The Google algorithm. There may be few, if any, algorithms out there that have a bigger impact on our day-to-day lives, especially for us digital marketers. While Google keeps the true nature of its SEO scorecard a well-kept secret, they do clue us in on some of the key changes and adjustments they make to their oh-so-well oiled machine.
Google announced that they will be making some relatively significant changes to their algorithm this year that, in some way or another, will impact the SEO of every site listed on the search engine.
So, yeah, this is a pretty big deal.
What is the Google Algorithm?
Google and their plethora of algorithms all live to serve one main purpose: to provide the best and most targeted answers to its countless user queries worldwide. As the unofficial gateway to the internet, Google’s algorithms are running both offense and defense, evaluating and ranking information and websites to create its search engine results page (aka: SERP).
While Google is continuously updating and tweaking its magic number machine, it just recently made and announced some pretty major core updates that will butterfly-effect their way into everyone’s SEO strategy.
Let’s dig further, shall we?
How is Google’s Algorithm Changing?
The biggest takeaway from Google’s June core update is the concept of a “page experience.” According to Google, a ‘good page experience’ is defined as a page that is fast, safe, mobile-friendly, and non-intrusive. While yes, these have always been great characteristics for a webpage to have, the new update will encourage sites to optimize their pages to fit these parameters even more.
If your site is safe and mobile-friendly but the load time is a little lagging, in the past you could get away with it.
With this new update, the fastest sites will get an extra boost in rankings. Google will prioritize sites that have good core web vitals, aka: a set of metrics that measure user experience. This essentially boils down to this: your site needs to load quickly and efficiently to rank well, even with great content.
Emphasis on Content
Having quality content on your site has always been an important piece to the optimization puzzle. However, from here on out, content is going to play an even bigger role in ranking websites. Sites that are constantly updating and systematically adding new, quality content to their site are going to get special treatment. If your site posts frequent content relevant to your domain name, even better.
Meta Titles & Keywords Taking the Driver’s Seat
From here on out, sites with meta titles that don’t include their respective keyword need not apply. The inclusion of keywords in a site’s corresponding title tag will be a prerequisite for having an optimized site, and thus, a desired ranking.
Google is starting to really bring the hammer down when it comes to mobile accessibility. To put it plainly, if your site is not optimized for mobile, it needs to be. Pronto. If not, don’t expect your site to evolve or gain any kind of high positioning on the SERP. Google is emphasizing simply designed, functional, and mobile-friendly sites.
Time Spent on Site
One of the other visitor-related factors that influence a site’s ranking in Google search results is how much time a visitor stays on a site. Moving forward, this factor will also impact a site’s ranking.
Along with systematic content updates, the amount of time a visitor spends on a site is one of the biggest indicators of a website’s quality. If you think about it, this makes complete sense and is why having good content on your site is more important than ever. Hooking people in with a good article or video can keep them on your site longer, and thus, you’re earning double points with the algorithm for having good content and retaining site visitors.
Digital Marketing, Simplified
Need some help navigating the future of SEO? Let us give you a hand. Here at Boxwood Digital, we have extensive SEO expertise to help you get your site humming. We can also help you identify the right strategies and tactics your business can take to optimize your website and bring in new, qualified leads to your site.