All About Tracking Google Algorithm Updates

All About Tracking Google Algorithm Updates

As of August 2020, the worldwide search engine market share across all platforms was dominated by Google at 92.05%. The web’s most dominant search engine reported a revenue earnings of 160.74 billion US dollars in the last fiscal year largely contributed by its advertising revenue.

In short, Google is popular and makes a lot of money and a key reason behind all this is its focus on delivering the best results for each search and the best user experience possible. It is committed to providing the most authoritative and relevant results to people.

Add to it, the rapid changes in marketing trends, emergence of new tools, and technology—all of which explains the regular tweaks on how Google treats rankings, links, and especially content.

This is the reason why you should track Google updates. Now, there might be several questions popping in your head when we talk about tracking these updates —

how to monitor Google algorithm updates?

How to get around Google’s latest algorithm change?

Are there any tools to track and monitor Google’s algorithm updates?

This article will address these questions and more. 

What is Google Algorithm?

A search engine algorithm is a complex mathematical instruction that dictates how to find, rank, and return the relevant search results. In the bid to improve its ability to return the exact answers in the quickest possible timeframe, Google began updating its algorithms.

Google makes at least 500 to 1,000 algorithm updates annually. Most of these updates are minor and go unnoticed, some are glitch fixes, while still others are major quality updates that affect business rankings significantly. Some updates go on to attend legendary status due to their major impact on SERP—Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Fred.

What is Google Algorithm

For instance, the Google Speed Update rolled out on July 2018 affected rankings based on page speed for mobile searches. Similarly, the October 2018 Significant Core Quality Update based on the expertise, authority, and trust or E-A-T factors dropped rankings for many websites as Google changed the way it measured its trust of a brand.

Why should you track and monitor Google's algorithm updates?

Whether announced or unannounced, Google algorithm updates are always guaranteed to be good news for users. For businesses, it can be a mixed bag. This is the reason why tracking algorithm updates and optimising accordingly becomes very important. When it comes to SEO strategies and tactics, algorithm changes or updates are liable to affect, either positively or negatively, your:

  • Search ranking and visibility,
  • Organic traffic to website,
  • Lead conversions,
  • ROI and revenue generation.

SEO experts understand that rather than a headache, this is a way the search engine giant is providing an opportunity to boost rankings of websites which are providing relevant content and best user experience. Keeping abreast of the quality updates, keeps you at the forefront of the SEO game.

Google is the Tony Stark/ Iron Man of the internet, business sense and good vigilantism. On one hand, it wants the search results to be exact and make sense for users so that they are ahead of its competitors like Bing, Yahoo, etc. On the other hand, spam sites and those that want to bypass security measures are heavily penalised too.

Benefits of tracking Google algorithm updates

The digital livelihood of a website depends on its search positioning, conformity to Google’s changing standards means acing the rankings and in turn, site visitors and sales. So,

  • Churn out user-focussed experience,
  • Improve rankings based on quality content,
  • Get rewarded for fresh content,
  • Build on brand awareness and relevance.

How to track Google’s algorithm updates?

Considering Google changes its algorithm on an average of once every day given its total yearly updates, it is impossible to keep track and deliberate on the implications of each for businesses. There are many resources that can help you to track updates.

  • Set up Google Alerts to monitor algorithm shifts and customise according to required keyword or phrases.
  • Listen to SEO industry leaders as they are sure to comment on significant or quality updates in Google’s algorithms. This can be done though:
    • Following SEO blogs such as Google Webmaster Central Blog, Moz, Search Engine Land, SEM Post, etc.
      • Following Twitter handles of thought leaders and influencers such as Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, John Mueller, Barry Schwartz, Matt Cutts, Marie Haynes, and Glenn Gabe, to name a few.
  • Monitoring Google Analytics to understand the fluctuations website traffic and other metrics. Studied changes in conversions can alert you to possible algorithm changes.
  • Tracking tools are also used by SEO professionals although Google doesn’t favour third party tools monitoring its algorithms. Still, they are a good alert system. Some of these are MozCast, SEMrush Sensor, RankRanger, Algoroo among many others.

Google is always updating to be more assistive, better at matching user intent, and faster in responses. Staying alert is important to understand the big changes as they happen and change tactics accordingly.

Below is the snapshot from SEMrush Sensor, which shows effect on Rankings due to change in Google’s Algorithm update.

 SEMrush Sensor

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