Google’s updates aren’t always confirmed or announced but you’ll notice them in your site’s rankings. Online marketers and site owners don’t always know how to deal with Google’s algorithm changes and most of the time apply measures that just don’t live up to the search engines unknown expectations.
However, you can never go wrong with improving content quality and usefulness, site authority and making technical tweaks to your site.
Google’s John Mueller provides more insight into Google’s Core ranking update.
Why Has Your Site Dropped in the SERPs?
John Mueller gives us a clue about how Google modified its algorithm. Even if you haven’t lowered the quality of your content and are constantly improving the SEO of your site, you might still notice lower rankings today. Why is that? It’s because Google has redefined what is relevant to user queries. He doesn’t blame sites for being worse in any way, it’s all about how the search engine evaluates what makes sense to specific searches.
John Mueller Explains Relevancy
What was relevant to users last year might not be so today. Mueller explains relevancy by using the best movies category. The set of movies considered to be top quality last year might be different this year. It all comes down to perspective and new comparison benchmarks. It doesn’t mean that the movies are worse or lower quality in any way, it just means that newcomers have changed the setup.
Changes in Search Meaning
A key factor which determined Google’s recent update is the meaning of search queries. This is due to the transient nature of users’ searches. What they are looking for by using certain keywords or phrases is temporary. The meaning of searches is transient, but the phrases could very well just stay the same. When you’re trying to figure out why your site has lowered in the SERPs you should focus on user intent and compare your site to others which have become more prominent in the SERPs.
Google says there’s nothing wrong with your site’s quality issue if you’ve dropped in rankings. But, then again what should you do? Google’s answer is to wait for refreshes but also carefully study what your competitors are doing. Examine bad search results and top performers. Try to understand why queries for the same keywords return higher ranking results for those sites.
Moving Your Campaign Forward Holistically
With so many factors that could be affecting your SERP ratings, the best strategy is to take a holistic approach. Always place the users at the focus of your site’s content and try to understand what their intentions are when searching for different phrases or keywords. You can start by undertaking an external audit of your site, integrate quality raters’ guidelines and carry out competitor analysis.
You can’t just do a little better than other sites. You need to stand out and truly be the best choice for your users. With every update, Google wants to bring users closer to key answers for their searches. Google’s final aim is to produce an excellent user experience and shift results closer to searchers’ intent.