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How Google Search Recent Changes Will Affect SEO

author image Written by: Jérôme Léon           Categories - In The News, SEO Tips>Google Search

Google Search Updates To Spark Change In The World Of SEO

Google is currently undergoing significant changes that are going to affect the way we do our research, and subsequently influence the SEO world. Let’s take a look at how these changes will affect SEO.

Google Discover

Google Discover is a content recommendation platform based on your research and online behavior that was introduced in 2016. Discover can be found on the Google homepage. Since it was launched,  the platform has been updated and includes many new features. The new version of discovery currently offers:

  • Better organization
  • More visual content
  • Evergreen content
  • Possibility of customization for more or less content of a particular subject

The Google Discovery revamp has a similar approach to social media apps. Google Discovery can be crucial for SEO as there’s no existing strategy to filter the content of those types of searches. This new way of searching also means that businesses will attract potential clients that aren’t even looking for the relevant terms. It also means that other SEO tactics must be set up to attract the right audience.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is a virtual assistant and improved version of Google Now. Google Assistant is able to figure out exactly what you’re asking, make suggestions and complete your tasks by using other apps. It can also:

  • Search the web
  • Schedule events and alarms
  • Show Google account info
  • Adjust devices settings

But how will it affect SEO? With this two-way conversation system, users can get answers without looking at a search result. It’s a game changer in the search engine world. The more users rely on Google Assistant, the less likely they will rely on Google Search results. To attract the right audience, businesses will have to adjust their SEO strategies to target the kind of behavior that is exclusive to search.

A Big Shift

From Answers to Journeys

For more than just a quick answer, people will soon be able to “pick up where they left off”. This option comes in handy when you need information to complete a longer-running task. You may come back to Search to find information on the same topic, double back or discover new associated ideas. You will also be able to add content to collections and tabs that suggest what to learn about next, personalized to the user’s search history.

From Textual to Visual

Google Searches will now be backed by visual support. New featured videos have also been added to Search, providing an overview on topics that you are interested in. Image search has also been revised so that pages with relevant content and central images are prioritized and have a better ranking. Captions and suggested searches are also another addition.

 What Does It Really Mean For SEO?

Those changes mean that SEOs must find new strategies that consider:

  • Content recommendation engines
  • Social media algorithms
  • Ecommerce product recommendation engines
  • Amazon’s search algorithms
  • Smart devices, smart homes, and the internet of things
  • Mobile apps
  • Augmented reality

SEOs who ignore those changes and don’t act upon them will find themselves losing ground to their competitors. As some doors close, other ones open. SEO specialists should see new opportunities within the industry rather than seeing this announcement as tragic news implying the end of search engine optimization. And while yes, traditional search is coming to an end, it also means the expansion of SEO to larger horizons where algorithms and marketing meet, and new possibilities emerge.

Jérôme Léon

Instagram Updating Its Ranking Algorithm 

04/21/2022

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram is adding a few changes in order to put more focus on creators and the credit they get. One of the mentioned changes is updating its ranking algorithm with the goal to put more focus on original work. Judging by the number of copy-paste posts we’ve seen so far, this update should have been made a long time ago.

 

Making Sure The Credit Goes To Those Who Deserve It

Instagram announced the following changes:

  • Product Tags – it will now be available to everyone. So, no matter who you are, you will be able to tag products and drive traffic and attention to a business, creator or a company that they like.
  • Enhanced People Tags – now, you can add a category for yourself (into profile, edit profile) which will show up when you are tagged in a photo or a video. This makes sure you have your identity be what you want it to be, and credited according to your wishes.
  • Ranking – people that actually created something from scratch should be more credited for that, so the algorithm will focus more on that kind of content.

“We are going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content. So, more to come there as well.” – said Mosseri in the announcement.

But, what does it exactly mean? As mentioned in SocialMediaToday, the changes in ranking are not that well explained and it’s not clear if any penalization will happen.

What Will Affect The Ranking?

