What you need to know about Google’s latest search changes

Written on 12 August, 2013 by Uyen Vu
Categories: Search Engine Optimisation, Web Hosting | Tags: google, search engines

Every now and then Google updates its core PageRank and search algorithms and everything changes. As they work to create the best possible results and eliminate link farmers and spam, these changes can dramatically affect your company’s SEO strategy and how your customers find you – and ultimately your bottom line.

Targeting link farms and spam

Google is keenly working to eliminate spammers and link farmers from their search results. This means sites that rely heavily on huge amounts of links from blog spam or sites solely set up to point towards advertising will suddenly become persona non grata in the search world. Any website discovered to have large proportions of links to it from these sources will end up losing ranking or being blacklisted.

Targeting of advertorials

Advertorials are another form of spam – websites and posts that are essentially only there to create links to the original site without providing any real content or service. A real advert or content on a reputable site that links back to yours is fine, but those reverse domain auction-style sites that exist only to provide fake reviews or auto-generated ads and links will be penalised.

Better link analysis

More advanced detail is going into link analysis, which means the nature of the links to your site becomes key. Your ranking will improve as larger and more influential sites link to you and it looks as though Google will be putting even more thought into this analysis. For example, links in a short blog comment might be analysed to see if they’re on a page that’s really relevant, or on a site that has relevant content. Quantity of links as well as quality will be taken into account, so it’s more important than ever to develop relationships with other sites and communities to create valued links to your own site.

Prioritising authorities

The page rankings will attempt to add priority to sites known to be influential or authoritative in their niche. This means companies who spend time on creating real conversations through blogs and social media, providing free information and advice and generally making their site a valuable resource, will find their Google rankings improve. For example, if your site sells web hosting, it will pay off for you to offer free educational info, comparisons and forums on your website to make it an authority that people want to return to.

Domain clustering

Google is trying to reduce clustering, particularly on the first page of results. This means that in the future you will see fewer results from the same domains on the front page so that a company with better SEO doesn’t completely dominate the results. This means more opportunity for your site to appear on the front page when you craft your SEO content. Multiple links within the same domain will appear more on the subsequent results pages.

Improved communications

A promise has been made to have improved and more intimate communication with webmasters, which means you need to ensure that your site is set up for all the proper bits and pieces to help the Google engine select your pages, and make sure it’s easy for Google to find info on contacts. Be sure the technical contact in your domain’s DNS settings are filled with a proper contact, and put something in the site and sitemap. If Google are willing to take the time to contact you about improving your page rankings, you don’t want to miss the opportunity.

It’s worth making these changes to improve the ability for Google and your customers to find you. And if you’ve relied on link farming and similar techniques in the past, now is the time to switch tactics before your site gets marked down.

To find out more about how to improve your website’s search rankings in Google, speak to one of our experts on 1800 800 099 or review our Search Engine Optimisation services.