If you have noticed significant drops or spikes in search traffic from Google recently, you’re not alone. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, recently tweeted out a bunch of information regarding updates to Google’s Search Algorithm, and we have the basics of what you need to know about it.
He let us know that every day Google is releasing one or more updates that are designed to improve search results. Most of them will create changes that won’t be very noticeable to you or the average consumer, if even at all, but nonetheless, they want you to know they are always doing what they can to improve the search game. Little by little, things will get better due to these minor updates.
If they release an update however that they know many people will notice, they will confirm it (so you don’t think you’re going crazy, thanks Google). This will help you make sense of the ups and downs you may see in your search traffic as a result of the change.
Occasionally they will also release broad core updates that will affect the entire search algorithm, and of course, you will hear about those as well. If they do that, rest assured that there is usually nothing that you will need to fix or change on your site to keep things running smoothly.
He does recommend making sure you offer better content on your site after a core update, however, because that is what the new algorithms are looking for. Sullivan says, “We understand those who do less well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something. We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.” You can also reference their search quality rater guidelines for some tips and tricks on how to create good content. It’s a good place to start!
Last but not least, Sullivan let us know that search quality raters do not directly impact Google’s algorithms. Instead of controlling how pages rank in search results, in actuality what they do is provide feedback on whether the algorithms, and updates to such, are actually doing what they’re supposed to do. He compares it to a restaurant who offers comment cards to their customers, that the feedback lets them know if their “recipes” are working.