption in your robots.txt file then this led Google to change their crawling procedures to lower your rank when you have the indexing issues.

For those who use CMS platforms like WordPress or Joomla this can be easily changed with a plugin or extension.

  1. Mobile Redesign– One unusual result from the Google algorithm change was that Google is now officially separating mobile and desktop rankings.

One unnamed company with a horrible desktop experience received a jump in mobile search after a mobile web redesign. We have discussed in the past the importance of mobile-friendly websites, and this just proves that is has increased in importance.

Final Thoughts

How does this affect you? As you can tell from the article above, Google continues to place more emphasis on quality content and slaps websites that have an abundance of ads.

If your site does not have the right mix of ads and content, then this could be detrimental to your business.

If you review this article, and still have questions about the Google algorithm change or your website rankings in general contact us for a free consultation today!