Google, the monster of search engines, rolled out its latest core update this past weekend. On Saturday, as reported by SE Roundtable, to be precise. There are many updates to the algorithm throughout the year, every day in fact, but they are relatively small with little to no impact on search engine ranking. Core updates, on the other hand, are rare and have significant impact. This update was confirmed by Danny Sullivan to be very noticeable:
That’s about updates in general. The quote suggested I said that about core updates. Those are definitely noticable. That’s why we confirm them.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) June 4, 2019
As with every major update, the businesses that rely on traffic from Google are understandably very nervous. Google can make or break businesses. This was no different. Many businesses were devastated by this latest algorithm update. Some even announced that they are shutting down after Google’s June 2019 update.
In the past, Google updates had very clear and definable goals: de-indexing poor quality links, poor quality content, etc. As a SEO expert, you could see what was important and what was damaging to ranking. With the recent core update, it is not clear at all.
As reported by Sistrix, the latest Google update mostly affected content and news websites. There are both winners and losers. Among the losers are some mainstream websites such as CNTraveler.com, NFL.com, Prevention.com, and others. It is difficult to understand why these sites lost visibility after the update but the speculation is, according to that Sistrix report, that Google is switching its search algorithm from man-made to machine learning (ML). This doesn’t help SEO personnel know what changes need to be made to regain previous visibility levels.
How to Protect Your Business from Google Core Updates
Although traffic from Google can be very lucrative and important to the health of a business, it is clear that relying solely on Google for leads and sales is dangerous long-term.
Google doesn’t owe any business anything. It is only concerned about its own future and bottom-line. Google is not your friend, even though it allows you to ride its coattails for some time. But you can never tell how long that will last.
There are a number of ways to protect your business from the negative impacts of major algorithm updates.
For starters, diversify your traffic sources. Utilize other search engines, such as Bing and DuckDuckGo. Use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, among others, to funnel targeted traffic to your website.
Grow an email list of contacts. You can grow your list from visitors to your website, contacts you make at business conferences, and others that you can reach out to. Anytime you add new content, services, or products, you can send a mass email notifying your contacts. Repeat visitors are more likely to convert into customers than new visitors.
Build a brand that is memorable. A memorable brand is one that is easy to remember and that creates a positive image in the minds of visitors. People that come into contact with your brand should have an immediate positive impression and be able to recall that brand. This starts with a quality dot com domain. You want people to be able to remember the domain and type it into the browser. When they associate very good images and experience with your brand, they will want to come back to your website without going through Google.