How I stay ahead of Google algorithm updates. Have you ever noticed that Google is constantly making algorithm changes? The worst part is that they don’t always give you a ton of notice when they finally roll one out.
The bottom line is you simply can’t afford to ignore Google or the many algorithm updates that are to come in the future. It’s important to understand that Google’s ranking system actually consists of multiple algorithms. It’s not just one easy-to-understand system. In fact, there are over 200 components that factor into Google’s algorithm.
The next time you hear an update has been rolled out, imagine it’s an entire interconnected process, not just one simple lever being pulled. Here are a few essential tips for staying ahead of Google’s algorithm update so you’ll never get left behind.
RESOURCES & LINKS:
Google Search Essentials: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/essentials
Semrush Sensor: https://www.semrush.com/sensor/
Crazy Egg: https://www.crazyegg.com/
Step one, set up Google Alerts. Tracking every single update that Google makes can be exhausting, but you can’t afford to miss out on the big core algorithm update. With Google Alerts, you’ll receive a notification directly in your inbox whenever algorithm updates are mentioned online, giving you enough time to prepare and tweak your SEO strategy if needed mentally.
Another great way to stay on top of algorithm changes is to follow Google Search Liaison on Twitter. Its official account essentially does what Google Alerts does, but tracks social media mentions instead, and while we’re on the subject of Google, user tools such as Search Console and Use Google Analytics, they can help you identify unusual traffic activity as well as random spikes or dips in conversion.
Major traffic or conversions changes could indicate that your SEO has been affected by an algorithm change. It could be positive or negative. From there, you want to check out blogs, like search engine Roundtable and search engine Land, which typically covers what’s happening, and I also cover them on neilpatel.com.
Step two, avoid Blackhat SEO practices. It’s got a spooky name for a pretty good reason. Some of these practices might just help you gain a short term advantage, but it won’t last long and it could even lead to penalty which could seriously harm your business’s long term chances of ranking high on Google. You might even get blacklisted. Google’s pretty smart. They can recognize when you’re up to no good. Instead, read through Google Search Essentials.
Step three, optimize the user experience. Every update has one overarching goal: to show users the sites they love that provide the most helpful information and that are most beneficial. Look, a bad user experience can be disastrous for your traffic.
Ensure you also have a comprehensive internal linking structure, a fast-loading website, and quality content. You can use tools like DeepCrawl, BuzzSumo, Found, and more to see how your website is performing, and you can use tools like Crazy Egg to create a heat map that shows you where people are clicking on your website and where they don’t, and you can use this data to improve your user experience as well.
Step four, keep your content fresh. I did not follow Google updates that much. Why? Because they happen so often and so quickly that it’s almost impossible for me to anticipate everything that Google will change fully. What I did was I started prioritizing creating exceptional, user-friendly content and stuff that my audience actually wants to read.
Step five, use tools that determine what updates are affecting your website. Notice a decline in traffic as of lately? It might not be a random fluke. It might have been an algorithm change. Here are two tools that can help you identify what the heck went wrong.
The first is check out Google Search Console. It contains a ton of awesome resources that you can use to diagnose common performance issues and identify potential algorithm penalties.
Then the other tool that you have, Semrush Sensor. This tool breaks down what is changing for each industry when it comes to algorithm updates.
With these five strategies, you should be good to go and ready for whatever Google throws your way, and if you want even more help, check out my ad agency, NP Digital, where we help companies with their Google problems and heck, all their digital marketing problems.
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