How to Survive Google Update Services
Google updates are friends to none— with their new algorithm changes, they also bring a wave of worry. Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird are just a few of the many Google algorithm updates that have forced online businesses to reassess their approach to search engine optimization. Horror tales of lost rankings and out-of-the-blue penalties plague the web-sphere with every update. There's no telling what effect Google's search updates will have on your website, but there are ways you can stay ahead of the curve to avoid becoming a victim.
What are Google Search Algorithm Updates?
Google's algorithm updates are often targeted at optimizing the user interface and helping users find the most correct information as quickly and accessibly as possible. Google contextualizes the SERP rating of websites based on the degree of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Google modifies its algorithm nearly every day, but they roll out a more robust version every now and again that is designed to change how it rates multiple variables with its search results. While much of the updates go unnoticed, Google will usually adjust its algorithm about 500-600 times a year. Adapting to these more substantial changes is important for businesses looking to succeed in the internet sphere.
Why Should I Care About Google Algorithm Updates?
If you are in the profession of developing and optimizing content for search engines, then tracking Google algorithm updates is certainly something you should be concerned with. In order to adhere to these everlasting developments pervading the online environment, digital marketing experts should dedicate much of their time to researching and updating their strategies and approaches.
Most marketers prefer to think of an algorithm as a measured way in which Google penalizes websites. But in reality, Google's algorithms function as strategic ways to reward websites for delivering the best user interface experience and reader-friendly (and factual) content. Google is famously discreet with its algorithm updates, so when they hit, your site could be negatively impacted if you're not careful.
How Can I Survive Google Algorithm Updates?
1. Keep a Close Eye on Your Traffic & Positions
Checking your site traffic is the best and quickest way to know if you've been penalized by a new Google update. Declining traffic serves as a telltale sign of a Google penalty. Your site will not see a notable difference in traffic if most of your affected pages are ranking in position 40 or higher, as those pages seldom get any traffic.
However, you should absolutely make note of any significant decrease in your pages that are ranking higher as those metric shifts signal something going awry with your site's content or user experience if the positions decrease. If your rankings fell sharply, you may have been penalized, but if you've slipped just a few spots, it's far more likely that the upgrade has just moved your direct competition up.
2. Follow Google’s Guidance
In the world of SEO, Google reigns supreme, so it should come as no surprise that staying ahead of the curve means closely tracking Google’s constantly-changing guidance. While this may sound like an obvious move, it’s not one marketer are always keen to. In fact, you’d be surprised to find just how many businesses fail to take advantage of the staggering amount of free information Google makes readily available to anyone willing to read.
From in-depth SEO introductions for beginners to general website content advice, all of Google’s free guides offer plenty of sound advice that can help inform your strategy actively and retroactively.
- Taking the time to study Google’s web developer guides.
- Subscribing to the Webmasters newsletter
- Keeping up with SEO resource sites like Moz
You might even consider following the Twitter accounts of Google employees like Gary Illyes and John Mueller; they are constantly answering questions from industry experts which can provide all of the genii you may need to keep and improve your site rankings.
3. Master the Mobile Format
Google is marching full steam ahead towards a mobile-first future, in case you hadn't yet discovered it. Google has made it their mission to usher in a new era of search engine optimization that factors in mobile-friendliness.
Many of the changes to the Google algorithm are designed to fix either poor site utilization or bad SEO strategies. Algorithms ratio down undeserved rankings and force content creators, web developers, and marketers to rethink the ways in which they approach their strategy. This especially rings true of mobile format user experience.
The good news is that these types of non-mobile errors are relatively simple fixes, it's a mere matter of being proactive that stands between you and your maintained positive rankings.
If you have procrastinated in your venture to go mobile, there's no time like the present to get going. After all, Google takes note of which sites are making an effort to keep up with the times and those that fail to. Google is quick to penalize websites yet to make the mobile plunge, and with new algorithm updates, penalization is inevitable. Despite all of the dark and foreboding Google bestows, the search engine also provides plenty of incentive to go mobile in the form of the "Mobile May" algorithm release.
“Mobile May” effectively awarded new mobile-friendly sites with increased rankings, exemplifying the simple fact that when you adhere to Google’s suggestions, positive net results are almost a given.
As straightforward as Google maybe— plug in a term and get a result— the marketing tactics behind search engine optimization require plenty of dedicated research and upkeep if you want to stay at the cutting edge of your industry. Google may work in mysterious ways, but with the right strategy, you can avoid the headache and peril that comes with the next update.
How do you stay in tune with the SEO scene? What measures does your business take to maintain and boost your site rankings? Let us know in the comment section below.
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