Google’s frequent algorithm updates aim to refine the quality and relevance of search results. Understanding these updates is crucial for businesses striving to maintain and improve their visibility and rankings on Google Search.

After carefully analysing the last six Google algorithm updates and reviewing the performance of our clients on SEO retainers, we have gained significant insights into what it takes to thrive during these challenging periods. In this blog, we will delve into the background of these updates and then outline some essential strategies to help you navigate and succeed during the turbulence caused by Google Core updates.

Purpose of Google’s updates

Google introduces regular updates to combat spam and black hat SEO tactics, ensuring deserving businesses achieve better visibility. Core updates, occurring a few times a year, have a substantial impact.

The March 2024 core update emphasised penalising black hat techniques like instant back-linking and manipulating search rankings through AI-generated content.

March 2024 Core Update

Since the emergence of ChatGPT and similar AI tools, there has been an increase in businesses exploiting these technologies to produce large quantities of recycled content. As AI lacks the ability to think independently, we’re seeing a rise in recycled content, often providing little to no value.

Google has countered this with their March 2024 update, which highlighted the importance of the E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) framework. Content must now demonstrate genuine expertise and provide diverse perspectives.

This shift means that AI-generated content without real insight or new viewpoints is less likely to perform well. This is great news for those who are producing unique, human-written content but not so great for those who have become reliant on AI.

Winning strategies post-update

Google has made it clear that content must originate from an organisation’s unique, personal perspective. This approach ensures the production of unique insights that AI cannot replicate, aligning with Google’s preference for authenticity and depth in web content.

Businesses that excel in the digital space are those with clear keyword strategies and a well-organised content network that Google can efficiently index.

Here’s how to craft content that stands out:

  • Focus on Niche Expertise: Develop content that offers a personal opinion or a unique take on industry-specific topics. Well-researched and detailed articles that delve deeply into niche subjects perform better.
  • Avoid Generic Content: Google’s updates have penalised sites that narrow their content scope too much, recycling prevalent ideas without adding new insights. Originality in content creation is crucial.
  • Regular Updates and Engagement: Successful businesses often update their websites with fresh content, ranging from blogs and case studies to subtle changes in terminology or tone. However, increasing the number of posts solely to expand site size can negatively impact rankings.

A robust content strategy includes:

  • Quarterly Initiatives: White-papers, comprehensive content reviews, user experience (UX) audits, and the creation of webinars or other video content.
  • Monthly Outputs: Detailed case studies and gathering of customer reviews and testimonials.
  • Biweekly and Weekly Updates: Regular blog posts and continuous tweaks to content will ensure that the information remains current and relevant.

What does a winner look like?

Those rewarded from the Google Algorithm update will see their overall keyword positions and visibility increase from 3-20 pages post update. Based on when this site was crawled, they were instantly rewarded and saw their average position of all keywords increase by 12 places overnight.

graph showing how the algorithm updates can positively impact your website if you adhere to the new guidelines

Top Tips for Upcoming Summer Algorithm Updates

Google likes to keep us on our toes, so it’s no surprise that another core update is expected in the summer of 2024. Judging by the latest trends, we predict that Google will continue targeting quick gains, black hat strategies, and AI-generated content.

This will likely align with the E-E-A-T model, which focuses on enhancing user experience to ensure information is found quickly and effectively. So, to be ready, ensure your website does not contain any AI content that could not be sourced elsewhere.

Focus on elements that are unique to you, such as case studies and real-life events within your business.

Local SEO and Link Building

Enhancements in local SEO are expected, making it increasingly important for businesses with physical locations to optimise their local search strategies. While acquiring high-quality backlinks remains crucial, the trend may shift towards organic link acquisition through valuable content and industry engagement.

If you’re worried about how your website will stand up to the new Google updates, get in touch to book an audit with our team today. Using our experience, we will be able to highlight the areas for improvement on your website and help you make updates to survive the upcoming algorithm updates.

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