Google has released another core algorithm update, and as usually, SEOs of all industries and sizes are going to freak out.
In my opinion, there are two possibilities for this update:
- It’s the second part of the Helpful Content Update
- It’s about AI content & spam
Avoid the tsunami of misinformation, let’s go down some more practical advice on how to deal with a Google Core Algorithm Update.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to deal with the update professionally and recover any loses or improve your results!
Step 1: Keep Calm, Don’t Panic
There is no reason to panic or worry for the first 2 weeks. Traffic will fluctuate and may go up or down, but nothing is settled until a few days.
Step 2: Educate Stakeholders
From your reporting manager to the CEO, chances are some stakeholders will be worried if suddenly there is a loss of traffic or other KPIs around organic traffic.
We use Slack here, I always send a message to inform them there might be changes, but there is no reason to panic, we are on top of things:
🌧 Google Core Algorithm Update
Yesterday, Google Announced a new Core Update. They have been doing a lot of changes the past few months, and including the small launches of their SGE, the search results are quite turbulent.
Core updates means bigger changes, and results can be either positive or negative (out of our control for now).
P.S.: They also removed a featured snippet type we were working to get the past 2 years, but up to now had minimal impact.
What are the effects?
Rankings on keywords will fluctuate both positively and negatively. It starts slow and might take a few takes to take effect and might have an impact or not.
After the first 2 weeks, it slowly settles down to a more stable ranking.
We will know the impact 3 weeks later, but there might be some wild swings (ups or downs) on some days.
We are not afraid, we are Vigilant
We are following Google’s guidelines, and we are mostly on it’s good side. We shouldn’t expect any negative impact, but we need to be vigilant as this might bring changes.
👁 I will be monitoring the effects. We cannot act until the first 2-3 weeks have passed and evaluate the results, for now we patiently watch and learn.
Step 3: Stay Informed
Thought leaders and managers of big companies will be sharing their early findings.
Remember, those are early findings, don’t panic or act before the full update is finished and you assess the situation.
Keeping informed is important, don’t read too much into anything. Wait a few days before making decisions.
Step 4: Assess the Situation
After the update is finished (about 2 weeks), you need to wait a few days to collect stable data and assess.
- What were the results for your company?
- Did you see any changes, ups, or downs?
- Is a specific page or type of page impacted?
It’s possible the update hits specific industries or practices and may not even impact you!.
Review the pages most impacted and see what has replaced your pages in the top results.
Try to understand why this happened.
Step 5: ACT
After the dust is settled, now it’s time to act on changes.
If your results were positive or negligible, you probably only need to continue the good work.
Educate yourself over the next few months on what the update might have introduced, and keep following the best practices.
In case you get hit, you need to evaluate the situation thoroughly. Identify where you went wrong, whether you were using a Black Hat strategy or the update hit your industry or a specific practice.
Try to either
- reverse the latest changes (if it makes sense),
- update content, or
- implement the needed technical changes.
Check what content replaced yours
If you lost rankings on important pages, check what pages are now ranking on top of you, and try to identify a pattern.
A quick content update & republishing with a fresh date can help boost your results. This will work if you know what the problem is through the assessment.
Improve Technical Signals
If the issue was a recent technical change or worsen lighthouse results, you might need work on technical improvements of your website or specific pages.
If you have done any actions that go against Google’s current or new guidelines, try to reverse those. This would include Black-Hat actions or it might be something a recent freelancer or agency has done without your knowledge (do not immediately blame your SEO agency, but consult with them).
Expert SEO’s advice on a Google Core Update
I asked 5 senior SEO experts, strategists, consultants and departmental heads to share their views on how they would deal with the latest, or any other Google Core update.
Here are what they said:
Follow the Foundamentals
Follow the Guidelines
Be Proactive in BOFU Pages
Assess the Situation & Possibilities of Reversal
Use Cluster Analysis
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