How to Optimize for Algorithm Updates
Did you know that aside from infrequent core algorithm updates, Google makes hundreds of minor updates each year? Learn what this means for your digital marketing efforts and how to make the most of it.
Trying to keep on top of the changes in Google’s algorithm is a particularly hectic thing. Especially since changes are relatively frequent and sudden. As such, we hope that our seven tips to help you keep up with Google Algorithm updates will ease the difficulty a little!
What is an Algorithm?
Search engines have “formulas” (algorithm) which drives search engine rankings for websites. For a variety of reasons, search engines periodically update their algorithms. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process of optimizing a website to find favor with an algorithm, this higher rankings. To achieve or maintain high rankings you may need to adjust elements of your website after an algorithm update.
Core Algorithm Updates
Most algorithm updates go unnoticed and are never announced publicly. Inversely, Google’s core updates can have dramatic affects on rankings, traffic, and lead generation. Typically, Google core updates are announced and have unique names (i.e., Panda, Penguin, RankBrain). When a core update is launched it needs to be understood by the team that manages your website. It’s likely that you will need to adjust your approach to website optimization.
How to Know When There is an Update
The best way to know of core updates is to visit certain industry webites, or use Google Alerts to find the info for you. Among the websites you may want to vist are: Search Engine Journal, SEO Book, and MozCast tool.
Leverage Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a relatively simple software that is invaluable when trying to keep up with Google Algorithm updates. All it really does is scan the internet for info on top search results related to your keywords. However, this can reveal a lot about how the algorithm affects your keyword rankings, as well as potentially better solutions to your keywords. Suppose one version of the keywords underperforms, but a different alternative is trending. In that case, it is really rather easy to make the switch and once more leverage Google Algorithm to your advantage. This can also reveal important keywords and content topics you missed out on and need to include on your own site quickly.
Have a Recovery Plan
Unfortunately, when trying to keep up with Google Algorithm updates, it’s not a matter of if you’ll eventually have to fix things. It’s just a matter of when. At least this is the case if you want to constantly keep your site at the top of the SEO game. In some cases, an algorithm update can cause your website to suffer major ranking losses that can be devastating.
In extreme cases, you definitely need to have solid grasp on how to handle the crisis. You can either try to do everything yourself (and risk maing things worse), or get Google recovery help from Google SEO experts.
If you decide to try your hand at improving your website optimization, remember that your keywords are the first and easiest things you need to fix up. A good example is how short keywords have been the go-to solution for the longest time. Yet now, with the introduction of semantic SEO and greater use of Google voice search, longer keywords are gaining traction.
Things You Can Do
Find Reputable SEO Experts
It’s a near certainty that your business will benefit from working with a legitimate SEO agency. If you find a skilled SEO agency they can assess your current situation and identify areas for improvement. You will be able to rely on them to understand algorithm changes and know what (if anything) needs to be done. When it comes to optimization, and keeping pace with Google or Bing, you need to know that things are being done properly.
Don’t be afraid to try new approaches or niche services. SEO for ranking is one thing, and optimizing for conversions is yet another. The conversion experts from Convert More offer a customizable widget that may help you get more customers from your current volume of website visitors. Other ideas are adding video content, live chat services, and PPC ads to further engage potential customers.
Insist on Quality Content
There is one constant which has remained no matter how much Google Algorithm changes. Their intentions are always to make their users’ experience smoother and more enjoyable. This means that their entire purpose is finding and funneling high-quality content to people looking for it! If you just focus on trying to hit all the checkmarks demanded by the algorithm at the moment, then as soon as things change considerably, you’ll be in trouble. In fact, this is one of the most common digital marketing mistakes when it comes to SEO. You should, instead, focus on creating content that is appealing to readers. Not just content that is crammed with SEO requirements. Of course, Black Hat SEO which promotes the opposite approach, does exist. But then you’d be trading temporary success for long-term prospects, which should be unacceptable for any business with an eye on the future!
Consider Managing Old Content
Sometimes, keeping old content becomes more of a drawback than a boon. Some content for SEO requirements is now severely outdated and some articles may have been written for audiences that are no longer relevant. What should you do with old articles? Here’s our suggestions:
Update the content if possible. An example is an article using dated terms. Maybe you wrote an article a decade ago for ” inbound marketing” and it could be updated to “content marketing”. Refreshing these articles can sometimes improve their individual ranking an, once again, reach potential customers.
Remove the content if it is hopelessly outdated. That once great article on using Flash on your website is now good for only looking back in time. If you remove any articles or website pages, be certain to create a 301 redirect. A proper 301 redirect can retain some link juice, and keeps your website from being dinged for having broken links.
Do Regular SEO Audits
In order to keep up with Google Algorithm updates, you need to be adequately familiar with the state of your SEO. This, in turn, necessitates regular SEO audits. Note that these audits should be holistic. You can’t just focus on keywords and move on! You need to check up on the quality of your content, the performance metrics of your website, plus backlinks and internal links.
Don’t forget images, videos, and infographics! Sometimes, in the course of rebuilding or changing a website, the paths to images become broken. Again, broken links harm your optimization quality scores when an image does not render. Similarly, if you’ve embedded videos or linked to content on third-party websites, it’s very possible that those links are now broken. Be very mindful of managing inbound and internal links!
Monitor Website Traffic Data
The final way to keep up with Google Algorithm updates is by paying attention to your site’s traffic data. Namely, any sudden changes, be they a drop or a surge in the number of your site’s visitors, can indicate a shift in the algorithm. Still, sometimes, a drop in numbers can be hard to attribute to any one thing. Which means you would not be able to fix things easily. In that case, you should work with business professionals who truly know sales and marketing who can help you with your digital marketing needs.
Final Words on How to Manage Google Algorithm Updates
We hope you’ve found our tips and ideas to be helpful in trying to keep up with Google Algorithm updates. With regular attention to what is going on with Google, and investing proper website maintenance time, you can get optimal benefits from your digital marketing services.