As we all know, Google makes an average of 500 algorithm and service changes every year, which balances out to a little over 40 per month. Last week, Google reported in their Inside Search blog on the 40 changes that had been made in the month of February to the search algorithm and other pertinent search experience processes.
Some of the highlights that are relevant to businesses trying to enhance their Web presence and search marketability include:
- More accurate detection of official pages will enable browsers to find the official websites they’re looking for, and previously misidentified pages will be corrected. Codename: WRE.
- Increased coverage of related searches will generate more content in the “searches related to” section, which augment query refinement. Basically, when a user searches for something related to another popular query, that recommendation will pop-up. This may spare companies time if they don’t have to dedicate as much energy and content to less-populated search terms. Codename: Fuzhou.
- Local result prediction in YouTube will help users find videos that happen in their areas. The Inside Search blog gives the example of searching for [lady gaga]: in New York, your prediction might be [in times square], but in Mumbai, it will be [in India]. Codename: Suggest.
- Fresher images will help the newest and most recent images associated with queries to pop-up on the Web. Codename: Tumeric.
- Shopping rich snippets will be launched internationally to help users identify which sites are most likely to have the products relevant to the user’s needs. Previously, shopping rich snippets were only available to users in the US, Germany, and Japan. Codename: Rich Snippets.
- Yet another improvement to freshness implements new signals to help collect the freshest content and data from the web even more quickly than before. Codename: Freshness.
- Improvements to local search ranking will change Local Universal results by relying more heavily on main search results. Codename: Venice.
- Another Panda update refreshed the data in the Panda system, which Google says will make it more sensitive to new changes on webpages. We’ll see.
- Link evaluation improvements will make a change to a system that was used for several years and will help Google understand the topic of a linked page better than before for improved analysis.
- A spam update has also been released, which promises to close some gaps in spam protection.
- Finally, improved local results will find user’s cities more reliably and curate results more accurately based on locations.
To read all of the changes that Google made to its search algorithm in February, head over to theInside Search blog.
Keeping up with the many changes that Google, Yahoo!, and Bing make to the search engines is no small task, and constantly re-teaching yourself how to leverage those changes to work to your business or brand’s advantage is a full-time job that, if done incorrectly, can radically backfire. Spare yourself the hassle by trusting a leading national search engine marketing and optimization firm.
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