Has Google announced an algorithm update and your site has started to show signs of being affected?
What do you do?
This is why we’ve come up with this guide that’ll cover everything dealing with how to recover from Google algorithm update.
Why Do Algorithm Updates Happen?
Basically the goal of an update is simple: it helps Google get better at assessing content and determining what pages serve the best answers for searchers across the board.
Google’s algorithms sort through billions of pages to find the most appropriate results. When a user inputs a a query, various search ranking and indexing systems will run to generate a relevant results page.
Google’s search engine works great — but it can always use an improvement.
That said, it’s never clear to Google developers how users are going to interact with the system. New devices require better functionality. And it requires lots of trial and error to design the best version possible.
And because of that…
The changes in consumer behavior are what dictates what the next update should be.
Another reason why Google is always changing its’ search functionality is to prevent black hat SEO.
So, Google developers need to wait and see what spammers are doing so they can stop them. It’s an ongoing battle that can only be won through constant change.
Note: Google makes two to three updates yearly. This has a huge impact on the ranking of millions of sites. Though most of those changes were small and unnoticeable. They’re just regular updates to keep search results fresh and relevant.
How do you know your site has been affected by Google algorithm update?
Our main topic in this guide is how to recover from an algorithm update but before you plan on recovering, you first have to find out if your site has been affected.
First thing first, you need to you need to confirm if actually there was an update(I’m sure it’s not just you making an observation).
This has been made easy with the help of RankMath SEO plugin for WordPress. They overlay both confirmed & unconfirmed algorithm updates in Rank Math Analytics – as well as on their website making it extremely easy to follow along and access any information relevant to updates including but not limited to:
- Any official statements made by Google
- Comments from throughout the SEO community
- Insights & general trends that seem to be as a result of the update
Now that it’s known to you that there was actually an update, you’ll have to confirm if your search traffic has been affected.
If you are not seeing any changes in your search referral data (from the search engine dashboards, not from third-party SEO tools) then you’re good. You don’t need to be upset.
Key takeaway: Stop looking at search visibility reports for “keywords”. Focus on search referral traffic reports.
How to recover from Google Algorithm update
1. Asses the main purpose for the update.
We already know that Google’s take on all of its updates is that it is to improve the quality of search results, which is the case, but that alone isn’t enough to make a decision as to what elements of your site to put your focus on.
Though not often, Google themselves at times confirm the area of interest for algorithm updates.
2. Identify patterns.
Evaluate whether specific content on your site were affected. With analytics data you’ll be able to identify any patterns. This will help determine the cause of the update as well as start to formulate an idea of what the logical next steps/improvements to your site will be.
This again has been made easy with the help of Rank Math Analytics using the Top 5 Losing Posts functionality.
You can also access this date straight from Google analytics by going to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages.
You can then adjust the time period to match the period where you saw your site be potentially affected (i.e. last week) and compare it to the week prior.
This way you can start to see if there were specific pages that were affected that you’d want to dive in to have a closer look at to see whether it was in fact even organic traffic that affected those posts.
3. Asses how your top 5 competitors were affected.
If your site has been affected by a site update, that is a direct ticket that other sites are earning the traffic you used to get before the update.
Simply put, the number of people searching and the number of searches they’re performing isn’t directly affected by an update. So, if your website’s traffic has declined it’s going somewhere else instead.
This is why you need to evaluate your competitors to see:
- Are you able to observe any changes?
- Which sites are ranking where your site used to be and is there anything distinctly different about their approach?
Performing SERP analysis manually will let you zero in on the SERPs for specific searches so we highly recommend that approach.
I’d recommend using SEMrush to evaluate your competitors.
4. Prioritize What To Focus On Addressing
Now that you have the knowledge of what changed and what your content is missing, you need to plan and prioritize what you want to approach first based on what you think is likely to have the biggest impact.
When looking at your content and comparing it to the content that is now all of a sudden outperformed by other content – this is where one of Google’s major updates (E-A-T) comes in.
Note: To recover from Google algorithm update takes significant time, effort, patience (and let’s not forget – resources).
How To Prepare Your Website & Your Business For Future Algorithm Updates.
Let’s take a look at how to future-proof your business model and ensure that your website can’t be significantly affected by an algorithm update.
1. Build your following.
The four channels we can highly recommend investing time/resources in are:
- Building an email list
- Starting a YouTube channel
- Growing an audience on Twitter
When people land on your site only for the terms you rank, they forget about you until the maybe rank on your website at some point again it’s a lot more fragile than if you set your website (and business) up to encourage visitors to return to your website.
2. Diversify your traffic
Even if your website is a publication, the fact that organic search is truly the best source of consistent, scalable traffic – it shouldn’t be the only source of traffic and revenue for your business.
3. Diversify your income streams
How can you recover from this algorithm?
Here are 10 strategies websites can use to recover if they have been hit by a Google core algorithm update.
Leverage Real Expertise.
Minimize Aggressive Ads.
Implement Trust Signals.
Use Editorial Policies and Ad Disclosures.
Improve Content Quality.
Audit Content Accuracy and Scientific/Medical Consensus.
How do I keep up with Google algorithm changes?
Staying Ahead of Google Algorithm Updates
To avoid your website from dropping in rankings keep an online presence, no matter how the algorithm changes, the best way to survive online is to create high-quality, user-friendly content. Make sure that your website contains updated information.
How often does the Google algorithm update?
How Often Are Google Algorithm Changes Released? Google makes minor changes to its algorithm on a daily basis. They might even release multiple updates in 24 hours. These changes are usually small, and you probably won’t notice a drop in search page rankings due to these updates alone.