Google Never Sleeps
SEO can never be a one-off task because, like rust, Google never sleeps. Google is always looking for ways to produce the most relevant and clean results for a user. Google adapts to changes in user behaviour, attempts to manipulate the results and combat spam.
To improve their results, Google regularly updates its search algorithm. In 2022 there were three major updates.
Why It Matters
Each change to the algorithm is aimed at attacking poor-quality results; not rewarding websites that have been created to game Google and gain an unfair advantage but high-quality website that provide a great users experience.
Cheap SEO or ‘black hat SEO’ can provide short-term wins. However, if you use black hat SEO you run the risk that can eventually result in a website being penalised by Google. This can result in lost organic rankings and even a complete delisting of the website from the Google index. Losing organic rankings will impact website traffic, which will dramatically impact leads and sales.
Product Review Update; March, July, and September 2022
Google released three product review updates in March, July and September 2022. This update focused on rewarding high-quality, original, and insightful reviews written by experts and enthusiasts.
The update also focussed on individual pages, unless a website has a large number of reviews across multiple products/services. If this is the case then the impact could be site-wide.
Product reviews that meet the new standards will rank higher than poor-quality reviews. Reviews that don’t meet the new Google standards are not explicitly penalised, but they are likely to be buried below more insightful high-quality reviews.
Reviews are key in both SERP rankings and lead conversions. Google has provided the handy Google Review Guidance for businesses on the type of information it is looking for in reviews.
Currently, this update only applies to English-language content. However, Google hopes to eventually roll out a similar update for other languages.
Google see reviews as important, so you must remember to ask for reviews, and get them added to your Google Business Profile, as well as on your website.
It takes time and effort to gain high-quality reviews, but the update has shown there is no value in publishing poor-quality or fake reviews.
Helpful Content Update; August and December 2022
Two Helpful Content updates were released in 2022, one in August and another in December. The first Helpful Content update was a major change to the way that Google indexes and ranks website content.
The update was a crackdown on thin website content that provides little value to the website visitor. Templated pages that contain very similar content to each other with only a few keywords changed, or pages created to target individual keywords were impacted.
The update focussed on site-wide signals. Hosting poor quality ‘unhelpful’ content could result in the website as a whole being impacted.
The second update in December tweaked the initial update. Google stated that:
“Any content—not just unhelpful content—on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s better to display. For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”
If your website has been hit by the “helpful content” update it can take months to recover your rankings once you have removed all the poor-quality content from your website. Thankfully, Google has written a guide on how to create helpful and reliable content.
Only publish good, quality, helpful content on your website. Do not churn out pages in an attempt to capture traffic for individual search terms. Produce content on broad themes, services, products and ideas. Regularly audit and remove any poor-quality content from your website
Link Spam Update; December 2022
The last major Google update of 2022 was the Link Spam update, which was released on the 14th of December. This update was global and impacted all languages. The Link Spam update was a change to the SpamBrain AI that Google uses to detect link spam. This is the largest off-page SEO update since Google Penguin back in 2012.
Link spam is defined as poor-quality backlinks to your website from others on the internet. Google has stated that making changes to your link profile might not generate an improvement. This is because the value of the spam links has been discounted and it cannot be regained.
Only build quality, relevant links to your website. Check your Google Search Console account for any link penalties your site may have. Remove poor-quality links from your profile via a Google Link Disavowal file.
Dentons SEO Team
Dentons Digital have a dedicated SEO team that provides an expert white-hat SEO service that is fully compliant with Google best practices. Dentons have a strong track record in providing increased website visibility, traffic and conversions.
All of our SEO work is ethical and follows the guidelines set by search engines. Our SEO campaigns are focused on improving user experience and building genuine authority and credibility, which are important factors that search engines use to rank websites.
Chat with our SEO team by calling 01373 580 126 or Contact Us.