How To Avoid Being Caught Out By Google Algorithm Updates

Does a Google algorithm update catch you off guard?

Google is constantly changing its search algorithm to provide a better service to its users. With each update, they hope to improve the quality of results that users see.

They do this so people can quickly and easily find the information they need.

That’s great news for most people, but it’s worrying news for anybody that is concerned about their search engine rankings. Google makes so many small tweaks to the algorithm, sometimes updating it more than once a day.

These small updates are not likely to affect search engine rankings but every so often, Google releases a bigger update which changes things up a lot. You may think Google does not like your site!

Google algorithm updates

If you don’t adapt your website and your SEO strategy accordingly, your rankings could be seriously affected. The problem is, you need to know when the updates are coming so you can prepare beforehand and avoid getting penalized. Knowing where your brand stands are important to monitor.

If you are concerned about Google algorithm updates, here’s how you can get ahead of them.

These small updates are not likely to affect search engine rankings but every so often, Google releases a bigger update which changes things up a lot. #SEO Click To Tweet

Watch Out For Twitter Announcements

Often, Google will confirm big updates on Twitter. Therefore, be sure that you keep a close eye out for any announcements. Google uses handles like @Googlesearchc to make these announcements most of the time, so make sure that you are following that account.

You won’t get updates about the smaller tweaks, but you will find out if a big change is about to be made.

However, these announcements don’t usually give you that much time to prepare. So, you should be using other methods to look out for upcoming changes too.

One method I like is the good old fashion Google alert. You can sign up via email and change it anytime.

Often, Google will confirm big updates on Twitter, so make sure that you keep a close eye out for any announcements. #SEO #Twitter Click To Tweet

Monitor Your Traffic for Google Algorithm Updates

Often, you will see a big increase or decrease in traffic around the time of a Google algorithm update.

Of course, the algorithm has changed in some way. Most likely a way in which affects the number of people that find your site through search.

Below, is a screenshot of the past 28 days for Inspire To Thrive.  Reviewing these from your Google Analytics dashboard is a great way to keep on top of it.

Of course, there are many tools to track your website traffic and analytics. Some are FREE but many do cost money too.

Google analytics

Working with an experienced SEO company can help you monitor traffic and, most importantly, determine the reason for the change.

If they have made changes to their strategy and traffic increases as a result, you don’t need to worry about an update.

But if your strategy has not changed but traffic levels are fluctuating a lot, it’s likely that an update is soon to be launched.

Often, you will see a big increase or decrease in traffic around the time of a Google algorithm update. #Googleupdates Click To Tweet

Track Your Search Rankings

Tracking your search ranking is important too. If you are performing well on search and then you suddenly drop a few places overnight, it’s probably because the goalposts have been moved.

Updates change the way that Google scans and ranks sites. Therefore, a website that was optimized well in the past may need to be changed.

Again, you need to check for other reasons why your rankings may have changed, but drastic changes often signify a new update.

Use Google Console

queries in Google console

The slide above shows queries in Google Console so you can see what people are searching for when they reach your website. I’ve noticed a change in what they are over the past few months. You can choose your time period from 1 day to over a year.

My Twitter jail post used to rank top for searches but since Instagram has become more popular it has changed. Or it could be the old Twitter blog post that needs more updating. (I took it a step further and checked Google Trends and Instagram did rank higher in searches.)

You can learn a lot about your web traffic by looking through your Google console!

Maintain Your Content Strategy to Stay Ahead of Google Algorithm Updates

Although the rules change with new updates, high-quality content is always a priority for the algorithm. This type of content hasn’t changed for a long time.

As long as you keep producing excellent content and you schedule it so you always remain consistent with your posting.

This too will help you sustain your rankings whenever an upgrade is made.

Nobody can predict the future and you won’t always be fully prepared for algorithm updates. However, if you follow these steps, you can avoid being caught out.

How are you making out with the latest Google algorithm updates for YOUR blog or website? Are you using any tools to help guide you? Let’s discuss this in the comments below.

social media management tool

Lisa Sicard
  • Prosper Noah says:

    Hi Lisa,

    It’s been a really long while I visited here..

    I’ve been working on lots of projects for the past 2 years now that I had to stop updating my blog.

    Now that I want to get started once again it seems a lot of stuff have changed in the SEO industry.

    My traffic’s really gone down, probably I’ve been hit by a Google update or stuff like that.

    I’ll try to keep up once again and I think your post is a starting point.

    Lovely post and all the best.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Prosper, oh, 2 years is a very long time not to update your blog. You can start by updating old blog posts, which could help your rankings a lot. I hope all is well your way and nice to see you back on the blog. Have a great new week!

  • John Ravi says:

    Lisa, I totally agree with you. Google changes its algorithm more often these days. Sticking with the basics of producing high content is the most important point here. I also agree with the fact that monitoring our search ranking is the essential step to keep track of our blogging success. About a few months, we forgot to update our Divi theme. It messed up our entire site. Since we were tracking our ranks on Google, we were able to spot the sudden rise of bouncing rate and fix our website. I shared this article on my Facebook post. Such a treasure.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi John, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. They do change it more than we change our underwear as the saying goes! Oh yes, you must update themes and plugins, John. I’ve had that happen too! But I don’t upgrade right away with the latest WordPress until the kinks are worked out.
      Interesting how you found it with the bounce rate, John. You were paying attention to that for sure Thanks for the input and your story on this as well as sharing on Facebook. Have a great rest of the weekend John.

  • Maintaining your content schedule is key Lisa. Writing in-depth, detailed content and perhaps mixing in helpful but shorter posts keeps your blog looking good in Google’s eyes. Actually, as long as you keep readers happy and hit the mark with long form content, adding ample details in thorough fashion, Google will keep ranking your blog almost completely independent of algorithm changes.

    We see this with pros. Neil Patel ranks on page 1 year after year for highly competitive keywords because he writes such in-depth, detailed blog posts optimized for SEO with rich links in, links out and effective formatting. Each algorithm change has virtually no effect on his search traffic because he sticks to the fundamentals religiously, never chasing fads, always sticking to the basics.

    Fabulous points here all around.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ryan, Yes, I would agree on the mixing of the content. It should not all be long-form as readers will back away if they don’t have time to read it or maybe just skim it. Keeping your readers happy is key!!
      Well, Neil also spends a fortune on ads and influencers Ryan. I can’t compete with that! I don’t think it is just his great content. It is amazing with the combo of the 2 things can do, though. Someday! Thanks for your input on this Ryan and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

      • Excellent point Lisa. He and many guys who publish sensational content also spend a fortune of advertising to gain greater blogging exposure. This is why us lesser known bloggers need to tap into the power of being generous to gain more exposure through our friend networks. I am in the habit of promoting at least a few of my 50,000 BFP backlinks daily. Do your best to make what you already have work for you.


        • Lisa says:

          Thank you Ryan. Yes, we do need to tap into other “powers” to make things happen. You do a great job of promoting those backlinks daily as I see you everywhere Ryan 🙂 Enjoy your Sunday!

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