How we Stay Up-To-Date on Google Algorithm Updates

Google algorithm updates keep us on our toes. An algorithm change can either help or hurt our clients so it is extremely important that we are proactive when we hear about an update. Find out how our staff stays on top of Google algorithm updates and what our first steps are when an update occurs.

It seems that Google is constantly making changes to their algorithm. Whether it is a little change that only a few sites get affected by or one large update that hits us all – it can happen when we least expect it. When I notice a consistent drop in rankings and impressions for multiple clients, that’s when I think Google possibly had an algorithm change. Reading SEO blogs are a good way to keep track of recent updates such as Search Engine Journal. There are also many tools that you can use to track Algorithm updates such as MozCast or Panguin Tool that are pretty good at monitoring changes. However, the best thing to do when you think your site has been hit by an algorithm update is to stay calm and don’t start making changes without doing research. Google continuously updates its algorithm, so one day you could be affected and then it could be back to normal next week. Abbey Hadar
Abbey Hadar
Twitter
Ugh…algo updates. These days it’s such a crapshoot of trying to find legitimate information on what’s happening. I usually work through the popular SEO news sites and then work my way down into the forums to see if there are any consistent patterns. However, the FIRST thing I do is check out our own rankings. If some sites get dinged I start looking for commonalities between them. If I have my own theory, then it helps me try to validate that versus what I see elsewhere. If I get enough quality information from third parties on top of our own data, I’ll start building out a plan of action. Adam HenigeAdam Henige
Twitter
When there’s an algorithm update I almost always cringe…the other times when I don’t cringe, I cry. Algorithm updates, for me, typically mean that Google is putting more of an emphasis on website speed and SSL–both of which I already struggle with on a daily basis. Usually, it means I need to find newer and ever-more-inventive ways to eke out a few more milliseconds of speed or do more research on how to get stubborn sites to make the transition to SSL. (You’d be shocked at how many clients I work with that don’t have access to their own FTP or cPanel.) Occasionally it means I get to develop a new tool for our internal use (like schema generators and so forth). Mostly, it’s just a headache… Jerod KaramJerod Karam
Twitter
This is easy as I am generally focused on PPC updates, I go to the rest of the Netvantage team and ask them questions! Kidding aside, first steps for any client audits I am working on is their rankings. However, the second most critical source of information to pull is Search Analytics in Google Search Console and do a last 28-day comparison. This should show me any changes in average position and impressions and help me evaluate what action to take. Joe FordJoe Ford
Twitter
With being in charge of Netvantage’s social media, I usually find out about Google algorithm updates on Twitter since it’s usually pretty buzzed about. From Twitter, I am often lead to popular sites such as Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land for more information. Once I learn about a Google update from social media, I tend to check my client’s rankings. It is usually the data that changes first after an algorithm update. A change in rankings can then cause changes in traffic, but those changes aren’t always as noticeable instantly like a decrease in rankings. Lexie KimballLexie Kimball
Twitter
Google’s core algorithm updates typically happen a few times a year, which means that we’ve all fallen into a routine of assessing the impacts of the update. For me, it’s something like 1. Were my sites affected? A sudden change in rankings and search query data are a key indicator. 2. Are these changes here to stay? The vast majority of algorithm updates are still in Google’s testing phase. Changes can appear, then go back to the way they were a few months later. A good example of this is longer meta descriptions of over 300 characters being displayed in SERPs. A few months later, visible meta descriptions are back to their original length. Reading up on industry blogs and forums can sometimes help you know if the algorithm update will affect your websites for the long term. 3. What actions need to be taken? Figure out what (if any) steps need to be taken for particular websites. Track any changes by looking at Google Analytics, search query data, and keyword rankings. Michael HallMichael Hall
Twitter

 

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