Have you noticed a dip in your website traffic over the last several weeks? If so, it may not be due to economic implications of coronavirus concerns. You may have a search engine optimization (SEO) problem on your hands, and if so, we want to help you fix it. 

What is a Google algorithm update? 

In May 2020, Google released a major core algorithm update. In layman’s terms, Google made changes to the way their search engines return results. While often unnoticed by the general public, Google regularly makes changes to the way their search engines work. Google’s goal is to return the best result to a query, and they’re constantly working behind the scenes to improve their product’s functionality. But each time they make an algorithm change, there’s always a ripple effect. Some businesses see a spike in traffic while others wonder why their traffic is suddenly sinking.  

What changes did Google make in the new update?

Google never releases specifics—that information is proprietary—but they do give you hints and tips that can help your website recover if you are negatively impacted by a core algorithm update. Webmasters are wise to follow Google’s blog for the most up-to-date information, but we advise hiring a firm (like ours!) that specializes in SEO to ensure that your website is always fully optimized. 

How to make your site rank better after a Google update. 

When there’s an update like this and websites experience lower traffic, webmasters and marketers are often scrambling looking for a “fix,” but Google suggests a change of perspective. It’s not that these sites that once were performing well are now broken, it’s that the content is no longer the best result. So if you’re experiencing a dip, it could be that someone has outperformed you with more relevant and useful content, or it could be that a website that is better optimized for local search is getting a higher page rank. 

Google has repeatedly emphasized focusing on content. There are so many considerations when it comes to content and we’ve covered how to create great content for your website extensively on the blog. But ultimately, if you’re experiencing a particularly painful hit, it’s best to call in someone with SEO experience and expertise to thoroughly evaluate all the elements factoring into your page rank and advise you on how to make things better. 

A helpful acronym to follow when evaluating your website content is E.A.T. which stands for experience, authority, and trust. Work to produce content positioning your brand as a trusted subject matter expert with authority and experience—but be sure to do so in a way that is measurable so you can know if what you’re doing is actually working. Here are some more questions to help you evaluate your content:

  1. Is your content original? The internet is literally overflowing with content, if your website reads the same as everyone else’s your page may be buried beneath other more established pages. Take the time to find something new to say, even the most evergreen topics can be discussed from your unique brand perspective. 
  2. Is your content thorough? Not long ago, there was a trend toward shorter content with the idea that people wouldn’t stick around long enough to read long-form content. New findings, however, indicate that Google ranks longer, more thorough descriptions, and in-depth analysis higher than posts with, say 300-600 words. 
  3. Does your content add value? You may be surprised to know that so much content on the web is copied and pasted from other sources. Google smells a copycat and instantly pushes plagiarized content down the search engine results page (SREP). If you use a content writing service, make sure that you’re not unknowingly posting recycled content. There are plagiarism checkers you should use to double-check any outsourced content. 
  4. Are your titles relevant or click-bait? Much like plagiarized content, Google dings websites with click-bait content. If the title of your post doesn’t match the content in the body of the post, your site will not rank high. It’s also a good rule of thumb to repeat the words in your titles throughout the article—not forcefully—but organically as this helps Google recognize the connections and give you high scores for relevance. 
  5. Is your content factually accurate? Despite how you may feel about the term “fake news,” one of the downfalls of social media is the perpetuation of misinformation. Make sure that you always fact-check whatever you’re posting on your website and never recirculate information that is speculative or sensationalized. 
  6. Check the technical specifics. Make sure that your website is responsive and that you’re not experiencing loading lag-time. If you do allow ads on your site, be sure they’re not slowing down your overall site performance or detracting from the overall quality of your content. 

The internet is constantly changing. You may have been the thought leader on your product or service six months ago, but new companies and websites are emerging everyday to compete for Google’s attention. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to SEO which is why some brands prefer to invest in pay-per-click advertising. But if you want an organic SERP ranking, your best bet is to invest heavily in creating quality content and hiring a firm that specializes in SEO to ensure that all the technical aspects are in order. 

All of this talk of algorithms, SEO, and SERP can be confusing. If you have more questions about the Google algorithm/search engine update, or SEO in general, please let us know. We would be glad to help you make the most of your content, ensure your website is technically flawless, and work toward a higher placement on the search engine results page.

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