Today we are focusing on Google algorithm updates, and giving you the clear facts on why tracking and monitoring these updates should be one of your top priorities.
To give you a quick heads up before you start tracking changes, it’s essential for you to know how Google’s algorithm works. Put simply, Google Search works in three stages, and getting your head round these will turn you into a Google algorithm pro!
Google’s automated “crawlers” are the detectives of the Google Search world. They’re there to discover new URLs and download text, images and videos on those pages, and if there’s an issue with a website, URL or otherwise - they will find it.
The Google index is a large database where Google stores the knowledge that it generates from analysing and processing a new pages’ content and structure. For now, put that in the ‘good to know’ folder.
“Relevancy” is a major goal of Google Search. Making sure that active searchers are getting matched with accurate and relevant content.
To meet this goal, Google will utilise a collection of various factors to match search queries with relevant pages that were previously stored in its index (good to know!) and then provide the results with the best and most appropriate matches.
The process of Google Search always remains the same, however Google frequently updates its algorithm to enhance the quality of search results across the globe. These updates can vary from small and almost unnoticeable, to those of much larger significance that have the possibility to damage, or in the best case scenario lift your site ranking!
Now we know you’re probably thinking, what's the point of these small, unnoticeable updates?
Well, eventhough on most occasions users won’t even realise they are there, these daily updates are providing a HUGE help towards Google with its end goal of improving performance. And ultimately if you go by what Google considers the best practice, your website will be rewarded in time.
Your focus however, should be drawn mainly towards the major updates - known as “core” updates, that are released several times a year. Announcements for these updates will take place either days or weeks before they are rolled out. That’s when you know they are a BIG DEAL!
As mentioned previously, the major updates on Google are announced with sufficient time before they’re released. The reason for this is to allow users to ensure they can take appropriate actions with enough time and update their SEO strategy or content strategy accordingly…
There are plenty of actions you can take yourself to “stay ahead of the game”, and to keep updated with the latest news, we’d suggest the following:
The next top tip is the use of a SERP rank tracker like AccuRanker. This is a key tool that you should definitely be using, as there is absolutely no point expanding your knowledge and staying aware of upcoming updates, if you don’t then track how it will affect your rankings!
You want to be prepared for any significant fluctuations or drops in rankings as quickly as possible so you can discover why this may be happening, and how it can be resolved or carried forward.
It might be a shock to you, but Google is just like all of us, they have both good and bad moods! HOWEVER, the only issue is these moods can affect your rankings. As, the grumpier the mood, the more significant the fluctuations in rankings!
But don’t panic, there is a free SEO tool called Google Grump which helps you track these “moods.” Google’s “moods” range from four different extremes…
These moods are ranked by a numerical figure created through an analysis of keywords and can then guide you to what your next step may need to be… is your mind blown?
Twitter is your best friend when it comes to finding out the “gossip” involving any major updates in the Google Search world. It can provide you with reminders of new, upcoming updates before they are released and also, give an insight to the ins and outs of the impacts these updates have had on other businesses like yours, so you can be prepared for what may be coming your way.
One account we think you should make note of is Google’s official news account, Google Search Central. Here they post regular tweets about the upcoming and recent updates, so get following!
We all know change can be scary, but the announcement of a new update should never ever be feared. After all, knowledge is power!
Imagine a major Google update has just been announced, with a release date set for 2 weeks time. Before your panic begins, stop, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself the following questions…
These questions should help you put the update into perspective and allow you to prepare for any possible ranking fluctuations or necessary alterations to strategies. As we said, a lot of the time these updates can be small and see minimal work shifts.
Following on, once you have gained knowledge surrounding what the updates include, you should then begin to understand the actual impacts that these updates will have on your business.
Whether the impacts are positive or negative (fingers crossed for positive!), an evaluation should be carried out to consider any changes that may be necessary.
As we said earlier, following best practice will always lead to rewards in the long run.
This means that if you make these changes to your strategies, it’s important to constantly keep SEO best practices to mind. Because we know for a fact, that they are the key to opening the door to digital success!
So now you understand the importance of tracking Google Algorithm updates, you may be starting to think that enlisting an expert would be a good idea... Get in touch with our friendly team today who would be more than happy to get you started. We're a leading SEO Agency in Belfast and Glasgow.