How I Beat Google Algorithm Update and Regained My Traffic: A Step-by-Step Plan

Let’s directly get to the topic about Google’s broad core update, how to stop traffic loss, and stay ahead of latest Google Algorithm Updates. Here are the steps, rules, and instructions that you should follow:

1. Check Spelling and Grammar mistakes in whole website

No matter which language the website is in, you have to make sure that there is no spelling and grammatical mistakes in your content.
You can use Screaming Frog to solve the grammar and spelling mistakes issue.

Check Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes with Screaming Frog For Free

  1. Go to Screaming Frog, type your website root address and before clicking on start button
  2. Go to Configuration > Content > Spelling & Grammar
  3. Select: Enable spell check and Enable grammar check
  4. Select the correct language (e.g. English US, English UK, etc.)
  5. Click OK and then click Start.
  6. Now click on “Internal” Tab > From Filters-dropdown select “HTML”
  7. At bottom of this page, select Spelling & Grammar Tab.
  8. Now click on every URL in the list one-by-one and you can see the spelling and grammar analysis at the bottom window.
  9. In the bottom window you can also filter that you want to see which section of the page for mistakes.
  10. When you’ll click of the incorrect word, in the list, you’ll see the exact location of that word in your page in the right-side pan
  11. Along with that, Screaming Frog will show you the correct version of that word in the green-box just beneath the right-side pan.
  12. If there is any custom word (may be a non-English Name) you can right-click on the word in left-side pan and add it to dictionary.

 Finally, you can also export the list of mistakes to a file, if required.

2. Check Your Website Structure

I’ll use Screaming Frog once again to see the website structure of the website.

  1. Go to Screaming Frog , type your website URL and click start.
  2. After completion of crawl, click on Visualization menu > Force-Directed Crawl Diagram and then the structure will appear in a new window.
  3. The darker is the color is the root/main the node is. That means, the parent node of each child node should appear in a darker color as compared to the child color.
  4. You can check here if any webpage has no link (orphan page) or it is sitting too-deep inside your website.
  5. After visualizing the structure you can better decide about how to make the corrections.

3. Check The Title, Description, and Canonicals

Follow these rules for writing a perfect meta-title:

Title tag format (HTML Syntax): <title>your page title</title>

  1. Title length: It should not be greater than 70 characters. (everyone knows) BUT, if needed you can go beyond this 70 characters limit.
  2. Keywords in title: Do not forcefully use the keywords in webpage title, keep it natural and use it in a normal way.
  3. Branding the title: Always include your brand-name in the title (that can be your website name as well).
  4. Repetition in title: DO NOT REPEAT any word in your title, because repetition of same words can cause title degradation.
  5. Avoid these words in title: Do not use standard text in your titles e.g. ‘home’, ‘about us’, ‘contact us’, etc. If you’ll use that, there are chances that Google is going to rewrite your titles, while showing it in SERPs.

Follow these for rules for writing a perfect meta-description:

Meta Description Tag Format: <meta name="description" content="your description here" />

  1. Description length: Keep the length of meta description to 150 characters (or max 160 but the earlier is better.)
  2. Description stuffing: Do not stuff the meta description with keywords, use them naturally, based on keyword relevancy.
  3. Click-Through-Rate: Write such meta description, that should be creative and informative, that increases the anxiousness of “what is this? Let’s read it.”
  4. Description uniqueness: Write unique meta description for each page, so that the search engine shouldn’t get confused. (It applies to the titles as well, by the way!)
  5. Call-To-Action: Offer something simple, clear and appealing in your meta description that encourages the user to click. (e.g. something that the user is going to get benefit from, after reaching your page.)

Follow these rules regarding canonical tags links:

Canonical tag format: <link rel="canonical" href="https://your_domain.com/" />

You should always use canonical tags for each page. If you have multiple pages on same topic, e.g. you have 5 pages talking about same topic/keyword then you should use same canonical tag URL in each page.

By doing that, you are telling the search engine that I’ve 5 pages but this page in canonical tag is the parent/pillar page for this topic, therefore, you can index only that parent/pillar page for this whole topic.

This helps avoid content duplication issue.

Here are some important rules to follow while creating canonical tags:

  1. Self Referencing Canonical Tags: Use canonical tag on unique pages for self referencing as it improves authority.
  2. Always use the canonical tag in <head>...</head> section.
  3. Canonical tag format: It should be <link rel="canonical" href="https://your_domain.com/" /> (replace your_domain URL with your page’s URL, while taking care of http or https and the preceding slash at the end, based on your website’s URL structure.)
  4. Use same canonical tag when you think that your website has some duplicate or similar content (pages). This helps the search engine to understand which of the pages are most important and should not mark the others as duplicate page.
  5. Do not mix-up canonical tag with 301 redirect: Both have different functionalities. Canonical tag does not redirect the page but 301 redirects the page to another page.
  6. Use canonical tags carefully: If you don’t know what you are doing then it can negatively¬†impact on your website’s SEO. If you are not going to use correct URLs in canonical tags then Google will use its own and that will be based on Google’s understanding, which can be right and can be wrong, based on your input for Google.

4. Check Webpage Schema Data / Structured Data:

Schema Data or Structured Data is used to show a summary of the page in a structured form, to the search engine.

Schema data can include (but is not limited to):

  • What type of data e.g. a product, an article, or local business, etc.
  • If it is a product then what is the product name, if its an article than what is the article writer’s name and if it is a local business then what type of business is it, etc.
  • And many other details like that helps Google and other search engines understand your website, which saves them time and cost.

Google prefers to see schema data on a page.

By using the schema data properly, there are chances that Google won’t decrease your website’s rank in future updates and would be able to understand your website in a better structured way. [Read about schema structured data in detail at Google Search Central]
You can get help from Google Tag Manager for implementing schema data on your website.

Conclusion:

If you feel that your website is being penalized, even after following the above instructions, then do not panic and wait for the update to roll out completely. Because, once it is completed, your website will see improved ranking, as this is what Google wants to see on a website, therefore, stay assured you’ll see improvement in traffic. Secondly, even if after the update is rolled out completely, you are not able to see the improvement, wait for next update and for sure your website traffic will improve. Reason is that, sometime Google takes months to update your websites ranking.

Also read in depth about Google’s Latest Ranking System

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