Have you noticed a change in your website’s search rankings? Well, we’re here to tell you, you’re not alone. Earlier this month, many SEOs noticed a significant change in their search rankings. Google makes many changes to its search algorithm, around 500-600 times each year, but this change seems to have made a much more drastic difference than their typical updates.
Google was approached by Search Engine Land about a change in search algorithm around the weekend of May 1st but reported there had not been any updates over the weekend. Wait a minute… No updates? Not even a tiny update? For most SEOs, we thought it seemed more like a Penguin or Panda update, so how is it possible that no updates had been made? Many SEOs have been reporting significant changes – around 10% – 20% in rankings, which is not small potatoes!
But, at long last, Google has finally confirmed a change. Search Engine Land reports a response from Google that said “…while no spam-related update had happened, there were changes to its core ranking algorithm in terms of how it processes quality signals.”
Additionally John Mueller from Google addressed this topic in a Google+ Hangout on May 19th. You can find the discussion on this at the 35:10 mark, where he reports the following:
- This was a normal algorithm update that they make all the time. Sometimes it affects more websites, and sometimes it affects fewer websites.
- Google is always working to increase the relevance and quality of search results, and this change was a normal update, nothing major.
- Changes in your website’s search results are not likely due to a technical issue that you need to focus on, but just overall quality
- If you want to rank higher the best thing you can do is focus on making your website the best it can be. Take a step back and look at the overall quality of your website and see what you can do to make it better.
Quality is defined as “the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.”
So I don’t know if this information is helpful, at least in a specific way. SEOs and web developers are always looking for ways to rank higher in search results, and this information doesn’t give us any specific pointers other than to always be looking to increase quality.