What You Need to Know About the Upcoming Google Algorithm Change

This week, Google began its release of a new core update to its algorithm—and another one will be on its way next month. What is involved with these month-to-month core updates, and what should local businesses be aware of?

Google’s June and July schedule

As Barry Schwartz noted in Search Engine Land, Google’s typical scheduling of core algorithm updates take place once every few months. Next month’s update may be considered a sequel to this current one, as Google needed more time than anticipated to complete the desired changes. Instead of delaying the release of this core update (as the last one was in December 2020), Google opted to present it this week, and unveil the “in-progress” changes in July. Many may wonder not only why these updates take so long to implement, but also the reason for making updates at all.

The ever-changing Internet

Whether it’s a student at a desktop computer who looks up source material for a term paper or a married couple checking their mobile devices for the best weekend getaway deals, most people rely on searching the Internet for answers. Ensuring that users have the best possible search experience is Google’s primary objective. And since changes in the world are ongoing—and with great rapidity—Google must therefore accommodate these changes by updating its algorithms on a rolling basis.

In Google’s words…

A more in-depth explanation regarding Google’s practice of updating algorithms can be found in this article by Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search. Ultimately, it’s about keeping the customers (of which Google has billions) happy. At the same time, however, changes in core updates may well mean changes in search results—for better or worse—which is a more than understandable cause for concern for local brands and businesses that rely on visibility on Google. (And in today’s world, what business doesn’t rely on Google?)

Possible reversal of fortunes—in rankings

When Google releases algorithmic core updates, rankings for a business listing may rise, fall—or, preferably, remain as they were. Mr. Schwartz points out that what makes this current situation unique—an update this week, followed by another next month—is that businesses may see a spike in where they rank now, but experience a dramatic decline in July (and vice versa). Unfortunately, if a business’ search results suffer on account of Google’s updated algorithm, not much can be done to offset the situation. There are measures, however, that local businesses should always be monitoring.

Practice caution

Michael DiMarco, SEO Manager at EGC, offers this advice to business owners and SEO managers in regard to the core updates to Google:

“Keep an eye on changes but do not panic if or when you see them. In the same vein: When core updates launch, it frequently causes a lot of confusion amongst SEO “specialists.” Many “experts” may make claims and provide broad assumptions of exactly what was affected based on what they see through a limited number of sources. Often, these claims are biased or untrue to justify the data that they’ve seen, so it is always best to take a “wait and see approach,” all the while continuing to provide valuable and relevant content to users. As previously mentioned, for clients that are eager to keep an eye on what exactly is being affected and how these updates are being deployed, “MOZ” and “Search Engine Land” are among the two most reliable sources. Private blogs, articles, and smaller journalists—while they may provide some relevancy—should not be a primary source. It is also incredibly important to truly emphasize that as core updates are released, search results may be affected for only a brief period before reaching equilibrium of sorts. And where rankings are concerned: They may be higher or lower than where a business previously was placed, but an immediate reaction and change in strategy would be ill-advised.”

Keeping “best content”

Search Engine Land provided this quote from Google when the Panda algorithm was released in 2011:

“We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”

While there are no guarantees to success, and an algorithmic change from Google can either shine the spotlight on a local business or throw it into the dark, the above quote is worthy remembering. Many words can define “best content,” and one that comes immediately to mind is “accuracy.” Local brands and businesses should see to it that their listings—address, phone numbers, website, among other data—are as accurate and up-to-date as possible. It may be a difficult task, but Raydeus Local can help.

If the rankings for your business have been affected by the latest core update to Google’s algorithm, or you are anticipating what may happen in July, get in touch. We can help you navigate the change.