How to Tell if Google is Penalising Your Website 11 Apr 2017
Every so often, Google updates the complex algorithm that are used to rank websites on their search engine in order to improve the user experience when using Google’s search engine. With this, some websites will be promoted on the search engine while others will lose ranks, for numerous types of reasons, and become impacted by the algorithm update.
When there is a change made by Google, it gets publicised well. However, how can you truly tell if your website has been impacted by the Google update or, partially? Here are a few ways you can detemine if your website has been impacted by a search engine update or not.
Average Google Position Decreases
The first place I look to check everytime there is a Google update is the average ranking of my articles on Google. This can be achieved by looking into Google Search Console, Search Traffic and then Search Analytics. From here, you can click on ‘Position’ to see the average position of your articles across different time ranges. If you notice that your position is increasing (i.e. further from the #1 organic spot), then you know for a fact that Google has reduced the ranking of your articles. If you have not changed anything, it can be seen that the only reason for this occuring is with a Google search engine update.
For example, for one of my websites which had a domain name change, it is evident that the SEO of it has stayed consistently at the same level, considering the position of articles has pretty much stayed the same after the domain change update.
Another area you could check in Google Search Console is the ‘Manual Actions’, which will outline if you need to perform any manual actions on your website recommended by Google for you to do. If you don’t have anything under this tab, great. If you do, make sure you try to perform the actions as soon as possible to limit the damage you cause to your website.
Drop in Traffic
Of course, this is always going to be the most obvious consequence of being negatively impacted by a Google update. A drop in the SEO of a website will naturally gain less clicks than it did previously. This is generally why people are scared of being impacted by Google search engine updates as a drop in traffic generally means a drop in revenue for them too (as a rule of thumb, traffic makes money some way or another).
Be this as this may, a drop in traffic needs to be taken with a pinch of salt as a drop in traffic has many possible reasons for it occurring, such as the season, education school half terms/summer holidays, the Olympics being on or simply because it is too hot and people want to spend the day at the beach! Only once you have ruled out the vast majority of reasons why you have a drop in traffic only can you then look to blame it on a Google search engine update.
A student in England studying a Masters in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created AskWillOnline.com back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as PoemAnalysis.com and RestoringMamods.com You can follow him @willGreeny.