A new Google update to its search algorithms may carry lasting implications.
SEO specialists take note of any little pattern in Google results because they often carry immediate ramifications that can necessitate retooling an SEO strategy. New Google updates and trends are so important for SEO because the tech giant is a monolith compared to other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
Recently, word spread that some webmasters experienced a surge in traffic and the immediate suspected culprit was an update to Panda, Google's most recent search result ranking overhaul. Turns out, they were about half right.
Google's head of search quality, Matt Cutts, was quick to respond to the intrigue and sent the following Twitter message: "Just fyi, we rolled out a small algo change this week that improves the diversity of search results in terms of different domains returned."
What it means is instead of one particularly SEO-effective domain dominating page results, other domains that optimize for the same keywords are given more presence in results to promote a variety.
A small tweak like this can still carry some larger implications for property owners and operators. Marketers who had enjoyed a large share of results may see their SEO visibility slip to accommodate the diversity Google wishes to see. For others, it amounts to a much more competitive atmosphere that can help win away traffic and organic search results.
How marketers will be affected in the long term remains to be seen, but a new poll from Search Engine Roundtable found that several websites suffered lasting implications from Google's January page layout algorithm. The update demoted the rank of websites with ads that distracted from content. And while a majority didn't see a huge impact, those that were affected are still trying to get back up from the knockout blow. Only 21 percent responded they had fully recovered, with 70 percent of respondents not recovering at all.
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