How to handle algorithm updates in your SEO?

By Jeroen, 7 September 2023

Search Engine Optimisation

In the ever-evolving world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), staying on top of algorithm updates is crucial for maintaining and improving your website’s rankings. Search engines like Google regularly tweak their algorithms to deliver more relevant and useful results to users. These updates can have a significant impact on your SEO efforts, making it essential for businesses and website owners to adapt and respond accordingly. In this article, we’ll discuss where to find algorithm updates, how often they occur, and provide valuable insights on how to respond effectively to these changes.

For a holistic understanding of algorithm updates, it’s crucial to ground ourselves in the basics. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend revisiting our previous articles: The pillars of SEO provides an in-depth look at the foundational elements, How search engines work offers insights into the mechanics of search engines, and How SEO works breaks down the intricacies of optimizing your online presence. Together, these resources will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of SEO.

Where to find algorithm updates

Finding out about algorithm updates is essential for anyone vested in SEO. The primary and most trustworthy source to get this information is directly from the search engines themselves. For instance, Google often disseminates updates through their Webmaster Central Blog and their official channels, like their Twitter account, now X, (@searchliaison). By staying updated with these channels, you’re ensured of obtaining the latest details on impending shifts.

Furthermore, if you’re overseeing a website, the Google Search Console should be a staple in your toolkit. This indispensable tool not only furnishes invaluable data concerning your website’s performance but also flags potential hitches stemming from algorithm alterations. A case in point is the recent information it provided on the Core Web Vital update, inclusive of INP metrics.

Beyond these direct sources, the SEO community is rich with news websites, blogs, and forums that offer timely updates. Renowned platforms such as Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, and the SEMrush Blog consistently delve into algorithm changes, giving a deeper understanding of their probable repercussions on SEO tactics.

So, how often do these algorithm updates take place? While the frequency can be inconsistent, it’s a given that these changes are recurrent. To put it in perspective, Google introduces thousands of these adjustments annually. Although a vast majority are subtle and might escape your notice, there are significant updates like Panda, Penguin, and the Core Updates that dramatically reshape search results. It’s noteworthy that Google typically rolls out several core updates every year, leading to discernible shifts in search rankings. Nonetheless, it’s pivotal to recognize that not every algorithm alteration is publicized. Some might just be subtle tweaks aiming to refine the search quality.

How to respond to algorithm updates in your SEO

Start by staying informed. Regularly check official sources and industry news so you are consistently up-to-date on any modifications that could impact your website’s rankings. While keeping abreast of these changes, use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other third-party SEO software to keep an eye on your site’s performance. If you’re well-versed in SEO, you’ll be able to distinguish between performance changes due to algorithm updates and those caused by other factors like seasonality or competitors.

In the event of a noticeable drop in your rankings or traffic post an update, it’s essential not to react impulsively. Take the time to meticulously assess your website’s content, backlinks, and overarching SEO strategy. Identify potential areas where you might have veered off from SEO best practices and begin implementing necessary improvements.

Remember, the foundation of SEO success is high-quality, pertinent content. Many algorithm updates lean towards prioritizing content that delivers genuine value to its users. Hence, it’s beneficial to regularly review and refine your content to ensure it remains engaging, informative, and current.

In terms of your off-page strategy, pay close attention to your website’s link profile. Disavow any low-quality or spammy links that could be detrimental to your rankings. Instead, prioritize the cultivation of high-quality, organic links through honest outreach endeavors. With Google’s emphasis on mobile-first indexing, the mobile-friendliness of your website is indispensable. Confirm that your site is fully responsive and thoroughly optimized for various mobile devices to safeguard or enhance your ranking position.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of a gratifying user experience in SEO. Work on optimizing elements like your website’s loading speed, navigational structure, and overall user-friendliness. Doing so not only boosts user satisfaction but can also play a pivotal role in improving your search rankings.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re unsure about how to respond to a major algorithm update feel free to reach out for advice. Considering our experience and our continuous work in the organic field we can provide valuable insights. Stay informed! Keep in mind, SEO is an ongoing process, and staying agile and responsive to change is key to maintaining and improving your search engine rankings.

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