It is pretty obvious that Google loves to shake things up. Last year they introduced Panda, which caused quite a controversy for many people. Google sought to get rid of lower quality sites from its results pages, and trust us, they did. Now that’s it’s over a year later, Google is looking to change things again, but this time, it’s focusing on a different type of animal.
Google’s latest update, Google Sloth, is going to have a major impact on websites through a variety of factors. This update is named after another engineer at the search company, Reginald Sloth. Mr. Sloth and his team have tried to zero in on the main problems that affect websites today and in turn, think that this will help people find what they are looking for in a more efficient way.
We were able to get an inside scoop at the new factors that Google Sloth will take into effect. Keep reading to find out what changes you need to be ready to make!
The number of images is now going to be a very important ranking factor. Google is now requiring at least 17 images per page. Three of those images should be at least 2048×1536. This just happens to be the exact resolution of a certain new tablet. Coincidence…perhaps.
Despite Google’s insistence that PageRank is not a factor in its search engine rankings, it has now finally embraced its “Do no evil” motto and is finally letting the cat out of the bag. PageRank will now count for 39.43% of its search-rank algorithm. Google now feels that letting everyone know that their beloved PageRank (which everyone suspected was the main part of their secret algorithm) has always been a factor.
HTML 5, CSS 3, J-Query, and other web technologies are propelling the Internet into a much more aesthetically pleasing environment. Sloth is starting to take this into account with the following change to the algorithm: Font type is now a factor that will be considered. The cooler the font, the more positive effect it will have on your rankings. In order to make an extra effort to make the web pretty, please note that any website found containing any instance of the font, Comic Sans, will automatically be de-indexed and permanently grey-barred.
Flash and PageSpeed
In addition to possible collusion with a certain fruit-themed technology company, there might be another possible deal going on between Google and the makers of the ubiquitous Flash web standard. We say this because PageSpeed loading issues that are as a result of Flash, will no longer have a negative effect on rankings. This means you should feel free to have as much Flash on your website as you like. Did you just find a really awesome Flash animation intro? Well great, because be sure to put it in your website no matter what conventional wisdom says.
Do you remember in the late 90s when table-based websites were all the rage? Well just like skinny ties and day-glow neon, this too has just come back into fashion according to Google. Tables now have a positive ranking factor for the results pages. Google is always trying to be as innovative as possible and sometimes that involves doing what’s already been done. Not necessarily trying to do what’s already been done in a better way, like the Japanese did, with car manufacturing in the 70s and 80s. Instead, they just want it to come back (you can blame some people who refuse to let go of their Apple Newton and car phone).
We might have just uncovered a little more collusion on the part of Google, but you be the judge. Everyone has their favorite internet browser. For a while Internet Explorer ruled the roost with over 90% of the browser share. Now it is below 50%, with Chrome and Firefox making up most of the other half. In order to propel Internet Explorer back to it’s desired spot, Google is now giving an instant rankings increase to any website that is optimized exclusively for the Microsoft browser. Now is your chance to revel in the fact that you (or your WebDev team) will have to spend extra time optimizing your website for each version of Internet Explorer separately. This is because the smart people in Redmond decided it would be a good idea to change the browser drastically for each version. Just ask your average web developer how they feel about it and make sure to bring a pair of earplugs because they’ll go on for hours.
Lastly, Google has decided that long is the new pink, which is the new orange, which is the new black. Long pages are in and short pages are out. Length of page is now directly proportional to PageRank (which we now know is a factor in the search engine rankings). Google has looked back into history and found that typically, longer things are in fact better. They feel the same way about webpage length. This means you will have to add at least 2.7 times as much content per page to really start seeing a significant increase. Happy writing!
Well, there you have it. This Sloth update is said to be one of Google’s most aggressive to date. They are really trying to give every site a fighting chance and make room for the little guys. They want to make sure the Internet is a fair place where beautiful, Comic Sans-free sites rule the Internet on Bill Gate’s favorite browser.
If you’re interested in reading more about this update, be sure to click here and find out what impact it will have from real industry insiders.