It’s inevitable to hear that Google is updating their algorithm again, but to hear that they updated it 86 times in 2 months is pretty crazy. Not only was Google on some sort of updating kick, but this all happened within the last two months. In short: June and July of 2012 was not easy for companies trying to optimize a website for Google. While some websites may have benefitted, others were forced to backtrack to try and accommodate the new changes.
However, what really matters in the grand scheme of things is the users. The search engine giant is constantly trying to help improve search for those using Google, but there comes a time when you have to ask yourself: When is enough enough?
Some of the Algorithm Updates We Saw in June and July
Google has been explaining these updates over the last two months, but there was never an official list of all of the changes. Fortunately, they have come out with an exhaustive list that you can find here on the Google Inside Search blog. It’s a good idea to really read through the entire list to make sure that none of your current strategies are interfering with the new algorithm. Until then, there were a few notable changes that are worth mentioning twice:
- Titles: Google is putting more of an emphasis on the titles that will appear on a SERP. Titles must be unique and explain what the article/website will include. There will also be an alt title given when an HTML title is truncated.
- Link Schemes: Unethical backlink building will become more of an issue. This comes as no surprise to most, but it servers as a good reminder to avoid blog networks and paid link opportunities.
- Sports: Believe it or not, some of the updates dealt with making it easier to follow certain sports, such as the NBA and even golf.
- Spelling: There will actually be more emphasis placed upon spellings and different spellings. Google will spell check searches now, which is great for international users. They also won’t be showing documents when a synonym of a word or phrase has a different meaning than the original search term.
- Social: Also to be expected, Google has not let up on the importance of Google+ and authorship markup. It’s more important now than ever before that your company gets involved with these two new aspects of Google. Search results will change based on these factors. The future of search is going to focus on connections and credibility.
Although 86 updates in two months seems like a lot (and it is), you will likely find that many of these updates did not affect your website. Many of the updates focused on very specific industries and websites, and others are simply a slight redesign of an update (such as Penguin or Panda) that has already been discussed.
Are There More Algorithm Updates to Come?
Absolutely. The real question, however, is just how many are to come. The 86 changes these last two months was unusual, so most webmasters are hoping that there won’t be changes at this scale in such a short period of time. However, if Google feels as though something can be done to improve the search engine, the hassle it might be for webmasters isn’t really the top priority. Only time will tell.