Is Your SEO Strategy Outdated? 3 Ways to Adapt to Google Algorithm Updates

Google algorithm updates

Google regularly updates its algorithm throughout the year to ensure the search engine provides the best possible experience to people searching on specific keywords. Top-quality, relevant and reliable results are the desired outcome of each update.

In 2023, Google algorithm updates prioritised relevance, quality and the user experience. Google rewarded websites with the highest rankings that most closely matched user search queries.

In 2024, you’ll want to be sure your SEO strategy isn’t outdated. You need to optimise your website and its content to perform well in Google search results. With so much competition out there, without staying on top of your SEO, your site will get swallowed up in all the digital noise.

Let’s look at some ways to adapt to Google updates so your website remains relevant throughout 2024 and beyond.

How search engines work

Search engines are essentially answer machines. You type in a query and the search engine returns the results that it deems most relevant to your query. However, a little more goes on behind the scenes in order for Google to achieve this.

Crawling: Google deploys a team of bots (also known as spiders) to crawl the web for content. These bots check the code and content of each URL they find.

Indexing: The search engine stores and organises all the content the spiders found on the web. Pages are then indexed, ready to appear in search results for relevant search queries.

Ranking: When you enter a keyword phrase or query into Google, the search engine offers up the best answers, ordering the results from most relevant to least relevant. If your content is ranking high, there’s a good chance it will appear on the first page of search results.

1. Algorithm updates affect different websites differently

Every website is unique and therefore reacts differently to Google’s algorithm updates. Regular monitoring and evaluation of your website is necessary to stay abreast of the changes and receive favour with the search engine giant. Things to be mindful of include:

  • The kind of content you have been publishing
  • Any recent technical changes to your website
  • The server you are using
  • Your site’s page load speed (the faster the better)
  • Your SEO history (if you have dealt with different SEOs in the past)

Are you posting fresh content to your site on a consistent basis, and is that content targeting a popular keyword that has low competition? User engagement in your content is becoming even more crucial with each update.

Have there been any technical changes to your website that may positively or negatively impact your site’s SEO? Is your site optimised for mobile users and does it provide a positive customer experience?

Your website’s hosting server is also important, as the capacity of the server will dictate how fast your website loads. Slow page loads will result in a drop in rankings.

Google Core Updates

Google algorithm updates

Google rolls out various updates regularly each year and this includes core updates. Google released two core updates during 2022 and a whopping four core updates rolled out during 2023. What is a core update though and what does it mean for SEO? How does a Google core update impact your website?

Core updates involve Google re-evaluating its algorithm. It’s important to note that this is a broad, sweeping change to the search engine’s algorithm and is not a penalty. Designed to improve the quality and relevance of search results, core updates reshuffle the rankings of indexed pages. This leads to ranking volatility once the update completely rolls out. You may find certain pages of your site suddenly find favour in search results, while others drop in the rankings. With every core update released, Google tweaks the formula for ranking web pages.

After a core update, it’s vital that you check things like technical SEO in Google Search Console to ensure your site doesn’t have any issues and monitor your website traffic in Google Analytics. However, it’s wise to monitor your site’s performance between updates too.

While rankings can certainly fluctuate drastically following a core update, in between updates, rankings can also experience some volatility but to a lesser extent. For example, a particular URL might maintain its position at number one for a certain search phrase for up to two weeks. Alternatively, the URL sitting in tenth spot today likely won’t be the same URL tomorrow when performing the exact same search.

April 2023 reviews update

The reviews update rolled out by Google in April 2023 was an interesting one. This update targeted reviews in general, which are a popular form of content on many websites. Rather than elevating reviews that basically just provide summaries of different products or services, Google started to favour in-depth product reviews that provide detailed research.

Previous review updates only focused on reviews of products, whereas this particular update targeted products, services, games, movies, travel destinations and more.

To counteract rankings volatility created by this update, site owners who had previously focused on summary type reviews were now required to start writing detailed reviews that offer a lot more value in order to regain rankings.

Don’t try and navigate the ever-evolving SEO jungle yourself, trust your SEO to a team of experts like Commonsense Marketing.

2. Check your Google tools

It’s a wise idea to regularly visit the Google Search Central Blog to see if Google has announced any algorithm updates, and whether Google is about to roll out a major update in the coming weeks or months. With tools at your disposal to stay informed about any important changes, it would be crazy not to take advantage of them.

As a site owner, you need to stay in the loop and have your finger on the industry pulse at all times. Being aware of recent changes and how they may affect your rankings is imperative to remaining competitive. Let’s look at a few tools you’ll find handy.


One tool you’ll want to take advantage of is MozCast. This is like the Google algorithm weather report that provides updates about current and pending Google algorithm changes, as well as how much Google results are changing each day.

Google Search Console

Google algorithm updates

This is a free tool Google provides that helps you monitor your website’s health, presence and performance in Google search results. It also highlights any technical areas of your site that might need troubleshooting to improve rankings.

3. Monitor your analytics

Google Analytics (GA) provides website owners and webmasters with a wealth of information and vital statistics about how your website is performing. It also allows you to see whether there have been any drastic changes, such as a sharp increase or drop in website traffic over a period of time.

Google algorithm updates

GA is a very powerful tool and provides everything you need to monitor your website’s performance at any given time. It’s essential to monitor your site’s analytics regularly to stay on top of your SEO by discovering what’s performing well and what simply isn’t working. You can even set goals in GA, analyse demographics, see which pages are getting the most traffic, or formulate strategies for pages that are underperforming.

Monitor GA after a Google update

Using the methods mentioned above, keep track of any pending or current Google updates. When a new update rolls out, this is when you really want to be keeping an eye on Google Analytics. This invaluable tool will alert you to any drastic changes that may occur due to the update, allowing you to come up with strategies to improve the performance of your content and create better performing content (content that aligns with the update) moving forward.

Will AI make SEO go away?

There’s no doubt that 2023 has been the year of AI (Artificial Intelligence), with platforms like ChatGPT, Bard and others literally taking the world by storm. But what does this mean for search engines and SEO looking forward?

The horizon is always changing and no doubt AI will play a bigger role in how people search for information, but it won’t completely take over. Search and SEO will always be there to play a pivotal role. It’s simply a matter of keeping up with the changing landscape and adapting to it.

Even in the era of AI, it’s vital to maintain a positive SEO strategy that will ensure your site remains relevant and competitive well into the future. 2024 will be about leveraging AI technology to refine your SEO strategies.

Need help with your SEO?

With Google algorithms regularly changing, it can be hard for businesses and website owners to stay on top of their SEO and keep up with those changes.

Commonsense Marketing is here to help. We do all the heavy lifting for you, by providing SEO strategies that work and then implementing those strategies to skyrocket your website up the Google rankings. We focus on improving your online visibility and attracting the right people to your website, leaving you free to focus on your business.

Get in touch today and discover how we can help you and your website achieve better results.

Avatar for Annette Welsford

About Annette Welsford

Hi there. My passion is to inspire and help business owners to create the type of marketing and customer service that makes their business irresistible. I'm privileged to have a talented team at Commonsense Marketing who create and execute beautiful websites, engaging social media campaigns, and fantastic email campaigns that deliver results for our clients. And it's wonderful that many of them have said lots of nice things about the work we’ve done (see our case studies). We love to work with the owners and teams of small to medium sized business who are motivated to become the best in their niche and achieve more than they ever thought possible.