Why It’s Important to Stay Up-to-Date with Google Changes

by | Search Engine Optimisation

Having a website is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being found online. The criteria for ranking on search engines can be very complex, and an active strategy takes into account the hundreds (and hundreds) of factors Google uses to find and assess web pages, as well as the changes they make to those systems and their algorithm.

For the everyday website owner, you don’t have time to be monitoring your website daily or upskilling to know what the slightest fluctuation in your website traffic may mean. Nor, do you have the time to be performing the near-constant work that can be required to get you to the top of search engine results, or why a particular strategy may or may not be working. It can feel like a lot of guesswork, but it’s actually a highly calculated process and skill.

This article will give you the insights into why you should stay up-to-date with changes and what search engine strategists do when these changes happen. 

Why are Google algorithm changes important?

Google’s algorithm updates are one of the key reasons they became and have stayed the number one search engine in the world. Every single update is refining the experience they provide its users, delivering more trustworthy, thorough and specific answers to queries, whether that’s on the search engine, for local businesses on Maps, on YouTube and more. It’s the reason why when you search online for a red pair of sneakers with white laces and gold trim you get such an accurate list of online stores! 

As search engine optimisation (SEO) strategists also found ways around Google’s algorithms, the search engine made more updates to close these loopholes. Many of the SEO tactics commonly used over the years were spammy and did not provide a good user experience, which did nothing for Google’s reputation for providing the best solutions to a search query. So, they have simply made their criteria tighter and tighter over the years, resulting in hundreds (estimated to be more than 200) of factors every web page is weighed up against to decide how it ranks every time someone searches for a relevant term. 

Why you need to stay up-to-date with Google algorithm updates.

Google updates a huge deal. It only takes one search on Reddit boards, Twitter or LinkedIn of SEO communities to see how drastic changes can be to a website’s average search engine position and the traffic it receives. Even highly experienced SEO strategists can be sent into a frenzy when a new update comes out.

By staying up-to-date with Google updates, you not only learn what to optimise your website for now, but also what Google’s long-term goal looks like. This helps you be able to implement future-proof strategies to allow for steady, long-term growth, not just short-term results. Because SEO is, ultimately, a long-term strategy. And staying up to date with Google’s algorithm changes are part of that. 

How to stay up-to-date with Google changes

So, how do you stay up-to-date with Google changes? There is new news, tips or information coming out about how to optimise your website for Google’s search engine every single day. It’s a lot of information to not only see, but also to absorb, understand, and be able to know when and how to implement. This is why how you stay up-to-date with Google changes is important.

Follow Google and SEO experts online

There is a lot of dodgy search engine optimisation (SEO) information out there. It’s not to say this information won’t work (as every strategy is different), but it may not give you long-term results you need to actually benefit your business. This is why who you get your information from is very important.

When looking for sources of quality information about Google updates and SEO online, look for unbiased reviews, or agencies and individuals with case studies demonstrating long-term results. This will help you get information proven to work (depending on the website) and has come from someone who knows what they are doing and talking about.

Measure your data

Your website is a good indicator if there are updates happening. If you have consistently been optimising your website and you see a dramatic dip or increase in traffic, it’s a sure sign Google has made an update. Now, knowing what to look for to tell what’s happening is where having knowledge of what’s happening in the world of Google and SEO is important, and where having a professional on your side can help.

Use an SEO agency

As a business owner, there’s a high chance you do not have the time it takes to stay up to date with Google’s updates and SEO trends. That’s why SEO agencies, like Digital Surfer, exist. We ensure we stay up to date with the latest trends and updates, attending conferences and workshops, and collaborating with other industry professionals to always be ahead of the curb and helping our clients thrive. If you’re finding you don’t have time to make SEO a priority, please get in touch and have a chat with our Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne SEO experts. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Google Changes

What is a Google algorithm update?

A Google algorithm update is a change to how the search engine ranks websites. They are known as core updates, but may also include smaller changes, such as to how they measure the legitimacy of online reviews, to provide a design update to user experience on Google and more. But why does Google make algorithm updates?

Google’s job is to provide a good experience to people looking for information online so they can access the most secure, accurate content. To do this, they make regular updates to their systems and how they measure web pages to be able to determine what is the best answer and source of information for Google users. This is why it’s important to stay up-to-date with Google changes to ensure you are adapting your website to suit what is considered as a provider of the best information.

How many algorithms does Google have?

Google’s algorithm is a complex system used to retrieve web page information online, assess its content and be able to rank it against more than 200 different factors. There have been many major Google algorithm changes over the years, with different names to represent each generation of major improvements. 

In the past fifteen years, Google has had more than 8 major algorithm updates, including:

  • Panda (2011), which saw major changes to how Google measures content.
  • Penguin (2012), rolled out to detect common spam search engine optimisation tactics at the time, like keyword and link stuffing.
  • Hummingbird (2013), another anti-spam and content update.
  • Mobile (2015), to prioritise web pages with good mobile user experience to align with the increase of mobile users.
  • RankBrain (2015), another content optimisation algorithm.
  • Medic (2018), changing how Google measures your-money-or-your-life web pages, such as medical and finance sites.
  • BERT (2019), an update allowing Google to better understand how humans search online and how content impacts this.

From 2017 onwards, Google started to refer to their major updates as core updates. 

How often does Google change their algorithm? 

Google is estimated to make anywhere from 500 to 600+ changes to their algorithm every single year. 10 years ago, they only made 300 to 400 changes a year, while in 2020, they made more than 4500 changes. While some updates will be large core updates drastically impacting the search engine presence of websites, many will be small updates that impact a specific area of how websites should be optimised or that impact a user’s experience on Google.


Article Written & Reviewed By:

Brodie McGrath

Brodie is a passionate SEO specialist with a background and special interests in content writing for the web and e-commerce strategies. She is dedicated to helping businesses excel through unique strategies tailored to meet and exceed their goals. Brodie holds a Graduate Certificate in Marketing and has completed a range of non-accredited industry courses. She also stays current with industry changes by attending conferences and seminars, ensuring her knowledge is applied effectively to achieve outstanding results for her clients.
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