What To Do If You Have Been Hit By A HCU

5 things to do with you have been hit by a Google HCU

Understanding Google Core Updates

Google's search algorithms are constantly being updated to ensure that users receive the most relevant and authoritative content when they search for something online. However, sometimes these updates are more significant than others, and they are known as 'core updates.' These updates are designed to improve the quality of search results and ensure that users receive the best possible experience. If a website experiences a drop in rankings after a core update, it is often an indication that there are problems with relevance and authority. 

What To Do If You Have Been Hit By a Google Update?

Don't Panic!

As a website owner, it is obviously very alarming to wake up and see a sudden decrease in site traffic. Your first instinct may be to make immediate changes to your content or website structure in an attempt to regain lost traffic. But you need to keep in mind that Google's core updates take time to roll out, and during this period, search results may show temporary fluctuations. 

Making hasty changes without proper consideration can actually harm the aspects of your content that Google approves of, such as quality and relevance. Instead of panicking, it's best to stay calm and wait until the core update rollout is complete before taking any action. Once the rollout is complete, you can confirm whether or not your site has been affected by the update and make informed decisions about any necessary changes.

Check The Data

After the core update rollout is finished, you should analyze the data from your SEO tool of choice, along with your Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Try and identify any pages on your website that have experienced a significant drop in traffic. Once these pages have been identified, I recommend creating a spreadsheet of these 'problem pages' to keep track of them. 

This spreadsheet can include information such as the URL of the page, the date of the traffic drop, and any other relevant data that may be useful in identifying the cause of the issue. By keeping track of these pages, it will be easier to address any potential issues and work towards improving their performance.

Improve The Relevance

In order to ensure that your content is relevant and valuable to your audience, you need to keep it up to date and cover the topics in depth. This means regularly reviewing your content and making updates as necessary, particularly if any of the information is outdated or inaccurate.  Try and analyze the content that ranks higher than yours in search results to help you identify areas where you may have missed important information or where you could provide more detail.

By doing this, you will improve the quality of your content and make it more likely to rank higher in search results. Remember, Google values content that fresh, relevant and up to date. By focusing on providing accurate and comprehensive information, you will improve the relevance of your content and make it more likely to be ranked and stay ranked in Google.

Look At Your Competitors

When you find that a competitor's page ranks higher than yours, it can be frustrating, but the truth is  that they are likely doing something better than you. The good news is that you can use this as an opportunity to learn from them and improve your own content. One way to do this is by using an SEO tool to analyze their content. 

An SEO tool can help you identify the keywords, backlinks, and brand mentions that are contributing to their success. By understanding what is working for them, you can make changes to your own content to improve its relevance and authority. So, instead of feeling discouraged by a competitor's success, use it as motivation to improve your own content.

Do A Technical SEO Audit

When it comes to improving your website's search engine rankings, you need to focus on both content and technical aspects. While core updates primarily address content-related issues, taking care of technical SEO issues can indirectly impact your website's relevance and authority. 

By optimizing page loading times, ensuring proper heading structure, fixing broken links, and implementing structured markup, you can create a positive user experience that enhances trust. When users have a good experience on your website, they're more likely to engage with your content and share it with others, which can ultimately improve your website's visibility and ranking on search engines. So, don't overlook the importance of technical SEO in your overall strategy for improving your website's performance. [Check out my beginners guide on Technical SEO]

If you have been hit by a Google core update, then something is wrong with your website in Google's eyes. Google has OVER 200 ranking factors that are known and it is hard for anyone to pinpoint exactly why you have been hit, but you should know and remember a website rarely gets 'punished' for one reason and one reason only.

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