In a Google Webmasters conference which came out earlier this year, Google announced that they make around five algorithm updates a week. This is a staggering amount of updates, resulting in an average of over two hundred and fifty a year, and bombarding SEOs with a constant pressure. Luckily, over ninety percent of these are relatively small, however, every once in a while a large or major update sneaks past our guarding eyes.
Why is this? Google tends not to tell the world when updates occur, so we have to predict them the best that we can. Rather than inviting us to the party, Google likes to jump out from behind the metaphorical sofa, yelling “surprise” as loudly as it can. This may make our Search team jump, but it is never anything we cannot handle.
Luckily, through using a series of monitoring systems, White Hat SEOs (for more information on this please read our blog on White and Black Hat SEO) can use in order to keep an eye on things. Here at CAB we do just that, our Search team are on the ball, and so, with that in mind, here are some of the algorithm changes they are either responding to currently, or are preparing for later on in the year.
Early Panda Update - Two weeks ago a fairly major update happened in regards to Search, and the internet was buzzing with talk of changes in search results. Although Google did not claim any responsibility, it has been speculated that it could be an early Penguin or Panda update. With this in mind, a Google Penguin update is unlikely due to the scope of the result changes. Instead, the CAB Search team believe that it is far more likely a Panda update. To confirm this, the team are keeping a close eye on things, watching charts and analytics like hawks. When we know, you will know.
Google Medical Update - This news only came out a couple of days ago: Google have stated that they will be improving their medical search. What they are looking to do is change the way that medical information is displayed on the search. Although, in the scale of the internet, one tweak in one algorithm will not shake the world, it will cause large shockwaves throughout the medical community. Although it is hard to say when this update will occur, we can be sure it will be in the first half of this year.
The Twitter/Google Alliance - Google and Twitter are renewing their friendship and soon Twitter will be able to directly affect the reputation of a website. In the next few months Tweets will appear in the Google feed, making it possible to find companies and conversations through Google via their Twitter feed. What this means is that companies will have to be far more refined in how they approach Social Media as it is becoming more and more interlinked with SEO every single day.
Google My Business Update - Every business should have a Google My Business account as it helps manage every way that Google interacts with your business. Recently, how it interacts with websites, in particular addresses, and in terms of usability have been rethought. Now it has a new dashboard and a series of new features. It is worth checking out as there are too many functions to list here, however, one thing to note in terms of business websites, is that Google Analytics is now going through beta testing of a few extra features. This is not directly related to the My Business update, but instead is just something worth being aware of.
Rumours on the Horizon - Although precise dates are not yet known, there are rumours going around on core SEO sites which suggest that websites are sitting on an active volcano in terms of Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird. They are all ready to be updated, the key debate is when.
Hopefully, with the above information, you can also help brace yourselves against the coming storm of Google updates. The year has already started off with a bang so throughout the rest of the year we will ensure that our Search team keep Underhood updated with information.
(Image: by Craig Garnder via Unsplash)