Google Algorithm Update Likely to Have Major Impact on Search Rankings

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Rather than a Penguin update, as had been anticipated, Google surprised everyone by undertaking a core ranking algorithm update.

For any company hoping to remain visible in increasingly competitive markets, search engine optimization is essential. It’s become standard for many people – including both consumers and business customers – to begin their search for a new product or service with a Google search. Those organizations with websites that pop up near the top of the first page of results will enjoy a tremendous advantage over their competitors.

Consequently, it’s critical for companies to pay close attention to Google’s algorithms. After all, these formulas will ultimately determine the search rankings for every keyword and phrase.

That’s why the recent Google algorithm update is such a big deal. Rather than a Penguin update, as had been anticipated, Google surprised everyone by undertaking a core ranking algorithm update. Understanding what this means will prove essential for companies looking to maintain or improve their SEO efforts going forward.

A serious update
As Search Engine Land contributor Barry Schwartz asserted, this was a “massive update.” He pointed out that it’s relatively unusual for Google to actually confirm its core algorithm updates, yet the company did so here, further emphasizing the seriousness of this development.

“The Penguin algorithm is actually part of Google’s core ranking algorithm.”

Initially, many webmasters who observed these changes assumed that Google had rolled out its Penguin update, which has been expected for some time. However, it now appears that the Penguin algorithm is actually part of Google’s core ranking algorithm.

This has a number of implications, as Schwartz detailed in a separate post for Search Engine Land. For one thing, he noted that while many observers assumed that the core ranking update would have an impact on Panda scores – which would be good news for those that saw their SEO dip as a result of the Panda algorithm’s implication – in reality, the core ranking change did not affect Panda scores whatsoever.

Another possible, albeit uncertain, impact is that Google will likely update Panda more regularly going forward, according to John Mueller of Google. Schwartz reported that Mueller held a video hangout in which he stated that the new core ranking update will make it easier for Google to identify high- and low-quality websites, and to take those evaluations into account when developing rankings.

Unsure future
Yet while that much is clear, there is still a great deal of uncertainty regarding the impact that both this core algorithm update and the introduction of Panda will have on Google search results, Schwartz emphasized. He noted that it is currently unknown whether Panda runs on its own or with the core ranking algorithm, or even some sort of combination.

A bigger issue, according to Search Engine Journal contributor Matt Southern, is the question of whether this new update suggests companies should overhaul their websites’ current content. The writer asserted that in most cases this will probably not be necessary, but it is worth considering if there was a noteworthy drop in the firm’s page rankings.

Search Engine OptimizationGoogle emphasized the importance of content quality.

In either case, though, Southern asserted that it will be more important than ever before for organizations to develop high-quality content for their websites.

“[P]ages of outstanding quality can still rank if they provide a complete solution to what the searcher is looking for,” Southern wrote. “Google harkens back to its old adage of focusing on quality, not quantity. That means, instead of creating content for the purpose of generating traffic, concern yourself with how many people you’re helping with your content.”

Getting SEO right
Of course, following this guidance is easier said than done. Naturally, company leaders want their websites to both deliver value to their site visitors and also generate greater traffic – not one or the other. And determining the ideal strategy for achieving that is particularly difficult in light of the changing algorithms and strategies that Google and other search engines employ.

That is why it is so valuable for businesses to partner with a well-established search engine optimization firm, like Core and More Technologies. At Core and More, we have developed an approach to SEO that aims for and delivers organic and long-term improvements to search result rankings. We have a proven track record of delivering significant site traffic growth on an ongoing basis. By recognizing and adapting to all Google algorithm updates, we ensure our clients can always maintain an ideal SEO strategy.

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