How Google’s Algorithm and its Updates are Causing Issues for Site Rankings

  • Date Published
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Google has a habit of updating its algorithm on the regular. Many times when an update is released, it is not even announced.

Any changes that you notice in your site’s rankings can be accredited to Google and its algorithm. As of late, it has been causing many issues.

Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall

Google has a habit of updating its algorithm on the regular. Many times when an update is released, it is not even announced. So that means while new changes are being implemented, no one knows what they actually are. The alterations tend to catch the eye of many SEO experts who notice these updates because of the impact on their websites. Google will then (after a week or so) confirm their suspicions and start answering questions about the changes online. Not only is this practice damaging to the ranking of any business site, but it also sets SEO experts back on their tasks.

Besides giving some late confirmation, Google fails to provide any extra information about the updates that take place. This lack of action may be thought of as odd, but it is quite regulatory in practice. Google seldom has elaborated why the algorithm was changed or what kind of effect it will have. Unless prompted to do so, you are usually on your own in trying to understand what the search engine actually wants. It is usually released because of the need to drive certain behaviors, such as mobile-focused sites, but the reasoning provided is close to nonexistent.

What Are Google Algorithms?

Google’s algorithms are hard to explain. They are a means to collect new data and insights from the search index and then give instant results. These assist future queries and questions that users may have and allows the ranking of relevant sites. The idea is to use an amalgamation of signals and changes to find the kind of web pages which are the most accurate to the search. The SERPs will then note this down. In the early stages, there were only a few updates every now and then. But now, there are thousands of changes every single year. When they are so slight, they go unnoticed. But if they are huge and there is no new about them, that’s when there is a problem.

The Algorithm is Hurting Your Website

Your site can be one of the thousands who experience a drop in visitors instantly. This is not because a particular routine is followed where sometimes you get traffic and other times you don’t. It is more than simple changes. This is especially true for content on these sites which had been strategized to meet the old algorithm requirements. When your aim was to drive traffic through unique content and SEO, the lack of results can be alarming for your business. So how much does the algorithm truly affect you?

It is unfortunate that Google gives little to no data which you can use to revamp your site. Google’s own webmasters have explained that as trends come and ago and the algorithm changes, sites will definitely go through dramatic impacts. But this is business as usual, which means that little to no help is given to protect your business and potential leads.

Why SEO is Good for Your Site

Not all kinds of SEO are equal and therefore not all SEO is going to give you the kind of results your site needs. There are some optimization techniques that take a lot of time to come up with adequate results. However, there are other methods that are effective immediately but lose their influence gradually over time. So how do you know what will work for your site? Looking at bounce rates and conversions is a good way of understanding how you can get started. But this is not the end-all of improving site rankings.

Webmasters who do not have the most knowledge tend to say that SEO is not effective at all. While the opposite has been proved many times, they are of the belief that search engines are able to understand how good a site is. SEO is the main way of assessing whether a site is relevant and good at their job, more so than people tend to know. Google may be an expert in the analysis and measurement of algorithm changes, but SEO researchers are tasked to improve the ranking of your site.

Understanding Why Your Site was Affected

There are no drastic changes that SEO researchers have shown in their data. A lot of people tend to treat updates and upgrades as temporary downgrades which will be changed again in a few weeks. This comes from the consensus that most sites that face a lot of issues in one update will be at the top of their game during another. So where there is a lack of profound trust in the algorithm, rebalancing is to be expected and people do not apply any new features to their site.

It is, however, good to know why your site was affected so much in the first place. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a low-quality website, to begin with, but maybe a few minor changes would not hurt your business growth. So even if you got a site made from a leading web design agency, you will have to make some considerations.

Best SEO Practices

Even if most people do not think this is the case, SEO practices matter. Even if Google is going out of its way to penalize the site with good SEO practices, you will have to adopt this baseline as a security blanket. Since you do not have to focus on them as an end goal, you can find the right answers when you run a full site analysis.

Ranking Drops

If your site faces issues and this leads to a massive drop in its rankings, you will have to assess this first hand. The main focus should be understanding what kind of things are ‘broken’ and how they can be repaired effectively. This will be a huge help in preventing a fall off from Google’s SERPs.

Focusing on What Google Wants

An example of this is the speed of your site. Since Google obviously favors faster site loads, you will have to cater to this demand. Even if you know many popular sites with slower speeds, your concern should be creating the best experience for your users and customers. Site speed does matter, but it is not the end-all of the algorithm game. Then you can place your focus on content as that is another area where Google places emphasis. So one by one, you can tackle all issues.

December 2019 Updates: Here is What to Expect

From August onwards, Google began to confirm its recent updates. This means that the reporting was a bit broader and allowed room for people to adjust their sites. But there are new ones that came in December 2019 which focused a lot on the quality of your site. The changes made so far are for seasonal purposes, as Google’s assistant now allows setting new filters where certain niches may be blocked.

Fix and Improve Your Google Rankings

If you are reasoning with the best SEO practices, you will know that all webmasters will be implementing them. When you fix the issues it will make your pages optimized and give better search engine performance for longer time periods.

Avoid Duplicate Content

Google does not like seeing the same content again and neither do users. So if you have duplicate content, the best idea would be to get rid of it. This means making sure there is no probability of bad user experience and they do not penalize your site for copying.

Find and Fix Broken Backlinks

Backlinks will redirect people to your site from another site. They act like votes that confirm your site’s relevance and functionality. So if you have any broken ones, be sure to fix them to assert that you are quality assured and popular amongst users. Losing your positive effect with a broken backlink doesn’t look good for your business.

The Value of Trust

The branding of your site needs to be trustworthy. This means that you need to give users a reason to come to your site and purchase your products and services. This goes for broad topics and does not cater to any niches. While this can be disadvantageous, it also has its benefits. Building the right image through branding on your site is what will help you rise to the top. So do not focus on targeted industries and instead build a business image.

Bottom Line

Not all updates are good news and not all of them are beneficial for your business. So the main advice is to not worry too much about your business or for your site. Your rankings may face certain difficulties but they will be able to bounce back easily. Instead of changing your SEO each time the algorithm changes, identify your user’s issue and then tackle it accordingly.