Dun dun…You’re casually scrolling through your Twitter feed, minding your own business – and, well, everyone else’s business on Twitter. Dun dun…When all of a sudden…Dun dun…dun dun…You see Google SearchLiaison has released a tweet…Dun dun…dun dun…dun dun…and reveals that there’s a new Google algorithm update! You weren’t expecting this. You were just surfing…the web, that is. You’ve been tackling bigger and bigger waves, out-surfing the competition. But will this update take it all from you in the blink of an eye? No one taught you how to surf with a shark coming right at you! What do you do?
Breathe…And Assess the Damage of the New Google Algorithm Update
This is where our metaphor needs to pause, because no one in their right mind would tell you to breathe with a shark approaching. But if it’s an SEO update coming at you, this is your first step.
You’re probably rolling your eyes, but there is truly nothing you can do right away to dodge negative impacts from an algorithm update. No quick fix exists. If you are negatively affected from an update, it’s going to take time and hard work. So just breathe, because freaking out isn’t going to help anyone.
Having a meltdown over an update will only scare you about the potential ramifications. Honestly, there’s not even a guarantee you’ll be affected by the update. Your website could come out totally intact, or even stronger.
Keep a close eye on your website, traffic, rankings and domain authority over the following days and even weeks after an update rolls out. If a small dip happens, that’s okay! Your website is just figuring out what is happening and might even pop up above surface after a little bit of time. However, if your traffic dives into the deep blue abyss, it’s time to take the next step.
Research, Read, and Twitter
Google doesn’t like to share exactly what is happening with its algorithm. It wants to keep that treasure buried deep down in Davy Jones’ Locker. However, there are a few Quints and Hoopers online who can help you understand and avoid losing a metaphorical limb.
A few such people include Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google John Mueller and Search Engine Roundtable Founder/Editor Barry Schwartz. Also, definitely make sure you keep updated through Google SearchLiaison. You can find all of them and more on Twitter. Another recommendation is to research any hashtags associated with the updates such as #CoreUpdate or #GoogleUpdate. These will take you to a feed of experts working through the newest update.
A few websites you’ll want to make sure you’re using for update research and analysis include Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Journal and Google itself. Though Google doesn’t provide an extensive deep dive into the updates, they do try to provide some helpful information.
Here are a few articles on the latest Google Core Algorithm Update:
- What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates
- Google September 2019 Core Update: All You Need To Know
- September 2019 Google Update – Winners and Losers
- Google September 2019 Core Update Impact Now Being Noticed
Check Out Your Competitors
When starting out your business, you always want to make sure you research your competitors as well as your own website. Use Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs or another trusted tool to look into the backlinks, Domain Authority/Domain Rating and linking domains.
For those who are new to these shark infested waters, here’s a quick dive into the lingo:
- Your Domain Authority (DA) is: “a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank” (Moz).
- Your Domain Ranking (DR) is: “a proprietary Ahrefs’ metric that shows the strength of a target website’s total backlink profile (in terms of its size and quality)” (Ahrefs).
By checking into this data when first taking on a new website, you create a starting point you can use to gauge your movement within the rankings. You’ll want to update this information every few weeks or months based on the intensity of your SEO strategy.
However, by looking into your competitors’ information, you’ll be able to gain some additional clues on what exactly is happening with the algorithm and how you can get back on track. If a competitor also saw a drop in any of the above data, search for similarities between your websites and backlinks. Do the same if another competitor saw an increase in any of the above statistics.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the most prominent link building strategies my competitors are pursuing?
- Do the prominent link building strategies seem to be helping or hurting my competitors?
- In what ways do I differ from those who boosted their rankings?
- What are the similarities between my website and those that decreased in rankings?
You can learn from others’ successes and mistakes, even if Google’s update took a bite out of their traffic.
Remember, it doesn’t matter how fast you swim—it matters how much faster you swim than those slower than you! (Just kidding, promise!) Once you have all of the above information, use it to create a plan for moving forward with your SEO strategy.
Swim back to the Surface with ProFromGo
Understanding any new Google algorithm update and conquering your rankings after a broad core update can feel like embarking on a Hero’s Journey. But with ProFromGo’s mentorship, you won’t be taking on the journey alone. Contact us today, and we promise to not only help you swim to the top of your game, we’ll also keep the Jaws references to a minimum!