How to Prepare Your Website for a Google Algorithm Update
Imagine waking up to a Google algorithm update. All of a sudden, your traffic is reduced by a large number. And you see your rank tracker filled with red arrows.
We hope you never have to go through the pain.
This is an ultimate guide that looks into questions like what google algorithm update actually is? How do we track google algorithm update? And how can you prepare your website for an upcoming update?
Let’s get started!
What is a Google Algorithm Update?
The primary goal of Google is to provide the most appropriate and relevant search results.
Google achieves this goal by using Search Algorithms. An algorithm is a combination of various ranking factors.
In order to improve the search results, Google keeps updating its algorithm.
It’s unfortunate that algorithmic updates require major changes in order to recover your ranking immediately.
The best thing to do is to prepare yourself for the next update beforehand.
You can save yourself big time and experience gains you have never imagined if you have done all the right things.
Even if you are experiencing an algorithmic update for the first time, you shouldn’t care less about it.
Some of the major updates that have been released by Google so far include:
- Panda Update
- Penguin Update
- Hummingbird Update
- Pigeon Update
- Mobile friendly
Aiming to do the right things and keeping yourself one step ahead can help your site getting huge benefits if an algorithm update hits.
Algorithm updates can range from some tweaks to a large number of refinements in the algorithm. Ultimately, this affects the ranking factor.
Types of Google Algorithm Updates
Most typically, google algorithm updates have three types:
1. Major Updates
These are the updates that have a specific purpose. Some of the major updates also aim to create a new micro-algorithm.
Such kinds of updates usually come with fun names like “Penguin” or “Panda” and are mostly meant to address certain issues like link spam or duplicate content.
Most of the time, Google informs about these changes beforehand by giving an advance notice so that the webmasters have enough time to update their site.
For example, Google has already provided information this year about how Core Web Vitals will have a significant impact on ranking in 2021.
Such updates mostly occur one or two times every year.
2. Broad Core Updates
These updates have the purpose of adjusting the main algorithm and addressing general concerns.
Even though you might feel that making adjustments in the main algorithm would have a larger impact as compared to the micro-algorithm updates but it’s not the case.
Usually, broad core updates are just meant to change the significance of a few ranking factors.
For example, Google may decide to prioritize backlink quality and loading speed of the page over the word count of content.
Such updates mostly occur 3 to 4 times in one year.
3. Minor Updates
These kinds of updates are mostly meant for slight refinements and to make search results more relevant.
These updates occur on daily basis and you don’t even get to notice. There are thousands of such updates every year.
How to Track Google Algorithm Updates?
There can be a fluctuation in the rankings of your website to a great extent if being hit by a major or broad core algorithm. This can have a direct impact on your conversions, traffic as well as revenue.
Therefore, in order to keep yourself aware of any upcoming or recent changes, it’s a great idea to stay in the loop and updated about the latest search news.
There are some resources that you can utilize in order to stay updated about the latest changes in algorithms.
Some of them include:
1. SEO Blogs
You can check SEO blogs periodically in order to keep yourself updated about recent updates on an algorithm.
It improves your search quality and search query to improve your rankings.
In addition to that, you are likely to receive expert advice and tips on a wide range of subjects related to the search.
Some of the sources from where you can get relevant information include:
2. SEMrush Sensor
In order to check the volatility of search rankings and keyword stuffing with the progress of time, SEMrush Sensor will be your go-to thing.
By using the sensor you can have an idea if there’s any recent update regarding the algorithm. This tool also offers a wide range of options for customization so that you can dive deeper into the data.
You can check the volatility by device type, site category, and other features of SERP.
The tool also has a system for analysis in order to check which sites suffered and benefited the most from the recent changes in SERP. This is known as “Winners and Losers” analysis.
If you have a Twitter account, jump to filling your feed with news about SEO and request advice from SEO experts.
You can search for the list of the top ten experts on Twitter. Start off by following a large number of industry experts. Later, you can narrow it down to the ones who are your favorite.
