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3 Google Changes that Happened in 2015 (Plus a Brief History of My Love/Hate Relationship with the Search Giant)

My daughter turned one this fall.  She's changed a lot in the past year.  Just take a look at these pictures!

Here was her in June 2015 during one of her visits to the SVM home office:

Baby in June 2015

And here is her (and me) about six months later, looking much different (and walking and talking up a storm):

Baby in November 2015

But that's not the point of this post.  While my daughter changed a lot in 2015, I think Google changed more.

If you’re one of my clients or co-workers, you probably know about my love/hate relationship with Google. 

I love it for many, many reasons.  I dislike it for an equal number of reasons.  (Though I still use it every day.  And it’s at the epicenter of my chosen career.  But I digress…)

This is a good example.

Google Changes ALL.THE.TIME.

The pace at which Google makes changes is crazy. 

  • They make multiple search engine result algorithm changes each year.
  • Google Analytics looks completely different now than it did when I first got into online marketing.
  • AdWords features that we used just a few years ago are obsolete now, while new ones are being added all the time.

Some of these changes are great.  While not all have been good for marketers and business owners, many have led to improved search results and advertising platform functionality. 

But the pace of changes make things very difficult for “little guys.”  Heck—even giant companies with huge digital marketing budgets and teams of digital strategists can barely keep up.

2015 Was No Exception for SEO and PPC Changes

Here are just three of the many changes that Google made in 2015. 

  1. Google Algorithm Changes Re: Mobile.  In April 2015, Google changed its mobile search results to favor mobile-friendly sites.  And that was just one of five algorithm updates moz.com documented this year.
  2. Google Webmaster Tools Got Renamed Google Search Console.  In May 2015, Google changed the name of Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console.  No specific features changed at that time, but the tool has changed markedly in recent history with new sections on mobile usability and search analytics.
  3. PPC Changes.  There are too many to name, and not all apply to every advertiser. But we saw changes to Google Shopping feed specs (including taxonomy), changes to the mobile SERP display (to help Google better monetize mobile traffic), new URL options with tracking parameters, and more.

So What Can You Do About It for Your B2B SEO and PPC?

It's hard to know what Google changes mean for your own business.  Which ones do you need to pay attention to?  When do you need to act?  It's more of an art than a science, but here are some things you can do to keep ahead of the game.

  1. Subscribe to services or content from SEO industry thought leaders like www.moz.com and www.searchengineland.com.  They write content every day that will help keep you updated on changes, and give you some idea of what you can do about them.
  2. Partner with professionals like us at SVM, who stay abreast of Google's changes and can help you make sense of search marketing.  Our blog helps with #1 too!
  3. Do right by your customers above all else.  Google tries to emulate humans in everything it does.  If you make sure you are pleasing your customers and prospective customers with your online marketing efforts, you'll stay on Google's good side (at least in terms of SEO).

Which Google changes in 2015 changed your marketing strategy?  Did any take you by surprise?

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Christina Reidy Ousouljoglou

Since I know what it's like to be in your shoes, I make your company's success my personal responsibility. I also try to make sure we have some fun along the way. Full bio

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