Google makes hundreds of changes to search each year. In 2018 alone, they made an eyepopping 3,234 updates — that’s almost nine a day! While the majority of these changes are tiny, Google occasionally smashes out a significant algorithmic update that affects search results hugely.
For SEO people, knowing when major Google updates happen can help explain sudden fluctuations in organic website traffic rankings and organic traffic. Understanding when these major Google updates have occurred can also enhance search engine optimisation.
However, Google maintains that there’s often nothing to fix and provide the following advice;
“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to change naturally. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realise they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are more deserving films that are coming before them“.
So sites, if they experience a post update drop, should be challenging the quality and relevance of their content. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the website – Google has just advanced how its systems assess content overall.
Evaluating your content
When evaluating your content, Google suggests asking the following questions;
● Is your content packed with original reporting, research, information, and/or analysis?
● Does the headline avoid being sensational and exaggerated?
● If the content utilises other sources, does it avoid simply rewriting those sources and instead provide tangible added value and originality?
● Does the content provide a robust, comprehensive and complete explanation of the subject?
● Are you offering fresh insight or new data that is beyond obvious?
● Is the page title a detailed, helpful summary of the content?
● Would you anticipate seeing this content in a printed magazine, book or encyclopedia?
● Does content display well for mobile devices, as well as desktop?
● Is the content proofread and free from typos?
● Was the content produced to a high standard?
● Is your information presented in a trustworthy fashion? Using transparent sourcing and proof of the expertise involved? Does it show background information about the author or the site that publishes it?
● Would you come away with an impression that the site producing the content is well-trusted or widely-recognised as an authority on its topic?
If you’re on your SEO-toes, no matter the update, your site shouldn’t suffer too much. Lazy content creation won’t win you any gold stars with Google – day-in-day-out, they’re developing ways to catch out the wiliest scammers and cowboys. Googles algorithms simply look to reward high-quality content.