As Google has confirmed their recent 2018 Google algorithm update, it’s vital to know what that means for your website.
Some people saw their rankings drop while others saw an increase. No matter where you fall on that scale, you need to make the necessary changes to keep up with this update and be ready for the next one.
Keep reading to find out more about this massive update and get a few strategies to ensure it benefits (rather than hurts) you.
What Was Updated
During this recent 2018 Google algorithm update, it was their core algorithm that was updated. For this reason, you won’t find an official name for it like Panda or Hummingbird.
Although they do small, focused changes on a nearly daily basis, this was one of the major updates that happens just a couple times every year, which is why SEO professionals immediately tuned in to see what was happening.
This March 2018 update focused on one thing: relevancy. Google wants to make sure that the search results that are showing up are exactly what searchers are looking for to enrich user experience.
If your site saw a decrease in visits after the latest Google algorithm update, then it could be because they found a competitor’s site was more relevant than yours. So, your site isn’t being penalized so much as someone else’s is being rewarded.
What Can Be Done About the Recent 2018 Google Algorithm Update?
Unfortunately, unlike some of the previous updates, there are no quick fixes that will get your website ranking right back where it was before. However, there are a few things that you can do to take advantage of this update.
Complete Site Audit
The first thing that you want to do if you haven’t done it in a while is a complete site audit. This provides a number of benefits to your website which will help it continue to rank well.
Because this Google algorithm update focuses on the relevancy of content, that’s where you need to study as well. However, checking for broken backlinks and taking some time to fix those will certainly help your rankings while you work on the content.
An audit will also help with content, as it will show you where there are gaps in the content so you can fill them. Identifying weak areas of your content is the first step to being able to strengthen them.
Make Your Content More Relevant
Once you know which pieces of content are not considered as relevant as a competitor’s, you can start to “beef up” these pieces and focus on great content going forward.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that simply adding to your word count will make a difference. Google knows what “fluff” is, content that’s created for the sake of filling up a page.
To avoid fluff, make sure that every sentence belongs in every piece of content. If a piece remains unchanged by the removal of a sentence, it’s fluff, so leave it out.
Take some time to look at the content of your competitors and see what information they’re including. Make sure you’re covering all of that information and more on top of that if you want to beat them.
Essentially, you want to have every article, blog post, and web page to be the be-all, end-all authority on whatever keyword you’re trying to rank for.
Remove Excess Keywords
It may seem counter-intuitive to remove keywords from your content when you want it to be more relevant, but the truth is that keyword-stuffed posts get penalized by Google.
While this strategy worked a few years ago, it now does the opposite, and those who do keyword stuffing will struggle to rank on Google. So, if you haven’t already done so, make sure your website is written for people, not search engines.
Check Out the Competition
This means going beyond the content to see what else they’re doing right that’s getting people to their site rather than yours. If you can, get an unbiased opinion on your website compared to several of your competitors to see what’s working and what’s not.
Maybe it’s time to change your site color or upgrade to a more professional-looking website. Or, in some cases, you’ll want to add pictures, videos, and other forms of visual media to your posts.
The last thing you want to do is turn your website into a carbon copy of any of your competitor’s sites. However, it doesn’t hurt to draw inspiration from them to help you get your site ranking higher than theirs.
Read Through the Guidelines
It’s going to take you some time, but it will be worth it to read through the Quality Rater’s Guidelines for yourself. Within these 160 pages, you will find everything you need to understand exactly what Google considers quality content.
Have a notebook with you as you’re reading through to write down the points that apply specifically to your website that you can start doing immediately. Having these written down will help you remember what’s most important so you can keep producing quality content for Google.
The best thing about reading through these guidelines is that they come from Google itself, so you can rest assured that applying what you read will actually work.
Begin Site Monitoring
No matter what your website is, even a few minutes of downtime can be devastating to your bottom line. After all, if a user does click your link only to find that your website isn’t working, they won’t stay for long.
Setting up website monitoring is a great way to keep your website growing strong even after falling because of the updates. Since you’ll know before your customers do about website crashes, you can get it back up and running before you lose any business.
Now that you have all the information you need about the recent 2018 Google algorithm update, you can move forward with confidence and use this update to your advantage by boosting your ranking position.
For more information about site monitoring, contact us today and let us tell you about everything we can do for you to increase your bottom line.