Is Your Website Secure and Recently Updated?
If there's one thing that's ever a constant in the fast-paced world of keeping up your online presence? It's change.
When Google updates their organic search algorithms, it can seem veritably earth-shattering for small businesses and the search marketing professionals who serve them. The algorithm actually changes anywhere from 500-600 times a year. However, these changes are so subtle that users and SEO experts don't pick up on it. Major updates on the other hand can be a game-changer. With the arrival of Penguin 4.0, which you can read about on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, key changes include Penguin becoming more granular and working in real-time.
Prior to unearthing Penguin 4.0, many site owners hit the panic button. You don't need to do this as it can just create unnecessary work. Now that we know what the story is with Penguin 4.0, you can focus on honing your SEO strategy instead of worrying about how these changes could adversely impact your website. When was the last time you updated your website? Everything is searchable in real time now, so you definitely want to get a move on this!
On the technical side of keeping your website up to date, you may be aware that switching to HTTPS from HTTP is the new black.
While Google itself has actually said that having "https" in your URL can give your site a ranking boost, there's a few caveats. Halloween may be over but HTTPS can present some real frights in terms of SEO. The main thing you need to worry about is that your site can go HTTPS without really being secure if you didn't update your CSS URLs yet. Google searches can show insecure site warnings next to your URLs which is the absolute last thing you want. Remember to set up HTTPS profile in Google Search Console!
The larger your site, the more complicated migrating it to HTTPS will be. If you have business listings (e.g. Google My Business, Moz Local), remember to manually update all of them so they redirect properly and don't display insecure warnings.