Putting your head down and doing the work for your SEO is an essential factor of your website’s success. There are definitely core elements of search engine optimization that aren’t likely to change.
That being said, some of your efforts could be in vain if you aren’t up to date on Google’s changes. Google makes hundreds, even thousands of updates to their algorithm every year– some big, some small.
In any case, understanding those changes will help you stay ranked and put you ahead of the competition who isn’t keeping up. We’re here to give you some tips on ways to keep up with search algorithms.
How to Stay Updated on Search Algorithms
It can be hard to find the motivation to stay up on Google’s updates. Many people don’t dedicate a lot of time to SEO or see it as an integral part of their business. The thing is, SERPS are crucial even for small businesses.
A recent survey showed that 82 percent of shoppers with smartphones conducted ‘near me’ searches. These searches constitute roughly 30 percent of Google searches. Google conducts over 3.5 billion searches every day.
So, it follows that keeping up on your SEO could be the difference between a bustling business and closing down. Plus, it’s not likely that your local competition is following search engine trends. Let’s go over what you should do.
1. Review Standing Search Criteria
There are loads of information about the pillars of SEO (keyword optimization, backlinking, quality content, etc.) online. There are around 200 factors that play into a ranking, though, and it’s important to have a general feel for the lesser-known ones.
Even if you don’t work too hard at the more trivial factors, having them in the back of your mind might help you insert them into your site. Check out the Google Search Quality Guidelines and jot down a few notes for ideas on optimizing.
The guidelines also give a long list of examples of websites and how they rank in the algorithm. The list is a good resource for checking out the do’s and don’ts of optimization.
2. Read the Webmaster Central Blog
What better place to get information on Google than their own blog? The Webmaster Central blog should give you information on the updates that are big and relevant to the most users.
You probably won’t get any big revelations from the blog, though. It’s in Google’s best interest to keep their algorithm secrets to themselves. The search results are intended to create a good user experience, not make things easy for websites that want to rank.
At the same time, you need to know the big changes. Google will let out the information that needs to be known while keeping the other stuff to themselves. Staying up on the Webmaster blog will keep you on the ground floor of large updates and save you from losing unnecessary traffic.
3. Find the Authority Figures
While Google has a vested interest in keeping things quiet, a few others have made careers out of understanding SEO and helping others optimize their sites. These are the ones with ears to the wall on Google changes and how they could affect your ranking.
Reading the blogs of people like Rand Fishkin and following dominant SEO-based sites will allow you to get insider information. These are the ones who are ahead of the curb and want you to be too.
Be careful, though, because there are a lot of search engine optimization blogs out there. Seek out ones that are authorities within their niche and keep up on when they post new content.
A lot of the dominant SEO sites are led by individuals who have their own blogs as well, most of them posting their more far-out ideas that could yield big benefits. Search for those pages in addition to finding the main players in optimization.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Metrics
You may have a well-established ranking that you’re proud of. There’s a degree of fluctuation that will happen naturally with rankings based on user behavior and the activity of competitors.
At the same time, you could experience sudden drops in traffic out of the blue. If you don’t watch your metrics, you would only experience that drop in the form of reduced sales.
Your site’s statistics should be monitored in order to note those sudden changes. Drops in traffic often reflect that Google has changed something or that you’re being penalized for something. When you know that it’s happened, you can adjust your site as needed.
5. Follow Dominant Sites in Your Niche
There’s a reason that sites in your niche rank well. They’re following the changes in SEO and adjusting accordingly.
In general, it’s good to look at the keyword optimization, site architecture, and backlinking methods of your top competitors. Those factors give you insight into what works and what you could be doing better.
In the same vein, following those sites regularly will help you notice when they make changes. A significant change in the structure or content of a site could mean that they’re adjusting to changes in the Google algorithm.
If anything perks your ears up, check out the Webmaster blog. If there’s nothing there, scan those dominant SEO blogs and see what they have to say. If there’s still nothing, it could just be something that the site is doing independently.
Want to Boost Your Web Game?
The foundation of a successful web presence is a rock-solid website. Search algorithms favor sites that are well-made and useful to users, and we’re here to help you on that end.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO or creating a great website, visit our site.