Google algorithm updates are the bane of SEO professionals due to their potential impact on search rankings, and recently, it appears that there have been more changes to these algorithms than usual, even if Google tells us otherwise.
While Google claims it has only increased transparency and communication, not the rate of actual update deployment, SEO expert Lily Ray believes it is the impact and proximity of these updates that have made them feel more significant.
Google now has multiple ranking systems in place, each with its guidelines and implications. In an interview with DesignRush, Ray acknowledged that by understanding Google's specific guidelines for the ranking systems, SEO professionals can better prepare their efforts.
As a starting point, Ray advises those in SEO to "start with Google’s documentation."
There’s an abundance of information available, and coming from Google themselves, that's far more reliable than any third-party interpretation, according to Ray. "Understanding the rules of the game from the source itself is vital for navigating these updates effectively," she told us.
Those working with SEO need to be ready to be dynamic and swift in their approach to Google updates, as Ray believes that regular updates will likely to be the norm moving forward.
Professionals Should Stick to White-Hat SEO
With specific updates being integrated into Google’s core algorithms, Ray assumes this will "likely lead to ongoing volatility," while making it even more challenging to pinpoint changes in the rankings.
"The key is to align closely with Google's guidelines, focusing not just on what's currently driving traffic but on what Google advises," Ray believes.
As a solution, she advocates a white-hat approach. While not as glamorous or quick to yield results as other options, this approach will be "more sustainable and safer in the long run."
The new ranking systems and algo changes might seem sudden, but if SEO professionals remain informed and observant, they shouldn’t be too surprising.
"Playing the long game and staying true to ethical SEO practices is key to navigating the ever-evolving SEO landscape," she concluded.
For more on SEO trends and Google's future, read our in-depth interview or listen to the full podcast featuring one of the world's most influential SEO experts.