A sudden and major drop or increase in your website’s search engine rankings is, in most cases, the result of one of Google’s algorithmic updates. If you notice an increase, good for you! Yet, what should you do if your site’s traffic decreases? The harsh truth is – you haven’t prepared for the update and it would, highly likely, lower your profits.
Now, you are probably wondering how to help your site survive major Google updates (of course, if you make it through the last one). In a nutshell – surviving is not about trying to fix your website only after an update occurs. You should follow and apply the best SEO practices so you ensure you stay as near to the top of search results as possible all-year-round. Here are some pro tips on how to become update-resistant and stay one step ahead of the game.
1. Pay Attention to Traffic Spikes
Some Google updates are released to devalue low-quality content. Every time they release an update, numerous website owners notice a serious traffic drop. Instead of panicking, try to find the correlation between the drop and update. Go through content on your site or ask Google Analytics for help. Here, you will find which articles got affected by the update. To ensure updates don’t hurt your website in the future, take some action to improve the quality and relevance of content you upload and improve pages that went through a crash during the latest update.
2. Find Balance Between Ads and Content
Google also launches updates that hit websites with too many ads. An unreasonable amount of ads on your website can affect user experience, and user experience is on top of Google’s priorities. Website owners who got hit by this type of update noticed an immediate traffic boost as soon as they reduced the number of ads. If your website site is affiliate-heavy, it’s highly likely you won’t get away with spamming your visitors. To survive the Fred updates, carefully place ads around the center and keep away from deceptive ads and videos that autoplay.
3. Remove Harmful Links
Google now uses AI to inspect the legitimacy of the backlinks on your website. Websites with a bunch of bad links are not likely to rank high. Think twice before trying to manipulate Google because there’s a great chance they will devalue your website. To prevent this, inspect the links on your website and remove all the bad ones (links from spammy blog comments, links you paid for to manipulate Google, links from spun articles, etc).
4. Offer Mobile-Friendly Experience
Google prioritises mobile experience and ranks sites higher accordingly. Does it take more than 10 seconds for visual content on your website to load on mobile? Pages that take more than 3 seconds to load on mobile contribute to poor user experience. The same applies to pop-up ads. Google strongly advocates against manipulative tactics so don’t try to play them. Instead, do your best to improve your visitor’s experience, especially on mobile.
The secret recipe for surviving major Google updates is simple – publish high-quality, relevant content, improve user experience on all devices, and fix or remove broken links. Google appreciates effort so don’t be lazy about investing time into learning the best SEO strategies that will keep your page on top. If you find this time-consuming or confusing, don’t hesitate – contact us! We will be glad to help you out so you won’t have to worry about annual updates anymore.