January was a great month for Boostability. It was also very eventful for the SEO industry. This month I wanted to cover the general trend we are seeing around Google Algorithm changes. I will also cover the newest version of Google’s Search Console along with the usual key articles for SEO and social media.
Our ranking trend this month was fairly flat (which is good) with some overall positive movement. A big part of our positive ranks were keywords jumping from page 10+ to page 1-2. This most likely is thanks to small algorithm tests/updates we’ve been running.
Along with that, we also noticed that many ranking monitoring tools showed dramatic movement in and around January. My belief is that recent Google algorithm updates caused some bigger jumps for keywords with a national scope and that high-profile monitoring tools were especially sensitive to that, as they tend to focus more on national, high-traffic keywords.
Year of the Micro Updates
Google algorithm updates have been getting smaller and more frequent over the past few years. It is not news that Google releases hundreds of updates to their search engine per year, which can equate to roughly three updates released or rolled back every day. While this is nothing new, it’s a good time to reiterate what these micro updates could mean for our customers and small businesses.
The updates often have a singular goal to increase user experience and make accomplishing tasks easier for people who use their search engine. Sometimes these updates are around content quality, link relevance, machine learning, user behavior, and much more. Updates impact a wide range of users, from a small pool of a few cities or regions to entire countries. This means that responding and modifying your strategies and websites to match every algorithm update is virtually impossible.
Instead, a website owner should be focused on content and customers. The core of SEO is still the same as it was five years ago. Create useful, compelling content and you can become relevant. Share your site and acquire some great relevant links and you can grow your authority. When you mix this relevance and trust together you get solid organic rankings. So as a part of this new year, make a commitment to help clients and small businesses stay focused on the things that matter. Getting lost optimizing to the latest algorithm update doesn’t help anyone.
New Google Search Console
If you haven’t heard, a new version of Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) was released worldwide back on January 8th. The newest version of search console has been in Beta for a year or so, with a slow rollout to many websites ahead of the January 8th release.
One of the greatest additions that has been a long time in the making is an expansion of viewable data. In the past, you couldn’t view much more than three months of data. This has now been expanded to a whopping 16 months!
Google has also gone through and polished the tools to look cleaner and feel less cluttered. They’ve streamlined key metrics and data views to be more concise. All of this ultimately means that you can now find and resolve website issues more quickly. I would highly recommend taking a minute or two to look at the new version and view all that glorious historical data.
- Unique Ways to Win Local Search – A good article about unique tactics a customer can use to outdo their local competition. (Source)
- Proximity and Google Maps – An interesting case study testing proximity and Google’s local pack competition. (Source)
- More Google Updates – Just a quick note and speculation about more small search algorithm updates. (Source)
- New Search Console – Google debuts and overviews their latest version of Search Console covering new features and key changes. (Source)
- Facebook Feed Update – Facebook covers in-depth its goal in shifting the way it populates your news feed. (Source)
- Political and Social Positioning – Sprout social surveyed a portion of their user base to understand if they felt taking a stand on politics or policies had a positive/negative gain for there brand. (Source)
- Facebook’s Feed Forces Ads – A quick highlight of a few publisher experiences with Facebook’s new feed algorithm and how ads are a natural solution to feed curbing. (Source)