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Changes in the Google Search Algorithm

Google is in a constant state of searchability improvement—there were over 3,200 changes last year alone. Hourly, daily, weekly, and more notable “core” updates are all designed with the goal of returning relevant and useful search results to the searcher. With any Google update, search results may change.

How do Google algorithm changes impact your website?

Your site ranking may go up, it may go down, or it may not change at all. It all depends on what the Google updates are focusing on: prime keywords, click-through rates, indexing, security, mobile responsiveness, specific industry verticals—the list goes on and on.

What can you do about it?

Don’t panic. You don’t have to “fix” anything to improve your site’s rankings when Google rolls out a new update (which averages 9 per day). Instead, focus on your content and make sure that you are providing “relevant and useful” information to the searcher. Google algorithms seek to reward websites that offer quality content with a purpose, expertise beyond the obvious, free from spelling errors and distracting stylistic issues, and genuine in offering answers that are being sought.

What are all those acronyms?

Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG) places a very high value on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T), especially for Your Money Your Life (YMYL) sites. Let’s break that down.

Google’s Quality Rater Guideline (QRP) was created for raters—people who provide feedback to Google on algorithm changes. It’s a great document to understand what Google is striving for, and therefore how your website should respond. In the QRP, you will notice many references to E-A-T and YMYL.

E-A-T: Google is looking for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness as it pertains to the creator of the main content, the content itself, and the website. Be credible. Google looks for reviews, references, recommendations, expertise, news articles, press releases, certifications, etc. How do you “up” your E-A-T factor? Improve your online reputation, don’t deceive searchers into believing unsubstantiated claims, disclose who you are and why you should be trusted.

YMYL: Google pays particular focus on websites that deal with finances or health—Your Money Your Life. If you advise people who are searching for answers pertaining to money or health, then Google wants a heavy E-A-T environment. In reality, if you sell any kind of product from your website, you are considered YMYL because money is being transacted.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the technical process for making your site better for someone to find the information you provide. Google has published an SEO Starter Guide that breaks down the intricacies, but in essence, think of SEO as your daily work-out. It’s a vigilant discipline to keep your website healthy and ranking.

Toolbox Studios can help

As consumers and technology become more sophisticated, so do websites and search engines’ ability to locate pertinent information. Toolbox Studios has the expertise and personnel to manage your SEO, improve your online reputation, and write relevant content.


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