According to Search Engine Journal, the Google search algorithm updates between 500 and 600 times a year, and has made nine significant updates in the last two years. One of the most recent updates, which was unconfirmed by Google, was released earlier this year and generally affected spam websites. These facts might seem benign, but if you’re actively running a website and producing content, they still concern you. If your brand is being represented on a website, then you probably worry along with everyone else about whether you’ll be hit with any penalties or lose site traffic every time Google issues a new algorithm update. Even though the process of going through large Google algorithm updates can be grueling, it is possible to come out on the other side of an update without any significant losses.
Don’t Be Distressed
We agree with Search Engine Land: panicking at every update is one of the least effective ways to keep your website from being affected by Google algorithm updates. Although it’s completely normal to feel slightly anxious, you don’t have to worry that your site will disappear from the results page every time a new update is put into place. Accept that updates will continue to happen, and that your site will likely not be seriously affected as long as you follow SEO best practices.
Create Strong Content
Creating strong, helpful content is something you should be doing regardless of Google updates – but it never hurts to let that content be your shield when a new update is implemented. It’s been proven in recent years that longer, well-researched content typically survives updates better than short, fluffy content. This is because algorithm updates such as Google Panda look for content that looks like spam. If your site is populated with substantial content, your chances of being passed over for penalties are much higher.
Check Your Links
Inbound links to your website are, in part, endorsements of your site’s quality. That being said, if you receive inbound links from low-quality or spam websites, then Google will assume that your site must be of the same caliber. Outbound links can affect whether or not you receive a penalty from Google as well. As long as you make sure that all the links you use are reputable, you shouldn’t see any negative consequences from algorithm updates like Google Penguin.
Don’t Rely Solely on Your Website
In an article for Entrepreneur, Jason Parks said that your website shouldn’t be your only means of driving business. He cited social media marketing and Google Adwords as two ways of representing your brand online outside of your website. Having other lifelines to hold on to in the event of a Google algorithm update will increase your chances of surviving—especially if you are negatively affected after an update.
Invest in a Digital Partner
No matter the size of your business, optimizing your website for search and making changes to fit Google’s standards can be a monumental undertaking. However, this weight virtually disappears if you have someone else to take care of SEO optimization for you.
If you still have questions about how to handle Google algorithm updates or would like to learn about Starkmedia’s search-related services, contact us. We’re here to help your website do more than just survive: we want to help your brand thrive.