Google’s algorithm is used to deliver you the best possible search results for a query. It uses a combination of smaller algorithms and ranking signals to match your search queries with web pages that match your search’s intent. It is essential to understand Google’s algorithm updates to optimize your site properly.
Google’s algorithm is continuously improving and goes through thousands of small changes every year. Most of these changes are so small that they go unnoticed by even search professionals. However, about four times a year, Google unveils a major core update that can shift how a website needs to be optimized.
A Google algorithm update can significantly reward a website or punish one depending on how well the website has been optimized. However, it can be challenging to stay on top of Google trends as each major update has a different focus. It is also increasingly difficult to know what Google wants to see optimized on a site. The official info Google releases about an update is vague, and it can be difficult to interpret how to optimize after an update.
The latest core algorithm update rolled out in December, and it appeared to heavily focus on rewarding sites with excellent relevant content that aligned with user search intent. Sites that have been consistently pumping out content were rewarded with a rankings boost, while sites lacking content saw a substantial decrease in rankings and traffic. Great content appears to remain a huge ranking factor, so let’s take a deeper look into content and some of the other factors that will help you stay on top of updates.
Content has been the king of SEO for many years; however, there are some misconceptions about what ranks well. A piece of content needs to have depth and be relevant to a particular search query’s intent. Spammy keyword filled posts will no longer rank very well if they do not offer a great user experience.
Keep focusing content efforts on:
Backlinks are an essential factor that can drive organic traffic to your site. However, you must do backlinking with a purpose to move the needle for you. There are two important backlink factors to consider; relevance and authority. The more relevant a backlink is to your site, the better. Links that relate to your websites and pages about your topic will hold the most value. You wouldn’t want to write a blog post about plumbing issues and link to a blog about The Oklahoma City Thunder because they don’t relate to each other and hold zero value in Google’s eyes.
The same can be said for authoritative sites. Backlinks from healthy pages and websites will move the needle the most as they carry more weight. For example, if you are an up and coming restaurant in Oklahoma City, you would want to acquire a link from Yelp.com to send a strong signal to Google.
Overall page experience has been an increasingly important ranking factor, especially for mobile pages. Google has been stressing site speed as a ranking factor since 2010 for desktop and extended to mobile in 2018.
However, the goal shouldn’t focus on beating competitors by a millisecond, but first, making sure your site is merely fast enough to not negatively affect users. How many times have you had to frustratingly exit a page simply because it wouldn’t load fast enough? That frustration is what Google wants its users to avoid.
Especially now, in 2021, mobile-friendliness is crucial as nearly two-thirds of searches take place on mobile devices. Google has also moved to mobile-first indexing, so ensure your site is mobile-friendly so Google’s robots can find it.
If you notice your site has suffered from a recent update, fear not; there are ways to recover. Try and analyze your website and see if your SEO is up to date with the factors listed above. Pages could have keyword stuffing, low content quality, and other technical factors that negatively affect your page rank.
Improving these areas of SEO will help Google rank your page on top of the search results. It isn’t easy, but continuing to stay up to date with Google algorithm updates will help you stay in front of the competition and increase your site traffic and engagement.
If you need help increasing your company’s Google search rankings, call Krush Digital. We use search engine optimization to help many companies improve search rankings in Google search results. The SEO consultation is free, and we have a few different ways to provide the help you may need.