Google Algorithm Updates – How Do They Affect Your SEO?

As a marketer, it’s important to understand how Google algorithm updates work and how they can affect your SEO efforts.
google algorithm updates
Nathan is the Owner of Nerd Rush. He has extensive experience in website design, ethical SEO practices, Google advertising, and other forms of digital marketing.

In 2020, there were 6.9 billion daily Google searches. These searches can be very helpful for a business that understands how Google works and can make use of search engine optimization (SEO).

While Google can have a great impact on a business by providing free, organic traffic, it can also take it all away in an instant. Many marketers live in fear of Google algorithm updates since, in some cases, they can change a site’s ranking drastically.

What Are Google Algorithms?

A Google algorithm is a complex set of rules that allows the search engine to discover web pages and rank them in search results. Google’s algorithms are incredibly complex and work to sort through and understand billions of web pages that are online.

With the use of algorithms, Google is constantly working to provide the best results possible for any given search query.

What to Expect From Google Algorithm Updates

Whenever Google algorithm updates are released, they can end up shaking things up online in a big way. During Google algorithm updates, the search engine makes some big changes to the complex systems that it uses.

Many website owners find that after a Google algorithm update, many keywords are ranking better, worse, or a combination of both. Some Google algorithm updates can change website rankings significantly while others will do it only subtly instead.

Past Google updates such as Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Bert made a big impact. Many website owners reported big changes in their page rankings as a result of these updates.

How Often Does Google Make Algorithm Updates?

How Often Does Google Make Algorithm Updates?

You might be surprised to learn that Google is rumored to make anywhere from 500 to 600 minor algorithm updates every year. However, you won’t hear much about most of these changes.

Generally, most Google algorithm updates are very small and insignificant and don’t have a major effect on search rankings. However, there are a good number of large algorithm updates each year as well.

There are usually larger updates between 1-5 times per year. Every year is different, however, so it’s important to stay in the loop about trends and to pay attention to what’s happening by following the online Google marketing community.

How Do Google Algorithm Updates Affect SEO?

As an online marketer, it’s important that you pay close attention to Google algorithm updates. Remain aware of when they’re happening.

It’s a great idea to follow the Google Search Central Blog or other SEO blogs to stay in the loop. You might also want to join SEO forums and Facebook groups to stay on top of the latest changes.

Finding out whether or not a Google algorithm update was recently released can help you understand what your site has experienced if it seemed to lose or gain a lot of traffic overnight.

If your search rankings do get impacted, you’ll want to take action to identify and remedy the problems.

Steps To Take After A Google Algorithm Update

Steps to Take After a Google Algorithm Update

So if you find out that there’s been an algorithm update, what should you do? Here are some steps that you should follow.

1.) Check Your Rankings

The first thing that you should do after an algorithm update is to take a look at your website rankings and see if anything has changed.

In addition to using paid SEO tools, one of the best ways to do this is to use the free Google Search Console tool. With the Google Search Console, you can easily monitor the performance of your pages and website over time and find out whether any big jumps occurred.

While slight ups and downs are to be expected on a website, be sure to take note if there are any big changes in your site’s rankings.

2.) Join the Conversation

Once you’ve noticed that your site’s rankings have changed as a result of a Google algorithm update, you should find out everything you can about the update.

You can learn some general information from the Google Search Central Blog. However, it’s often even more beneficial to find out what other marketers and SEO experts are saying about Google algorithm updates.

You can look for this information in various places online including on SEO blogs, online forums, Facebook groups, and Twitter. 

Be sure to pay attention and try to get to the bottom of the changes. Chances are that many other sites besides yours were affected by the update. Other marketers may have already figured out what the sites that were affected had in common.

3.) Pinpoint Important Ranking Factors

Next, you’ll want to try to determine what ranking factors led to your site being impacted.

Spend some time sifting through the rankings data that you have available and carefully consider the conversation surrounding an update. This can help you determine what ranking factors led to your pages losing their rankings.

If you find it difficult to compile and analyze all of your data, it may be time to consult with an SEO company.

Some of the core ranking factors that you might want to consider include website content, page experience, authority, and industry-related signals.

4.) Make Improvements

Once you’ve identified an area that needs improvement, you’ll want to start rethinking your marketing strategy and your website design.

You might need to go back to some of your previous pages and make some major or minor on-page SEO changes to improve ranking factors. This could include improving authority, expanding content, adding media, updating your linking structure, and more.

You’ll need to do the best you can to make informed decisions about how best to proceed with your site going forward and decide what your plan for developing content will be. You might also want to run Google ads for a while to make up for lost traffic.

You’ll need to be patient to notice the effects of your efforts, but with time, you may find that your site’s rankings have improved and that your site has recovered from the impacts of the algorithm update.

Understanding What to Do After Google Algorithm Updates

If you want to successfully market your business online, you need to understand SEO and stay on top of Google algorithm updates. If you find that your site has been affected by an algorithm change, make sure that you get to the bottom of the issue and make the necessary changes to your web presence.

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