Google's Latest Algorithm Update - What You Need to Know
If you've recently noticed that your site's search engine rankings won't stop fluctuating, you're not imagining things: Google recently released an algorithm update that is likely causing what you're now seeing. The company typically releases one or more of these adjustments every day, but this one seems to have been a bit more significant than most.
If you want to make sense of these recent events (and hopefully use them to your advantage moving forward), there are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind.
Breaking Down the March Google Algorithm Update
Generally speaking, Google keeps the precise way that it's algorithm works a secret. This is done, in large part, to prevent people from "gaming the system." If you're not exactly sure how the algorithm works at any given moment, you're far less likely to employ certain "black hat SEO" tactics in order to artificially inflate your rankings. Even if you try, they won't be very effective because you're still not sure what you should be focused on. To that end, it's a bit like trying to hit a target that is always moving... while blindfolded.
Having said that, there are a few things we know for sure. Google released a broad core search algorithm update on March 12, and chatter indicates that it was aimed at sites operating in the healthcare and medical spaces. If that turns out to be true, that would actually be the second time Google has done this in about a year.
Certain experts have noted that sites that stick to an active publishing schedule were able to "ride out" the update better than those who don't. Part of this has to do with the fact that regular content creation tends to engage with users more over the long-term. Sites that are popular tend to publish content on a regular basis and, as a result, they stay that way more often than not.
Likewise, sites that have historically published a lot of lower quality content were hit particularly hard by this update. A dramatic impact was seen for domains that A) housed low quality content that formerly performed above expectations, that B) hadn't been updated in awhile, and that C) were on sites with less frequent publishing patterns.
An Important Matter of Perspective
Again - Google rarely (if ever) says exactly what an algorithm update is designed to do, if they even bother to confirm that one occurred at all. So all of this may sound a bit vague, as it's based in equal parts observation and speculation. But all told, Google has made one thing overwhelmingly clear time and again. If you focus on creating high quality content that has something of value to offer your visitors and you do this as frequently as you can, algorithm updates won't be something you need to worry about. Provided that you follow those guidelines, your search engine rankings will more or less take care of themselves.
If you'd like to find out additional information about Google's most recent algorithm update, or if you have any additional questions you'd like to discuss with someone in a bit more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us anytime.