What is this new Google Update doing?
Recently Google released a Core Algorithm update for search. Many users have reported a drop in traffic and wonder if this is normal. To an extent, any time that Google releases a Core Algorithm update, you will see a change in traffic. Often, the core updates are targeted for one specific area of search. This one, however, is a “Broad Core Update”. This means they are not targeting anything with this update. It is very broad.
We here have noticed a drop in traffic across the board with this update. Starting on March 12th specifically. This update has been rumored to be fairly large. While not one of the largest Core Algorithm update they have ever released, it is a large update, with sweeping changes in traffic.
We here at Branched Roots have been monitoring this update, and the effects of the update, for our clients. In the time since the update to search has happened, we have combed through the data and looked to other sources for indications of the update. In our opinion, the update pertains to content. While that may sound pretty broad, it is a broad update. Specifically, we have noticed that freshness of content, as well as relevancy of links in the content, have been the primary focus of the update.
How do Google updates affect sites and traffic?
If you are not familiar with how Google Search Algorithm works, Google releases little patches and changes almost daily. However, the big ones are called Core updates. Usually, you will hear about peoples traffic dropping during those updates, and then coming back up a week or 2 later. These updates are usually massive. The last big one that really affected a lot of businesses was the “Mobilegeddon” update, was released March 9th, 2015. It pretty much stipulated that if your site was not mobile friendly they were going to drop your search results in mobile search.
With this update to Google Search Algorithm, the focus seems to be on content. Keeping content fresh and linked. This means having blog articles and maintaining links within your site, as well as links outside of your site. Google Search Console is an excellent resource to use for knowing who is linking to your site. If you notice that you have links from sites that are “spammy” or questionable, it is a good idea to disavow those links so as they do not harm the rankings of your site.
What can we do about the Core Algorithm Update?
For a lot of people, this is where having an experienced SEO specialist comes in handy. A lot of people simply can’t afford the time that it takes to monitor traffic, make changes, research the updates Google is pushing, and running their business on a day to day basis. This can seem overwhelming for some. But here are some things you can do to help mitigate some of the effects of the update:
- Update content. You should be updating your content a minimum of once per month.
- Ensure that you are using links to other pages or products in your site.
- Link to other sites. For instance, we rely on Search Engine Journal and Google Search Console as previously mentioned.
- Don’t use the same image for everything. As well make sure that you are using your alt image tags in your images.
- Make sure the content you are posting about is relevant to your business. Having relevant content helps Google, and other bots determine what your site is about.
If you have any questions about your SEO efforts, or you would like to know more about how SEO can help you with your site, don’t hesitate to reach out to Branched Roots for a free analysis on the health of your site. And if you are questioning what “Mobilegeddon” update was, you can learn more here: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-history/mobile-friendly-update/