Google’s first documented update was one that caused a lot of upset with webmasters and website owners across the world wide web. A lot of webmasters and website owners were thrown off with this update because they were once in the top 10 and in some cases, they completely vanished for no apparent reason. This update was one that shook the SEO community because it came without any warning or explanation. Many webmasters and website owners were left puzzled with what had just happened and what needed to be done to fix their lost rankings and traffic. Some even “gave up on Google” and wanted to “use another search engine” to get traffic from.
Looking Back at Early Google Updates is Still Useful Because Things Like Relevancy are Always Going to be Part of the Core Algorithm
It is funny to look back at the early updates because some of the same things are still true with core algorithm updates. Of course, it has gotten a lot harder to rank for keywords now as there are more search signals, but one thing remains true – quality. Instead of doing backchat tactics or things to get results fast, try to build up your website slow and steady, and tick all the boxes (or as many as you can) that Google is looking for (but make sure to seem natural) when doing so.
Always be Prepared for a New Update – You Never Know When it May Strike or What Search signal(s) will Be Affected
Whenever an update rolls out, it doesn’t really surprise us, it is actually expected. If you run an honest website and focus on creating content that people want to read, it will get read and shared. If you integrate keywords and different types of links in where they make sense, search engines will see your content and give you rankings.
Search engines may then test out said rankings (temporarily rank you for certain keywords) until they are sure that you deserve the rankings. You may also notice a keyword bouncing from one page to another on your website (clear optimization can fix this, or award you the same keyword ranking on multiple URLs). We think that Google is really just checking for relevancy here.
What to Look for When Google May be Doing an Update
Perhaps one of the signs that Google is doing an update is if you notice a big change in your Google Analytics traffic. If you meet search quality standards you may lose a bit of traffic and rankings, but still be much more ahead than you were before. If you don’t meet the mark, you may lose traffic or go back to where you were before. This is just an observation we have found from looking at various accounts at the same time and may or may not not apply to you.
What Does the First Documented Update Tell Us?
The first documented update tells us that Google could at any moment, change the game and decide to do something without warning. They have done this many times since this update. Luckily through testing, monitoring multiple accounts, using SEO forecasting tools (when they are reporting with reasonable accuracy) and keeping our ear close to the ground of the SEO community, we like to think we are able to sniff out new possible updates before they are made public. A few times, we have been able to predict an update months before it has been made public.
Contact Us for More Information About the First Document Update, Where We Think Search is Headed or to Get Help if You Received a Ranking Penalty from an Update
The main point here is to focus on quality, and to build an honest website over a long period of time. No tricks, just dedication. If you do happen to notice something similar in your Google Analytics (a big spike then traffic and rankings loss) and think you may have been hit from an update, please contact us 🙂 We are happy to look into things for you and put together an action plan to get you back on track. Don’t worry about the first documented update, or future updates that are waiting to pounce at any moment without warning. Click the free quote button below, we’ve got your back!