It was either Panda 4.1 or Pigeon, depending upon which name you like better, but in late October Google updated its search algorithms again. Some larger brands experienced a drop in traffic, but most smaller businesses were not affected. Here’s a peek at what has happened recently in the constantly-changing search engine world.
The rise of mobile is affecting how people conduct online searches, and it means that search engines are adapting. From more people talking to their phones to the addition of phone numbers in search engine advertising, mobile is changing search. Today, more people conduct searches on phones and tablets than on desktops.
You will be seeing more advertising at the top of your Google results pages, too. And it will be more difficult to tell which are the ads and which are the organic (or unpaid) results. Google’s Knowledge Graph will continue to be more prominent on search pages and this will also push organic results lower. The Knowledge Graph is useful for searchers because it delivers answers right up front, so the user doesn’t even have to click to the website for an answer. Great for users, but not so great for businesses who want to drive more visits to their websites.
Google will continue to use your past search history and your social media activity, as well as your geographic location, to fine tune the results it gives you. This has especially been beneficial on mobile, as more local results are now showing up in mobile searches.
The Pigeon update is also increasing the number of “ranking signals” it uses, so directories of websites (Yellow Pages, White Pages, Yelp, etc.) are going to show up more prominently in search results. Again, this will tend to push down local websites even further in the results.
What does this mean for you? It is important to regularly check your website to make sure you are using the best keywords and phrases for your business. Understanding where you rank, especially compared to your competitors, is also critical.
Deppe Communications can analyze your website and provide you with a report that includes recommendations for improving your search engine optimization. Call us at 904.524.0170 or Email Kim@DeppeCommunications.