Many claim that SEO is dead, and there is plenty of evidence to back them up. The rise of concise video content has changed how people get information from the internet in a big way. People nowadays may prefer to search YouTube or TikTok for answers to questions rather than Google.
There’s no denying that people’s internet consumption habits have shifted, but SEO is still around. Even if that were true, Google would not be the world’s most visited website. It receives nearly 90 billion visits per month. Google controls 92% of the search engine market as of January 2022. These statistics show that SEO is here to stay. As long as Google receives a high traffic volume, there will be opportunities to improve content ranking in search results.
Google offers many different services online, but Search is still one of the most important and profitable. Unsurprisingly, the company isn’t content to sit on its search engine throne. Google’s search algorithm is regularly updated with minor and significant changes.
These changes are intended to improve Google for the billions of people who use it daily. However, because these changes often cause substantial drops in traffic, it can take time for publishers to figure out how to handle them. The most recent important update from Google was released in August.
Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ update arrived in August 2022
Google’s Helpful Content updates, which come out regularly, make the content that comes up after a search better. Unfortunately, many publishers are still gaming the system by creating content solely to rank highly in search results.
This content usually gives visitors little information, so they must look through several pages to find what they want. The August 2022 update was made to “help ensure that duplicate or low-quality content doesn’t rank highly in Search.”
All content is written to rank highly in Google searches, but this update will only affect people who make high-quality content that matches what people are looking for when they search on Google. Most likely, this update will hurt the rankings of publishers who only make low-quality, keyword-stuffed content that doesn’t offer anything of value to the visitor.
How to Avoid a Drop in Traffic Following Google’s Latest Update
1. Maintain the focus of your website.
Google’s release notes for the update say that it’s essential for websites to have a niche. Websites that cover content with clear direction are deemed of higher quality than those that cover a range without direction. Visitors will find this inconvenient.
For example, someone looking for advice on improving their credit score may be surprised to find advice on woodworking on the same website. This makes it difficult for Google’s crawlers to understand the site and index the pages that will be ranked. The algorithm may mark the website as low quality if it thinks that a lot of content on different topics is being made to rank on Google.
2. Don’t stray too far from your area of expertise.
Google wants publishers to consider the following: Is the content intended for people or search engines? Are topics being covered that have nothing to do with the website’s focus simply because they’re trending? Is the website providing advice in any niche area needing more real expertise?
For instance, if you have a website about travel deals, your visitors will be perplexed if they see healthy recipes. You may decide to cover them if you come across high-volume, low-competition keywords, but Google may view it as an attempt to write content far beyond your website’s scope for it to rank.
3. Concentrate on providing a positive reader.
In Google rankings, intent and experience are now essential factors. Now, the algorithm figures out what people mean when they type keywords into the search engine and shows the most relevant results.
Google now emphasizes the reader experience, meaning visitors should leave your website satisfied. For example, a reader may arrive at your website via Google, read a lengthy post, but still feel that their question needs to be answered. This would not be a pleasant user experience.
4. Avoid answering questions with no clear answer.
Many publishers, especially those in the tech or entertainment industries, write posts that answer questions that still need a clear answer. This would be an article about the release date of a major superhero film that the studio has yet to announce.
It is up to the publisher to tell the reader whether or not the information given is a rumor. If this needs to be explained, the algorithm might think the post is misleading, flag it, and lower the site’s ranking. If yours went down after the update, you need to look at the content on your website again.
How to recover from the latest Google SEO update?
Google’s updates normally take a couple of weeks to roll out. Since this latest update started rolling out at the end of August, most publishers would have seen an impact in their rankings by now. If yours have lowered after the update was released, you need to revisit the content on your website.
Follow the tips to make changes so that the content follows Google’s guidelines. Remember that you won’t see an instant improvement in the rankings after making these changes. Most of the time, it takes a few months and a few Google updates for the site’s luck to turn around.