As a business owner using SEO to promote your company, you’ve probably heard a fair amount of chatter around Google algorithm updates. Since its debut as a search engine, Google has made thousands of updates — 3,234 in 2018 alone.
It appears the tech giant has no intention of slowing down. Though experts can make educated guesses about what the Google algorithm will look like in the future, no one can know for sure. There are many factors that influence updates, from economic to technological to social, that no one can predict. That’s not to mention that most changes are in the pipeline ages before the public is aware.
In fact, most updates aren’t announced and are only noticed when search engine rankings change. How can businesses account for disruptions they can’t even see coming? The best strategy is to keep your eye out for changes and be ready to adapt.
WHAT DO UPDATES DO?
All search engines update algorithm software for the same reason: to yield search results that better fit what users are looking for. Although businesses show up in SERPs and paid advertising, they aren’t Google’s primary concern. Rather, it’s focused on consumers — its own, who may also happen to be yours. Most changes reward high-quality and high-relevance content with better rankings.
So improvement is Google’s broad goal, but what does each update actually entail? In fact, updates vary wildly in their impact and purpose. Some are simple patches that go virtually unnoticed, while others devalue pages that play the system. Fortunately, there are a wide range of sites that track every verified (and many unverified) Google algorithm updates. In just a few minutes of searching, you can read expert opinions about what changes may mean for SEO.