It is a common grievance of SEO experts and website owners that Google does not publicly affirm all its algorithm updates. Web publishers experience it from falling website ranks in search results for so many key words and start complaining about having caught unawares.
The issue raises the question whether Google is doing algorithm modifications to protect their Algorithm. Evidence shows Google stays silent on ongoing changes even as publishers say nothing unusual is happening.
Symptoms Of Google Updates
There are at least 4 vivid signals of an Google Algorithm update, according to SEO analysts.
• SERP reports showing drastic ranking changes
• E Commerce retailers report ranking changes
• Black hat affiliates facing loss of important rankings
• SEOs reporting quality issues as triggers of poor rankings
Google staying silent on algorithms changes is a matter of debate. This is despite publishers and SEOs saying an update has happened.
Logical Conclusion on Google Algorithm
Many independent experts hold the view that Google’s random algorithm update without a public announcement is at the root of falling ranks. Quite often that turns out to be an illusory inference which is called logical conclusion.
But all logical conclusions are not scientific. One example of logical conclusions is the claim that sun revolves around the earth. This was accepted as a logical conclusion backed by evidence.
During the early centuries there was not enough evidence on that front.
Want of more understanding of the sun’s orbit, made logical conclusions vulnerable. Such conclusions are not accepted as scientific facts. Using that analogy it may said that presumptions are not logical conclusions. The reality is that analysts are not blaming Google as they are not protecting the algorithm.
SEO Weather Reports are Unreliable
They point out that accepting SEO weather reports as gospels of truth will be a tough call. The reliability is under cloud as after missing out on Google’s Panda Algorithm in the so called SEO Weather reports. Remember that Panda was a highly disruptive algorithm update.
According to leading analysts, John Mueller and Gary Illyes SEO weather reports are proving inaccurate because they play up marginal effects from the errors in the methodologies used.
eCommerce Retailers Ranking Changes
Ranking crash is an everyday phenomenon as SERP volatility exists in all the 365 days. The pain of site owners and web masters on fallen ranks pour out on the WebmasterWorld.com’s Google Update discussion. Google’s product forum also shows up such discussions.
Affiliate Sites Losing Rankings
As mentioned already, the clamor about sites losing rankings is never-ending. There is more cacophony in Blackhat forums and there is little evidence that a Google update was responsible for the mayhem. There is still no consensus on what Google is aiming to clean up. Some say it is links others say it is content.
In most cases, the churn and burn business model of so-called “black hat” affiliate websites themselves have to blame for their attrition. By using rank elevation methods not accepted by Google they keep creating new sites when the older sites lose rankings.
This kind of proliferation has a parallel only in fish breeding in the wild where millions of eggs are produced to offset the loss of millions of eggs killed by predators.
Certainly, “black hat” affiliate sites losing ranking is not a matter for heavy worries. Every day thousands of “black hat” sites are perishing.
Detect Google Update
Bill Slawski, search marketing specialist says most of the time Google update is not the villain that causes traffic loss. Rather it is the result of self-inflicted changes on their site or the industry itself undergoing a change or users are searching differently with new language or wordings. Generally sites seldom get impacted from a minor change in the search engines.
The half baked reports of SEO professionals proffered as analytical expositions are nothing but dossiers of self-selected samples brought up by the clients for trouble shooting.
Frequency of Google Algorithm Updates
The fact is–Google updates algorithm every day. Tests and refinements are an ongoing exercise. But those algorithm refinements do not hit a larger population of sites. The effect is restricted to single digit percentage or a fraction that may be less than one percent.
Charge Of Google Shielding Algorithm
Google algorithm updates are no secret. All algorithm changes are announced as soon as they are ready. But the fact is–barring Penguin and Update Florida, all Google updates have gone unnoticed until the Search engine itself revealed it.
It is understandable that daily Google updates to algorithm will affect some web publishers and their rankings may suffer quite often. At the same time, most SEO Weather reports lack evidence of big updates and are getting discredited.
Handling Rank Change
To analyse an update, just understand that Core Algo Ranking Update comes as an offshoot of tests and such changes in search results will attain normalcy within 10 to 25 days. There is no ground for panic and no drastic changes need to be made without examining what actually transpired.
Implications of Google Updates for 2018
Google updates have certainly rattled many SEO experts. They understand there is an extra mile to walk to keep pace with changing user behavior.
In recent times, Google’s focus is enhancing user experience. That makes the task of branding any particular SEO strategy as the best.
Content is the King
The trends for 2018 are still flowing from 2017 Google updates. The future lies in solid content that makes content the king. Any content that is not able to attract traffic will lose rankings. Google is really hitting hard on poor and thin content.
According to GSQi in the past sites enjoyed high ranking for keywords that barely touched the content and were thin. Today, thin content will face the axe. Rich snippets are also getting high rankings. Google gives high ranking snippet if they are relevant to the content.
Google’s new criteria is that content must solve user problems. That is why thin, weak content is getting the stick and strong content is applauded.
This is an important take away on content and SEO in 2018.
In-depth content must touch multiple topics and subtopics. It marks a departure from the way content was formatted in the past. In the old days, the actual content was not important and primacy was accorded to Title tag, Permalink keywords, ALT text for images, H1, H2, and H3 tags are not effective now. It is the quality and authority of content that mattered.
Manage Fall in Google Site Ranking
Most Google rank droppings are George Romero horror movie scenes for site owners. One fine morning, the site owner wil have a shock to see that the site’s hard-earned rankings have vanished in Google search.
Hearts may break. Keep the calm and start looking for causes and solve them. Google penalizes a site when there are issues. To get back to better rankings, assess what went wrong on the site.
Algorithmic Penalty and Manual Penalty
When there is an abnormal drop in rankings such as fall of 10-20 positions on a number of keywords that may be a penalty.
There is a vast difference between algorithmic and manual penalties. The first ones are automatic and released with Google Updates, while the latter is an act of Google staffers.
If the drop is harsh it can be a penal action as the site might still be enjoying better ranks on Bing or Yahoo.
Make a road map for restoration of better ranks, by checking notifications at the Google Webmaster Tools and study the manual actions. The notifications in the site messages menu will show the alerts detected by GoogleBot.