7 Tips To Protect Against Sudden Search Engine Algorithm Updates

As SEO specialists, we can guarantee you that the vast majority of websites and domains are affected by search engine algorithm updates.

Whether it’s Panda, Penguin or Rankbrain, Google has managed to inflict a huge amount of stress and pain into our lives.

That is why it is imperative to learn how to stay protected against sudden algorithm changes in order to preserve your traffic intact.

Whether it’s Panda, Penguin or Rankbrain, Google has managed to inflict a huge amount of stress and pain into our lives.

That is why it is imperative to learn how to stay protected against sudden algorithm changes in order to preserve your traffic intact.

Let’s take for instance the well-renowned Panda update. Released back in 2011, Panda aimed to lower the rank of “thin sites” and to punish content farms.

Almost all webmasters who have fallen into the trap of buying links have been severely punished by Panda.

Rankbrain, the AI algorithm released in 2015, helped Google provide more relevant search queries while punishing websites with poor content quality and those with keyword stuffing problems.

More often than not, these search engine algorithm updates are like virtual earthquakes, “shaking” your entire SEO efforts and nullifying them.

While some of these measures are standard white hat SEO tactics, some of them are more focused, offering specific SEO advice and strategies.

While these algorithm changes are inevitable, there are some preventative measures you can take in order to protect your site against the potential impact of the updates.

On a side note, it is important to clarify that not all traffic fluctuations might be the direct result of a search engine algorithm change. Seasonal fluctuations are caused by customer buying behaviour.

Try to pinpoint these fluctuations and determine if the reason of the traffic decrease is an update or a simple seasonal fluctuation.

Without further ado, here are 7 powerful, yet simple tips on how to protect your site against all search engine algorithm updates.

 

1. Leverage the Power of Long Tail Keywords

Since Rankbrain, Google, Yahoo and Bing have started to prioritize user intent and long keyword phrases over short keywords.

Even though long tail keywords do not bring in so much traffic, rest assured that the competition is very thin. Thus, you can rank extremely fast for long tail keywords, while ranking for branded keywords could take months, even
years.

To top it all, search engine greatly appreciates webmasters that use in their site content key phrases that users are typing in search queries. This means that long tail keywords that users search for are

This means that long tail keywords that users search for are potential SEO goldmines.

Probably the best places to find long-tail keywords is Quora and Google Trends. Learn here
how to do it: http://neilpatel.com/blog/how-to-generate-long-tail-keywords-using-quora-and-google-trends/.

 

2. Focus on your Best Keywords

Most webmasters fall into the common mistake of trying to rank for more keywords in an effort to
hit the first pages of Google faster. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

If you focus on too many keywords, your presence in search engines will be diluted, and you might start to lose some of the quality traffic you already have.

In fact, the exact opposite is true. If you focus on too many keywords, your presence in search engines will be diluted, and you might start to lose some of the quality traffic you already have.

The safest route you can take in order to stay protected against search engine algorithm updates is to make sure you only integrate a few long tail keywords at a time, while you focus most of your efforts on your target keywords.

 

3. Create High-Quality, Original Content Regularly

You can’t go wrong with this strategy. Since Rankbrain, on-page content has grown to become the single most important ranking factor. According to most SEO experts, content accounts for around 35%-40% of your site’s SEO value. That is why it is imperative to show Google that you are a content guru.

That is why it is imperative to show Google that you are a content guru.

Huge time intervals between blog posts or on-page content changes will definitely disrupt your presence online, even without any algorithm changes.

New content is always fresh blood and can help you enjoy a new surge in traffic. We recommend you to post a new piece of content every new week and to change your landing page

New content is always fresh blood and can help you enjoy a new surge in traffic. We recommend you to post a new piece of content every new

We recommend you to post a new piece of content every new week, and to change your landing page every two-three months.

 

4. Go for Less Competitive Keywords

Regardless of what Google wants to throw your way with sophisticated algorithm changes or updates, you can stay safe behind the high wall of less competitive keywords.

The good news is that you can find tons of low competition keywords.

Because they have such a low competition, algorithm updates will not change the search results too much.

This means that once you rank on the first search result page for a low competition keyword, your place is almost guaranteed for many months to come.

 

5. Capitalize on PPC

PPC, or pay-per-click, is becoming increasingly important, even from an SEO perspective.

According to several SEO gurus, including Neil Patel and Rand Fishkin, Google will soon start to rank websites organically using the same ranking score it uses for PPC bidding system.

In other words, if you learn how to master PPC for your business, you will have an edge over your competition.

Add to that the fact that PPC will always be a guaranteed source of traffic for your site. In case you get hit by a sudden search engine update, it’s wise to have a strong AdWords and Bing PPC campaign in your back pocket.

 

6. Get Only High-Quality, Relevant Backlinks

Link building is still a solid method to make your site less vulnerable to search engine algorithm changes. However, in 2017, link building is not about the number of links, but about quality.

It is 10 times better to have 2 relevant, high-authority links from sites like CNN or Techcrunch, then to have 100 poor links from low authority sites or platforms that are from other niches than yours.

Make the most out of SEO tools to detect unwanted links from bad sites and remove them ASAP.

 

7. Use Social Media in Your Advantage

The last but not the least step you can take to ensure that your site is protected against sudden search engine algorithm updates is to diversify your traffic sources.

Obviously, social media is your best bet here. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Quora, Google+, Reddit or Tumblr can bring you loads of traffic.

Moreover, search engines have begun to consider this traffic quite precious as of late.

Just conduct a search about Donald Trump or any other personality on Google and you will notice how Twitter and Facebook rank higher than even his personal site.

A solid social media presence is a strong guarantee that you are protected against search engine algorithm changes.

 

Conclusion

While some search engine algorithm changes might benefit you, most of them are released to hurt your digital presence.

If you want to outperform your competitors, it is imperative to leverage the above tips to make your site less vulnerable to search engine algorithm updates.

Be proactive and protect your online presence against anything Google, Bing and Yahoo might throw your way.

3 Responses
  1. I think many SEO specialists are a bit less focused on points 3 and 7 as these issues don’t directly concern them, the old SEO mentality, compared to some of the other points you raised. I know its a massive generalization but that’s what it seems to me especially when it comes to local SEO. If you are constantly producing high quality content then there is little chance that updates hit you that badly. There is a trajectory to these updates where they are becoming more and more human, so if you appropriately accommodate humans instead of search engines, you are not gong to go down in the rankings.

    1. inlink

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your comment although I’m not entirely sure you’ve fully read the post.

      Point 3 is about regularly creating good quality content, which you say you don’t agree with. You then go on to say that you should constantly create high quality content?

      Also I’m not sure how diversifying your traffic sources is an ‘old SEO mentality’ as you put it. As someone working in this industry you should be aware that widening your sources of traffic is a great thing to be doing. Relying on any one form of traffic could leave you in a real mess further down the line. This is by no means an old or new SEO mentality, just a common sense approach that everyone should be on board with.

      If you’d like to learn more about SEO why not have a look at some of our earlier posts and begin with the basics. They are pretty comprehensive and should enlighten you to the ways of better quality, long term traffic from sustainable SEO best practices.

      Good luck and enjoy!

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