Google updating their algorithm is not actually big news. In fact, by the time you finish reading this, they may have already done it again. The algorithm changes on a daily basis and is done in order to give users the best experience, serving the most valuable content and ensuring that users are given the answers and information they need. 99% of the updates are unlikely to have any impact on your site.
But the Google Core update…
Every so often, Google carries out what is known as the Core Update. The basic principle is the same as it is every day: changes to the algorithm. But the reason why Google has begun to announce the Core Updates is because the impact is often more noticeable.
There is no telling when the Core Updates will be rolled out or even what the updates will involve or how your website will be impacted. They typically occur once every two to six months and take effect within around two weeks.
The most recent roll out was in May 2022 and saw a change in how the search engine evaluates the quality and relevance of content quality.
How can it affect your website?
In the past few years, we have seen Core Updates that had predominantly impacted pages focused on medical information, directly impacting pages relating to the health and wellbeing of site users. So for many, the update wasn’t felt.
Past updates have looked at improving local searches, others have reduced ad-heavy content. It varies from update to update but the results are often the same: a change in your ranking.
You may notice that your website has improved or fallen in ranking for certain keywords. Google have always said that their main goal with algorithm updates is to provide the end user with the most relevant information possible. In that sense, Google essentially “punishes” the websites that have attempted to trick the algorithm and that do not provide quality content to the end user. The idea is the best content rises to the top and the bad content is pushed down the SERPs (search engine results pages).
It goes without saying that Google is all too aware that the further down the SERPs a page is, the less likely it is to be clicked by a user. Which is great news when your content ticks all of their boxes. But when it doesn’t, your website may be in trouble.
Some statistics to always keep in mind:
Every day, 5.6 billion searches are completed on Google.
Of these searches, 80% of users select their results from the first page.
More crucially though, 60% of users select their results from only the first 3 options.
Page 1 Position 1 on Google can expect to get 25.5% of the total traffic from a search but that number drops rapidly the further down you scroll. Only 10 places away at the top of the second page of your average Google search: just 0.85%.
How to keep your ranking high up the SERPs?
As we said, the initial impact of a Core Update is sometimes not known until two weeks after the roll out. But this does not mean that the only course of action is to be reactive and suffer through two weeks of poor performance. Our SEO team have got some tips to help you keep your rankings high and your content seen:
Keep your landing pages fully optimised
If there is one thing Google values more than anything, it is a well put-together webpage. Title tags, meta descriptions, image tags… Any opportunity you have to provide Google with information, you should take.
Do your keyword research
Get an understanding of what your audience is searching for. Take a look through your keywords and focus on the most relevant. If you are selling red cars, your content should be framed around “red cars”, “red cars for sale”, “buy a red car” and the like.
These are the three main areas that Google looks for when evaluating content: expertise, authority, trustworthiness. When you are able to establish these traits across your content, your rankings will begin to flourish.
If you can reference another website to support your content, that is great. If you can reference your own website, that is even more valuable.
For more information about how our team can help your SEO strategy, please get in touch with us at email@example.com or give us a call 01372 749 200.