3 Things to do After a Major Google Update
Find Out How to Respond After Google Announces a New Algorithm Update
Google releases hundreds (500 to 600) of updates each year, many of which we never hear about. Every now and again, Google will release an update so major it announces it to the world – like the Penguin and Panda Google update. Google algorithm updates can have devastating effects on website traffic, which is why it’s important for webmasters to respond to a Google update before it’s too late.
The only constant in the life of an SEO expert is change. While most of the changes to Google’s algorithm are minor, there have been nine major updates made to the search engine in the past two years. The two most recent major updates were “Possum” and “Penguin 4.0″ Google update. Both occurred in September, and caused a lot of chatter in the SEO community.
Don’t panic. While your first reaction to a Google update may be to panic, worrying won’t bring your traffic back. If you start to predict what’s coming, you can overreact which can negatively affect your rankings. Information from Google tends to come in the form of a post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.
Wait to react. While in most cases it’s important to be proactive, that’s not necessarily the case with a Google update. Your site may not have been affected, and making changes could negatively impact your website traffic. Wait to see if you’ve seen a loss in traffic before making any site updates. If you’re conducting SEO the right way, chances are you’re not going to be negatively impacted by an algorithm update.
Use credible sources and make necessary adjustments. If a few weeks have gone by, and you notice a dip in traffic, it’s time to make some site changes. Start by reading the Google Webmaster Blog. Read the information posted to see what issue the update was meant to address. The “Penguin” update for example was an attempt by Google to stop link farms, and sites who leaned on bad links for top rankings. If your site was impacted by the update, chances are these are things you need to work on. The “Possum” Google update was targeted at local SEO. Google was looking to diversify listings, and remove spam posts. While Google never addressed the update in the blog, there was enough of an impact on local results to trigger the SEO community into action. When Google doesn’t blog, look to credible sources for help rectifying site issues.
While major algorithm updates can be scary, they’re meant to make us better. The goal is to provide the best site experience to web searchers. In theory, by making updates to better your site you’ll not only be making Google happy, but also improve your conversion rates and site experience.
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