It’s that time of the year again when Google announces a Core Algorithm Update and SEOs start getting excited or worried, wondering how their sites may react. But what does an update to Google’s Core Algorithm really mean to you?
After years of secrecy around many of their updates, Google has now become slightly more transparent with the announcements of some of their updates and will release updates on their blog or via Twitter about upcoming changes.
What does Google say?
“We confirm broad core updates because they typically produce some widely notable effects. Some sites may note drops or gains during them. We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all.
There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. They haven’t violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.”
So, what can you do if you’re impacted?
This roll out could take up to two weeks, so you may not see any impact until it has been fully implemented. But when it has rolled out, as Google states, with all of their Core updates, you are not penalised or negatively hit in the same way as sites can be when Penguin or Panda updates were rolled out or updates that are designed to focus on specific issues.
Instead, Google is rewarding sites for improving their content. If you’ve lost ranking positions, then it’s likely that the sites around you have taken steps to improve the quality of their content and Google has deemed that it is more useful to a customer than your site.
If you find yourself in this position, take these steps:
- Make a note of the keywords and pages that have seen a drop in performance since the update.
- How does your site compare to that of your competitors who are ranking above you? Pay particular attention to their content and how it is presented.
- Create a plan to update your pages, whether this be a case of enhancing your content or making it more accessible for users.
- Over time, you may see incremental changes in performance, and by the time the next Core Algorithm Update rolls out, you may be one of the sites that sees a positive result.
- Build progressive content improvement and testing into your SEO plans.
A short history of Google’s Core Algorithm Updates
Have you seen sudden improvements or drops in SEO performance over the last few years? Below is a list of Google’s confirmed Core updates to help you plot this against your SEO visibility:
- 17th November 2021
- 12th July 2021
- 2nd June 2021
- 3rd December 2020
- 4th May 2020
- 13th January 2020
- 24th September 2019
- 2nd June 2019
- 12th March 2019
- 1st August 2018
- 16th April 2018
- 9th March 2018
Looking for support?
If you have been negatively impacted or you’re not sure how to check and you need some help, please drop us a message.