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Google Algorithm updates in April 2023 – here's what to do about algorithm updates 

It seems that in 2023, the SEO community has had a new Google Algorithm update to discuss every month so far this year.

That wouldn’t be far off, with official updates announced at the end of December 22, February 23 and March 23. Right on cue, Google has released another update on the 20th and 21st of April, which may have started on the 18th of April according to SEroundtable. What was this update and what do updates actually mean for your website? 

About the April 2023 update

This particular update was yet another aimed at sites that rank for ‘review’ type content. These sites are generally third-party sites that review products and provide product recommendations meaning this update may not affect your business. 

The update coincided with Google’s brand new reviews documentation that seemingly rewards content that demonstrates E.E.A.T. We previously covered the subject of EEAT here. 

As with all updates, some sites report gains and others report losses. One user reported: “Seems that there are loads of changes going through Google at the moment. Is anyone seeing better results? I’m actually noticing less spam.”

Why does Google release Algorithm Updates?

The purpose of a Google algorithm update is the same every time: to improve the quality of search results for any given search phrase. Every time a user enters a query into Google, they expect to see the most relevant and high-quality results possible. So, Google is constantly refining its algorithm to ensure that those results are exactly what the user is looking for.

So how does Google determine whether your content deserves to rank higher (or lower)? In summary, Google uses a variety of signals to determine a website’s quality and relevance, including things like:

  • Your website’s content and structure
  • Your website’s backlink profile
  • Your website’s overall authority and trustworthiness (EEAT)

Google updates may simply introduce new factors, or place greater emphasis on others. 

What to do when you suspect your site has been hit by an update

If you suspect that your site has been negatively impacted by a Google algorithm update, there are a few steps you can take to recover:

  1. Don’t panic: First and foremost – try not to panic. There have been countless occasions in which site rankings have taken a tumble after an algorithm update and then made a full or partial recovery shortly afterwards. It’s important not to rush into changes at this point. Wait until the official roll out period has ended.
  2. Understand the update: The first thing you need to do is understand which update has affected your site. Different updates target different aspects of your site. For example, Google introduce Core Web Vitals to the Algorithm that forced site owners to focus on user experience. Knowing which update you’re dealing with will help you determine the appropriate course of action. 
  3. Conduct a site audit: Once you know which update you’re dealing with, conduct a thorough site audit to identify any issues that could have caused your rankings to drop. You may have heard that Google now places more emphasis on trust factors. Have you made efforts to improve your site from an authority perspective? You may have escaped previous algorithms but if you’re hit by one, it’s time that your paid attention to your site and the content it contains.
  4. Create a clear plan for change: Based on the results of your site audit and the feedback from other webmasters and Google, make a plan to address the necessary changes you required to get your site back on track. This could include removing low-quality content, disavowing spammy backlinks, fixing technical issues with your site, creating a topical content plan or simply adding and showcasing company information. 
  5. Keep an eye on your rankings: Once you’ve made the necessary changes to your site, monitor your rankings closely to see if they improve. Keep in mind that it can take some time for Google to re-crawl and re-index your site, so be patient. You may even be waiting until the next algortihm update to see your site make a full recovery – but luckily – the next one is probably just around the corner. 

How to avoid being hit by Google Algorithm updates 

Simply continue to improve your site – even if you’ve not been hit by an update. When it comes to SEO or anything technology-related, nothing stays the same for long so if you’re not moving forward, you’re likely to be regressing – Don’t rest on your laurels!

Continue to improve your site over time by creating high-quality content, building high-quality backlinks, and optimising your site for user experience. This will help ensure that your site is well-positioned to weather future algorithm updates. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and continue to consistently provide excellent value and grow your site content. This will keep your site in Google’s good books!

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