Navigating the intricate world of search engine algorithms is a constant challenge, as they undergo frequent shifts and transformations. In a single year, Google introduces numerous changes and updates, with 2022 alone witnessing a total of 10 updates to its search algorithms.
From the product reviews update in March 2022 to the helpful content update in August 2022 and beyond, businesses are constantly confronted with adapting to new changes. The pertinent questions arise: What are these updates all about? How do they impact your position in Google’s search rankings? And, most importantly, should you be concerned about them?
By delving into this guide, you’ll gain insight into the answers to these queries and emerge more proficient in the realm of search engine optimization (SEO).
Unveiling the Inner Workings of Google’s Search Algorithm
Although Google tends to shroud its search algorithms in secrecy to safeguard its competitive advantage, the basics of its operation are understood. The algorithm encompasses a multitude of factors that collectively influence your website’s ranking in Google’s search results. Each of these factors carries a distinct weight and wields varying degrees of influence over your search ranking.
While Google refrains from divulging a comprehensive list of these factors, seasoned SEO specialists and providers of SEO content writing services base their optimization efforts on the three stages of Google Search:
- Crawling: Google employs automated bots, known as “crawlers,” to download internet content, including text, images, and videos.
- Indexing: After downloading content, Google meticulously analyzes and catalogues it within its vast database, referred to as the Google Index.
- Serving: Subsequently, Google presents users with information that aligns with their search query.
Therefore, while augmenting SEO traffic may appear to involve an element of guesswork, it is a far more structured process. Although Google’s list of factors remains undisclosed, insights can be gleaned from its help documents, tools, and announcements. Here are some valuable SEO resources provided by Google:
- SEO Starter Guide: This resource is an excellent starting point for anyone venturing into the intricacies of search engine algorithms. It outlines best practices to facilitate the crawl, indexing, and comprehension of your content by any search engine, not just Google.
- Google Search Essentials: Formerly referred to as Web Master Guidelines, this document offers guidance to website administrators on optimizing content according to Google’s technical prerequisites, spam policies, and essential best practices.
- Google Search Console: A free tool that furnishes insights into Google’s perception of your website, metrics concerning your search performance, and recommendations to enhance SEO traffic.
- Google Core Update List: For the inquisitive, this list encompasses all core updates released since 2020.
Unpacking the Concept of Broad Google Core Updates
Google introduces three distinct categories of algorithm updates:
- Major Fix Updates: Familiar names such as Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon correspond to updates designed to “fix” specific issues within Google’s search algorithms. For instance, the Panda update enhanced search quality by penalizing websites that relied heavily on “copied content.”
- Minor Core Updates: These updates, released regularly by Google, are smaller in scale and remain unannounced. Their subtle changes serve to tweak search algorithms.
- Broad Core Updates: Distinguished by their significant impact on search rankings, these updates are unveiled by Google at the commencement and culmination of their rollout. Given their substantial influence on search performance, they are anticipated to generate notable effects.
In essence, a broad core update signifies a substantial shift in search algorithms. To put it in perspective, Google likens the process to compiling a list of the top 100 movies:
“Imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021… The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.”
Broad core updates serve to rejuvenate search engine algorithms and promote the ranking of “under-rewarded” content in Google Search.
Identifying a broad core update is relatively straightforward if it displays the following characteristics:
- An announcement by the Google Search Liaison (both at the commencement and conclusion of the rollout).
- A naming convention, albeit fairly straightforward (e.g., March 2023 and September 2022 core updates).
Recognizing the Impact of a Broad Core Update on Your Website
Two indicators serve to determine whether a core update has influenced your website:
- Alteration in Organic Website Traffic: Metrics such as impressions and clicks from Google organic search, accessible via tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Search Console, depict changes in organic website traffic. As broad core updates alter the significance of signals across the board, your SEO traffic may experience an impact.
- Shift in Search Rankings: Upon the rollout of broad core updates, webpage positions within search results are reshuffled, potentially leading to higher or lower placements in SERPs for specific websites.
