Rules Have Changed Again for SEO on Google

headsunflieldHave you noticed that Google has reduced the first page of search results to the top seven items. Being one of the top ten results for a search term is no longer a guarantee that you will be on the first page of results. Argh.

In February, Google redesigned search results pages, removing ads from the right side and reducing the organic (free) results on each page from 10 to about seven.

Paid ads still live at the top of the results pages. There are also often Google My Business results to the right and a box with common questions related to the search topic. So, the three slots for organic search results are replaced with some additional opportunities for you to be found on the page.

There’s another change that affects every search: personalization. Over the past several years, Google has worked to personalize search results based on the user who is searching. This means that a search performed by two different people likely will get different results. Search rankings change based on the user.

No one knows the magic formulas that Google uses to determine search rank. Some factors are generally assumed to be effective, such as keyword use in page content and providing meta description and photo tags.

You also want to monitor your Google Search Console to ensure there aren’t any notices about issues related to your website. Some items are easily addressed. Others may need the support of a developer. The rules and technical requirements change all the time.