How Google’s search engine algorithm makes or breaks industries
Hummingbird, Pigeon, Ghost, Penguin, Panda.
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No, these are not the names of the heroes or villains of the latest action movie franchise.
These are the titles of a very important reading list: that of Google.
If you’ve spent any time online as a marketer, you’re already familiar with Google Shuffle.
Just when you think you’ve found your algorithmic beat, Google is a game-changer.
Which can not only throw you off balance, but also wipe you out of the coveted Google Dance Map.
So if you intend to stay on this map, always be prepared to come up with new moves.
The flute player
An algorithm, in simple terms, is a formula for processing information or performing a task.
It’s not just Google that has built its operation around algorithms. At every moment, machines determine the future of individuals and businesses. The software makes decisions on everything from approving credit card applicants to how hospital resources are allocated.
Companies like Facebook and Google have spent billions of dollars creating the algorithms they use to sift through mountains of data – and they’re zealous in protecting their software secrets. As artificial intelligence makes these formulas more and more complex, it becomes more and more difficult to understand how decisions are made.
The AI-generated algorithms were supposed to help us more effectively and objectively manage the exponential growth of available digital data.
The problem is, algorithms can’t be predictable and unbiased – they’re created by humans! Program developers can inadvertently introduce their own biases. Or, algorithms can âlearnâ biases from training data before they are launched. Or they can take user biases into account, which can lead to unpredictable shape change over time.
Keep in step
Since over 50% of website traffic comes from organic search, and over 90% of B2B buyers research online before they buy, you want to make sure you appear on Google’s SERP.
Easier said than done, as updates from Google can confuse even the best-designed content presentation plans.
Google’s most important algorithm updates are given special names and announced publicly. The intention – according to Google – is to show the market how content and user experience can be improved.
These updates can cause major upheavals in a company’s trajectory, possibly downward. When Google updates, if your content doesn’t meet its specifications, your site may not show up in the SERPs at all – and your organic traffic will drop.
Name this melody
Google is constantly trying to keep abreast of new trends and technologies.
In other words: change is inevitable. The challenge for any online business is finding ways to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates and their impact on SEO practices.
Google’s original algorithm – PageRank – measured page relevance based primarily on backlinks and keywords. Twenty-five years later, he’s using over 200 search signals. So it can be difficult to follow.
There have been several groundbreaking updates that have left many online businesses, as well as local businesses, scrambling to adapt their SEO strategies.
And these updates have had a powerful impact on how content is created, marketed and consumed today.
Quality is king
The old SEO tips are So 90’s – and Google is on them. Its search engine will detect and penalize hidden backlinks and keyword stuffing before you can say “whaaa?” So drop the ones in your repertoire.
But Google’s updates go beyond what not do. Over time, consumers have reported that they are looking for more in-depth and richer content, which is reflected in algorithm updates.
The quick and convenient 500-word piece of the past tense no longer gets a Google Gold Star. Ten years ago, the ‘Panda’ update specifically targeted thin and irrelevant content. He made long-lasting quality content imperative. This has spawned a thriving content marketing industry, which offers formats like blogging to provide readers with personalized, engaging, and relevant information that is of real value to them.
Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of updates that have targeted ranking signals – like site time, engagement, page load time, and more. But consumers are very sensitive to visuals, which means that images play an important role in each of these metrics. . Creating high-quality images for an enhanced user experience has spawned a number of startups like Crello that help users create high-quality visuals with very little effort.
Ahead of the curve
Other changes highlight current widespread concerns about cybersecurity. HTTPS is now a ranking signal that Google has made mandatory. With the increase in digitization, there is an increasing potential for a malicious plugin or extension to deploy malware or adware to websites.
Hackers have shown that they can access sensitive information through carefully crafted Google queries. If your site is the victim of bad actors, it will be blacklisted, which will take you out of service. Smart companies are therefore proactive when it comes to malware protection to keep their sites safe for visitors.
With each algorithm update, sites can see a huge increase or decrease in traffic. Many sites that relied entirely on SEO for their survival have had to shut down over time. Similar unpredictability on other channels like social media (like Facebook’s reduction in organic social exposure to websites) has meant more businesses are looking for other ways to distribute content. They began to appreciate the value of alternative communication channels like webinar marketing – a rapidly growing industry that was barely on the map fifteen years ago.
Stay on the dance floor
No doubt – Google’s algorithms are and will likely remain an important factor in online searches.
Their algorithm updates can turn SEO strategies upside down – often in a positive way. They can inspire companies to review their production of content, improve its quality, and develop or invest in new, creative ways of distributing it.
So don’t waste time and energy trying to outsmart the competition with SEO tactics.
Keep it simple.
Focus on your end user. Aim to consistently deliver quality content that is user-friendly, visually stimulating, and engages readers.
Systematically monitor your site traffic to make sure your audience understands what you are offering.
And stay on the dance floor.