Part of what makes SEO (search engine optimization) a never ending activity is that Google's Algorithm is always changing. What once worked to help improve your rankings might be considered outdated, and it's important that you stay on top of your SEO efforts and keep best practices in mind.
Google's goal is to show visitors relevant, helpful results fast. In order to do this, they use what's called search algorithms to consider many factors (the words in your search, relevance and how usable a site's pages are, the expertise of the website, as well as your location and settings).
Some of the other factors considered are:
Relevancy of content (content on the site is relevant to what was searched)
Quality of content (content demonstrates your expertise, authority, and that you can be trusted)
Usability of Webpages (site is accessible to all and is mobile-friendly)
Content and settings (your location, search history and search settings)
If you're new to SEO and feel overwhelmed when you see words like algorithm and optimizing content, think of it this way...
When you search something, Google is looking through billions of webpages and other content to find information it considers to be the most helpful. This Search index of information is created and complied by sending out bots or "crawlers."
In order to ensure your website is not only crawled, but also displays favorably in search results, you need to follow Google's rules and pay attention to recent updates.
A great way to increase how often your website is crawled is by creating and publishing new, relevant content. This is often done through a blog, podcast, or video channel, and although it takes time to create said content, it's how you can improve your search results organically (without having to pay money).
Update release history for past 3 months:
October 19, 2022
This was a global spam update that affects all languages. The rollout was completed on October 21, 2022. This is nothing to worry about for those who follow Google's spam policies and are compliant.
Google defines spam as tricking a user into providing personal information or installing malware. Through these spam updates, Google is able to identify fake sites that try to spoof the system by posing as relevant as well as phishing scams.
Those who violate policies may rank lower after this update or may not appear in search results altogether. If this happens to your website, it's most likely because your site's security has been compromised (platforms that don't have built-in security and require plugin management like WordPress should be scanned and regularly maintained).
To learn more about how Google deals with spam, learn more about SpamBrain here.
September 20, 2022
This was a product reviews update that applies to English-language product reviews. The rollout was completed as of September 26, 2022. This is done to ensure that visitors see product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than a summary of products. The goal is to reward high quality product reviews.
September 12, 2022
This was a core update with the rollout completed as of September 26, 2022. Core updates are when Google will make a significant change to their algorithm and systems.
If you notice your rankings have changed significantly after a core update, Google recommends focusing on making sure your site is offering the best possible content. This is a good time to go through your website and make sure content is not only up to date, but is created with your specific target audience's problems and future state in mind.
August 25, 2022
This was a helpful content update with the rollout completed on September 9, 2022. This generates a signal that is used by Google's automated ranking systems to make sure people see content written by people that is original and helpful.
This means that although AI created content might save you time, Google is preferring and prioritizing content written by humans for humans.
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