As many businesses are likely aware, Google released a broad core algorithm update last month that has had incremental effects on Google rankings and web traffic.
The update was announced on Google’s SearchLiason Twitter account on June 2, only giving users a 24-hour notice. The update took about 5 days to roll out. However, these updates have historically taken a week or even longer to fully balance out, so you may see quite a bit of variability in your rankings.
Google has performed updates like this before, usually every few months. However, this is the first update that has ever been announced prior to an official launch, and by Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan himself via Twitter.
While Google claims the update is no more drastic than previous ones, it offered notice with the understanding that these updates can cause spikes and downfalls in web traffic that can affect the livelihood of businesses.
Although there’s not much anyone can do to avoid a potential hit from a Google update, knowing about the update in advance can prepare you for a dip in traffic and explain why your ratings could suddenly change so drastically. This can be especially important information for social media, digital marketing, and SEO companies like us, because our clients depend on us to deliver reliable web traffic that increases steadily and is somewhat predictable.
While we can’t explain specifically why your rankings and web traffic may have sizably spiked up or down, we can offer you the following information in regard to the update:
What is a Broad Core Algorithm Update?
Google is continually striving to make quality content as easily accessible as possible and does this by making continual tweaks to its algorithm to prioritize this content.
These tweaks quite likely revolve around the concepts of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), an acronym that is often prescribed as the path to recovering from a Google update (Search Engine Journal).
However, sometimes Google’s algorithm updates are about improving the relevance of user’s search results, which may indirectly affect your business rankings. Google also aims to give previously under-ranked pages a chance to hold web traffic, which inevitably pushes other content to the lower end of the results page.
How Can My Website Recover?
If you did experience a sizable downswing in web traffic or rankings since June 4, it’s likely due to the Google algorithm update. While this doesn’t offer you a prescription for how to recover your previous rankings, it will at least justify that there’s not necessarily anything wrong with your website that caused the sudden downswing.
Keep an eye on your web analytics and search console over the next few weeks to see if your website naturally recovers. While there’s nothing tangible and specific you can do to improve your rankings, Google, as always, vaguely recommends that you just make your site “better.” However, in reference to this update in particular, their advice is not to do anything about it at all.
These updates are called “broad” algorithm updates for a reason—it’s a continual process of Google becoming smart at picking out items like weak links and duplicate or spammy “click-bait” content. But this doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything in particular to result in any changes post-update. It may be that your site is no longer considered “relevant” to Google. But rather than trying to figure out why your site isn’t relevant; you might investigate why other sites are.
Don’t Blame Yourself
It may sound cheesy, but it’s not your fault and you may not have done anything wrong at all. While you’re learning to improve your website, Google is simultaneously earning to improve its algorithm, and still makes occasional mistakes. You may have been high-ranking before and justifiably so but for whatever reason, Google’s new algorithm is reading something incorrectly or has changed the rules of the game altogether.
Influential websites like Daily Mail (a leading UK news website) and CNN.com (a news website) have been affected by the algorithm change, which should tell you something about how confusing and widespread algorithm updates can be. Google rankings are never set in stone—which is a double-edged sword.
Rather than waste your time and energy trying to pin down why Google’s new algorithm is punishing you, just focus on improving what you can going forward. While the update may be done rolling out, only time will tell how it will adjust over time – after all, Google is busy operating numerous data centers and servers around the world. While the update only took about five days to launch, it’ll probably take far longer for its effects to really become clear.
Google maintains that part of their goal with algorithm tweaks is to benefit webpages that have been previous under-rewarded. While this may not be intended to hurt higher-performing pages, it may do so temporarily. As lower-ranked pages move up a few placed on a page, your previously high-ranked page may move down a few notches.
In the meantime, keep an eye on your web analytics and search consoles, continue making edits to your online pages for user-friendliness and accessibility, and as always aim to create original and informative content.
Google’s updates are not always about removing spam. Sometimes they are just aiming to increase the relevance of user’s search results. Although this may affect your rankings, it’s ultimately better for the world of SEO and content because it will make it easier for you to reach your target audience and for them to find you. Additionally, pages that have previously been ranked lower but had great content may now have the opportunity to shine.
This won’t be Google’s last update, so regardless of how it may have affected your web traffic, you can expect to see more changes. The goal is not to have to play a game to get your website to score well organically. And as Google moves closer to that reality, our strategies for SEO and web design will have to adapt.
If you have concerns about being penalized by this past month’s Google broad core algorithm update, get in touch with us today. SeoTuners is well-versed in white hat and organic SEO services and strategies, authentic custom link building, and web design that can help boost page rankings, build the authority and visibility of your website, and drive traffic organically. No matter what changes Google makes to its broad core algorithm, we’re confident we have a solution to keep your business relevant on the web. Contact us today and boost your company’s web exposure.