If there’s one thing we know about the field of SEO, it’s that changes happen all of the time. From differences in how Google styles its search engine results pages to how its algorithm sorts through millions of web pages on the internet, there is a lot going on at all times from Google. And if your website is actively pursuing an SEO strategy, just know that you’ll be at the forefront of understanding many of these changes and how they impact your website.
Below is a list of changes that have occurred with Google’s algorithm from SEO expert Jeff Romero:
Google’s major focus in 2021 has been around the user’s experience. Because Google wants to provide the best experiences for its user, you need to provide a great experience for your users. And providing a great experience means having a fast website too. For this reason, many web developers and SEO professionals focus on improving their sitespeed to be as fast as possible. Tools like Pagespeed Insights (from Google) or GTMetrix provide webmasters a letter grade and numerical score (on a scale of 1-100) of what is slow on their websites. Webmasters can then take this information and update their sites accordingly.
If you’re wondering if you have been hit by a pagespeed update this year, plug in your domain into gtmetrix.com to know where you stand. If the site is slow, you’ll find a helpful list of ways to overcome the slowness.
If you’re active in e-commerce and take part in the world of online shopping, be careful with the way product reviews are displayed on your website. Most SEO professionals are anticipating an update from Google in March that focuses on the content of reviews. Not only should you have review sections of product detail pages coded correctly for SEO, but the actual content from customers is important too. Google is focused on e-commerce websites that have spammed review sections or try to manipulate their reviews in some way. If you allow customers to place reviews on your site without verifying a purchase, it’s recommended to review the setup to ensure you are not getting spammed.
Core Algorithm Updates
Aside from the pagespeed update and the reviews update, SEOs should anticipate a couple of core updates. These types of updates change the way the base Google algorithm crawls information on the internet. Here is where you’ll find the biggest swings (both positive and negative) for a website. Core updates are released a few times a year and are slated to have major impacts on websites.
You can’t really prepare for a core algorithm update and Google won’t disclose the details of the update. However, it’s best to make sure your website is technically sound at all times.
The best way to stay aware of Google’s updates and various changes is to follow SEO professionals on Twitter, discover information being shared on SEO blogs like jeffromero.info and follow Google’s official webmaster’s YouTube channel.