Latest Google Core Algorithm Update

On August 1st, 2018, Google’s Danny Sulivan announced a Google Core Algorithm Update on Twitter.

Plenty of discussions have been taking place since the update was announced. Here’s what the latest core algorithm update means for you.

Google’s Official Statement:

The official statement by Google focused specifically on four insights:

  1. Confirmation that an algorithm update happened.
  2. Confirmation that this is a major algorithm update.
  3. Communicate that the change was to improve how Google matches relevant results to search queries.
  4. Sites that lost rankings did not lose rankings because of poor quality.

Read more on Google’s official statement.

Bombarded by requests to be more specific, Danny Sullivan declined to issue specific guidance on what to fix. Simply put, nothing to be fixed if Google says there’s nothing to fix, right?

Sullivan’s follow-up statement provides a bit more depth:

We tell lots of things to do. Improve site speed. Consider secure. Etc. But that’s not what this update was about. It’s broad. And respectfully, I think telling people there’s no particular thing to “fix” is indeed helpful. It means, hopefully, they think more broadly…

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 1, 2018

Want to do better with a broad change? Have great content. Yeah, the same boring answer. But if you want a better idea of what we consider great content, read our raters guidelines. That’s like almost 200 pages of things to consider: https://t.co/pO3AHxFVrV

To be really clear, it doesn’t work like that. Raters have no direct input into the algorithm. There’s no “rater score” or anything like that about the sample of pages they review.

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 2, 2018

The data helps us understand how updates seem to be performing. It’s like having someone review the food in your restaurant. But they don’t go into the kitchen & make the food. Rater data isn’t a component of the algorithm.

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 2, 2018

A follow-up tweet from Google’s March statement simply explains that a slight or large loss in rankings does not mean it’s related to Google’s core algorithm update. It also doesn’t mean that a loss in rankings means something needs to be fixed with your website.

Search Engine Journal comments these statements are presumably to stave off opportunists in the SEO community, using these core algorithm updates to take advantage of specific, unnecessary quality updates.

So what does this latest Google Core Algorithm Update mean for your small business?

Monitor your rankings closely using the tools provided such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other tools. If your rankings fell on the first or second page, there really is only two things to look out for.

1. Check for quality issues just in case. Look for any anchor tag errors on each of your pages using tools such as “ScreamingFrog SEO Spider” and “SEO PowerSuite”.

2. Wait for a few days. Typically, core updates take around 10-15 days until it becomes official. Usually, any smaller updates and errors are fixed during this time, what Google calls a “refresh”. Google does extensive quality control before officially releasing the full update.

Most likely, you will see wild fluctuations in rankings until things “cool down”.

What Should I Do If My Rankings Dropped?

If you see a bad search result, study it. Try figuring out why an irrelevant page is showing at the top of search results. Your rankings dropped? Just wait. Again, there are another 10-15 days to go before the official update takes hold. Lastly, study other pages that are at the top – discover why users find those links more relevant to the specific keyword search. Doing so, it will provide a better understanding of how the algorithm changes affected both yours and your competitions links.

Learn more about the History of Google Algorithm Updates.

In Conclusion

Let the next two weeks pass by before deciding on any appropriate fixes should your rankings drop or rise, either way. This latest update simply places more emphasis on links showing moderate SEO effort i.e. links that should be rewarded.

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