How Should SEO Strategies Adapt to Major Algorithm Updates?


    How Should SEO Strategies Adapt to Major Algorithm Updates?

    In the dynamic world of search engine optimization, a major algorithm update can be a game-changer. We reached out to SEO experts and content strategists to share how they adapted their strategies in response to such changes. From pausing and assessing post-update to monitoring and adjusting SEO tactics, discover the five transformative approaches these professionals took.

    • Pause and Assess Post-Update
    • Focus on High-Value Content
    • Prioritize Page Experience
    • Adapt to Core Update Requirements
    • Monitor and Adjust SEO Tactics

    Pause and Assess Post-Update

    When you first learn of a major update happening, you should immediately stop what you are doing and wait. Don't make any major changes to the website so that you can have a better picture of what the algorithm change did to your website, and not what you changed during the update. Nothing is ever crystal clear in SEO, but the fewer variables you have to look at, the better off you will be when it comes to diagnosing any traffic drops or gains.

    I did not use to take this approach, and was unable to differentiate changes I made from updates, which led to less confidence in the strategy. Now I do, of course, and it makes it much easier to see that we are on the right path.

    Dustin Montgomery
    Dustin MontgomerySEO Consultant, Dustin Montgomery SEO Consulting

    Focus on High-Value Content

    There is exactly one content strategy that will save you from any and all algorithm updates on any and all platforms: consistently create and publish high-value content that addresses your core audience's problems.

    That's it.

    If you do this, you won't have to worry about algorithm updates. It's only the companies who try to game the SEO system with whatever shiny new object comes along that get dinged by updates. If you are consistently putting out high-value content (which every search engine wants you to do anyway), then you'll be fine.

    Remember that algorithm updates are almost always meant to punish companies that are trying to game the SEO system with erroneous behavior. If you're not doing that, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, algorithm updates are your friend if you're doing everything above board and not trying to trick the algorithm.

    Rob Swystun
    Rob SwystunContent Strategist, Rob Swystun

    Prioritize Page Experience

    After Google announced its major algorithm update focusing on page experience, I quickly adapted my SEO strategy to prioritize website speed and mobile-friendliness. Understanding the importance of user experience in rankings, I revamped my personal blog, which heavily relied on high-resolution images, to ensure faster loading times and a responsive design. By compressing images and implementing lazy-loading, along with enhancing mobile navigation, I saw a significant improvement. The outcome was remarkable; my blog's bounce rate decreased by 15%, and its overall ranking for targeted keywords improved within two months, leading to a 30% increase in organic traffic.

    Abdullah Prem
    Abdullah PremDigital Marketer, Bloggersneed

    Adapt to Core Update Requirements

    Google has done some major updates recently, so this is a great question to unpack. In this last update, Google has done what they call a 'core' update to the way their algorithm handles web page rankings. In all honesty, it is quite subjective, but they are primarily trying to penalize sites that have shady SEO tactics like spamming the web with poor AI-generated content or using outdated links to redirect users. Google says if you release quality content intended for 'human' readers, then you have nothing to worry about. Many people in the content marketing industry had to see this coming as generative AI has all the short-term players out in droves ever since ChatGPT took off. I've had to save several clients from complete organic traffic collapse because their creative agency decided to release hundreds of low-quality blog posts in mere days. So, here are the key takeaways to answer the question: 1. Be aware of these algorithm updates as they are released. 2. Monitor and adjust your web pages over time concerning these updates. 3. These updates are always in response to black-hat SEO and low-quality content, so, above all, always release quality over quantity and be patient with the growth of your website's organic traffic.

    Jake Tripp
    Jake TrippContent Strategist, Bachelor of Philosophy

    Monitor and Adjust SEO Tactics

    When faced with a major algorithm update, we typically begin by closely monitoring the impact on search rankings and traffic, analyzing which pages were affected and the nature of the changes. Destify then identifies specific adjustments needed, such as optimizing content for quality and relevance based on the new guidelines, making technical SEO enhancements, auditing and managing backlinks, and improving the overall user experience. We also update content outlines moving forward so any new content meets these same standards.

    By continuously testing and iterating strategies to align with updated algorithm preferences and user behavior, companies aim to maintain or improve search engine rankings, leading to increased organic traffic and potential business growth.

    Garrett Nutgrass
    Garrett NutgrassMarketing Content Strategist, Destify