Google updates its algorithms quite often. In fact, if we visit Google’s algorithm update history, it is easy to note they roll out new updates multiple times a month, and several times a year. Some updates include simple changes in the aesthetics of the search results page, whereas others include the introduction of new ranking factors.
Performing SEO on a website is continuous work, a routine. Actions made today will only reflect on your traffic down the road, and it takes patience and persistence to continue. However, things out of our control can happen and ruin all the methodical and daily work we’ve done for our website’s SEO: the drastic changes in Google’s algorithm.
Does That Mean I Should Change My SEO Strategy Every Time Google Releases a New Algorithm Update?
While it is good to pay attention to these updates, you shouldn’t worry about having to change your entire SEO campaign. Google Algorithm updates represent new ranking opportunities and criteria that SEOs should comply with, which is why SEO is a continuous strategy.
So, Why Does Google Update Its Algorithms So Frequently?
Google constantly releases algorithm updates in order to maintain its superb online advertising and search services. Several things can go wrong when running a business online, causing it to shut doors unexpectedly. When this happens to a brick-and-mortar store, it is easy to see they have officially closed down; however, how can you tell if an online business is still operating or not?
That’s where Bots come in! Google has “crawling robots” that go around discovering and inspecting websites 24/7. If Googlebots can’t get to your website, it will never be indexed. This means if Google can’t see your website content, then it won’t rank your website either. You can avoid all this stress by performing technical SEO strategies to ensure your website is visible to crawler Bots, loads at fast speed, and depicts a true representation of your brand image.
Once your website is discoverable, Bots will analyze the layout and structure of your business, indicating how Google should be evaluating and ranking your website. Clues such as breadcrumbs, structured markup and sitemap can help guide the Bots through your content, pointing out the most important pages and blocking the ones Google shouldn’t consider.
Why Are Google Algorithm Updates Necessary?
What makes Google better than Bing, among other search engines, is the speed, accuracy and quality of the content it provides in its search results page. Think about it: if the search results page displayed links to websites that had little to do with what you actually searched for, or if it took too long to display it results, wouldn’t you try a different service? We would!
That being said, Google is looking for the best content available online, so it is safe to say that “content is king”! Quality content must be helpful, informational, readable and digestible – not just fluff. The general rule of thumb here is: the better the content, the higher are the chances it will rank on the first page of search engine results.
Choose Quality Over Quantity – Always!
Since its inception, Google has been fighting off cheating practices of rank manipulation. This includes link schemes, link spamming, hidden keywords and keyword stuffing. Such practices are known as “black-hat SEO” and are used to boost website rankings. Most people would like to know how long it takes a website to rank on Google, but the truth is there are no pre-determined deadlines for search engines; trying to bypass the process will only work against you.
“More” content doesn’t necessarily mean “better” content, which is why Google rewards websites that offer value to its users, punishing and removing the schemers from search engine results pages.
What Should I Do When Google Releases Algorithm Updates?
Ultimately, Google relies on a broad network of trust indicators that help determine the most reliable and trustworthy sources available online. Besides quality content, another main trust indicator is the amount and quality of links pointing back to your website, known as backlinks. The same rule mentioned above applies here: choose quality over quantity! You can always find people offering hundreds and thousands of “quality” backlinks to your website for very little investment, but if some of them are “spammy” and not trustworthy, Google will mark your website as untrusted, and will remove it from its search engine results page.
Once Google has established your website as spam, it will require double, triple, or quadruple amount of effort to help it bounce back. Quality backlinks are directly associated with Domain Authority (DA), a metric calculated by evaluating linking root domains, total links and more that helps predict how a website will rank on search engines, like Google. Thus, for effective SEO strategy, building and managing the link profile of a website is crucial to improve its domain authority.
While rankings will constantly oscillate, your position on search engines results pages should not shift drastically if you follow these principles. Whatever you do, DO NOT panic: poorly constructed ideas and actions will negatively affect your SEO strategy; if you are applying white-hat SEO strategies, just be patient.