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April 21 – Not Your Average Google Update. Are you Ready?

how do google updates affect my site

Google is known for keeping people on their toes when it comes to algorithm updates. Now that websites have started to adjust to Panda and Penguin, Google is dropping another bomb on us.

The April 21 deadline for rewarding mobile-friendly websites doesn’t have an official name yet, but we’re going to refer to it as Chameleon throughout the blog because it’s rewarding sites based on its ability to change from  PC to mobile while keeping content scaled.

Just how much will Chameleon impact you?

Let’s take a look at all the recent updates to find out how much they impact your website rankings.

5. Hummingbird – Find the Meaning Update

In September 2013, Google introduced the Hummingbird update. Its primary purpose was to focus on a whole sentence or conversation, rather than specific words. The overall impact on search engine rankings was minimal for most websites. The most noticeable change was sites with natural, conversational content received top ranking results.

4. Panda – Quality Content Update

The main objective of Google’s Panda update was to reward sites with quality content and penalize sites with poor quality content. The impact the Panda update had on your website depends on whether your site had unique content when it was originally introduced in February 2011. Think you’re in the safe zone because Panda didn’t affect you? It still runs from time-to-time, so keep writing quality content.

3. Penguin – BlackHat SEO Update

The Penguin update focused on decreasing search engine rankings for sites that violate the guidelines set by Google Webmaster Tools, specifically sites that manipulated search engine rankings with link schemes. According to Google’s research, Penguin affects 3.1 percent of search engine queries in English, and 3 percent of search engine queries German, Chinese and Arabic.

2. Pigeon – Local Search Update

Launched in July 2014, the Pigeon update tailored local search engine results to make it easier for you to find results in your area. While this update didn’t penalize you for your content, it will impact where you show up on search engine results pages (SERPs). To stay on top of this update, it’s important for local companies to add locality to keyphrases and utilize local search apps.

1. Chameleon – Mobile Update

Why does Chameleon matter? Chameleon could impact more sites than the Penguin or Panda algorithms. Here are just a few reasons it could be the biggest update yet:

  • Google is giving us a warning (which never happens). Take advantage of the warning and update your site to a mobile-friendly design before April 21.
  • The impact Chameleon has will be different for every site. It’s going to depend greatly on where you’re located and whether or not your competitors have mobile-friendly websites. To give us an idea of how large the update could be, Search Engine Land conducted a study which proved that Chameleon could result in a shift in five positions. Five positions could equal a 41 percent decrease in mobile traffic.  
  • Chameleon is in your control. For years, search engine specialists have tried to figure out how to keep up with Google changes. Google is telling you exactly what to do to improve search engine rankings and increase your ROI.

Contact Practis Inc. at 704-887-5300 for information on updating your website to a mobile-friendly design before April 21.