5 SEO Best Practices to Keep Pace with Google Algorithm Updates

    As a digital marketer or business owner, you will probably know that you cannot take a set-and-forget approach to search engine optimization (SEO). With the ever-evolving Google algorithm updates, you may have to update your strategies from time to time. That’s likely required more often than you imagine because algorithms continuously evolve to deliver high-quality and relevant results to users.

    After four major core updates in 2023, Google implemented another major one in March 2024. This one addresses low-quality content and sets new guidelines on spam to prevent manipulative practices. Whenever an update is around, it brings several challenges and opportunities for marketers. Even the best SEO tactics may fail when things change drastically.

    In this article, we will explore the best SEO practices to help businesses survive and thrive amid algorithmic changes.

    Understand the Updates

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    Not all Google updates are obvious, and neither do they require major adjustments. Surprisingly, Google refreshes its algorithms 500-600 times a year, but only the core ones need to be addressed. Before implementing any changes in your strategy, you must understand the purpose of the update. However, you may need to interpret it if Google does not officially provide clarity.

    You can do it by considering different context clues. Start by analyzing the search results page, checking SERP features, search intent, and variations of related keywords and questions. These factors elucidate what Google thinks users want. Additionally, analyze pages appearing at the top of results. The top pages are the ones that align with new algorithms, so they can be benchmarks for your new strategy. 

    Prioritize User Experience

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    User experience is the most significant aspect of SEO, with search engines prioritizing websites offering convenience, speed, and accessibility. Google Search Central’s guidelines highlight the following aspects when defining page experience:

    • Good core web vitals
    • Security
    • Responsiveness
    • Easy navigation
    • Valuable content with proper layout
    • Lack of intrusive interstitials

    Focus on optimizing these UX elements to make your SEO strategy algorithm-proof. Going the extra mile with usability means you need not worry about the changes because search engines will love your site as long as it serves value to users. Check the effectiveness of your UX optimization efforts by digging deep into user engagement metrics such as time spent, bounce rate, and conversion rates. Also, consider changes if any of these metrics appear amiss. 

    Stick with the Basics of Local SEO

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    Since UX optimization requires extensive work, it is easy to overlook something basic like local SEO. However, Google algorithm updates can refine how local search results are displayed, affecting local businesses’ visibility and rankings. For example, a new update may prioritize local listings, and penalize businesses not showing updated information in Google My Business profile. 

    Consider the example of a hypercompetitive market such as that of Los Angeles in California, a state with 4.1 million small businesses as of 2023. That’s the maximum number among American states. According to Los Angeles Marketing Co., a robust local SEO strategy is the key to survival for a small business operating in a highly competitive market. 

    At the same time, you should be ready to adapt your local SEO strategy with algorithm updates. Focusing on factors such as proximity, relevance, and prominence can help you do it. 

    Consider Semantic SEO and Natural Language Processing (NLP)

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    Forbes notes that search intent/relevance was one of the most important ranking factors in 2023. While you must create high-quality content, remember to make it relevant to audience search intent. Search engines can understand user intent and context with the help of semantic search and natural language processing (NLP) technologies. 

    Integrating these principles into your SEO strategy is the best way to stand strong amid the ever-evolving search algorithms. Optimize your content for semantic relevance and contextuality by using latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords and related terms. It gives search engines deeper insights into the content’s meaning. Also, structure your content logically to align with user queries and intent.

    Stay Informed

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    With the frequent changes in the search engine landscape, you cannot take a once-and-done approach. Stay informed about algorithmic changes and the potential impact they may have on your site. You may not get the information regarding such updates directly, but following reputable industry blogs and forums can help. 

    Monitor changes in search engine ranking positions (SERPs), user behavior, and traffic patterns to assess the impact of algorithmic updates. Also, adopt an agile mindset because quick changes in your SEO plan can save your website from a ranking drop after an update. At the same time, stay true to SEO best practices to avoid penalties.

    In conclusion, algorithmic changes are a reality marketers need to live with. Your website may suffer after an update even when you do everything right. Being vigilant, prepared, and ready to quickly adapt is the best way to deal with these changes. With these best practices, you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure sustained success regardless of how algorithms work.


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