Google algorithm updates have become a source of dread for most business owners whose business relies on their website, um, which is just about everyone. The Panda update, the Penguin and the latest, which some people referred to as “mobilegeddon”, all came without any official warning of what to expect from Google. We often hear about these updates from the tech rumor mill, there is never a specific date of when it might happen and so we are left to wait and see how it might affect our websites and our businesses. It’s a little crazy.
The latest update in April was all about mobile, making sure that all websites were mobile ready. Responsive design websites are what Google recommends. Clearly this is something all companies should be offering. With the surge in mobile internet activity and the latest trend of giant phones in lieu of tablets, more and more people are surfing the web on their mobile phones. There was a lot of hype around this update, and yet, when it came and went, there didn’t’ seem to be much fallout like there had been with previous updates. And then in the beginning of May, certain informational, how-to sites saw a mysterious decrease in traffic, some up to 22%, according to an article by Ari Levy. Sites with weak content and navigation seemed to be impacted the most, and none of it was related to the mobile update everyone was so focused on the month prior. Google has since, very quietly acknowledged the changes were made as part of a core algorithm update.
Google remains mysterious, because the goal is to improve search for the user, not help businesses attract customers. So the protocol on updates isn’t going to change anytime soon. As business owners, we have to stay current, know what is happening when it comes to the digital world, and most importantly, surround ourselves with experts who can help us navigate this ever changing and volatile space. There are entire companies and teams dedicated to nothing but keeping up with algorithm changes, the latest technology and tools, and helping you effectively use them in your organization. They are proof positive that it’s a full time job keeping up with all of it. Educate yourself, and get yourself some experts around you and your business…who knows when the next update will be.