Algo updates, navigating the impossible

What to do when you don't know what to do

Read time: 2 minutes

I wrote a newsletter in June that predicted the increase in frequency of Google algorithm updates, it’s safe to say we haven’t been let down.

We are in unprecedented times, we have never seen this many Google updates in such a short amount of time.

For those that have been hit by updates, it can feel soul-crushing, a waste of time, and it can impact businesses and livelihoods.

There is no google algo panacea, but there are some do’s and don’ts, that will help the long term outlook of your organic traffic.

How many people react to a google update

SEO is by definition, action-taking, but what we observe with nearly every algo update is a partial rollback after a few weeks of the initial rollout.

It might feel apathetic, and it might be difficult to explain to your boss, but the best thing to do initially is nothing.

Monitor which pages are being impacted, put together some hypothesis on what you did to displease the algorithms, but apart from that make no major changes.

Once the dust has settled

This isn’t quite as simple as it used to be, as oftentimes once the dust has settled on one algo update, another is announced.

But once you feel like you’re in the clear of one you have been impacted by the question that always comes about at this point is:

Was my whole site impacted or just particular pages?

The answer to that question is nearly always both.

Given that, here’s your ‘simple’ plan of action.

1) Take care of technical SEO, this is an absolute basic, fix broken links, improve speed etc.

2) Run a full content audit, examine every single page looking at its traffic for the last 12 months, how many links it has, etc. From there, merge and cull until you have a smaller % of ‘unhelpful content’ live.

3) Improve UX, ask friends and colleagues to feedback on your key traffic driving pages, with a fresh pair of eyes, also compare your pages to the ones now taking the top spots in Google, if you aren’t seeing big opportunities to improve UX you might not be looking close enough.

4) Build more, better links, all said and done, one of the strongest correlations of not being as impacted by algo updates in general, is a strong backlink profile, building more, better links is generally protective against the impact of algo updates.

If you need help on any of the above, just give us a shout, grab a 15-min video audit or book a call.

In the meantime, best of luck navigating the updates

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