Google’s at it again. In its ongoing effort to improve search results for users, Google launched another broad core algorithm update in late May 2022. Many SEO experts have weighed in stating this Google algorithm update is one of the biggest they’ve seen – at least in terms of the SEO impact. Let’s break down what this update means, and how to respond to it.
What Google Broad Core Update Means
Core updates are designed to make search results easier and more relevant for users. Danny Sullivans, Google’s Public Liason for Search, stated that”
“Core updates are changes we make to improve search overall and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. While nothing in a core update is specific to any particular site, these updates may produce some noticeable changes to how sites perform…”
As an end-user, this is great news. As a marketer or business owner, this is something to pay attention to. To summarize, Google is stating that these core updates will most likely have noticeable effects on your website, such as spikes or drops in search rankings. Google uses the term “board” strategically. They aren’t necessarily zeroing in on specific terms, but rather making broad changes that will improve Google’s overall search process. This means no single website is being targeted or penalized, but rather these sites are being reassessed against other new web content that has been published since the last update. So more improved content is going to get priority, and your once polished content may not be as stellar anymore.
How Site Owners Should Respond to Core Updates
Google core updates are nothing new. In fact, Google tends to roll out new updates a few times a year. While it’s not expected that sites stay on pace with every new update if you choose to not do anything to implement improvements you might find yourself outranked by another site before long.
When Google makes updates in its search ranking algorithms, it means your site will do better or worse in the search results. And it doesn’t necessarily mean your site was doing anything wrong. Knowing this, Google does offer some advice on what to consider if your site is impacted by these changes negatively.
As a starting point, Google has stated that putting quality content at the forefront should be your main goal. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself when assessing the quality of your content:
Content and Quality Questions
- Does the content provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
- Does the content provide a substantial, complete, or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
- Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
- Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia, or book?
- Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
- If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely recognized as an authority on its topic?
- Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
- Does the content have any easily-verified factual errors?
- Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
Presentation and Production Questions
- Does the content have any spelling or stylistic issues?
- Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
- Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
Google offers a resource page to help self-assess your own content and insights on how to improve it when updates happen. They also suggest getting to know the quality rater guidelines of E-A-T. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is a ranking factor Google uses to help identify the quality, relevancy, and trustworthiness of your content. Understanding these guidelines can help you determine the quality of your site and ways to improve it. If you need help driving more traffic to your website through an effective SEO strategy we’d love to help. Contact our team directly to get started.