Keeping your website at the top of search engine results requires regular updates that take advantage of updates to algorithms.

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Search engine providers regularly updates their search algorithms and if your website isn’t in the first ten and preferably higher, it’s likely many, if not most, internet users won’t find you. And less clicks mean less business.

Recent changes by Google, the most popular search engine, see mobile being given a higher priority than desktop.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) experts Searchmetrics have published a blog posting on Google’s most recent changes. The most obvious change to the casual internet user is the gradual removal of ads down the right side of search results, or right-rail ads.

What it means is there’s more competition to get SEO right and get your organic search listing as high as possible.

The post notes that “paid listings may continue to push organic listings below the fold, but the right rail presents an opportunity for organic content to surface accordingly. Especially as Google’s artificial intelligence is continuously improving, they’re looking to understand the intent behind search queries.”

The right rail is still used sometimes. Searchmetrics give the example of a search for “engagement ring”. Here on the right rail is a list of engagement rings with links to the jeweller.

So what should you do. Well, Searchmetrics first say to stay calm. Optimising your website for search requires regular adaptation to Google’s continuous change, which probably happens more often than you think.

They also advise to “get good at publishing content that addresses the needs of your consumer by becoming a topic authority” by designing pages “that specifically answer a question and provide useful elements that further serve the user. Remember, create content for humans (not search engines).”

And lastly, Searchmetrics suggest focussing on “optimal formatting for how your listing appears in the search engine results page.

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