12/04/22 // Written by AmbaWilkes

How We Track Google’s Updates and Industry Changes

Being on top of Google’s ever-evolving algorithm and emerging industry trends are core to creating a successful and competitive digital strategy. When choosing to work with a digital agency, two of your top considerations should be how they can support you through Google’s changes and make the most of industry-specific trends.

This is an area we invest a lot of our time into because we see, on a daily basis, the impact it has on our clients. With a team of SEO experts and research and development specialists in our ranks, we can work with you to ensure you’re one step ahead of trends, updates and your competition.  

In this blog…

We discuss:

  • How we track keyword ranking performance to spot trends
  • How we stay ahead of Google’s updates
  • Why it’s so important to monitor changes to Google’s guidelines

How do we track keyword ranking performance to spot trends?

Day in and day out, we track the ranking performance of around 140,000 phrases across dozens of countries. On top of this, every month we fetch the actual monthly search volume of each phrase for the previous month.

By aggregating these phrases at client level, as well as across relevant industries, we keep a very close eye on the relative performance of each industry our clients operate in as well as niches within those industries.

Crunching all this data, our in-house systems generate comprehensive monthly reports ready for our experts to get to work picking apart the data and sharing actionable insights with our clients to create a high performing SEO strategy.

How do we stay ahead of Google’s updates?

The way SEO is done today has evolved tremendously over the last decade. Search engine giant, Google, has introduced several major updates along the way, each having an impact on the way things are done.

Each time a new update hits, it has the potential to rock the organic landscape affecting your ranking performance and therefore traffic levels, conversions and so on. While Google is often hush hush about upcoming changes, there’s been a clear evolution in their algorithm in recent year that has seen the focus turn towards providing the ideal user experience. Everything they do is underpinned by a drive to benefit users through the delivery of the best and most relevant search result.

Always one for detail, whenever Google’s guidelines are updated – no matter how minor the change – we analyse it to understand what’s changed, comparing new to old. Sometimes the changes can be wide sweeping and other times you have to carefully read between the lines to decipher what Google have done.

Why is it so important to keep a constant eye on Google’s guidelines?

The guidelines are used by Google’s army of screeners to make sure that search results are the most relevant and best they can be for each and every query the screener has been instructed to review.

Allegedly, the feedback from this process isn’t fed directly into the algorithm but used to provide engineers with guidance on whether the algorithms are doing what they should be doing.

By maintaining continuous aware of changes to Google’s guidelines, we can prepare for upcoming volatility within search results, as well as start creating action plans around any major changes seen within the guidelines to lessen the impact on our clients. From our many years of working with Google, we generally find that the guidelines are updated two to three weeks before a core algorithm update is announced by Google’s Search Liaison.

What makes our processes different?

While most rely on 12-month average search data, we’ve invested in building internal systems that allow us to track ranking positions and monthly search volumes. With an exclusive and extensive dataset to hand, we’re able to identify whether subsections of an industry may be growing as well as positive and negative emerging trends.

With this knowledge, we know what action to take from the changes such as focusing campaigns on new emerging markets within the industry ahead of competitors. In a world as fast-paced as digital, this has never been more important.

Plus, it helps to have a savvy and innovative in-house research and development team that keeps us at the top of our game. WMG’s Head of Organic Research and Insights, James Betts, shared his thoughts on where he thinks Google’s updates could be heading in the future:

“Nowadays, the algorithm updates are less focused around moderating how people do the fundamentals of SEO and more about shifting the web in the direction that Google wants. Whether that’s speeding up the web through numerous Page Speed updates and now the Core Web Vitals update, or through several content-based updates like EAT and their advancements within NLP (natural language processing) seen in RankBrain and now BERT.”

If you want to find out more about what they do and how they support our clients, take a read of our interview: Insight From Our R&D Team – An Interview With James And Tom.

Supporting you now and for the future

Everything we do is to put our clients’ businesses in the strongest position possible to react to digital changes. Our internal processes allow us to be both reactive and proactive, so we can make the most of opportunities while steering you clear of negative impacts.

If you want to find out more about how we work and how we can support you in making your digital marketing efforts as effective as can be, don’t hesitate to get in touch.