Keeping track of Google algorithm updates will help keep your business at the top of search pages
A website is not just the face of your business. It is also the means to get more customers, build your brand, and enhance your reach and reputation. To get the most from their web presence, every business must understand the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of making your website rank as high as possible in Google when someone searches for whatever you sell, promote, or talk about. Where your business shows up in a Google search is determined by a Google algorithm updates.
Getting and staying ranked takes a lot of time and effort. But once you achieve top search engine rankings, there is a lot that you stand to gain. However, maintaining the top position is not easy either because Google is constantly improving and refining its algorithms in order to give users the most accurate and relevant information. So, it is important to stay up-to-date with Google’s ever changing algorithms.
What is an Google Algorithm Update?
Google search algorithm is a complex set of rules that allows Google to find, rank and return the most relevant pages for a specific search query. Google’s ranking system is made up of multiple algorithms that take into account various factors such as relevance, usability and quality of the web page. In short, Google algorithms decide how far up your website appears on any Search Engine Results Page. Google constantly updates its algorithms to improve the search performance and provide a better user experience. Some of the crucial Google Algorithm updates that have happened over the years include (the list is far from exhaustive).
Notable Algorithm Updates
Florida (2003): This update marked the end of black hat SEO, which involved tricking the system with tactics such as keyword stuffing. This was the first major and noticeable Google algorithm update.
Panda (2011): It rewarded original content and accurate information and de-ranked poor quality, spammy or plagiarized content.
Pigeon (2014): This made sure that local businesses ranked higher within their service area. It returned better location based results.
RankBrain (2015): It uses machine learning to deliver the most relevant results to searchers.
Mobilegeddon (2015): This enabled Google to rank mobile friendly websites better.
Hummingbird (2017): A major update that permitted the search algorithm. Hummingbird helps understand the meaning behind searches by understanding the context behind them.
MobileFirst (2018): Earlier, Google would mainly crawl the desktop version of the website, but with this update, it started crawling the mobile website first.
As you can see in the above examples, Google algorithm updates are all about engaging the search results. These updates can have a huge impact on the way users find you online. So, anyone who wishes to make the most of their online presence should take Google algorithm seriously. Many people may find constant Google algorithm updates an annoyance and a hassle. Nonetheless, you need to remember that Google is just trying to connect businesses with relevant parties more efficiently.
Why Businesses Need to Track Updates?
As a business owner, you may wonder why you need to track Google Algorithm updates. It may not be practical for you to track all algorithm updates. Google tweaks their algorithm all the time. However, you need to be aware of the major updates that happen a few times a year. A good policy is to use Google Search Console and Analytics and check the reports monthly. If you see a major drop in rankings, it could be due to a core update or major change in Google algorithm. In order to push your rankings back up, you need to identify the algorithm update that affected your rankings and then make necessary changes to your website.
Failing to keep up with the Google algorithm updates may lead to lost traffic and conversions. Search visibility, search ranking, brand awareness and revenue can be significantly and adversely impacted. So, it is essential to keep track of all major Google algorithm updates. There are websites and blogs that you can follow to stay up-to-date on Google algorithm changes. You can also use tools such as MozCast, Panguin and others to track changes.
What to do after an update?
Whenever a major Google Algorithm update happens, do not panic. Check your analytics and see how the update has impacted your website rankings. If you see a change in your ranking make sure the change is due to the algorithm update and not something else. Do your research and make adjustments to your SEO strategy as necessary.
For a business owner, all this may be too overwhelming. It is best to leave your website and SEO in the hands of a professional who would ensure that your website is always up-to-date and ranking high for relevant search terms.