The Importance of Staying Up-to-Date with Google’s Algorithm Changes
Every business that has a website needs to understand the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of increasing your website’s online presence through a number of digital marketing strategies. It works to raise your website’s positioning on search engine results pages (SERP), thus increasing your business’ exposure. Stronger exposure on the Internet, especially on reputable pages like Google, leads to more website visits, which leads to more conversions. At the simplistic viewpoint, the stronger your SEO, the better off your website is positioned on the SERP, the more profit you’ll see.
Doing this, however, takes time and a lot of trial and error. But once you’re positioned on the first page of Google’s SERP, you immediately gain the reputation of a trusted company. Google is a trusted company and when they place websites on the first page of SERP, people automatically see that the website’s information will be accurate and reliable.
While you may think that landing a second page spot is “just as good”, it’s not. How many times in your own life have you actually clicked “next page” on the Google results? Chances are, it’s been far and few between and probably only when you’ve been searching for a very specific website in the results. While it can be hard to compete with other companies for the coveted first page spots, one of the most important things to do is to stay informed and up-to-date with Google’s consistently changing algorithms.
Why is Google’s Algorithm Important?
Simply put, Google’s algorithm dictates how far up you appear on any given SERP. If you run a business, this alone is critical to the success of your company. The way the algorithm works is through a number of calculations that basically dictate the behavior of a computer. With Google, SEO algorithms are written code that is used to scan the Internet and rank sites according to how well they follow said code. It then decides which websites will appear for respective searches made by Internet users.
If you want to see your business grow and utilize the benefits of the Internet, you need to take Google’s algorithm seriously. At the end of the day, don’t see it as an annoyance. Instead, view the algorithm as something that helps connect businesses with interested parties more efficiently. At the core of things, the algorithm is fundamental in showing people the best information possible based on their queries. You just need to put in the effort and produce good-quality information.
Why You Need to Track Algorithm Updates
The problem with Google algorithms is that they change… constantly. In fact, on average, there are about two changes every day of the year. That’s a lot of changes; too many for most people to keep up with. Luckily, you don’t have to go as far as dedicating a member of your team to sit in front of a computer each day, wait for new updates, and consistently make minor changes to your site.
On the other hand, if you don’t pay attention to the major Google algorithm updates, you may notice that you have a sudden drop in ranking on a SERP. You can run reports to check this periodically, but understand that when it happens, it’s likely due to a major change. To strengthen your rankings back up, check what the update was and make any necessary changes. Usually the changes that need to be made are minor, but every few years there are some that are pretty drastic.
To better understand upcoming trends, take some time to familiarize yourself with major algorithm updates that have happened in the past few years. This will give you a better understanding on rankings and what will have the most impact when you make edits to your site. You can use Search Engine Journal to quickly and easily review past changes.
How to Track Algorithm Updates
Thankfully, this is not unchartered territory and there are a number of online resources available to help you stay on top of both the minor and major updates. Some popular sites to use include Moz, SEMrush, and even social media.Google analysts and experts have been known to frequently share major changes to the algorithm using their Twitter accounts. Some good people to follow on Twitter include:
Barry Schwarttz: @rustybrick
John Mueller: @JohnMu
Danny Sullivan: @dannysullivan
Glenn Gabe: @glenngabe
Marie Haynes: @Marie_Haynes
There are also a number of reputable SEO blogs that focus primarily on informing the public about major changes. If you want to subscribe, you can get direct emails when big things happen. In addition to Search Engine Journal, you can use Google Webmaster Central Blog.
Helpful Tools to Track Google Algorithm Updates
While there are a few third-party tools that will monitor any changes for you, Google doesn’t love them—which isn’t surprising. Some people also say that they are inaccurate and pick up changes that have nothing to do with the algorithm, but they can help you keep an eye on things. Just make sure to do any research if something pops up and always check your website’s analytics prior to making any changes to your website.
Some examples of popular Google Algorithm tracking tools include MozCast, SEMrush Sensor, and Panguin Tool.
Action to Take After an Update
If a major update does happen, don’t worry. The worst thing to do is try and tackle the problem under a sense of panic. Instead, check your analytics to see if the change made an impact on your website rankings. If your rankings have changed, further research to confirm that the algorithm, and not something else, caused it. You’ll need to be patient while you collect data to make sure you don’t do something that will hurt your rankings more.
After you’ve better understood the changes and their affect on your rankings, take some time to listen to what the experts have to say. Read credible SEO blogs and try and fully digest what the changes mean for you. Only once you’ve learned all pieces of the puzzle should you go in and make adjustments. Your SEO strategy is a fluid process and the sooner you accept that, the easier it will be to stay on top of any algorithm changes.
Other ways to Ensure You’re Staying Relevant
There are hundreds of changes to Google algorithms each and every year and unless you’re hyper focused and have hours of spare time, you won’t be able to stay on top of every minor change. Luckily, most of the changes are small enough that they won’t affect your website’s ranking in a major way. As long as you take measures to adhere to SEO best practices, you’ll continue to rise in the rankings. Remember, the best way to improve is to always prioritize user experience. Here are three great ways to implement strong SEO practices into your day-to-day activities.
1. Demonstrate Expertise
Get specific. There are millions of websites on the Internet, but most of them try to do too many things at once. Instead, hone in on your specific niche and continually demonstrate your expertise in that field. Create content that helps your readers and shows them that you know exactly what you’re talking about. If you specialize in a few different areas, have members of your team that are well versed in each create their own content.
Research the relevant keywords and phrases in your niche and include them in the content that you write. This helps Google recognize your site as relevant when the algorithm is crawling and indexing it. Google will then categorize your site so that it appears in the relevant search results. When you try and master multiple subjects, Google takes notice and will penalize your rankings.
2. Produce Authoritative Content
Authoritative content is content that includes unique perspectives about a field, while still being informative and valuable to your audience. It’s easily digestible, informative, and further helps you demonstrate your expertise. This part is a process, so make sure you’re producing regular, high-quality content and over time it will be seen as authoritative.
3. Build Trust With Your Readers
Finally, you need to make sure that your readers trust what you’re saying. To build trust, you need to avoid using click bait, misleading titles, and make sure that everything you write is accurate and up-to-date. Over time, your readers will respect your honesty and Google will reward you.
At the end of the day, if you fail to track changes and any updates to Google’s algorithm, you’ll find yourself dropping in search engine rankings and organic traffic. This means that your return on investment will decrease because people aren’t being directed to your website. If they’re not directed to your website, your conversions will drop and you’ll see a major drop in overall revenue. To avoid finding yourself in this situation, make it a habit to track Google’s algorithm changes and if you need any help, Plego is here to help.