Search engine algorithms pose a complex challenge, continuously morphing and evolving, which makes staying abreast of them a formidable task. Google, for instance, introduces numerous alterations and enhancements each year. In the year 2022 alone, Google updated its search algorithms on ten separate occasions.
From the product reviews revamp in March 2022 to the helpful content update in August 2022, businesses grapple with a plethora of novel adjustments.
So, what precisely do these updates entail? How do they impact your standing on Google Search? And should you be concerned about them?
After engaging with this guide, you’ll possess the insights to these inquiries and a heightened proficiency in the realm of search engine optimization (SEO).
Functioning of Google’s Search Algorithm:
Google shrouds its search algorithms in a veil of secrecy, and understandably so, as this forms a cornerstone of their competitive edge. Nonetheless, we possess rudimentary knowledge about how Google’s search algorithm operates.
The algorithm comprises a multitude of factors influencing a website’s ranking on Google Search. Each of these elements carries distinct weightage and exerts a varied range of effects on search ranking.
While Google refrains from disclosing these factors, SEO specialists and providers of SEO content writing services generally focus on optimizing content in line with the three stages of Google Search:
- Crawling: Google employs automated bots, termed “crawlers,” to download online content, including text, images, and videos.
- Indexing: Subsequent to content download, Google evaluates and stores the material within its extensive database, referred to as the Google Index.
- Serving: Users receive information from Google that aligns with their query, as determined by Google’s judgment.
Does augmenting SEO traffic amount to mere conjecture? Absolutely not.
While Google refrains from explicitly revealing its factor list, we can glean insights into how content is ranked through its guidance documents, tools, and announcements. Here are a few SEO resources offered by Google:
- SEO Starter Guide: Tailored for novices entering the realm of search engine algorithms, this guide furnishes optimal practices facilitating easy content “crawling, indexing, and comprehension” for any search engine, not exclusively Google.
- Google Search Essentials: Formerly named Web Master Guidelines, this resource aids web administrators in optimizing their content to align with Google’s technical requisites, spam policies, and essential best practices.
- Google Search Console: A complimentary tool, it furnishes insights into Google’s perspective of your website, metrics related to your search performance, and suggestions to augment SEO traffic.
- Google Core Update List: For the inquisitive, this list encompasses all core updates released since 2020.
Defining a Comprehensive Google Core Update:
Google dispenses three types of algorithm updates:
- Major Fix Updates: You might recognize names like Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon updates. These are labeled updates that rectify glitches in Google’s search algorithms. For instance, the Panda update enhanced search quality by penalizing content-laden websites featuring duplicate material.
- Minor Core Updates: These are smaller updates released by Google on an unscheduled basis. They remain undisclosed since they typically entail minor adjustments to the search algorithms.
- Broad Core Updates: These updates exert significant influence on search rankings. Because they hold the potential to markedly impact search performance, Google announces these updates at their initiation and upon their completion.
A broad core update denotes a substantial overhaul of search algorithms, but what does “substantial” signify?
Google likens a broad core update to reshuffling the top 100 movies list:
“An apt analogy to elucidate how a core update functions is imagining compiling a list of the top 100 movies of 2021… The roster will evolve, and films previously higher on the list descending isn’t indicative of their inferiority. Instead, superior films are now taking precedence.”
In essence, it’s Google’s approach to introducing variety and “refreshing” its search engine algorithms, thereby granting “under-rewarded” content an opportunity to rank higher on Google Search.
Recognition of a broad core update is swift if it exhibits the following traits:
- Announcement by Google Search Liaison (at the commencement and culmination of the rollout).
- Naming of the update, though rather straightforward (e.g., March 2023 and September 2022 core updates).
Assessment of Impact from a Broad Core Update:
Discerning whether a core update has impacted you hinges on two indicators:
- Alteration in Organic Website Traffic: If you employ tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Search Console, this metric depicts the count of impressions and clicks derived from organic Google searches. Given that broad core updates rebalance the weightage of signals, your SEO traffic might undergo modification.
- Shift in Search Rankings: During the rollout of broad core updates, webpage positions are reshuffled, potentially causing some websites to ascend or descend in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) hierarchy.
Once notified of a core update’s release, scrutinize your keywords and website metrics to detect any anomalies in traffic and rankings.
Navigating Recovery after a Broad Core Update:
Should you encounter a dip in search performance, it’s time to recalibrate your SEO content strategy. Presented below are six recommendations to traverse the update-induced challenge:
1. Scrutinize Core Update Announcements:
The foremost action entails examining Google’s announcements made through their Search Liaison. Despite their penchant for not divulging extensive algorithm details, these announcements sometimes provide subtle hints about changes. It’s prudent to flag them for future reference.
Screenshot from Twitter
2. Analyze SERPs and Competitors:
Subsequent to update rollout, assess your rankings. How did you fare? How were your positions altered on Google’s SERP? An effective method involves analyzing competitor content to identify missing aspects in your own. This could encompass better-structured content or more comprehensive information. SEO tools offer insights into ranking alterations, exemplified by a multi-location company monitoring Google Search rankings across various locations.
Case study: Multiple Location Restoration and Reconstruction Firm
3. Prioritize User Intent:
Reference Google’s help documents, designed not only for content marketers and local SEO services but to elucidate Google’s focus on user intent. Search queries are driven by user intent, categorized into navigational, informational, transactional, and commercial investigation types. Google’s objective is to provide the most pertinent results, which underscores the necessity of crafting content aligned with user intent.
4. Adhere to Quality Content Guidelines:
Leverage Google’s quality content guidelines, with its E-E-A-T framework (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) at the core. Google engages “quality raters” to evaluate search results against E-E-A-T criteria. Collaborate with local SEO services to ascertain content alignment with these guidelines and industry rivals.
Screenshot from: Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines
5. Revamp Your SEO Content Strategy:
Given the ever-evolving nature of Google’s algorithms, your strategies should similarly remain dynamic. Collaborate with SEO specialists and local search engine optimization services to extract best practices and trends from competitors. Transform these insights into actionable measures to augment ranking and attract organic traffic.
Case Study: Mobile App Development Company
6. Engage an Agile SEO Approach:
Engaging the services of a search engine optimization company entails embracing an agile approach. Collaborate with experts possessing a profound comprehension of algorithmic shifts and industry trends, thereby enabling adaptable strategies to weather changes.
Selecting an Optimal Search Engine Optimization Company
Algorithmic modifications, while unwelcome, are an intrinsic facet of the digital landscape, even within Google. The prudent course is to uphold fidelity to Google’s guidelines and your commitment to furnishing valuable information. Rather than producing trivial content, prioritize generating content that resonates with your audience.
Leadshouse stands as a dependable partner for digital marketing and SEO needs across diverse sectors. Our comprehensive suite of SEO solutions encompasses local search engine optimization services, SEO content writing services, link-building services, optimization of analytics and tracking setups, as well as competitive analysis.
Initiate your journey towards enhanced website optimization and content quality alongside a dedicated SEO specialist from Leadshouse. Visit our website today!