How to Assess the Impact of Google Algorithm Updates on Your SEO Plan

July 14, 2023

Making your website rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) requires consistent effort. Even the most insignificant SEO error can lead to a drop in rankings. The same can happen if you get complacent after reaching the top and slow down your SEO activities like content creation, link building, and on-site optimization.




While these are the factors you can control, a Google algorithm update rollout is the worst thing to deal with. Before you know it, your website may hit the bottom without the slightest hint. Experts estimate that such updates happen between 500-600 times per year, making things even more challenging for marketers. It means you always have to be on your toes.


While there aren’t any shortcuts here, you can follow a few expert tips to understand and assess the impact of algorithmic changes on your website and overall SEO plan. Here are some insights to help.


Expect the Unexpected


Let’s talk about 2020, the year when Google made 4500 search changes, including ones in its ranking system and user interface. In the same year, it ran more than 600,000 experiments. These numbers indicate the marketers had to deal with 12 changes per day.


The March 2023 core update was the latest major change, where Google decided to target all content types within all languages and regions to promote high-quality or high-value web pages. The next update may be around the corner.


With so much happening behind the scenes at all times, you need to constantly keep an eye on algorithm updates, assess their impact, and rework your strategy to overcome negative influences on your website.


Understand the Need to Monitor the Updates


Since Google updates its search algorithms more frequently than you imagine, you must follow up closely. While most changes are too small to drastically impact rankings, major updates such as Passage Ranking or BERT suddenly change a significant percentage of keyword searches. According to Google statistics, BERT affected 1 in 10 search queries.


Understanding these updates and their impact on your website keeps you a step ahead. It enables you to continue ranking well, implement content and SEO best practices, and maintain an advantage over your competitors. If constantly tracking updates and realigning your plan sounds like a lot of work, you can collaborate with a reputable SEO company to do the heavy lifting.


According to SEO Expert Management, ranking on the first page of search results should be a priority for local businesses and big brands alike. It entails staying on top of 200+ ranking factors and unexpected algorithm updates. That’s a lot of work for business owners, but SEO specialists can simplify the process.


Research the Latest News and Expert Insights


Google is often tight-lipped about its search ranking algorithm but has good intentions while rolling out updates. It aims to enhance the quality of search results and keep hackers at bay rather than harm websites. If you follow legitimate ranking strategies, you hardly need to worry about being penalized after an algorithmic change.


You may not expect extensive details from Google, but it usually communicates about the core ranking factors being focused on and offers general guidance for webmasters. Besides following the information from the primary source, you can check the online buzz during and after the algorithm rollout. You will find tons of helpful information from the SEO community and industry stalwarts.


Keep an Eye on Your Rankings




The best you can do afte an update is to keep an eye on your website’s rankings. Fortunately, several tools are available for measuring the impact of algorithm updates. A Google Search Console account is the best option to monitor your SEO performance. Ahrefs helps you track keyword rankings without a lot of hard work.


You can expect an update to be rolled out over a couple of weeks, but you cannot be too sure. The September 2022 product reviews update took only six days to get into action. During the rollout, your site may witness a temporary drop in keyword rankings. Do not panic because the impact may not be permanent. Keep a close eye on the drop and strategize to combat it once you are sure about lasting damage.


Rework Your SEO Plan


Google algorithm updates are something you need to learn to coexist with. While you may constantly worry about falling off the update cliff, there are ways to deal with the change. Firstly, you must understand the update’s requirements. Once you know them, audit your site for shortcomings and fix these issues to recover from the impact.


Also, stick with the basics to prevent algorithmic penalties in the first place. Covering these areas means you may not have to worry about the updates in any case:

  • Go above and beyond with content quality
  • Prioritize user experience
  • Avoid link issues
  • Stay ahead of technical problems


The Bottom Line


After the broad core update in March 2023, Google might have rolled out another one between May 10, 2023, and May 11, 2023. The truth is that you can never be too sure because there are tons of unconfirmed updates to worry about.


But a strategic SEO approach can help you survive, no matter how the algorithm pays. Most importantly, stay on top of the basics like content quality, link relevance, and technical SEO to minimize the impact of changes.


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