SEO Like It’s 2015: 8 Major Google Changes You Should Know About
Matthew Capala | President, Alphametic, NYU Professor, Author
Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times.2015 has already been a rollercoaster for marketers who are trying to keep up with Google… and we can expect much more yet to come. While many of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a major algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways. In this session, Matthew Capala will break down:
- How to stay in front of Google as it evolves at a light speed.
- Algorithm changes SEO professionals should anticipate.
- Ways you can work with (not against!) the constantly evolving ways Google changes.
- Presentation link: 10 Google Changes that Will Make or Break Your SEO in 2015, http://www.searchdecoder.com/google-changes-2015/
Google Search Algorithm Changes in 2015
Currently, 80% of people start researching a product or a service using online search before they buy something; 68% of people start with a keyword. From a business point of view, most marketing manager struggle with finding the appropriate keyword set because Google changes their SEO algorithm 600 times per year! In fact, 2015 has been the year of the huge changes for Google SEO. Because of that, only 15% of SERP pages are so called “blue links”, links to the top 10 results shown on the first page. Clearly, SEO managers have a challenge in front of them to ensure their company is found on the Internet.
Every day, 78% of search results will have some ranking changes as the search algorithm strives to make results personalized. Officially, Google doesn’t give public any updates on this algorithm; but SEO experts have observed that the algorithm is trying to be more human with machine learning embedded in. RankBrain is Google’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) and is is surprisingly accurate. With 2015 changes, Wikipedia links rank 60% of the times in top 10 on search queries, so wikipedia is clearly stealing the show.
How to rank higher in SERP
For example, so called money keywords such as credit cards, show unexpected search results. Try it out; search for “credit cards” and you will see that major banks are not even ranking! Articles about credit cards are ranking higher. Winning links are blog posts that compare different credit cards or advise people on different options. As a bank that actually makes money by issuing people credit cards, Matt advises that focus should be on your own web site because in the best case scenario, you could get up to 15% of traffic with SERP. Because of that, look for off-page growth and content distribution.
User engagement and web site traffic signals are attributes that contribute to overall ranking score. If your web site uses Google Analytics, then Google knows how much organic, not paid, traffic you are getting and that will influence ranking. If your web site visitors bounce back quickly away from your web site, if they click on your link, leave, then click some other link, that will push your links to the bottom of the SERP. Google frequently reshuffles search results order because click trough rate matters as an indicator of a good search result to a query.
Key Takeaways for Entrepreneurs
- Google has made significant algorithm changes in 2015 affecting SERP for most web pages.
- How to increase your SERP position:
- have engaging content, as shown by high CTR (Click-trough rate) and low bounced pages %. Quality content matters.
- Make sure your web site is fast (compress large images)
- Small business: have business profile page with Google for local SEO. Global businesses: use appropriate country code top domain name
- Have mobile friendly, secure web site
- Google+ is demoted, but still useful for business with large following