April 19, 2016 Justin Mayfield

How Google’s search shake-up can affect your SEO

TAMPA, Fla. – Judge Public Relations is advising businesses on upcoming 2016 Google search algorithm changes to make sure they are prepared.

Google tweaks its search algorithms hundreds of times per year and in 2016 the company is planning to unveil several major updates that will greatly affect search rankings. Search rankings are an essential component in driving website traffic and businesses are likely to experience a sizeable drop in organic users if they are unprepared for the changes.

Google has already begun rolling out several changes to its search engine for 2016. This includes removing pay-per-click advertisements from the right-hand side of its search results and increasing the use of Google Knowledge Graphs.

Many of the upcoming changes to Google’s algorithm are shrouded in mystery and industry experts are unsure when they will begin rolling out, however Judge Public Relations is providing the following tips to help businesses prepare their websites before new Google changes take effect.

  • Rise of Mobile Search: One year ago Google debuted its first algorithm update exclusively for mobile search results. This algorithm promoted websites that had been made mobile friendly and penalized those that were not. This event was coined by SEO experts as “Mobilegeddon” due to its wide-reaching effect on many websites worldwide. According to Google, mobile search will equate to over half of all searches in 2016 and it is vital for websites to include responsive, mobile friendly features.
  • A More Responsive Penguin: The first version of Google’s Penguin search algorithm was implemented in April 2012 and was designed to combat link buying and other forms of SEO manipulation. In 2016 Google will make this algorithm much smarter and faster. Linking to websites will be measured in real time making it more important for webmasters to monitor and manage linking to and from their website. To avoid being penalized website moderators need to review their website’s link profile regularly, making sure to remove or disavow bad links from unrepeatable domains.
  • Secure Sites Get a Boost: Websites that utilize HTTPS, a secured form of HTTP, should expect a sizeable boost in their website ranking in 2016. Google has indicated that encrypted websites such as those that are HTTPS-enabled will be seen more favorably in their search algorithms. This trend will likely increase as time goes on and websites still using HTTP should consider changing by the end of 2016.

“Having a sturdy website that is rich in content and media is extremely important for every kind of business,” said James Judge, president and founder of Judge Public Relations. “Unfortunately, algorithm changes like these can sabotage the hours of work put into a website practically overnight. We wanted to make sure our clients and other businesses are ready for these changes before they take effect.”

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