August 11, 2014
Each year Google changes its algorithm 500-600 times. While only a few algorithms changes each year are significant enough to get widespread attention (or even get an official name), it’s important to have outlets to see all of the updates as they occur.
For some, knowing the small updates that happen can help them better understand Google in general and help them make SEO and other website decisions. For the majority, knowing exactly where to go if there is a big update coming or if they see their site dramatically drop in rankings will helps them solve the problem faster and easier. Either way, it’s important to stay alert by using a tool or a particular website so you can prepare for the next big change that storms through the SEO world.
Fortunately, you don’t have to simply hear about a change through the grapevine or on one of your favorite blogs. There are plenty of tools and resources out there that focus solely on algorithm changes and alerting the public including:
This is probably the best collection of all the algorithm updates and the exact days that they hit. The list is easy to scroll through and it gives you a quick description of the change if you are just passing through and want to keep up with what’s happening.
If you think your site may have dropped in rankings and noticed there was an update, this resource gives you one or two links where you can read about the change in detail. Below shows a screenshot of how the two last changes are recorded:
This tool will monitor and keep track of the visibility of your particular website on a weekly basis. It will give you an in-depth analysis of SEO, keywords, backlinks, social metrics, and competitors. However, because it only evaluates your website on a weekly basis, it’s not quite as quick to notice an algorithm change as some of the other tools. This is really more of a tool you should use alongside something like Mozcast or SERPs.com (numbers 4 and 5 on this list). Still, if you’re not concerned with being the first to hear of an algorithm update or you only care about your website, it will alert you to when something has happened.
This tool offers data for Google, Yahoo, and Bing all on the same chart. This isn’t the most popular tool around because it doesn’t offer a lot of information, but it seems to be the only one that is measuring the changes in flux, or measuring them in percentages against the last 30 days. If this is how you like to look at data, it’s very easy to understand and is completely free. The tool also offers a full-featured API for agency use.
As you can see, there are a quite a few options available that only continue to grow. However, back in 2012 we reported on two tools that are still great resources today. You can read the full article here. Below explains a few of the major features of the tools:
This tool will track 1,000 keywords every 24 hours from certain websites to see if there are any changes in rankings. The tool then generates a weather report based upon the degree of change they saw that particular day and uses weather symbols just like an actual weather report. In other words, it can help you predict what’s coming as well as see when something actually hit.
The hotter and stormier the weather, the more Google rankings have changed. You can also see the last 5 days or last 30 days if you visit the actual website. There is even a widget you can keep on your desktop so you can glance up at the “weather” just like you normally might with the actual weather. It’s also completely free.
This tool is another one that will help you predict upcoming changes, but it gets more advanced than the others. The tools tracks both Google and Yahoo and analyzes 1,000 popular websites to see if there are any ranking changes. As you can imagine, this means that there are thousands of keywords being tracked. The tool will give you a 30-day and 90-day graph illustrating their results. Once again, this is a free tool you can use.
However, it’s the paid version of this tool that can really help you succeed. With the paid version you can compare your site’s rankings directly with the volatility index so you will know exactly whether or not you’ve been affected. Visit the website for a free 14-day trial.
Knowing that an algorithm change is coming might be able to help give you a clue that you should reassess your website, but generally these resources are to help you after your website drops or improves in the SERP rankings. They help give you insight and help the changes not come as a huge surprise. In other words, you should constantly be trying to keep your site in good standing with Google through white hat SEO practices as opposed to using one of these tools and waiting until the last minute.
Do you know of any other good ways to keep up with Google algorithm changes? Let us know in the comment section below.
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