Friday, September 16, 2016
Unravelling the Latest Changes
Companies have seen their SERP listings change almost overnight – so what's going on?
During the past few weeks, Google has been tweaking its mobile search results, and people were quick to notice the difference the update made. So what does this new update involve – and will the changes we've seen so far be permanent? To help you out, here's a simple guide to Google's latest changes, and what you can expect from them.
This update revolves around Google's search results on mobile devices. The company has long been keen to make sure that the Google experience is consistent across all devices. So whether you are using your laptop or mobile phone to browse the web, you'll be able to find the best online content. In a blog post dated 23rd August, Google said that they were updating their search results to reflect which sites were offering the most user friendly experience for mobile users. Sites that had intrusive pop up ads or text that was too small found themselves bumped down the list of search results. However, this mobile update appears to have made its way to desktop SERPs too.
What the update meant for businesses
Have you seen changes in your site's ranking? If so, you're not alone. As of the 2nd of September, a number of companies were reporting that their sites had dramatically changed position on SERPs. A blogger who had previously ranked #3 for a particular keyword couldn't find their site on the first page of Google search results. After looking into it further, it turned out that they were now ranked around #80. Other businesses sat tight despite the sudden change, hoping that the update would right itself. However, after a couple of days some found themselves as low as page 10 on desktop devices. Given that there's a big divergence between mobile and desktop SERPs, these companies had the right to be surprised. Perhaps you were one of them – in which case you'll be wondering what to do next.
What should you do?
So what can you do to ensure that your site gets back up to the top of the search results where it belongs? Well, there has been no word as yet from Google on what these see-sawing search rankings mean. The general consensus is that there's a big update on the way, with these mobile search results being the tip of the iceberg. It may not be worth overhauling your SEO strategy just yet – but do try to offer a good user experience for mobile users, as this seems to be where Google is focusing its efforts right now, working on making your mobile site functional and free of obtrusive ads is a good place to start.
What will the future hold?
Changes to search engine algorithms take a while to implement, but in this case Google has sprung a surprise on site owners. Will these changes be permanent? It's hard to say – although if Google wants there to be no difference at all between the desktop and mobile browsing experience we could continue to see search results behave like this. If your SEO strategy is now looking a little uncertain, call in the SEO experts to make sure that your online presence is as strong as ever.
Danielle Haley is co-director at Freelance SEO Herts, which offers bespoke digital marketing services to businesses in and around Hertfordshire. Freelance SEO Herts is part of the FSE Online group of companies.
License: Image author owned
License: Image author owned