It’s safe to say that Google’s algorithm updates can sometimes throw your already thriving business website for a loop. Unfortunately, if you don’t stay on top of the search engine’s changes to their complex ranking system, you can witness your website’s position plummet and its traffic along with it.
While security tweaks and maintenance may have little to no impact on your website’s success, algorithm updates can cause major issues for your site, despite being designed to improve search results for users. Released around twice a year, Google’s core algorithm updates can have severely negative effects on your livelihood which can take several months for your website to recover from.
Editor-in-Chief at NoDepositFriend.com Steven Ellis runs the content of this strong affiliate site, and knows all too well about this song and dance:
‘Well, this is something we always try to prepare ourselves for. Of course the key word being ‘try’, because the reality is, you can never really know what to expect until Google rolls out its latest update in all its glory. Then, and only then, can you truly understand how it’ll impact your site. Sometimes it works in our favor, other times, not so much. The fact is, part of our job is being able to adapt quickly and of course, roll with the punches. Having a good content and SEO strategy in place also doesn’t hurt!’
As such, it’s essential to know how to stay on top of the changes so you can adapt and avoid as much damage as possible. Keep reading to find out how you can navigate the updates and pivot your strategy to ensure your website bounces back.
Sure, having your website’s traffic take a major hit could evoke some unpleasant emotions but it’s important to not make any rash decisions. Panicking and making drastic changes to your website could lead to irrecoverable damage. The first step would be to take a deep breath and remember that Google takes weeks to roll out all their updates and they are often filled with a lot of wild ranking changes that are usually temporary. As such, if you’re lucky you could see your original ranking restored within a few weeks or in some cases even increase.
So, don’t react until you are sure that the update is completely rolled out to avoid some unpleasant surprises. Just remember, no one should make business decisions based on emotions you need to adopt a practical approach to ensure no detrimental mistakes are made.
Identify Your Problem Areas
Now that you have confirmed that the full Google algorithm update has been released, it’s time to assess your content and identify what has been impacted by the changes. You can access helpful data through Google’s Search Console and Google Analytics which are free to use and help you determine the pages that performing badly as a result of the update.
Get organized by creating a spreadsheet with links to all the identified pages which have experienced a sharp traffic drop. This will help you to visualize what needs to be done and will prevent you from feeling too overwhelmed.
Improve Your Content
The reason some of your pages are not performing well is that Google’s new update has categorized them as less relevant than that of your competitors. As such it is essential to review the current content that occupies the pages and see what needs to be updated to ensure that is in line with the Google algorithm updates.
Make your website stand out to Google for the right reasons by populating your pages with timely content that is both informative and relevant. Fresh is always best so don’t fall into the trap of recycling old articles and blog posts, make your content a priority and keep it up to date. Review previously published content and update any out-of-date or inaccurate information, they may have.
Swap out your short and snappy content for the in-depth topic explorations that Google favours. One way how to improve your page rankings is by going through your current content and seeing how you add value by going into more detail regarding that specific topic. You need to also keep in mind that although you want to use the content to gain a better ranking, you are also writing for humans not search engines, so think about what they would like to read.
If all seems lost, a surefire way to determine where you are going wrong following the algorithm updates is by going through Google’s relevance questions. These are a list of questions designed to make you reflect on your content to see if it is meeting the update’s requirements. Additionally, they will also help to inform you what changes need to be done so you can adjust your content accordingly.