The only sure thing in the realm of SEO is that it’s always going to change. According to Google, the search engine giant’s algorithm undergoes 500 to 600 changes every year. However, the lion’s share of these updates has little impact on your brand’s SEO performance.
But every so often, Google drops a major update that sends some SEO strategies into a tailspin. The two most recent updates included Possum (released in early September 2016) and Penguin 4.0 (released at the end of September 2016).
Major updates to Google’s search algorithm can be stressful, but according to Search Engine Land, there are three simple (and calming) steps you can take to keep your strategy on the straight and narrow.
- Don’t Panic
In the aftermath of a Google update, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and stay calm. We never get a clear and detailed list of the changes that get implemented, and panicking is a waste of time and energy. By trying to guess right out the gate what an update has in store, you can do significant damage to your SEO strategy.
- Don’t Immediately React
It makes sense to immediately want to make changes to your site, user experience, and content. Instead, you should give it time to marinate and measure the impact on your site. When you hear about a Google update coming down the pipeline, make a note of your site’s current performance then wait a week or two and measure the outcome. In the majority of cases, if you are doing SEO the right way, your site won’t be impacted negatively (and if you’re lucky, you may ever see a boost).
- Learn From Credible Sources
Alright, so you haven’t panicked, and you’ve let the new update take hold – now it’s time to get to work. Start by researching the general fallout. An excellent source of information is the Google Webmaster Blog as well as the PBJ Marketing Blog. Examine any information and try to learn what an update specifically targeted.
If Google doesn’t provide an outline of its recent updates, learn from credible sources. A lot of sites will publish tips and trick about how to get short-term results, but will inevitably hurt your SEO standing in the long run.