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Is Your Financial Advisor Website Being Hurt by the Latest Google Algorithm Update?

As the authority on all things search, Google is constantly updating and tweaking its algorithms to improve the user experience and deliver the best search results. In short, Google sets the standard for what can make or break a financial advisor's website visibility and credibility. 

In March 2024, Google performed a major core update that drastically changed the way some websites appear in searches—or if they appear at all. The update was part of Google’s efforts to reduce low-quality and duplicate content from their search results. 


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While that may sound innocent enough, we expect searches will produce  fewer results in the future, thereby eliminating marginal results that don’t meet the new quality threshold set forth in the March update. For some websites, this means they are no longer being indexed by Google and therefore have disappeared from search results entirely. 

While this move sounds drastic, the good news is that this is meant to target websites that are likely junk/spam, spreading misinformation, are duplications of other sites, or violate Google’s terms in other ways. The not-so-great news is that legitimate websites can be affected also. Here’s how to know if your financial advisor website is being hurt by Google’s latest update, and if so, what you can do about it.


How to Know if Your Financial Advisor Website Has Been Impacted

Keep in mind that an algorithm change that impacts your financial advisor website isn’t always negative. After all, Google doesn’t want to penalize websites with good SEO practices and higher quality content. 

In fact, some of these algorithm updates can have a positive impact on higher quality web content’s search rankings by eliminating the lower-quality content that it was previously competing with. However, it’s important to check your financial advisor website’s current ranking after every Google algorithm update.

To do this, the first step is to search Google for your financial advisor website by typing “site:website.com” – entering your financial advisor web address in place of the “website.com.” If your website shows up, it is still being indexed by Google. Which is a great start. 

The next step is to analyze your financial advisor website analytics to see if there has been a drop in traffic or keyword rankings. These can be a sign that your financial advisor website has been affected by changes in Google algorithms that rank websites.  


What to Do if There Is a Negative Impact on Your Financial Advisor Website

The first order of business is to perform a site audit with an emphasis on SEO, possible technical issues, and a review of your financial advisor content. Be sure to utilize available tools, platforms, and digital marketing experts to pinpoint the issues. 

Then get to work fixing any issues that you find. While there may not be a quick fix, there is a solution. The sooner you and your team address it, the sooner you can see your financial advisor website’s search ranking improve. 

We also recommend checking your closest competitors to determine if they have been affected as well. This can help narrow down the issue as strictly algorithm-based for your financial advisor website, or there may be wider, industry-specific changes taking place.


How to Stay in Google’s Good Graces

It’s vital to keep your financial advisor website content accurate and up to date. While it’s true that the most recent Google update was an effort to keep junk or low quality content out of search results, it also targeted websites that were deemed inactive or abandoned. 

This shows more than ever how much emphasis Google places on how frequently website content is updated. By treating your financial advisor website content and SEO as an ongoing project, you’re more likely to achieve higher ranks for your website.


Monitor Google News and Updates

While not always 100% transparent, Google does share news and updates via its social channels, blog, and news outlets. By keeping up with the latest news, you can not only stay ahead of major updates and how they affect your financial advisor website, but you can also know when a drop in website traffic or another KPI is due to a change in Google’s algorithms or something else that may be related to the financial industry as a whole. 


Use AI Responsibly

There’s no denying that artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini (formerly Bard) are extremely convenient and useful. However, these chatbots should only be used as a tool to help with your financial advisor website content, not the only source that produces all of your content. To do it right, you will have to enter detailed instructions in Chat and make significant edits to content so it accurately reflects information about your firm.

This has become an issue with website content across the board and is another reason why many of the websites overly relying on AI to create content were affected the most by Google’s most recent update. This is because Google’s algorithms are designed to deliver high-quality, relevant, and original content in search results. 

Because AI-generated content is essentially just content pulled from other internet sources, it may not meet Google’s definition of “original”, as in never seen before, content. And it’s not just the algorithms that will be able to tell the difference. Your voice as a financial advisor is a large part of your branding. Content coming from an AI source won’t have the same tone and won’t flow as well with your previous content.  


Don’t Get Too Comfortable

While not every update is as drastic as the March 2024 core update, Google will continue to release updates and you don’t want to be caught unprepared by being comfortable. In addition to keeping up with Google’s algorithm updates, it pays to be prepared to make changes to your financial advisor website quickly. 

For some financial advisors, that means partnering with a digital marketing team that can handle these updates. This is especially helpful for the changes that, despite your best efforts, can come as a surprise and have an impact on your financial advisor website’s search ranking and overall SEO. 

By having a team ready, you can avoid disruption to your financial advisory firm’s online marketing and client support while also protecting your online assets and digital reputation. 

Next step: Contact Paladin to schedule an introductory call.



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