Has Google Update penalised your site? Here’s what to do, don’t panic!4 min read
A mathematical certainty about Google is that the platform likes to change (just like the famous Hogwarts stairs in Harry Potter!).
The search engine par excellence, on which much of the reasoning we do about SEO is based, is in fact constantly being updated. Those of Google’s algorithm are often sudden and abrupt changes: changes that regularly leave site managers speechless and without the tools to understand what has actually happened.
If the Google Update has penalised you, however, don’t despair: there are some tricks of the trade that will allow you to solve your site’s positioning problems or, at least, limit the damage. Here is everything you need to know.
Google’s latest update: the May 2022 Core Update
Google, we said, updates itself quite frequently. The last update in order of time dates back to May 2022, when the search engine decided to further change its algorithm, thus necessarily changing the ranking of the sites within it.
In the official press release relating to the update, Google had specified that users might notice drops or improvements in the performance of their sites, but that, in any case, this would not necessarily oblige them to intervene in any way. In the event that performance drops were noticed, this would not necessarily be a sign that there was ‘something wrong’ with the sites.
Updates, on the contrary, often also serve to improve the ranking of pages that deserve quite different results.
Google has also made it clear that there is no aspect of a major update that is targeted at specific pages or sites: rather, the changes concern the way its systems evaluate content as a whole.
It is worth dwelling at this point on the fact that Google’s changes are an unavoidable event, which will necessarily have an influence on the ranking of web pages. In this scenario, you could thus witness a sudden increase in traffic on your site or, in the worst cases, a collapse in accesses.
But don’t worry! In fact, there are always good practices and tools to avoid disaster.
The role of Search Console
An invaluable tool to help any webmaster adrift is Google Search Console: it is a platform that helps highlight internal errors on your site that can compromise SEO.
For example, Search Console can flag and fix issues related to AMP, mobile usability and other search functionality, or it can scan your site to see if Google is displaying it correctly. Search Console can also solve indexing problems and request a re-indexing of the latest or most up-to-date content.
Be patient and do not panic
As indicated above, Google has always made it clear that there is nothing wrong with web pages that might perform less well after a core update.
Sometimes, the algorithm change will only ‘throw off’ the Analytics results for a few hours or a few days: never as in this case, therefore, is it worth remembering that patience is the virtue of the strong. The important thing is not to panic and, above all, not to make ill-considered changes within the site: it is a choice that could nullify years of hard SEO work!
Prevention is better than cure
Since we are dealing with sudden changes to improve web searches by users, it is impossible to find a real magic formula to help us predict the coming storm.
In any case, it is always important to continue to apply the classic SEO rules: the companies that boast an excellent ranking on Google are those that have invested their time in link building, optimisation for mobile devices, keywords and, above all, originality and quality of content. Google will always reward sites that it considers authoritative, thorough and reliable with respect to certain keywords. SEO work, therefore, must be done regardless of any updates, building credibility day after day with new interesting and accurate articles (or pages).
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