How to Recover from Google’s August Algorithm Update?
During the first week of August 2018, it was confirmed that Google rolled out a core algorithm update that affected several websites. Google confirmed that it was a major algorithm update that changed how Google matches relevant results to search queries.
Some websites saw a drop in traffic because Google stopped matching search results with keywords that they were ranking for.
Interestingly, no particular fix was suggested for the core algorithm update. Google’s Danny Sullivan said:
“We tell lots of things to do. Improve site speed. Consider secure. Etc. But that’s not what this update was about. It’s broad. And respectfully, I think telling people there’s no particular thing to “fix” is indeed helpful. It means, hopefully, they think more broadly.”
Danny Sullivan followed it up with a reminder of the exhaustive list of over 200 search engine ranking factors that Google consider before ranking a website in the search engine results pages (SERPs). He said:
“Want to do better with a broad change? Have great content. Yeah, the same boring answer. But if you want a better idea of what we consider great content, read our raters guidelines. That’s like almost 200 pages of things to consider: https://t.co/pO3AHxFVrV.”
However, if you are struggling with the Google’s August algorithm update, there is a way. In this blog post, we share how you can recover from it.
Make Content More Relevant
The solution is to make your website’s content more relevant if you want to recover from Google’s major updates.
Google’s John Mueller reminded that major, core algorithm updates are not about any particular bad things that the webmasters need to fix. These core updates are more about the general relevance of the website of the quality — and again, relevance — of the content.
In his own words, “In general, the bigger updates that we do around search like this core update it’s not a matter of us looking at sites and saying “this is bad and this needs to be fixed. But rather us looking at these sites and saying ‘well maybe this isn’t as relevant as it used to be.’”
The important thing to note here is that the focus of core algorithm updates is more about the overall quality and relevance of the content and website. As Mueller said, it is not about “fix these five lines and then it will be back to normal.”
Website vs. Web Pages
While making your website more relevant to search queries that matter to you — and the users are targeting — is very important, the relevance of individual web pages must not be neglected either.
Understanding how an entire website is relevant is one thing. Understanding how different web pages are relevant is another. If you want to remain in Google’s good books — and on the top of the SERPs — you will have to take care of both aspects.
Important SEO Metrics
Create more relevant content that your readers find useful, enjoy, and share. This is one of the biggest reasons why website engagement rate is so important, and other metrics such as bounce rate, exit rate, etc. must also be carefully monitored.
Similarly, as search engines become smarter, natural and relevant backlinks, along with social media shares, may also play an even more crucial role in determining content that is relevant to users. All these factors may eventually impact a website’s search engine rankings in a bigger way.
After you have made your website and web pages more relevant, how quickly can you see positive results?
Unfortunately, there is no fixed timeline for that.
Regarding a potential timeline, John Mueller said, “These things take time and there’s no fixed timeline for that. It’s essentially a kind of ongoing process where we review the pages, we process them, we reindex them, we re-assign the signals that we have there, and this is kind of ongoing.”
So buckle up, do the right things consistently, and these major algorithm updates will only benefit you and give you the competitive advantage you need.