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Improve Your Google Search Rankings With an Algorithm Update

If you woke up one morning to find that your website’s traffic from Google had plummeted overnight, you may be the victim of an algorithm update. Google routinely updates its search algorithm, a trend that, in 2022, had seen a 50% decrease in irrelevant queries over the past seven years. In this article, we go over how to improve your Google search rankings with an algorithm update.

When an update targets your niche or impacts ranking factors important for your website, it can send you sliding down the search results pages. Suddenly, you must fight back into the top rankings even to get a fraction of the traffic and leads you had before.

Recovering from a Google algorithm update that tanks your rankings can be frustrating, but it’s not impossible. With some strategic analysis and site improvements, you can regain lost ground. Let’s explore tips on diagnosing issues caused by a Google update and take the right approach to improving your search visibility again.

  • Analyze the Algorithm Update

improving your google search rankings

The first step to recovering from a Google algorithm update is understanding the whole scenario. See what type of update occurred and what signals or ranking factors it targets.

When Google rolls out a ‘core update,’ which tends to happen about two to three times per year, it’s focused on improving the overall quality and relevance of search results. These broad updates emphasize E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) as ranking factors.

Other times, Google may release a more specific or ‘named’ update, like product review updates focused on improving recommendations and reducing promotional content. By analyzing what each update aims to accomplish, you can better determine where your website may fall short.

While it’s important to read about the latest Google updates and then do everything in your power to adapt to the changes using your in-house arsenal, sometimes hiring expert help is your best bet. They have comprehensive knowledge about the minor and major algorithm patches and the tools to successfully navigate them.

  • Check Your Website Analytics

The next critical step is rolling your sleeves and digging into your website analytics data. Look for clear signals about how the algorithm update has impacted important rankings and traffic metrics.

Start in Google Search Console to analyze impressions, clicks, average rankings, and landing pages specifically for organic search. Look for drops in impressions that indicate pages falling in rank. Compare Search Console data before and after the algorithm rollout date to view the impacts. Drill down by landing pages and keywords to see which website content has been most significantly impacted.

Isolate the core website pages and content being demoted by the update. This shows key areas to focus your optimization and improvement efforts around. The deeper you dig into the data, the better you can diagnose issues.

  • Perform a Content Audit

Armed with data revealing the website pages and content most impacted by the algorithm update, it’s time to perform a content audit, which is carried out at least two times annually by 61% of marketers, as per a 2023 report. Analyze why these pages may be underperforming based on the goals of the new algorithm.

Review page content with a fine-tooth comb, looking for opportunities to improve expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Check that you’re communicating your experience and credentials related to the topics covered and expand thin content by adding more detail, data, explanation, research citations, etc.

Also, evaluate opportunities to freshen up and expand on older content. While at it, check page navigation and structure to ensure optimal user flow through relevant topics and subtopics. Include keywords and synonyms in the content, titles, headings, and meta descriptions. The goal is shaping content to build relevance, depth, and trust, serving users and Google search rankings.

  • Evaluate Technical SEO

In addition to content updates, take time to evaluate the technical SEO health of your website – critical for keeping Google happy. Check that your site speed is optimized, leveraging caching plugins, image compression, minified CSS/JS, limited redirects, and mobile friendliness.

Ensure proper use of header tags, meta descriptions, alt text, secure HTTPS implementation, and structured data markup where applicable. These can positively influence crawler behavior and organic visibility, especially for competitive keywords.

And don’t neglect server status. You must achieve maximum and stable uptime and reasonable host server response times. Improving technical SEO builds authority and trust for better crawling, indexing, and ranking in SERPs.

  • Build More Quality Backlinks

Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors. More of them means a webpage garnering more organic traffic from Google. 

Chances are, if your rankings dropped significantly, your domain and page authority also slipped. You need to rebuild authority and trust by securing new quality backlinks.

Of course, this is easier said than done, but you can start by understanding the following aspects of your current backlink profile:

  • The quantity of referring domains and total backlinks
  • The quality of sites linking to you
  • Important metrics like domain authority, trust flow, or citation flow
  • The anchor text being used in links pointing users to your site

Look for recent unnatural drops that likely occurred during the algorithm update’s rollout, then set goals for building more quality backlinks. The first thing to focus on is securing editorial-style backlinks from websites with strong domain authority in your industry, like roundups, best-of lists, and detailed product reviews. 

The key is patience. Low volumes of quality backlinks over time coming from relevant sites send trust signals to Google and can steadily build lost link authority. But be wary of buying links or using manipulative tactics, which can do more harm than good.

  • Be Patient and Monitor Results

google search rankings

Google algorithm updates can take weeks or even months to roll out and fully reflect in search results. You need to commit to making positive website changes while closely tracking progress and performance.

Use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics regularly to monitor how your site is recovering. Look for signs of gradual improvement over time, such as:

  • Increasing organic impressions and click-through rates
  • Higher average keyword ranking positions
  • Total organic traffic to impacted pages
  • Bounces decreasing and time on site increasing

It’s important not to expect overnight success. Google needs time to crawl pages and perceive your efforts to create higher quality, more useful content that engenders user trust.

You can set milestones at 30-, 60-, or 90-day intervals to gauge whether your optimization work correlates to positive momentum in rankings and traffic. Be ready to make additional improvements until the site performance returns to and exceeds previous baselines.

The key is diligence and patience. With substantial changes, search visibility and clicks to your site gradually recover. Allow six to 12 months for the full effects to unfold. Persistently improving the website for the benefit of visitors will ultimately get you back in Google’s good graces.

Conclusion on Improving Your Google Search Rankings

Recovering from a damaging Google algorithm update may seem daunting, but regaining lost search visibility is possible with the right strategic approach. The key is analyzing how the update impacted your site and making meaningful improvements based on those insights. 

Focus your efforts on the website pages and content that took the biggest hit in the algorithm rollout. Once you’ve pinpointed the pages, perform ongoing audits of page content, technical SEO, backlink profiles, and other ranking factors. Identifying opportunities to demonstrate your expertise and trustworthiness better will also help you rank higher on SERP and gain more traffic to your website.

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