Every once in a while, Google updates its algorithm. Google’s search algorithms are a complex system. It sorts through billions of web pages to give you the most useful and relevant results that contain the information you need in less than a second.
Google’s ranking system is a series of algorithms designed to analyze the following: the meaning of your query, the relevance of the webpages by checking on the keywords, quality of content, the usability of the webpages, and context and settings. These algorithms dictate which pages will show up in search engine results pages.
On some occasions, Google rolls out a primary or core update that significantly impacts its SERP. Last May 4, 2020, Google rolled out its latest core update.
It caused some uproar in the ranking of websites. Your website optimisation company, which should continuously be tracking your traffic, can tell you if your traffic had gone up or down after the update.
Protecting Your Website from the Effects of Google’s Core Updates
You cannot stop Google from updating its algorithms, but you can prepare your website for one. The top industries that were affected during the lastest update were Travel, Real Estate, Health, Pets and Animals, and People and Society. The least affected sectors were News, Sports, Arts and Entertainment, Home and Garden, and Business and Industrial. Big sites such as Spotify.com and LinkedIn.com experienced a dip in their rankings. So how do you keep your website protected from the effects of Google’s core updates?
1. Update old content.
It is essential to add new content to your site to stay relevant. Most companies do this by publishing weekly blog articles. However, you must also ensure that your old content remains relevant and usable. Go through your past posts and refresh them. Take away irrelevant information and rewrite if you must to make them useful.
The key is you must make your old blog articles relevant to your readers. If the content is so outdated, you can delete and redirect or rewrite it completely. You can also add media to make the content more useful and easy to read. Fix any dead links on your site to improve your readers’ experience. It will also help if you review and fix your site’s thin content.
When assessing your content, look at the following factors:
- Content and Quality. Does your content have original information? Does it provide a substantial and comprehensive description of the topic? Does the headline offer a useful and helpful summary?
- Expertise. Is the content written by an expert or an enthusiast? Is it free from factual errors?
- Presentation and Production. Is the content free from any spelling and grammatical issues? Is it written well, or does it sound sloppy? Does the content contain an excessive amount of ads? Is it readable in mobile devices?
- Comparative. Does your page provide substantial and useful content compared with other sites? Was it written to serve your site visitors or solely for SEO purposes?
You may also need to review Google’s search quality guidelines to ensure that your website adheres to what Google wants and expects.
2. Fix any SEO errors.
Check your title tags and meta descriptions for any duplicates.
Now, if you have experienced low rankings and a dip in your usual traffic, do not fret. The experts from your website optimisation company will assess your situation and how deeply you were affected. They will check for any existing SEO errors and apply the fix needed.
3. Maintain a good and healthy set of backlinks.
Websites apply backlinks to help their SEO. It’s common practice. Backlinks can help you rank higher in Google’s search results pages. However, not all backlinks can help you. Many sites that saw a dip during the latest core update had weak or unnatural links.
Three things can happen when you have backlinks: your rankings improve, your rankings remain the same, or your rankings decline. Your rankings may suffer if you have spammy backlinks or backlinks that were created purely for SEO. Google has this to say in its Quality Guidelines:
“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”
Creating excellent and relevant content is the key to get high-quality and relevant backlinks. The more useful and authoritative your content is, the higher the chances that another site will link to it.
Some link building techniques to avoid include comment spams, forum spams, links from bad neighbourhood sites, and excessive link building.
Google’s core updates occur every few months. They do small updates every once in a while to their search algorithms that are not noticed. It is essential to practice white hat SEO if you do not want to be penalised by Google’s algorithm updates. Keep the integrity and relevance of your site intact at all times.