As a digital marketer, it’s essential to keep up with the latest trends and updates in the industry. One of the most significant changes that could impact your website’s ranking on Google is an Algorithm Update. In this blog post, we’ll explore:
What is a Google Algorithm Update?
The Google Algorithm Update is a change made to the search engine’s algorithm to improve the accuracy and relevance of the search results. Google’s algorithm is complex, with over 200 ranking factors that determine the order in which search results appear. Google releases several updates every year, with some being major updates that significantly impact search results, while others are minor tweaks.
What has Google been up to? Read: Google Platform Changes
What’s new in the Google March 2023 algorithm update?
Google’s March 2023 core algorithm update brought significant changes to the search engine landscape. The update was aimed at providing more relevant and high-quality search results to users. Several factors were at play during the update, and some websites emerged as winners, while others lost traffic.
A big focus of the March 2023 core update was E-E-A-T, or Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Google wants to prioritize websites that demonstrate expertise in their field, have authority in the industry, and are trustworthy. Websites that fail to meet these criteria may see a drop in their search engine rankings. As a result, businesses need to invest in producing high-quality content and building a strong online reputation.
The most recent version of Google’s quality rater guidelines (QRG) incorporated an additional letter to the E-A-T acronym, “Experience,” in December of 2022. Google added an additional E to the E-A-T framework in recognition of the importance of user experience (UX) in search engine optimization (SEO).
This additional E highlights the importance of creating a website or web page that provides a positive user experience. Google rewards websites that are easy to navigate, fast-loading, and mobile-friendly, among other factors. These features help to increase user engagement and retention on the website, which ultimately increases the website’s overall E-E-A-T score.
Google has been moving towards a more user-focused approach to search engine ranking, and the March 2023 update continued that trend. Sites that provide an excellent user experience, including fast load times, easy navigation, and engaging content, saw an increase in traffic. Sites that are difficult to navigate or have intrusive ads may see a decline in their search engine rankings.
One of the most significant changes in the March 2023 core update was the emphasis on content quality. Websites with thin or low-quality content saw a decline in their rankings, while those with long-form, in-depth content saw an increase in traffic. Google has been moving towards a more user-focused approach to search engine ranking, and the quality of content is critical to that approach.
The update also focused on site architecture and speed. Websites that load quickly and have a logical, user-friendly layout saw an increase in traffic. Google’s emphasis on mobile-first indexing means that sites that are optimized for mobile devices are favored in search rankings. Businesses that have not optimized their sites for mobile may see a drop in traffic.
The update also had a significant impact on local businesses. Google has been emphasizing the importance of local search for several years, and the March 2023 core update continued that trend. Websites with accurate local information, including business hours, addresses, and phone numbers, saw an increase in traffic. Businesses that have not optimized their sites for local search may see a decline in their search engine rankings.
If you need help optimizing your website, contact the reputable SEO experts at Cape & Bay to help you navigate the complex world of search engine optimization.
What are the expert SEO and Google algorithm predictions for 2023?
Several experts in the industry have made predictions about what to expect from SEO and Google algorithms in 2023. Some of the predictions include:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Will Continue to Evolve
As AI and ML continue to evolve, they will play an even bigger role in determining search rankings. Google has already started using AI and ML to better understand user intent and improve search results, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years.
Voice Search Will Gain More Importance
With the rise of voice-activated assistants like Alexa and Siri, voice search is becoming more popular. In fact, according to recent survey data, the number of US households using smart home devices has reached 60.4 million in 2023. This means that websites will need to optimize for voice search queries to remain competitive.
Video Content Will Be Key
Video content has already become an important part of SEO, and it will only become more important in the coming years. Sandvine’s 2023 Global Internet Phenomena Report, reports a significant rise in internet traffic volume worldwide. Video usage grew 24% in 2022, now equating to 65% of all internet traffic. Websites that do not have video content will be at a disadvantage.
Mobile-First Indexing Will Be the Norm
With the majority of internet users now accessing the web through their mobile devices, mobile-first indexing will become even more important. Google has already announced that it will switch to mobile-first indexing in March 2021, and experts predict that this trend will continue in the coming years.
E-E-A-T Will Remain Important
Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E-E-A-T) have become important ranking factors, and this trend is expected to continue. Websites that demonstrate expertise, authority, and trustworthiness will continue to rank higher in search results.
Local SEO Will Be Crucial
As more people turn to the internet to find local businesses, local SEO will become even more important. Experts predict that Google will continue to prioritize local search results and that businesses will need to optimize for local search queries to remain competitive.
Semantic Search Will Be More Important
Semantic search is a type of search that seeks to understand the context of a search query rather than just matching keywords. Experts predict that semantic search will become more important in the coming years as Google continues to improve its understanding of natural language.
Overall, these predictions suggest that SEO will continue to evolve in the coming years. To remain competitive, businesses will need to stay on top of the latest trends and adapt their SEO strategies accordingly.
How do I rank higher on Google in 2023?
Ranking higher on Google in 2023 requires a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes several factors, such as:
Quality content: Create high-quality content that provides value to your target audience. Ensure that the content is informative, engaging, and relevant to the search query.
On-page optimization: Optimize your website’s on-page elements, such as the title tags, meta descriptions, and headers, to include target keywords and provide a clear and concise description of your content.
Backlinks: Earn high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites in your niche. Backlinks signal to Google that your content is valuable and relevant.
