The only constant in the world of SEO is change. In fact, Google is reported to change its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times each year. While most of these updates are small and often aren’t even picked up by users and SEO, every once in a while, Google releases major updates. Over the past two years alone, we’ve seen about nine major updates to the algorithm. The two most recent, “Possum” (released on September 1, 2016) and Penguin 4.0 (released on September 23, 2016) caused a lot of stir in the SEO community. It turns out to be a major thump over the search engine optimization agency too.
MozCast is a tool from Moz that anyone can access, which measures Google algorithm ‘turbulence’ over the previous day. “The hotter and stormier the weather, the more Google’s rankings changed.” Webmasters from across all verticals are experiencing changes in their organic traffic. Barry seems to think this isn’t a Penguin update, rather a change to the core search algorithm. It can be tempting to go out and make changes to your site or process, but that could be wasted work. Instead, the smart thing to do is wait and see if your site has been impacted. More often than not, if you are doing SEO the right way, your site was probably not impacted negatively (and you could even see a boost).
Google is on a mission to deliver the best answers to their users. That’s why they are constantly changing their algorithm to push webmasters to create better sites, experiences and content. These updates are about more than just messing with SEOs. In fact, Google believes SEO is important. What they want to crush is black-hat SEO web spam. Before overreacting to an algorithm update, I recommend you wait a few days or even weeks to see the impact on your site or sites. Make a note of where you are at the beginning and compare the metrics after a few weeks. If your site appears to be impacted, that’s when it’s time to make changes.
But if you are doing SEO right — like creating good, user-focused content and earning links from credible and niche-specific sites — you should be okay. If you’re buying links and spinning content, well, Google is after you. When you are alerted of a major update, stay calm, wait to see the impacts and make calculated adjustments if needed. We may not know all the factors Google uses to rank, but we do know their mission, which is to provide the most accurate answer in the shortest amount of time. Focus on your users and their needs, and over time you’ll reap the benefits.