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Google Confirms New Quality Update

Less than a month after rolling out its mobile algorithm update on April 21, Google is at it again. Days ago, Google finally acknowledged recent changes to its algorithm. Whether search engine marketing companies refer to it as the “Quality Update” or “Phantom 2,” it is one and the same, and it is an update tweaking core algorithm ranking signals to favor quality materials. How will the update affect custom Web design and mobile search engine optimization (SEO)?

Be On The Look Out
While many small business and SEO services are noting minimal changes or no changes at all — for some, it’s a very different story. “HubPages, a collection of more than 870,000 miniblogs covering everything from the ‘History of advertising’ to ‘How to identify venomous house spiders,’ saw its Google search traffic plunge 22%,” CNBC reports, and that’s when the panic starts to set in. How can you prevent your webpages from suffering a similar fate?

First, don’t panic, and start with the obvious. Homepages are the most likely to rank, so take a critical look. What are you looking for? You want to avoid thin or generic content, or text that’s mostly unhelpful. Make sure all information is relevant and up-to-date. Pick through service pages, and make certain you have outlined specific products or functions. Assuming it’s obvious or being non-specific can (and, in all likelihood, will) hurt your rankings.

A Note On “Mobilegeddon”
Of course, some may be panicking, thinking that they have only started to wrap their minds around the last update — a push toward mobile-friendly webpages and content. The practicality of this update was difficult to argue with, given that 50% of Internet users primarily use phones to browse the Web, over three-quarters of consumers are more likely to buy items from mobile compatible websites, and 62% of businesses say mobile-friendly design has increased their sales. With that in mind, Google is giving some concrete advise and data for mobile search engine marketing. New features, also rolled out this week, will enable businesses to track in-app data and performance.

The face of SEO is changing — and, for now, there is no end in sight. Marketers can improve rankings by avoiding thin content and taking advantage of new in-app data tools.