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How Google Algorithms Affect Site Traffic

Last updated October 2022

Blogs to businesses, ranking well on Google is important for websites of all sizes. Google answers 5.6 billion searches a day, making it the number one way for users to reach the internet content they are looking for. Over the years, Google has improved its method for connecting web users to websites through the use of algorithms. Designed to improve the quality of search results, updates to the Google algorithm affect site traffic for many website owners.

What are Google algorithms?

In general, you can think of Google algorithms like AI versions of a switchboard operator. These algorithms help Google to direct web traffic in the most efficient and accurate ways by understanding what is of the most value to users. Google is highly secretive of exactly how it’s search algorithms work or what goes into its rankings, but it’s based off the content of websites as well as technical factors like page speed.

How does Google know what’s on a website?

Google has a system of site crawlers that regularly visit websites and takes note of what’s on the site. These crawlers look at everything from the text and images that show up on the page for users to the metadata and structural elements of the website in order to decide the content and quality of the website.

What are the Google algorithms looking for?

While Google is fairly tight-lipped about what they’re looking for specifically, the answer typically revolves around creating high quality, unique, and accurate content designed with user experience in mind. This includes everything from linking to and from other well-respected sites, having original or novel content, and having a good user experience by optimizing page speed, among other things.

Do the Google algorithms change?

Google releases many changes to its algorithm throughout the year. Most releases are minor improvements, however sometimes major releases can have dramatic changes to a site’s ability to rank well on Google. Typically, these dramatic shifts are caused by Google de-valuing some criteria it used to rank highly or a dramatic shift in priorities.

Most recently, Google released the “May 2020 Core Update” which seemed to show some changes for local businesses. As per usual, Google said that while every update produces some winners and losers, the most important thing for website owners to do is to continue to create high quality, unique content.

Can you cheat the Google algorithms?

In the early days of search engine optimization, there were a variety of so-called “black hat” SEO tactics. These strategies included things like keyword stuffing which helped sites that weren’t very useful to shoot up in the rankings on major search engines, including Google.

Today it’s much harder to cheat the system. Instead of searching for shortcuts and loopholes in the algorithms, it is much easier and more beneficial to simply create content designed to help your visitors hosted on a high speed, well designed WordPress website.

How can I improve my site for Google algorithms?

The type and purpose of your website will determine the best practices to rank well. A blog or text-heavy website should have unique, interesting, and well written content whereas an e-commerce page would benefit from clear, concise copy. Businesses often can see an impressive boost to website traffic and rankings simply by adding and maintaining a blog.

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