July 2021 saw the rollout of Google’s latest core update – a massive update that has had serious implications for businesses worldwide, especially those who rely most on organic traffic.
And while there are no quick fixes, it is not as daunting as first appeared for many organisations, even when huge dips in site traffic lead to negative change to profits and viability.
At Myk Baxter Marketing, we work with our clients to not only prepare for such eventalaities, but also help to initiate steps that give our clients the best chance of bouncing back and regaining lost rankings on Google.
What is a Google Core Update?
You may have heard phrases like “upcoming changes to Google’s algorithm” pop up in conversations and discussions about digital marketing and preparing for unexpected digital changes.
In truth, these updates happen almost daily. A core update however, is one of the larger updates, usually scheduled (although not always with much warning), that are designed to realign Google’s algorithms to align it with their current mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.
A Core Update Happened and Now I Am Demoted. Why?
Although the above statement sounds vague, two words stand out as important. Relevance and Authority. This is how what Google are looking for and if you’ve been demoted on their search rankings, it means you need to improve your ability to prove these two points to Google.
How to Improve Rankings After a Google Core Update?
Although the jury is still out on exactly the best way to recover from a core update, there are some techniques that MBM likes to use to help our clients bounce back as best as they can.
In fact, according to Google, “pages that drop after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix.” Hard to believe, we know.
And although many claim there’s nothing you can do, at MBM, we believe it IS possible to make changes to your site to bring back lost traffic. But the improvement process must take time.
It starts with increments – each one specific to the website in question, however there are a few techniques and tips we like to go to when this happens to our clients.
First, we advise our clients to REMAIN CALM. Although a freakout is totally understandable (we even have them at times!), we find freakouts lead to knee jerk reactions that lead to counter-productive results that are rushed and short-sighted.
Core updates take a few weeks to roll out, so we advise our clients to wait for the storm to pass before making any decisions that will positively or negatively affect their SEO. Making changes in the middle is a gamble – and a difficult gamble to win at that.
Once the stress has passed, it’s time to get analytical. Identify content that has been particularly affected and identify the reasons why traffic was dropped on these pages in particular.
Google’s Search Console and Google Analytics are also invaluable in helping you to identify pages that have suffered significant traffic drops.
MBM Says: “Stay Fresh”
And while the number of reasons for change in traffic and rankings can be endless at times, one of the most recent changes to Google’s interaction with sites is based on “freshness” – AKA, how fresh your pages are.
This is not to be confused with creating new content – which is equally important – but freshness is about identifying “problem pages” and those with out-of-date or inaccurate information.
And, finally, as Google AI becomes more intelligent and user behaviour is tracked in more and more ways, it is a good rule of thumb to write content with humans in mind, not search engine spider bots.
Keeping user experience at the heart of the content you create is the best way to ensure it stays relevant to the audience, who are humans. Make it easy to read and easy to trust. Don’t stuff it full of keywords.
To ensure authority, improve it on-page by hosting your website securely, identify authors where necessary and ensure facts are accurate, in-depth, grammatically accurate and easy to understand.
Improve it off-page by establishing links to your site from other high-quality websites, as it stands a much greater chance of performing well in search results.
And whenever in doubt, evaluate your competitors and contact Myk Baxter Marketing to identify and fix Google Core Update issues on your website before they overwhelm your team.