As is known by those in the business of digital marketing, and in particular SEO, the algorithms behind different search engines evaluating the websites and deciding which is the best result to show its user, are constantly being updated. This was even ‘confirmed’ without confirmation by one of the developers at Google whose often cyptic tweets can provide enough information to understand what is happening, but not enough to crack the code!
Most recently however Google released a big update, a big enough update to give it the title the JUNE UPDATE. When big changes like this occur you can feel the tremor in the industry as people rush to see what has changed, positively and negatively, for their clients and website. Since the June update has arrived here are some summaries from various industry experts on what has happened.
The information below will try to remain uncomplex for as much of it as possible.
John, from the Big Ideas Machine team, has seen a different focus in the changes to Site Diversity. By this he means how the ability to boost SEO by ranking for multiple keywords is no longer possible as the AI behind this is now able to understand the varying keywords around similar topics. To counter this, John suggests that committing to long-form, 2000+ words content that covers multiple topics around your main focus. Google themselves commented that having more than one page appear in the SERP for a keyword will be extremely rare.
Another big focus of the update was a change to Backlinks. Already widely known by even those with limited SEO knowledge that backlinks are one of the major ranking factors and have been for-sometime. The update however, as Blair -a specialist at a SEO marketing company – notes the changes to the criteria around Backlinks become more and more effective in ‘weeding out’ those that glean links with black-hat strategies. “The update has shown even more distain from Google for links coming for low or zero traffic websites. This is because it usually relates to links from a specific Private Blog Network that have been used by those specialising in the ‘dark arts’ to improve performance” Blair suggests ditching any links you may have of this nature, although you shouldn’t have any, through a link detox or backlink audit.
Schema. As Neil Patel describes is “Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll understand exactly what schema markup is all about”. Now as we know Google will continue to allow Google to present useful information to its users in a quicker and more efficient format. Not having this with your site is just asking for trouble, so ensure you know how to do this. If you have a wordpress site, the ever-popular plugin Yoast help guide you through this.
Some of the final and easily seen changes is regarding speed and mobile optimisation, especially AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Google even suggests that If a page takes longer than two seconds to load, it will be negatively affected (it should also ideally have a size of less than 1mb). Its important to remember that although many parts of the world are welcoming in mindboggling speeds thanks to fibre broadband and 5g networks, Google continues to run its speed tests using a 3g network. So your site needs to meet these criteria on a 3G speed.
To keep abreast of the new information and updates from Google, follow their Google Search Liason Twitter account. But always look at updates from 2 sides. For example, if your site is negatively impacted by an update, don’t simply look at what to update and what might need fixing on your site. Instead consider the sites that may have taken your spot at the top of the SERP or are ranking in those places a few spots above you. Take a good look at the content of technical aspects of their site and see where your site could take an improvement. All in all, never be too conscious or reactive, instead focus on creating strong and long lasting content.