Unless you keep close track of the series of Google algorithmic changes that keep happening almost regularly, you cannot do well in SEO. You have to be in tune with Google updates if you want to survive in the world of online marketing that revolves around SEO. It is a fundamental need that no marketer can afford to ignore. Google updates define the way to run SEO campaigns that conforms to the best practice of the industry. In other words, the updates provide direction in conducting marketing campaigns that add value to the user experience. After all, keeping users happy is what marketers and search engines want.
Google updates have a secretive nature because seldom Google announces it except for some major updates like Panda and Penguin. To make things worse, you have to be ready to cope with almost 600 updates that Google releases in a year on an average. Moreover, there are enough hints that Google has decided to stop announcing algorithm changes altogether, even for the major ones. It leaves marketers guessing and speculating about possible updates by studying the changes that happen to SERP. In the absence of any official information about the release of updates, it gives rise to constant rumours in the world of internet marketing. In this article, we will discuss how to monitor updates and focus on some updates that happened in 2017 that you should take into account when creating SEO strategies for 2018.
Monitoring Google updates
Google has been compelled to maintain secrecy about updates just to keep Black Hat SEO at bay. It has made the task of honest SEO practitioners difficult. Google keeps on tweaking its algorithm almost every day, and it is impossible to understand its immediate effects. For keeping close track of algorithmic changes, you can adopt an indirect approach to monitoring by following the news of the industry but being careful to filter the rumours that surround it. You can also take a more direct approach by tracking the changes in the SERPs together with your own ranking as well as by taking into account the feedback from Google as well and the SEO community. By using the information and data, you can try to extrapolate to know what you should do to improve the search rankings of your website.
Sources for gathering information about updates
Keep a close watch on SERP trackers like Rank Ranger, Mozcast, Algaroo that identify any movement that happens in SERPs and taking the cue you can investigate to find out the causes. Monitor Google announcements that Google makes occasionally or even messages by its employees and observe the snippets of information that surface from these sources to get some understanding of what is going on in the SEO world. Be aligned with forums that webmasters frequent as you could get a whiff about whether any algorithmic changes have hit the decks. Scan as many news sources as possible to assimilate information that the other sources did not cover.
The task is not easy
Even if you align all the resources, it does not assure you would be comfortable with keeping track of Google updates. It would undoubtedly improve the chances but how much it would be useful for your SEO campaign remains uncertain. You have to keep trying and should be happy if you can restrict the ranking movements in SERP for your website within an acceptable range. It shows that what may come, your campaign has acquired some stability that could help to climb up the ranking ladder. The irony about updates is that even webmasters often fail to notice it. Now let us have a look at some critical updates of 2017.
Since early 2017, the update Fred had tormented marketers in its initial stages as some websites witnessed a sharp drop in ranking for almost 90% keywords used. The apprehension of marketers about being hit by some update came true when the confirmation came from Google that they had released a significant update. On elaborating on it, marketers came to know that the purpose of the update was to target websites loaded heavily with advertisements but carrying low-quality content. It bears enough indication of the need for webmasters to go back to drawing boards and focus on their links as well as the method of acquiring it.
Mobile first indexing
The update named mobile first indexing has been doing the rounds for almost a year now, but by all accounts, it has not yet come to the fore. However, knowing that Google would pursue its target of focusing primarily on mobile devices for indexing and then use it for extending it to desktops, it makes sense to stay prepared for the update by optimising websites.
Only by staying alert and agile, that makes them proactive, that marketers can hope to take advantage of Google updates.