Is my site equipped for the latest Google algorithm update?

These updates happen frequently and clients are sometimes spooked by news reports (often fueled by SEO agencies promoting their services). The inner workings of algorithm changes are a closely guarded secret but Google themselves will often give guidance on key changes (detailed changes can be inferred from changes in results pattern after the fact, but not normally before).

This update is a significant one, the first core update for over 6 months nearly. Google has stated the current update is a gradual rollout starting this month. We don’t expect to see much volatility or fluctuations in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in the short term.

The update is centered around ‘page experience’ and includes three new metrics (often referred to as Core Web Vitals). These are visible in the site Search Console if you wanted to take a look, and cover things like page load and stability – ‘usability’ factors.

Our normal guidance is ‘don’t panic’. There should be nothing that you need to do yourself to the site immediately. We’re keenly watching the updates but in terms of the site coding, the site should be equipped to handle any upcoming changes.

What should I do?

Keep feeding the site with quality content and jobs when you can. In terms of the details of the algorithm changes, none of us knows, focus on the things that you can control – content. The data is all exposed in terms of ‘under the hood’. Ask yourself the question “if it wasn’t my site, would there be enough there to keep me coming back?” If not, think about refreshing the content.

Google wrote a recent blog post alongside a core update to explain how and why it makes these changes to search. Google said it “receives billions of queries every day from countries around the world in 150 languages.” It has to improve to stay competitive and serve its user base. “Delivering great results at this type of scale and complexity requires many different systems, and we’re always looking for ways to improve these systems so we can display the most useful results possible.” Change is to be expected, rather than feared. If you’re doing a good job, with a steady flow of news, jobs and opinion pieces, Google will normally recognise that.

What next?

As usual, we’re keeping an eye on such roll outs. They’re common, and whilst we’re not resting on our laurels, we will be keen to see how any changes impact the wider web in general and our clients in particular. More here from the Google blog.

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