SEO News You Can Use: Signs of Yet Another Data-Scrambling Google Algorithm Update

Megan Sell
SEO News You Can Use

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Surprise! Google had another algorithm update in February. But Google doesn’t want to talk about it. However, if you chatted with webmasters, SEO experts or any Google search marketers, you’d hear all about the massive changes they’ve contended with since the painful Feb. 7-9 weekend.

Since the beginning of 2020, the Google search engine results pages (SERPs) have appeared unstable and the updates have seen search results go haywire. Little more than a week ago, the SEO community began reporting a bunch of changes in its rankings and fluctuations in its traffic, and so the February 2020 update was discovered.

This update impacted organic traffic significantly and no matter what it says, Google is responsible. But, we’re used to (nowadays) receiving an update ahead of time. Google’s official search liaison Twitter channel usually makes the appropriate official announcements, but not this time. It seems Google’s new communication and transparency policy is only employed in certain instances.

We’ve encountered this lack of communication from Google before. If you recall the November 2019 update that occurred without forewarning, it was immediately evident through the dramatic impact on rankings. After mounting commentary and criticism from SEOs, Danny Sullivan responded on behalf of Google with this tweet:

“Some have asked if we had an update to Google Search last week [in November]. We did, actually several updates, just as we have several updates in any given week on a regular basis.”

3 Findings From the Search Industry About Google’s February 2020 Update:

  1. It has affected a variety of niches and different types of websites and there’s no pattern to track which, or what type of, sites are affected.
  2. The fluctuations observed indicate a loss of traffic and then an increase in traffic, which could mean Google is testing, but there’s speculation that these changes have to do with the layout changes in the SERPs.
  3. Not everyone is experiencing the effects of this update, but eventually everyone will.

How to Manage Your Site After the February Update

High-quality content is always a predominant focus when Google runs an update unless the update is specific to a technical aspect of your website. So pay close attention to the type of content you’re publishing, according to Search Metrics SEO & Content Marketing Blog. All SEOs must consider Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines to better understand what’s expected from high-quality content.

Google has increasingly referred to its guidelines for webmasters post the last few Core Updates. All webmasters would do well to learn the best practice tips found in this guide to win favor with the search engine.

Search Metrics has created a guide to understanding Google updates, which gives the reader an understanding of data analytics when an update occurs. It dives into building a long-term, robust strategy that focuses on data-driven foundations that offer you ongoing success with Google.

More SEO News You Can Use

Silly GIF Wars Could be Your New Marketing Channel: GIPHY is the biggest GIF search engine and the second-largest search engine worldwide, only preceded by Google. Optimization for GIFs is yet another way to optimize content to rank higher in the search results. Create GIFs for your brand and optimize them to appear at the top of SERPs on GIPHY. Here’s the lowdown on SEO for GIFs.

On Wednesday, Twitter Lit Up Suggesting GMB Descriptions Help Your Site Rank Higher: But it’s been disproved that this is the case. Google My Business descriptions don’t impact ranking on the 3-pack. Joy Hawkins of Search Engine Land reported Thursday that after speaking with Google, it was confirmed the information was misleading and is now updated. But not sufficiently, check it out here.

Do You Even Link? Link Building Gives You Rank Gains: Google lists quality links as one of the top three ranking factors. If you want to gain authority in your industry, boost trust factors on your site and increase domain-wide rankings, then you need to get a grip on link building. Search Engine Journal has an updated, downloadable link building checklist to help you map out a successful strategy.

SEO Tactics Save Warner Bros. From Turning Harley Quinn Movie Into a Joke(r): Hollywood Studio made a bold, but necessary, move and changed its new DC Comics movie’s name. The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn simply wasn’t cutting it on Google. A fine example of poor SEO. The lengthy title only mentioned Harley Quinn at the end and as we know, SEO basics dictate high-value keywords appear first.

Choose the Right Partner to Meet Your SEO Needs: Search Metrics released a podcast on Thursday exploring how you choose the right SEO agency partner. It’s a more significant decision than you may think. Listen to its advice on how to identify your specific business needs and analyze your agency partner options. You can also search for your best fit in SEOblog’s SEO company city directory.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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