Do Google algorithm updates derail SEO strategies in 2022?

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Did you know that Google updates its Search algorithms thousands of times every year to provide the users with reliable and relevant results?

If you’re developing your brand’s SEO plan for 2022, you need to understand what changes the latest Google algorithm updates bring. As you already know, every major Google update is met with panic in the online marketing world. Will your brand lose its rankings? What does the update focus on? Why does Google perform another update? 

Suppose your brand lacks a strong SEO foundation; your website will most likely deal with issues because it’s unprepared for an update. Preparing your website for Google algorithm updates should be an essential part of your SEO strategy, so when a new one comes, you know exactly how to respond. 

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How often does Google update its algorithm?

Digital marketing specialists estimate that Google updates its algorithm from 500 to 600 times annually. Most of the changes won’t affect your website’s rankings drastically, but major updates like MUM, BERT, and Passage Ranking significantly impact keyword searchers and website performance. 

When developing an SEO plan, please pay attention to the larger algorithm updates and the ranking features they target and refine. The most impactful algorithm updates over the last years were:

– BERT

– Mobile-First Indexing

– Penguin

– RankBrain

– Pirate 2.0

– Pigeon Update

– Panda 4.0

– Hummingbird

– Pirate

– Penguin

They had such an extensive impact they fundamentally transformed the way SEO was done. 

Why is Google performing so many updates?

Google has a single purpose when it comes to search results; it wants to provide Internet users with the most useful and relevant information. Therefore, it constantly researches what people want to find when they search online. As an Internet user, you may think that Google searches already meet its goal, but the search engine is constantly looking for ways to improve its performance. Just like you perform periodic website tests to identify the elements that get the most engagement, Google also optimises its processes periodically. If you find it challenging to unlock the mystery of what Google wants, you can hire an expert from a digital marketing agency to help you determine how you can convince Google that your website provides useful and relevant information to Internet users, and it should be among the top search engine suggestions. 

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If you have basic SEO knowledge you most likely know that the mentioned Google updates (like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, MUM) had a significant impact on websites with page speed problems, poor quality content, spammy links, poor quality content, and lacking a mobile version of the website. The brands that actively invested in SEO weren’t affected by any of these updates, but those lacking a clear path had to fix their issues before they could try to rank higher in searches. Small brands experienced SEO performance declines the most. 

Your main concern should be to keep up with Google’s evolution as the search engine becomes smarter daily and can quickly determine if a website provides relevant and valuable content or not. How does it do it? You may think that Google Search is an entirely autonomous machine, but the truth is that it uses human Search Quality Raters who evaluate search results quality according to factors like:

– Content quality and use

– Information relevance

– Information source

Even if Google doesn’t use the results from Search Quality Raters directly in its algorithms, it relies on them to develop guidelines for how websites should perform. 

What should you do after a Google algorithm update?

So, what should you do after Google announces that it completed another update? The best way to handle the effects is to anticipate when updates are coming to prepare your website for the blow. Also, tracking rankings evolution for a couple of weeks before and after the algorithm update is important because it provides you with complete knowledge about its impact. 

Figure out if the algorithm update impacted your rankings

You can use multiple tools to measure how an algorithm impacts your website’s SEO performance. But if you lack knowledge or time, hiring an SEO company London based would be a better solution because professional marketers know exactly what tool to use and what factors to check when monitoring your website’s performance. SEO specialists use software like Conductor, Ahrefs or the Google Search Console to track keyword rankings and create charts. 

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Keep in mind that algorithm updates roll out for a long term (multiple weeks), so you may identify temporary drops and spikes in your website’s visibility during this period. Don’t worry; most aren’t long-term. When the update is complete, you can get to work to boost keyword rankings again. 

Find out what online marketing specialists say about the update

Google never shares extensive information about its algorithm updates, leaving online marketing specialists to figure out their extent and where they should go from there. It usually communicates the core ranking factors the current update concentrates on and provides general recommendations for marketers in the Search Central blog. 

Besides reading the information Google provides, you can also reach out to the SEO community to find sector insights and understand how the update could impact your website. The research step is crucial because it enables you to identify your website-related data patterns. Use these patterns to shape an effective SEO strategy.         

Identify the impacted ranking factors

It’s challenging to isolate the factors that caused a spike or drop in your rankings, and Data-driven SEO requires checking extensive data before making marketing decisions. Google has around 200 ranking factors to promote websites, so many of them could have triggered your website’s rankings decline. Marketing specialists split the ranking factors into a couple of core areas, technical, authority, content, page experience, and industry-specific factors. So it would help if you tried to figure out which category of ranking factors suffered the most due to the update. 

The latest Google algorithm updates have focused on helping the search engine crawlers evaluate and identify better content quality. Therefore, if you noticed ranking drops after the latest update, your on-page content should be the first thing to check. 

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