Google always has something new up its sleeve. That’s how the search engine has managed to turn the tables and become one of the most renowned tech companies in the world.
But keeping track of so many updates can be a challenge. And, of course, building a solid online presence depends on knowing how major algorithm updates will affect your online business. Sometimes you wonder how the Google algorithm impacts your organic traffic. Here are 10 signs to help you do just that:
Check Out the Update Details
As soon as a Google algorithm hits the market, you should first check with a reliable source about the update and its features. First-hand knowledge about this information is crucial because some sources are simply wrong and misleading. Unreliable information may cause you to change aspects of your website or content strategy that have nothing to do with the google algorithm impact.
If you don’t consider yourself an expert in this field, find trusted engineers and analysts who can help you interpret the consequences of the changes. Here are three researchers and tech specialists who have been actively uncovering the meaning of Google algorithm hits and how to deal with them:
- Danny Sullivan: Google’s public liaison for search
- John Mueller: Google’s search advocate
- Addy Osmani: senior staff engineering manager for Google Chrome
Evaluate Your Content Performance
Objective evaluation is not easy, especially if you are an entrepreneur or content creator. We tend to underestimate our mistakes, which means our judgment is always biased in some way. Google suggests asking yourself the following questions to determine whether your content is of high quality or not:
- Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or website that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?
- Does your content demonstrate that you’ve first-hand expertise (e.g., expertise that comes from actually using a product or service or visiting a location)?
- Is there a primary focus or purpose to your website?
- After reading your content, will someone feel they’ve learned enough about a topic to achieve their goal?
- After reading your content, will someone feel they’ve had a satisfying experience?
- Do you follow our guidelines for core updates and product reviews?
Compare Traffic Spikes Against the Update’s Release Date
Some of your content archives may not be of the highest possible quality. Monitoring these pages is even more critical. Check your analytics tools and compare traffic patterns before and after the release. This will help you determine if there has been any negative impact.
Monitor Changes in Other Search Engines
Google has a strong hegemony over other search engines. In 2022 Google had a share of around 83 percent of the global search market. So, checking out other search engines may not provide as much data as Google Analytics does, but it can be a good addition to the big picture. Look for abnormal patterns; they are the rarest and most important indicators.
Monitor Data Sources
If the update rollout is complete and you suspect a Google algorithm hit, use the analytics. Traffic patterns often follow a weekly cycle. Therefore, you will probably need to compare page performance analytics a week after the launch to one week in the previous month or year before the release.
Check Out Secondary Sources
Although not as reliable as first-hand sources, secondary sources can still come in handy. After the completion of the rollout, there is much information available to estimate the potential google algorithm impact. These new sources can provide you with many credible insight into devising a new website management strategy:
More Traffic Indicates What?
Let’s say the update has been released, and you’re experiencing higher traffic than a few weeks earlier. It’s still very difficult to attribute the traffic spike to the rollout. It’s best to rely on the available data and get the analytics with more detailed methods, like regex, to exclude pages with no content.
Less Traffic Indicates What?
If you’re experiencing downturn traffic spikes and aren’t sure if it’s a Google algorithm hit, wait a few days after the rollout and re-evaluate the page and overall site performance. Run the SERP analytics again and compare the data with other performance evaluation tools. Ensure that the abnormal patterns and negative impact have only one direct cause.
The anomalous or unnatural traffic patterns may coincide with the algorithm update. There are a few ways to rule out the impact of an update. One approach is to review the algorithm’s engineering methodology, run a test model, and compare the results to the actual website’s performance. However, the most practical and effective method is to exclude the effects of other variables, which leads to the last point:
Traffic From Other Sources
Eliminating the effect of intervening variables is a proven strategy to determine the impact of a constant. As a business owner, you may run a thorough marketing campaign and invest in different sources of traffic generation, paid or organic.
Fluctuations in visitors to your website may be due to the content marketing strategies you use for other media to promote your brand. You can extract social media data via platform analytics or external tools and determine how much each medium contributed to traffic. This will give you a more accurate picture of how the Google algorithm impacts your website.
There you go, folks! Hopefully, this article has helped you figure out whether an algorithm update has impacted your organic traffic. Remember, Google is not going away for the foreseeable future, and responding to updates in a smart way is essential to a solid online presence.
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