If you ever experienced waking up in the morning only to find out that Google became your number one enemy over the night, you were probably “victimized” by one of the Google algorithm updates. If it is any consolation – you are not the only one. The browser doesn’t have to make an announcement before making an algorithm update. The changes are sometimes bearly noticeable, but sometimes you can see them as a threat to the invested money, time, and effort. The truth is – Google does not hate you and does not want to sabotage your business. The main goal of all the updates is to perfect the search process and to be sure that quality content is always ranked in the top results. In the sea of information, Google is always trying to promote relevant and up-to-date content. Maybe it feels like you became collateral damage of algorithm updating. However, there is nothing else to do, but to adapt to changes.

Last years’ Google algorithm update called EAT (Expertise Authoritativeness Trustworthiness) made numerous bloggers in different industries stop dead in their tracks. Blogs that are strictly connected to the name and knowledge of one man, but publish content signed by other authors – were the greatest victims. However, if the webpage gets stricken by an algorithm update, it is not a death sentence.

The first step is the most important one – calm down. Unsatisfactory Google Analytics results can make you panic. It will get even more interesting if you are managing successful campaigns for numerous clients, and all of them are affected by an update. The key thing is a prompt reaction. If you are panicking, you are losing valuable time. Keep in mind – Google is constantly making changes to algorithms and will do so in the future as well. Learn to calmly react to all the changes, and you will find a solution quickly and without any stress.

When you calm yourself down, it is time for action. Your greatest helper in these moments will be Google Analytics. Click on Behavior, and then on Overview. This way you will find out which content is affected by an algorithm update. If you are managing a blog page, take a look at the blog posts that had the highest ranking. You can easily find out if an update only affected certain posts or if all the posts are affected equally. If all the posts are affected equally, the problem may be in the concept of the website (like in the earlier explained EAT case). If the only posts that are affected were the ones attracting organic traffic – you can easily narrow it down and find out where is the problem.

The next step is to check out Acquisition Traffic Source. Here you can find out if updates affected only organic traffic of your posts, or you can spot the changes all over the place. Any time we notice unwanted changes, Google algorithm updates are first to blame. You will lose precious time trying to find out what kind of changes Google made this time if the problem is actually located somewhere else.

Next – use Google search directly. Type in the import keywords to find out who is ranked in front of you in the Google search and the reason why. Maybe your competitor is a bigger and well-known company, and that is why Google (and the audience) has more trust in it. Sometimes Google is just being rightful and in front of your content is ranking content of higher quality than yours. You know what you need to do – work on the quality and the actuality of the content. Also, take time and check Google penalties. Use Google Search ConsoleManual Action Report. Maybe you are getting penalties for irregularities in your work.

How to avoid the consequences of Google algorithm updates?

Our first advice is to “break” your traffic on numerous posts. One post can do better than the others, but the difference shouldn’t be dramatic. If all of your success is based only on one of your posts, you will always be an open target. The success of the whole website should not be based on the success of only one post

The next advice you can apply anytime and anywhere: start and maintain communication with your clients and customers. Google search should not be the only way someone can find your business. Your email list is valuable. The easiest and most practical way to communicate with your customers is through emails. Communication can be established through social media as well. Even if you are affected by algorithm updates, you will always have other communication channels available.

Be and stay recognizable and always produce high-quality content. The content is still the king of digital marketing. Great content will always be appreciated. Algorithm updates can not and will not change that. There are some SEO guidelines, but you should be very careful when applying them. For example, there is “a rule” that Google likes and promotes longer text posts (700 words or more). However, this “rule” can not be applicable to all industries. If you are a blogger who shares cooking recipes, forget about this guideline. If someone is searching for a good recipe, they do not want to read 2 paragraph introduction before all the ingredients are listed. Google has become very sensitive to readers’ dissatisfaction. If the website visitors are looking for a short and informative recipe with clear directions – give it to them.

Keep in mind that Google wants to connect the person who initiated the search with the most suitable results for the searched keywords. That will never change. User Testing is always on. Google itself will sometimes make additional settings afterward, if it is shown that a certain algorithm update affects one industry tremendously, or if it’s not bringing expected results. Rank Brain is a special tool, in use since 2015. It is used to follow the interaction between website and visitors. If visitors click on the post, read it from top to bottom, and use X instead of Back to close it – Google will recognize high-quality content and will rank it in top results. If you are 100% sure that your content is high in quality and exactly what the searchers are looking for, wait a few days and allow Google to recognize your quality and bring back your high ranking.

If you find yourself panicking every time a Google algorithm update is evident, talk to experts. InDigital team is experienced in adapting to new algorithm updates. All the changes the worlds’ greatest browser is serving us with, should be observed as a challenge, not a trauma. Conquering a challenge always sounds more optimistic than trying to find the solution for an urgent problem.