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Google Algorithm Insights: How Circle to Search & AI Multi-Search Impact Websites

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As an SEO company, SEO Sydney must continually keep up with updates to Google’s algorithm. In the fast-paced digital world, search engine optimisation (SEO) has been a key tool for online marketing. For successful rankings using SEO, it is necessary to understand how the very platform that hosts our digital properties operates, and its implications for webmasters growing their businesses. In this blog, SEO Sydney dives into Google’s introduction of its ‘Circle to Search’ and ‘AI Multi-Search’ updates, and how they serve the change user behaviour on the engine.

 

Understanding The Google Algorithm – SEO Sydney Insights

It is essential to understand the fundamentals of the Google algorithm. Google states its mission is to organise ‘the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ –  prompting for factors like content quality, relevance, user experience, natural language processing, expertise and authoritativeness as high-criteria items in the search engine’s evaluation of a ‘high value search result’, and building its algorithm to filter with these features in mind. Google’s recent updates have seen influences in the way users engage with the site’s performance on the SERP’s, leaving the need for marketers and owners to buckle down for these changes as a heavy item of scrutiny. SEO Sydney uses this knowledge and believes there are ways to leverage the Google algorithm and their updates.

New Google Algorithm update: Circle to search available on android phone screens

Circle to Search: Making User Experience Dynamic

The Google algorithm updates its concept as part of its ongoing mission to deliver information for its users in the most valuable way possible. Recently, Google introduced their circle to search function as a way for Android users to search for anything on their phone screen without needing to change apps. This new function works for users as they can circle, highlight, scribble or tap for the item they want to search for – users simply need to prompt Google by holding the navigation bar at the bottom of their screens to activate the UI, and you’re able to circle the subject of interest.  Google aims to make this update for users to easily express the items they look for in “ways that are more natural and intuitive.”

 

AI Multi-Search: Search Results Personalisation 

Google’s introduction of its multi-search function previously has been to add dimension to the searching experience – expanding its capacity to ascertain information beyond text, and into a visual medium. With the technological advancements in generative AI, Google developed its AI multi-search. The feature allows you to either point your camera, upload a photo or screenshot as a way to query particular information you seek, attaching immediately available AI-powered insights that also explore auxiliary search results that might benefit your search along the way. AI Multi-Search allows users the opportunity to request more complex or nuanced questions in a rapid manner as well as understanding essential information, essentially eliminating the need for a research process on the users’ part – almost as a quasi-featured snippet.

 

How The Updates Impact On Websites 

The updates in the Google algorithm affect websites involving an influence of visibility, traffic, and overall performance. 

Search Engine Rankings 

Updates in the algorithm can lead to fluctuations in search engine rankings. Website owners may encounter sudden drops or increases in their ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Fundamentally, rankings function off the search engine’s evaluation of expertise, authority and trustworthiness – a set of criteria that ultimately purveys all aspects of how a site’s content can be viewed, and generated by Google to present to its users. Being identified as a site worthy of scraping for a featured snippet, as an example, satisfies this criteria as information that can address a user query in a concise, short-form manner. Being referenced as a chosen result for Google’s AI Multisearch likely follows similar principles – making best practice be to follow the engine’s guidelines on E-E-A-T with as high a quality as possible.  

Organic Traffic 

The SEO industry is concerned about the significant impact these updates will have on organic traffic. Websites that align with the updated ranking factors are likely to see an increase in organic traffic because they rank higher for relevant search queries. Optimisation focused on images and other media will help adapt to the advancements in Google’s search updates. Websites that are unable to adjust may find a decrease in organic traffic due to lower search rankings.

User Experience 

 Google’s algorithm values user experience. The Circle to Search enhances this user experience. Websites must adapt and optimise with clear and concise answers to search queries. Therefore, websites that deliver a seamless and user-friendly experience typically achieve better search results.

 

Website Impact – Local Search Forum Case Study

The Google algorithm update has made a clear impact on SEO specialist Joy Hawkin’s Local Search Forum site. Hawkins revealed that her site has gained an increase of 144% in traffic compared to 2023. In 2024, there are four forum websites that have improved their search engine rankings into the top half of the first page in comparison to zero in November. 

Why might this be happening?

To our knowledge, forum websites deliver the most human-moderated content online; it demonstrates authentic and human-like reviews and information, in contrast to sites that generate content unilaterally, from the brand straight to the consumer. The benefit of forums come from the fact that content is essentially user generated, and is then by natural consequence peer reviewed by the same consumers. These updates show how Google aims to give unbiased and authentic information to their users.

SEO Sydney - insights from Reddit on algorithm effects

Insight from a Reddit forum discussing, ironically, the significance of user generated content in SEO

Alt text: SEO community on reddit discusses which sites benefit from Google’s algorithm.

 

  • Under this line of logic, sites like Reddit and Quora have increased in traffic – and many website owners complain about this. This is exhibited in Reddit’s reviews in the SEO industry. Faster websites also hold ranking boosts more recently, owing to the provision of site speed in delivery of answers to user queries much more quickly, in a digital landscape built now on speed to satisfaction. The inference here is that a reliance on customer perspectives on products and services has surged, with the implementation of these features. While this doesn’t imply that sites should necessarily start dialling their content toward more casual, recreational styles – a focus on being organic, unique and helpful for customers should always remain the baseline. We recognise that at the end of the day, SEO and Google just aim to provide the best user experience.

 

Overall, SEO experts should stay informed of these updates and changes and find their own ways to optimise their strategies to adapt. Our SEO experts at SEO Sydney deliver a variety of professional insights. To find an innovative SEO solution to improve your visibility and organic traffic, contact us today.

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