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Hi Greg,
You certainly broaden the discussion in many ways.

1. Generic Search vs Paid Ads
I live in hope that Internet marketing will reach a level of sophistication where topics like “communication objectives” and “characteristics of the media” will become critical attributes.

At that point, folk may better appreciate the difference between online ads and delivering requested information in search results.

SEO in the crude/rude sense of the SEO service selects your keywords then submit your site to a bunch of directories, blogs and high PA/DA sites will, I hope also die out (eventually).

2. G’s Mobile Index
Not sure if this is G’s current Gordion knot or Achilles heel.

  • How does G make sense of all the characterset/country/system speed bumps? Eg Single Chinese, Japanese, Korean characters deliver lots of “words” vs. English and European languages that need lots of characters to deliver a single word.
  • I believe Australia’s NBN is going to make us the 50th fastest web access service in the world. Will G penalise our web pages as well?
  • Then there are the 3G, 4G, 5G access speeds. How should G handle this in its ranking algo?
  • What about hosting server speeds and CPU demands?

How does G set a search ranking factor speed value in this multiple variable world?

Everyone wants speed on the mobile web but speed does not help a SE deliver relevant and accurate answers to questions.

Remember all the strident screams about how you would lose your shirt if your site was not ready for G’s “mobile-geddon” upgrade back in Apr 2015? It had so little effect that SEO’s could barely measure it.

I recall some Melbourne SEO wagering a bottle of vodka with his mate that my projections of limited affect were wrong. I wonder if he ever paid it up?

3. Mobile Web Pages, AMP, Web Apps and whatever…
I’m a marketer with a smattering of web coding knowledge. I can only pose questions at this point.

Is the rate of change hurting G’s attempt to develop more mobile-friendly solutions?

G claims to have indexed 130 trillion web pages. That is a mind boggling legacy system.

How many web designers/developers have been responsible for creating all this? How many of them will be able to or will want to learn whole new publishing systems?

How deep are the small businesses’ pockets for this constant demand for “new” websites?

What about the current inherent communications limitations of the newer systems?

Then, I understand that various systems won’t be cross platform supported. Facebook has its own version of AMP pages. Is it correct that it won’t support G’s Lighthouse?

G has a lot of failures in it’s history. Anyone remember its “Wave” program? Anyone using G+ these days?

4. Site Owners Wasting Money
This is the main issue to me.

They are being subject to all manner of old and new calls that they “MUST” spend more money on the web for

  • upgraded web pages
  • social media programs
  • SEO programs
  • Online ad management
  • Etc.

5. For Small Bus. Owners
Calm down! Don’t be panicked by the web “Chicken Little” supplier’s. (Not you Greg!)

In its 20 years, I’ve never seen G make ranking changes that penalise quality info sites in any coding format. I’ve got clients with non-mobile sites that are as high in hundreds of search queries as they were before this change.

IMHO, G. can’t afford to risk big algo ranking changes because this is its sole reason for being.

IMHO, what is likely happening is a rapid diversity in the web’s communication channels. I suggest you will need to put a lot more thought into basic marketing communications issues as they apply to:

  • Existing client coms vs acquiring new clients
  • Your type of business
  • Your target clients
  • Your coms objectives
  • More…

Greg, Good post. Hope you get more small bus. folk thinking…