How Will Google’s March 2024 Update Impact Accountants?

Google on Tablet

Google has recently updated its systems to provide better search results and tackle spam. But could your firm’s website have been affected?

Google is constantly changing to make sure that when you search for something, you get the most helpful and relevant results. They have made changes to prioritise high-quality content. By doing so, they hope to improve the overall experience of their users.

Below, we’ll discuss what’s changed, how it might have impacted your site, and what you can do about it.

What has changed – and why?

Google has made changes to its system to provide better quality search results and fight spam. Here’s exactly what’s changed, and why it matters:

Reducing spam

Google has changed its policies to combat spam in search results. Spam takes different forms, such as websites that have expired and are now being used for spamming purposes. By updating their policies, Google hopes to maintain the quality of search results by keeping out misleading content.

Eliminating unhelpful content

On top of that, Google has been working on cutting unhelpful content in search results by updating its ranking systems. This means improving its ability to identify pages that offer valuable information, while demoting pages designed to manipulate search engine rankings.

Filtering out low-quality content

In addition to these changes, Google has updated its scam policies to address new tactics used by spammers. It’s broadening its scope to target more manipulative behaviours that lead to low-quality content in search results. By taking action against spam, Google hopes to provide users with more reliable results.

Avoiding automated content

Automated content generation is a technique used to quickly create large amounts of content, with the aim of improving search rankings. Google is cracking down on this by changing its policies to target content created at scale, whether generated by systems, humans or a combination. This move is to ensure that search results are filled with informative, valuable content.

Digging deeper into site reputation

Websites with strong reputations may host low-quality content by third parties, which can mislead users. Google has updated its policies to consider such third-party content spam if it adds little value or is intended to manipulate search rankings. By holding websites accountable for the quality of their content, Google hopes to maintain the quality of search results.

Has your website been affected?

If you suspect your website has been affected by Google’s recent updates, here are all the signs to lookout for, and the possible reasons behind them:

Drop in traffic

A significant drop in traffic to your website could mean your site’s visibility in search results has been impacted.

Changes in rankings

If you notice a sudden drop in rankings or changes in search engine results pages, it could be a sign these updates have affected your firm’s site.

Manual actions

Google may issue penalties if they find your site violating their guidelines. Check your Google Search Console account regularly for any notifications or manual action penalties.

Spammy backlinks

If your website has a large number of low-quality or spammy backlinks, it could be penalised by Google. You can keep track using your Google Search Console.

Content quality

Poor-quality content, repeat content, or content created primarily for search engines rather than clients may be penalised by the recent update.

What can you do about it?

If your accountancy firm’s website has been affected by Google’s most recent updates, there are a number of ways in which you can combat these issues:

Review your content

Review your website’s content to make sure it is high-quality, relevant, and valuable to clients. Remove any repeat, or low-quality content.

Use quality backlinks

Host high-quality, relevant backlinks from reliable websites. Remove any spammy or irrelevant backlinks that could harm your site’s reputation.

Stay informed

Keep yourself updated on Google’s algorithm changes. Monitor industry news to stay ahead of any potential updates that could impact your website.

Follow guidelines

Be sure that your website complies with Google’s guidelines and quality standards. Avoid any activity that could be seen as manipulative or spammy.

Get professional help

If you’re unsure about how to address issues affecting your website’s performance in search results, consider consulting SEO specialists for guidance and assistance.

What if your website hasn’t been affected?

If you believe your accountancy firm’s website has not been affected by Google’s recent updates, you can make sure that it remains unaffected by similar updates in the future. To do so, we recommend these steps:

Improve the user experience

Prioritise user experience by making sure that your website is easy to navigate and is mobile-friendly.

Monitor performance

Keep a close eye on your website’s performance in search results by regularly monitoring traffic, rankings, and engagement. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to identify any issues.

Adapt and evolve

Be prepared to change and adapt your online strategy as needed to stay ahead of trends. Update your approach based on data, feedback and industry developments.

Build a strong online reputation

Focus on building a strong online reputation for your website by earning backlinks from reliable sources, engaging with clients on social media, and maintaining a positive brand image across all platforms.

Produce high-quality content

Producing high-quality content is the most effective way to safeguard your website against similar updates.

By working towards search engine goals, meeting clients’ needs, and encouraging engagement, high-quality content can help build a foundation that withstands changes and maintains visibility over time.

By following these practices and staying proactive in managing your website, you can be sure that it remains resilient to future updates.

Rapport Digital can prepare you for the future

Quality content and SEO are vital for accountants. Showing up at the top of Google means more visits to your website, and more trust. But it can be tough. If you’re not careful, search engines might ignore or even punish your site.

That’s where we come in. At Rapport digital, we’re experts in digital marketing for accountants. As a full-service digital marketing agency for accountancies, our services include the full spectrum of the marketing mix – all working together for maximum impact. The goal? To get your brand seen, turn clicks into new customers and help businesses grow.

If you’re ready for your firm to stand out online, let’s talk.

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