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Google updates can be scary. Even if you follow all of the Google guidelines, you can still suffer from the dirty work of other people. But what exactly do you do when a new Google update comes up? How do you know whether or not a Google update is causing a traffic drop on your websites? And what steps do you need to take to figure that out?

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During this guide, our organic SEO company will go over all of the steps you need to take when Google updates the algorithm.


  • Follow the right sources. As soon as a Google update happens, thousands of bloggers begin writing about it, but not all of these resources are trustworthy. We recommend following our own blog, as well as Moz, Backlinko, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, and Search Engine Roundtable.
  • Check your traffic and positions. The fastest way to know if you have been penalized by the new Google update is to check your traffic. You can take a look at the Search Visibility widget from the cognitive SEO tool. If you see a drop in traffic, it’s the sign of a penalty. If most of your affected pages are on position 30+, you might not see a huge change in traffic, as those changes don’t get much traffic anyway. But if the positions decrease, you will probably notice a drop in the Search Visibility metric.
  • Check again and don’t rush to take action. We recommend checking the traffic again after about a week or a month to keep an eye on your traffic. If the traffic and positions have not dropped at all, we recommend giving it some time then checking them again.
  • Get in touch with an expert. An expert knows what to look for and how to prioritize any issues. You also don’t need to worry about making mistakes or taking unnecessary action that could cause more harm when you’re talking to an expert. We recommend doing your research to choose the right expert.
  • Audit your website. Every penalty fix should begin with a website audit. When you notice any big changes in your traffic, we recommend auditing your website, since you don’t know which plugin caused the issue. You should do a technical audit and audit your backlinks, content, and user experience.
  • Exclude other penalty possibilities. Even if a traffic drop shows up after the update is announced, it doesn’t mean that the update caused the drop. Google might look at your website and find some issues that you haven’t dealt with.
  • Develop a strategy for recovery and excuse it step by step. It’s now time to outline your plan, and prioritization is the key to a successful recovery plan. You might find a handful of problems, but you need to start fixing the biggest problems first that actually have an impact on the penalty.
  • Keep doing the good type of SEO. The best way to get out of a penalty is to continue doing good things. Keep doing the right things over a long period of time to see more results.

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