More than 40,000 Google searches are performed every second and it’s critical to understand the latest changes and what these mean for your business.
Google has always dominated the business of online searches and it still holds 88% of the Western search market.
Your business needs to be seen on Google in order to be visible online, so it is essential to understand how this search engine indexes, analyses and ranks webpages. Since these algorithms are always being improved, your website needs to stay up to date too.
How Often Is the Google Search Algorithm Updated?
Although we don’t always know exactly what has changed in the Google algorithms, we do know that the frequency of these adjustments has increased significantly over the last few years. A decade ago, it is estimated that there were between 350 and 400 changes made to the algorithm during 2009. Many changes have been made since launch and we’ve reported on these previously.
Last year, Google made approximately 3234 improvements to their algorithm.
Clearly it is impossible for most site owners to keep track of all these changes or to adjust their websites and marketing strategies an average of eight or nine times a day. However, it is vital to be aware of the most significant changes and how they could affect your business, as well as addressing key factors for Google.
Why Do Search Algorithm Changes Matter?
Anyone who uses a computer will be aware of how important it is to appear near the top of the search rankings. When you type a term into a search engine like Google, you’re probably only going to look at the first few results or the first page of results at most.
If you have a website then you need to ensure that your site makes it into these top ranked sites when people enter the relevant keywords. However, this is easier said than done because Google uses complex algorithms to decide which pages people want to see and these algorithms are always being updated to improve the results. You need to keep updating your site and your online marketing strategy in order to adapt to these changes and stay on top.
Timeline of Changes to Google Search
Hundreds of changes have been made to the Google search algorithm since the engine first came online in 1998. Many of these changes have been minor, but other updates have had a dramatic impact on rankings.
The Latest Changes to Google Search
Google makes a lot of changes, some big and some small. Some of the most recent changes that you should be aware of in 2019 are:
- Mobile-first indexing means that mobile sites will now be prioritised, so you must make sure that your business is accessible to people using smartphones.
- Growing use of voice searches, with 40% of adults using them at least once a day, is changing the kinds of search terms being used. You need to focus on these longer, more natural phrases rather than just the keywords people might type in.
- Google is now using “linkless” mentions to rank sites, so if you can get people talking about you online it can help your business, even if they don’t include a direct link. Engaging with people on blogs, social media and elsewhere is increasingly important.
- Enabling an SSL on your website is becoming essential as Google is starting to prioritise HTTPS sites.
Where your site appears in the rankings when people search for relevant keywords can have a huge impact on your business. It is vital to ensure that your website is visible to the right people and easy for them to find. Understanding how Google ranks pages can enable you to do this, but you also need to focus on creating quality content and running your business. The aim of Google’s algorithm updates is to find the best websites for its users. By creating a high quality site that is easy to navigate, you will be providing the kind of website that they want to prioritise.
Plus Google’s analytics program provides reports to see how your business is performing