5 Tips for Keeping up With Google’s Ever-Changing Algorithm

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 - By Leesa Love

It is well-understood by now that Google algorithms have a heavy impact on the success of your website. These algorithms read your content and rank your website accordingly, based on elements like clarity, ease of navigation and keyword use. Through search engine optimization (SEO) you can learn to navigate these algorithms and build a high-ranking website.

These search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. In fact, Google is reported to make around two updates to the algorithms each day, which comes out to around 600 updates per year. The goal of these updates is to lead users to the most relevant and helpful content and weed out any spam sites. As a result, these changes can affect your search visibility and ranking, as well as your revenue. Unfortunately, Google does not always make an announcement when updates are going to occur, so it is important to learn how to track them if you want your content at the top of the search list.

Keeping up with Google is like trying to follow your favorite reality show. If you look away for even a minute, you’re left wondering how your favorite contestant got voted off of the island. In the same way, you may wake up one morning to find your website knocked down to the bottom of the search rankings if you are not prepared. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and tactics designed to help you optimize your website for Google’s algorithms. Here are some strategies to keep your content on point!

1.     Follow SEO experts.

With Google’s constant stream of updates pouring in, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That is why the first step to keeping up with Google is not following every single update yourself. Many SEO blogs and websites are already doing a lot of the hard work for you. Just like reality shows, Google algorithms have avid followers who spend their time tracking and analyzing updates as they occur. These SEO gurus research the largest updates and explain how they may affect your content going forward.

The easiest way to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO news is to check these sites regularly or sync them to your RSS feed. Some websites even produce a newsletter which you can sign up to receive to your email inbox. Either way, remember to take credibility into account when gathering information from these sources.

2.     Make sure the update is credible.

You wouldn’t believe a bit of celebrity gossip without verifying it first, right? This same rule applies to Google updates. Along with tracking changes as they occur, SEO gurus also spend time investigating and trying to predict what updates will come next. Occasionally, rumors of an impending update spread through the SEO industry. This can lead to a panic for content creators, especially those who do not verify their sources before making drastic website changes.

To prevent this from happening to you, take the time to confirm Google update rumors for yourself. This may not be a problem for you if you follow credible SEO sources. However, it is always a good idea to verify the information with a higher authority, when possible.

One such authority is The Google Webmaster Central Blog, which is an official blog run by Google. While this blog doesn’t always announce when major updates are coming, it may be able to provide some helpful insight. This resource contains a wealth of information on the direction Google continues to move in. Social media websites, such as Twitter, can also be a helpful tool for confirming updates. Top Google executives may make announcements about updates right before or after they occur. Once you are sure about an update, the next step is to find out how your website will be affected.

3.     Monitor your website’s SEO data.

Once an algorithm change is confirmed, you still want to wait before altering your website. Instead, spend a few days or even a couple of weeks monitoring your SEO data, to see how your website is weathering the recent changes. While you should always stay on top of your SEO data, comparing the results from before and after an update tells you what changes you need to make. This is an important step because, in some cases, changes might not be necessary. Your search rankings may not be affected at all or they may even improve as a result of the update.

Changes to Google algorithms seem to happen overnight, but adjustments to your website should not. Taking this approach will prevent you from making unnecessary changes. It also gives you time to plan out your strategy in the event that changes are needed. When you’re ready to start making changes, you can move on to the next strategy.

4.     Make one change to your website at a time.

When it comes to updating your SEO strategy, even one small modification can have a large impact. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to make adjustments to your website and content gradually. Just like a science experiment, you want to avoid changing too many variables at one time. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to understand which changes are most effective and which are not worth testing any further. The same is true for SEO implementation.

Since the search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, jumping into a complete website overhaul for each major update is both time-consuming and ineffective. One of the best strategies to meet Google’s ever-changing standards is to choose one element of your site to change first. It is much more effective to monitor the effects of one adjustment at a time. In this way, you can avoid making unnecessary changes and focus on producing new and improved content at the same time.

5.     Focus on the end-goal.

Even with the help of SEO blogs and these other tactics, it can be difficult to fully prepare for a major Google update. However, if you keep the end-goal in mind, you can ensure that you are always headed in the right direction. The overall point of Google’s frequent algorithm adjustments is simple: bringing users to the most relevant content, fast. This means focusing on certain fundamentals, like creating informative and clear content and being mindful of keyword use.

Updates are not meant as a punishment, but rather as an incentive for content creators to constantly focus on the needs and experience of the users instead of on simply climbing the rankings.  As long as you stick to these general SEO rules, your site should remain relatively unscathed by Google SEO updates. This means you can focus on changing the finer details at your own pace and continue creating quality content for your customers.