Google rolled out algorithm updates to its search engine in August, September and October. These updates are part of its regular efforts to enhance search quality and prevent manipulation of its systems. For some web owners, the new updates can suspend their website. And for others, it may just be fluctuations in their search rankings. Whatever the scale of impact, every web admin should stay vigilant and adapt their strategies accordingly.
In light of this, DMi Agency’s Head of Growth and SEO, Habeeb AbdulRauf, spoke with Ruth Adeyemi, the founder of an SEO agency (SARMLife), on a recent episode of The DMi Show. In this blog post, you will find some insights shared by Ruth during the webinar to help SEO strategists minimise the potential adverse effects of the recent Google updates. These insights are drawn from her real-world experiences in dealing with past core algorithm updates.
But, before you read on, the spoiler alert you need to know, as Ruth emphasised, is that you can always prevent your website from being heavily impacted by Google updates by ‘taking the pain’ to write content that addresses every question the audience potentially has.
Why does Google release Core updates for Website Rankings?
Google’s updates have one main goal in mind: improving the experience for users. They want to ensure people find what they’re looking for and avoid spammy or irrelevant content. In an era of AI-generated content, the key is to promote good-quality content that answers users’ questions in a straightforward manner. It’s about making the internet a better place for everyone by providing helpful content that users seek/need.
How can website owners know how much the latest Google core updates impact their sites?
There’s not any other way than to track.
Web admins’ most important responsibility is to track the status of their website. Although there are various ways to achieve this, the industry standard is website monitoring tools. To effectively follow your website’s performance, it is recommended to set up a Google Search Console and Google Analytics account and assess your overall website performance at least once every three months. Regular tracking before updates allows for meaningful data comparisons.
What are the top tips to prevent the negative impact of Google’s Algorithm Updates?
As new updates come in, some ranking tips, such as keyword stemming, are losing relevance, while others –mentioned below–are gaining increasing significance. Google is now upgrading its automated ranking systems to clamp down on content created solely for search engine ranking, or “search-engine first” content. Here are the top three tips from Ruth to help you manage these changes and maintain your search rankings:
1. Prioritise E-E-A-T: E-E-A-T is a Google concept for ranking in search. The acronym stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is Google’s way of saying that the credibility of the content creator is as vital as the content itself. In line with Google’s recommendation to use E-E-A-T as a standard to gauge website quality, Ruth advised that you focus your content exclusively on topics within your expertise.
“If you’re not an expert in digital marketing or SEO, it’s better not to create content on those topics to avoid harming your website’s ranking. If you need to create content in these areas, invite experts to talk about it”, she recommends.
In digital marketing, expertise might involve having a deep understanding of many digital marketing strategies, while (valuable) experience means the number of successful campaigns you’ve managed. Both can be showcased in your blog content to be favoured by Google’s ranking systems or, better still, to appear trustworthy to your site visitors.
In addition to establishing these E.E.A.T in your blog content, you should continuously update your About Page to reflect your years of experience and expertise accurately. Outdated information, like claiming “5 years of experience” after several years have passed, will not cut it. Keep it current to showcase your ongoing commitment to your field.
2. Keyword Research: Aligning your website’s keywords with search queries is not out of the picture. In fact, it remains a fundamental strategy for improving your online visibility, attracting the right audience to your site and reducing vulnerability to algorithm updates.
3. Backlinks: According to Google, getting links to your website from a reputable source is a top-ranking factor. These links act like votes of confidence in your site. Therefore, having links from trusted websites can help protect your site from potential adverse impacts when Google updates its algorithms, which are usually focused on prioritising quality content.
Watch the full Webinar here: Live.
How to get back on track after a Website Ranking drops from Algorithm Updates?
1. Diagnose the Issue: Go back to your analytics tools to figure out the problem. Aside from the analytics tools mentioned above, ‘Google Grump’ by Accuranker is a new tool that can help you recognise what makes Google become “grumpy” about your website and general Google algorithm mood at a point in time from each country.
2. Analyse the problem: The problem would differ. But it could be as simple as checking old contents and seeing if you need to update, delete or combine your contents. Additionally, assess the impact of the algorithm update on your site’s performance, looking at factors such as keyword rankings, organic traffic, and user engagement. Google also recommends that you ask content and quality questions to help you understand if your content is helpful to your users.
3. Implement Solutions: Solve the problems accordingly. It could be by implementing content updates, refining keyword strategies, or addressing technical issues. If problematic backlinks exist, disavow low-quality ones and seek high-quality alternatives.
4. Prevent Recurrence: Make intentional efforts to stop the problem from happening again by following the best practices and staying in the loop of Google updates.