Google had two big back-to-back updates happening this month that took everyone by surprise. Google’s most recent helpful content update, which started on August 25, was quickly followed up by Google’s September 2022 core update on September 12. September has already been a whirlwind for SEO, and there’s still a week left in the month!
What we’re seeing
Using the search analytics tool STAT, we can monitor our clients’ organic keyword rankings and keyword variations in near-real time. After the two Google updates occurred, Hennessey Digital saw a few of our clients experience a slight dip in site rankings on or around the release of this update.
Despite a few dips that we’ve seen, our clients’ local SEO remains strong. Back in May 2022, we saw an increase in our clients’ local ranks, and those remain strong in spite of the recent dips we’re seeing on the organic search side.
On the other hand, we’ve also noticed an increase in organic rankings for several clients on or about September 12th when this Google core update was pushed out.
Understanding Google’s “major updates” vs. “core updates”
For context, Google routinely pushes out updates to refine its search results. Some are classified as semi-regular “major updates” like the recent content update, while others are “core updates” that are rolled out monthly, like the one that started on September 12.
Google core updates often help improve and refine regular search results, and sometimes core updates are geared towards reducing spam results. In any case, Google has been known to push these changes out without warning, so our team at Hennessey Digital constantly monitors our clients’ site performance and closely watches Google for announcements.
What you need to know
- With these September 2022 Google updates, their impact on SEO and your search results is a mixed bag. We’re seeing some clients’ organic performance dip after the updates while others made gains, so it’s too early to know definitively whether changes are due to algorithm updates or not.
- Google is always changing its algorithms. The search engine giant makes regular algorithmic changes every 1-2 months, so we’re always looking for ways to improve SEO strategies for our clients. (Does your agency do this?)
- Other factors besides Google can affect how your site performs. For example, rebuilding a website or adding new keywords to a site can affect volatility. This is why we continually monitor our clients’ site performance and create proprietary technologies in-house to track, alert, and fix issues as they arise.
How we manage Google algorithm changes
Google is constantly evolving and updating its algorithm. At Hennessey Digital, the SEO team monitors our clients’ organic search results daily to make sure no opportunity is missed to rank higher in search.
Tracking algorithm updates matters because we need to know if (and when) any of our clients are affected. What’s more, it is crucial to understand how these changes will affect your business moving forward.
Resources for tracking future Google updates
Many of our law firm digital marketing clients like to know what’s happening with Google as it ultimately affects their business. Fortunately, Google and other resources make it easy to track the latest Google algorithm updates. Here are a few of our favorites:
The most obvious place to check out Google algorithm updates is the Google Webmaster Tools. This tool allows webmasters to monitor their rankings and identify potential issues, you can use it to find out if your site is affected by major updates, so it’s good practice to check this tool regularly.
Another great way to learn about Google algorithm updates is to take advantage of Google Trends. If you type in a keyword related to your industry, Google Trends will show how often people searched for that term over time. For example, if you type in “SEO tools,” Google Trends will show you the number of times people searched for those terms over the past few months.
If you want to know exactly what’s happening within Google Search, go to this blog. You can read posts about recent algorithm updates, tips and tricks, and even announcements about upcoming features.
Both of these sites are great for up-to-the-minute reporting on most things Google-related. They also provide a good in-depth analysis of Google algorithm changes and how they affect site performance. Hennessey Digital CEO Jason Hennessey is a respected contributor for SEO strategy and digital marketing thought leadership as well.
Check back in this space frequently as we post timely updates on Google algorithm changes here. At our sister site iloveseo.com, you can find valuable articles on SEO strategy, news and recaps from SEO expert Brian Harnish. We’re committed to doing the work for our clients and being transparent about what we know to help companies succeed.