Gone are the days of manual releases for Google algorithm updates. With real-time algorithmic updates now taking place, a whole new batch of problems may arise for websites’ SEO.
For example, unlike manual action, you do not get notified when your website gets hit with an algorithmic penalty. Because of this, it may take weeks for digital marketers to identify the cause of the penalty and how to fix it. SEOs will be spending an increasing amount of time and energy trying to diagnose the problem before they can begin making the appropriate adjustments to get it reversed. The quickest way for SEOs to determine if their site has been penalized is by comparing when the drop in site traffic occurred with the time of the algorithm update. However, as previously stated, this will only help identify the source of the problem and not the cause.
Unfortunately, this issue will also lead into a number of different problems. For instance, let’s say you made a lot of changes to your site by adding backlinks, updating content, etc. Then, a month later you see a drastic decline in your site traffic and wonder what went wrong. You go back and look through your data and realize that you’ve been hit with an algorithmic penalty. However, because Google may take weeks or even months before penalizing you for a change you made it is almost impossible to know what adjustment caused the penalization. You then have to go back through your records and reexamine all the modifications made to try and guess what raised a red flag. As you can tell, this can be a very time consuming and frustrating process to go through and unfortunately it will become increasingly common with real-time updates.
Real-time updates will also lead to a rise in dishonest SEO practices. Search engine optimization businesses could attach spammy links to a website, wait until said site gets penalized and then charge that company a large amount of money to remove the links they attached in the first place. Dishonest digital marketing companies could also start charging people to remove penalties that they never had to begin with. Without being able to find the cause of the penalty themselves, users are forced to trust the SEO companies they hire to be honest with them concerning the amount of penalties incurred and the amount of work it will take to reverse the issues.
Although there are a number of problems that could arise from the real-time updates, there is also a lot of good that will come out of it. Only time will tell if this switch is more beneficial than it is harmful.