Which recent Google algorithm updates should you take into account?

May 3, 2015

Google releases algorithm updates on a regular basis. While most are minor, the king of search engines also releases major updates. Two of the major updates are Panda and Penguin. These updates influence the rankings and traffic of websites; therefore, website masters or administrators must keep track of these updates. You may ask: Which among Google’s recent algorithm updates should you adopt?

Here are Google’s recent algorithm updates:

- Mobile-Friendly Ranking Update. Released on 21 April 2015, this update intends to:

1. Support mobile-friendly pages, and
2. Encourage sites to become mobile-friendly.

- Pigeon Expansion. This update was rolled out to Australia, Canada, and the UK last December 2014. It was an expansion of Google’s Pigeon update released on 14 July 2014 in the U.S. Pigeon is an update on increasing the relevancy of local search results.  The update has resulted in the following changes:

1. Results for local search now resemble conventional search results.
2. Google search and maps results are now more cohesive.
3. The update increases Google’s recognition of local review sites.
4. It increases the significance and value of locations.

Why should you take Google algorithm updates into account?

Not all updates may have an impact on your website. Yet, it is important to follow the rules. Understand that in releasing its algorithmic updates, Google’s main goal is to fight spam. Google encourages websites to increase the relevancy of their content. This benefits everyone: The searchers will find more information that meets their needs. Google Search sustains its supremacy over other search engines.  Your website earns more local, mobile, and conventional traffic.

How to handle the recent Google algorithm updates

Here is how to adopt the mobile-friendly update:

1. Test your site if it is ready for the update using Google’s mobile-friendly tool at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
2. Check and test your site’s visibility and mobile traffic. You can do this using Webmaster tools such as Google Analytics.
3. Strengthen your site’s Web presence and competitiveness. Keep track of your site performance.
4. This step is optional but advisable: Create your own mobile app and promote it to reach your target market.

To adopt the Pigeon update, do the following:

1. Get your site on Google My Business. It will make your website easy to search and easy to get. Your target market will see your business across Google Search, Google+, and Google Maps. It will  be easy for you to reach your conventional and mobile traffic market.

2. Improve your Web presence through the following:

a) Get listed on business directories and yellow pages.
b) Use the right keywords in creating quality content.
c) Upload more local content in your site.
d) Create or shift to a responsive web design to accommodate mobile users.
e) Track your site performance and compliance to the algorithmic update.

It pays to follow Google’s algorithmic updates. Google Search remains to be the standard of search engine results. Keeping abreast of its updates makes your website enjoy high visibility and better ranking. This translates to more traffic and more leads to convert. And who wins with your compliance? Your customers, your website, and Google.

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