Throughout the year, Google makes updates to its Search Engine Algorithm that ultimately helps determine the order of which websites appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) for billions of search queries. In order to avoid losing site ranking, this information is crucial for webmasters performing SEO. This week, we will share our opinion on the most important Google Search Algorithm updates in 2018.
Core Search Update
On August 1, Google released an update categorized as a “broad core algorithm update” that had a big impact on major search categories such as Health, Vehicles, Beauty & Personal Care, Hobbies & Leisure, Arts & Entertainment, and many more. This was the largest core update from Google in 2018. Many websites in the Health and Wellness categories saw large decreases in impressions and traffic as a result of this update. It seems that Google was focused on E-A-T signals (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust). These signals determine the level of expertise that a website appears to have, the authoritativeness that the website holds in its industry, and the trust that users appear to place upon the information they gather from the website. All of these are determined by the amount of “good” content, the validity of the content, and the way users interact with the content through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through-rate (CTR).
Chrome Security Warnings Update
In July, Chrome 68 (Chrome’s newest browser version) started marking any not HTTPS sites as “not secure”. Sites that did not have secured hosting (or an SSL certificate) started to appear differently in the browser.
As you can see in the example, sites without secured hosting appeared with a “Not secure” indication next to the web address. This shows that Google wants users to know when a site is not secure. A noted unsecure site may cause users not to visit a site. It is very important that a website has an SSL certificate to “prove” to the search engine and potential visitors that they can trust the site.
Mobile Speed Update
Also in July, Google announced that mobile page speed would be a ranking factor in mobile searches. Mobile page speed relates to how fast a mobile site loads as well as how long it takes for individual web pages to load within the mobile version of the site. Websites with a slower mobile experience will therefore appear lower on mobile SERPs. The only saving grace to this update is if the site delivers highly relevant and high-quality content. Website and business owners should be aware of the speed of the mobile versions of their site and consider the implications.
If you think that your business website might be experiencing issues due to search engine updates, please feel free to reach out to us so that we can help you get it back on track for success!