Was Your Site Impacted by an Algorithm Update?
The search engines release updates to their algorithms all the time. Most of these updates go unnoticed because they affect such a small number of sites, and may not even make a huge difference when it comes to ranking or traffic. However, some algorithm updates are massive game changers like the Google Panda update and Google Penguin update. If history is any indication, it looks like these aren’t the end of the big algorithm updates and we are in store for more.
If you think that your site may have been impacted by an algorithm update it’s important to do the following:
The first step is to be aware that an algorithm update has happened. If you are involved in SEO in any capacity and care about the success of your website in the search engines it’s important to read up on the industry. You don’t have to spend numerous hours a day doing so, but even a few minutes here or there can be insightful. Read the search engine blogs and other well known industry blogs that will have timely information about what’s going on.
Every website owner should have analytics tracking set up on their website. If you don’t, how are you ever going to know how your website is performing? Google Analytics is probably the best, since it’s information straight from the source. It’s important to check analytics on a regular basis just to see the trends of the website over time. Traffic data and keyword data are especially important to an SEO campaign. If you notice any change in traffic or in the keywords that are bringing visitors, it’s likely that the algorithm update had an impact.
Check Webmaster Tools
Webmaster Tools alerts site owners with a notification when there are issues on the site. If a new notification pops up after an algorithm update, it could be possible that you now have a penalty.
Rankings fluctuate based on the personalization of search, so it’s not the best indicator of SEO success. However, it’s good to have a rough idea of where your site is showing up for specific keyword phrases. For example, if your site is typically somewhere between page 2 and 3 of a search and then drops off significantly after an algorithm update, it’s likely that it had an impact.
Search engine algorithm updates aren’t always something to be feared. In fact, if you’ve been doing things the right way they should be embraced. The purpose of the updates is to improve search results. If you have a good website and aren’t being spammy, a drop off in the bad sites should mean an improvement for your site. If you’ve been negatively impacted by an algorithm update it means that you’ve been caught doing something that you shouldn’t have been doing. Always follow the search engine Webmaster guidelines. Following a white hat strategy will never be harmful.
Categorized in: Search Engines
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