Google Search Algorithm Changes
Google is known for major changes to its algorithm for searches every couple of months.
These are updates in the direction provided to the AI brain that is the engine behind Google search.
According to sources, Google's technology for search is inside a black box, and it doesn't know how updates to search algorithms will work once they are released into actual life. This is why they frequently produce unexpected results and require them to be reversed.
The most recent significant Google update to its search engine was to the spam on the 14th December 2022, aimed at reducing the effects of "spammy" links. These links were inserted into websites hoping to influence Google's ranking.
Links to websites are just one way Google's algorithm determines if they're worthy of ranking on the search results.
Prior changes included the helpful content update in August 2022, designed to slash down on created-for-search content that summarises other writers' content without value. It also targeted articles not addressing the headline's issue, leaving readers feeling cheated.
Many news publishers have faced an uphill task to appear on Google since March when a Google search update that many refer to as the Newspocalypse dramatically reduced how much space Google provided to various news sites.
According to Sistrix, an SEO research firm, major news outlets, including the BBC, have experienced a significant decline in their search visibility since 2018. This decline has been observed across the industry, leading some to speculate that Google's algorithm changes are responsible for the shift.
In 2018, Google created specific lanes for news media publishers, limiting their ability to rank for certain topics. This has made it more challenging for news sites to achieve high search rankings, even with in-depth knowledge of the subject. Despite the frustrations this has caused, publishers can improve their visibility over time, even if they cannot directly appeal to Google's decisions. Incremental improvements can lead to increased visibility and better search rankings, ultimately helping to rebuild their presence online.
The Three Foundations Of Google News SEO Strategy
There are three critical areas of SEO: crawling websites, indexing them, and evaluating them.
These three foundations of SEO work together to ensure that your content is relevant for site crawling, indexable, and authoritative, thereby providing the necessary signals for ranking your site within search result pages.
To improve your SEO on a technical level, we recommend utilising Google Search Console as the most efficient tool. Pay close attention to primary stats, server response time, and other vital web metrics in the report.
Additionally, it's essential to measure users' experience, including page load time, by focusing on the essential web vitals. Websites can test their fundamental web vitals for free using sites like PageSpeed Insights.
Although Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) were once popular for providing pages that could be swiftly served to mobile devices by Google, it's generally gone as a concept. Reuters, Future, and others have all stopped using AMP without any negative impact.
Understanding Google's SEO strategies and algorithms is crucial for news publishers looking to achieve high search rankings and increase visibility online. While Google's algorithm updates can be unpredictable, publishers can make incremental improvements over time by focusing on the three foundations of SEO: crawling, indexing, and evaluation.
Although the impact of AMP on search rankings is now in question, publishers should be cautious before removing it without excellent "core web vitals." News publishers can enhance their online presence and attract a wider audience by following these Google SEO tips.
Contact EWM for the latest SEO tips and advice.