The Twitter community did have some questions regarding the originality of content and asked about editing outside of the app. If you remember, Instagram started down-ranking content that was re-shared from other apps. So, if you will be re-posting your TikTok with a watermark on it, your content will still be penalized. However, if you only edited it off the Instagram app, that shouldn’t be a problem and won’t affect your rank.

Still, Mosseri admits that Instagram can’t know for sure if a content piece is an original or not. They only build classifiers that will show how likely something is to be an original, but they can never know for sure. It’s still a work in progress.

Posting History Is Also A Factor

Content aggregators are the focus of this update, and Instagram will be able to determine this with the account’s posting history. Instagram is more likely to detect that an account is an aggregator if it re-posts a lot of content from other accounts.” So if you’re re-posting a lot of content from other accounts, you’ll likely see a drop in reach.

The main goal of the whole update is, as we mentioned, to give more credit to original creators, but the system is not yet perfect. However, Mosseri said that Instagram will continue to improve its detection features over time to better distinguish where the content comes from and who posts original content, to promote the real creators and reduce the influence of big farm accounts.

It looks like it’s time to say goodbye to reposting trending memes in order to boost engagement.

 

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Google’s Updates You Need To Understand

12/21/2021

We mentioned the new Vicinity update Google has going on. It was an algorithm update no one was prepared for and caused quite a commotion in the community. To avoid history from repeating itself, we must learn from our mistakes – and what better way than going through all of the things that have already happened? It could benefit you if you go through all the major updates Google had in store in the past year and come up with a strategy for the year ahead.

Google Search Biggest Updates in 2021:

For us to have the most relevant and reliable results, Google Search Algorithms are updated thousands of times throughout the year. Of course, most of them go unnoticed, but every now and then one comes along *cough cough* Vicinity *cough cough* and makes a mess. That’s why it’s better to keep track of each change, make sure to understand what is happening and learn how to use them so it can benefit you.

The Page Experience Update

This update was designed to improve the website experience searchers have. Mobile usability, security issues, HTTPS usage, Web Vitals and Ad Experience are all taken into account. The main goal is safer browsing for users and resurfacing flags in the Page Experience Report.

What To Do?

  • Work on your loading speed
  • Make sure your page has a mobile-friendly version, with no usability errors
  • Make sure your page is secure and use HTTPS
  • Don’t use interruptive, distracting or unfavourable advertising techniques

Here’s a helpful resource for optimizing your page for this update.

Link Spam Update

This was when Google reminded us about the importance of good content and quality links. The update was and still is effective at identifying and nullifying link spam across multiple languages.

What To Do?

  • You need high-quality link building
  • Create high-quality content
  • Focus and improve the user experience
  • Avoid useless linking!

Broad Core Updates

It took longer than expected, but it is done. As usual, Google didn’t offer a lot of advice on how to deal with a core update except to try hard all the time. This update had also caused big commotion since we saw some pretty weird pages ranking high. The conclusion was, again, to use quality backlinks.

ProTip! – Improving content and backlinks might help you to recover more than fixing the technical aspect!

Product Reviews Update

This update was designed to reward in-depth product reviews and “punish” irrelevant, summary-of-a-product type of content. Instead, a review should be relevant and detailed. We have also learned that Google and potential customers like seeing realistic reviews, even if that means seeing a few bad ones as well.

What to do?

  • Write longer, knowledgeable reviews
  • Add your own content, not just the manufacturer description
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models
  • Include the Pros and Cons

Here’s more advice on what you should know about the product reviews update and how to handle it.

MUM

Google also introduced us to the Multitask Unified Model which uses AI to help searchers. It “speaks” 75 different languages and understands both image and the written word. However, it might understand much more in the future, since Google keeps saying they’re working on expanding this capability to video and audio.

One of the first things MUM learned to do is to keep track of vaccine queries and it will continue bringing more understanding to Google’s algorithms.

Vicinity

This is a fresh one and we’re still trying to figure out what exactly happened so that keywords aren’t as important anymore. Maybe the lesson with this update is not to violate Google’s guidelines and add keywords for the sake of it. It seems like new businesses are winning with this one.

 

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