‘Algorithm updates’ aren’t the end of the world for SEO managers – TechCrunch

by Joseph K. Clark

Whenever a rumor of a Google algorithm update occurs, a general panic ripples through the SEO community. After the update is released, especially if Google confirms it, many articles and pundit analyses attempt to dissect what Google changed and how to win in the new paradigm. There is a collective holding of breath while the numbers are analyzed and then a sigh of relief (hopefully) when they survive the algorithm update unscathed. I believe all this angst is entirely misplaced.

The Google algorithm is made out to be some mystical secret recipe cooked up in a lab designed to simultaneously rob and reward sites at the whims of a magical, all-knowing wizard. In this outdated schema, the goal of every SEO and web admin is to dupe this wizard and come out on the winning side of every update. Join us on Thursday, June 1,0, at 12:30 p.m. PDT/3:30 p.m. EDT for a Twitter Spaces chat with author Eli Schwartz.

Google’s algorithms are extensive and complex software programs that constantly need to be updated on real scenarios. This idea is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of what happens in a Google algorithm update — and a fundamental misunderstanding of Google. The reality I algorithms are not your enemy. They are designed to help create a better, more accurate user experience. Here are a few pieces of perspective that should help reframe your relationship with algorithms.

Algorithm updates

Google is just trying to help.

First, let’s establish this: Google is only trying to help. It is not a wizard; its system is not meant to rob and reward sites arbitrarily. He company wants to ensure a pleasurable, high-quality user experience for the searcher. Nothing more, nothing less. Keep that in mind as we continue.

Google’s algorithms are extensive and complex software programs that constantly need to be updated on real scenarios. Otherwise, they would be arbitrary. Just as bugs are reported and fixed in a software program, search engines must discover what’s not working and create solutions.

Like any other software company, Google releases updates with giant leaps forward to its products and services. However, they are called “major algorithm updates” in Google’s case instead of just product updates.

You are now armed with knowing exactly what a Google algorithm update is. Is it not, then, gratifying to know there is never a reason to panic? Have you worked with a talented individual or agency who helped you find and keep more users? Please respond to our survey and help us find the best startup growth marketers!

A drop in search traffic isn’t necessarily hurting you

If a site experiences a decline in search traffic after a major algorithm update, it is rarely because the entire area was targeted. Typically, while one collection of URLs may be demoted in search rankings, other pages likelyimproved.

Seeing the improved pages requires deep diving into Google Search Console to drill into which URLs saw drops in traffic and witnessed gains. While a site can certainly see a steep drop off after an update, they usually had more losers than winners. Any reduction is most definitely not because the algorithm punished the site.

With a recent update, Google removed the organic listing of sites that had a featured snippet ranking. I saw steep drops in impressions, but the clicks were virtually unchanged. f you see a decline, your site might not have lost real traffic in many cases; often, the losses represent only lost impressions not converting into clicks. Weather and study your granular data for more precise information rendering rather than assuming the site has become a winner or loser after an update.

Focus on a great user experience, just like Google

Websites that provide users a unique and high-quality experience shouldn’t fear algorithm updates. Updates can give the needed impetus to excel. The only websites that have something to fear are those that should not have had high search visibility in the first place because of a poor user experience.

If your website provides an excellent user experience, updates arey likely to help you because they winnow those poorer-quality sites out of the running.

If you focus on a good user experience, pages may lose some traffic in algorithm updates. Still, inthe aggregate, the site will typically gain traffic in most scenarios. Digging into the granular data of what changed will likely support the idea that websites do not suffer or benefit from algorithm updates — only specific URLs do.

Updates are a fact of search life.

Google will, and should, continuously update its algorithms. Google’s primary motivation is to have an evolving product that will please and retain its users.

Consider that if Google leaves its algorithm alone, it risks being overrun by spammers who exploit loopholes. A search function that provides too many spammy results will soon go the way of AOL, Excite, Yahoo, and every other search engine functionally no longer in existence. Google stays relevant by updating algorithms.

Updates are a part of search life.

Chase the user, not the algorithm.

Instead of chasing the algorithm, which will inevitably change, I believe every website that relies on organic search should train its focus somewhere more important: on the user experience.

The user is the ultimate customer of search. If your site serves the user, it will be immunized from algorithm updates designed to protect the search experience. There is no algorithm wizard — only SEO masters who have figured out how to apply your website’s best processes, procedures, and actions.

Algorithms and updates have only one purpose: to find help users exactly what they seek. Period. If you are helpful to the user, you have nothing to fear. This post is an excerpt from “Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy.”

Related Posts