Our friends at Google are constantly tweaking their algorithm, changing things up in minor ways hundreds of times each year. These minor updates are no big deal and don’t really have a major impact on businesses and their search engine optimization. Google is also known to roll out several core algorithm updates during the year – each with the potential to shift how we approach SEO.
Most of the time, Google stays pretty quiet about their algorithm updates. It’s near impossible to get confirmation about most updates from the tight-lipped search engine giant. Still, every so often they’ll give us an affirmative nod and confirm the legitimacy of an algorithm update. This is the case with their recent core algorithm update that rolled out this past March.
The question on the minds of digital marketers and businesses everywhere is how to respond to a major core algorithm update – not just for this one, but the proper way to respond to any major shift in algorithm priorities. Is it better to react swiftly and defensively, or should you just hang back, chill and see how it all plays out?
First Reaction to a Core Algorithm Update
Search engine marketing is essential for today’s businesses. Consumers are turning to the internet as their preferred tool for getting acquainted with businesses, building relationships and investing in those that meet their needs and expectations. Without SEO, it’s impossible to reach out and engage with the audience that’s going to spark growth for your business.
Businesses just like yours get elbow deep into SEO, learning all they can and optimizing their strategies the best they know-how. With SEO, you always have a lot of balls in the air, so it can really cause some disruption when Google throws a wrench into the mix.
There are generally two approaches that we see businesses take. The first is to immediately enter panic mode, scouring the internet for any morsel of information about what Google expects from businesses for them to earn a spot on the coveted page one of search results.
The second approach is to not do anything, but instead let things play out and see if and where the algorithm update had an impact on their current digital strategy.
Which is the proper way to react to a Google core algorithm update? In most cases, the answer is somewhere in the middle.
It’s important to not believe and react to everything you read about an algorithm update, but you don’t necessarily want to assume it won’t affect you either. Learning what you can from reputable sources and keeping a cautious eye on analytics is almost always the best strategy.
How Should Businesses React to the Most Recent Algorithm Update?
Even with Google confirming the broad core algorithm update, there’s still a ton of speculation and misinformation floating around about what the update includes, who could be affected and how to react. Since we don’t have clear details on which ranking factors were or weren’t affected by the update, it’s hard to separate truth from fiction.
Considering that there’s already quite a bit of positive feedback surrounding the update – with some businesses noticing an almost immediate boost in traffic – it’s best to take a cautionary approach to making any immediate changes to your SEO strategy. Right now, we’re in a crucial wait and see period and reactionary tactics could backfire.
That said, if you have noticed that your traffic has dropped off and it can’t be attributed to any other factors, it’s smart to investigate what’s going on and make changes sooner rather than later.
Where to Put the Focus
Let’s say that you’ve seen a bit of a drop-off and you want to turn the trend around before it has a significant impact on your business. Where should you focus your efforts?
Google has mentioned that its algorithm updates are meant to give a boost to previously under-rewarded sites rather than punish anyone. If you’ve seen a drop in performance, it isn’t necessarily that you’re doing something wrong. It’s far more likely that somebody else is just knocking it out of the park and getting a pat on the back for it.
This means that you need to look at what you could be doing better, and considering the weight that Google is placing on UX, evaluating your contributions to a positive user experience is a great launching point.
Content should be one of the main areas you devote your attention, whether you’ve been directly affected by the core algorithm update or not.
Content is one of the main tools a business has for establishing authority and trust while adding value to their audience’s experience. Quality SEO infused content is also how you’re going to show up in top search engine results. Consider if your content is designed to provide a response to search queries and how well you’re matching the search intent of your audience. If you can satisfy their search intent, then you’ve won a major battle.
Aside from that, the smartest thing you can do is just keep staying on track with best practices for SEO. For instance, working on building quality backlinks, investing in professional web design that considers the importance of page speed and mobile friendliness, and cultivating a reputation of trust, transparency and authority for your business.
Working with the Team for SEO Success
Whenever a major core algorithm rolls out, it creates a temporary disruption in how we approach SEO. Your hands are already full of managing and growing a business, so why take on the challenge of SEO when there’s a team of professionals ready and equipped to help?
We offer a full range of online solutions for your business, including an up-to-date approach to search engine optimization, full service website support and other digital marketing. When you want to see results, we’ve got you covered. Contact JLB today to learn more about Google’s recent core algorithm update and our strategy for elevating your business to the top result in search engines.