What are the changes in Google’s search algorithm and how do they affect you?

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These days the professionals of online marketing and SEO have experienced a little earthquake. It’s not the first nor will it be the last: it happens every time there’s a change in Google’s search algorithm.

Google is a private company looking for its profit, but, simultaneously, helps countless people to find what they are looking for.

To help these people, its search algorithm. But Google’s search algorithm is far from static: it is constantly evolving to get adapted to the times, to new technologies, to new trends.

Google’s search algorithm modifies how the Internet works, but also how the Internet works modify Google’s search algorithm.

Let’s see how the advances have influenced Google and how it affects us, SEO professionals:

Mobile-First

Let’s face it: even the most computer-savvy people use their mobile phone a lot of time and surf with it constantly. The mobile has long surpassed the desktop as the first device. And Google’s search algorithm understands and adapts to that: they first check that your page looks good on the mobile and then, less importantly, on the desktop. So far it’s been the other way around: he only cared about the desktop, then went on to consider mobiles and now we’re at the point where mobiles count more than the desktop. Will there be changes in the future by voice search or to include Augmented Reality sites? Probably in the future.

Mentions without links

Until now, if you name a page without linking it Google has been unnoticed, but now Google is going to pay attention to those mentions and will consider them to know which page has more notoriety and which page less. It will not be the same as a link, but testimonials, that name your company in a forum, people who recommend you in any post but do not link, etc will be important in your positioning.

Changes in the link tags: nofollow, sponsored and UGC

The Nofollow tag, until now, was a tag that was added to a link in order not to pass authority to it. Now, very much in line with the mentions without links, Google will begin to decide for itself if these links improve the PageRank or not.

The Sponsored tag will be used to point out those links negotiated or purchased, whether they are product reviews, purchased links, etc. Will it hurt to have sponsored links on your page? Well, it could be, but, on the other hand, right now the negotiated or purchased links are not legal and should be marked as nofollow to not pass Pagerank. Will these links pass Pagerank? We will know in a few months. A priori it seems that they serve to save Google the search and subsequent penalization of these links, but they can also serve to eliminate penalties, past or future, by tagging the links well.

The UGC tag marks the content made by a user, not the owner of the page. It is designed to link to forums and comments on blogs and that kind of things. What will Google do with it? We don’t know. Maybe a forum that has a lot of movement will have more positioning than another with less movement, but wasn’t this already considered by Google’s search algorithm? We will know in a couple of months.

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