Google is constantly updating its search algorithm, making it nearly impossible to keep track of how the changes are impacting your search strategy. The search engine giant is making these enhancements in an effort to improve the user experience and deliver the most relevant search results. However, from a marketer's perspective, these changes have the potential to decrease your online visibility and derail your overall search strategy if you're not in the loop.
While Google updates its search algorithm thousands of times each year, many of these changes are so small that they go unnoticed. Fortunately, Google has historically been very vocal about any big changes coming down the pipe, such as its mobile-friendly update in 2015 and its mobile-first indexing update that is in the process of taking place now.
What You Need to Know About Google's Core Update
Google recently made another big change to its search algorithm in early August, which is being referred to as the 'Core Update.' Other major updates that have come before the Core Update include Penguin, Panda, and Pigeon, and each of these updates were created to address specific issues with Google's search algorithm. However, what is frustrating about the Core Update is that it appears to be much more broad as it's a major tweak to the overall search algorithm.
Historically, Google has been very forthcoming about each of its major algorithm updates and how marketers can enhance their content to meet Google's standards. It appears to be a different story, though, with the Core Update as there is only so much that Google can reveal without giving away their secret sauce recipe.
If you take a look at the announcement from Google about its Core Update, the language can be confusing (even to those that specialize in SEO). In a nutshell, Google is saying that it's changing how it weighs the importance of a number of its ranking factors.
How to See if Your Website Has Been Impacted by the Core Update
Although the Core Update took place in early August, your website may already be experiencing the ramifications of this major algorithm change. If you're wondering if your website is being penalized by Google for not meeting its standards, now is a good time to check via Google webmaster tools.
Once you register your website with Google webmaster tools, you can see if you're receiving an algorithmic penalty from Google. To do this, click on Manual Actions from the dropdown menu to see if Google is penalizing your website for anything. If items are mentioned, you need to take immediate action to correct these issues to improve your website ranking.
Another way to determine if your website is being impacted by the Core Update is to log into Google Analytics to check your organic website traffic. If you experienced a drop in traffic in August, it's likely that your website does not meet the standards of the Core Update.
How to Recover from the Core Update
What we do know is that Google always places the quality of content, relevancy, and the user experience at the top of the pedestal when determining rankings. The best advice that we can offer is to keep focusing on producing quality content that keeps the user intent in mind. In addition, ensure that your user-friendly website offers clean architecture and meets Google's guidelines.
In regards to the content piece, our team at New York Ave offers a comprehensive content marketing program that is custom designed to meet the needs of your business. If you're having trouble keeping up with a consistent publishing schedule and/or struggle with producing high-quality content that is relevant to your audience, we are the ideal solution for you. We offer content writers that are experienced in a variety of industries, which allows us to create content for your business that connects and engages your audience on a more relevant, frequent, and personal level.
In addition, our digital marketing agency can complete a free assessment of your existing website and help you to determine if it meets Google's standards. If it's been more than six months since you've taken an in-depth look at your website, it's to your benefit to take advantage of this offer. We can make recommendations for ways to enhance your existing website design to appeal to both users and search engines or help you to build your website from scratch with an intuitive, human-centered website design.
You Need to Stay Informed About Google's Algorithm Updates
Bottom line--you can't afford to not be in-the-know with Google's algorithm updates as your online visibility will suffer. Contact our digital marketing specialists at New York Ave to learn more about how Google's Core Update is impacting your website and get the conversation started about what you need to be doing to improve your online presence.