Interpreting the
(Sometimes Confusing)
World of Google SEO Updates

What’s happening: The landscape of SEO is shifting, with video content on platforms like YouTube and TikTok changing how we use the internet. Despite this, Google remains the dominant search engine, representing 92% of the global search market as of January 2022. As a result, businesses need to adapt their SEO strategies to Google’s ever-evolving algorithms.

Why it matters: With over 90 billion visits each month, Google’s importance for driving online traffic and engagement cannot be overstated. Staying current with Google’s updates can help businesses maintain high search rankings and maximize their SEO efforts.

Google’s updates: Google often releases both major and minor updates to its search algorithms. The recent Helpful Content Update targeted low-quality and unoriginal content, discouraging practices like “keyword stuffing.”

Navigating the updates:

  • Focus on high-quality content: Emphasize posting informative and valuable content that meets customer needs.
  • Know your niche: Stay focused on your brand’s niche, helping Google interpret your content as high-quality and relevant.
  • Stay in your sandbox: Stick to your brand and industry in your content, avoiding unrelated topics.
  • Understand search intent: Address the four types of search intent (informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional) in your content.
  • Avoid misleading content: Don’t attempt to answer questions that don’t have answers or provide false information.

Recovering from a drop: Revamp your content based on the tips above if you experience a drop in rankings after a Google update. It may take several months and additional updates for your site to recover.

The bottom line: In the evolving world of SEO, staying updated with Google’s algorithms and focusing on high-quality, relevant content is key to maintaining high search rankings and engaging more people with your business.

Full post:

SEO is still just as important as ever, but it has definitely changed in the past few years. Video content has rapidly and profoundly affected how we all use the Internet worldwide. It has changed things to such an extent, that many people now search for information on YouTube and TikTok instead of just primarily Google. It’s important for you to stay current with these changes, and with Google’s ever-changing algorithms, to make the most of your valuable SEO campaign. Remember that the overarching goal of a fantastic SEO program is for you to rank as high as possible in online searchers so that more and more people will engage with your business.

But please don’t be fooled. Google is still in fact, the world’s most visited site in the world, with more than 90 billion visits each month. According to research performed a year ago in January of 2022, Google represents 92% of the global search market. In the near (and probably far) future, there will always be a need for Google — which means that you will consistently need to build a comprehensive and ever-adapting SEO strategy. This means that there will always be opportunities for you to create and post content that will coincide with Google’s algorithm preferences so that your brand continually ranks exceptionally high in searches. 

Although Google offers a litany of comprehensive digital services, search continues to be one of its most vital ones. Google often releases both major and minor updates for its search algorithms. Designed to improve the search experience for its billions of daily global users, these updates can be tricky for brands to navigate. Sometimes, the updates result in significant search ranking drops and website traffic drops. 

The Helpful Content Update

Occasionally, Google performs an update structured to strengthen content quality for searchers. This past August, Google released its most recent one of these in an effort to minimize low-quality and unoriginal content. There are a lot of people out there who are “cheating the system” by writing website content with the sole intent of ranking high in search engines, and Google wants to continually protect searchers from that type of “fake” content.

The problem with “fake” content is that it becomes an aggravating process for searchers, who then have to do multiple searches or visit multiple sites before finding what they truly wish to find. We all know that, to some degree, our brand websites are supposed to contain content that’s going to initiate high search engine rankings, but there are numerous people out there who are guilty of “keyword stuffing” to the point that it was ruining the playing field for the rest of us. So Google to the rescue, sort of. Now the key is for you to focus on posting high-quality, meaty, informational content that customers need and want.

How to Stay the Course Amidst Google Updates

First, take a deep breath. You’ve got this. There are just a few key things you need to do to make sure that your site continues to rank high before, during, and after Google algorithm updates so that you don’t experience any decrease in rankings or site visits.

  1. Know Your Niche
    Google is continually trying to weed out the fluff so that all of us can have the best search experiences possible. According to Google, staying focused and knowing your brand’s niche is in your best interest. This will help Google interpret your content as viable and high-quality, as opposed to other sites that post a great deal of content but lack any clear, identified focus. Remember that Google wants to send searchers directly to the places they seek.
  2. Stay in Your Sandbox
    Examine your content. Does it sound like it is written for humans or search engine crawlers? If it’s the former, you’re on the right path. Does any of your content stray way outside of your industry to another unrelated one? If you sell cars but start posting recipes, that could be a problem. Stick with your specific brand and your specific industry, and the algorithms will reward your industry-focused information-rich content with higher rankings. Staying in your zone still means that you can post content related to your industry, but don’t start posting about things that have absolutely nothing to do with your brand or area of expertise.
  3. Understand Search Intent
    Now more than ever, Google is focused on search intent. Google has pinpointed four different kinds of search intent: Informational (searching for general information about a topic); Navigational (searching for a specific website); Commercial (researching products for a possible purchase); and Transactional (searching when ready to buy). Identify why and how people search for your business and structure your content based on how people search for you and your industry.
  4. Improve Searcher Experience
    If possible, try to put yourself in searchers’ (and in your customers’) shoes. How do you think they feel when visiting your website? Are they able to quickly and clearly find all of the information that they need? How do you think they feel after visiting your site? Were their questions answered? Do they feel satisfied in their search? These are the kinds of things the Google algorithms care about.
  5. Don’t Answer Questions That Don’t Have Answers
    This may seem obvious, but many sites do this in an attempt to get more traffic. Stay in your industry with factual information so that Google continues to value your content and reward it with high rankings. Google will sanction sites that provide false or misleading information, so continue to stay in Google’s good graces by only posting truthful and factual (not to mention pertinent) content about your brand and industry. Google’s algorithms keep evolving and getting more intelligent, which means that over time, they’ll be able to more efficiently and more quickly penalize sites that either post false information or pretend to have answers to things they couldn’t possibly know. The best examples that many of us are familiar with are when entertainment sites pretend to know the release date of blockbuster movies or when retail sites pretend to have a particular item in stock. All they want is for you to click on their sites, even though they don’t have the information you’re looking for.

What to do if Your Rankings Drop After a Google Update

Typically, it takes a week or two for Google’s algorithm updates to roll out completely. If you have experienced a negative impact (i.e., drop in search ranking and/or a drop in site traffic) a few weeks after a Google update, you may want to revamp all of the content on your website. Please consider adopting all of the tips highlighted in this article so that your content meets all of Google’s continually growing and changing requirements. Remember that after you make the necessary changes, it still could take several months and additional Google updates for your website to recover.

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