By Elle Campbell

I often talk about Facebook’s algorithm changes, but did you notice that Google is constantly  making them, too?

Google doesn’t tend to be as obvious about it as Facebook is (largely in part because they make anywhere from 500 to 600 of these updates annually), but once in awhile they roll out a major change, which can have a huge impact on marketers and brands.



The latest Google algorithm update, dubbed a “broad, global, core update” happened on Aug. 1. Analysis conducted on the update seems to show that it impacts primarily health and medical focused sites, as well as “your money your life – YMYL” sites, on topics including purchasing a home or a vehicle.

Google search liaison Danny Sullivan also confirmed this is a “global” rollout, impacting all Google search results, no matter what language or region.

Why does Google make these updates? 

Google is not the bad guy. Google does not implement these updates to make your life as a marketer or brand more difficult. However, it is their goal to ensure the user experience is top-notch.

After all, it’s their business to make sure they are the No. 1 ranking search engine. Otherwise, they would be Bing or Ask Jeeves.

So, when Google makes an algorithm change, it’s simply because they’ve found a better way to elevate the user experience. By improving your user experience, it brings more traffic to their search engine, which allows them to further monetize through ads.

So how do we work around these updates? 

First of all, SEO is very complicated, and if you try to “win” it right away by overthinking and overanalyzing each update, you’ll be in for a long game of cat and mouse.

Chances are, in your quest to win the small game, you could even miss the end goal, which is just to improve the user experience of every visitor to your website and social media.

Which brings us to our first strategy:

1. Focus on your client, on your customer and on your target audience

…and work to provide content that is geared to them, that they will find valuable and interesting, and strive to improve the user experience of your site. Your sites (both website and social) should be intuitive, engaging and always updated with fresh content and resources. Naturally this will keep people coming back to you and will tell Google that you’re worth promoting through their ranks. Eventually your sites will rank higher.

2. Always be updating your website and social media content.

Although the formulas for Google’s algorithms are tightly guarded (with employees signing non-disclosure agreements, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know exactly what’s up) and they are notoriously hush-hush on the connection between social media and Google rankings, it’s widely accepted that the correlation between social signals and ranking position is very high. There is a correlation for social success and success on Google – if you create valuable, organic content, it’s likely to be popular on social, which causes people to “like” it, click on it and share it, boosting your rankings and traffic.

Google any big brand or business, and often it’s their social pages that show up first.

What’s an advertiser to do? Create content, post regularly, build your audience and have a blog that you share regularly to social. Couple it with paid advertising on both Google and Facebook.

Don’t neglect your content archives, either. If you already have a blog, go back once a year and “prune” any content that could use some refreshing and optimizing. It’s a good way to update your content, while ensuring that users will still find the content useful and satisfying even if they land on it in the future. It all comes back to optimizing the user experience.

3. Consider going international.

Just like Pitbull, you might want to go international – if it’s the right fit for your brand or business. It might be hard for us to fathom, but the majority of people on planet Earth actually don’t speak English. This is where your opportunity lies to dominate your field on Google: in non-English speaking countries. If you have the kind of brand or business where this could be an option for you, it’s a great way to provide value to your clients in other countries; allowing them to read your website in their native language. There’s way less competition, so your site could do better, for less money.

Plus, Google prefers brands, simply because customers tend to trust them more. The bigger, the better.

4. Fix any broken links or media files.

Just think about it. If you were reading this story and I provided you with a link that went nowhere, how would you feel about it? Likely a bit disappointed and certainly unimpressed. It would diminish your user experience and likely cause you to lose trust in me as a digital marketer.

It might sound simple, but you’ll want to clean house at least a few times a year. There are even different apps available online that can help you uncover any that aren’t in working order – just ask me, and I’m happy to share them with you.

In short, if you want to come out as a winner even when Google rolls out new changes, it’s best you focus on providing the ultimate user experience and content for your target audience.

Pay attention to your website traffic, regularly update your content (and make it as interesting, social and valuable as possible) on your website and social media and ensure your user experience is nothing short of world-class.

It’s like most things in life.

Understand theirs but focus on your own game – and you’ll come out on top.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Elle,

    In one of your blog topics, I see you wrote regarding someone’s question to you:
    “Facebook should provide this contact info for you, if you wish to pursue this avenue.”

    Pray tell, how in the world can you get to communicate directly with Facebook? Hoping I never again need to…

    I tried unsuccessfully several times to change the email account address I had used to sign in at FB originally, many many years ago. Nothing I tried worked. I even emailed [email protected] … FB four times over a period of weeks asking for assistance or to re-route my email request to the proper department, with no reply from anybody at FB.

    I had the same issue when REM used the Disqus system. Tried to change my email following instructions. Apparently just impossible, and “no support” access. REM worked very hard to help. Just not doable, even following specific instructions. I haven’t heard anyone else having tried to change their email address.

    No response from FB security. Nada. Then after months of playing that game, one day I went to my FB login to see if there was any hint I might have missed as to how to connect directly with FB, and there it was, never having received any sort of communication, suddenly there was a screen showing I could change my email address, but they would only communicate a special change code with my old non-existent email address to permit me to change my email address, (where I had closed my account along with thousands of others – a secondary generic ISP account used for express purpose of non real estate online activity, rare as it was; they lost power to their customers for eight straight days during an equipment breakdown; a large co). Forums were set up where people were losing loads of small business, billing, orders, etc. It was awful for many of their customers.

    But I should have changed my FB login first of course and I hadn’t. Never occurred to me with the ISP mess going on.

    Finally, with having had NO FB communication, I was finally allowed to change my email address, following screen prompts, after months of hopelessly trying to communicate. But there was still no personal communication about the issue.

    Things have changed so much since I was last on my FB site(s), personal and business, that the systems are nearly unrecognizable. What a dreadful experience. You might want to warn your customers about that process, or lack thereof.

    I have never blogged, as such. I only communicate with the real estate world during recent times, at REM. I haven’t used social media in recent few years. And I put my web site on hold simultaneously.

    But I spoke with another social media expert here on REM, and he said there’s no way to connect personally with FB, but to try the security route.

    What is additionally scary is that if you had a real “security” problem, apparently FB isn’t in any hurry to deal with it, or even acknowledge an email, providing an alternate email address for them to use, and of course their having been able to see my email was coming from the address I wanted security to use to communicate back to me.

    Surely there’s an easier way… In case anyone decides to change providers make sure you make any such alterations before closing out an ISP account. Surely people who move to a new location might find themselves having to harness new ISP services and might not recognize the upcoming difficulties. Of course one might just give up and start a new FB page, but that’s not the desire of everyone necessarily.

    For me it was just a generic email convenience address I was using, because I have my domain name email. But I didn’t want to use my domain email address at social media.

    Ten years ago my computer was hit with a porn site attack and tech people didn’t know a lot back then about how to kill such a monster. I actually had to get a new computer.

    I had opened my browser one morning and WHOOPS! I can’t begin to tell you what was on the screen. I was using Norton regularly at the time and had done for several years. After that I stopped using Norton. My whole system was completely hacked. Flatlined. And porn mail was going out to everyone – from me. Following that episode I put multiple protections in place. As a result, thankfully I receive very little spam, although occasionally some do get through.

    Regards
    Carolyne L 🍁

  2. Hi, thanks for your comment! The best broken link checker will really depend on the type of website you have and how big it is. I’d suggest checking with your web developer or SEO team, or you could try Google Webmaster tools. Hope that helps! -Elle

  3. Hi! I am curious about the apps to help you check for broken links on the websites. Could you point me in the right direction?

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