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With consistent algorithm updates from Google and other search engines, understanding how these changes can affect your SEO strategy is critical for maintaining a successful online presence. 

And to answer your doubt, yes, understanding the latest algorithm updates can positively impact your SEO strategy. How? I will show you how to stay ahead of the competition and get maximum results from your hard-earned efforts on the website!

How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?

For your information, Google adjusts its algorithm approximately 500-600 times annually. While minor changes have little impact on rankings, significant updates such as BERT or Passage Ranking can affect many keyword searches. 

If you are a senior marketer, you probably know about the most significant algorithm update of all time, Google’s Panda update in 2011. Panda targeted thin and low-quality content, which led to significant ranking penalties for websites with low-quality content.

Google has various update types, you can find them at Google’s latest documentation updates or Google Webmasters Central Blog. Recently, some of the latest major updates were “Changes to HowTo and FAQ rich results” and “The role of page experience in creating helpful content”, which – once again – proves that Google is focusing on the content quality on websites and how information should be displayed for users.

Moreover, Google is committed to providing an exceptional and personalized user experience. To achieve this objective, Google continuously researches user behavior and search intent with the need to enhance its performance and prioritize user experience. 

Why Do Algorithm Updates Happen?

There must be reasons behind Google’s numerous algorithm updates, after all. 

Search engine providers want to offer users the best possible experience by providing top-quality, relevant, and reliable results. As such, they update their algorithms to remove spammers, low-quality content, and black hat SEO (non-legitimate way to implement SEO) strategies that misuse ranking factors. 

On the other hand, algorithm updates also reflect the changing search patterns and behavior of users globally. For instance, the growing use of voice search has led to the integration of optimally designed snippets in search results.

With that being said, you can treat these algorithm updates as adjustments that search engines make to their criteria for ranking websites and pages. 

What To Do After A Google Algorithm Update?

1. Test to see whether the update affects your ranking

As previously mentioned, these updates are highly affected by your Google Search ranking. So, the very first step after receiving the notification is to check if your website has been affected by a Google algorithm update or not. Google usually confirms major algorithm updates publicly. 

So, go to Google Webmasters Central Blog and see if they have announced any updates. Or using various SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. If you notice a sudden drop in your website’s traffic or rankings, it could be an algorithm update.

2. Check your digital marketing network

If your website gets hit by a Google algorithm update, don’t panic. I am sure that your site is not the only one that was affected, so look around your network. 

There are always experts who share insights on Google algorithm updates and how to recover from the impact. Some good resources to follow are Search Engine Land, Moz, and Search Engine Journal. These blogs provide detailed information on the updates, what you can expect, and how to prepare for future updates.

3. Analyze your impact

Different algorithm updates target different aspects of websites, both on-page and off-page such as content quality, mobile compatibility, backlinks, etc. Thus, before you take any action, try to understand what part of your website is being targeted. 

Analyze your website’s content quality, mobile-friendliness, and backlinks profile and compare it with your competitors. This will give you a good idea of what you need to improve.

4. Adapt & make changes

Sadly, there is nothing you can do when your website is affected by these updates. The only solution is to adapt to the change and get your page back on track as soon as possible.

For example, if it’s a content quality issue, improve your website’s content and ensure it’s engaging and valuable to the audience; remember to check all on-page elements like title, meta, and images… to see if they are optimized. Or, if it’s a mobile compatibility issue, optimize your site for mobile devices by using a responsive and aligned design layout, letting your users read all information, and take the desired actions via buttons, internal links… If it’s a backlinks issue, audit your website’s backlinks profile and identify any low-quality links and remove them, or try to negotiate and retrieve the broken or lost backlinks.

In short, algorithm updates are a constant reality of the digital landscape that we must navigate as digital marketers. However, by staying informed, focusing on user intent, optimizing for mobile devices, and diversifying our channels, we can adapt to these changes and stay ahead of the game. Algorithm updates are not an obstacle but an opportunity to optimize our strategies and improve our marketing performance. So, use yours wisely!