Google is said to make minor changes to its search algorithm at least 500 times a year. Every change is made to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for, which means that search engine results pages (SERPs) are constantly changing.

Although Google algorithm updates benefit users, they frequently cause problems for businesses whose rankings change. As an SEO, one of my responsibilities is to detect and decipher Google’s (often hidden) algorithm updates.

What Is the Google Algorithm?

Let’s start with some basic vocabulary: A search engine algorithm is a sophisticated mathematical instruction that instructs computers on conducting searches. Google’s algorithm is extremely complex, ranking the relevance of search results against the requirements and expectations of the searcher. When you enter a word or phrase into Google, it searches billions of pages for the keywords in your search. As the engine searches, it assigns a rank to each page based on various factors, including how frequently the content contains your keywords. Pages most relevant to your query are prioritized and appear higher on the SERPs.

Why Are Tracking Algorithm Updates Important?

Google’s algorithm is constantly being tweaked to provide the best results possible. Because a minor change in the algorithm can affect your website’s ranking in the SERPs, search engine optimization adapts to these changes. Google regularly releases major algorithmic updates, such as Panda and Penguin, which significantly impact search results. 

As a business owner, your survival may depend on your search engine rankings. You want to be aware of major changes so that you are aware of a significant drop in your rankings and, thus, in site visitors and sales.

How to Monitor Google Algorithm Changes

Join Twitter.

Twitter is one of the most important social media platforms in the world of SEO. It can be an excellent Google algorithm checker if you know where to look. We recommend following influencers, including Googlers, and relevant hashtags (for example, #GoogleUpdate and #GoogleAlgorithm).

Monitor Google Analytics

Web administrators must keep an eye on Google Analytics, a Google tool that tracks website traffic and other metrics. It will give you a sense of what to expect and what normal fluctuations entail (like fewer people searching for your business on a Saturday).

Bigger changes in traffic and conversions will stand out if you know what “normal” looks like, alerting you to possible algorithm changes.

Follow Industry Influencers

There are many thought leaders in the SEO industry, including companies and key individual players. Some well-known SEO names include:

John Mueller

Moz

Rand Fishkin

Search Engine Land

Search Engine Roundtable

Matt Cutts Because these influencers are well-known in the tech industry, if a significant change occurs, they will almost certainly report on it. Subscribing to their newsletters is another simple way to stay updated on algorithm news.

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