Are your SEO strategies in line with Google’s latest 2015 search standards? Just as the digital landscape is constantly changing, so are Google’s search algorithms. Google continually refreshes and updates its search algorithms to stay current with the changing ways that users access the Internet and search for information. The purpose of these updates is to improve search results so users have easy access to the best, most relevant answers to their queries.
In 2014 and 2015, Google made several significant updates to its search algorithms. While these updates have improved the accuracy of search results, they can drastically lower your website’s SERP (search engine results page) position. If you haven’t already adjusted your SEO strategy to incorporate these new standards, you need to do so in a hurry.
To make your task easier, we’ve put together this short and sweet 2015 Google Update Guide. It will quickly fill you in on what you need to know about Google’s search updates in 2015, so you can make the necessary changes to ensure your website gains the high search rank it deserves.
Pigeon Update (July 2014)
What SEO issue it addresses: Local search results
How it works: Google’s Pigeon update was supposed to improve Google’s distance and location ranking parameters and provide a better user experience. In practice, it produced hyper-localization effects that have had a negative effect on certain business categories such as real estate agencies, hotels, and restaurants, where large national directory sites exist. The massive directory sites (TripAdvisor, Zillow, etc.)now dominate the top spots in local search results in these categories.
How to adjust your SEO strategies: Call on your genuinely local knowledge and position to create content, keywords, and connections the nationalized companies cannot reproduce
- Embrace hyperlocalization and focus your keywords on specific neighborhoods
- Connect with a local firms in related industries to establish relevant back links and citations
- Claim your business on Google My Business (formerly Google Places)
Penguin 3.0 Update (October 2014)
What SEO issue it addresses: Link building strategies
How it works: Originally introduced in 2012, the Penguin algorithm is Google’s response to “black-hat” link building strategies. Websites that have engaged in spammy link building or link buying schemes to artificially raise their rank are penalized with a lowered SERP position.
How to adjust your SEO strategies: Focus on gaining links the right way – earning them with quality content and social marketing strategies:
- Create a website blog featuring high-quality content
- Vary your anchor text – Establish a variety of different links, including brand links, exact-match keyword links, partial-match keyword and phrase links, and non-descriptive links
- Use social media to connect with influential authorities in your field (to gain highly reputable links)
Mobile-friendly Algorithm (April 2015)
What SEO issue it addresses: Performance on mobile devices
How it works: In response to the global adaptation of mobile devices (now used in more than half of all online searches, according to Smart Insights), Google added mobile-friendliness to its search ranking factors for mobile searches. Websites that provide poor performance on mobile devices are penalized with lower search rankings.
How to adjust your SEO strategies: Google recommends you switch to a responsive website design, which automatically adjusts to deliver perfect performance on all smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Make sure your website contains these mobile-friendly characteristics:
- Content that fits horizontally in viewport -no need for left to right scrolling
- Elements that perform well on mobile browsers – no Flash elements
- Scaling fonts – no need to zoom to read
- well-sized and adequately spaced touch buttons – easily used with thumbs
Panda 4.2 (July 2015)
What SEO issue it addresses: Poor quality content
How it works: Google first introduced Panda in 2011, concerned that some websites with poor quality content were ranking higher in searches than websites with high quality content that provided a better answer to the query. Now that content marketing strategies have moved into center stage, the latest Panda update is a timely addition.
How to adjust your SEO strategies: Focus on producing high-quality, informative content that holds value for your users. Panda-proof your website by avoiding these content marketing no-no’s:
- Shallow, overly promotional content – essentially advertisements
- Poor quality purchased content or copied content – duplicated elsewhere on the web
- Duplicate pages – multiple pages with minor variations to target keyword variations
Now that you understand the effects the latest Google algorithm updates will have on your search engine optimization strategies, it’s time to whip your website into shape! If you need assistance updating your website to incorporate the latest SEO strategies, Blue Interactive Agency is here to help. As the SEO web agency and design company South Florida businesses rely on when they need to raise their search rank, we have the experience and skills to create your dream website that Google (and your customers!) will love. Our SEO gurus can also provide expert blog writing tips and SEO content creation services to ensure your website maintains the high search ranking it deserves.
Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for a winning website design that incorporates the latest SEO strategies to gain you the high search ranking your company deserves!