How To Recover Your Website’s Search Rankings After An Algorithm Update

how to recover your website’s search rankings after an algorithm update

One of the most painful things that can happen to a blogger is position reduction in rankings because of an algorithm update. For many years, you worked hard on your SEO strategies, only to suffer a setback as Google defined them as “unethical.”

All the years of hard work just disappeared. Unfortunately, there is no going around this, so what can you do to recover your website’s search rankings after an algorithm update? 

1. Give the update some time

The first thing that you have to do is not to panic. In the blogging community, people panic if there is a sudden drop in their traffic. If this drop in traffic happens after a core update, they immediately attempt to change their website. 

This approach is not the best one to take. Do not mistake correlation with causation. Just because your site ranking dropped after an update doesn’t mean you did something wrong. 

On some occasions, Google is just normalizing your traffic. If you do not know it by now, Google tends to show your content more often when you are starting out. The system is testing your content, and this is why you have a lot of traffic. 

As time goes on, Google will know what your position should really be. Other factors may have impacted your ranking, such as new websites in your niche, an influx of ads from companies doing search engine marketing, and so much more.  

Do nothing, is what I am saying. Let it stay like that for a month or so, and then see if the drop continues to happen. 

2. Do not start over again

Some bloggers panic, so what they do is delete pages and re-write their content. This approach is one of the worst things that you can do. 

Core updates on the Google algorithm do not mean Google is specifically targeting you or people like you. These updates happen to improve the user experience. Sure, some of your strategies may be “wrong” in Google’s eyes, but there is no reason to start again.  

Each update has a specific focus. For example, the E-A-T update was a massive one, but you know what it was about. It was about a website’s trustworthiness. In this case, it does not make sense to delete pages and replacing them with new ones.

If you ever make a change, focus on how the update impacts you. In the EAT update example, it would suffice that you:

  • Update your About Us Page
  • Create other social profiles proving your expertise

Some bloggers who got impacted by the EAT update simply quit. Their reasoning is that since Google targeted websites that talk about money, life, and health, they do not stand a chance. 

This mindset, of course, is wrong. Many websites about ‘Your Money Your Life’ (YMYL) still stand strong despite the update.

Is there a guarantee to fixing content? Unfortunately, no, there is none. Google itself said that there is no fast way to recover if an update impacted your website. However, it helps, provided that you do it right. 

One example that I want to mention is a digital service company called Amsive. They got impacted by the EAT update, and their traffic dropped significantly. For example, look at the image below: 

Instead of deleting pages and starting over, they corrected their issues. They stopped spammy advertising products, leveraged real expertise, and implemented trust signals.

From the chart above, we can see that they worked hard from March 2018 to October 2019. It was only at this point that they began to recover. It took them fourteen months to recover! 

Instead of starting over, follow the approach that they made. It does not matter if you have 100 blog posts or two. Do not start over again.  

3. Focus on Content 

After a massive algorithm update, one of the things you have to do is focus on building content. No matter what people say, content is still king. 

And herein lies the problem: content is expensive. It is expensive if you pay a writer. It is also costly if you write the content yourself. You have to spend even if you find an affordable freelance copywriter who charges $0.03 per word

The problem I see with many bloggers is they want to earn high SERP positions without spending or doing what it takes to get there. So, they pay for backlinks, guest posts, and PBNs. 

It works for some, and then Google delivers the final blow. If this happens, your money just went down the drain. 

Content is what you need to create if an algorithm update affected you. Make better and longer content than the ones at the top of SERPs. Create new ones using the skyscraper technique. Use SEO the right way, and never forget to do the most important thing of all: add value. 

Google has updated its algorithm many times. The search engine is so sophisticated now that it can identify salesy language. It will not recommend websites that do not offer value. If your blog posts and web pages are full of sales material, chances are they will not rank. 

So, what is the solution? The solution is to write content that makes a person learn. Write content that contributes knowledge, and control your CTA. There is a proper way to write content without being pushy. If you want, you can work with an affordable copywriter to do this. 

Correct Your Mistakes

If you are sure that Google’s algorithm hit you, it is time to come to terms with it: you have to read Google’s SEO guidelines.

There is no other way but the hard way. But it is a sure way. Stop wasting your money on self-proclaimed SEO experts who only want to charge you money. 

Read the guidelines, and then understand them. At the core, Google’s principles remain the same. They want content that is honest, reliable, and valuable. They hate schemes, workarounds, and cheats. 

The only reason bad SEO practices work is that technology is delayed. For example, Google may not like PBN backlinks, but the algorithm has no way of knowing this. 

Several years later, the engineers updated the search engine, which impacts all who used paid PBN backlinks. As you can see, it is only a matter of time before Google finally cracks down on these bad practices. Follow Google’s principles, and no algorithm will affect you.

Summary:  How to Recover Your Website’s Search Rankings After an Algorithm Update

In general, there are only two things that you should do. The first one is to correct your errors, and the second one is to only do white hat SEO. 

The fundamental error of many bloggers is that they do not have the patience to build their SEO strength. They fall for traps — black hat SEO tactics that promise to bring results fast. Do not do this again. The only SEO technique you should use is approved by Google.

Remember this: you may get away with black hat SEO practices now, but Google will launch another update, and you will get de-ranked once again. 

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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