Google Algorithm Change Hits Small Businesses

Google Algorithm Change Hits Small Businesses

Google made significant modifications to its search algorithm and spam filters earlier this year to eliminate low-quality material, but the results have been devastating for some smaller websites.

Google’s major updates in March and April prompted catastrophic decreases in traffic, forcing online companies to consider layoffs and possibly site closures.

Gisele Navarro is one of the unfortunate people whose website was caught up in Google’s dragnet.

The 37-year-old Argentine and her husband manage the HouseFresh website, and they’ve been carving out a profitable niche in air purifier product evaluations since 2020.

There were no advertisements, product placements, or soft-pedaling—if a product was awful, the site’s reviewers would say so. They received commissions for clicking over to Amazon.

However, Google’s latest upgrade changed everything.

The site is missing

“We found that we went from ranking number one because we were one of the only people who had done a review to not even showing up,” she informed.

HouseFresh used to receive around 4,000 referrals per day from Google searches, but this figure has now dropped to roughly 200.

The loss in business has been so severe that they have been advised to close the site and restart with a new domain name.

Ms. Navarro’s and many others’ dissatisfaction stems from a lack of understanding about how Google ranks results.

The American company is famously secretive about its algorithms, to the point that an entire business known as “search engine optimization” (SEO) has popped up trying to scam the system to gain more hits.

The latest upgrade put SEO professionals into a state of panic as they tried to figure out why some sites were rated higher while others were placed worse.

Google stated in an email that the upgrade was created expressly to provide people with “fewer results that feel made for search engines”.

“The only adjustments we implement are those that have been proved in our tests to significantly enhance outcomes for people. “And we believe that these updates have been beneficial,” Google stated.

Google’s change also elevated user-generated content from sites like Reddit and Quora.

Google defended this strategy, stating that “people often want to learn from others’ experiences,” and that “we conduct rigorous testing to ensure results are useful and high quality.”

Staff at one European news website, meanwhile, reported that their articles were consistently outranked by largely unrelated Reddit material.

The site’s publisher, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject, claimed Google referrals had dropped by 20% to 30% since the upgrade, and reductions were unavoidable.

Source- Thehindu

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