While Google never officially confirmed anything, webmaster trends analyst John Mueller stated that changes to the algorithm are happening constantly and many SEO experts are reporting larger-impact algorithm updates related to quantity happening on an almost monthly basis so far this year.
At Firesnap, we saw a nice positive bump in rankings after the update. Take a look at the improvement after the June 25 algorithm update:
If you've keyword stuffed the meta data like Vienna sauages and queued up spammy links to dispense all over the internet, chances are you saw a drop in your organic traffic after the June 25 Google algorithm update.
4 SEO Strategies to Use After the June 25 Google Update
So, if you were affected by the reported June 25th update, or have been affected by an update in 2016 or 2017, what do you do?
In addition to getting the proper SEO services in place to ensure your website is consistently following best practices, consider these tips to get past the June 25th Google algorithm update:
1. Create an Updated Content Strategy
A surprising amount of marketers believe that once they’ve created a content strategy for their website, they are done worrying about it and can move onto the steady implementation phase.
However, with continual algorithm updates and shifting of SEO best practices in our industry, a business’ content strategy should change to reflect new trends and guidelines. This partially explains why 61% of marketers still consider SEO a top priority.
A solid content strategy should include the following:
- Goals: why are you creating content?
- What metrics to track to determine if you’ve met your goal
- Demographics: who you are writing your content for (this can be a few different groups, such as businesses and consumers if you sell to both)
- Schedule: when are you creating, publishing, and promoting your content?
- Types: what types of content are you creating?
- Topics: what topics are you covering in your content?
As you learn and grow from the content you are creating, you should be changing these items above. Depending on your content publishing frequency, this should be reviewed and improved every quarter to annually.
If you publish a large amount of content (like Buzzfeed or Business Insider), quarterly makes more sense.
However, if you are only publishing about one to three new blog posts a week and maybe one e-book a year, an annual update is probably going to be sufficient.
2. Grow Your Referral Traffic From Other Sources
The thing many website owners forget is that the only traffic they can truly “own” is direct traffic.
All the other sources of traffic, like organic search, social media, and referral links are all dependent on the following things:
- Search engine and social media platform algorithms, which have the power and discretion to change at any time.
- Your links remaining on websites that have linked to you.
- Users deciding to click on links or results to go to your site.
These things can be increased, changed, or completely taken away at any time. Complaining to Google about an algorithm update they made and how it decreased your website traffic 50% overnight isn’t going to bring back what you lost.
Because of that, it’s important to avoid making excuses and focus on what you can control: direct traffic to your website (through return visits or word-of-mouth) and the quality of content you are creating.
Everything else is dependent on platforms that are owned by other people.
3. Experiment With Repurposing and Updating Content
Making sure your website has high quality content goes beyond creating new content that is consistently top notch. It’s also about updating and repurposing existing content on your website that continues to get traffic.
Updating your “old” content should be a continual process, especially because the majority of most website’s traffic is from older pages, not their newest ones. Look through Google Analytics (or whatever analytics platform you use) and look at the most popular pages for the last six months.
From there, create a list of pages that could be updated with more relevant information or a better layout that is more user-friendly. Schedule this out to be updated by team members or freelancers on a rolling basis. Once you’ve updated all the pages on your list, start the process all over again.
Updating content can increase its freshness score with Google, leading to potential higher rankings in search results. It also provides a better user experience, which Google has said time and time again is their top priority.
Repurposing content, or taking the central idea in a piece of content and turning it into something else (like a blog post into a webinar, or an ebook into a podcast) can also help you make your content fresh again. Look at your six-month popular pages list and see what you can repurpose to turn into another new piece of content, with less work than starting from scratch.
4. Build Out a Few New Evergreen Pieces Per Year
In addition to upping your content game with a regularly updated strategy and making sure your content is current and useful for your audience, it’s also important to focus on what big pieces of content you can create.
Many of the “top performers” in every industry create multiple touchstone pieces of content on a regular basis to drive website traffic, increase conversions (e.g. email signups), and establish their credibility.
One good example of this is the productivity and business site 99u, which has been publishing collected ideas and advice about specific topics in book formats on a regular basis for the past few years. Not only are they publishing content written specifically for their niche market, they are settling themselves up as industry experts in a different format from their traditional online method.
As you update your content strategy, schedule in big pieces of content, like ebooks, white papers, or large-scale guides (such as “Industry Topic 101” or “The Advanced Guide to Industry Topic”).
Getting over any Google algorithm update is doable, as long as you have the right mindset, goal, and output. By focusing on high quality content to drive a loyal audience, you can utilize referral traffic to your advantage without having to sweat about the several Google updates that happen every year.
Have you had a shake-up from the algorithm update, or is it business as usual for you? Has it given you a new plan for dealing with inbound marketing? What’s your take on these intermittent algorithm updates?
We've got a hunch you might dig our campaign checklist.