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Why are the Search Results in Google Constantly Changing?

At times it seems we can assimilate Google to a grumpy boss that is impossible to please. With no prior warning, your site has dropped overnight and you are no longer receiving the same traffic as you were just one day previously. Why? This sort of situation can be a result of a variety of explanations. Often it is thanks to a Google update.

Many people believe that Google’s updates are impossible to prepare for, however the team at PUNCH digital, SEO Melbourne Experts, know this isn’t the case. Our experienced and knowledgeable team members are constantly keeping up to with what is going on at Google HQ. This is so that the sites of our clients aren’t hit hard when there another update rolls around.

Just How Often Does Google Implement Updates?

Interestingly, Google makes around 600 updates to its algorithm each year. However, only a small amount of these are noticeable. Google’s main goal is to provide its users with only the best information that is going to suit their needs. To do this, Google ensures sites are indexed properly in the system. Algorithm updates don’t sound simple because they aren’t. Even highly skilled experts in the realm of SEO struggle to understand what Google is doing in its algorithm updates. These updates cannot be predicted by anyone and are often extremely confusing to understand.

Luckily, this is where PUNCH steps up to the plate and helps you out.

Google Updates Timeline 

The biggest scare for those attempting to optimise in the SEO world came in 2003. We were all still fairly new to the Internet and SEO. We didn’t expect Google to crack down on unethical strategies so forcefully. But crack down it did. The ‘Florida’ update meant sites quickly dropped their rankings and the overarching question was – Why? Well, Google aims to provide its searchers with the most valuable, relevant, and unique information, black-hat SEO strategies (that undeniably work) weren’t letting Google give its customers results they wanted. In an attempt to be a more user-friendly and valuable search site, Google begun punishing these black-hat techniques and strategies.

Up next: the Panda update. Google’s focus here was to crack down, once again, on sites using unethical tactics such as keyword stuffing and more. Our friend Panda is still around today, with its most recent update coming mid-May this year, version 25, or Panda 4.0 targets similar practices to the original update. The importance of using best-practice techniques has never been more important. PUNCH digital take each update very seriously, listed below are the main points that need to be addressed with the most recent Panda update.

  1. Write more (but stay relevant): Previously, Google allowed content pieces with 500 or words or less. Now, content needs to sit at more than 700 words for Google to recognise and index.
  2. Ensure site authority: Thin content will not hold with Google these days, ensure content is lengthy but still unique, relevant, and interesting.
  3. Keyword ratios: A 1% ration between keywords and content is the maximum these days, Google will penalise if you go above this.

The final stop is Penguin – an update that focuses on the need for high quality sites. Google likes sites that are dedicated to only the best user experience and are optimised with white-hat SEO. Below are the crucial elements – in regards to the Penguin update – to help get a site indexed.

  1. The Grace Period: Google has recently delivered a rank delay system that we have affectionately named the ‘Sandbox’. 30-50 days is now the mean time it takes for sites to index from results from links.
  2. Social Platform Signals: You know the little clickable link boxes that connect a site to its social networks? These are completely necessary to ensure website legitimacy and resulting rankings.
  3. Installing a Sitemap: A sitemap is an organised hierarchical structure of pages that exist on a site. They assist with faster listings so its best to install one of these.

Improved user experience and deterring black-hat SEO’s is the key to Google’s updates. Our agency has been working for many years to achieve the best results for our clients and we do this by implementing all the best-practice strategies and techniques internally within our team. We implement strategies with the entire SEO policy in mind, this is why are the best answer when it comes to improving your sites rankings, traffic and customer base. Our team understand Google is a constantly evolving system, which is why we do all that we can to stay on top of its every move. We know that understanding the complex ins and outs of Google are going to deliver the best results to clients.

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About The Author
Brett Hardiman is MD at SEO Melbourne Experts and a Search Engine Optimisation expert with over 15 years experience working with and advising businesses of all sizes on their internet marketing strategy.

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