Google have recently confirmed that they made an update to the Google Search algorithm. The update has been labelled as a ‘broad core search ranking algorithm update’.
As a result of this update some website owners are suggesting that their search rankings have been negatively affected. Unfortunately, it would seem that if your rankings have been affected then there is no easy fix. Google even advised ‘there is no fix if your site was negatively impacted’.
Google Search Liason (Twitter handle @searchliaison) released the following tweet;
‘Here’s an update about updates — updates to our search algorithms. As explained before, each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Most have little noticeable change but help us continue to incrementally improve search….”
Google continue to carry out updates to the search algorithm year on year but their advice to us as website owners remains the same. Build Great Content! As they have previously stated if your website has been affected by the most recent updates then quite simply continue to build great content and continue to optimise your website to gain rankings.
If your rankings have suffered recently then this update could be a reason for it. If you have not been making any technical changes to your website then in theory this update could be the reason. If on the other hand you have been making technical changes to your website throughout this period you may want to review any action taken in an attempt to validate the reasons why your search rankings have dropped.
So what exactly has changed?
Good question and at this stage its’ too early to say. After having a little look through twitter and some of the responses to the update it would seem that this has had most effect on the medical and health sectors. Google will quite openly say that the update is not specific to any market sector or industry but the responses to the update would suggest otherwise.
Whilst the medical and health sector are the most talked about in this most recent update there are clearly some other areas that have been affected too. After reading a few industry sources we noted E-commerce sites, news publishers and coupon sites to also have seen some significant movement in Google after the update.
There was a lot of speculation that this update was aligned with the ‘neural matching’ artificial intelligence method that had been designed to assist Google connect words to concept. Google clearly stated that ‘all core updates and neural matching updates are unrelated’.
What can I do if my site has been affected?
As we all know when it comes to optimising a website there isn’t a golden bullet or a one size fits all approach. Google will evaluate many factors when it comes to ranking your website so its’ best to be as broad as possible and cover all bases necessary.
Google want to see quality over quantity and with consistent structured optimisation you will start to improve your ranking positions.
Here are some things you can do yourself;
- Review your content and ensure you have high quality content through out your website.
- Ensure your site is setup and configured correctly for SEO, ensuring your website is indexed correctly, there are no indexing or crawling errors in Google.
- How user friendly is your website? Test the website on all devices and ensure the website is easy to use.
- Does your website meet or exceed user expectation?
- Build quality links – Link building is a key part of any optimisation, quality links aligned with a good social media strategy will help you to build links naturally.
In summary this was the first of what is likely to be three core ranking updates in 2019. If you are looking to optimise your website, then build a plan for the long term and don’t just address or implement short term fixes.
If your website has been affected by this most recent update, then simply start to systematically break your website down and address any key areas of optimisation. Improve any issues as thoroughly as you can and don’t just cherry pick the easy fixes.
Like the old saying says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and neither was your website. Plan carefully using as much meaningful data as you have, set out a clear optimisation strategy and carry it out consistently!