In the last few months, Google has released several algorithm updates and we are reading a lot on the topic lately. Most of us are trying to figure out how it will affect our day-to-day work. What its reflection will be on the digital advertising industry and mainly, how it will impact publishers and their website traffic, consequentially their revenue.
Well, don’t worry, it is not as crazy as it looks. We will try to summarize and simplify it in the next few paragraphs.
Google Algorithms – What are they?
Google’s algorithms are the complex system, gathering data from its search index and within seconds deliver the best possible results for a specific query. To deliver pages ranked by relevance in SERPs, a search engine uses a combination of algorithms and different ranking signals. How Search algorithms work and how they will work is definitely something we will look into very soon.
Some of the algorithm changes, that Google makes are going unnoticeable, as they are slight algorithmic amendments. Yet, recently Google rolled out a few major updates, which shook the SERPs and affected directly publishers website ranking and traffic. We will dig into the major updates that Google made this year.
Google Algorithm Updates
core update a.k.a the June Update
There are a lot of algorithms that we all heard of. For example, Panda, Fred, Penguin, Hummingbird, RankBrain, just to name a few. But what is a Core Update? There are different opinions on what core update is. For us, this is the change or the update Google is making to the main search engine algorithm itself. The search engine corrects its ranking factors and signals, their importance, order, weights, or values. How exactly, only Google knows. But we all can notice the traffic fluctuations happening as an effect.
In June 2019 Google announced its core update and even before it was officially confirmed, the digital publishers started to experience some rankings shifts and website traffic hiccups. The update is rolling for a while now and the affected publishers are still trying to find ways to overcome the ranking and traffic dropdowns. At the time of the update, Google kept on repeating that no actions are required. The publishers don’t have to make any amendments to their websites or webpages to protect the traffic due to the update. But there are a lot of sites, which were affected, so that was left to webmasters’ discretion. If you, as a publisher, think something needs to be done and you haven’t figured it out yet, here are a few tips to conquer the update:
- Stay focused and keep on creating high-quality content;
- Think like a user and the search intent;
- Follow Google’s Guidelines (of course);
By now we have all heard of the BERT algorithm, which Google announced as the most important update in five years. But how many of us, know what BERT really is? BERT is focusing mainly on complicated search queries, which depend on context. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, a.k.a Th BERT algorithm is explained brilliantly by Pandu Nayak in his Understanding searches better than ever before article.
If you require further information, simply put down the BERT update and hit the Google search button. You will discover fantastic sources of information out there. From Google’s official definition through specialists’ perspective, to a wide range of advice on how to approach BERT and what to expect of it. So, if you’re curious to find out more – go for it – Google it.
more google algorithms affecting SEO and web traffic
Launched in 2012, Google’s Penguin is following the steps of Panda. At first, it was introduced as a ‘webspam’ algorithm update, developed to target link spam and malicious link building practices. Penguin is also a substantial part of Google’s core algorithm and is under constant improvement. Even though it hasn’t been officially confirmed, some search engine specialists suspect that Penguin was part of the June update.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness also known as E-A-T is an important part of the Google algorithm and it’s an important ranking signal. We are unable to explain it any better than Dr. Marie Haynes in the blog post – E-A-T and SEO.
In 2017, E-A-T was embraced as one of the major search engine ranking factors. After it’s initial release publishers noticed that their websites were heavily affected. Google’s organic traffic dropped noticeably. Websites start losing rankings to clearly more authoritative ones. Simply put, they were hit by E-A-T. To avoid that happening to your site, don’t underestimate the Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness factors for a page. Try to stay up to date with the algorithm updates.
What google Updates mean for the publisher?
It is hard enough to create the right content, that quality content, which would attract users, make them visit your website. And what is more, to make users come back for more of that content and to engage with it? To get to the right audience, the one who’ll crave for the content you distribute, is heavily depending on how your site ranks on Google. Why? Simply because, if your website is served higher in the SERP it means it is easily reachable by the audience. The higher your site ranks, the better your visibility is. And it all depends on search engines and publishers’ awareness of its algorithm updates.
It is difficult to catch up with all the recent updates which Google released. Publishers are constantly having to adapt to them to stay in the digital publishing game and generate decent revenue.
As we have mentioned previously, to fix and recover after a Google algorithm update, publishers’ focus has to be on several main aspects:
- Show expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.;
- Create every piece of content with the user intent in mind;
- Follow Google’s official guidelines and stay tuned for algorithm updates and releases;
- Check regularly your site speed and run periodically technical audits;
- Avoid malicious link-building practices;
Are you ready for the next major Google Update? We are! Watch this space for more actionable publisher insights.