17 Jul Another Day, Another Google Update
This blog is a bit of a pick and mix. Mostly we’ll be chatting about Google algorithm updates and their effect on search rankings; with a little bit about the recent suspected June 25 update; there’s some advice on what you can do if it looks like your site’s been struck by an update; and we end with a bit of a pep talk, well, because the sun is shining, everyone’s in a good mood and because a bit of positivity goes a long way.
Updates happen. Lots.
Google is good at throwing in the odd algorithm update here and there, without any official announcement or warning. Maybe you just recently experienced some changes in your Google organic search traffic or rankings? Have rankings vanished for important keywords? Referring back to our blog of June 15 on ranking fluctuations, some movement in the rankings isn’t unusual and for the most part should be expected. Unless, of course, you’re experiencing a sudden drop overnight, the cause of which could be a number of things. Check for any technical on page problems; check for lost links. Rankings fluctuate usually on a daily basis and it shouldn’t be assumed that the culprit is a Google update. It’s more often the case, however, when we see epic shifts in the search results that a Google update has been up to its tricks again. It’s worth noting that Google makes updates all the time, in real time, some just seem to cause more waves than others.
June 25 algorithm update?
However, June 25 saw much talk in the industry of a particular algorithm update to the Google search rankings and this one appears to be a fairly major one. Based on the rankings rollercoaster experienced by those doing the talking; and on the results coming up on a number of automated tracking tools, it’s looking like talk of a June 25 update rolling out could be true. So if your rankings have dropped significantly, maybe you got hit by this latest update and need to go back to the drawing board to make sure you’re not doing anything that’s upset Google that’s affecting your rankings? Of course this latest update, if indeed there was one, will have worked well for many sites, who will currently be singing its praises as they bounce along in the top results, basking in the upturn. If you haven’t already, it might be worth taking a look at your analytics and rankings. You could find you’re seeing some movement in your traffic and if it’s in the right direction; well done! You’re doing something right; relax.
Google Fred update
So Google updates can be two a penny, and as Google’s John Mueller said, “We make updates all the time”. This said, Mueller wouldn’t confirm or deny an algorithm update on 25 June. And it’s hard to tell if this latest suspected update will cause as many actual waves as the Fred update was expected to, though many industry SEO’s are already reporting that it has. Fred was implemented a few months back on March 8. Again, like the possible update on June 25, Google didn’t announce or later confirm the Fred update but news of it spread through the industry like wildfire. But what to call this latest June 25 update? If Google’s Gary Illyes’ tongue in cheek comment that “all updates should be named Fred” is taken on board, then this could all get very confusing.
The Fred algorithm update did initially get everyone in the industry chattering, spreading a certain amount of panic and uncertainty; but mostly seemed to affect those sites crammed with ads and low-value, poor content. So it ruffled some feathers in some areas, causing a “huge shift in rankings and traffic for sites deploying black-hat and heavy ad monetization tactics.” Not a bad thing in all honesty, a bit of a shake up from time to time, separate the wheat from the chaff and all bone fide sites who have been affected by the Google update get an opportunity to rethink the more forceful tactics by reducing ads, getting on top of weak links and getting innovative by stepping up the game plan with content quality.
Fine tuning and determination
And it really can boil down to a constant process of pruning and tweaking your site, a bit like doing up a house, to make sure you’re efforts are being rewarded with a position you’re happy with on the Google rankings ladder, which as we know can sometimes feel a bit like you’re going up and down like a yoyo; but rather this, than forever stuck motionless on the bottom rung.
We can always strive to be better, and usually this results in us eventually being better. So don’t give up hope if you are struggling at the bottom of the ladder; identify the problem and try a different approach and remember you know your business better than anyone else. Use this inside knowledge to let the world know why you’re the best at what you do and why they should be choosing you. It’s as simple as that. At least the start is. Throw in some amazingly clever and innovative content marketing and link building and you’re well on your way. But taking those first steps towards success (harnessing self-belief, determination and self-motivation; and using your knowledge and the tools at hand) is the start to eventually achieving your goals of getting a really good, solid site out there, and getting the traffic you want to see coming your way.