User experience: Ensure that your website provides a positive user experience by optimizing page load times, mobile-friendliness, and ease of navigation.
Technical SEO: Optimize your website’s technical elements, such as the site structure, sitemap, and robots.txt file, to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your content.
Ranking higher on Google in 2023 requires a well-rounded SEO strategy that takes into account multiple factors, including quality content, on-page optimization, backlinks, user experience, and technical SEO. By focusing on these key areas, you can improve your website’s visibility and attract more organic traffic from search engines.
Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, and it takes time and effort to see results. But with patience and perseverance, you can achieve higher rankings and drive more business success through search engine optimization.
Best SEO Strategy for 2023
Now that we’ve covered the latest algorithm updates and expert predictions for 2023, it’s time to discuss the best SEO strategy for the upcoming year. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO, there are certain strategies that tend to work well across industries and niches.
Focus on User Experience
As Google’s algorithm becomes more sophisticated, it’s becoming increasingly important to prioritize the user experience on your website. This means ensuring your site is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and provides high-quality content that satisfies user intent.
One of the best ways to improve user experience is to invest in a mobile-responsive design. With mobile devices accounting for over half of all internet traffic, it’s crucial that your site looks and functions well on small screens.
See effective UX design in action: SHAE Hair Case Study
Produce High-Quality, Long-Form Content
Long-form content continues to dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs) and is likely to remain a crucial ranking factor in 2023. This type of content is typically 2,000 words or more and provides comprehensive information on a particular topic.
When creating long-form content, focus on providing value to the reader rather than stuffing keywords or trying to manipulate the search engines. Use subheadings, bullet points, and images to break up the text and make it easy to read.
Prioritize Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to the behind-the-scenes elements of your website that impact its performance in the search engines. This includes things like site speed, URL structure, and meta tags.
To ensure your site is technically optimized, consider hiring an SEO specialist or agency with experience in this area. They can perform an audit of your site and provide recommendations for improvement.
Leverage Video and Visual Content
Video and visual content are becoming increasingly important in SEO. Not only do they engage users and keep them on your site longer, but they can also help your content stand out in the SERPs.
Consider incorporating video and visual elements into your content strategy, whether it’s through infographics, images, or video tutorials. Just make sure the content is relevant and provides value to the user.
Build High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks continue to be a key ranking factor in SEO. However, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. A few high-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative sites will do more for your rankings than dozens of low-quality links from spammy sites.
To build backlinks, consider creating high-quality content that other sites will want to link to. You can also reach out to other websites in your industry and offer to guest post or collaborate on content.
Stay Up-to-Date on SEO Best Practices
SEO is a constantly evolving field, and it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest best practices and trends. This means keeping an eye on algorithm updates, attending industry events, and reading industry blogs and publications. By staying current on SEO best practices, you’ll be able to adjust your strategy as needed and ensure you’re always ahead of the curve.
Don’t get left behind – prepare your SEO strategy for Google’s next move. Read: Google Analytics 4 – Impact on SEO and Marketing
How Long Does it Take for SEO Changes to Update on Google?
When it comes to SEO, patience is key. Making changes to your website in the hopes of improving your search engine rankings is a long-term strategy that requires time and effort. After making SEO changes, it’s normal to expect immediate results, but that’s not always the case.
Google doesn’t provide a specific timeline for when changes will take effect, as it depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your website, the competitiveness of your keywords, and the frequency of Google’s crawlers visiting your site. However, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
Indexing time: After making changes to your website, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for Google to crawl and index the updated content.
Ranking improvements: Even after Google has indexed your changes, it can take several weeks or months for your rankings to improve. This is because Google needs to see sustained improvement in your website’s overall authority and relevance before boosting your rankings.
Competition: If you’re in a highly competitive industry, it may take longer to see improvements in your rankings. This is because other websites in your industry are also actively working on improving their SEO and rankings.
One of the most important things to understand about SEO is that Google doesn’t provide a specific timeline for when changes will take effect. Several factors such as the size of your website, the competitiveness of your industry, and the frequency of Google’s crawlers visiting your site can all impact how quickly your changes are reflected in your rankings.
If your rankings drop due to a Google algorithm update, it’s essential not to panic. It’s crucial to monitor your website’s performance, identify the cause of the drop, and make the necessary adjustments to your SEO strategy. Google often releases multiple algorithm updates throughout the year, so it’s essential to stay up-to-date with any changes that may impact your website’s rankings.
SEO is a continuous process. It’s important to focus on long-term improvements to your website’s authority and relevance to see sustained improvements in your search engine rankings. Utilizing tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you track your progress, monitor your website’s performance, and make data-driven decisions about your SEO strategy.
Mastering SEO in 2023: Key Takeaways for Successful Ranking
The March 2023 Google algorithm update brings significant changes to the SEO landscape. As search engines become more sophisticated, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and algorithm updates to ensure your website ranks high in search results. The key to success in 2023 is to focus on providing high-quality, relevant content, optimizing your website for mobile devices, and utilizing structured data to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages.
If you’re struggling with SEO or have been impacted by the latest Google algorithm update, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Cape & Bay. Our team of SEO specialists is well-versed in the latest algorithm updates and SEO best practices, and we can help you develop a customized SEO strategy that will improve your website’s visibility and drive traffic to your business. Contact us today to learn more and take your SEO to the next level.