The 20 Percent Edition Nr. 18: Your Algorithm Update Battleplan

Hello friends, and welcome to this edition of The 20 Percent.

What a couple of months are ahead of us in SEO! Two days ago, Google started rolling out June 2021 core update. This update will happen in two parts, with the second one following shortly in July.

Moreover, there is a third scheduled update for mid-June. This is the page experience update, officially making pagespeed and other user experience factors website ranking signals.

It’s easy to disregard algorithmic updates as something that concerns big sites only or sites that rely on traffic to drive revenue. However, algorithmic updates affect every business in significant ways:

  1. They directly influence profitability. Algorithmic drops of traffic or increases in ad costs can make businesses spend more money to acquire a customer.

  2. They are the gatekeepers of online visibility. Google’s algorithm determines how many people read your blog, and Linkedin’s algorithm how many people see your posts.

Your Algorithm Update Battleplan

When we think about algorithms, we immediately approach any problem in technical terms. This can be a trap because, for example, profitability is primarily a business problem, even if a drop in traffic causes us to lose money.

In other cases, though, taking the technical approach is the most sensible thing to do. Personally, I find that the best course of action depends on the platform you are dealing with.

Open Platforms

Websites are open platforms where you control your content and distribution. When Google makes a significant update, it’s often announced in advance. They also offer extensive resources for website owners. This environment inspires confidence that if something happens to your website traffic, you can try to recover it first before looking for a workaround.

💡 Insider tip: Websites that experience traffic loss after a Google core update are often plagued by technical problems. Fixing any lingering technical issues is the first thing you should do if you ever find yourself in a situation like this.

Closed Platforms

Closed platforms are services that have full control over your content and distribution. One example is Facebook, where content updates from Business Pages compete for wall time with ads and personal posts. Every time that Facebook tweaks that mix, Business Pages lose or gain traffic.

Closed platform algorithm updates can be devastating because there’s nothing you can do. Imagine having a million followers on Facebook, and suddenly your traffic drops 90 percent. It can change your business dynamic and make a profitable product unprofitable.

💡 Insider tip: In situations like this, I found thinking in technical terms uninteresting. Sure, you can tweak your posts here and there, but that doesn’t solve the problem.

The best course of action is to accept it, then work on your customer lifetime value. If traffic drops or ads become prohibitively expensive, making two to three times as much money for each sale changes the whole game.

Final Thoughts

Being affected by an algorithm update is a technical issue that unexpectedly has a business solution. When it comes to websites, the best course of action is to try and recover that traffic. But when dealing with closed platforms, the only way out of this conundrum is to increase the lifetime value of your customers.

Stay inspired,