Nothing strikes fear in a webmaster’s heart quite like hearing that Google released a major algorithm update. While the company releases 500 to 600 updates annually, some are naturally prominent than others. If you operate a business who relies on the internet, then these updates can increase or decrease your business drastically. Here are some ways that you may be affected, some sources to learn more about algorithm changes and what you should do about them.
How Algorithm Changes Can Affect Your Business
While it is exceedingly easy to think about algorithm changes as the way that Google punishes businesses when their owners and managers already have a thousand things to worry about, algorithm changes can have a very positive effect on your business.
Increase Your Search Ranking and Visibility
When search engine result pages are reset after a major algorithm change, winners and losers arise. Visibility is defined as the percentage of people that see your listing compared to the total pool of people searching for that term. Different factors to help your placement include:
- No technical glitches on your website
- Meeting your target audience’s needs better than your competition
- Having a reliable host
- Outstanding backlinks from authoritative sources
Increase Organic Search Traffic
An algorithm update can mean that your hard work has paid off as you now appear on the first page of Google’s search engine result pages. Over 94 percent of traffic never goes beyond the first page. Therefore, it is essential to land on the first page
Algorithm updates can lead to more conversions as more people enter your sales funnel. Those websites that do not fear algorithm updates have pages designed to meet customers in enticing ways during each phase of the buying process. That process includes:
- Awareness: Potential customers become aware of your product and your company
- Interest: Potential customers become interested in learning more.
- Evaluation: Customers are evaluating their options in the marketplace.
- Decision: Customers have decided to make the purchase.
In order to learn more about how the sales funnel applies to web marketing when entering a new market, read Kobe Digital’s case study about Legions Capital.
Higher Return on Investment
The great news is that this all adds up to a higher return on investment. Of course, this increases revenue coming into your own pockets and those of your shareholders.
Tools for Identifying Google Algorithm Updates
While many agencies use proprietary tools to monitor and respond to Google algorithm updates, there are some tools that you can use as well. Knowing what Google updated when you notice spikes in your website ranking up or down can give you important clues on what you are doing right or what needs improvement.
Similar to receiving the current temperature, MozCast gives a daily temperature on volatility caused by algorithm changes. Therefore, determine whether those changes are caused by an algorithm or your site was crawled.
On a scale of 0 to 10, SEMrush Sensor gives you a number letting you know how volatile the search engines are on any given day. You can also track changes in your niche market along with seeing volatility for the last 30 days. They also feature a 30-day rolling calendar of major updates.
Rank Ranger Rank Risk Index Tool
The Rank Ranger Risk Index Tool measures more than 10,000 domains for fluctuations on search engine result pages. Their division by desktop and mobile allows you to see if one is having more volatility than the other. Going deeper allows you to view what type of content like ads, organic results and direct answers are doing the best on any given day.
Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
Even if you are an experienced webmaster, continue looking at the basics to find places to improve your site. The Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide is written in easy to read language intended for beginners, it is also an outstanding resource for things you might have forgotten.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
Google attempts to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting by releasing Google Webmaster Guidelines on the types of practices that will get you sent to Google’s penalty box. The document also includes a link to a page that you can submit to Google when you find spam.
Google Quality Raters Guide
While Google does not directly use the Google Quality Raters Guide to create search engine result pages, you will find lots of useful guidance on what makes good and bad web pages hidden within this 174-page report.
The best advice, however, is to keep producing great content that real users will find useful. Then, you can never be too wrong when Google updates their algorithms.