Keeping up with Google – adaptive SEO tips

Jan 18, 2019 by
Keeping up with Google – adaptive SEO tips

The death of SEO might have been exaggerated, but there is at least a thread of truth to it. The old ways have long since died off, but digital marketing professional have known for a while that SEO is constantly evolving and the best have adapted accordingly.

As the top traffic source on the web, Google is still very much the gatekeeper of SEO. As such, we’ve compiled a rough guide to helping SEO marketers keep on top of the game and stay one step behind Google’s ever-shifting goalposts at all times.

The main Google algorithm that takes care of ranking everything online is constantly changing, which means your SEO practices need to do likewise. The last major change was in 2018, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be another one around the bend. Whilst it’s almost impossible to predict exactly when a new algorithm is incoming, or what it will entail specifically, there are a number of areas you should be paying attention to.

Start Small

Making major changes can prove crippling to your site and to your business. It’s far less disruptive to keep making small, incremental changes to your strategy. This can be anything from implementing canonicals to show search engines what URLs to index or improving overall UX, to building a greater variety of links, or shifting focus to topic clusters instead of keywords. Perhaps one of the most important small changes you can make currently is to focus on Featured Snippets by adding structured data to your HTML.

Follow the Leader

Google owns more than 7,000 sites and makes over 200 changes to those sites every single day in order to better adapt to their own Google Search updates. Study these sites. When they make any major changes, it’s obviously for a reason, as they have insider information regarding when the next major algorithm shift is incoming.

Mobile phoneMobile-First

More than half of all web searches are now performed on mobile devices, with Google now shifting from a mobile-friendly perspective to a mobile-first perspective in kind. Google recently combined its mobile and desktop indexes, with mobile being prioritised. To check how your own site performs check Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test and make sure your mobile site performs as well as (if not better than) its desktop counterpart. Also, keep on top of other technological trends such as voice search. It may not be mainstream yet, but it might be in a few years.


Links have been the most obvious ranking factor to optimise since the dawn of SEO, but in order to cut down on what it deems ‘manipulative’ linking tactics, Google can now associate mentions without a physical link, which has obviously played a major role in how companies use SEO. The most powerful linkless mentions are comfortably getting positive reviews for your brand and its products or services on external sites. Don’t, however, be tempted to start posting reviews of your own company!


For security, Google has admitted it prefers HTTPS web sites and will rank them higher as they are using more secure, encrypted connections. This is a simple change to make. If your site uses confidential data like geo-tracking and online payments you should already have an SSL enabled on your site anyway and it’s as simple as purchasing a certificate and asking your site host to install it. Make sure you also add 301 redirects from the old version of the site to the HTTPS-enabled one.

Embrace the Changes

Whilst it might feel like Google is constantly making changes in order to inconvenience you, the trust is that almost every change made is done in order to provide the best and most relevant content for its users. So if you’re not ranking, you’re obviously not changing enough to remain relevant. Embrace the changes and experiment within their confines.


Finally, it might feel tempting to create numerous sites providing the same information, only engineered to reach different markets and different customers. However, this is one case where throwing enough darts at the board isn’t necessarily going to achieve a desirable result. Duplicate content not only confuses customers but confuses search engines too so put all of your eggs in one great basket instead of spreading them out amongst a number of identical, lesser ones.

SEO is still one of the most cost-effective and scalable ways to catalyse organic growth for your company. Of course, Google isn’t perfect and it will occasionally make mistakes, but as long as you focus on the areas above and are able to build an SEO strategy around them that is not only exhaustive but flexible and keep a close eye on that algorithm, you should be reaping the rewards for years to come.