Moreover, if you enjoy reading articles from any particular author and find them informative, do follow those accounts as well.
4. SEJ History of Algorithm Updates
SEJ stands for Search Engine Journal. It shows the important updates breakdown since 2003.
You can find the time of each update, an explanation about its purpose as well as blog posts that give a detailed overview of these changes.
All the major and broad core algorithm updates are being added here in a timely manner.
Preparing Your Website for a Google Algorithm Update
Google states in a post: “We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”
Let’s have a look at some of the ultimate tips you can use to prepare your site for an upcoming google algorithm update!
Make sure that your content is up to the mark. Each page on your website must have a definite purpose on social media.
Moreover, the information you’re providing to your users must be very clear and helpful.
If you are planning to start a blog, the right time is now. Create content that is appealing to your audience.
A good blog post having relevant keywords increases the rankings of your website. After all, as per SEO, content is the king.
Furthermore, being consistent in writing blogs particular to a subject is a sign for Google that you have the expertise on those topics. This can also increase your rankings.
In case, there is an algorithm update you can retain your position and even improve your rankings if you have a wealth of solid content.
2. Keep the content relevant to your audience
In order to make sure that you have a huge influx of audience, it’s important to keep your content relevant to your audience.
For example, people mostly look for DIYs while searching for anything so adding such hacks can make your content more relevant to your audience.
The content having more relevant topics for the audience is ranked higher by Google. Moreover, it acts as a ranking signal to determine the position in the search engines.
3. Update or discard outdated and duplicate content
Quality over quantity anytime when it comes to content. After all, one amazing piece of content having higher rankings is better than five pieces of content that show the lower ranking in SERPs.
Similarly, discarding the content or pages that are not performing well helps to initiate growth in the most important pages.
The content that should often be discarded includes:
- Outdated content (which no longer serves the purpose)
- Thin content (the one having words less than 500)
- Duplicate content (pages similar to the other pages on the website)
In order to save your content from google algorithm updates, make sure to update your content from time to time.
4. Your website should be easy to navigate
The taxonomy of your website should make sense. In order to rank well, the user experience should be good.
Make sure that the structure of your site doesn’t only make sense to the users but it makes sense to the crawlers as well.
The users that are visiting your site for the first time should be able to figure out what they are trying to look at through your internal links, footer and on-site menus.
Another important part of taxonomy is the structure of URLs. Make sure to use clear and concise URLs.
5. Ensure the usage of HTTPs for your website
Since 2014, one of the most important ranking signal for the purpose of ranking is to see if your website is being secured through HTTP encryption.
If you need to be sure that your site is using HTTP encryption, check your URL and search for a lock icon.
If you don’t find the lock icon, you will have to install an SSL certificate.
6. Fix the technical errors
It’s a nice idea to look for any technical errors that might be hurting your site.
To start with, here is a checklist to ensure that your website is free from technical errors:
- Look for crawl and schema errors and fix them
- Make sure that important pages are not blocked in robots.txt
- Remove all the unnecessary pages from your website
- All the images must be using alt text
- Fix the broken links
- Discard redirect chains that are not serving the purpose
- There should be proper heading tags on the pages
- Address issues regarding short/long metadata
Keeping your site free from these technical errors can save your website if there is any update in the algorithm.
7. Improve your site speed
As per the data and researches, more than half of the visitors leave the site if it takes longer to load. You can also lose the visitors forever if the site speed is not good.
Moreover, Google gives a higher ranking to the sites that are faster and more responsive.
This will also serve you good in case of future algorithm updates.
8. Get rid of the spam backlinks
Having backlinks from reliable resources and sites will make your site rank higher.
Therefore, get rid of any spam backlinks your site may have. Such backlinks can actually hurt the ranking of your site.
Having support for good backlinks can also prepare your website for a Google algorithm update.
For more such information and updates, stay tuned to our website Markfiniti Technologies and learn how to stay updated and get your website a higher Google ranking.