How Do SEO’s Keep Up With Google Algorithms?

What is a Google Algorithm and PageRank?

Google’s algorithms are a complex set of systems used to obtain data from the search index. This data is used to efficiently and instantly deliver the best possible results for each user’s query. The search engine combines a variety of algorithms and ranking indicators to deliver a set of webpages, ranked by relevance, on its search engine results pages.

PageRank is the system that most SEO’s are concerned with and encircles the above. This is one of Google’s main algorithms, used to rank web pages in search engine results. Fun fact: PageRank was named after one of Google’s founders, Larry Page. Who better to explain PageRank than Google themselves?

“PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyses the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.” Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages’ relative importance.”

In essence, PageRank values quality links between websites, and with this, looks further into the page containing the link. It judges the page on several aspects including its content, the content of the pages linking to it, its page speed and a plethora of other factors which are constantly changing. This is what website owners and marketers need to ensure that they keep up with.

How to keep up with Google Algorithm changes

SEO is somewhat like a garden – you can grow plants, shrubs, bonsai and trees to form a beautiful outdoor space. But you can’t just leave them there. The plants require constant love and attention, nurturing and maintenance to ensure they continue to blossom and develop with the rest of the garden. This is much like a website. To ensure that you are providing the best possible nutrients for your website, you must keep up with algorithm changes and here are a few tips on how to do so:

  • Follow SEO experts

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep up to date with Google algorithm changes is to stay in the loop with the latest news from SEO experts and sources. These include: Search Engine Journal, Google Webmaster Central Blog, MozSearch Engine Land and Ahrefs. In terms of the SEO industry leaders, try Neil Patel, Barry Schwartz, Brian Dean, Kristi Hines or Loren Baker, amongst many others. Whilst we can try our best to decipher what Google will do next, these guys have years and layers of expertise in the industry. So if you’re looking for strong advice, they are a pretty safe bet.

  • Closely monitor the website data after changes have been made

Whenever you make a change to your website, you should monitor what happens to it next. This may sound obvious, but it counts for small or large changes. Many website owners forget to check their data after making small changes such as image optimisation, but even these tasks can have a big impact. Of course, if the task on hand is a bigger one such as a website migration or structure change, it is imperative to keep an eye on your data. If you notice any significant spikes, dips or changes, it is a good indication that there may have been a Google algorithm update.

  • Make website changes methodically

Whilst it can be tempting to clean up your entire website in one fell swoop, it is a better idea to make changes in the order of priority, in a methodical way. If you chuck a ton of changes at your website and the data suddenly goes crazy, it can be hard to pin down which update caused the change. That is not to suggest being sluggish, but efficient. Rather than changing your entire website overnight, change the pages which need the most attention and make a note of which changes you made, and when. This way you can match the changes with the data on specific days, even down to the hour.

  • Stay on track

Reading the latest guidance from experts is all very well, but not every piece of information will apply to you. Each website is different, and they each require different maintenance. Following everyone else in their website changes when they really aren’t relevant to your business is fruitless. With this in mind, focus on your website goals and what you want from it. From this, shape the changes to give the best chances of achieving your goals.

  • Utilise your tools

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. In this case, if you have the tools, use them. They are there for a reason and specifically built to help you keep up to date with your website and algorithm changes. SEMrush is an example of an invaluable tool, providing you with insight as to how individual keywords are performing, indicating where they think Google updates have occurred and generating advice on what changes you might need to make to your website (and where). Another obvious choice is to utilise Google’s tools, including Analytics, Webmaster and Adwords. Each of these platforms provides data you never knew you needed, tools to best optimise your website and flag errors or areas which need improving. Whichever tools you choose to use, make sure you are using every inch of them and monitoring how they can help you to keep up to date.

PageRank is the system that most SEO’s are concerned with and encircles the above. This is one of Google’s main algorithms, used to rank web pages in search engine results. Fun fact: PageRank was named after one of Google’s founders, Larry Page. Who better to explain PageRank than Google themselves?

“PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyses the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.” Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages’ relative importance.”

In essence, PageRank values quality links between websites, and with this, looks further into the page containing the link. It judges the page on several aspects including its content, the content of the pages linking to it, its page speed and a plethora of other factors which are constantly changing. This is what website owners and marketers need to ensure that they keep up with.

To Conclude

There you have it, just a few of the ways that you can stay on track with your website and keep up with Google algorithms. To sum up, stay on track and don’t stop watering your website garden. Refresh your content, work to optimise the technical SEO layers and keep up to date with the latest news, announcements and advice. If you would like to find out more, get in touch with us today. We are a rounded digital marketing agency in Birmingham, offering a variety of SEO services alongside website development and designPRCRO and PPC.

The job of an SEO is never-ending, thanks to Google’s ever-changing algorithm. It is unpredictable, complicated and somewhat of a mystery to many digital marketers out there.