Google updates have a significant impact on the future of search engine optimization. What optimization we see today has not only taken shape due to technological advancements and improvements in marketing strategies, but Google updates have played a big role in the evolution of online marketing. Not many years ago, keyword stuffing that worked well is a bane for marketers today. If you wonder how it happened then, you should know that one of the 600 updates that Google releases in any given year is responsible for it. Through the updates or algorithmic changes, Google keeps on changing the rules of the game. The purpose is to ensure fair play and give users the best experience. Google has always pursued its objective of keeping users happy while providing a level playing field for all SEO marketers.
The year 2017 that has just gone by was no exception from the perspective of Google updates. As per norms, Google had released updates throughout the year, many of them are routine updates while some others are of high impact that had considerable effects on many websites. The sharp drop in traffic and a slide in ranking are the usual signs that tell websites about some update taking its toll on it. Successful online marketers learn from the updates quickly so that they can make a turnaround soon. By knowing the nature of updates and analyzing its effects, it becomes easy to plot the future marketing campaign so that it moves in the fast track. In this article, we will discuss some major updates that happened in 2017 that throws light on the path that lies ahead.
Looking back at updates in 2017
Hindsight always points to better wisdom and is the reason why we would like to analyze the Google updates that happened in the year gone by. It would help to build a better future for marketers who would not commit the mistake of finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. Let us brush through the brief history of updates in 2017.
The 1st February update – Google updates often do not have any name, and there is no official announcement about its launch. This is the reason that marketers refer to all updates without a name as ‘Fred.’ Such an unannounced update took place on February 1, 2017, that marketers have perceived as a major update that was a package of one or two major updates. Websites experienced heavy fluctuations in ranking until February 6. There were speculations that the update aimed at hitting poor quality links and spammy links.
The 7th February update – Another large-scale update surfaced on this day that seemed to be larger than the earlier update. Websites reacted to it in a mixed way, as some sites experienced positive movements that pushed up keyword rankings up by 40 places while others felt the negative effects.
- It appeared from the results that Google has re-visited the sites that it had once considered good but have reviewed it once again and downgraded it. The affected sites had poor user interfaces, placed advertisements deceptively, carried broken menus and were too much inclined to monetization. Google penalized such sites that made users click as many as 38 pages to consume a single content.
- Another effect of the update was on sites that carried low-quality thin content. Such content created with the only purpose of driving traffic drew Google’s wrath. The traffic that comes in is then directed to some other pages showing that the content was bait used to deceive visitors.
- Sites poor in mobile usability and those that carried broken menus became victims of the update. If you are unable to provide the mobile experience at par with the industry standard, then get ready to accept the loss of rankings as well as traffic. The message is loud and clear, become mobile friendly and provide the best experience to users by adopting the best practices.
- Websites that carried content with some deceptive advertisements interspersed in the form of links were the ones that faced the fury of the update. Google hates ad deception and wants to put an end to it. Advertisements must be clear and unambiguous so that users can make it out easily and not presented in disguise as a link to some content. The chances are that such links can expose users to dangerous malware-based sites that Google wants to prevent at all cost.
The Fred update of 8th March
This update, another major one, targets websites that violate the guidelines of Google webmaster. Websites that do not mind using low-quality content with an eye on revenue generation from advertisements are the target of the update.
Now that you know which tactics could fail you in 2018, you can take proper measures to ensure that the marketing campaign remains on track.