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Posted on 04.18.2012

Google’s Algorithm Changes – Can You Keep Up?

Did you know it's estimated that Google changes its search algorithms about 500 times each year? The website generates more than one billion searches per day, and engineers are continually altering Google's algorithm to achieve faster search speed, more accurate results, and better relevancy. A few weeks ago, Google released its monthly report of "search quality highlights" for March. According to WebProNews, the report included a total of 50 changes, including modifications to Google's search engine algorithms, aimed to provide the best search results as fast as possible. Here are some of Google's most recent changes:

Better indexing of profile pages. Public profile pages are indexed from more than 200 social sites. Previously, Google+ profile pages were appearing at the top of search results, even if they were not the most relevant. This change has been addressed, and now Facebook, Twitter, and other social profiles are more likely to appear ahead of Google. Speaking of social platforms... 

Better handling of password changes. If you use your Google account to log onto other platforms, such as Blogger or YouTube, you may have noticed that a password change would not automatically log you out. The new change ensures that creating a new password consistently signs you out of any linked accounts for better account security and protection.

More relevant image search results. In the past, Google tended to show high-quality pages over low-quality, even if the pictures on the page were not the most applicable to the search. The new change tunes signals related to landing pages to make it more likely that the most relevant images will appear in the search results.

Better local results and sources in Google News. Google is improving upon its search signals to return more pertinent and local Google News results from the best possible sources. The search engine has also improved the systems that are used to classify search terms, in an attempt to keep results more accurate to the original query. These algorithm changes can greatly influence SEO practices, such as keyword analysis research. This practice helps companies and brands target specific market keywords and surpass competition in order to achieve the top Google rankings.

Discovering a company's best keywords and measuring how well it dominates those keywords involves detailed research and analytics, and there are several SEO tools and software available to help. While free tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are certainly useful, we've found that paid services such as Raven Tools are much more robust and provide a more efficient analysis of a brand's "big picture" on social media. Raven Tools was designed as an analytics resource by a SEO agency five years ago but has since integrated vital social media tools such as an email campaign platform; content managers for Facebook, Twitter, and Wordpress; website analytics and pay-per-click advertising. Google stays in a contact state of evolution to ensure that its systems aren't artificially (or even malignantly) manipulated.  

It's important to stay tuned in to Google's major algorithm modifications and search engine news, as these changes occur frequently and can impact your site and your business. If all of this seems overwhelming, your best bet may be to hire a search engine optimization and social media management company to help you keep up with these ever changing services.

 

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