Google Algorithm Updates: What Do?

Google Algorithm Updates

Since 2011, Google has significantly increased the number of major updates it makes to its algorithm.  However, in a world where change is the only constant, many SEO specialists are left with one question:

What do?

With almost a decade of multiple updates per year to learn from, keeping calm and looking to your watchdogs and tools works best.

What Do You Mean Another Update?

Google doesn’t always announce in their webmaster blog when they’ve made a major update, so where is the next best place to find out if one has occurred?

Below is a list of resources powered by SEO Founders and other highly skilled specialists within the industry:

What Do You Concentrate On?

Now that you know there’s been an update, the next best step is to find out what websites were affected. This is where your tools of the trade come in.

You can get an overall view of how rankings have been effected through a keyword tracking platform or Google Search Console.  If you have the ability, check for spikes or dips within Organic Rank, Mobile Rank, Local Pack, and Knowledge Panel.

Google Analytics allows you to see what specific pages in your website are being affected, as well as if you are seeing traffic affected by a specific area.  Important page metrics include Views/Sessions, Bounce Rate, Time on Page, and Conversions (if set).

What Do You Schedule?

Algorithm updates take time and, more likely than not, need even more tweaks from Google as they roll out.  Major spikes or dips in your data could be temporary.  A window of time to wait after an update generally ranges from a few days to a few weeks.

Chatter from Google or within the community, in addition to your tool data, will help indicate when you should begin making any changes to your own site.

What Do You Tell Your Clients?

Depending on what data you show your clients, and how much they know about the world of SEO themselves, they may have a lot of questions and concerns.  The most important thing is to be upfront and knowledgeable.

If you’re paying attention to your watchdogs and tools, you will be able to give clients an answer as to:

  • Whether or not there has been an update
  • What that update is targeting
  • How the update is affecting keyword rankings and or organic traffic
  • What elements to prioritize and address on your website
  • When to start implementing your plan of attack

About the Author

Ashley Costello is a Digital Marketing Specialist at ChoiceLocal. Her favorite hobbies are being a homebody and taking WAY too many pictures of her loved ones’ pets.  When she’s not doing that, she’s working diligently to get her own business off the ground and preparing for mortuary college.