Tag Archives: Organic SEO

Google Algorithm Updates in 2019

How do SEO practitioners, or self-titled SEOs know when Google has an algorithm update? Usually, it is by “listening” online for the collective groan and angst from their peers.  Like Gamblers in a high stakes game, it is often feast or famine. Their clients might rank in position number four on the first page of SERP (Search Engine Results Page) on a specific day, and the next day, they may have dropped to position 12 or bumped up to position 1.

Our research shows that so far in 2019, significant algorithm updates occurred on or about January 9th, 13th, and 20th.  Most, but not all, third-party tracking tools that monitor Google search results have shown significant volatility in SERP rankings around the dates specified above. Here is a screenshot from SEM Rush Sensor Rankings Graph:

Google Algorithm Updates in 2019

Google usually does not confirm or comment on specific updates and commonly states that “improvements” to the search algorithms are happening constantly.  Google has told us numerous times that with core algorithm updates that there is no fix.  I disagree with the “no fix” statement-you can work harder to comply with Google’s Content Guidelines, which have been published by Google and seem to be a reasonable approach to gaining rankings.


Google will continue to make changes at will. The only absolute consistency in SEO or any digital marketing is change.  Knowing the reason for rankings changes is helpful in maintaining a “big picture” perspective on your online marketing.  The only way to try to stay ahead of the curve is to work consistently to improve your website.   Hard work and providing a good user experience is the only way to improve rankings.

Eric Van Cleave is the CEO of Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa California Digital Marketing Agency and Website Design Firm.

Local Firms Should Also Pursue PPC Advertising

How can a local business benefit from Pay Per Click Advertising if the business already has an organic search program?  Studies show that click through ratios are higher on PPC ads, and even if a local business has a comprehensive SEO campaign that delivers excellent rankings, PPC gives that advertiser a chance to dominate the results for that search term and gain a synergy between the two campaigns. Unlike organic SEO that requires an extended period of time to gain rankings, and is subject to changes in search engine algorithms and other online marketing perils, PPC is relatively quick to set up and deliver results. Below are some additional reasons that a local business may want to use PPC and SEO together.

Pay Per Click

  • Using PPC and organic SEO together can help to gain click-throughs for both mediums.   If studies are accurate and those that are in “buying phase” search organic results first and then review the PPC ads, being exposed to your business or website and then finding a strong call to action offer in your Pay Per Click Ads can definitely increase web conversions.
  • If you have certain search terms that rank well in one search engine as opposed to another, or if you have search terms that are tough to rank in, PPC can give you a quick first page presence while you bolster your organic SEO campaign to improve rankings.
  • Using PPC, you can pinpoint the zip codes and local areas that you wish to see your ads.  You have greater control of what areas view your online ads and who responds to them.

Bottom Line: Pay Per Click can augment even successful SEO campaigns, but the greatest success is gained when the PPC ads contain a strong call to action or financial offer that makes your business stand out from the crowd.  Do not be afraid to experiment with the call to action, you may change it frequently to find the offer that works for you and your business.  If new search terms emerge in your industry, like the “check engine light” campaigns that have become popular in the auto repair industry of late, lead with PPC ads at least until your organic rankings become prominent.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California SEO, PPC, and Online Marketing Firm.

Translate »