Something big happened over the weekend: a Google update! It doesn’t feel significant enough to me to be the Penguin update, unless it’s rolling out very slowly and gradually. Instead, it’s a temperature update, which has resulted in big changes in the search results.
Our clients are loving it so far, which is why we love Google updates. If you keep your SEO up to date, you’re bound to benefit when Google makes changes. We’ve also seen things happening in Google Places. Rankings are jumping up and down, while a lot of searches are only showing two entries now.
Some other sites have been hit hard by this update, and from what we’ve seen, it appears to be a quality issue. Out of all the sites that have dropped out of the top 100, a common theme seems to be badly coded sites. There were broken links on the pages, on-page 301s, and even a surprising amount of spammy backlinks.
From what I can see, every site that left the top 100 had at least one serious quality issue.
What does this mean for you? Go back to the basics and check your site. Tighten up your SEO to increase the quality. Check Google Analytics to see what’s been happening in the last couple of weeks. If you’re seeing a big drop, the chances are your rankings have dropped, as well.
If they have, pay attention to your Google Places listing. Look in your address to make sure it’s up to date. Remove any stray dashes or slash marks. And get some reviews, if at all possible. Google tells me that having at least five reviews helps immensely with ranking your site.
Check your backlinks, just in case, and drop me a line if you see any results of the update in your area.
For more information, visit the StewArt website.
Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.