Upon receiving news of a core update release, it is advisable to scrutinize your website metrics and keywords for any anomalies in traffic and rankings.
Strategies for Recovery from a Broad Core Update
If you observe a decline in search performance, it’s time to recalibrate your SEO content strategy. Here are six pointers to aid you in overcoming the challenges posed by updates:
1. Study the Core Update Announcements:
Initiate your approach by thoroughly perusing Google’s announcements via their Search Liaison. While the details of their algorithms are seldom revealed, these announcements occasionally offer hints about the changes. These announcements may not always provide explicit insights, but they are valuable for staying informed.
Screenshot from Twitter
2. Analyze SERPs and Competitors:
Evaluate your rankings post-update rollout and compare them with those of competitors. Examine their content to identify elements that may be absent from your website. This analysis can shed light on discrepancies in content structure and depth of information.
These shifts in ranking provide valuable insights into the events that took place, enabling you to make necessary adaptations.
To effectively audit your competitors and conduct a comprehensive comparison of your website with theirs, it is advisable to engage an SEO specialist consultancy equipped with the necessary tools for such analysis.
3. Prioritize User Intent:
Reflect on Google’s help documents, which extend beyond content marketers to anyone striving to comprehend Google’s optimization philosophy centered on user intent. Content relevance hinges on aligning with user queries and addressing specific categories of intent: Navigational, Informational, Transactional, and Commercial Investigation.
Google’s aim is to increase the usage of its product, prompting it to prioritize the delivery of the most pertinent outcomes aligned with user intent.
Consider the content you are crafting.
Are you effectively addressing pertinent queries? Are you presenting the accurate type of information?
Google’s significant updates to its core algorithms fine-tune the provision of pertinent data, underscoring the importance of generating content that remains pertinent.
A valuable approach to gauge relevance involves referring to Google’s instructive content guidelines. These guidelines offer self-assessment questions that guide content creators in adhering to content that is both relevant and beneficial.
4. Adhere to Quality Content Guidelines:
Refer to Google’s quality content guidelines, with a particular focus on the E-E-A-T framework: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. The guidelines are designed to ensure quality and credibility in content. Regularly align your content with these guidelines.
Screenshot from: Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines
Certainly, if you’ve engaged the services of SEO content writing professionals, it’s likely that you’re already aligning with these guidelines.
Nevertheless, there’s also the potential that Google has recognized more exemplary E-E-A-T content. Therefore, it’s advisable to consistently collaborate with local SEO services to assess whether your content is in line with Google’s criteria and compares favorably to industry competitors.
5. Update Your SEO Content Strategy:
Given the dynamic nature of Google’s algorithms, adapt your strategies accordingly. Engage with SEO experts who possess the agility to respond to algorithmic changes and industry trends. An agile strategy is vital to maintaining a robust online presence.As an illustration, you can employ an SEO dashboard to gain insights into your present rankings. An SEO dashboard usually exhibits a format similar to this:
Case Study: Mobile App Development Company
The finest search engine optimization company doesn’t rely on a fixed strategy; instead, it adjusts to evolving algorithms and industry trends. Therefore, make certain that you collaborate with professionals who possess agile methods and a comprehensive comprehension of algorithmic shifts.
6. Engage with a Reputable SEO Partner:
Enlisting the services of a seasoned SEO provider is invaluable in adapting to algorithmic shifts. Leadshouse is a trusted partner offering comprehensive SEO solutions, including local SEO services, SEO content writing services, link-building, analytics setup optimization, competitive analysis, and more.
Embrace Algorithmic Changes with Confidence
Algorithmic shifts may disrupt the status quo, but they also present opportunities for growth. By adhering to Google’s guidelines, generating quality content, focusing on user intent, and partnering with proficient SEO experts, you can navigate algorithmic changes with confidence. Trust in Leadshouse to guide you through the intricate terrain of SEO, ensuring your online presence