The rules for ranking on Google search results pages seems to change all the time. Understanding these rules and trying to stay ahead of them seems impossible. But if you don’t make that attempt, you can find yourself panicking over every rumor and doing damage control after an update destroys your website traffic. It’s important to understand Google, be prepared for updates that are sure to arrive in 2019, and stay up-to-date with current information.
Understanding Google and its algorithms is the first step to being prepared when updates hit. The major updates are announced about once every few months, but it’s important to remember that Google is constantly making changes to the algorithm. This occurs every day, sometimes more than once per day. This doesn’t mean you be flipping out every day, worrying constantly about how to keep up, and feeling completely overwhelmed. Most of these changes will not affect your traffic in a big way. It’s simply a good idea to be aware of the fact that they are happening.
There are many different types of updates, and it’s essential to understand the difference between them. These are the updates you should be aware of:
2018 saw a number of updates, including:
Some of these updates, like the mobile-first index, continue to influence SEO in 2019. However, SEO experts are already seeing new changes popping up.
An unnamed update appeared in January that has primarily affected sites associated with businesses in the automotive, food and drink, and pet and animal industries. It has also had some impact on law and government websites. The update was focused on the quality of content being delivered by these sites. Any website with lingering low-quality content would have seen changes in their rankings.
If 2018 was any indication, we will be seeing many more updates and changes this year. Expect Google’s algorithm to focus on high-quality, long-form content, as well as mobile-ready sites, voice searches, and providing answers via featured snippets.
As far as exact updates go, there are likely to be many rumors swirling around online as the year ticks by. Most content marketers cite Google algorithm updates as their number one concern that causes them the most stress and worry. This means that every time someone sees an unusual spike or drop, they will panic, thinking that Google has switched things up on them. In reality, this may not be the case. There may be other things happening with their site, and instead of analyzing their data to identify issues, they flip out and announce an unconfirmed Google update. The best thing to do for your own site when you hear these rumors is to check your analytics for problems. If you do notice changes, don’t panic. Try to be objective and determine if there’s a problem with your site that is causing the problem - a low-quality page that is lingering or a problem with your site’s speed. If you can’t identify a problem on your end, then do some investigating and find out if anyone else to talking about the update. Pay attention to what high-authority sites are saying.
It can be difficult to deal with these updates after the fact. Rather than try to play catch up, you should be trying to stay ahead of these updates so you can be prepared. Here are some general tips for keeping your site up to par so updates won’t matter as much:
In regards to the updates themselves, it’s better to be forewarned than to be surprised when your analytics indicate chaos. The following resources will help you to stay on top of updates before and as they happen:
You can struggle with figuring all of this out on your own, or you can turn to an expert in the field. A white label team, specializing in SEO and SEM, can help you stay ahead of algorithm updates and develop a sound content strategy. 51Blocks focuses on custom websites, SEO, pay-per-click, and marketing automation. We will help you build a website, fill it with content, guide that content towards top rankings, and increase the site’s ability to generate leads. Contact us today to discuss your white label needs.