Google is constantly updating their search engine algorithm in an effort to improve users search experience.
Last year, there were more than 3,000 updates to the Google Algorithm Update. Google claims that these updates help them to provide more clear, direct and relevant search results for users.
Google algorithm updates can significantly affect your website rankings, search impressions and user traffic.
Not only do these updates improve the results for users, they also discourage unethical ranking tactics by removing these websites from the search ranking results. Therefore, it’s crucial for your website to always publish high-quality content, so that Google can reward you with traffic. However, a recent Google Algorithm Update might be impacting your visibility on search engines.
What did Google update?
You may have noticed recently that when you type a search query into Google, Google often provides you with “Snippets” from websites that may answer your query without you having to click through to the actual website.
These quick snips of information are called “featured snippets”. There is much debate within the SEO community on whether you should try to get your website to rank for featured snippets. One side of the argument is that when users get the answer without having to click through to your website, is it really beneficial to your business? Increasing search impressions (the number of times people see your website url) while having no impact on your actual traffic. This is a debate for later, and in our opinion depends on your business.
What is the Google update?
Previously, featured snippets were considered as “Rank Zero”; this meant that you could come up in a featured snippet and also have your website show up in the normal search results.
Effectively allowing your website two positions on page 1 of the Google Search results (yay!).
However, in an effort to improve search result diversity, Google have now changed their algorithm so that the featured snippet is now counted as rank 1.
There are two updates that have had a major impact on the search result. The Site-Diversity update (1 page per domain on the search result) and Featured Snippet.
If you already ranked in the Featured Snippets, then you will not have any other page ranked in the search result page. On the other hand, they will give you a box on the top of the first page.
What it could mean for you?
There are a few things that could happen when your website is impacted by the Google Algorithm Update:
- You could lose some traffic due to the content already being shown directly on the search result (within featured snippets). Especially mobile traffic.
- You are giving Google the best answer possible, congrats!
- You will lose some clicks and organic traffic to your website.
- The organic referrals could be increased.
- You rank well in the first position.
- Your rankings could improve if you were not previously ranking on the first page.