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Google Changes Affect Small Business

Google Changes May Affect Small Business SEO

TORONTO -- At the beginning of the Web, many search terms  were only a few keywords in length. As users are now more familiar with search engines they now search by using longer queries of more than three words to get to their exact result. 

As searching habits are changing, so is search engine Google -- this has several implications for how our clients sites are ranked.

At a keynote presentation at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) Toronto conference attended by Ken Clarke of Brick Internet Marketing Director, Maile Ohye, senior developer programs engineer at Google, explained how Google's "May Day" update -- which actually began impacting search results on April 28 -- changed the way Google indexes so-called 'long-tail" queries, in which a user enters multiple keywords for a search.

The impact of the May Day update has caused the displacement of countless numbers of websites from Google's search index as the relevancy algorithms changed. But Ohye explained to the capacity crowd that Google does hundreds of updates to its search algorithms every year, and that the May Day update was a necessary one to better tackle the long tail of search.

"Some people weren't developing quality content on long search terms," she said. "It wasn't a violation of our guidelines, but it wasn't what we wanted. So for long-tail queries, we now just consider them as all other queries and place as much value on them as we do into shorter queries."

Ohye added that simply having boilerplate copy -- even for longer length keyword searches -- isn't acceptable on websites, as users still want relevance.

"In a nutshell, content is king," Ohye said, adding that the May Day update was just one of many updates Google is working on to improve the relevancy of its algorithm for ranking long-tail content queries.

What can you do? If you're a Brick customer, please take note of what we have been advising for years... Content is king! Your Brick website has all the tools for you to easily do this... update your news regularly and make sure that you put long tailed search queries in the title, try and write 250/300 words in the article, if you are referring to a product or service link the text in the news item to that page... then take a look at the target page and try and optimise it better. A lot of our clients say "how can we write 250/300 words about each product or service?" Really this is part of what the new Google algorithm changes are affecting, they are trying to increase the quality of results for their searchers... this is why many of our clients are seeing their news items appear first. We will be holding a workshop in August to address this issue and what our clients can do to increase sales/enquiries. Please contact Claire Smalley c.smalley@brickweb.co.uk to book your place.