The City of London: A Tale of a City within a CityMarch 19, 2019
There are far too many updates to cover all the changes Google have made in the last 6 – 8 months. Here we include the most significant updates and ones that have been confirmed. There are always rumours of updates; it is best to comment only on the ones that have been reported by Google.
August 1, 2018
This update has been dubbed the “medic” core update, as it is reported to disproportionately impacted health and wellness sites, also known as YMYL (Your Money Your Life). Over 40% of the sites affected came from this sector. While most sites were not impacted, those that were suffered a significant reduction in organic and local search results. Those most impacted tended to be company chains, with branches across the country, who specialise in diet, nutrition and medical devices. Smaller local businesses tended to benefit from the update.
The solution to a fall in ranking is to produce valuable content, and you should refer to the Quality Raters’ Guidelines. This is the advice released by Google to those who queried how to combat the falling ranking suffered.
July 9th, 2018
A mobile phone speed update is a rational choice for a search engine. More and more people are searching on mobile devices; therefore the speed of loading of a page on the phone is a mark of quality. Google has always said that the algorithm is intended to provide the best content at the top of the rankings. News at the time of release claimed that the update impacted few sites. Only those sites that had the slowest page speeds suffered because of the change in the algorithm, so there was no significant shift in rankings.
June 14th, 2018
Here is a complicated one for website owners to resolve. Movies were considered like organic results. However, now these are changed to thumbnails on a dedicated video carousel. Some sites that were previously regarded as organic search results thanks to the movie no longer were. They were transported to the carousel instead. This also meant the number of SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) with videos increased significantly.
This has led to some companies upset because they have been trapped in the video carousel feature, rather than listed as a search result. It is thought to be a disadvantage for some eCommerce retails who use video to promote goods. However, this video now meant consumers overlooked them.
It makes sense for Google to want to find a strategy to display more video. However, until users are accustomed to finding organic content in the carousel, then the company has a ranking problem.
May 13, 2018
The snippet has always been a factor that ranks a page. The snippet is the brief description that appears with the site listing. This used to be 300+ characters and laden with keywords. It is now 160 characters.
The snippet is commonly known as the meta-description in the back end of a webpage. This is where you attempt to give a quality description of the content of the page while ensuring this description is not cut off in its prime by Google.
Generally, guidelines suggest keeping the snippet to about 155 characters for optimal impact on your rankings. However, as Google rarely publish details of the updates they run, this is based on analysis by experts, comparing characters to site ranking changes.
If you are in doubt about how to write a quality snippet, you can leave it to Google.
April 17, 2018
It wasn’t until a little later that Google confirmed there was a core algorithm update in April. This core update is the same as the so-called “medic” update. Google is clear that it runs such core updates regularly. Unlike the August update, no specific trends were identified in these changes. As the impact was minor, this update remained unnamed by Google or the SEO community.
Google reported that this change caused minor changes, with some sites experiencing minor gains, and some small negatives. The update aimed to correct an area that under-rewarded some pages that deserved a higher ranking.
The interesting lesson from this update is that Google continually tweaks the algorithm. In April, as they reduced this update, they released a statement making it clear that the release of updates come every day.