Achieving your goal of search engine domination can be difficult. Generally speaking, the businesses that make an effort to understand the complex algorithm used by Google to rank websites rise to the top. Failing to stay abreast of changes to this algorithm can result in a business using outdated tactics that will actually hurt them in the long run.
Since Google processes nearly 90 percent of all Internet searches, it is important to keep up with the changes they make to its algorithm. A few weeks ago, the team at Google announced a broad core update to their algorithm that would launch in September 2022.
Are you curious about how this latest update will affect your rank? If so, check out the useful information below.
What Are Core Updates?
The team at Google classifies a core update as broad changes to both its systems and algorithm. Most newcomers to the world of search engines fail to realize that these core updates happen multiple times each year. However, this doesn’t reduce the stress these updates cause for both site owners and content publishers.
Google claims that the reason for these updates is to enhance the overall relevance of search results. In most cases, some website owners will see an uptick in traffic volatility once these updates are rolled out.
A Well-Guarded Google Secret
Google has a reputation for divulging very little about its core updates. They will merely confirm the existence of said update and warn website owners that their domains might experience some changes in traffic patterns.
The search engine giant reports that this latest core update will take around two weeks to fully roll out. During this implementation period, it is important to monitor your traffic closely. By doing this, you can quickly identify this problem and develop a strategy to address it.
Some Websites Are Already Experiencing a Drop-Off In Traffic
The initial rollout for this latest Google core update happened on September 12th, 2022. Since then, some webmasters have reported traffic drops by up to 60 percent. Search engine results page volatility metrics have also increased since the update was released.
The highest range for SERP volatility came a day after the update was released. For the most part, this volatility affected three basic categories:
- Online communities
- News outlets
A surefire way to weather the Google core update storm is by creating and publishing content regularly.
Assess Content Quality If You’re Negatively Affected By Google’s Core Update
If you’ve noticed that website traffic metrics have been in steady decline since the release of the new core update, it is time to take a good look at the content on your website. There are many content-related problems that can affect your ability to attract attention from Google after a core update. Below are some of these problems.
Using Clickbait Strategies
Some website owners think that getting pageviews is more important than providing great content. This misconception usually leads to the implementation of clickbait strategies. While you want your content titles to stand out, you need to be careful.
Google has declared an all-out war on clickbait and the algorithm updates they’re rolling out are designed to help them win this war. You might have a big clickbait problem if:
- People can’t consume content because of slideshows
- The content doesn’t deliver on the headline’s promise
- Using bait-and-switch in your articles
- Blogs are used as full-page ads
- On-screen advertisements are making content unreadable
If the content on your website has any of these problems, you need to fix them. Focusing on content quality can lower your risk of website traffic issues after a core update is released.
Content Not Written For Consumers
You need to consider the reader when developing new content for your website. Making the mistake of writing content solely to attract attention from search engines can be disastrous. Content that is stuffed with keywords will be virtually unreadable to actual people.
Google has caught on to the practice of keyword stuffing and is punishing websites that still use this black-hat SEO tactic. Writing content that is actually informative and engaging is vital when trying to rise to the top of Google. By putting out this type of content, you can help consumers and get on the good side of the Google algorithm.
Providing Only Surface Level Information
Skimming the surface of a complex subject can also cause search engine ranking problems. Google has stated time and time again that they prefer blogs with substance. If you only provide surface-level information about a topic, it is only a matter of time before your website traffic starts to decline.
Long-form content that actually tackles complex subjects performs much better than short and incomplete feeling blogs. You also need to get in the habit of updating older blogs with new information. This is a great way to boost poorly performing content on Google.
Failing To Create Linkable Content
The Google algorithm considers many factors when crawling a website. When assessing how helpful a website’s content is, this algorithm will consider how many backlinks it has. A backlink is when a website links to content on your domain.
If you have very few backlinks, this could hurt your Google rank when core updates are released. Getting more backlinks to your website will require doing things like:
- Create infographics and stat list articles
- Guest post on reputable websites
- Promote new content on social media
- Embed plenty of internal links in your content
- Write testimonials
Rather than trying to take on the work involved in getting more backlinks alone, you need to reach out to knowledgeable professionals. At Small Business SEO, we will use tried and true tactics to get your content the attention it deserves.
Didn’t Google Already Release an Update?
If you closely follow news from the Google camp, you are probably aware of the helpful content update that was rolled out on August 25th, 2022. This content update wrapped up its rollout on September 9th, 2022, a mere three days before the release of this latest core update.
Google didn’t classify the helpful content update as an official core update. This update uses the power of machine learning to deprioritize content deemed unhelpful by the standards of Google. Content deemed unhelpful is usually low quality, unoriginal and created with the purpose of getting attention from search engines.
How To Create People-First Content Google Will Love
When the helpful content update was announced, Google claimed the main mission of this update was to provide users with people-first content. This term is used to describe content written for the reader rather than search engines. If you are unsure about how to create people-first content, then you need to consider the tips below.
Create Content That Answers Common Questions
Content is considered helpful by Google when it helps users accomplish a task or learn something. When creating content specifically for search engines, many businesses write tons of words without providing anything of value.
If you want to provide people-first content, then you have to provide answers to common questions. You need to ensure your content doesn’t leave the reader wanting more. If a person gets to the end of your article and feels like they haven’t received a sufficient answer to their query, they will seek out more information from a competitor.
Avoid Straying from Your Main Topic
Writing content about any topic under the sun in an attempt to attract more website visitors is a horrible strategy. Straying too far away from your area of expertise can be extremely problematic. You need to realize that consumers will come to your site to hear more about what you specialize in.
This is why you need to avoid publishing content that is unrelated to the main topic of your website. If you want to create helpful content, then you need to ask yourself questions like:
- Are you entering a niche topic area without sufficient expertise?
- Is the content written for humans or search engines?
- Are you only writing about a particular topic because it is trending?
With the answers to these questions, you can quickly assess if you’re on the right track with your content.
Provide a Good Reader Experience
By focusing on creating people-first content, you can unlock many new sales leads. One of the main goals you should have when creating new content is to provide a great user experience. This means that your content should be easy to scan and filled with useful information.
You also need to use videos and pictures to get your point across. These visual elements will make your content more engaging to the reader. If readers find a piece of content engaging, they will venture to other parts of your website in search of more information.
The Importance of Great Content
The best way to avoid declining website traffic after the release of new Google core updates is by developing great content. If you need help optimizing your website and creating engaging content, Small Business SEO is here to assist.