Google Algorithm Updates
September 1st saw a new tweak to the Google Algorithm roll out, one which the analytics community has dubbed Google Possum. It’s a fun name, but there’s more to it than just the name; the way in which search results appear has had some pretty major changes. Shortly after, on Sept. 23rd, an officially named update, Google Penguin 4.0 arrived. In both instances, the way in which your SEO links work have altered. Here’s the major ways that these two recent updates have altered the ways in which Google arranges its search results.
Addresses are Being Filtered Differently
The biggest change from the September 1st tweak was in how Google had analyzed the street addresses of businesses. Businesses that previously did not show up near the top of Google’s ranking thanks to being located outside of official city limits, Google promotes more than previously. For example, if a person were to do a search for “car dealer near Pasadena, CA” previously car dealers nearby but technically outside of the city limits would find Google devalued them in the listing, even if their mailing address is in Pasadena. With the new tweak, now businesses physically in unincorporated townships or similar areas will show up in searches by location based off of mailing addresses instead of actual physical location.
Google Penguin Updates Continually
Previously, changes to Google’s rankings could take weeks or months to roll out, as the algorithm was not continually being updated and therefore websites were not being reevaluated based off of changes. For example, with some websites Google demoted because of spam links, the reevaluation process took more than a year, likely dooming them to internet obscurity. This will no longer occur.
Spam Links are Devalued instead of Punished
In the past, Google punished entire websites for spam links. Now, instead of the entire website being blacklisted, Google only devalues the spam-related links, while not effecting entire websites. What this means for business owners is monumental. Previously, for example, a blog post with spam links in it had the potential to negatively impact an entire website’s ranking. Now, that spam content will itself be devalued (moved down in Google’s list) but not effecting the rest of the website, provided that the main website provides genuine content.
In short, what the Google algorithm updates have done is reward websites for creating genuine promotional content, relevant content which is about the business or industry, while still keeping spam content off of the front page of its search engine. The system may be changing, but it is one which rewards the company willing to craft a meaningful website.
To join the conversation on the changing face of search engine analytics, or any other question about marketing your business online, contact us at Rainmaker Internet Marketing.