Google’s Latest Updates

Google announced four new updates recently, the first of which has shocked many users and marketers, and have many talking about the downfall of Google+.  However, we are not quite ready to give up on the social media platform and believe that it is still very much alive. Change #1:Inactive Google+ Listings Have Been Deleted Automatically.

There were thousands upon thousands of Google+ accounts automatically created when a user started an email account or signed up for one of Google’s other services.  Many of these accounts remained inactive for years.  Others started to create accounts, but never did anything with them.  Hosting all of these unused profiles did seem a bit beyond unnecessary, and the company finally made the decision to pull the plug on the dormant accounts. While some believe this, following the separation from YouTube, is just one more sign of Google Plus’ demise, we don’t agree.  Verge touched on this subject last month with this expressed thought:

Failure is the norm for social networks, and Google’s social efforts have been clumsier than most. But Google+ is now finally small enough to build on.

So, while Google+ aims to grow into something even greater, the company is also attacking other weaknesses.

Change #2: Panda 4.2 Algorithm Updates

The second of the recent changes was the rollout of the Panda 4.2 updates.  Many marketers were quick to fret about what they would need to do to adjust for these changes to the search algorithm, but it appears that the changes are minimal and only continuing on the path that Google started with Panda 4.1.  The company has made it abundantly clear that the goal is to put forth search results based on the merit of the content.  In other words, it’s not enough to be optimized, there has to be value in what you write.  If you are providing solutions to the problems of your target audience, answering their questions, then you will likely do well with Google’s updates.

Change #3: GoogleBot Warnings

The third update is quite helpful.  The messages sent by Googlebot scared many people, but in truth they are of great worth.  Google representatives have suggested that the company is going to be more transparent about the way that they rank websites.  This is undoubtedly part of their efforts to be so.  The message alerts the website owner that the Googlebots cannot access the CSS or JS files on the site.

If you receive this message, then you will need to review your robots.txt files.  If you are comfortable doing so, look for any lines in the robots.txt file that include the word ‘Disallow’.  This could be followed by ‘.js$’, ‘.inc$’, ‘.css$’, or ‘.php$’.  These should be removed in order to correct the issue.  If you don’t want to go it alone, consult your webmaster or seek assistance from a professional.

Google updates are always a hot news item, and while they often complicate things for businesses online, the simple reality is that they make the world far easier for the end user.

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